Horns: Why don't they image well?

Anyone have a theory?

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You're a good guy...you're just wrong! 
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Ask Alon Wolf of Magico why he designed a horn speaker as his flagship speaker? Or Tannoy why their best speaker is a horn speaker.  Ushers flagship is a horn.  Living Voices flagship is a horn too.  I love horns and own one of these pairs.  I think if setup correctly, they can image real well.  They are not perfect, but there are reasons why these manufacturers chose a horn design to build the absolute best speaker they can dream of.  IMHO horns have two problems.  They are expensive and they are large....thats it.  Horns are for people who dont have to ask their wives for permission to have big speakers in the house.

Peter Noerbaek (PBN)'s new flagship is a horn... and ime it’s an absolutely magnificent speaker. It uses the horn and compression driver from JBL’s M2 studio monitor, with TWO of the same woofers that the JBL uses. To the best of my knowledge this is Peter’s first home audio horn speaker, and he has a LOT of experience building excellent large, high-output loudspeakers. Unfortunately most audiophiles listen with their eyes, and so Peter’s magnificent M2!5’s are still under-the-radar.

In the high-end studio main monitor world, performance is what counts the most. Recording engineers don’t listen with their eyes, and in that world horns are much more widely accepted. Augspurger, Westlake, TAD, JBL and Kinoshita come to mind off the top of my head, and many if not most companies that use direct radiators in their high-end mains use waveguides (a type of horn) for their midrange and tweeter drivers.

By the way, coaxials like the Tannoys and KEFs and Spatial Audios are horns. The midwoofer’s cone is the horn for the coaxial tweeter. Last I heard, people had nice things to say about the imaging from these designs.

Not all horns are created equal, just as not all cone-n-dome speakers are created equal. But ime "horns done right" have greater potential than the cone-n-dome format, which is why you see horns showing up in flagship speakers from companies whose other designs are mostly if not entirely direct radiators.


Duke...…+1...……...folks like kosst who still have not heard an excellent example of horns in a home environment, will troll the entire concept. And, when we speak of what we hear, with passion, they assume we are suggesting perfection. We all know perfection does not exist. Another thing, we, the horn folks, generally do not go on other threads bashing other speaker types, which believe me, I ( we ) can easily do. Enjoy MrD.