horn or line array?

they are here or we are there? i usually listen to jazz what is more match to my listening style?

I'm loving the sound from my line arrays. I listen primarily to jazz and vocals. 

Why just those two very different designs?  What’s your amp and budget?  This question is far too vague to get any useful responses. 

The speakers that sound best to you ignoring the technology employed. Let the sound choose the technology.

Horns, unbeatable when properly designed and built.  Also remember horn bass is the icing on the cake.

Horns, unbeatable when properly designed and built.  Also remember horn bass is the icing on the cake.

@tweak1 you mean tannoy? i can"t afford it  ,, what do you think concentric vs horn vs line array?

Horn/line array combos are what JBL uses in their professional line. The VTX V25 units are what I am thinking of. They stack into a line source but would be comically large for home use and ugly. But honestly they are probably pretty high fidelity based on the drivers which are very close to what is used in the M2 and 4367.

Anyway 90% kidding but the concept of horn loaded line source is interesting. For one seat a simple horn is good enough and line sources get pretty expensive or end up using cheaper drivers. Personally I own horns but would love to try/own a pair of line sources someday.


@james633 thanks for explanation ,,, must be the combination combo line horn array is very good

I found the demonstration at the 1:30 mark in this video very interesting.


How the lack of horizontal sound shift of a line source compares to a constant directivity horn is hard to say.





This one was from Altec A7 horn speaker.




This one was from line array speaker Scaena 3.2




This one was from Lansche 4.1 with plasma tweeter.


I enjoy jazz or pop music from alll of the above.



One of the desirable features of horns is high efficiency which contributes to their dynamic character. How about a high efficiency true line array?

If you live Pacific Northwest, you may listen to my speakers.


I still keep all of them.


My endgame speaker will be vintage Western horn.

I had listened to Western horn sytem of Mr Chung, owner of Silbatone around 20 times at his home in Korea.

But unfortunately it is very hard to get Western horn sytem in good condition.

Also they are very costly 200k$ and up..


After living with Scaena 3.2 for more than a year, its strength is wide, deep but natural soundstage.

Also with lot of unis, it is distortion free.

The strength of Altec A7 horn speaker is natural dynamics and details out of treble horn.

I had lived with Lansche 4.1 from 2006 to 2021 (16 years).

Its strength is pristine treble out of plasma tweeter and could be driven by small watt SET amp due to high efficiency and nice WAF due to polished finish.

I may not need Western horn speaker to enjoy music.

All three above speakers sound musical.

But I would like to get Western horn system in three years.

You live only once!😀



The  Arion speaker also sounds nice.


If you live close to North Carolina, you may visit him



just what the difference between your 3 speaker with western horn , altec? ,, big difference or just small difference?

what difference between your 3 speakers with altec regarding sound quality? 

I described it below


They are all excellent speakers with diifferent strengths.


Please note that my Altec A7 is bi amped using active crossover.

Having owned a Audiostore for a decade , first what size is your room , your music taste and budget , for example a maggi 3.7  you want to be several feet from the front and side walls , the Martern logan stats like theEvo series not as critical 

and has powered bass with bass EQ built in , horns like Klipsch can be good for example but beamy, sound absorption ,rugs, 1st reflections , bass buster corner panels ,Everythung has to be considered ,for glass is horrible and hard reflective, plants are good.

and the quality of the product, myselfhaving modding Loudspeakers for 20+ years 

inside the ❤️ or the 🧠 of a loudspeaker is the Xover and most speakers under $15k have at best average parts meaning out of a 15 rating scale a 6 or 7  which robs you of everythung ,Solen is a big mfg favorite for capacitors ranking a 7.

go to humble homemade Hifi capacitor  test you will see what I mean  ,resistors,inductors too . If I knew your brands I could tell you good or bad for your setup ,electronics too should have synergy with your speakers , cables too  count 

it’s not that cut and dry I have been in Audio over 40 years and have learned a lot 

many times by trial and error and a boat load of $$.

@fac I have owned both and while I enjoyed line array, they are costly (mine had a $10,000 MSRP ~ 10 years ago; integrating the XO is an art. There is no better time alignment than from concentric drivers. I have owned Emerald Physics 3.4s for ~ 3 years (see my virtual system), amazingly is how huge the sound staging is


The very best sounding systems I've heard were horn-based systems either using original Western Electric drivers or G.I.P. reproductions of such drivers.  This means truly ancient technology, basically, early 1930s drivers.  Most of the systems were modern assemblies using these ancient parts (or replicas of these ancient parts).  The big downside is the size of these systems. 

For one of them, each speaker was about nine feet tall, almost five feet wide, and about five feet deep.  The drivers were new G.I.P. drivers that retail for about $120,000.  On top of that would be the fees for designing and building, the very expensive crossover utilizing original Western Electric parts, the wiring (I believe the wires were a mix of Western Electric wire and Audio Note Sogon (meaning wiring well north of $20k), and the custom-built power supplies for the field coil magnets of these drivers.  

My much more modest horn-based system has only one horn component, a midrange compression driver and a sectoral horn.  I don't have horn-loaded bass drivers, my bass drivers are modern, but old school alnico magnet drivers with pleated paper surrounds (12" drivers), with two bass drivers per channel in an Onken bass reflex cabinet.  My tweeters are bullet tweeters (horn waveguide, but not a compression driver).

But, I have also heard very nice speakers of all sorts of types, including very good panel and line array speakers.  The giant Sound Labs electrostatic panel speakers are quite good.  Likewise, the Arion Acoustics line array speakers, while quite pricey, are terrific too.  For more realistically priced line array speakers, I like Maggies, such as the 3.7.  


Always my all time favorite even in car audio which I have done quite successfully a couple of times. Currently remodeling our full time RV, added 1.5 ft to the length for more room for the system. I will test my beloved and highly modified Edgarhorn Slimline, Building some XDS open baffle to test as well and have some small KEF line arrays we used for years in RV's.  A tough challenge to make anything work well in the RV but going to make a go of it and hope the EH work as Doc Edgar was a freind of mine.





I have plenty of good drivers to build some test sealed or ported box speakers, subs, etc and doing a lot of room treatment and DIY cables. I wired two separate dedicated and fully shielded AC lines and moved the breakers around to put all the noisy stuff on the opposite leg.

Just pointing out I am dedicated to make this the best RV system I possibly can, not spend a fortune on it, not needed when done right and I know the limitations I face but also I have had incredible success in vehicles much smaller than this so hope to make the HORNS work:)

A line array of bass horns is what I'm using - four horns stacked on top each other to the ceiling in each corner. That can get you truly horn loaded down below 30Hz.

I'm a horn lover but I can understand why some people aren't. You'll have to do some listening for yourself to decide which you prefer.  

I have had both and once I purchased a good horn speaker I will never go back to anything else.  The soundstage is wider, easily driven, most realistic sound for me.  

As others have correctly said "the implementation matters". The room in which they will be used in is very important. How directional the speakers are and how reverberant/damped the room is will largely impact the sound. Will the setup yield a more direct field where the source contribution dominates or a reverberant field where the room's reverberant contribution dominates. Horns will typically be more direct field and line arrays more reverberant field. OB line arrays definitely more reverberant field. Horns and line  arrays are very different. Pros and Cons for both designs.

We designed our OB line arrays with a relatively wide baffle to influence the directional characteristics and to control the rear sound. They are rated at 105 dB 1w 1m. Interestingly, a person at last year's CAF show commented that they sound like a cross between planars and horns. Not sure what he meant.

I say all this to point out that there are many, many different implementation of both designs. You will have to spend lots of time listening to both designs in different room to really know which you prefer.

If anyone wants to send us a pair of reasonably sized horns we will gladly set up a demo to compare the two designs. Might be kind of interesting.

LOL Infinity IRS IV (1988), or the more modern Genesis 1 vs Klipsch Jubilee (2022) = Alien vs Predator.   

For jazz, i’d go with Klipschorn AK6 and a high quality Dennis Had Inspire 300b SET amp, stick them in the corner and pick your favorite source, vinyl, CD or stream, keep the chain simple and revel in Miles Davis visiting your listening room in person.



I heard your speakers at Capital Audiofest.  I am a fan/owner of a horn-based system, but, I like a lot of other types of speakers.  I really liked your speaker, even if I don't think it sounds like any particular horn system.  It is a BIG plus that it can be used with lower powered amps because I particularly like the sound of low-powered tube amps.  I liked your speakers with all of the types of music I heard, but was particularly impressed with its handling orchestral music; it managed to get the weight and scale of the music right without having to be cranked up to excessive levels. 

I hope you are back at this year's show. 

I have a set of Magnepans which are dipole, and they do pretty good with certain jazz. Pianos sound lovely in particular. But my cornwalls are my go to for horns and anything rock related. Horns may be your best bet all around for jazz music. Hope this helps

Only your ears can hear the sound you are looking for.  Get a few pairs of each and decide for yourself. 



After playing Sceana 3.2(line array) for several months, I am back to Lansche 4.1 with plasma tweeter.


Although Scaena 3.2 give very clean treble, Lanshce 4.1 give more pristine treble with exquisite details.

Female vocal sounds more fantastic with Lansche 4.1

Thus I will not let Lansche 4.1 go😀


Horn speakers tend to give good dynamics but with some horn coloration.


Line array speaker tend to give wide and deep soundstage but need large room.


Although Lansche speaker is not either horn or line array it works well with jazz and pop music.



Thomas  ,  just what the difference sound between plasma tweeter and scanspeak tweeter honestly ?  i hear that plasma tweeter can get poison to health of human  , is it true  ?  for everyone  , i have a question about transiator   https://youtube.com/shorts/zRakw_KIfWI?feature=share  thanks everyone who had answered my question !

Plasma tweeter pose no health thrreat.


It is the best tweeter whatsover.


The only drawbback is its cost.



Acapella speaker also use plasma tweeter for higher model.


Vaughn speaker also presented speaker with plasma tweeter.




Acappela speaker with plasma tweter cost 70k$ up.


Occasionally used Lansche speaker come up around 15-30k$.



at least $10k minimum to get speaker wigh plasma tweeter  ,   is that correct??