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Horn mods


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I've used duct seal (very cheap) and dynamat extreme (not so cheap) to damp various horns and woofer baskets. I personally believe a difference can be heard but it is by no means ground breaking. It's more of a mod you do when you already have everything taken apart to replace or repair something else. Kind of a why not thing.

I would discourage covering the magnet/motor assy though as it does radiate excess heat when pushed. Limiting it's ability to do so could result in premature vc failure.

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In 1987, Don Keele (big name in audio engineering) was working for Klipsch and designed the K-401 horn which is made from structural plastic (or resin perhaps)

 

I'm comforted to hear that Keele designed it.  I installed a pair of K401s a few years ago, but don't hear a difference.  Klipsch does say "slightly lower distortion" though. I think they say it is resin. 

 

 

 

I wrapped about 4 layers of tape on the midhorn  ..... I believe it reduced what is referred to as honkiness

 

I don't dispute that the tape may well have improved the sound, but I'm just about convinced that the term "honkiness" was invented by someone in the anti-horn crowd (possibly a salesman) who said to themselves, "Let's see, what word can I use to reduce the sales of horns (which I neither manufacture nor sell) ... well, automobile horns honk, as do the horns trained seals play, so I'll say that horn speakers are (or can be) honky."   As for me, I have heard many kinds of distortion from horn speakers (and others, of course), but I have never, never heard any that, by any stretch of imagination, would sound like a "honk." :)  Maybe I'm biased because I am, and always have been, horny.

Edited by garyrc
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There is a honkyness sound to horns you can hear for yourself.

 

Cup your hands around your mouth keeping the hands close together, and talk loudly.  Then do the same thing but on the exit spread your hands apart.  No honkyness.

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There is a honkyness sound to horns you can hear for yourself.

 

Cup your hands around your mouth keeping the hands close together, and talk loudly.  Then do the same thing but on the exit spread your hands apart.  No honkyness.

 

I suspect that cupped hands in the first configuration you mention constitute a very bad horn, not exponential, or any other common design type. :)   What horn speakers have you heard that have a sound similar to a car horn, or a seal instrument horn, or any other horn that is meant to honk?  Interestingly, I have seen sales people demonstrating the cupped hands horn, saying that this would simulate the sound of a horn speaker, but there was no speaker horn of any kind in their stores.  Coincidence?

 

I have heard horn speakers sound harsh, but not honky.  Even the terrible horns on my mother's old Magnavox console of c.1970, distorted as they were, didn't honk.

Edited by garyrc
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I saw in a DIY forum where people were wrapping the exterior of the horns with a white cloth like substance... I am assuming this was to dampen the resonance of the horns. Has anyone tried this on the Klipsch Horns? I was thinking maybe some dynamat.

tia,

Ron

The only way this would be a problem is if the horn was not attached and even then? Screw down a bell and does it ring?

I wrapped mine with Dynamat because I could feel the throat vibrating, and several inches forward of it, even though it was screwed down at the mouth. The dynamat "calms" the sound of the K-400, removing an edge to female voices and similar sounds. If struck, while mounted, it does ring slightly. Unmounted the K-400 makes a marvelous bell!

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Frank Van Alstine also recommended damping the back of the K55V, as well as the throat area, and the mounting bracket.

 

"If your speaker uses horns (such as Klipschorn

midrange and tweeter units) then coat the

entire outside of the metal horn, but do not

coat the inside, as this would interfere with

the acoustics of the air flow in the horn. Coat

the outside of the driver unit at the rear of the

horn too. If your speakers are mounted with brackets,

such as horn mounting brackets in K-horns,

coat the brackets too."

 

 

"We have found one substance that works particularly

well. It is inert, cheap, non-toxic, non-corrosive,

easy to find, easy to apply, dissolves in Ronsonol

Lighter Fluid if you make a mess, sticks to metal

and wood, and like a meatball, doesn’t bounce.

The substance is Plast-i-clay, available for about

$1.00 a pound, at many toy, drug, department,

and dime stores."

Edited by djk
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Every exponential horn has a honk sound to it. It's inherent to the slow area expansion in the throat.

Other terms to describe the sound would be nasal, pinched off, brash, congested, etc...

Damping the horn doesn't fix it, nor any amount of EQ.

Edited by DrWho
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I remember about ten years ago talking with Vu Huong at Deja Vu Audio in No.Virginia about this subject. He had just received a product that was an oil in a very heavy duty plastic bladder, and was placed under an item of audio equipment. We tested it extensively, and could absolutely hear a difference. I went away to think about it.

Then, speaking with a woman I worked with, she made a comment that her car always ran better with a full tank of gas. I thought about it, and realized that the mass of the full tank of fuel absorbed vibrations that, while she could not describe them, she was sensitive to. I went back and spoke with Vu about this, and we concluded that there is a benefit to having a mass that was capable of absorbing the stray vibrations - in my co-worke's case, the full tank of gas, and in the audio equipment case, the oil in the plastic bladder. Note that in both cases, the liquid is generally in direct contact with the vibrating item (discounting the bladder material).

This leads me to think that in the case of the various horns, starting with aluminum 400, the material is probably a great medium for passing along vibrations, leading to the honking sound. The 401's industrial plastic is probably less conducive to those vibrations. The various aftermarket wood horns (Fastlane, ALK, Greg Roberts, etc.) are probably somewhere in between those two examples.

1. So, regarding damping properties, if possible you would want the material to be capable of absorbing the maximum amount of vibrations (liquid, then playable mass - sand, clay, etc., then something more solid as a last choice).

2. Balancing safety and risk of spillage against performance, I would think sand in a rugged bladder, and placed on top of and maybe underneath the mid-range horn, would be the best compromise.

3. The damping material would need to be in close contact with the source of the vibrations (the horn itself) in order to perform best.

Thoughts?

Edited by spezjag
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I think Mike (DrWho) was actually correct in his last post.  The characteristic constricted sound isn't really a function of ringing of the horn as much as it is the exact horn profile. In this case it's the exponential profile that has a characteristic sound due to the traditional long throat of a plain-vanilla exponential horn expansion, and the increased acoustic reactance of the horn close to its cut-off frequency over, say, a conical horn profile.

 

An article for your reading pleasure on PWK's development of the K-400 to replace the K-5-J midrange horn that should quench the thirst of those trying to understand the effects of horn damping and the effectiveness of clamping the mouth (as the Klipsch designs do) over "vibration absorption" of various schemas:

 

https://community.klipsch.com/index.php?app=core&module=attach&section=attach&attach_id=8074

 

Enjoy!

 

Chris

Edited by Chris A
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