Horns with good timbre and tonality?

I’m looking into buying a pair of horns for my next speaker. I sold my Sonus Faber Elipsa SE. Looking for a more realistic, more lively sound. I’ve heard the Triangle Magellan and enjoyed the sound, but wonder if there is better.

I appreciate speed and dynamics with good timbre and tonality. I know horns are good with speed and dynamics, but not sure if they can do timbre and tonality like SF can.

Looking at German Blumenhofer FS1 / FS2, French Triangle magellan, Fleetwood deville, Avantgarde.

It will be paired with Mastersound 845 Evolution SET or Auris Fortissimo amp.

Room size 40 x 15 x 8 feet

Must realistically play Solo Piano, Cello and full scale symphony.



@phusis wrote:

"What about, and maybe when is the diffraction part most troublesome here; what’s inherent to - as a distinct sonic imprinting/coloration - the narrow slot section leading up to the horn widening at every volume level (i.e.: at lower levels as well), or more predominantly at higher, and perhaps only very high SPL’s? My understanding is it’s more the latter than the former, which urges the more pragmatic question of relevance in a given, domestic setting when, or rather if the issue seems to arise only at, say, +120dB levels."

Agreed, diffraction introduces a type of distortion to which the ear has a non-linear response; that is, the sonically detrimental effects of diffraction become more audible and objectionable as the SPL increases. If you’ve ever heard a PA system that sounded increasingly harsh as the volume level went up your instinct may have been that the system was distorting, but it was probably diffraction. Especially if the PA system could do this repeatedly without being destroyed, as power levels that drive speakers or amps into audible distortion can and does cause permanent damage to the speakers.

Fortunately in a home audio setting the SPL demands are not as high, and large diffraction horns that have found favor in home audio tend to be relatively "gentle" diffraction horns. Some of the bigger ones are imo quite benign even at loud home audio listening levels.

@phusis also wrote:

"I find horn size to be a factor as well, certainly with a lower crossover point and trying to maintain a fairly uniform dispersion pattern at the crossover with directivity control all the way down to the crossover. My finding here is that, generally, the larger the horn the less it sounds like a horn, and by that I mean a more relaxed, properly (i.e.: realistically) sized, dense and visceral sphere of sound. What are your thoughts on sheer horn size here?"

Yes!! There are definitely advantages to pushing the crossover point down fairly low, and there are advantages to the fairly narrow and exceptionally uniform radiation pattern of good big horns. And big horns tend to use large-format compression drivers, which ime impart a sense of ease to the music and sense of palpability (for lack of a better term) to the sound images that make it hard to go back to lesser compression drivers, let alone cones ’n’ domes.

Today, I heard an exceptionally good midrange horn.  For comparison purposes, one channel of a stereo pair was equipped with a wooden horn with a mouth opening around 16” wide and around 13” tall.  The other channel had a wooden replica of a Western Electric 22A horn (around 28” wide by 28” high).  The bigger horn was astonishingly more lively and clear sounding.  This horn was better than the 22A horns I’ve heard before. 

Anyone heard of Heretic speakers? Saw on instigram the place in Mass now selling them. Look like old Altec but w/Tannoy type concentric drivers. Cool as all hell but wonder if they can be anyway near the big Tannoys I heard there a few weeks back. Be interested in your impressions whoever's heard them. 

There is a German omni which is horn based: Duevel. Bella Luna and Sirius are world class transducers with superior timbre and aoundstaging. Not well known but very worthwhile exploring for the absebce of shout and pase integration issues of traditional horn designs.

Worth mentioning is the fact that my Heresy IIIs have a sophisticated mid horn with the currently (in the IVs) abandoned titanium drivers. With good gear in front they're very coherent, possibly due to the fact that unlike some other horn speakers the drivers are very close together. From the tweeter to the top of the 12" woofer is only 6 or so inches. This is clearly worth mentioning since I've mentioned it here maybe 436 times.