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View Full Version : Are Horns Worth It??



Depression
08-17-2004, 02:44 AM
I have been hearing alot about the "amazing" improvement Horns give some set ups..I like some of the Image Dynamic Component sets with Horns,
Whats the deal with these..Are they that Great for SQ.

Also...... are horns typically powered off of the same X over as the mids and tweets or Do they run off of a seperate amp?

EFFENDI
08-17-2004, 02:46 AM
Im also interested in horns. Specifically the Image Dynamics Mni Horns. A couple members here have them, I was going to post a similar thread. They are supposedly much better for SQ and SPL in the higher frequency range.

squeak9798
08-17-2004, 12:13 PM
Horns KICK *** in my opinion. It is generally a good idea to listen to a properly installed pair before buying them.......some people love horns, some people hate horns.

If you buy a component set then it will come with passives. If you just buy the horn and run your own mids, then you will need to buy an active xover and run the horns and mids either on separate amps or on a 4channel amp.

With conventional speakers, you are generally listening to just as much reflections as you are the actual sound. With horns and their controlled dispersion, the sound is hitting you directly (which is better). Also, horns are super efficient.....right now I am running ~15w RMS to each horn, and that is enough power to send them beyond my threshold of pain. For good installation, horns are generally easier to install properly with good imaging, etc than trying to build custom kicks or whatever for conventional speakers. Installation is a lot quicker too.....can usually be pulled off in a couple hours (try building kicks in that same time frame).

So far, I love my Illusion Audio CH1 horns. Tonality is awesome. Get a great center image with little work. They get LOUD AS HELL and still sound good while doing it.

Be prepared though, horns generally need equalization. They tend to be a little harsh straight outta the box.


What's with all the horn topics here lately?

sumone
08-17-2004, 02:13 PM
I've been interested in them too. However, I haven't been able to find a good introductory description of what they are or what they do, only on how to install them.

squeak9798
08-17-2004, 02:57 PM
What do you mean what they are or what they do?

It is a compression driver (like this (http://www.partsexpress.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?&DID=7&Partnumber=294-700) ) mounted to a horn body (throat) that is designed to play both midrange and tweeter frequencies, negating the need for tweeters and taking most of the strain of midrange frequencies away from the midbass drivers. Horns generally play down to anywhere from 900-1200hz depending on the driver and horn body (full size or mini horn). They are designed to have controlled dispersion and high efficiency. They work in conjunction with the dash....in essence, the sound "rolls up" the dash which is why you can get a good high soundstage with something aimed at your knees :)

Norcalracer283
08-17-2004, 03:10 PM
They are way too big...if you can fit them, go ahead, they get loud and sound good. But in all practicality, i think they are too big

Depression
08-17-2004, 03:54 PM
Thanks Squeak..Either wrong or right I always get the most informative answers from you.Thanks Bro!

I agree the horns size is an issue with installs. I essentially have seen that your only quality mounting option is right in front of you in the dash..Thats hard. But I have an area just below my "main" dash that will work (too low imaging?)

I have read a couple stories about systems with horns..The Ironic part is that these systems are typically very Mild overall, yet the Reviews seem to say what you did. That a Nice system with a horn set up is as good as a multiple speaker set up any day..From what I read, Horns will be Standard as part of SQ installs in about 5 years??I have yet to read a review that doesn't "RAVE" about Horn systems???
Who knows?

YOU RUN 15 watts RMS..****..,.I see that they reccomend around 100RMS????

squeak9798
08-17-2004, 04:31 PM
I'm never wrong :p:

100w may be recommended.......but that much power will kill your ears. Right now I'm only running 15w to them because it is a temp install (and that much power is more than enought), but in my "permanent" install they're going to have ~60w RMS each :)

The main thing to do when installing horns under your dash (where they are designed to be installed btw) is to "couple" them to the dash. Installing foam or wood in between the top of the horn's mouth and the dash to create a single continuous plane between the horn and the dash.

Go over to www.elitecaraudio.com, there have been some very good discussions about horns ;)

kappa546
08-17-2004, 05:40 PM
i love horns but i wouldnt recommend them if you dont plan on tuning or simply dont know what you're doing. horns HAVE to be eq'd imo.

how do you like the ch1's? those are actually the ones i've been looking into. i've heard the ID's and usd but not the illusion.

its brad right?

-andre

squeak9798
08-17-2004, 09:47 PM
Yes, it's Brad :)

So far I love them. Tonality is awesome. Definitely needs some EQ'ing though (don't have one *yet*), a little on the harsh side right now. That mainly only kicks in during distortion guitar segments though, during smooth instrumental songs they sound phenominal. Can't compare them to anything though, I haven't heard any other horns :(

kappa546
08-18-2004, 02:03 AM
ha... just wait til u get those babies sounding right. amazing

zephyr
08-18-2004, 03:12 AM
for conventional speakers you spend more time in aiming or speaker placement and less time tuning tonal balance. Horns is the other way around. you spend less time in placement or aiming and more time tuning tonal balance IMO.

Although some horn bodies are big, they are mounted under the dash which won't eat your legroom like KP do. Dynamic is one other thing about horns. Most conventional tweeters are not able to deliver such dynamics as horns.

Depression
08-18-2004, 03:25 AM
I still am a little confused on wiring?, SO BASICALLY I AM REPLACING THE TWEETS WITH HORNS??? Or can I run all 3..Mids, Tweets and Horns off one Crossover.

I hesitate to go there..but what about running some small horns off the H/U or will that require alot of tuning that a H/U cannot supply.
Sounds to me like I should go for it? I am just confused on how I need to set it all up. or what I need to get. I do not want to cut up the bottom of my Dash for an Experiment.

This is news to me that Horns are mounted "knee" level" I thought it was right in your face type imaging

kappa546
08-18-2004, 04:23 AM
you dont even cut your dash up. they are mounted underneath it... there was a step by step tutorial on installing horns posted not too long ago but i just cant remember what it was or on what forum. maybe someone else can help.

also, i wouldnt really recommend you trying all three "off one crossover". not sure if u mean passive or not but you should definitely stick with mid/horn combo first. one of the cars i heard with horns (and sounded unbeleivable) did have a pair of tweets in the pillars (highly attenuated) to raise the stage a bit more. he turned everything but the tweets off for me so i could hear just what they were contributing, and let me tell you... they were hardly audible in comparison to everything else.

squeak9798
08-18-2004, 10:52 AM
I still am a little confused on wiring?, SO BASICALLY I AM REPLACING THE TWEETS WITH HORNS??? Or can I run all 3..Mids, Tweets and Horns off one Crossover.

I already covered this ;) Horns take the place of tweeters, and take most of the midrange duty away from the midbass speaker. With horns, you only need two sets of drivers, the horn and the midbass. That's it. Like kappa said, I'm not quite sure what you mean about running the horn, mid & tweet off of one crossover......but you don't need a tweeter, that's what the horn is for. Even if you did decide to use a tweeter, I wouldn't recommend running them off of the same passive crossover.

Now, some people do run tweeter with their horns (with the tweet crossed really high, like 6khz+), and some people do run a 3-way setup with horns (midbass from ~60-300hz, midrange from ~300-1000hz, horn ~1000hz and up), but these are not required. It will sound just fine with only the horn and a midbass (midbass ~60-1000hz, horn ~1000hz and up). [note: those crossover frequencies are generalizations only]


I hesitate to go there..but what about running some small horns off the H/U or will that require alot of tuning that a H/U cannot supply.
Sounds to me like I should go for it? I am just confused on how I need to set it all up. or what I need to get. I do not want to cut up the bottom of my Dash for an Experiment.

Not worth the installation and tuning effort if you are just going to run them off of you HU IMO. And like kappa said, no dash cutting is required. You may need to remove a non-visible panel from under your dash, but those just pop off or unscrew off. Nothing that is permanently altering. And when you mount the horns under your dash, you can usually just use existing factory bolts or screws....so you don't even need to drill anything in your car.

But, I think you are trying to make it harder than it is. You mount a horn under your dash, and the midbass in your door. That is it. It's really just that simple. Wire up either the passive or active crossover just like you would with any other set of speakers.


This is news to me that Horns are mounted "knee" level" I thought it was right in your face type imaging

The horns are basically aimed at your knees or around knee level. The image (if installed and setup properly) will be above your dash and wider than your a-pillars like it's supposed to be. That's what I was saying, the sound from the horn works in conjunction with the dash, which is why the horn is physically aimed at your knee yet you still get an image and soundstage high above your dash (where it is supposed to be). This is why you need to "couple" (as I explained earlier) the horn's mouth with your dash, to improve this effect.



Hope I didn't confuse you worse :)