What do Horns on speaker cabs do?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Dylan_White, Feb 18, 2010.


  1. Dylan_White

    Dylan_White

    Feb 16, 2010
    I see on many cabs that they have horns. But what do they actually do and why are they important?
     
  2. bongomania

    bongomania Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Typically they are meant to carry the treble content of your signal. They are important if (a) you want treble content, and (b) the other speakers in the box do not carry enough treble.
     
  3. They hiss.



    :p


    What Bongo said.
     
  4. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    they show their affiliation with satan :bassist:
     
  5. Dylan_White

    Dylan_White

    Feb 16, 2010
    so if i wanted to 2 make a 4x10 cab and the bass guitar i was using is a 5 string with the low B would it be necessary to have a horn because from what i have read they give a better acoustic quality to low and sounds is that true?
     
  6. A tweeter is not 'string specific'. Most drivers (like the 10's you are describing) only extend into the upper midrange or low treble. A tweeter will extend that response to the upper treble.

    Each note and each string has a full range of frequencies that it produces. So, for example, I enjoy being able to hear the grind and treble response of even the lowest notes on my 5 string bass (which I call 'hearing the windings on the B string).

    Interestingly, having a tweeter or mid driver often allows a cab to go LOWER, since you don't have to worry about the main drivers covering the entire range of frequencies. When you design a driver like a 10" speaker to extend way up high, there is a price to pay in that it won't then go 'way down low'.

    Tweeters are an 'emotional issue' with many. Tweeters are associated with a clean, modern tone, which some 'rockers' hate, and for those who like a well designed tweeter loaded cab, cabs without tweeters often sound dull and lifeless. No wrong or right answer.

    As an over-simplified example, listen to some of the stuff that Marcus Miller recorded. You can hear a 'sizzle and grind' even coming out of his lowest notes... that is what a tweeter will provide for you. Of course, Marcus's treble response is pretty extreme. Tweeters can also sound quite natural and smooth and transparent.

    Hope that helps.
     
  7. jnewmark

    jnewmark Just wanna play the groove. Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2006
    Stax 1966
    Third St. Cigar Records staff musician.
    +1. I would also add that there are differences in the sound quality ( tone if you will ), of the tweeters themselves. I have had some expensive ones that sound razor sharp and shrill, and cheap ones that sound wonderful with the right amount of squish. I love the tone of my tweeter in the Roland DB700. Always sounds just right when popping. I also have an expensive Selenium in another cab that makes my ears bleed. Again, this is all very subjective and imho. :)
     
  8. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    Tweeters don't hiss. Amps do, and a tweeter will reveal it. One sign of a very high quality amp is that it doesn't hiss. And vis-versa.
    They extend response higher than what woofers are capable of. But in the vast majority of cases they start working at least an octave higher than is required for a smooth transition from where the woofers work well to where the tweeters do. Midrange drivers work much better, but they also cost roughly twice as much, so they're rarely used.
     
  9. What a horn does? it extends the usable frequency range of a driver downward.
    That driver could be either a tweeter or a woofer.
    But 99% of horns on basscabs are on tweeters, not woofers.
     
  10. jmac

    jmac

    May 23, 2007
    Lancaster, Pa
    You must pick a side. Jimmy doesn't have a problem picking a side. :D

     
  11. jmac

    jmac

    May 23, 2007
    Lancaster, Pa
    The truth is not for the internet.
     
  12. Foz

    Foz

    Jul 26, 2008
    Jax FL USA
    Males cabs use their horns to engage each other in stylized head butting combat by which mating privileges are determined. Females cab use them to put on tight shoes and then engage each other in similar rituals but with the primary movements occurring at the other end of the animal.
     
  13. Is he not talking about a horn in the sense of "horn loaded", as in like a big scoop bass bin and all that kinda carry on? He mentioned giving a better quality to low end sounds, but he probably means that in the sense of giving clarity to a bass instrument rather then asking whether a horn loaded sub gives out better low end so in all likelihood he is talking about tweeters...
     
  14. He will need to clarify... that would be a completely different discussion:D
     
  15. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    The original question was "I see on many cabs that they have horns", which could only mean he's referring to horn loaded tweeters.
     
  16. That's how I interpreted it.
     
  17. bongomania

    bongomania Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    I think "Horn Loaded Tweeters" is a pretty good band name.
     
  18. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    ...if you're a geek ;)
     
  19. I concur, and I play computer games with people that I've never met in my life but talk to like I've known them for years... probably cos I have... on the internet. Overall I think I probably lose :p

    I interpreted his English as a bit rubbish when I posted that interpretation, obviously the only thing that wasn't up to scratch was my conciousness.
     
  20. bassvi

    bassvi

    Jul 12, 2005
    Iowa
    I like this answer.
     
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