Originally Posted by RoboAVS
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..