Sunday, December 28, 2008

Development Project

There are many things to consider when working on your dream loudspeaker system. Physics, technology, the cool factor. Another one is living around the thing. In my case, after moving to a new house, the system is proving too large to be practical. I am using LaScala bass horns (filtered to have flat response to 40 Hz) and horns with fullrange drivers for midrange and (some) treble. Due to the layout of the room, we have to sit pretty close and the integration between bass and the rest is hard. It also looks imposing and my girlfriend and I keep bumping into the things.

I have come to the conclusion that it's better to change my approach and my system. I'm looking towards cutting edge and vintage answers to this problem. Some of the legendary hornsystems were cornerhorns and some of the arguments for using corners were that they provide opportunities for excellent bass response and are convenient use of space. (See Klipsch for reasoning.) In my personal case, I only have one corner available and I am not about to go mono. Luckily, there's plenty of material that suggests that at a cutoff of 100Hz or below, it's impossible or at least very hard to locate a sound source, so going with something other than stereo below 100 Hz is OK.

Based on this, I have decided to take a new approach to my system. I will build a horn, to be placed in a corner, for frequencies below 100Hz and will have to stretch the mid/high sections' response down to that point. Exactly how, I don't know yet.

Now, a horn in a corner is still a wide concept. I can go for a frontloaded cornerhorn (Klipschorn, Jubilee, Hartsfield), a rearloaded cornerhorn (Jensen, Tannoy, Schmacks), I can stuff a tapped horn in a corner, I can design a frontloaded, rearloaded or tapped horn myself for in a corner. The DIY (do-it-yourself) and DIY (design-it-yourself) options sound good, so I hereby announce my horn design project.

I will have to work out parameters to work with. I need to decide on desired cutoff and acceptable size. We may simply end up with the conventional tapped horn coffin, but we might end up with something very different. Of course I have ideas cooking. One hint: think Olson...