Horns n tweeters OH MY!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Selta, May 1, 2003.

  1. Selta


    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses

    Ok, well, I've never used either, and never really plan on it (just, don't like the sound of a cab with one, n both my cabs, PV 4x12 n Sunn 2x15 don't have them), but my question is, what's the difference between a tweeter and a horn? I've never really gotten up close to a cab to look either, n for some reason it's peaking my interest right now. Also, another question is, why use them?...haha, I just realized how newbie of questions these are :p

    Bad_Habit_Bassist :hyper:
  2. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    Comparing "tweeter" and "horn" is a bit like apples and oranges. A tweeter is a high frequency driver, and it can be of various different designs, a "horn tweeter" is one of them. See http://www.electronixwarehouse.com/education/speakers/whatstweet.htm. "Horn" is more a descriptoin of how the speaker is constructed, with a trumpet like shape.

    In a speaker context a horn often means a mid-range driver though.

    In your case I think "horn" and "tweeter" maybe are equivalent and means high-frequency driver in both cases.
  3. There are many different types of tweaters. Soft dome, small cone, pieazo(sp), horn etc. etc. They all handle the highest part of the audio spectrum. Horn types can cover a pretty large area depending on the size of the horn itself. I once had a PV PA cab that crossed over at 500 Hz. The horn was huge, it covered the range from 500 to 16,000 hz. and is still one of the smoothest PA speakers PV has ever made. (Some may comment "that isn't saying much") Anyhu, horn tweaters are also usually the most efficient needing less power to make more sound. Soft dome and small cone tweaters are, however, usually more musical and less directional than horn types and are used in studio monitors and home stereo stereo speakers. Accugroove is now using softdome tweaters instead of horn type in their bass cabinets. They claim to be more musical, less harsh, and less directional. I've not had the chance to play one so I really can't comment on their sound. Many folks on this forum rave about them. I personally love the sound of a good horn tweater in a bass cab. I think it add a lot of sparkle and richness to the sound..... :bassist:
  4. BruceWane


    Oct 31, 2002
    Houston, TX
    As was said, "horn" only refers to the design of the speaker's cabinet - "horn" classifies the design just as vented, sealed, transmission line, etc. In fact, the horn design is the most efficient of the bunch, hands down. And you most certainly can have a bass horn - they just have to be extremely large (and heavy) to be functional at low frequencies, so they're somewhat impractical for a speaker cabinet that is going to be moved often. Unless you're a sound company with big trucks and lots of stage hands.

    Why do bass cabinet manufacturers use horn tweeters?....................I think it's mostly because it's the cheapest way to add some sizzle. Sure, they're more efficient, but consider that most cabs with tweeters have an attenuator for the tweeter as well, and I've never heard of anyone who runs that thing wide open - they're just too harsh. And I think it's also a matter of "follow the leader". They do it, and so do they, and so do they, so we do it. A good soft dome tweeter is less efficient, but you can use two of them (as does Accugroove) to overcome this. It's not like they're terribly heavy or take up much cabinet space. And you will NEVER find any argument amongst audiophiles as to which sounds better - the soft dome is it.

    The reason cabinet manufacturers use horn tweeters is cost.
  5. Does Avatar make good tweet/hornies?

    haha...I said tweet hornies...

  6. Turock

    Turock Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2000
    I don't know of Avatar making horns. They use Foster horns. Foster horns are used by several amp manufacturers. IIRC, SWR uses Fosters.