The "ALL Fun" Horn

The article outlines and details the design and construction of a back-loaded single driver horn using a new driver from Lowther, the DX3. The article's approach is of a practical nature, with emphasis on all practical steps of the design process, enabling readers to fully understand the underlying principles of this particular speaker, as well as completing a horn loudspeaker design of their own. The article has previously been published in SpeakerBuilder (now AudioXpress) magazine.

Follow these links, if you so please (Some of the graphic files (GIFs) may display a little quirky. Try saving them, and opening them again by double-clicking their names):

Single driver back-loaded horns, background, goals

The driver, general design, Throat area, lower cut-off frequency, Curvature (Horn contour)

Size reduction and compromise, The Cabinet, building


Listening impressions/experiences, Conclusion

Reference list

Plans and pictures

Listening impressions/experiences

I have now had these speakers in my living room for a year or so, and have fed them all kinds of musical genres and recordings. And, just for the record, if I thought that these speakers had turned out bad, this article would not have been written. So I'll leave all pretence of being objective and unbiased, and try to give an honest impression of what I'm hearing.

The good things:

The not-so-good things:


The goal of this design was to construct a horn loudspeaker with the aid of established rules of thumb, that was compact in size, had good bass reproduction down to 40Hz, and was easy to build.

The end result turned out very good, and it seems clear that all the employed rules of thumb are valid. Apart from the mentioned "dead" spot in the listening room, no surprising drawbacks were discovered.

Measurements correspond very well with expected results, and are also coherent with the listening impressions.

References/recommended reading:

  1. AESJ preprint #1250, "Low-frequency horn design using T/S driver parameters" by D.B. Keele Jr, and AESJ preprint #1251, "Suitability of low-frequency drivers for horn-loaded loudspeaker systems" by Richard H. Small

  2. Strutt, J. W., Lord Rayleigh, "Theory of sound" Pt. 2, Macmillian, 1878

  3. Bruce Edgar: "The Monolith Horn", Speaker Builder 06/93

  4. AESJ preprint #1679, "Anechoic Chamber with Optional Boundaries" by P. Klipsch

  5. Beranek, 'Acoustics', 1954, chapter 9, page 272.

Plans and pictures:

Figure 6 - Internal boards lengths and angles

Figure 7 - Panel positions and outer measures

Figure 8 - Outer panel layout and dimensions

Figure 9 - Divider panels shapes and dimensions

Large picture of finished speaker cabinet (94K)

Building - Side view before fitting side panel (95K)

Building - Close-up of first bend, from back of cabinet (80K)