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post #1 of 141 Old 08-18-2010, 08:52 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm curious to get peoples takes on the pluses and minuses of each of these designs. If one considers that the speakers will not be used at reference levels (i.e. Orion's play loud enough in this context), the room will not have treatment, have cathedral ceilings (good for the Abbeys), a 50" flat screen behind, and the speakers will be augmented by 3 subs placed around the room.. The need for multiple amps is not an issue, nor is the difference in price (Summa's are aesthetically too big so are not part of the discussion). The speakers can be placed about 4' from the front wall and 5-6' from the side.

I'm more interested in the pluses and minuses of each design, and although I lean towards objective criteria subjective comments are also appreciated (but it would be nice if they were explained as opposed to just blanket statement; i.. x just blows away y).

PS, if there is another DIY kit to be considered I would happily entertain the idea, but it has to be as good or better than the above designs and some objective/subjective justification would be appreciated.

Thanks

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post #2 of 141 Old 08-18-2010, 09:29 AM
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now thats a thread worth commenting on.

theres the subjective comparrison and Ill stay out of that for the time being- and the technical one.

From a seated set position and setup propperly- they will both give a very good and flat response.....but there are key differences in what they will sound like due to the way they get the response.

The sound that reaches yoe from the orion will have a conciderable amount of reverberant energy included. That is to say that the room will itself contribute to the performance.

The arguement for this is that when you play katie melua for example- you idealy are attempting to recrate the singer actually in your room.- that means that if she was physically in your room then there would be reflections included in the sound that she generates and they are a natural part of sound. Eq will be used to reduce any severe room generated effects but thats it.

The speakers will need to be placed idealy about 1.5m or more from any serface as being too close will blur the separation and detail of sounds because the ear/brain cant separate these and assumes they are together as such instead of hearing them as reflections (ie part of the environment/room 'sound')

The geddes/gedlee summa aproach is that basically the room should be anechoic or as good as (no reflections) as its the recordings job to give you the listening environment.

So when listening to John Williams in a grand hall, the information is in the recording and you shouldnt try and make john williams play physically in your living room as its shoe horning him in.

geddes approach is to use a CD (constant directivity) waveguide to his own standards (thats fairly well justified I might add) and basically stop the speaker from producing vertually any sound when you move 45 degrees off axis. This will mean that when the speakers are correctly placed (toe'd in alot) the side walls dont give reflections to the sound as if you were in a semi anechoic chamber- and he is successfull in doing this.

There are still reflections when using the geddes approach, but they are way after the fundemental (actual sound from the speaker)( - it will depend on the sise of the room, but were talking 40+ms) and fairly far down in volume compaired to the fundemental too. This means that the ear wont be very sensitive to it.

Which is better??- rather hard to say. there both right and wrong, but I would lean ever so slightly towards the geddes approch on paper as it will fit the massive variance of all music/ films better than the orion.
because recordings happen in a huge range of acoustic environments and the complex acoustics of your room arnt going to alow all the details from 5 or 7 speakers and all there reflections to emulate it as well as a tightly controlled environment like the summa.
Also the orion will produce significantly late information from the rear of the speaker- this complicates the sound and FR further in a surround environment.

the Geddes speakers are overpriced now though Imo. They have doubled in price recently.

just my 0.02p or c as you lot would say
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post #3 of 141 Old 08-18-2010, 09:51 AM
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Wow... those are two very VERY different designs... Open Baffle vs Constant Directivity...

lbaccoustics has covered the basics on the technical differences. Honestly though I think you will be best off trying to find and listen to a similar example of each. From what I've heard some people love the sound of OB's and some hate it, same for the CD stuff. Basically I think personal preference may trump the technical differences here (since they're so vastly different).


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post #4 of 141 Old 08-18-2010, 10:09 AM
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I will confess that I have heard a geddes summa (lucky me!) but havent got a demo of a orion yet.....but - the owner fo the summa used to own one!

In his case, he felt the summa was better and noticably more 'dynamic'- which would make sense given the design (high efficiency and very low dynamic compression)

Im not going to give endless and pointless dribble of a review- but I will say the following-

I detected absolutely no indication of a 'honky' horn sound (HOM)- which was my main fear over.

It was particularly 'clear' sounding especially in the trebble.

and it definately has kick to it.

As with my impression of all horns- they sound physically closer to you than other speakers do (forward image??)
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post #5 of 141 Old 08-18-2010, 11:51 AM
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That is like comparing apples to oranges, they are totally different types of speakers, and I doubt that anyone on the planet has listened to them side by side...
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post #6 of 141 Old 08-18-2010, 01:20 PM
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FWIW, there has been a pretty big debate over on Geddes waveguide thread (diyaudio.com) the Orion designs where measured by Geddes so yes he has listened to both the Orion and Abbeys

The debate is fun to read, the Open baffle crowd believes that they have constant directivity like waveguides. Geddes point is that its more about controlled directivity then constant directivity.

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post #7 of 141 Old 08-18-2010, 01:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lbaccoustics View Post

I will confess that I have heard a geddes summa (lucky me!) but havent got a demo of a orion yet.....but - the owner fo the summa used to own one!

In his case, he felt the summa was better and noticably more 'dynamic'- which would make sense given the design (high efficiency and very low dynamic compression)

Im not going to give endless and pointless dribble of a review- but I will say the following-

I detected absolutely no indication of a 'honky' horn sound (HOM)- which was my main fear over.

It was particularly 'clear' sounding especially in the trebble.

and it definately has kick to it.

As with my impression of all horns- they sound physically closer to you than other speakers do (forward image??)

Cool, have you heard other DIY waveguides or Pro audio designs (JBL, Danley) ??

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post #8 of 141 Old 08-18-2010, 02:32 PM
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With a price jump in Geddes material, take a look at the 'deluxe' Econowaveguide at audiokarma. Nothing but glowing reviews at a significantly more affordable price .

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post #9 of 141 Old 08-18-2010, 02:33 PM
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Here is the link to the Orion discussion

http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/multi...ml#post2228779

Geddes has a cool little web based program that will show the polar response of measured speakers ( he has added speakers so far but I think he is trying to make it so others can add speaker measurements).

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post #10 of 141 Old 08-18-2010, 03:10 PM
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lbaccoustics' first post is pretty much it dead on with one adjustment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lbaccoustics View Post

you idealy are attempting to recrate the singer actually in your room.- that means that if she was physically in your room then there would be reflections included in the sound that she generates and they are a natural part of sound.

You are not trying to alter the recording to sound like it was recorded in your room, it is just that the end result is that it does sound like they are in the room with you, but it doesn't sound like your room anymore.

If you are listening to a good orchestral recording it doesn't sound like you have crammed a 64 piece ensemble into your living room. It sounds like your room is larger than it is TARDIS style.


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post #11 of 141 Old 08-18-2010, 03:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by penngray View Post

The debate is fun to read, the Open baffle crowd believes that they have constant directivity like waveguides. Geddes point is that its more about controlled directivity then constant directivity.

I skipped that side topic. I may have to check it out. OB with CD is retarded.

You can lose the first reflection points on the side walls, but that is nothing like CD.


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post #12 of 141 Old 08-18-2010, 03:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soho54 View Post

I skipped that side topic. I may have to check it out. OB with CD is retarded.

You can lose the first reflection points on the side walls, but that is nothing like CD.

I disagree. A good dipole like JohnK's NaO Note has much better constant directivity than any of Earl's designs. The dipole's CD extends down into the bass while Earl doesn't get any CD below 1K. Of course Earl counters that the dipole's CD isn't narrow enough (-6dB at 60 degrees vs. 45 degrees) and the midrange/bass stuff doesn't matter anyway. Experts disagree on what's most important. Shrug.

Edit: my take, if you need it loud, with a big dynamic range, build a waveguide design. If you don't need it so loud, and have the room to move the speakers well away from the walls, build the NaO Note (when the design is finalized.) There's just something magic about the sound of dipoles with music.

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post #13 of 141 Old 08-18-2010, 04:22 PM
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With a portion of the sound field firing rearward I have a hard time calling OB a Constant Directional design. Controlled sure, but that isn't really saying much.

Having heard a set of SH-50s (as well as other various CD designs, but this was the best) in the same room as my Arvos I can say they are not even on the same page when it comes to room interactions. Just standing between the them is a big difference.

I love my OBs, but if I was after CD I would look elsewhere.


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post #14 of 141 Old 08-18-2010, 04:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by penngray View Post

Here is the link to the Orion discussion

http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/multi...ml#post2228779

Geddes has a cool little web based program that will show the polar response of measured speakers ( he has added speakers so far but I think he is trying to make it so others can add speaker measurements).

Thanks, ignore my pm

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post #15 of 141 Old 08-18-2010, 04:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soho54 View Post

With a portion of the sound field firing rearward I have a hard time calling OB a Constant Directional design. Controlled sure, but that isn't really saying much.

Having heard a set of SH-50s (as well as other various CD designs, but this was the best) in the same room as my Arvos I can say they are not even on the same page when it comes to room interactions. Just standing between the them is a big difference.

I love my OBs, but if I was after CD I would look elsewhere.

Yeah, I guess we're quibbling over semantics. To me, constant directivity means it doesn't change with frequency. Earl's designs go from 90 degrees above 2K to 360 degrees below there so they don't really qualify in my mind. But hey, we all know how they work so who cares what we call it?

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post #16 of 141 Old 08-18-2010, 04:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buggers View Post

That is like comparing apples to oranges, they are totally different types of speakers

I have problems with the implications of this statement, but I may be at fault for not being clearer in my opening post.

I'm not exactly a newbie at this (although I'm no expert). I have been playing around with audio for a couple of decades. Was a member of the Basslist in the Kantor days (long before anyone thought of creating AVS). One of my ongoing projects is trying to setup a MC, line source system using a PC to perform the x-over, room correction in the digital domain (while also acting as the source).

Now with regards to apples and oranges. All speaker designs are an exercise on compromise, the decisions the designers make are based on their biases and what they consider critical to reproduction and/or market needs. From this perspective, a discussion addressing the pluses and minuses of both designs is of interest exactly because the designers decided to approach the problem of reproduction from strikingly different starting points, yet both place great importance in objective measures and both are excellent at their craft.

Now, if you are suggesting that people who like OB will not like CD and/or vice versa, that is a different matter, but not one that particularly concerns me. I have found some of the posts of great value, and I hope that posters decide to continue the discussion.

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post #17 of 141 Old 08-18-2010, 05:06 PM
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Raul, if you do decide to go the OB route, I'd keep a close eye on the progress of the NaO Note. It promises to be a nice upgrade to the Orion but we won't have any 3rd party impressions until DIY NE. It's a hybrid design:

3.5-way upper panel with a passive XO
Bass bin, either dipole or ported
Active XO/EQ between the two -- two amps required.

http://musicanddesign.com/NaO_Note_Previews.html
http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/multi...e-preview.html
http://techtalk.parts-express.com/sh...d.php?t=218810

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post #18 of 141 Old 08-18-2010, 05:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by catapult View Post

Raul, if you do decide to go the OB route, I'd keep a close eye on the progress of the NaO Note. It promises to be a nice upgrade to the Orion but we won't have any 3rd party impressions until DIY NE.

It sounds interesting (no pun intended), I'll keep an eye on it.

Thanks

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post #19 of 141 Old 08-18-2010, 08:14 PM
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catapult, I was just trying to explain my position a little better than just "retarded."

It does seem there is a terminology miss connect here, but I am too doped up on cold medications to think straight. I could have it backwards, but when I try to think about it the room spins.

I just read a few pages of the DIYaudio thread, and I seem to be using the terms both the same and the opposite way as they did there, in that Charlie Foxtrot.

We seem to be talking about the same thing though. I don't feel Geddes speaker is anything really special in the directivity department, as it is just a normal box speaker with a CD horn up top. Tweaked a little more than normal, but that isn't saying much. Never heard one myself though. The Danley's on the other hand...

Sorry for veering OT there.


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post #20 of 141 Old 08-18-2010, 09:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soho54 View Post

The Danley's on the other hand...

He had a quasi DIY speaker, the Unity, that sold through the Basslist years ago (I think that is how Mark Seaton first became acquainted with Danley). I wish he would come out with a DIY for something similar to the SH50

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post #21 of 141 Old 08-19-2010, 02:26 AM
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Raul GS,

You might want to drop a line to Goskers over here, he built a Nathan w/GedLee subs and built an Orion w/Thor subs, amongst others.

http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=74098.0

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post #22 of 141 Old 08-19-2010, 05:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soho54 View Post

I skipped that side topic. I may have to check it out. OB with CD is retarded.

You can lose the first reflection points on the side walls, but that is nothing like CD.

Catapult posted great comments I just want to say that no one is using a CD with an OB.

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post #23 of 141 Old 08-19-2010, 07:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by penngray View Post

Cool, have you heard other DIY waveguides or Pro audio designs (JBL, Danley) ??

The best system Ive heard is the one fitted in the Imax theatre in NY next to Central Park. I later found that this uses a all pro JBL system inc horns on compression drivers (the model no escapes me) I watched 'The Dark Knight' and have never experienced anything like it.

The IMAX near me (in the UK) is not a patch on this unfortunately.

The next best system would be the Living Voice VOX Olimpian. God knows what it costs but it was special. And again it is horn loaded....and UGLY!!

Obviously this is all subjective.

I realy dont know much about Danley- Ill have to look them up.

I for one am wating for AE speakers to make there waveguide and for someone to make a realy good design with them. Im just hoping someone can make a nice 2 way that doesnt have a front baffle larger than about 10" and ill be happy.

I keep coming back to/have a soft spot for this though-
http://www.troelsgravesen.dk/JA8008_DTQWT.htm
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post #24 of 141 Old 08-19-2010, 08:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by penngray View Post

I just want to say that no one is using a CD with an OB.

I did not mean that they were using a CD horn section in an OB.

CD normally stands for Constant Directivity. The normal usage if CD is to provide the same SPL at all frequencies within the designed set of focusing coverage angles within a certain bandwidth. Kinda like a generic marketing word for constant-beamwidth.

I find both JohnK and Geddes definitions to be a little off.

I can see how many different types of speakers could be call CD designs if you choose the right definition, but why do that? An inwall speaker could be called a CD speaker by some peoples definition, but it doesn't really fit. As CD was/is a marketing word for pro audio gear consisting of a horn that is used to confine high frequency sounds to a certain coverage area, just let them keep it. There are no true CD speakers from top to bottom (that I can think of OTTOMH,) so why would anyone else try to steal a buzz word? That is why there is Controlled Directivity.

Linkwitz uses Controlled Directivity when talking about his Orions for a reason.


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post #25 of 141 Old 08-19-2010, 08:46 AM
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And Geddes posts that Orions are not Controlled Directivity so.......

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post #26 of 141 Old 08-19-2010, 08:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raul GS View Post

(I think that is how Mark Seaton first became acquainted with Danley). I wish he would come out with a DIY for something similar to the SH50

I think Mark worked with Tom @ Servodrive.
Hell yes on a DIY SH50 or SM60. There was some hint of this a while ago in the DTS-10 thread. But it has gone quiet.
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post #27 of 141 Old 08-19-2010, 09:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by penngray View Post

And Geddes posts that Orions are not Controlled Directivity so.......

That is because Geddes is trying to separate his CD "waveguides" from "normal" horns. He is trying to hijack Controlled Directivity, by giving it his own definition. He is trying to say Constant Directivity can mean any coverage angle (which it does,) and that Controlled Directivity means a narrow coverage angle. Marketing. His horns/waveguides aren't CD they're CD.

Controlled Directivity means that the directivity is controlled on some manor, at some point. There are no other conditions to it that I am aware of.

The terms get mixed into the same pot so many times they are both worthless, anyway.

Check out the AES for some real papers dealing with both. There is how the majority seem to use the terms, and then there are "white papers" with the authors wares added judiciously throughout.

EDIT: I'm pulling my horse out of this race.


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post #28 of 141 Old 08-19-2010, 11:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lennon_68 View Post

Wow... those are two very VERY different designs... Open Baffle vs Constant Directivity...

Not really in some sense. The Orions use acoustic cancellation to control directivity and the Abbeys use an acoustically large mid/bass plus a wave guide.

The big but here is that the baffles are too large to provide cosine alpha polar response at high frequencies (John Krevosky's NaO Note addresses this) and the polar response broadens from 2-5Khz.

It appears that this results in perceived brightness, which IIRC is consistent with Toole's suggestion that the brain forms its impression of timbre as a function of both the direct sound and what it identifies as reflections so this makes sense.

I thought my Orions were neutral in my first room and bright in the last two but always blamed the rooms (lots of glass, hardwood, and tile) and never got around to trying Pluto+ in the same room.

Version 3 of the cross-over released last week fixes a notch in the bass, adjusts the 5Khz notch filter, and adds a 2dB/decade shelving low-pass filter from 100Hz-10KHz which reportedly result in more natural sound.

I haven't gotten around to trying that yet but will do so before I get around to building a wave guide (the murphy bed comes first) because it won't take more than a few hours with soldering and desoldering stations.

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Honestly though I think you will be best off trying to find and listen to a similar example of each. From what I've heard some people love the sound of OB's and some hate it, same for the CD stuff. Basically I think personal preference may trump the technical differences here (since they're so vastly different).

Open baffles needs to be narrow though and decrease in size (either width or depth with H/U/W frames) with frequency. Large ones degenerate into a multi-lobed mess like panel speakers and can't really be compared with decent implementations.
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post #29 of 141 Old 08-19-2010, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by soho54 View Post

That is because Geddes is trying to separate his CD "waveguides" from "normal" horns. He is trying to hijack Controlled Directivity, by giving it his own definition. He is trying to say Constant Directivity can mean any coverage angle (which it does,) and that Controlled Directivity means a narrow coverage angle. Marketing. His horns/waveguides aren't CD they're CD.

Controlled Directivity means that the directivity is controlled on some manor, at some point. There are no other conditions to it that I am aware of.

The terms get mixed into the same pot so many times they are both worthless, anyway.

Check out the AES for some real papers dealing with both. There is how the majority seem to use the terms, and then there are "white papers" with the authors wares added judiciously throughout.

EDIT: I'm pulling my horse out of this race.

No doubt Geddes is doing some marketing but I doubt Geddes is trying to say other Design do not have controlled directivity. I think his biggest point is that his polars are nicer then everyone elses. This is why he has that little program and he is adding speakers to it....I guess its another "marketing tool" for him.

Checking out AES is great when someone wants to buy papers

btw, why do you always "pull your horses" in discussions?

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post #30 of 141 Old 08-19-2010, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by lbaccoustics View Post

As with my impression of all horns- they sound physically closer to you than other speakers do (forward image??)

Acoustically, they are closer, because at any listening distance their directivity means you hear more direct vs. reflected sound.

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