what do horns sound like


Ive probably only heard one or two many years ago and i may never get a chance to hear another anytime soon.

Do they work with pop music and electronic music? 

Do they disappear?

Do they have even tonality?

are they for nearfield or far field?
kenjit
Imo it is a mistake to assume that there is a good match between exit angle and entry angle just because the same manufacturer makes both. It seems like the compression driver department and the horn department often don’t see the need to collaborate.
@audiokinesis Thanks- IMO this might explain why there are so many different reactions to horns. When I bought my speakers, I listened to both the TAD machined horn (at the time- this was 1998) and the JBL tractrix horn, both with the same compression driver. I preferred the JBL at the time. Later (about 10 years later) John told me that he had found and corrected a flaw in the throat design of the TAD, which is why he makes his own machined wood horns now instead of buying them from TAD. And in listening it did seem that he had made a very significant step forward in the sound of the speaker- it was noticeably **smoother**, easier to listen to at high volumes, even better than the JBL tractrix horn. In my old listening room I was able to easily play my speakers at 105dB and they sounded completely relaxed; if not for the sound pressure meter you would have no way of knowing they were that loud (which to me is an important hallmark of a good stereo).


Thanks again for your comments!
@mahlman, that's correct. And I did stick them directly to the horn, which accommodates 4 bolts but with the same spacing. The active/passive/eq question will require some doing; I'll try to condense.

I do my active digital xovers with huge FIR filters (2M FFTs each) on an HP Prodesk i5 4-core (got it for $170 refurbished) and use a cm8828-based 7.1 soundcard ($50) for signal I/O. 7.1 is perfect for 3-way stereo with a sub. Despite the low cost they scope out beautifully. I make the filters on RePhase and run them on Convolver VST (which also does my delays and mapping). I use brickwalls with an EQ curve superimposed, all constant Q type and linear-phase. It runs through the foobar2000 DSP stack. All my VSTs are wrapped in Mux Modular, an excellent and stable VST wrapper (itself a VST). It's the only piece of s/w I paid for ($60, a bargain). Excellent graphic connection mapper with a ton of onboard processors, DAW stuff. I use before/after Sox resamplers to do the filter processing at 768 ksamples/s. The sound cards are limited to 192ks/s but they sound and test great. A similar computer is used as a front end to carry (or receive) my source material, also through foobar2000 with whatever processing I find effective, and sent through another 8828-based PCIe soundcard (in spdif stereo) to the crossover machine. There is quite a distance between them, hence the need for 2 machines. At these costs, so what?

The former CD horn I mentioned is an Eminence APT-150s. I used an adapter to mount the ring radiators. It really does have roughly 100x40 dispersion, and the ultra-high frequency dispersion is incredible. Tone bursts at 10khz are remarkably clear. But the dispersion pattern just didn't match my Atlas mids well.
"The former CD horn I mentioned is an Eminence APT-150s..."

The APT-150 is a diffraction horn. See all those sharp angles? They deliberately cause diffraction, which is used to widen the radiation pattern particularly at high frequencies, hence the "ultra-high frequency dispersion is incredible." But that edgy sonic signature, which becomes more audible and objectionable as the SPL increases, is an inevitable consequence of all that diffraction.

Ime the APT-200 is a much better sounding horn. I would characterize it as a fairly "gentle" diffraction horn, and it can go considerably louder than the APT-150 before it starts to sound edgy.

Imo the Pyle PH612 is a good low-coloration, low-diffraction alternative to the APT-150. Parts Express makes a drop-in replacement, the Dayton Audio H6512.

Before the DIY Sound Group SEOS horns came out I was using the Pyle PH612 for home audio.  I have also used it for prosound, and now use the APT-200 in prosound because its greater vertical coverage better suits the application.

Duke
" The active/passive/eq question will require some doing; I'll try to condense. "
     That's a lot more complicated than I will ever get. I feed my signal from my PC to the Xilica and then to my speakers and call it a day. One thing I did do that was very simple and many are not aware of is to upgrade the stock sound card. On my Dell workstation there is a realtek sound card which is pretty plain jane as it is. You go to the Realtek website and download the High Definition driver and all of a sudden it is a 192ks sound card with great fidelity. I know there are a ton of things out there that are possible improvements but I am satisfied enough with my current system that I am not really looking to find one.
Hi Duke, intentional diffraction isn't always a bad thing. I've had a pair of EV 8HD diffraction horns for years, though no longer in use. They have no edges but do have a narrow mouth (and their literature is where I got the idea of damping the edges of horns not surface-mounted!). JBL had diffraction-slot loaded biradials. Anyway, all that said, the 150 (sort of a tiny mantaray) has its ups and downs, but I never saw irregularities like odd harmonics on tone tests, so I took some advice on having compatible dispersion patterns. However it goes, it's amazing what you can find for very little money these days, isn't it?
@mahlman, it's always good to be happy with what you have, but I hope you'll take another look at what you can do with that computer and a ton of cheap/free DSPs. Certainly took me a while to get the hang of it, but the world is at your fingertips.