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Author Topic: Do horn subwoofers really sound bad indoors?  (Read 12933 times)

Onlin Barna

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Do horn subwoofers really sound bad indoors?
« on: April 13, 2013, 08:48:04 pm »

Hello all,

Im looking at 2x single 21" subwoofers ( 600w RMS, 104dB @ 1m) and Im wondering if they are sound bad indoors? Big horns, they are similar to martin WSX.

Another question about amp. Does anybody have bad experience with behringer nu6000? Somebody said, it might be poor at low frequencies. Is it worth to buy with built in DSP? I would have it only for subs and with active crossover before amps (of course).

Thank you for your answers!
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: Do horn subwoofers really sound bad indoors?
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2013, 09:23:07 pm »

Hello all,

Im looking at 2x single 21" subwoofers ( 600w RMS, 104dB @ 1m) and Im wondering if they are sound bad indoors? Big horns, they are similar to martin WSX.

Another question about amp. Does anybody have bad experience with behringer nu6000? Somebody said, it might be poor at low frequencies. Is it worth to buy with built in DSP? I would have it only for subs and with active crossover before amps (of course).

Thank you for your answers!
I don't know of any reason that horns would be any different than regular bass cabinets-I assume you heard that somewhere?

And what would you consider "sounding bad"?  Distortion? freq response? coverage? something else?
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Ivan Beaver
Danley Sound Labs

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Onlin Barna

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Re: Do horn subwoofers really sound bad indoors?
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2013, 11:53:55 pm »

I don't remember who said but it was about sound pressure level, so  volume. "Watts are there, decibels aren't". I couldn't imagine why it could be true, but as you are an expert, now I don't think it is. About amp question, anybody has idea?

edit: as you wrote, its was about coverage.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2013, 11:56:38 pm by Onlin Barna »
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Travis_Valois

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Re: Do horn subwoofers really sound bad indoors?
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2013, 12:06:03 am »

Hello all,

Im looking at 2x single 21" subwoofers ( 600w RMS, 104dB @ 1m) and Im wondering if they are sound bad indoors? Big horns, they are similar to martin WSX.

Another question about amp. Does anybody have bad experience with behringer nu6000? Somebody said, it might be poor at low frequencies. Is it worth to buy with built in DSP? I would have it only for subs and with active crossover before amps (of course).

Thank you for your answers!

I hope they don't sound bad, in the club i house tech at, we're running 6xMartin 115 bins (3 per side on a QSC EX4000) and they're more than enough for the room so that we have never commissioned the last 2 bins stored in the back.
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: Do horn subwoofers really sound bad indoors?
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2013, 09:38:05 am »

I don't remember who said but it was about sound pressure level, so  volume. "Watts are there, decibels aren't". I couldn't imagine why it could be true, but as you are an expert, now I don't think it is. About amp question, anybody has idea?

edit: as you wrote, its was about coverage.
Very often people will blame the speakers-when the real problem is how they are being used-deployed-aligned etc.

Let's say a particular setup with front loaded subs works fine in a particular situation.  Then the only thing that changes is horn loaded subs are placed where the front loaded ones were.

Of course things are going to change-the path length arrivals to the listener is going to be different-causing notching/holes in the response and so forth.  If that "hole" happens to be where the kick is tuned-then you have a problem.

But if the system was properly aligned-the "hole" would not be there.--But lets blame the type of sub anyway.

It is much easier to blame the tool than the user------------------------

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A complex question is easily answered by a simple-easy to understand WRONG answer!

Ivan Beaver
Danley Sound Labs

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g'bye, Dick Rees

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Re: Do horn subwoofers really sound bad indoors?
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2013, 09:58:17 am »

It is much easier to blame the tool than the user------------------------

Unless the user is also a tool........
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drew gandy

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Re: Do horn subwoofers really sound bad indoors?
« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2013, 01:09:34 pm »

There is often a difference that has to do with the nature of the difference in the radiating surface area and distance from the source.  In a standard vented box the very lowest frequencies are almost entirely radiating from the port.  This is very small in comparison to the mouth area of a typical horn sub. Over the rest of the sub band there is less of a difference in radiating size but still a significant enough difference between the 2 designs to cause some effect. (of course it depends on how big the boxes, how many, how many drivers etc that you are comparing).  Because of this difference in area there will be a difference in the way that the sound rolls off with distance between the 2 types of subs, particularly up close.  The effect can be one where the horn subs don't seem to "hit as hard" up close even though the volume level at the back of the room is roughly the same.  And of course there is also the timing issue that Ivan mentioned that affects not only the alignment with the rest of the system but also the alignment with sound coming from the stage.  Furthermore, remember that at the very bottom of it's operating band, vented boxes as well have quite a bit of "delay".   
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Samuel Rees

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Do horn subwoofers really sound bad indoors?
« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2013, 02:26:50 pm »

There will be a distance in the way the two sub designs roll off with distance, or a different "throw"? Wasn't the conclusion from a thread a while back, that "throw" doesn't exist? Or am I misunderstanding what is being said here?
« Last Edit: April 14, 2013, 02:28:29 pm by Samuel Rees »
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: Do horn subwoofers really sound bad indoors?
« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2013, 02:50:06 pm »

There will be a distance in the way the two sub designs roll off with distance, or a different "throw"? Wasn't the conclusion from a thread a while back, that "throw" doesn't exist? Or am I misunderstanding what is being said here?
The reason the level doesn't change the same (especially up close) is that with a direct radiator the sound starts to expand right outside the cabinet.

With a horn-the expansion has already begun deep inside the cabinet.  So the point of inverse square loses are not starting at the same point (front of cabinet).

So lets say that with a direct radiator you are 1 M away and getting 100dB.  At 2M it will be 94dB.

With a horn sub if it is 100dB at 1 M-and if we assume a 2M horn length), then at 2M from the front of the cabinet-you are actually 4M from the radiator.  So the difference is not 6dB (from doubling of distance) but rather 2.5dB-IF the sound were expanding in all directions-which it is not.  So the losses would be as much.

So yet another "audio thing" that gets more complicated the deeper you look.
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Ivan Beaver
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: Do horn subwoofers really sound bad indoors?
« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2013, 02:52:24 pm »

The reason the level doesn't change the same (especially up close) is that with a direct radiator the sound starts to expand right outside the cabinet.

With a horn-the expansion has already begun deep inside the cabinet.  So the point of inverse square loses are not starting at the same point (front of cabinet).

So lets say that with a direct radiator you are 1 M away and getting 100dB.  At 2M it will be 94dB.

With a horn sub if it is 100dB at 1 M-and if we assume a 2M horn length), then at 2M from the front of the cabinet-you are actually 4M from the radiator.  So the difference is not 6dB (from doubling of distance) but rather 2.5dB-IF the sound were expanding in all directions-which it is not.  So the losses would be as much.

So yet another "audio thing" that gets more complicated the deeper you look.
And hence the  reason to measure all loudspeakers at a distance-as to to minimize these "short distance" differences.  And then "back calculate" to a 1M "standard".  Even if the cabinet will not be as loud at 1M as the measurement suggests-at least the math works when calculating how the loudspeaker will perform over distances.
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A complex question is easily answered by a simple-easy to understand WRONG answer!

Ivan Beaver
Danley Sound Labs

PHYSICS- NOT FADS!
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