Originally Posted by aschen
I think this is the crux of it. What advantage does a fully horn loaded woofer have over say 3 direct coupled woofers? Probably the size of the later is smaller. The former is more efficient electrically by orders of magnitude but watts are cheap these days.
I was once at the engineering facility at Klipsch. We were hosted by Roy (head engineer at that location and right hand man to PWK prior to his passing... also shares the design credits for the Jubilee which PWK designed to replace the Klipschorn as the Klipschorn II)
Anyway, we did a lot of listening over the weekend at their lab (how cool was that!)
Various speakers, various (electronic) crossovers, various amps, various drivers... none of it was scientific per se', but we gave it some serious listening and critical discussions. It was designed to be a learning experience for us by Roy.
Here, you see the Jubilee verses (forget their model number)
Jubilee has two 12" drivers in the horn loaded cabinet verses four 15" drivers in the other.
For my (tin?) ears, they sounded close enough to call it even. There were some that felt the Jubilee still bested the other because of some other types of distortion (all the technical talk/babble is over my head, I was just busy tapping my toes)
So yeah, they're large...and to get sound large with direct radiators...you're still going to go large.
If I recall one of Roy's "quips", he muttered on more than one occasion, something similar to "Killing 4 radiators with one horn" or something like that.
BTW, this is in their listening room at their engineering lab and the room has not been treated to be 'perfect'.... instead, the room (which IS treated) is designed to sound more average BUT, both corners have been engineered to be the same.
(if I recall correctly)