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110dB/W Horn Line Array speakers

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  • 110dB/W Horn Line Array speakers

    I use to play bass in a band and was assigned the job of setting up sound. As a result I rapidly learned the importance of efficient speakers. After about 10 years of playing around with different designs I finalized this design which is very practical for small to medium sized Gigs. These speakers weight only 55 lbs with ferrite drivers yet can put out 110dB/W because of the efficient exponential horn design. Additionally they only measure 24" wide, 16" high 24"deep but open at showtime to 60" wide. Using only 2-10" drivers and 2-1" compression driver they will inexpensively outperforn the full size JBL vertex or L acoustics line arrays cabs. The JBL cabs because of their inefficient direct radiating design although using 2-15", 4-8" , 2-comp drivers can not match the performace of simpler horn speakers. My original design idea was for 1 person to be able to set up a flying rig by himself and this was accomplished. Experienced sound engineers and operators will appreciate the limited number of cabs, amplifiers, personnel needed in this hi efficiency system. By the way I am not selling anything I have turned down offers from Chinese manufacturers offering to produce these. But just letting others know of other posibilities in line array designs.
    Last edited by nicoro; 05-09-2017, 11:12 AM.

  • #2
    Unfortunately you won't get much love for DIY or horn-loaded stuff around here. I get the argument from the other side, and the overwhelming urge to go with something industry/rider friendly.

    Thanks for sharing though, it sounds interesting. We have a small cabinet shop and have churned out a pile of DIY stuff and use it regularly. Of course we aren't providing for top level events/people either. We are a very small company specializing in outdoor festivals. The biggest thing we do is around 4000-5000 people. It works for us, so that is what matters.

    So is this design one of your own or something you ran across?


    • nicoro
      nicoro commented
      Editing a comment
      My own design. 2-10" beefy drivers each horn loaded into their own folded correct length and mouth size expo horn to reproduce down to 75 Hzs. The output of the 2 horns combines anteriorly. The last segment of the horns are collapsible and open up when needed. The 2-1" comp drivers are in a diffraction horn in between the expo horns output. These cabs are meant to be stacked I use 4 with a total horn mouth 64" H x 60+W. About 116dB/W
      Very compact and incredibly powerful. Would take 60+ cabs of direct radiators rated at 98dB/W to equal 4 of these, plus amps etc etc...really no contest.

  • #3
    Sir, I'm going to call bull**************** here because you have violated one of the fundamental laws of physics... the law of conservation of energy. You can not, in 1/2-space, deliver 112 or 116dB/1W/1M because in 1/2-space 1 watt of ACOUSTIC power is 112 dB/1W/1M. Your driver would have to be 100% efficient and your horn would have to be a 100% perfect acoustic impedance matching device. Neither of which are possible, I would expect that a VERY efficient driver might approach 50% efficiency if it had a tight gap, very short voice coil overhang, and precision magnetic circuit. Same goes for the horn portion, if you could get a 50% acoustic impedance match you would be doing quite well. I'm not even going to bring up the issue of bandwidth, as the power matching is frequency dependent).

    So, about the best you are going to achieve in 1/2-space is about 106dB/1W/1M. 1/2-space is the typical measurement metric used when comparing speakers unless stated otherwise, and there is very little application for less than 1/2-space in practice for general purpose speakers.

    Your claim that it will outperform Vertec and v-Dosc is simply absurd. Perhaps in a single cabinet designed for array use your cabinet might generate a little more noise, but making noise is not what pro audio is about. There is much more than that. Both of the speakers you mention are designed to be used in vertical multiples, and that there are specific pattern benefits that can be achieved that can result in effective 1/4-space radiation which increases the effective sensitivity numbers to as much as 106 -108dB/1W/1M, but the 100% acoustic efficiency number changes with 1/4-space so we are not conflicting with conservation of energy issues.

    (Since you appear to be an newbie here, before you answer in a flaming retort that I don't understand your "vision" and the technology involved, I have been designing commercial pro audio speaker products for many decades, and have an advanced engineering degree that directly applies to this technology. If you choose to argue absurdity, consider yourself properly warned )
    Last edited by agedhorse; 05-09-2017, 09:36 PM.
    Former product development engineer: Genz Benz, a KMC Music/FMIC/JAM Industries Company, continuing factory level product support and service for Genz Benz

    Currently product development engineer: Mesa Boogie


    • #4
      Andy makes some very good points, although the theory behind it is a bit over my head. He would definitely have some very constructive input.

      Maybe you made some calculation errors to get the numbers that you posted. It's the reason that we have used designs from companies that do such things for a living. I wouldn't have a clue where to start in a cabinet design. We have definitely set aside builds of ours after doing some audio measurements/listening, the same ones that looked better on paper than they actually performed.

      Have you actually used this rig in a live situation?


      • #5
        "Unfortunately you won't get much love for DIY or horn-loaded stuff around here". Very True
        Horn Speakers when well designed will increase significantly the drivers output typically by 10dB while reducing cone excursion and distortion significantly. Without all the technobubble Please note in the first example of the Dr McBean (PhD) Hornresponse program he lists an 8" driver in an exponential horn as putting out 112dB/W from 80 to 800Hzs. This design uses 2-10" drivers in 2 appropiately sized expo horns!!

        I have no time or desire to argue I will simply point out that compact horn loaded linear array cabs are possible with all the due benefits. In particular I rather carry this 55 lb cab which cost me less than $250 than a JBL Vertex which wts more than 350lbs and costs more than $5000. As far as I am concerned that is the end of that discussion but I can see why manufacturers would be unwilling to have that public.


        • #6

          Just look at freq response chart showing the hi efficiency of a horn sub. Please note that for this 1/4 wavelength (WL) 40 Hzs 2-18" horn enclosure the output at 40 Hzs is 112dB/W. Please also note that at 80 Hzs when the horn is at 1/2 WL the output increases to 117dB !!!. Direct radiating 2-18" subcabs struggle to put out 100dB/W at 40Hzs. It would take close to 16 of these cabs to equal the HORN sub output. It seems manufacturers abandon old technologies for profit purposes sometimes!


          • #7
            I can attest to the value of the horn-loaded sub. We have one of our trailers full of LAB subs, the design that Danley offered up to the audio community. We use them exclusively for low end and love them. Yeah they are big and bulky but dang they have some seriously clean output without breaking the bank in power amplifiers. And once you get them in groups of 4 or 6 they really go low.

            And to be fair, I have heard some really good low end with direct radiators around our area as well.


            • #8
              I wouldn't care if he claimed that he outperformed a bevy of singing angels @ 140db at 30 meters on 1/4 watt for a $1 investment. No warranty, no proof, and more than anything else, anyone that flies a home made line array over the heads of paying customers deserve every lawsuit they get. You couldn't give them to me for free, or PAY ME enough to use them. Danley cabinets are altogether different. Let me start by saying I swear by horn loaded subs. I just prefer them to front radiators. First, Danley has major credentials. Second, his gear is a known entity tested and used by many of the best. Lastly, the only similar thing in this discussion is the horn loading which is no secret and no one here is such a newbie that this should be be a footnote, much less a thread. But the important part is that Tom never suggested flying home made cabinets over people's heads. Thanks for playing... NEXT!
              Last edited by Axisplayer; 05-10-2017, 08:15 PM.


              • #9
                Originally posted by Axisplayer View Post
                But the important part is that Tom never suggested flying home made cabinets over people's heads


                • #10
                  Since when is a Vertec 350 pounds?

                  Seriously, you may eschew technobabble, but from your post you clearly do not understand what you are preaching and you have discredited yourself with your own statements.

                  Peak response may APPEAR to approach 100% efficiency, but resonant/reactive effects can appear to perform outside reality until you apply the proper math and bandwidth and suddenly it becomes obvious that reality always wins.

                  This is no different than folks preaching that doubling the number of cabinets always increases the sensitivity by 3dB for the same 1W input due to "coupling", but this applies to a very limited inter-driver spacing and it quickly degrades well before the sensitivity (efficiency) gets anywhere near 100%.

                  The only way to increase effective radiated power density beyond what appears to be 100% (in half-space numbers) is to alter the radiating pattern and improperly compare 1/4-space or 1/8-space values to the 1/2-space reference.

                  Sorry, I see this sort of perpetual motion preaching (and blind faith belief) by a lot of DIY revolutionary proposals. Frankly, it's kind of insulting to those of us who understand what is really going on.
                  Former product development engineer: Genz Benz, a KMC Music/FMIC/JAM Industries Company, continuing factory level product support and service for Genz Benz

                  Currently product development engineer: Mesa Boogie


                  • #11
                    Lets not get too crazy here...Hanging 4 of this design at less than 275 lbs total is a piece of Cake compared to the 60+ cabs of 98dB sensitivity it potentially replaces. Even the big Copycat JBL Vertec VT 4889 a rip off of the L DOS only has LF 99 dB, MR 102 dB. It would take more than 2-160 lbs to get close to the horn loaded design. Therefore the 350 lbs (They went with Neo drivers and weight went down to 320). I am not selling anything just passing in a friendly manner the concept of 1) Horn line arrays are possible 2) The problem of big size can be minimalized using a collapsible horn and folded horns 3) The high efficiency of these cabs allows only using 4 cabs which limits time differential smearing of sounds because they are acting as a virtual point source. Long direct radiating lines lose intelligibilty because of this. The result is this design which works very well for me. I may commercialize it in which case I will take out a lot of insurance so that when it drops on the head of Axis Player it won´t cost me too much but perhaps will help control his expanded ego.. NEXT Jajaja. Direct radiators efficiency reaches 25% at best when well coupled together so its not all technobabble. But as you can see from the Danley design Horns surpass 112dB/W at 1/4WL horn and 117dB/W at 1/2 WL horns. Therefore all my Subwoof designs are 1/2WL Horns resulting in needing 5 - 1/4 WL subhorn cabs to match them. New ideas are rarely easily accepted"

                    Last edited by nicoro; 05-11-2017, 06:51 PM.


                    • daddymack
                      daddymack commented
                      Editing a comment
                      'when it drops on the head of Axis Player it won´t cost me too much but perhaps will help control his expanded ego.'
                      Yet another insult....not acceptable...hasta la vista. Go back and read out terms before oyu come back. Also, I have toask if you actually have built, tested and flown your design, because absent that, your theory is nothing more than hot air, and arguing its advantages with people with decades of live sound experience is going to get you nowhere, except banned...which it has. Two weeks off to rethink your presentation skills.

                  • #12
                    Aged Horse writes "you have violated one of the fundamental laws of physics... the law of conservation of energy. You can not, in 1/2-space, deliver 112 or 116dB/1W/1M because in 1/2 space 1 watt of ACOUSTIC power is 112 dB/1W/1M" Somebody should point this out to Mr Danley his design shows in the freq/response curve here http://www.danleysoundlabs.com/danle...pec-sheet1.pdf a response of 112dB/W/M at 40 Hzs and 116dB/W/M at 100Hzs. All sub measurements done in 1/2 space!! Mr Danley is known for being very accurate and conservative in his ratings. Additionally he gets his numbers confirmed by outside reputable testing agencies. The criticism of using 3 dB increase per doubling of drivers is also unfounded. It is widely accepted tought at sound engeneering schools and a useful way to comunicate. For direct radiators coupling only increases efficiency to 25% never 100% so what?? We are talking about horns here!! So all these confusing derogatory statements from a self claimed expert do not seem to have a real basis. Experience and Expertise in horn designs is a dying art and obviously not fresh in most speaker designers nowdays. I posted this design here as something different to give people ideas and other alternatives to the inefficient direct radiating line arrays. Without knowing all the details of the design If criticism has to be made at least keep it real and accurate not based on technobabble and impertinent idiotic details like the danger of how they are hung which at no point has been mentioned.


                    • daddymack
                      daddymack commented
                      Editing a comment
                      'self-claimed expert'? At this juncture, that would be you.
                      Agedhorse's background and experience are well known and respected here. Personal attacks are not.

                  • #13
                    Ever see the one arm fisherman hold his one arm out and say I caught a fish this big!

                    Saying your boxes outperform L-Acoustics and Vertec is quite the claim!

                    Also, the guys here are quite diplomatic and friendly. If you posted on the "other" pro audio forums
                    they would roast you.


                    • #14
                      "impertinent idiotic details like the danger of how they are hung which at no point has been mentioned."

                      The details of how don't matter. You are an imbecile. You want to play, lets play. You have nothing to show here but your post spouting off your fabulous skills. Lets see the data. Lets see the test runs. SMART or SPECTRAFOO measurements? Post them or get lost. Until you show scientific data, it is just unsupported claims from a guy hiding behind a nickname here.

                      Ok kid, straighten up and listen. I don't tolerate fools well, and right now you are in my crosshairs. I don't need to know anything about your cabinets or you to know I am correct and you are not. You have home made gear. As soon as anything goes wrong, you WILL be in court and with no defense as these cabinets are not certified for flying by independent third parties. When you fly them, you are putting you and your family at risk because you will lose everything you have at issue ONE. I don't want to even entertain any more comments from you. Flying them is wrong, dangerous, and you WILL eventually have a major lawsuit. If you think I am wrong, let me mention this. I spent my entire career in a federal law office. You are wrong here. Get over it. Nothing you can say will change the fact. No one should EVER fly anything not designed, tested and backed by people specifically able to do that with proper gear and facilities. You don't have that so back off. Post the testing that shows these are safe to fly or shut the hell up.

                      Secondly, the man you are arguing technical details with (AgedHorse) has designed more professional gear than you own. Period. He has worked for Genz Benz, now an engineer at Mesa Boogie, owns his own LARGE venue, works with professional touring bands you have probably bought CDs of, and is well respected at a HIGH PROFESSIONAL level. You don't have the cred to argue with him. In fact, if you are arguing with him, I cannot almost guarantee you are wrong. He does have the background to argue this with you. He can hold his own so I don't need to defend him. Have at it and good luck. Lets see how that goes for you.

                      I don't buy or use home built, amatuer designed gear. There is not a snow flakes chance in hell that you can rival EAW, JBL or L'Acoustics. None. You don't have the expertise, the people, or the money to compete in that world. You are living in a fantasy world.

                      We are not kids here and not easily impressed. I have run the gear you say you can beat. Fat chance of that being real. We buy the gear that makes money and meets riders. Your gear will do neither. If you want to keep posting, fine, but I WILL call you out. Your post leads people to think that flying home built cabs over people heads is OK, but that is wrong. PERIOD. Should not even be a thought. Anyone doing it is a fool. Ask your insurance agent if you disagree.

                      Show the data to support your claims or move along. I don't have time to entertain your fantasies and delusions. Until the data is posted, thats all you have.
                      Last edited by Axisplayer; 05-12-2017, 08:54 AM.


                      • #15
                        Originally posted by Pro Sound Guy View Post
                        Also, the guys here are quite diplomatic and friendly. If you posted on the "other" pro audio forums they would roast you.

                        You know, those "OTHER" forums are where I cut my teeth at this stuff. I totally agree with you. I tried to be cordial and let it ride in the first post, everybody gets one. I have not begun to get serious with him yet. Right now, he is just some guy with a not-just-different, but wrong and unsupportable post. NEVER FLY HOME MADE CRAP. NEVER, EVER, NOT ONCE.