Horns vs. direct radiators, and their sonic differences - Page 7 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #181 of 188 Old 06-06-2019, 05:03 PM
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My comments may seem off topic taken on their own, but the theory i was testing out for debate was one which says without the room and design flaws i.e. a really well built horn vs DR in a very dead room will sound the same.

And by no means am i saying i know im right.
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post #182 of 188 Old 06-12-2019, 03:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by RoboAVS View Post
My comments may seem off topic taken on their own, but the theory i was testing out for debate was one which says without the room and design flaws i.e. a really well built horn vs DR in a very dead room will sound the same.

And by no means am i saying i know im right.
My contention here, and I'm not saying I'm right either, is that even if those criteria listed by you would be met (if they even could, pragmatically speaking?), a horn-loaded bass/sub and a direct radiator in whatever form won't sound the same. As in, it's direct radiators in whatever shape or configuration on the one side, and horns/tapped horns on the other, like the premise of my question in my initial opening post.

The basis of my point, at least one aspect of it, lies in the function of the horn qua horn, and how it acts as an acoustic impedance transformer between the driver's cone and the air that will carry the sound/pressure to our ears and body. I'd wager that what excites the air from cone-to-air directly - contrary to a horn-loaded driver - pressurizes differently, which is to say more violently as well as less efficiently, and that this is audible as something that differentiates itself from the sound coming from a bass horn. From what I understand the effective air radiation area of a horn-loaded driver isn't simply defined through the size of the mouth area of the horn, but rather that the air pressurized gradually through the horn will "coalesce" in some distance, and necessarily not distinctly "outlined" in front of the horn mouth - that is, the effective air radiation area is bigger than the horn mouth, but its eventual outline will be difficult to assess precisely. The point here is that the pressure produced from the cone of a horn-loaded driver is "adopted" more smoothly to the air so as to actually excite the air more efficiently but also more gently via a greater radiation area.

Another aspect of horn bass (to a lesser extend with tapped horns) is that the driver is usually hidden inside the cabinet, and that a filtering of harmonics and operational noise of the driver will come into play, so to speak, and that this has audible implications as well. Cleaner bass seems to be what many refer to here as the sonic outcome.

Rubbish to some here I'm sure, but perhaps the above is kind of a reverse engineered approach from audible impressions that would seek to explain - with some scientific "decency," I hope - why horn bass sounds differently compared to DR's..
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post #183 of 188 Old 06-12-2019, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by rezag View Post
The point here is that the pressure produced from the cone of a horn-loaded driver is "adopted" more smoothly to the air so as to actually excite the air more efficiently but also more gently via a greater radiation area.

...perhaps the above is kind of a reverse engineered approach from audible impressions that would seek to explain - with some scientific "decency," I hope - why horn bass sounds differently compared to DR's..

I'm not seeing the science in the first statement.

If "gentler" excitation of air molecules were responsible for different sound, the difference in that motion, which is what produces SPL, should be observable in the acoustic waveform.

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post #184 of 188 Old 06-12-2019, 11:18 AM
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You have to remember you compared a far more powerful horn to a small DR with less output capability, different drivers, etc. the difference in sound is much more than alignment in your case. The DR will cost much more using multiple drivers and a more powerful amp to equal the spl capabilities. All of this have been mentioned before, you keep going back to your comparison as the answer. Set up a wall of subs whether horn, dr, ported, and the results are all very similar in my experiences with the same room and locations. I took out the spl limits, response irregularities, etc, and the bass sound the same. The difference was extension if I let the DR produce it. You could always add a HP filter on the DR and gives it more headroom above like you do for horns. To me the differences come from the drivers being used not the alignments.
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post #185 of 188 Old 06-12-2019, 12:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by MKtheater View Post
You have to remember you compared a far more powerful horn to a small DR with less output capability, different drivers, etc. the difference in sound is much more than alignment in your case. The DR will cost much more using multiple drivers and a more powerful amp to equal the spl capabilities. All of this have been mentioned before, you keep going back to your comparison as the answer.
Conversely, please remember I'm not using my setup as the only reference. I've pointed to this fact a couple of times now.

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Set up a wall of subs whether horn, dr, ported, and the results are all very similar in my experiences with the same room and locations. I took out the spl limits, response irregularities, etc, and the bass sound the same. The difference was extension if I let the DR produce it. You could always add a HP filter on the DR and gives it more headroom above like you do for horns. To me the differences come from the drivers being used not the alignments.
I remember your observations adding the pair(?) of DTS-10's to your setup back in the day, some 10 years ago, and comparing them to your existing direct radiators (8x18"?). Mostly what came through were certainly differences in performance here, but do you want me to believe you could have ameliorated the differences with equalization tools, bass traps, placement etc.? How does it ever approach an apples-to-apples comparison with different alignments such as horns vs. direct radiators? In any case your extensive experience is to be duly noted, even though I find it hard to believe how to get horns sound more or less similar compared to direct radiator, but that's just my finding as is.
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post #186 of 188 Old 06-12-2019, 01:56 PM
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Yes the difference was eD 18s that rolled off earlier than the DTS-10s. I did not know that at that time until I bough 8 chase 18s that rolled off even more than the eDs. The DTS-10s still had something the 8 18 lacked and then I added the LT which brought up the low end, 5-20hz and now they equaled each other. I mentioned that through out my experiences. The better and beefier drivers I bought for the wall the less boost I needed to equal the DTS-10s.

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post #187 of 188 Old 06-16-2019, 01:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by noah katz View Post
I'm not seeing the science in the first statement.
Well, nobody seems to know what to measure for in the first place, and I tried to point out the mechanisms by which horns could sound different. Alas, few if any really seem to bother outside their established measuring technique; this is akin to measurements that dictates sound perceived, rather than audible impressions that seek to challenge what we can measure.

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If "gentler" excitation of air molecules were responsible for different sound, the difference in that motion, which is what produces SPL, should be observable in the acoustic waveform.
Semantics; I would be more invested in looking for the actual sonic importance via the impedance transformation of the horn, and that the cone coupling to the air is more efficient.

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Yes the difference was eD 18s that rolled off earlier than the DTS-10s. I did not know that at that time until I bough 8 chase 18s that rolled off even more than the eDs. The DTS-10s still had something the 8 18 lacked and then I added the LT which brought up the low end, 5-20hz and now they equaled each other. I mentioned that through out my experiences. The better and beefier drivers I bought for the wall the less boost I needed to equal the DTS-10s.
The operative word in above paragraph is ULF or <20Hz performance, notably exempt of any mention of bass above 20Hz. Most may agree that horns aren't the best - that is, certainly not the most practical solution to pursue ULF, and with low-tuned tapped horns likely not the best sounding either due to upper band limitation. For bass horns to sound their best a tune above 20Hz seems mandatory (some would claim closer to 30Hz), and this automatically rules out acceptance among the ULF-craving bass geeks; what's the incentive here to acknowledge reproduction prowess of bass horns in the 30-80Hz region when most anything below 20Hz has gone AWOL? Poster @RoboAVS did extend praise though, albeit hesitantly - a relief, actually, even when it may be a half-hearted endorsement.
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Last edited by rezag; 06-16-2019 at 02:14 PM.
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post #188 of 188 Old 06-16-2019, 02:45 PM
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No my DTS-10s were flat from 12-80hz capable of 126+ dB and had a peak from 9-12hz. They covered the whole spectrum and my spl meter pinned so I did not know how loud they could play. What I am telling you is you have to compare with the spl being the same and a smooth response from each and in my case blind.

Here was my response of my dual DTS-10s at my LP without EQ



With EQ


Last edited by MKtheater; 06-17-2019 at 07:00 AM.
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