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New horn speaker

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by bben, Feb 10, 2004.


  1. bben

    bben

    Feb 28, 2002
    Santa Fe, NM
    A gentleman named Bill Fitzmaurice has been evolving a new approach to horn speakers, for sound reinforcement and for backline use. He has documented their development in audioXpress magazine over the past several years. They are not yet commercially available, but may soon be marketed under a "Delta" brand.

    I recently bought two of his prototypes, one with a Carvin 10" in it and one slightly larger with a EV-12L. These are nice cabs. They are very sensitive, as you would expect with horns, at about 103dB from 125Hz on up. The response curve falls off pretty fast below 125Hz, but with some EQ they sound good with a 5 string anyway.

    They are also relatively small and light. The 10" DR-10a is basically a cube about 21" square, weighs under 45 lbs and fits in the back seat of my Honda Civic. The 12" DR-12a is about 24" square, and won't fit in the Civic, but still only weighs about 60 lbs.

    I used the DR-10a on a mid-sized-club gig last weekend, sitting it on top of an Epifani T-112. This was a great sounding rig, since the Epifani filled in the bottom octave or two nicely. I am sure that I could have used the DR-10a alone and it would have been loud enough, but I was after a big-round-yet-clear sound rather than a particularly loud sound, if you know what I mean, and was very happy. I can't figure what I'll use the DR-12a for, except maybe outdoors.

    Bill has also developed a horn subwoofer, another 24" cube, that will soon be published, and that I await eagerly.

    There is no information that I know of on the web regarding Bill's speakers, since the information is all in audioXpress and copyrighted there. Back issues of audioXpress are available on CDROM at reasonable cost. See www.audioxpress.com

    If you are a do-it-yourself speaker builder, the articles are very complete, although building a horn is a little more complicated than a simple box. The speakers are very light for the amount of sound they put out. Bill also has an updated version of the DR-10a, called the DR250, that uses a neo woofer and weighs a few pounds less.
     
  2. Yeah, I get AudioXpress magazine too, and have read and re-read those articles. I had some questions after the first article or two and email AX with them and they forwarded them to Bill for him to answer. In about a week I had answers and we traded a few emails.

    While most horn designers stick to the theory that the mouth size determines the low frequency cutoff, He seems to think it's more the length of the horn and the throat-to-mouth ratio are the real factors. And he also feels that the high frequency cutoff of the horn is determined by how smooth the horn is - no sharp corners for the sound to go around. Hence the round corners in all his designs.

    I considered building the DR10a and also the DR250, but I'm just not convinced that the low end will be there, especially for a 5 string.

    One of the speakers I was most intrigued by was a horn designed around a 5" driver, which he uses for a near field monitor on a mic stand for vocals. He claims a 112 dB sensitivity compared to a floor monitor, due to the closer proximity, and thy're so efficient you can get by witha much smaller power amp.

    So rock on Bill Fitzmaurice, and figure out a way to get 30 hz out of a speaker the size of a 1x10!

    Oh the other thiing that bothers me is his argument for efficiency of horns and lower power requirements. The thing is that power is so cheap these days that it really doesn't matter how effiecient your speaker is.
     
  3. Subculture13

    Subculture13 Jamming Econo

    Apr 9, 2003
    Toronto, Ont. Canada
    Spam Spam Spam Spam Spam Spam Spam Spam Spam Spam Spam Spam Spam Spam Spam Spam Spam Spam Spam Spam Spam Spam Spam Spam Spam Spam Spam Spam Spam Spam Spam Spam Spam Spam Spam Spam Spam Spam Spam Spam Spam Spam Spam Spam Spam Spam Spam Spam Spam Spam Spam Spam Spam Spam Spam Spam Spam Spam Spam Spam

    Why don't you just hang a giant for sale sign up while you are at it?

    Wait... Here is one for you....

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Ya know renfield, I posted because I am interested in alternatives to the mainstream, like Phil Jones with his itty bitty speakers, and this just happens to be something I think the bass community should know about, even if they're not going to buy them. I have no monetary interest in it, just technical, and I gave my opinion. Maybe go bash somebody who is really trying to abuse the board here. :spit:
     
  5. jdombrow

    jdombrow Supporting Member

    Jan 16, 2002
    Colorado Springs, CO
    renfield808:

    Bill Fitzmaurice does not sell anything, and he does not participate in these forums. His articles are published in AudioXpress magazine for free. What's the difference between writing about his cabinets or writing about Ampeg cabinets?

    JD
     
  6. Subculture13

    Subculture13 Jamming Econo

    Apr 9, 2003
    Toronto, Ont. Canada
    Actually, I was mainly poking fun at the guy who posted this in the first place, you just got your interesting words in above mine so it looked like I was attacking you, which I wasn't.

    I haven't seen the designs themselves, having not bought the reasonably priced back issues from www.audioxpress.whatever, but just based on what you guys are talking about I am thinking that it is going to be a variation, if not direct rip off of the already patented Unity horn design of Servodrive/Sound Physics Labs.
    Sound Physics Lab

    If I am correct in my assumption (and again, having not seen the design directly, it is only a guess) I would be very cautious investing any time or money into these. Tom Danley is a well respected loudspeaker designer, and has one of the few patents in the audio industry that is rock solid enough to actually hold up in court. He also invested alot of time and money into it, so I doubt he would just stand by and let other people profit from his genius and hard work.

    As for Phil Jones and other alternative designs.... I have their catalog from NAMM sitting beside me on my desk, it is very interesting. I would love to hear one of the boxes, to see if it really holds up to the claims it makes. I think there is more theory in those than actual numbers, but it is still cool nonetheless.
     
  7. Ren, pardon my spitting smiley, my bad.

    I just took a quick peek at Sound Physics, and the products seem very different to me. Just a quick description, in the Fitzmaurice designsthere is one speaker mounted in an enclosed, vented chamber firing toward the back. The throat is coupled to a quick flaring horn, which is in turn loaded with a second stage double horn folded around the chamber. He uses PVC pipes and bent plywood in the place of flat sides to even out the response and get away from reflections in the path of the horn that cut off higher frequencies. Most of his designs employ piezo horns for high frequency coverage.

    Now most of that description is probably meaningless without a picture which I don't have, but suffice to say they are significantly different than the SP products on their web site.

    BT
     
  8. Subculture13

    Subculture13 Jamming Econo

    Apr 9, 2003
    Toronto, Ont. Canada
    Kind of hard to visualize that, for sure, but it sure does sound different to me.

    The main principle behind the SPL design is that of multiple drivers mounted on the same horn, obviously very different from this. A good thing too I would say. There was a company by the name of Lamba Acoustics that was using the Unity horn for some time, in home (Hi-Fi) applications, and they seem to not be using it anymore, but on their site make references to Tom Danley and HIS Unity nowadays. (I found an old ad in a trade magazine from a few years ago where they tried taking more credit for it themselves. Patents are good for some things it seems.
     
  9. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    Chicago
    I've seen the folded horn enclosure for an EVM 12L, the Snail. That and a bunch of other designs are published in a book called Loudspeakers for Musicians. The article for the Snail is accompanied by a photo of it, topped by a Hartke head with some pretty extreme settings on the graphic eq. Extreme EQ settings scare me...

    Here's a link for the book...

    http://www.audioxpress.com/bksprods/books/bkaa50.htm
     
  10. bben

    bben

    Feb 28, 2002
    Santa Fe, NM
    The DR speakers are the next evolution of the Snail series.

    Renfield, what's your problem? I like interesting speakers, and thought some folks might like to know about these. The only way you can get one at the moment is to build one yourself, since I bought Bill's prototypes at fire sale prices. I took one of them out to a club, and it worked fine.

    Bill Fitzmaurice is an interesting guy, and has good ideas. So is Nick Epifani, and I use his speakers, too, as do lots of folks. So is Jim Bergantino, and I use his speakers, too, as do lots of folks. I like to talk about 'em on the forum, and haven't had any problems before. How is any of this "spam"?

    The DR horns work fine with a 5 string, they just don't shake the floor like the Epifani T-112s do. They sound more like the Bergantino HT-112, the low notes are there, just not earth-shattering. And the horns project nicely into the room, too.

    I agree that the need for horns is somewhat moot with current amps, but there are two advantages I have seen so far. First, they are very light weight for the amount of sound they put out, in line with current trends in making cabs lighter. Second, they put out a coherent sound like other one-speaker cabs do. The DR-12a is about the size of a 4x10 and puts out about as much sound, but unlike a 410 the sound doesn't suffer from phasiness depending on where you stand on the stage or in the room.
     
  11. Petebass

    Petebass

    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    Very interesting. It seems that speaker designs of the past are comming back for some modern day re-development. Sealed speakers are becoming popular again, and now horns. Than's for the info.
     
  12. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    Chicago
    bben...I can't respond for renfield808, but your initial post is so well written, using complete sentences, etc., that it almost looks too polished for an innocently informative post (without commercial interest).

    I've wanted to build a Snail but I'd have to buy a table saw first...which would be fun, but I have no place to store it...
     
  13. Petebass

    Petebass

    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    You would have if you sold some of those cabs ..........

    Billy I apologise for sounding like your wife :)
     
  14. bben, let's just move on from the spam thing - I think Renfield knows he overreacted a bit.

    Fitzmaurice's next project he will write about for AX is called the "Tuba" - It's a subwoofer. Should be interesting especially to see how big it is. Yoda says "size matters not" but I think in speakers it really does.
     
  15. bben

    bben

    Feb 28, 2002
    Santa Fe, NM
    I'm looking forward to the Tuba article, too. I want to know what's inside. From the outside it apparently looks like a solid 24" cube except one half of one side, 12" x 24", is the horn mouth. The only thing I inferred from our conversation is that he starts with a fairly small throat area. He also had an 18" x 18" smaller version that I saw, that had an 8" woofer in it, targeted toward home theater. The Tuba was out in his garage, and he said it looked just like the smaller one I saw except bigger, and it was below zero so I didn't insist and we didn't go out and look at it.

    I have pictures of the DR-10a and DR-12a that I will try and post here, once all the site updates settle down.
     
  16. Subculture13

    Subculture13 Jamming Econo

    Apr 9, 2003
    Toronto, Ont. Canada
    That was my first impression completely, no ill will was meant. I didn't mean it quite as seriously as it was taken. I saw the animated gif somewhere (speaker for sale) and always wanted to use it sometime. Just seemed the perfect place. If you read things I said after, you would see a comment that I was just poking fun.
     
  17. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    Chicago
    Petebass...I was going to write that too (about making space for storing a table saw) but I dare not put such things in writing. My wife has been known to "stumble" ;)on a post or two that I've put up here...
     
  18. Petebass

    Petebass

    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    Oops! Sorry Bill I had no idea I was cutting it a bit close to the bone.

    I was only joking Mrs Billy B. Please don't hurt me.

    :bag:
     
  19. bben

    bben

    Feb 28, 2002
    Santa Fe, NM
    Here's the DR-12a
     
  20. bben

    bben

    Feb 28, 2002
    Santa Fe, NM
    And here's the DR-10a sitting on an Epifani T-112