Are horn subs "out of fashion"? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 72 Old 01-02-2020, 05:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Are horn subs "out of fashion"?

It seems to me horn subs in one variation or the other are less frequent as of late on these boards. Have they gone "out of fashion," so to speak, and if so why?

Indeed, what's the current gist on horn subs, also compared to other bass principles?

/Mikael
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post #2 of 72 Old 01-02-2020, 05:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rezag View Post
It seems to me horn subs in one variation or the other are less frequent as of late on these boards. Have they gone "out of fashion," so to speak, and if so why?



Indeed, what's the current gist on horn subs, also compared to other bass principles?



/Mikael


The devastator variants are quite popular currently, those are a “ported horn” design, though not tapered.

I built a pair of mini devastators, am just finishing the paint on some ported boxes, and then will start on a pair of submax v3 FLH’s.

Since 4 of my 6 subs will be horns, I’d say I’m on the horn bandwagon at least.

Chris
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post #3 of 72 Old 01-02-2020, 06:01 PM
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If folded horns fall under this category, I just built two picowreckers
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post #4 of 72 Old 01-02-2020, 06:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Mr. Electric Wiz View Post
If folded horns fall under this category, I just built two picowreckers
Those are tapped horns Got a pair of lilmike's MicroWrecker tapped horns myself, and at the time actually considered having build 4 PicoWreckers instead, but eventually opted for a pair of MW's. How do you like the Pico's?

And yeah, any horn variant will fit the bill in this discussion.
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post #5 of 72 Old 01-02-2020, 06:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by a77cj7 View Post
The devastator variants are quite popular currently, those are a “ported horn” design, though not tapered.

I built a pair of mini devastators, am just finishing the paint on some ported boxes, and then will start on a pair of submax v3 FLH’s.

Since 4 of my 6 subs will be horns, I’d say I’m on the horn bandwagon at least.

Chris
That's going to be (i.e.: already is) one powerful sub set-up Read about those SubMaximus V3's with the 21" B&C 21DS115's - they're intimidating..! Will you be using an 18" or 21" in the submax?
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post #6 of 72 Old 01-02-2020, 06:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rezag View Post
That's going to be (i.e.: already is) one powerful sub set-up Read about those SubMaximus V3's with the 21" B&C 21DS115's - they're intimidating..! Will you be using an 18" or 21" in the submax?


Yeah, I’m hoping to kill any future upgrades for a long time.
Submax v3’s will be running Eminence NSW 6021’s.
Mini dev’s are running 18ds115’s, and ported boxes are HST18’s.

Chris
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post #7 of 72 Old 01-02-2020, 06:59 PM
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I have two picowrecker in my garage, two f20s and two Devs. I would say that horns are not a fad, but they are not for everyone. They are band limited (only play from —-hz to —-hz) really well and nothing outside of that. The phase issues are real, the boxes are big, they do not play very low unless it is in a monster size box, they need plenty of EQ, oh... and they do not always integrate well with others.

The up side is you don’t need hardly any power to achieve high levels of spl and the distortion levels are low, Some say the sonic signature is truly awesome, I am not sure I care about that though because my four move my house when turned up, literally..... and only on 1600 watts!!

I know I make it sound like I hate them but in reality it they fit your application I am not sure there is anything better. You better have a plan for ULF though, mine is a BOSS platform and it fits well.

If I built another theater would I build them again? If I could not do four full range Devs, one in each corner.... then I wouldn’t build them again. But you can not make me get rid of what I have.
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post #8 of 72 Old 01-02-2020, 10:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rezag View Post
It seems to me horn subs in one variation or the other are less frequent as of late on these boards. Have they gone "out of fashion," so to speak, and if so why?

Indeed, what's the current gist on horn subs, also compared to other bass principles?

/Mikael
Horn subs aren't out of fashion, it's that flat packs for them weren't available and other builds have flat packs, so you're going to see more of those. And Horn subs are harder to build.

Now that there's a flatpack, you'll probably see more as it will be more accessible. Although still, that's a 21 inch sub for that, so it's not that it's out of fashion, it's that it's more expensive, harder difficulty, and larger product to fit.

Now that there is an "easy" horn sub to build that is within driving distance of me, that vastly increases the likelihood that I'd get one, where as before, with no flatpack... forget it. There's no possible way I'd ever be able to make one.
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post #9 of 72 Old 01-03-2020, 04:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rezag View Post
It seems to me horn subs in one variation or the other are less frequent as of late on these boards. Have they gone "out of fashion," so to speak, and if so why?

Indeed, what's the current gist on horn subs, also compared to other bass principles?

/Mikael
Have you looked around this place...many have horned subs. And more on the way

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post #10 of 72 Old 01-03-2020, 01:52 PM
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I'd say horns are gaining popularity with the transition to more desire for midbass impact these days. For a long while the trend was chasing high excursion drivers to break into the single digit frequencies, but IMO that has changed quite a bit over the past few years. And some lucky people are able to chase both with multiple extremely capable subs.
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Originally Posted by OJ Bartley View Post
And some lucky people are able to chase both with multiple extremely capable subs.

Not sure if I consider my self lucky, or just stupid enough to try it.

Chris
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rezag View Post
It seems to me horn subs in one variation or the other are less frequent as of late on these boards. Have they gone "out of fashion," so to speak, and if so why?

Indeed, what's the current gist on horn subs, also compared to other bass principles?

/Mikael


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post #13 of 72 Old 01-03-2020, 04:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by a77cj7 View Post
Yeah, I’m hoping to kill any future upgrades for a long time.
Submax v3’s will be running Eminence NSW 6021’s.
Mini dev’s are running 18ds115’s, and ported boxes are HST18’s.

Chris
Sounds like a beastly combo with the Eminence driver. Do let us know how it turns out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Audiophile75 View Post
I have two picowrecker in my garage, two f20s and two Devs. I would say that horns are not a fad, but they are not for everyone. They are band limited (only play from —-hz to —-hz) really well and nothing outside of that. The phase issues are real, the boxes are big, they do not play very low unless it is in a monster size box, they need plenty of EQ, oh... and they do not always integrate well with others.

The up side is you don’t need hardly any power to achieve high levels of spl and the distortion levels are low, Some say the sonic signature is truly awesome, I am not sure I care about that though because my four move my house when turned up, literally..... and only on 1600 watts!!

I know I make it sound like I hate them but in reality it they fit your application I am not sure there is anything better. You better have a plan for ULF though, mine is a BOSS platform and it fits well.

If I built another theater would I build them again? If I could not do four full range Devs, one in each corner.... then I wouldn’t build them again. But you can not make me get rid of what I have.
Horns subs can be finicky for sure. To boot tapped horns are even more bandwidth limited, why I didn't want to pursue a design with a tuning much below 25Hz (believe my MW's have a ~24Hz tuning) so not to limit the upper range (and sensitivity) too much and be more flexible in regards to integration with the mains. I've always found them to integrate very smoothly though - they blend in extremely well with my all-horn mains (w/folded midbass horn). A Crown K2 seems to be sufficient for amp duties, to say the least.

Horn bass sounds different, and to my ears 'different' equals better compared to direct radiators. They just deliver a smoother, more enveloping and layered bass, I find.

And by god, yes, they're physical monsters. There's no hiding the physics at play here ..

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Originally Posted by tential View Post
Horn subs aren't out of fashion, it's that flat packs for them weren't available and other builds have flat packs, so you're going to see more of those. And Horn subs are harder to build.

Now that there's a flatpack, you'll probably see more as it will be more accessible. Although still, that's a 21 inch sub for that, so it's not that it's out of fashion, it's that it's more expensive, harder difficulty, and larger product to fit.

Now that there is an "easy" horn sub to build that is within driving distance of me, that vastly increases the likelihood that I'd get one, where as before, with no flatpack... forget it. There's no possible way I'd ever be able to make one.
I had mine build by a cabinet maker, and CNC-machined 18mm 13 ply isn't cheap..

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnson636 View Post
Have you looked around this place...many have horned subs. And more on the way
Maybe I didn't look closely enough Well, I'm happy to be wrong if that's the case!

Quote:
Originally Posted by OJ Bartley View Post
I'd say horns are gaining popularity with the transition to more desire for midbass impact these days. For a long while the trend was chasing high excursion drivers to break into the single digit frequencies, but IMO that has changed quite a bit over the past few years. And some lucky people are able to chase both with multiple extremely capable subs.
Glad you mention this - the importance of midbass impact. For a while it drove me nuts reading about an overwhelming tendency of single-digit brethren and the devoted following this mustered, because I find midbass prowess to potentially aid a better integration with the mains, and ULF-capable subs to me aren't always the last word in midbass excellence. I must admit I'm intrigued by infrasonics, but not at any price. Perhaps a 2-way sub system is the way to go, but I've never tried it (and, admittedly, I'm not too keen to try it out, especially not if it means mixing horns with direct radiators).

The controversial part may be the claim that bass isn't just bass, and that direct radiators sound different compared to horns. To me though it isn't controversial at all; those seeking single digits from DR's like Infinite Baffle will tend to uphold, to their grave even, that it doesn't come at the possible expense of a lack of energy/impact in the upper regions, if nothing else to justify the endeavor as an all-out success in every regard (not least helped by measurements). Moreover pro drivers with higher efficiency and a (relatively) limited excursion to my ears sound more nimble and, dare I say, musical. Oh well, maybe I'm getting ahead of myself..

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Originally Posted by zeus33 View Post
Looks like deeper bass version of Josh Ricci's Skram/Skhorn.

Last edited by rezag; 01-04-2020 at 01:09 AM.
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post #14 of 72 Old 01-03-2020, 05:20 PM
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Horns were never a fad, it was just a case of not a whole lot of new designs were there to be seen. Literally ANYONE can design a sealed cabinet, and most can design a ported box, but the amount of people the community would trust with any form of horn design enough to actually build their beast is pretty slim when you actually break down the math. Combine this with build difficulty and well, you get a low amount of horns being built. The people who are willing to take on such an endeavor generally already have them.

With GSGAD now having devastator flatpacks, which is a proven design created by one of those few people the community trust with a horn design, I'd expect to see horns pick up pace. They still won't be nearly as common as sealed or ported due to size and difficulty, but they won't be the rare beast they once were.
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Are horn subs "out of fashion"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rezag View Post
Sounds like a beastly combo with the Eminence driver. Do let us know how it turns out.
I’ll post a build thread once they’re finished. Probably work on them this weekend while letting the duratex cure on my ported boxes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rezag View Post
Looks like deeper bass version of Josh Ricci's Skram/Skhorn.

Very similar, but those have a flared horn section.

Chris

Last edited by a77cj7; 01-03-2020 at 05:51 PM.
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post #16 of 72 Old 01-03-2020, 05:51 PM
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Josh has flared QWs on the SKs giving them more upper end range. The Devastators are designed to work well in the HT range, but not always up to 80Hz. The non flared resonators are pretty easy to design and build, most importantly they get the job done.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OJ Bartley
For a long while the trend was chasing high excursion drivers to break into the single digit frequencies, but IMO that has changed quite a bit over the past few years
Not sure why. 30hz - 120hz is easily accomplished as loud as you want to go with even just a couple large diameter drivers. Why keep stacking excess capability in that range that will never get used when one can use capability to explore the depths of these movie tracks and create sensations otherwise unfelt?
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post #18 of 72 Old 01-03-2020, 05:53 PM
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Klipsch has a horn sub with an 18" driver called the KPT -1802, that several brave souls spruced up to make it a bit more room friendly and brought into their homes for a little added slam.

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post #19 of 72 Old 01-03-2020, 06:25 PM
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when retiring in spring of '013,
fresh off a cruise, listening to 'theater bass"
and the kool-aid from BFM- bass better than a theater - -
summer of 13 build a 24" THTLP not over expensive plywood and 1/2" per spec
just read the instructons 2X and hit the mark,
BB may cost more but it does reduce the headache of wobbleand stabiliztion and all that

How good was it?
so good that it just lying on the floor behind the seat in the mancave,
on a bash 300 and i believe a yammy 775,
10 minutes of mp3 demo
and I went back to HD so I could build 2 more, except 30". blackish fabric

right now they are directly in back of the seating pointed at the ceiling
and the 24 is in the right front corner (red)
I managed so better EQ using a 2x4 to manage the 3 bash amps - at about 50% gain
and my old X5200
for a room of < 900 cubic feet, about 10ish x 10 ish
well tamed bass an even more likely to fail experience
but
when playing some of the standard demo clips and ATMOS demo stuff
and close the door
gets pressurized

I've built the Submax V2, V3, a few Martys

if you're reasonably well tooled up and are willing to take a craftsman-like approach to hit the mark
easy-peasy

BUT- flat packs rule . .. for a majority


yet still sounds clean
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post #20 of 72 Old 01-03-2020, 07:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asarose247 View Post
when retiring in spring of '013,
fresh off a cruise, listening to 'theater bass"
and the kool-aid from BFM- bass better than a theater - -
summer of 13 build a 24" THTLP not over expensive plywood and 1/2" per spec
just read the instructons 2X and hit the mark,
BB may cost more but it does reduce the headache of wobbleand stabiliztion and all that

How good was it?
so good that it just lying on the floor behind the seat in the mancave,
on a bash 300 and i believe a yammy 775,
10 minutes of mp3 demo
and I went back to HD so I could build 2 more, except 30". blackish fabric

right now they are directly in back of the seating pointed at the ceiling
and the 24 is in the right front corner (red)
I managed so better EQ using a 2x4 to manage the 3 bash amps - at about 50% gain
and my old X5200
for a room of < 900 cubic feet, about 10ish x 10 ish
well tamed bass an even more likely to fail experience
but
when playing some of the standard demo clips and ATMOS demo stuff
and close the door
gets pressurized

I've built the Submax V2, V3, a few Martys

if you're reasonably well tooled up and are willing to take a craftsman-like approach to hit the mark
easy-peasy

BUT- flat packs rule . .. for a majority


yet still sounds clean
Damn Asarose247, I wish I had you as a neighbor!
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post #21 of 72 Old 01-04-2020, 02:06 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveCallas View Post
Not sure why. 30hz - 120hz is easily accomplished as loud as you want to go with even just a couple large diameter drivers. Why keep stacking excess capability in that range that will never get used when one can use capability to explore the depths of these movie tracks and create sensations otherwise unfelt?
Maybe when optimizing a design in the 25-120Hz range, not least with efficient pro drivers, it has something going for it through the midbass (where most bass is present anyway) that ULF-designs typically can't equal? Moreover, it brings in the opportunity of toying with horn subs without having to impact the upper frequency range too much, certainly with tapped horns. I'd say to some people the importance of midbass prowess (or the particular sonic virtues of horn bass, if you "believe" in that) isn't shared, and so ULF-designs are right as rain for them.

As I hinted at earlier ULF-capabilities into single digits has me intrigued nonetheless, also being I'm a movie guy myself and crave watching movies through the home stereo. There's a lot going on below 20Hz for sure (not that my own tapped horns can extend that deep), so much so indeed you'd wonder why commercial theaters won't the go the extra mile in attaining the last 2 octaves for audiences to experience, but I guess the implementation challenges here include structural integrity and people feeling uncomfortable, or scared even when being exposed to infrasonics powerfully reproduced that low. But, then again what are the potential drawbacks of such a constellation up through the midbass, not to mention the sheer capacity that would be needed for ULF in a large commercial theater? Of course, we're speaking home theatrics here, so that's another discussion..
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post #22 of 72 Old 01-04-2020, 10:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rezag
it has something going for it through the midbass (where most bass is present anyway) that ULF-designs typically can't equal? Moreover, it brings in the opportunity of toying with horn subs without having to impact the upper frequency range too much,
I'm a firm believer in different speakers sounding different not just due to FR, harmonic distortion, and dynamic capability differences, but also imaging, dispersion characteristics or soundstage size, and other more difficult phenomenon to describe due to a large variety of design choices that effect higher frequencies.

In the subwoofer range however, I truly do feel it comes down mostly to FR, harmonic distortion, dynamic capabilities, and possibly cone area (all else equal, it seems like more drivers with more cone area achieving the same end as a single driver subwoofer has an acoustic difference). So if one wants more midbass, EQ in more midbass. If one wants a flatter top end, EQ it flat. If EQ'ing in more midbass or a flatter top end results in distortion, then add more capability. I don't believe there is any magic in pro drivers or horns achieving better midbass than high excursion drivers.

Quote:
There's a lot going on below 20Hz for sure (not that my own tapped horns can extend that deep), so much so indeed you'd wonder why commercial theaters won't the go the extra mile in attaining the last 2 octaves for audiences to experience, but I guess the implementation challenges here include structural integrity and people feeling uncomfortable, or scared even when being exposed to infrasonics powerfully reproduced that low.
Cost and size to achieve it in such a large space. Infrasonic capability in a large theater either requires lots and lots of drivers with lots of power and EQ, or approximately half as many drivers (lots) with very large enclosures to increase low end sensitivity. Honestly, I think it would be easier and less expensive for theater to incorporate a BOSS systems into their seats.
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post #23 of 72 Old 01-04-2020, 11:29 AM
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All my subs in my theater are horns 4 v3s with bc21ds115 and 2 devastors with 18 sound 21s. Also next year will be building 2 of the omega devastors with stereo integrity 24s for the basement. I love the sound signature of horns and the downright brutal output. If I would have went ported it would have cost me alot more to reach the same spl level.

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post #24 of 72 Old 01-04-2020, 04:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveCallas View Post
I'm a firm believer in different speakers sounding different not just due to FR, harmonic distortion, and dynamic capability differences, but also imaging, dispersion characteristics or soundstage size, and other more difficult phenomenon to describe due to a large variety of design choices that effect higher frequencies.

In the subwoofer range however, I truly do feel it comes down mostly to FR, harmonic distortion, dynamic capabilities, and possibly cone area (all else equal, it seems like more drivers with more cone area achieving the same end as a single driver subwoofer has an acoustic difference). So if one wants more midbass, EQ in more midbass. If one wants a flatter top end, EQ it flat. If EQ'ing in more midbass or a flatter top end results in distortion, then add more capability. I don't believe there is any magic in pro drivers or horns achieving better midbass than high excursion drivers.


Cost and size to achieve it in such a large space. Infrasonic capability in a large theater either requires lots and lots of drivers with lots of power and EQ, or approximately half as many drivers (lots) with very large enclosures to increase low end sensitivity. Honestly, I think it would be easier and less expensive for theater to incorporate a BOSS systems into their seats.
The proof of the pudding is in the eating of it, and my aural exposure to horn vs. direct radiator bass consistently tells me the same thing: the two don't sound alike, even when dialed in to something that should make them sound (more) alike, though I see where you're getting at. Even if we could approach similarities in measured performance, would we ever with all parameters in comparing a horn to a direct radiator? I mean, the effort would seem forced just for the sake of wanting them to match up, but if anything it goes to show some of what distinguishes horns vs. DR's sonically can come down to a measured discrepancy.

One of the fundamental differences though in a horn that seems to evade current measuring technique rests in how the driver loads and ultimately excites the air, and I get that I have no "hard intel" to back this up - naturally. Being as it may my ears are the final judge on this, and if what I hear is indeed measurable it's as-of-yet not attainable. It's not about "magic" but rather what one hears.
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post #25 of 72 Old 01-04-2020, 07:10 PM
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I tend to believe you, the exit of the horn acts like significantly more cone area than the driver in the horn, and as I said, I do think cone area results in an audible difference. If the at the seat FR, harmonic distortion, and dynamic capability of 100 x” drivers in your room were the same as 1 uber driver, there is something to the multiple drivers exciting the air.

My comments were more geared to piling on capability in the 30-120hz vs trying to dig deeper.
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post #26 of 72 Old 01-05-2020, 12:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveCallas View Post
I'm a firm believer in different speakers sounding different not just due to FR, harmonic distortion, and dynamic capability differences, but also imaging, dispersion characteristics or soundstage size, and other more difficult phenomenon to describe due to a large variety of design choices that effect higher frequencies.

In the subwoofer range however, I truly do feel it comes down mostly to FR, harmonic distortion, dynamic capabilities, and possibly cone area (all else equal, it seems like more drivers with more cone area achieving the same end as a single driver subwoofer has an acoustic difference). So if one wants more midbass, EQ in more midbass. If one wants a flatter top end, EQ it flat. If EQ'ing in more midbass or a flatter top end results in distortion, then add more capability. I don't believe there is any magic in pro drivers or horns achieving better midbass than high excursion drivers.


Cost and size to achieve it in such a large space. Infrasonic capability in a large theater either requires lots and lots of drivers with lots of power and EQ, or approximately half as many drivers (lots) with very large enclosures to increase low end sensitivity. Honestly, I think it would be easier and less expensive for theater to incorporate a BOSS systems into their seats.
I generally agree.

All drivers, electronics and box-types and combinations there-of has a MASSIVE impact on the overall sonic signature.

You can get awesome mid-bass from ULF drivers, it just takes like 24 IB'ed 24's or 32 sealed LMS-18's, basically Hann's theater...
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post #27 of 72 Old 01-05-2020, 11:55 AM
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I doubt that, I bet there are only a handful pf people that actually push their midbass monsters to limits that high excursion drivers can't reach. How many of us watch movies with 130 dB of midbass, 140 dB of midbass? I know over 130 dB of midbass my ears start to pressure and hurt, so adding better bigger horns to have more is pointless for me. The funny thing is I started my journey with pro horns and ended up multiple high excursion sealed.

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post #28 of 72 Old 01-06-2020, 02:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by MKtheater View Post
I doubt that, I bet there are only a handful pf people that actually push their midbass monsters to limits that high excursion drivers can't reach. How many of us watch movies with 130 dB of midbass, 140 dB of midbass? I know over 130 dB of midbass my ears start to pressure and hurt, so adding better bigger horns to have more is pointless for me. The funny thing is I started my journey with pro horns and ended up multiple high excursion sealed.
Are you using an IB-setup - like, 4 x 18" per side? What's the extension more or less linearly?

To me at least it's not about reaching those levels you mention, but rather that horn subs sound different at any level, though I'm aware you're likely to disagree with me on this. Moreover having high-SPL capabilities from a sub set-up means there is tons of headroom (depending of course on what one's upper SPL-limit usually sits at), which translates directly into lower distortion, more ease and also more visceral impact (given more radiation area). How much headroom is necessary may be the next question; how audible is distortion in the lower frequencies, so to have some measure of the amount of headroom needed?

I don't know how loud my pair of MicroWrecker tapped horns will go in-room, but I'd guess somewhere around 127dB's - which still leaves me some headroom being I rarely go louder than 110dB's.

When do you find infrasonics/ULF (~<10-20Hz) to be present, with movies mostly? Would you be willing to live without <20Hz extension? I'm asking because it seems to me ULF has gotten so vital to some that the thought of missing out on it is an absolute deal breaker. Does a sub set-up capable of reaching single digits affect bass character even when the source material doesn't contain frequencies this low?

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post #29 of 72 Old 01-06-2020, 02:15 PM
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there are so many tunes for interesting woofage
try this one

House of Gaudi , artist is Spacecraft available on Spotify and elsewhere

lotta rumble, crunch, growl
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post #30 of 72 Old 01-06-2020, 10:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rezag View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by MKtheater View Post
I doubt that, I bet there are only a handful pf people that actually push their midbass monsters to limits that high excursion drivers can't reach. How many of us watch movies with 130 dB of midbass, 140 dB of midbass? I know over 130 dB of midbass my ears start to pressure and hurt, so adding better bigger horns to have more is pointless for me. The funny thing is I started my journey with pro horns and ended up multiple high excursion sealed.
Are you using an IB-setup - like, 4 x 18" per side? What's the extension more or less linearly?

To me at least it's not about reaching those levels you mention, but rather that horn subs sound different at any level, though I'm aware you're likely to disagree with me on this. Moreover having high-SPL capabilities from a sub set-up means there is tons of headroom (depending of course on what one's upper SPL-limit usually sits at), which translates directly into lower distortion, more ease and also more visceral impact (given more radiation area). How much headroom is necessary may be the next question; how audible is distortion in the lower frequencies, so to have some measure of the amount of headroom needed?

I don't know how loud my pair of MicroWrecker tapped horns will go in-room, but I'd guess somewhere around 127dB's - which still leaves me some headroom being I rarely go louder than 110dB's.

When do you find infrasonics/ULF (~<10-20Hz) to be present, with movies mostly? Would you be willing to live without <20Hz extension? I'm asking because it seems to me ULF has gotten so vital to some that the thought of missing out on it is an absolute deal breaker. Does a sub set-up capable of reaching single digits affect bass character even when the source material doesn't contain frequencies this low?
Not sure where to start. I have owned many different sub setups. I had dts-10s, 4 F-20s, pro audio FLH 18s, small sealed, large sealed, LLT, IB, ported IB, etc. If you use the same driver in a horn vs sealed you will gain lots of spl with low distortion, there is no magic to horn sound, just more spl capable with less power so that makes it sound more dynamic as well. If the horn is loud enough it will sound real with chest slam because that takes lots of spl to do it right. The sealed can do it, you need many more to do so, and in a blind test when setup right nobody knows which is playing, but you have to setup it up right. Now if there is a source with ULF then you can pick that over the horn If band limited. Right now I am playing just two RE audio XXX 18s. I had sealed 18s and went to 4 F-20s and immediately missed the ULF. They sound hollow compared to the sealed but I had 8 sealed 18s. Of course a single 21 inch horn would kick the snout of of a single sealed 18 or sealed 21.

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