Originally Posted by hd0823
I like both but definitely prefer horns hence having 4 submaximus v3s in my room. I always tell people that haven't heard them is that they sound diffrent and hard to explain without experiencing them. You pretty much summed up my feelings with your description of there sound signature
Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
Thanks, and yes - explaining perceived impressions of bass is not without challenge, but through actual listening it's rather obvious the differences at play between horns and DR's.
Originally Posted by noah katz
A search should yield a wealth of info on this topic.
A good part of it may be missed here, as some people aren't fond of repeating themselves.
I've searched quite a bit on this subject, both here and elsewhere, and honestly any elaborate takes trying to come about what I'm inquiring with my original post are rare, and very few really care to draw up comparisons here - elaborately, that is.
Originally Posted by BassThatHz
I think a large part of it is in what the box does with the first 0 to 10 watts. That pretty much sets the tone of everything to follow.
Horns are good at minimizing excursion and maximizing the translation of watts into db's, the THING we ACTUALLY care about!
The only real problem with horns is that they tend to have a very limited bandwidth with aggressive rolloffs and often have an unwelcoming top end where it succumbs to resonances.
They are surely one of the loudest and most-dynamic, but perhaps not always the most musical.
Horns also tend to be too big for most residential applications, and their difficulty-level in design and assembly is equally high, to the point of making most people turn and run away.
Ported is the middle ground. The "goldilocks" of easy and efficiency, the wife-material of the commoner's subwoofer realm.
Sealed and IB are red-headed step-child and the black-swan, i.e. haters-maximus.
Horns are the diamond queen of hearts...
Now OFF with his head!
Indeed, horns (certainly tapped horns) have limited bandwidth with upper band response that may require some EQ'ing, depending on how close to these issues the XO is chosen and not to mention slope type and the nature of the specific design and drivers used. Moreover they're big; 20Hz extension must translate into some 20 cubic feet of horn volume, unacceptable I presume to the cinephiles for whom 10-15Hz clean extension is mandatory, not to mention that the sheer size is a show stopper to most others.
The overall traits of bass horns to my ears makes them inherently more musical than direct radiator solutions, but of course I wouldn't rule out exceptions to the contrary.
Originally Posted by RoboAVS
Damn BTH im always impressed but your naked honesty here is great.
My experience is a well built horn sounds amazing up to about an 80hz crossover. My best guess is when a horn is constructed precisely, and played well under the limits of the driver, its a situation of basically zero distortion and almost perfect reproduction.
Musically i can understand the love. Especially quieter music.
I havent built a horn and dont own any. I love direct radiators because they offer many fun options and all are smaller than a horn. Then as a theater guy i cant fathom the idea of building a gigantic box that cant comfortably play down below 20hz without help...corner loading, eq or special designs can help...but a 20cft ported box with a beefy driver will make me happier with a DR.
Quality wise i do believe integration of multiple subs overrules what the differences between the types are..integration is too complicated to judge easily.
As one sub though it would be very hard to beat the sound of a horn playing in a typical musical range. But then the DR isnt that far off, especially in sealed boxes. The sound clarity is not enough for me to sacrifice the space for a band limited option.
I use my setup for both music playback and Home Theater (2.2 channel only), and with my former sub - the SVS SB16-Ultra - I was given a taste of what reproduction below 20Hz means when watching certain Blu-ray/UHD films. The in-room response of the SB16 I gather hits 15Hz quite easily, whereas my current pair of Tapped Horns, each fitted with a 15" and taking up 20 cubic feet per horn (crossed at 80Hz), roll off steeply below 20Hz (not least dictated by the high-pass filter I apply at 20Hz).
While it's audible that my new TH's don't extend as deeply as the SB16 it's what happens from 20Hz on up that's most important to me (not that I wouldn't cherish 10Hz flat from a pair of tapped horns..!), and here the TH's are very different animals by comparison. It's what happens when the sonic scenario becomes really
complex and energetic that's interesting, and here the TH's simply open up a sound spectacle that's more coherent, effortless, layered and dynamic - like a wide, immensely informative sonic panorama that effortlessly washes over you (putting a grin on my face). Playing Mad Max Fury Road
on Blu-ray really gives you an idea here, not least the latter portion of the film. However the traits of tapped horns are also obvious with more quiet, subtle effects.
A friend of mine uses 2 EV cinema subs in his home setup, each fitted with 2 x 18" woofers (direct radiating, ported), and they sport more ponderous heft and weight while lacking the nimble attack, midbass energy, airiness and effortless omnipresence of my tapped horns. The EV's doesn't feel strained as such, and yet they don't sound as effortless. They mayn't be representative of a majority of direct radiator solutions out there, but fundamentally they to my experience.
So, why build or have build 20 cubic feet tapped horns that "only" extends to 20Hz and are upper band limited to ~100-110Hz, when wider bandwidth alternatives can be had in a smaller, direct radiating package? Because the former sounds so damn good in the frequency band it is able to handle, and not least because my main speakers are all-horns; going horns all the way to my ears is vastly superior to a hybrid combo.