Review: ZHORN FOSTEX Speaker

Category: Speakers

I have listened to 3 pair of zhorns and recently aditioned a pair in my home .I listen to most types of music .The Zhorn was aditioned with various telarc recordings ,Some mis. Tecno music .Dick Dale 60s surf gitar,Others .In speakers I tend to go with large full range speakers with great frequincy responce and very deep detailed bass my current systen cost me arround $12000 DIY .In speakers systems If they are grainy and harsh I can not stand it. Also Iam not a fan of ported or back loaded horn designs .Usually they have phase problems with the bass.The Zhorn has a less phase distorted bass responce then most I have heard .Allows you to hear more detail . The Zhorn uses a Fostex fe-z 6in driver.And birch plywood cabnet ,This speaker has a musical fun sound, not grainy or harsh in anyway. Has a moderatly large sound stage with good side expansion ,The speakers just seem to disapear [this is important to me].When they where playing the telarc discs they handled the volume swings quite well .And though limited in the frequincy extremes never left you wanting more .I have owned a couple pairs of Cain &Cain Abbys .And found the Zhorn to be more musical .The Abby has a taller sound stage though .And compared to the Moth speaker and Horn shop it quite easyly bests them in musicallity and detail also sensitivity and better bass definition..Had more than enofe power off a 300b in a very large room .Has a nice fit and finish better than any speaker in this price range That I have seen.Musical, fun ,well built, upgradeable all for $799!! I call this a heck of a deal you will not be disapointed if you give these a listen .

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Interesting review and comparisons. How dramatic is the Zhorn with the high end of treble (cymbals and other type detail) compared to the Abby?
Hi Lak ,both speakers have usefull highs up to arround 15khz, I would give the edge to the Zhorn .Tery cains abby is a nice speaker .But for the money I would go with the Zhorn .If you want more Hi,s you could use fostex t90a tweeters ,They even include a stand .Thxs for your thoughts .JK
This is a general statement applied to my personal experience with a Fostex HornShoppe for the last two years. I thought the single drivers naturally lack the ultimate highs; how wrong I have been. A recent upgrade of my digital source and preamp, from EVS DAC II/Vecteur D-2 and EVS Stepped Attenuator to ModWright 9000ES and Decware ZSLA-1 tube buffer line stage, respectively, has turned my head around. No longer I feel wanting more treble, as I can hear now a lot more musical details into the recordings, not the strident nor brittle digital artifacts I used to put up with. Needless to say, bass and midrange all became ever so "live" and "organic", not as separate entities but as a whole "there".

My point in short is, don't judge the speakers until you have taken a good care to make sure your source or whatever upstream is up to the task of HONESTLY REPRODUCING the recordings. As of now, I feel the only sonic barrier in my room is, well, THE ROOM itself.

Also, a good powered subwoofer (a pair ideally) would be a great help to such a single driver speaker system.
Hi Paul ,the Zhorn uses the new fostex fe168ez driver ,Thats one of the reasons I perfered the sound .I have heard the horn shop and zhorn on other gear .And if you look at what I demo them on you will see that its quite capable of reproducing what is up stream.Thats about$12000 gear running a $799 speaker .On my personal System I use fostex 16in woofers in dual towers .Thxs for your reply and happy listening .JK
Cool review. I love single drivers. I use Lowthers in Voigt Pipes. Have you tried the newest Lowthers?
TWL I used lowther pm4a new cone .Didnt like them too much they where very peaky .Used them in a dual oris 150 horn set up so ran 2 pair .They might be better in a back loaded horn .Thxs for your reply .Happy listening .JK
JK, have you tried to listen to two pairs connected together (two ZHorns/Horns on each side)? Connected in parallel = 4 ohms, series = 16 ohms.
Hi Paul sorry didnt try that .Are going for the mini cain & cain studio ben?
Am I going for the C&C Studio Ben? I wish, but it may be more expensive than I can afford. The HERUKA, on the other hand, is priced very attractively.