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Author Topic: amazing claims...flawed beyond belief...  (Read 6862 times)
Ed Schilling
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« on: October 10, 2011, 11:27:10 PM »

Recently I have seen some flat out amazing claims that make no sense at all except to those who do not know  better. It seems any flared pipe is now a "horn"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

First off, a "horn" has a real definition. It is not simply a flared pipe. A "horn" must, by definition have an appropriate compression chamber, path length, flare rate and mouth size. Period.

The mouth on a 20 Hz horn is HUGE......that is just the way it is. It is impossible to get around this.....unless you corner load it. Just ask Paul Klipsch. And keep in mind the cutoff on a KHorn in a corner is 35Hz..... and guys claim "20hz from the smallest horn" with a 4" driver and no corner loading? Hahahahah. Not hardly. Unless the laws of physics have changed.

It is simply impossible for a single driver speaker of the correct diameter (4-5 inches) to make "20 hz bass" at any reasonable SPL without "true" horn loading (even then it is impossible at any reasonable distortion level and claims to the contrary are well.....)and it is simply impossible to shrink the mouth size without corner loading (ask Paul, don't take my word for it).

A driver with a factory rated 1 watt/one meter of 89db can not possibly make anything that resembles "live" (>100db) SPL's in anything but a ""real" horn at any reasonable distortion level. Period . And if it is in a box with no acoustical gain and somehow manages to "make bass" do you really think it can play at "party levels" ? In the case of a backloaded horn the only thing the "horn" is doing is bringing up the falling response of the main driver below a certain point (50-200 in my case is the target). That is it........the efficiency is set by the driver itself and the horn simply flattens the response to 50 hz or so (in my case that was the target).

If the box is not a "proper horn" then there will be no efficiency gain or reduction in excursion over a wide enough freq. range to be "useful". The object is to make a real horn, not a "pipe resonator" and a "real horn" has a definition that is easy to find but somehow a lot of people seem to not be able to grasp it or else they simply figure people are too dumb to figure it out. I don't know. In a single driver speaker efficiency and low excursion are of paramount importance if you want anything that resembles dynamics.

As to adding a subwoofer to get "real bass"...... it is and always has been the best way when combined with mains that can reach down to 50-60 Hz.

I guess the guys who design "single drivers that can reach 20 hz" never heard the distortion of them at moderate, let alone high volumes. Oops..... they just say "they don't play at party levels". And if they don't say it, well, they know it. And that is with amplifiers of any power.



A "horn" has a definition. They are huge. You can "shrink them" by folding and corner loading them. It is the only way. It is simply impossible to build a "small horn" otherwise. Ask Paul Klipsch, don't take my word for it.

I could give a rats ass "how much bass" a speaker makes if it can't do Metallica at >100db.

There are reasons why The Horns have been a success and it has not been because of crazy claims!

Hell, it's 2:30am!!!! I'm sure I'll have to edit this for clarity and to correct mistakes Smiley
Ed
edit***** I should add that sticking any speaker in a corner is good for 3-6db even if it is not a
"corner horn". A "corner horn" is simply a way to shrink the mouth and the only way to do it. The horn loading does increase efficiency in it's working regions but another benefit is the increased efficiency the 1/8 space provides.

« Last Edit: October 11, 2011, 04:54:24 AM by Ed Schilling » Logged
Pit Hinder
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« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2011, 05:17:25 AM »

Ed,

   stop ranting. Just think of these stupid claims the way AJHorn treats boxes.
According to the math behind AJ, every box is a horn - some just have important bits missing, other bits have the wrong size or are the wrong way round.

Soooo...People have brains. The idiots who claim they can build a decent 20Hz horn the size of a hamster cage just have (see above).

    Roll Eyes Pit
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steve f
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« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2011, 10:14:30 PM »

Ed,

The late Paul Klipsch used to wear a button on the underside of his jacket lapel.  When somebody gave him a line that was just pseudo-science BS, he would flip open the lapel and show them the button.  It was just a 1" diameter bright yellow button with one word written in black Old English type.  The word was "Bullshit" an appropriate response. When I was in my teens, I wrote Mr. Klipsch asking about how his K-horn worked.  I got a nice reply, some Xerox prints, company literature, and some of the buttons.  I wish I still had them.  Might not be a bad idea to reissue them, with a pink background, for the Horn Shoppe of course.

Steve
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Pit Hinder
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« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2011, 01:07:11 AM »

 Roll Eyes Steve, cĀ“mon - pseudoscientists fill a void in your life! There are no good slapstick movies anymore, so instead of cinema we go to HiFi fairs (bring popcorn).
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steve f
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« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2011, 08:12:17 AM »

Pit,

LOL you are probably right.  No other group of people, except for crystal carrying spiritualists, is into the weird & wacky world of pseudoscience like audiophiles.  Magic bricks, a clock that's been treated, wooden pucks, magic stones.  Oh and don't forget there are cryogenically treated tubes, bi-wiring your speakers, and who knows what else. I used to regularly go to CES and loved to visit the rooms of the magical stuff vendors. 

Steve
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Ed Schilling
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« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2011, 12:09:58 PM »

Steve, what I don't get is that fellows who design and sell the "amazing" loudspeakers must not realize that one of the most basic rules and one that does not take long to figure out or stumble across written on the Net is.........." small size, deep bass, or high output....pick any two", because you can not have all three in a "normal"  (powered subs may be an exception) speaker.

This rule is much amplified when you are asking the driver to play midrange/treble as well as the bass, if you expect it to be tolerable at any decent level. Small drivers make the situation worse. The fact the driver may have "an inch" of excursion does not mean it will actually sound good playing music at more than 1-2 MM! A (mythical) 2 inch driver with 2 feet of excursion could produce 20hz output at high level. Do you really think it could possibly sound good? The distortion would be off the charts.....but it could do it! That is a gross exaggeration but the point is, you do not want a high excursion single driver speaker system even if the driver itself is capable of high excursion. And high excursion leads to higher moving mass in the construction of the driver, generally..blah, blah ,blah......

Which is why The Horns are a 50-60hz corner horn and not a 20hz TL single driver speaker.

Subs are and always have been and always will be the best way to get deep bass in any system. They can be positioned for the best bass at the couch while the mains can be in their best spot.

What if you have a speaker that goes flat to 20hz and there is a giant bump at your listening spot? Wouldn't limiting their bottom and making up for it with a sub placed at a spot where the response at the couch was now flat to 20 hz without the bump? I think yes.

Gotta go build stuff now!
Ed



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steve f
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« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2011, 02:08:21 AM »

Hi All,

Of course Ed's statement about speaker design is absolutely correct.  There is no getting around those laws of physics.  Very few people/companies build horns.  Although when properly designed, they can produce dynamic wide range sound. They have a big flaw. They tend to be big.  Like Ed states, a 20 hz horn has to be huge.  The ONLY way to shrink them is to fold the horn around itself and place it in a corner. To make the speaker reasonably sized, a higher cut off frequency must be chosen.  Klipsch managed to get a f10 (roughly lowest usable frequency) of 37 hz, an impressive feat as little pop music gets below 41 hz.  Wayne Parham gets about 40 hz out of his corner horns.  Both of these designs require a lot of real estate in a listening room.  Some guy named Ed, figured out a slick adoption of a Buschorn design that has a cut off of around 60 hz.  Because the Horn doesn't hit low frequency extremes, it is a very managable size and very room friendly. If you take any of the three examples  mentioned, and place them out in the room, it is no longer a horn!! The corner is the flare of the horn.  If you need more bass, add at least two subs to fill in, and smooth room response.  Once again Ed's comment about possible room loading problems is correct.  

So much for ancient history.  Let's talk about the Non-Horn.  It doesn't have a compression chamber, a very tightly controlled driver, horn gain, or a flare that couples into the room.  What it models as... is a bass reflex, with a tapered vent.  I'm not saying it is a bad design. It is a nice marketing chip. But as a reflex, the box could be a lot simpler, and still sound good.  

My wife Julie and I listened to the Non-horn very shortly before all the commotion started on the other website. I own a pair of the Horns, a pair of Linkwitz Orions, and I've been building and studying loudspeakers for longer than 35 years. Julie, although not an audiophile, is a music lover, a singer, (great voice) and shares Helen's ability to sum up an audio product in a few direct words. Those of you who know me know that I don't sugar coat things, and I won't lie about something just to avoid hurt feelings.  So here goes....

Quite simply comparing the two speakers is the old apples to oranges game.  The Non-horns are smooth, have a frequency range from about 30 hz on up and have very good high frequency extension. They sound like a typical box ie monkey coffin speaker. The Horns have a frequency range of about mid 50's hz, very good efficiency, speed and detail.  When placed if a corner, the horns have very controlled directivity, hence loading the room well. So for loud transients, dynamic impact, and amp friendliness, you have to go with the Horns.  I liked the Non-horns, for a lower volume application, but feel that the design can not be called a horn.  That's a misnomer.

I must agree with Julie, who upon listening to the Non-horns said that they sound distorted when trying to play loud.  She also said that Ed has nothing to worry about.  You can't cheat the laws of physics.  Or fool Julie's ears.

The website hostilities started when a guy who posts a whole lot on another site, wrote a snide comment that the Non-horn was a great design and that he didn't care if Ed was unhappy.  How nice to be able to judge a design as superior to a proven product without listening to them.
The writer does own a nice pair of very different speakers by the same designer.  I'm not questioning his personal choices, just his civility.

Just thinking aloud, somebody should take a bunch of the Non-horn drivers and build a pseudo Bose 901 cabinet.  You would get more volume, much better dynamics and room coupling, and no need for an equalizer.


steve

PS: The guy who designed the other speakers is a good guy, and a friend.  I really like some of his other stuff and have been a client there too.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2011, 10:42:49 AM by steve f » Logged
Capt. Z
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« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2011, 12:10:05 PM »

How close to the corner do Ed's speaker  need to be placed to still be called a Horn?
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Cheerwino
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« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2011, 01:14:25 PM »

How close to the corner do Ed's speaker  need to be placed to still be called a Horn?

Sounds like kind of deep, philosophical question that you'd hear in a hippie Dylan song:

And how many amps must a man buy
before you can call him a man?
How many SETs must a white boy sell
before he keeps one in hand?
Yes, how many times must the homemade rockets fly
before Hornfest is canned?
The answer my friend is blowin' in the wind
The answer is blowin' in the wind
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steve f
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« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2011, 06:56:34 PM »

Cheerwino, that's great.   Grin

Capt Z, I don't know.  There is probably a maximum location to match the flare. That's Ed's territory.  For the other two examples, they must be snug into the corner. My Horns are (gasp!) not currently in a system, so I can't make an uneducated guess.

Steve
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Ed Schilling
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« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2011, 09:46:38 AM »

If the room were square you would put the inside back edges of The Horns against the back wall and aim them to the center of the room. The "mouth" is formed by the side wall and cabinet.

Nestle them into the corner, slide along back wall 3-6 inches, toe them to the center of the room. You will be listening with them "crossed over" well in front of the listening spot.

Toe and distance from corner has an effect......so you must figure out what is best for you.

When not in corners they are still a "horn" but with a mouth too small and a path all wrong,  the behavior is like a bastardized TL. Which is not always a "bad thing" but that is what it is!

Hope this helps!

It's Sunday so with a clear conscience I can "not work" and go ride "The Grasshopper". Wish Helen luck! Whether I survive or not, she wins! Smiley
Ed
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Capt. Z
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« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2011, 02:38:49 PM »

I fully agree with not working on a Sunday even though for me that is a major work day.

Just placed the Horns as far as possible in the corners but felt I lost too much detail and I also did not like the balance.

For my taste I prefer them a little less than a foot from the side walls and about 1 1/2 feet from the rear wall. Also, my 'room' is only 7 feet wide.

This way I feel to get a lot more detail and spacial information. The Super-tweeters help with that as well. Bass is filled in with one of my old, but very good sub.

So, if I am not using the Horns in the way they were intended to be used, am I abusing my Horns??? Grin Grin
« Last Edit: October 23, 2011, 02:48:43 PM by Capt. Z » Logged
steve f
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« Reply #12 on: October 23, 2011, 02:50:26 PM »

Hi Capt & Ed,

It's funny how a few inches here and there changes the whole picture.  I was looking for a term to describe my examples out of the corners and I was going to say "half assed transmission line" but I like Ed's line better.   Wink  Wayne's design would be a bass reflex backwards.

I like to have the drivers "crossed" before the so called sweet spot.  It does take out a tiny bit of imaging, but the sweet spot is increased to a wider space.

Ride on Ed.

Steve

PS: Capt, I just found your personal msg.  Oops.  I'll write you later tonight.  I'm sorry.
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steve f
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« Reply #13 on: December 02, 2011, 11:40:50 PM »

Just to put a cherry on top of the 20 HZ horn fantasy game.  A friend of mine asked me to help him design a horn sub for his home theater.  Preliminary specs indicate a just under eight foot tall cabinet that is three feet deep! He actually wants to build the damn thing.

If we assemble on site, he will have an incredibly heavy project.  The only advantage, he will only need a couple of hundred watts to completely destroy his house when he cranks it up. (Traditional ported box subs would need a couple thousand watts and 6-8 boxes to equal the SPL levels.  The original Woodstock only needed about ten thousand watts to power the horn PA system.) Either way, I figure he's a dead man. He will either destroy his home with 120 DB sub-sonics, or more likely, his wife will shoot him for making such a huge mess.

Too bad that I don't know how to build a low frequency mini-horn.

steve
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