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Steve's Comments about the DNA Horn (Read 19563 times)
Steve Deckert
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Steve's Comments about the DNA Horn
07/10/11 at 18:20:37
 


http://www.decware.com/newsite/HORN.html


Welcome to the support board for the DNA Horn!  I'd like to make a few comments about this speaker.


The motivation for this design was about building a better mouse trap. I've wanted to do it for a very long time.

Worlds smallest full-range horn - this statement is sure to be discounted as pure BS and will no doubt be fuel for many d.i.y. forum "exeperts" who like to bash my integrity without ever hearing or owning my products.

It's not BS or marketing hype.  Let me hear a smaller single-driver horn cabinet with a response this wide and I'll happily retract the claim.  




Look, I'll be honest with you, there are similar size single-driver horns out there that just drive me nuts because I don't like them and an astonishingly large number of people do.  

My problem with them is that they're very bass shy so they sound lean.  If you stick them in the corners as is recommended, to get a bit more bass, you trade off imaging and sound stage.  

Even  in an ideal room where you flank a large opening with them so that you can have some sound stage depth, the bass is still rolled off (usually at 50Hz or higher) and highly colored by the corners.

What makes this speaker special is it BASS response.  It's real.  It's low.  You'll feel it, and it's clean.  It has the bass of a large full range speaker in a tiny package with the openness and speed of a horn.

The other thing that makes it special is the horn flare design and rear mouth.  The sound that comes from this is non-conjested and supports the main driver with wonderfully coherent ambience. Bottom line, they image like no one's business - and talk about focus... it's benchmark.


For better or worse I'm looking forward to hearing customer comments about these new horns, and I will be demoing them at this years Decware Zen Fest in October.  Since one or two pair of the similar looking horns seem to show up every year, I am particularity looking forward to watching people do comparisons.  I will not be demoing the self-amplified model so it should be a fair shootout.


DIY - I will be offering the plans to build these speakers sometime this winter.

All that said and out of the way, I have every confidence that everyone will agree the speakers perform well beyond their price.  I could have made less expensive cabinets for half the price, but that would have hurt the sound, so better to leave that for the DIY crowd.

Steve




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« Last Edit: 07/10/11 at 18:23:51 by Steve Deckert »  
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Re: Steve's Comments about the DNA Horn
Reply #1 - 07/10/11 at 19:22:57
 
Concerning the passive DNA's, are they available without the cutout on the lower front baffle?



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Re: Steve's Comments about the DNA Horn
Reply #2 - 07/11/11 at 03:01:50
 
Ski bum,

I'm not sure as to what Steve had decided on the opening on the front, but I could easily omit from the build. I do think that is what we decided to do anyway. I'll confirm that with Steve this week.


Steve's comment about the D.I.Y guys, there was one gentalman  from the UK that pulled quotes from Steve's web site and literally blow it all as snake oil salesmanship. I offered at my own expense to build one of his or any other set of small horns offered on the D.I.Y single driver web site. Take them to Decfest and let the attendees evaluate them. I got no response other than the gentleman from the UK. He  just responded that all that would prove is that they were different. I thought, wasn't that the idea????

I've never heard the final version with the driver Steve put in it, I've tried it with what I had on hand which was two different Fostex drivers and the 4" woofer from the Trapeziums. The later was absolutely awesome.

ZYGI
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Re: Steve's Comments about the DNA Horn
Reply #3 - 07/17/11 at 18:53:06
 
Hi Zygi,

I just ran the little TB driver through my computer.  A very nice & flexible choice.  I suspect that some of the comments by Decware (since pulled) upon introduction of the speaker upset some of the other products' faithful.  Sometimes you just can't win.  OTOH I think that you guys have come up with some interesting designs using a few drivers other designers have largely ignored, like the silver flute in your bookshelf model.  I was wondering if Decware has tried any of the "Heil clones" that are appearing on the market?  On the surface they seem promising.  But enough rambling by me.  I look forward to the Zenfest get together.

Steve
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Re: Steve's Comments about the DNA Horn
Reply #4 - 08/30/11 at 21:43:45
 
I was fortunate enough to have gotten to hear this speaker during my visit last week. It was the first speaker i listened to. I listened to the rest of them, and them came back to it, just to make sure i knew what i was hearing. I was blown away at their performance. i spent the most time listening to this particular pair of speakers. they do exactly as steve says they do. the bass is there and it is real. they image beautifully and produce room filling sound. even on the two watt SET, they produced full sound and were satisfyingly loud. I even told him, that i was amazed that a speaker that size could perform so well, holding its own against the much larger speakers that we auditioned that night. I will no doubt be building a pair of my own as soon as the plans are released. The greatest part about this little pair of speakers is the disappearing act they pull, close your eyes, and you cannot tell that you are hearing speakers. the sound is wide and deep. These are the real deal, and a seriously impressive piece of work from decware.
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Re: Steve's Comments about the DNA Horn
Reply #5 - 09/15/11 at 22:09:33
 
EleviniSeven, that sounds promising.  Thanks for the report.  Any idea when the plans will become available?
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Re: Steve's Comments about the DNA Horn
Reply #6 - 10/11/11 at 23:43:17
 
Ok guys, thos of you that attended the 'ZEN', what did you think of these horns?
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Re: Steve's Comments about the DNA Horn
Reply #7 - 10/14/11 at 09:30:42
 
4krow,

It's an interesting design. A nice wide frequency range from about 30 hz on up.  Being a single driver, image and dispersion are quite good. The negatives are limited volume, and a bit of dynamic compression.  This won't bother anyone who listens at low to moderate levels.  Bob's woodwork is first rate as usual. It really isn't a true horn but a reflex with a tapered vent. I liked it.

steve
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Re: Steve's Comments about the DNA Horn
Reply #8 - 10/14/11 at 17:38:14
 
Thank you so much for the info. I have such curiosity about some of these new designs.
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Steve Deckert
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Re: Steve's Comments about the DNA Horn
Reply #9 - 11/13/11 at 03:50:46
 
Here is a 1956 Jensen Imperial folded horn.



This is a true horn folded horn. It has a compression chamber, a vent (slot aka port) and a horn flare. The rear wave of the driver is delayed to be in phase with the front of the driver and has the ability to pass wavefronts to 600 Hz through the horn flare.

Inspired by this, and after having built over a dozen of them for various projects, I designed my own TRUE corner horn based on a very similar design.  

Please see the following white paper:  http://www.decware.com/DCHorn_whites.pdf

The DNA horn is a miniature version of the same design with respect to the compression chamber math and horn flare.  




As you can see, it has a similar compression chamber, a similar slot/aka port, and horn flare. Notice how the horn exponentially expands in a linear fashion.  This is very similar to the Imperial Folded  horn above it.

The only "true" horn (assuming true means "pure") is a megaphone. The front of the driver is loaded by an expanding horn flare that is either conical, traxtrix or exponential. The Imperial, the DNA horn and most others are "rear loaded folded horns" which would logically indicate that there are more than one way to horn load a driver.






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« Last Edit: 01/14/12 at 17:23:55 by Steve Deckert »  
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Re: Steve's Comments about the DNA Horn
Reply #10 - 11/13/11 at 22:23:53
 
Lon, you are right.
I have heard the DNA horns and found them to be quite nice. I didn't get the opportunity to play "my" music on them so I will reserve judgment. But they sounded pretty good on the music I heard at Zen Fest a month ago.
Sorry I dont have the reviewer's vocabulary down, I'll just say that they were pretty damn good sounding.
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Re: Steve's Comments about the DNA Horn
Reply #11 - 11/13/11 at 23:53:52
 
Thanks for relating your impressions Donnie. I'm glad you got to hear them! I wonder how many have shipped, and whether any with amps have shipped.
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Re: Steve's Comments about the DNA Horn
Reply #12 - 11/25/11 at 02:58:27
 
Yes, I'd love to hear a pair too.
The build quality looks first rate!
don
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Re: Steve's Comments about the DNA Horn
Reply #13 - 11/25/11 at 14:19:39
 
Sure does.

I posted this photo on the Steve Hoffman forum. A comment was made "This speaker has genitalia." Smiley
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Re: Steve's Comments about the DNA Horn
Reply #14 - 11/27/11 at 13:14:16
 
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Re: Steve's Comments about the DNA Horn
Reply #15 - 12/01/11 at 18:33:59
 
Don't know if I am being silly but I have an 8" driver that I might like to build a horn like this for. Something tells me that I can't just adjust the width of the design and then everything will turn out just fine. If that is not the case, am I opening a can of worms here?  The driver is an Audio Nirvana full range range driver.
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stevef
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Re: Steve's Comments about the DNA Horn
Reply #16 - 12/06/11 at 03:56:26
 
I don't want to discourage you, but a horn requires some very specific design aspects to integrate well with a suitable driver.  You have some homework to do.  I am not familiar with your brand.  If the company caters to DIY, they may have published plans.  Good luck.

steve
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« Last Edit: 12/06/11 at 03:57:43 by stevef »  
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Re: Steve's Comments about the DNA Horn
Reply #17 - 12/06/11 at 04:14:54
 
Actually Steve,   You couldn't be more right. Plus the fact, not just any driver can be used in a horn design. There are a number of horn sites that might be of some help. But one step at a time, cuz I'm right in the middle of another project anyways...
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Re: Steve's Comments about the DNA Horn
Reply #18 - 12/06/11 at 17:14:35
 
4krow, I recently helped a friend design a horn sub for his home theater. It has a frequency range of 16-90 HZ and an efficiency of about 102 DB.  Seems perfect for a sub doesn't it?  

The box is just shy of eight feet tall and it's three feet deep, and uses two twelve in push-pull pro woofers designed for horns in a front loaded configuration. I have no idea how much it will weigh if built. With a couple hundred Watts of power, it will be able to play louder and cleaner than six to eight conventional boxes running several thousand Watts. The only other speaker I know of, with similar size and range, were the Cerwin-Vega monsters of the "Earthquake" movie. They actually damaged some theaters when used for effects. Older guys will remember them.

The moral of this story is remember to set reasonable design goals, choose drivers carefully. and make sure it can integrate into a living space. Please let us know what you design.

steve
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« Last Edit: 12/06/11 at 17:16:30 by stevef »  
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Re: Steve's Comments about the DNA Horn
Reply #19 - 12/07/11 at 14:08:00
 
Steve, I actually heard those Cerwin Vega speakers you mentioned. They played at a theater showing the movie 'Rollercoaster'. That was over 30 yrs ago.  It was too much energy for the theater to handle, 'cuz there was all kind of rattles/buzzes etc.  Of course, I don't want anything like that for my system. In fact 30hz would be the target for the low end. These may be used with the Zob design only for slight augmentation.
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stevef
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Re: Steve's Comments about the DNA Horn
Reply #20 - 12/08/11 at 01:40:28
 
4krow, why not just build a pair of box subs?  They will be much easier to place in the listening room. The ZOB speakers won't have to be relocated in order to accommodate the subs. (The only time I've listened to the ZOB's, was when they were first introduced at a Zen Fest about 2-3 years ago. Unfortunately, one of the speaker wires was crossed, but labeled as if it weren't. Nothing sounded good that day.) I don't know how low they will play. In any case, sound below 80 hz is rather omnidirectional.  Whatever you decide, I strongly recommend multi-subs to smooth out room response. You probably can run your speakers full range, and use the subs to  reinforce and fill in the sound you already have. Please keep us informed.

steve
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Re: Steve's Comments about the DNA Horn
Reply #21 - 12/15/11 at 19:50:16
 
Steve,
 There is a paper you might like to read at Common Sense audio. It is in the forum section and has some good insight on the whole subwoofer thing. I really enjoyed it, and it made me think about what exactly I want from a sub. I do notice that on some albums a sub is mandatory to get the best experience from the music. Once I decide on the type of bass appropriate for my room/system, it will be time to build. I have considered the WO32 because of it's implied quickness. I also want to experiment with a 3rd(center) channel.
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Re: Steve's Comments about the DNA Horn
Reply #22 - 12/16/11 at 23:37:28
 
4krow,

Recommended reading, Floyd Toole http://theaudiocritic.com/back_issues/The_Audio_Critic_28_r.pdf and check out Seigfried Linkwitz at http://www.linkwitzlab.com/  I don't think there are any other audio practitioners who are in their league when it comes to loudspeakers.  Some of the information may be difficult at first reading, but there is a wealth of information not commonly available .

steve
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Re: Steve's Comments about the DNA Horn
Reply #23 - 12/17/11 at 03:09:49
 
Steve, I love the Audio Critic. Wish I knew about it years before I did. As it was, I became so fed up with the regular press. They look more like sales brochures, and defend themselves as lawyers to those who question their ways.
 I just like quick ,to the point, opinion that is backed by experience and fact(not always will the two go hand in hand). It took so long to find a speaker design that I truly love. It would seem like less of struggle to find a sub to marry with them. It had better be a very quick and musical kind.
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Re: Steve's Comments about the DNA Horn
Reply #24 - 12/17/11 at 19:12:38
 
4krow,
By fast bass, I assume you meas a woofer that works with little or no overshoot. That tends to be a problem, as woofers that play low tend to be muddy due to higher cone mass.
Steve
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Re: Steve's Comments about the DNA Horn
Reply #25 - 12/17/11 at 22:43:18
 
Yes,  and that would be the reason that a bass horn design is one of my choices. Actually, to be more correct, not an actual bass horn, but a design that loads the cone of the woofer(allowing better cone control) and does have some kind of a throat flare. I am not going for the very last half of the lowest octave, just some enhancement when needed.
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Re: Steve's Comments about the DNA Horn
Reply #26 - 12/18/11 at 03:16:08
 
It's going to be a bit of work. You can reduce cabinet size requirements by choosing a 30 HZ roll off as opposed to say 20 HZ.  More woofers are available too.
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Re: Steve's Comments about the DNA Horn
Reply #27 - 01/04/12 at 17:44:23
 
@ 4krow.  Build a Ripole sub. Do a Google search, they are an easy project and are an inexpensive one too.
I am leaving this forum so I wish you well with your project. No further comments from me.

steve
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Re: Steve's Comments about the DNA Horn
Reply #28 - 01/04/12 at 20:03:52
 
Best of luck Steve!
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Re: Steve's Comments about the DNA Horn
Reply #29 - 01/04/12 at 21:31:19
 
Steve, I will also be leaving this forum, but will check in occasionally. Thank you for your input, and yes, I will look up the bipole sub you mentioned. I am always interested in new ideas.
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Re: Steve's Comments about the DNA Horn
Reply #30 - 01/04/12 at 22:02:15
 
Wish you two wouldn't leave, but best of luck.
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Re: Steve's Comments about the DNA Horn
Reply #31 - 01/04/12 at 22:03:16
 
OT, but I guess I've never understood someone posting that one's "leaving a forum"-- me, I'd just do it, minus the drama.
Best
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Re: Steve's Comments about the DNA Horn
Reply #32 - 01/04/12 at 22:06:15
 
I didn't see any drama in either of those two posts. Smiley
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Re: Steve's Comments about the DNA Horn
Reply #33 - 01/05/12 at 01:23:03
 
Hmmm.
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Re: Steve's Comments about the DNA Horn
Reply #34 - 01/26/12 at 20:28:51
 
No other comments about these speakers from auditions at Decfest?
And I guess Steve changed his mind about releasing the plans for DIY???
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