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Horn material


Taz
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I have seen horns made from metal, fiberglass or plastic, and wood. Now being as Ignorant as I am [:$] . I was wondering if someone could enlighten me as to which is best.

If there is no hands down winner across the board. What works best with 1. low frequency. 2. mid range 3. tweeters? [^o)] ............Taz

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John,

I don't think it really matters. Seems like the material needs to heavy enough to be inert.

Klipsch changed from cast metal horns to some sort of extruded plastic/resin horns years ago. The original horns were wood.

There has been a substantial amount of discussion on this forum regarding the need to damp the K-400 horn because it could 'ring' at certain frequencies. It's the same issue, i think as having a properly braced and solid speaker cab. Same argument with using cast frame woofers over stamped frame woofers.

For LF horns, these all seem to be voidless plywood or mdf.

all fun to contemplate.

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I have both ALK trachorns and Volti FC-260 horns, both made of wood. Both sound wonderfully clear, but I am sure a lot of that is due to the design rather than material. But, as a pro trombone player I am not willing to totally discount material having an effect on the sound. For instruments the alloy, weight, and hardness all play a part in the sound. To some extent the same must be true here as well.

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But, as a pro trombone player I am not willing to totally discount material having an effect on the sound. For instruments the alloy, weight, and hardness all play a part in the sound

If you are trying to produce a certain sound, then those factors are real and cost a great deal (usually) - with platinum and gold being used in flute body designs as taking the upper limit of cost and exotic materials.

However, if you are trying to reproduce something that has already been recorded, then NOT adding harmonics and transients is preferable, IMHO. Then materials should be free of surface and body waves, and wall flexure, including and most importantly, bell ringing.

PWK did a report on the K-400 and found that by clamping the mouth of the horn to the baffle, almost all the ringing of the aluminum structure was measurably and audibly precluded.

Just my $0.02, from an old single reed guy...and fully horn-loaded loudspeaker aficionado.

Chris

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Guest David H

I have seen horns made from metal, fiberglass or plastic, and wood. Now being as Ignorant as I am Embarrassed . I was wondering if someone could enlighten me as to which is best.

The material the horn is built from is not critical as long as it doesn't resonate.

If there is no hands down winner across the board. What works best with 1. low frequency. 2. mid range 3. tweeters? Hmm ............Taz

There is no really good answer to this, I prefer Tractrix controlled directivity designs for 2 channel listening, however constant directivity is clearly a better choice for large/pro venue.

Dave

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If you are trying to produce a certain sound, then those factors are real and cost a great deal (usually) - with platinum and gold being used in flute body designs as taking the upper limit of cost and exotic materials.

Here's a recent example of this: I downloaded a freeware player (foobar2000) recently and installed it, then turned on one of its visualizations which includes a waterfall FFT display, then put a CD of solo flute and watched.

This was one of the most interesting visualizations that I've ever seen: I saw that the flute player typically played with as many of 9 overtones on lower register passages, or even more, and as few as the fundamental and the second harmonic on higher register quiet passages. This was about as clear as it gets in terms of "pure flute sounds" not being so pure, indeed they are full of harmonics in order to add character and fullness to their sound, and flutists usually pay a lot of money in order to play on flutes that can do this without much coaxing from the instrument.

If you are a flute player, you really want to reinforce those overtones because they give the much more interesting tone, hence the investment in gold or platinum flutes.

However, I'm pretty sure that I would never want my amplifier or loudspeakers to add their own harmonics to the performance, hence the investment in horn materials that are free of such "colorations".

Chris

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Want to thank all you guys for your input.

Cassk05, I have all my music on Windows Media Player. Would foobar2000 be able to access WMP? Sounds like you recomend the program. I looked it up and along with your comment it does seem interesting.

The comment about preventing ringing makes me wonder about the KHorns and sheet rock walls. If there is room for improvement.

I have wondered about false corners build of laminated 2 x 4's in butcher block style.

My mind is an empty vessel about lots of things. You guys have all been great in answering my questions. Great Forum!

..................Taz

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Would foobar2000 be able to access WMP?

It will play WMA files, among others. Those codecs not listed are usually available in the "components" link. This application takes a bit more than just double clicking on the icon to install all the right parts. But after I got everything set up, I had few complaints, especially for freeware.

I got it originally because it has a much more useful DR offline meter application that you can load into it so avoid having to first rip your CDs to your hard drive: it will read the discs directly from the disc drive and assemble the resulting DR ratings into a log file that you can upload to the DR Database site.

http://www.foobar2000.org/

Supported audio formats: MP3, MP4, AAC, CD Audio, WMA, Vorbis, Opus, FLAC, WavPack, WAV, AIFF, Musepack, Speex, AU, SND... and more with additional components.

The comment about preventing ringing makes me wonder about the KHorns and sheet rock walls. If there is room for improvement..I have wondered about false corners build of laminated 2 x 4's in butcher block style.

It will help the Khorn bass response to stiffen the room corners where the speakers are located, or alternatively, you could use false corners, then you could re-aim the speakers to improve their imaging performance.

Chris

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As others have said, it's important that a horn, from whatever material, control a column of air and sound waves without resonating. The material is not as important as the final result.

When Speakerlab first produced Klipschorn inspired SKhorns, they bragged about their fiberglass midrange horn,

" We prefer fiberglass over the more commonly used aluminum because of its higher internal damping which eliminates the 'harsh' or 'hard' sound sometimes observed in horns due to vibration of the horn walls."

See the attached page from the 1974 catalog.

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A few years later Speakerlab bragged about their aluminum midrange horn.

It's interesting to note that Klipsch went from aluminum to composite for the Khorn midrange horn.

Speakerlab started making their Khorn copy bass bins from MDF and switched to plywood. Klipsch started in plywood and switched to MDF. The point being, it's not so much the material as the execution. Cost and ease of production can dictate the material, but the execution must result in a nonresonant horn.

Clearly Klipsch uses materials suited for the intended purpose and produces world class products that can be sold at a profit. Klipsch is still making Klipschorns; Speakerlab hasn't made its copy for decades.

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  • 5 years later...
On 7/9/2018 at 3:16 AM, colterphoto1 said:

no, sorry 

 

thanks for your fast answer, 

if you have info for any available please let me know

 

regards

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