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I have never heard speakers with compression drivers, and I was wondering how they are different than "normal" speakers
I would be using them for movies only
 

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They are usually very sensitive- play louder at the same power as other high freq drivers. Cheaper compressor drivers can sound fatiguing, however!
 

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it depends on the quality of the driver AND your ears. Some people like compression/horn drivers, some don't. And keep in mind we don't listen to compression driver by themself, they are part of a speaker. If the compression driver is putting out more volume than the woofer or midrange, if applicable, the speaker will be bright or hot and not neutral.

I just find that the low end compression drivers are hard to listen to (entry level Klipsch, etc), so if I am going to buy cheap speakers, I would prefer a dome tweeter. Just my opinion and plenty of people love horn/compression drivers, so by all means, give them a serious listen. The bright speaker is loved by some for Home Theater...
 

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So not better, but louder?
The strength of compression drivers is typically in their ability to produce dynamics far better than most dome tweeters. This gives the CD's a very addicting quality that makes it hard to go back to dome tweeters.

The better CD's often sound better than the better dome tweeters at higher volumes because they experience less dynamic compression, but only the very best CD's compete in SQ with the better tweeters at low to moderate volumes.

So if you want the best SQ, a general statement is that at low to moderate volumes there are very few CD's to choose from and at loud to reference volume and above there are very few dome tweeters to choose from.

If you want the best very low volume to very high volume SQ then good luck with that because there are very few of those on the planet and they are all very expensive. Instead, it's a choice of compromise and only your ears can say what is most important to you.

Also, once you get past about $150.00/speaker the law of diminishing returns starts kicking in hard and the cost for "better" SQ is not linear to the actual SQ improvement.

All my opinion here though, so feel free to ignore all of it. :)
 

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There are other options out there besides dome and compression driver. You have ribbons and there is the AMT based tweeter. I used to use compression drivers for my HT. My last three sets of speakers in my HT used compression drivers, before those three different sets, I had several sets of speakers with dome tweeters. I have since moved to a horn loaded AMT tweeter. The horn loaded AMT tweeter I am using has the sound of a ribbon, but power handling and dynamics like a compression driver.
 

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A CD by itself is unusable, it has to be horn loaded. The shape/size of the horn has a tremendous impact on the sound quality. There are a lot of different horn design available, and each has its own strengths and weaknesses.

I like mine because they are very dynamic (ie high efficiency in translating electrical input into sounds, from low levels to insanely loud that gives a better representation of realism TO ME).

The only way to tell if they are for you is to get out there and listen to multiple speakers that employ them. Low cost Klipsch are not a good representation of the potential for the design, however that doesn't mean all Klipsch speakers are harsh. K-horns are awesome!

@Gooddoc's JBLs are insanely good. But the company probably spent more on RDT&E on the speakers than most companies entire budgets.
 

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My quick take, bearing in mind as a speaker designer I am a pretty good trumpet player (I don't make my living playing!)

Benefits:
  1. Higher output for given input power (greater sensitivity/efficiency).
  2. Lower distortion for most good designs.
  3. Horn allows directional control of radiation pattern.

Cons:
  1. Horn design critical and can contribute/emphasize non-harmonic terms.
  2. For LF a very large horn is required (one reason K-horns need to be corner loaded).
  3. Higher frequencies for a given horn tend to "beam" more (become more directional) than conventional drivers.

A potential con is blending horn and conventional drivers in the same design; matching sensitivity and imaging can be a significant challenge.

There are great and horrible horn designs, just like everything else.
 

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There are other options out there besides dome and compression driver. You have ribbons and there is the AMT based tweeter. I used to use compression drivers for my HT. My last three sets of speakers in my HT used compression drivers, before those three different sets, I had several sets of speakers with dome tweeters. I have since moved to a horn loaded AMT tweeter. The horn loaded AMT tweeter I am using has the sound of a ribbon, but power handling and dynamics like a compression driver.
Who sells these type of speakers? Or are they DIY?
 

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A CD by itself is unusable, it has to be horn loaded. The shape/size of the horn has a tremendous impact on the sound quality. There are a lot of different horn design available, and each has its own strengths and weaknesses.

I like mine because they are very dynamic (ie high efficiency in translating electrical input into sounds, from low levels to insanely loud that gives a better representation of realism TO ME).

The only way to tell if they are for you is to get out there and listen to multiple speakers that employ them. Low cost Klipsch are not a good representation of the potential for the design, however that doesn't mean all Klipsch speakers are harsh. K-horns are awesome!

@Gooddoc's JBLs are insanely good. But the company probably spent more on RDT&E on the speakers than most companies entire budgets.

Haha! Yeah, I think they spent quite a bit of cash developing them.

But I only appreciate the design more and more the longer I listen to them. I have tried not to gush over them too much lately because really, who wants to read that crap? Dirac has fixed a broad and deep room null that I've been fighting since I've had them and all I have to say at this point is that if you're a speaker, you want to sound like an M2. :D
 

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Who sells these type of speakers? Or are they DIY?
Hsu has horn-loaded tweeters.
Many pro sound speaker manfs. like JBL, Tannoy, Meyer, Electrovoice, Danley, Yorkville, QSC, Behringer, Mackie...
You have to find the ones that care about fidelity and not just output to a crowd of drunk audience. :)

JBL, Klipsch, Procella, JTR, Seaton, Pi, are just a few that offer residential speakers with waveguides/horns.
You have to find the ones that don't lie about their speaker's capabilities / specs.

The DIY community has embraced horns for audiophiles for many years. Especially since the trend of using flea watt tube amps that require 100db+ efficiency.

Pi Speakers and Bill Fitzmaurice are active in community and offer kits and assistance. DIYSoundGroup, spawned on AVS by local members, provides kits of all sorts.

I have a spreadsheet containing many such speakers here: http://www.avsforum.com/forum/89-sp...-speakers.html#/forumsite/3207/topics/1387083
 

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Hsu has horn-loaded tweeters.
Many pro sound speaker manfs. like JBL, Tannoy, Meyer, Electrovoice, Danley, Yorkville, QSC, Behringer, Mackie...
You have to find the ones that care about fidelity and not just output to a crowd of drunk audience. :)

JBL, Klipsch, Procella, JTR, Seaton, Pi, are just a few that offer residential speakers with waveguides/horns.
You have to find the ones that don't lie about their speaker's capabilities / specs.

The DIY community has embraced horns for audiophiles for many years. Especially since the trend of using flea watt tube amps that require 100db+ efficiency.

Pi Speakers and Bill Fitzmaurice are active in community and offer kits and assistance. DIYSoundGroup, spawned on AVS by local members, provides kits of all sorts.

I have a spreadsheet containing many such speakers here: http://www.avsforum.com/forum/89-sp...-speakers.html#/forumsite/3207/topics/1387083
Ah ok. I have seen your thread - very interesting.

I was thinking horn loaded ribbons. Haven't seen many of those. The others (JTR, Seaton, etc.) I am familiar with.
 

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Who sells these type of speakers? Or are they DIY?
Lots of companies use AMT tweeters, but very few companies use horn loaded AMT tweeters. Martin Logan Motion series use AMT tweeters. Triad uses a horn loaded AMT tweeter in the top of the line cinema reference speaker.

Martin Logan: http://www.martinlogan.com/motionSeries/models/towers.php
http://www.martinlogan.com/motionSeries/models/bookshelf.php

Triad Cinema Reference: http://www.triadspeakers.com/products/ircrlcr2.html

These are some speakers that we sell. There are lots of others out there.
 

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if you go to the movies, you have heard compression drivers. they are behind the screen and on the walls. that is why the sound in theaters is so big and dynamic and without strain. It is because of a movie at a theater that I started my exploration of horned speakers in the home years ago. I remember watching the 3rd Lord of the Rings movie and during the scene where a signal fire was lit by Pippen, which then jumped from mountain top to mountain top. Hope is kindled. The score during that scene was so tremendous that I started looking around at the speakers on the wall and saw that they were Klipsch. Soon after that I purchased a pair of Klipsch CF3's and their KLFC-7 center channel off of Audiogon. I still have them.
 

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There are other options out there besides dome and compression driver. You have ribbons and there is the AMT based tweeter. I used to use compression drivers for my HT. My last three sets of speakers in my HT used compression drivers, before those three different sets, I had several sets of speakers with dome tweeters. I have since moved to a horn loaded AMT tweeter. The horn loaded AMT tweeter I am using has the sound of a ribbon, but power handling and dynamics like a compression driver.
+1 for Air Motion Transformer (AMT) based tweeter. My surrounds are a pair of Emotiva Pro Airmotiv 5 powered studio monitors, and I adore them. They are both neutral and smooth, and, for speakers this small, they can go impressively loud without sounding stressed or becoming fatiguing in the long run. There's good dynamics and detail, punchy and snappy bass, and crisp transient reproduction combined with a convincing soundstage. What's more, they sound musical instead of uninvolving or "monitor"-like. Piano music sounds like piano music through them, which is something that cannot be said about most speakers in this particular price bracket. I would have expected to pay €600 - €700 for this kind of quality from a pair of speakers. I live in Europe so Emotiva products are quite a bit more expensive to me than they are to people who live in the U.S., but as unbelievable as this may seem, I have never regretted the purchase even for a split second. Seriously. Usually if you go this cheap, you only get metal dome tweeters that produce a whole lot of annoying top end harsness, or there's something else sloppy about the sound, or the sound is overall just so so. Not so with the Airmotivs. Not so so. Anyone who is still having second thoughts should IMO go read this: http://www.stereophile.com/content/emotiva-audio-pro-airmotiv-4s-powered-loudspeaker (Please note, the review in that link is about the 4S. The model that I own is the 5, which is a little bit bigger and more powerful in comparison.)
 

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Lots of companies use AMT tweeters, but very few companies use horn loaded AMT tweeters. Martin Logan Motion series use AMT tweeters. Triad uses a horn loaded AMT tweeter in the top of the line cinema reference speaker.

Martin Logan: http://www.martinlogan.com/motionSeries/models/towers.php
http://www.martinlogan.com/motionSeries/models/bookshelf.php

Triad Cinema Reference: http://www.triadspeakers.com/products/ircrlcr2.html

These are some speakers that we sell. There are lots of others out there.
Don't forget Quested or Adam Audio!!!!

If Adam Audio had actually started their in-wall version of the GTC 88's.............I would have used GTC 88's and their in-wall version of same speaker. Damn...............company scraped idea! :mad:

I've always been sold on ATM's..........................;)
 

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Ah ok. I have seen your thread - very interesting.

I was thinking horn loaded ribbons. Haven't seen many of those. The others (JTR, Seaton, etc.) I am familiar with.
Ahh sorry I missed the context. Yes I am interested too. I've been reading about the planar magnetics, AMT, Wisdom Audio, etc.

Getting distortion lower, faster transient response ("temporal distortion"?), while retaining high sensitivity, power handling, and able to maintain controlled directivity across a wide band would be a holy grail!
 

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Don't forget Quested or Adam Audio!!!!

If Adam Audio had actually started their in-wall version of the GTC 88's.............I would have used GTC 88's and their in-wall version of same speaker. Damn...............company scraped idea! :mad:

I've always been sold on ATM's..........................;)
I wish the GTC line didn't sacrifice efficiency for extension that's unneeded with subwoofers.
 

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Ahh sorry I missed the context. Yes I am interested too. I've been reading about the planar magnetics, AMT, Wisdom Audio, etc.

Getting distortion lower, faster transient response ("temporal distortion"?), while retaining high sensitivity, power handling, and able to maintain controlled directivity across a wide band would be a holy grail!
I would venture to say the wave-guide 1" ceramic dome tweeters of my Canton Vento 890.2 DC front speakers are nothing short of the type of holy grail that you mention. :D
 
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