Interesting Horn thread Someplace Else (AA)

Discussion in 'High Efficiency' started by mhardy6647, Nov 5, 2018.

  1. mhardy6647

    mhardy6647 Señor Member

    My apologies for a perhaps egregious breach of forum etiquette, but I just read in interesting thread at AA on why some horn loaded loudspeakers sound "hard and honky".

    There are some pretty thoughtful and interesting replies. Not mine, of course -- mine is the predictable doggerel that -- well -- you'd predict.

    But -- in all seriousness -- some good replies and links.
  2. Prime Minister

    Prime Minister Site Owner Staff Member

    Do we have forum etiquette?
  3. Don C

    Don C Active Member

    Maybe our etiquette is that we have no etiquette?
    JohnVF likes this.
  4. Don C

    Don C Active Member

    Actually, I think we do. This is one of the most civil places I frequent. Perhaps the "less is more" approach to rules speaks for itself?
  5. Ski

    Ski Junior Member

    Who needs etiquette when there are manners?
    SPL db, mhardy6647 and Martin G like this.
  6. Thanks for the heads-up. Are we posting our suggestions here or is it just for our info? I'll assume the former and add a few points that were not covered in the linked thread.

    Crossing a horn/driver combination too low can lead to that effect. A rule of thumb is to cross an octave above the horn's cut-off or thereabouts.

    Another I saw was that using 1st order crossovers is not ideal. That may be related to the above point, but I think there were reasons about driver discontinuity or some such. Not so convinced of this though.

    Dunno about the comments that some CD horns (waveguides) are a problem. Perhaps, but I don't think these are any worse than some non-CD horns... though the non-CD horns may act more like direct radiators, which some folks are probably more familiar with.

    This is pretty-much armchair for me - I've not experimented extensively with horns... but scarily, I plan to. :tongue:
  7. Celt

    Celt Peanut Head

    Mmmmmm Nanner Pudding.... ~(_8^(|)
    Audionut and Redboy like this.
  8. mhardy6647

    mhardy6647 Señor Member

    Well you should, as you seem to be a pretty savvy cat :)
    I didn't really have an agenda, other than to give the horny folks here some additional stuff to read :)

    To amplifiy (heh-heh-heh) a couple of your comments.

    * There is no question (at least in my mind) that crossin' too low is a mortal sin (well, so to speak) when it comes to horns/compression drivers.

    * I am currently all first order.
  9. mhardy6647 likes this.
  10. I would add another factor that I don't think was discussed in that thread---appropriate wall damping. I re-discovered how important this is just within the past few days. Until then, I was a firm believer that damping the side walls at the first reflection point was a bad idea. I had tried it numerous times over the years, in different rooms and with different speakers, and each time it made the sound too dead and closed in.

    However, my current horns are a different story. With the YL midrange horns in my current speakers, I get an occasional glare or edginess in the upper midrange with my usual setup which is with no acoustic treatment on the side walls. (I have traps in the corners and some wall damping but not at the first reflection points.) When I tried some Real Trap damping panels on the side walls, the glare basically disappeared and the sound is still open and alive, not dead and closed in. For some reason it turns out the optimum location of the damping panels is a bit forward of the first reflection point so I am speculating that perhaps the YL horns have very wide dispersion or perhaps they are rough sounding at the extreme sides of their dispersion. In any event, I have a made a total about-face and am now a believer in damping the side walls.
  11. TubeHiFiNut

    TubeHiFiNut Administrator Staff Member

    Horn design, driver design, crossover point, room, placement, amp.....All of these considerations (and more) will impact the overall performance (including presence/absence of the dreaded "honk") of a horn.

    As has been discussed here at The Haven, getting the horn matched up with an appropriate driver makes a big difference.

    Agree that too low of a crossover point contributes to "honk".

    First order crossover? Not sure on this point. I am using first order crossovers on the "FrankenKlipsch" and they do not "honk" at all.

    Room and placement in the room are both very important, the speaker technology notwithstanding.

    Finally the amp. Personally, I think that the amp is extremely critical. As good as the Marantz 8B, McIntosh MC30 and Quicksilver EL34 amps were on the Klipsch LaScalas, the speakers did not really "shine" until I tried them with the CazTech SET845. The stock Belles, the "FrankenKlipsch" experement ("SCIENCE"), the JBL 4430 and 4425, the Altec Model 19 (sadly sold in a moment of weakness), my 604/Karlsons and the beautiful Lowther PM2a/Medallions all sound their best ("honkless") with SE amps.

    In my opinion, high efficiency horns and SE amps are a synergistic match made in Heaven. :)

    Just my opinion. :)
  12. mhardy6647

    mhardy6647 Señor Member

  13. If we accept that horn honk can be associated with crossing to a horn too close to its cutoff then it probably stands to reason that using a first order xo in those circumstances isn’t going to help matters. Particularly where people typically try to do this in the vocal range where horn honk is more likely to be noticeable.

    Whether horn honk equals the increased group delay that JMLC observes and warns about (or that the driver is basically operating as a direct radiator below the horn’s fc etc) I dunno.
  14. Related, but perhaps going a bit off track, heading off towards the general listenability of horns....

    I reckon there is some worth in Toole's work that suggests most peeps find a mild downward frequency range tilt (tilts down towards the higher frequencies) to sound more accurate/like live music, IIRC.

    I imagine that revealing horns that are designed with a horizontal frequency response powered by an amp with the same might be rather "too much": lean, bright, aggressive. Throw in some honk, resonance and reflection, a touch of ringing (like in a poorly designed power supply)... a recipe for an amusical system. Horn systems can be a tough gig to get right.

    I suspect my GPA duplexes are broadly flat (with a few peaks and troughs, TBH). Perhaps one of the things that makes my system so enjoyable (to me) is the amp: a "weak" (high output impedance) pentode unable to overcome the Miller C of a 2A3, causing a mild downward tilt in frequency response. Amp and speaker together approximate Toole's findings. One day I'll measure... but I'd rather be listening.
  15. What pentode are you using?
  16. Wntrmute2

    Wntrmute2 Junior Member

    I read you post over at AA regarding mono. You do know you have TWO kidneys and there always is dialysis. :dance
  17. 6C6, directly coupled to the 2A3. I like the sense of substance this tube communicates. Musical, to my ears.

    I have an itch to go all-DHT for my next build, but that might demand a change of speaker, or crossover, to get that slight downward tilt. But, I could just suck it and see.
    TubeHiFiNut likes this.
  18. What driver tubes are you considering?
    Are you looking at direct coupling?

    I have a Bottlehead Stereomour with a 3B7 driver that is my go to amp. Love the music it makes.
  19. TubeHiFiNut

    TubeHiFiNut Administrator Staff Member

    The Tube Audio Labs 2A3 currently in the Man Cave system uses either a 6C6 or 310A (toggle switch to select either 6V or 10V respectively).

    In my opinion, I think it sounds wonderful. I would give a slight nod to the 310A but both drivers sound good.
  20. mhardy6647

    mhardy6647 Señor Member

    Boy howdy, that's a new one on me...


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