PA speakers for hifi? Big woofers and horns

insider9

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2016
1,182
634
12,070
Ok, looking at some speakers. Just a bit of fun. 15" woofers and horns. They're PA speakers though. I know they'd work. But would they be any good for hifi?
 

Electro

Well-known member
Mar 30, 2011
43
3
18,545
If they are of the cheap variety and you want an alternative to ear syringing or perhaps a party then yes they are a very good alternative. *shok* *dance4*

I you have a very Large area area to fill and you want a very 'live ' sound then the better quality more expensive models are worth a try but they are no good for background listening or delicate music also most recorded music does not have the dynamic range to make them sound natural .

Horses for courses imo .
 

insider9

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2016
1,182
634
12,070
Yes, we're talking cheap. Very cheap. All goes well, no more than £50 for a pair. That's £1 per kg *biggrin*

I'm realistic and would not expect them to sound hifi. Just wondering if they could work at a short listening distance 6-8ft. General curiosity as always with me.
 

Andrewjvt

New member
Jun 18, 2014
99
1
0
insider9 said:
Ok, looking at some speakers. Just a bit of fun. 15" woofers and horns. They're PA speakers though. I know they'd work. But would they be any good for hifi?
Horns with 12 inch mid range and a separate 15 in bass bins angled at 45 degree
Also 2000w amp to power it with Yamaha mixer.
The sound was awesome and not as bad as you'll think
When connected to my cd player the sound was very good and no-one complained at all but only admired.
 

Andrewjvt

New member
Jun 18, 2014
99
1
0
insider9 said:
Andrewjvt said:
insider9 said:
Nice one, Andrew. Would they work from about 2m?
Or 50m
:)

Just wondering if I wouldn't hear separate drive units at such distance.
Test for yourself
All makes/models will be different
I'd go for a better second hand set and remove all the hifi cliché out of your brain as they are much better than you'd think
 

insider9

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2016
1,182
634
12,070
Ironically, I was surrounded by pro gear when doing gigs and recording in the late 90's. But at that point I didn't care about equipment much. It was all about music, writing lyrics, working on arrangement, jamming, rehearsals, etc. One of the reason I'm still not very keen on studio monitors, as they never sounded anywhere near to what was recorded.

I always look at hifi as a compromise.
 

lindsayt

New member
Apr 8, 2011
16
2
0
Electro said:
If they are of the cheap variety and you want an alternative to ear syringing or perhaps a party then yes they are a very good alternative. *shok* *dance4*

I you have a very Large area area to fill and you want a very 'live ' sound then the better quality more expensive models are worth a try but they are no good for background listening or delicate music also most recorded music does not have the dynamic range to make them sound natural .

Horses for courses imo .
There's cheap and cheap.

Cheap as in to buy now. Cheap as in cheap to manufacture. Some speakers are both. Some are either. Some are neither.

I paid £415 plus £80 in parts for my PA speakers with 15" bass drivers and horned midrange units and tweeters. Making them cheap for me to buy. They were not cheap to manufacture.

I would rather listen to my PA speakers any day in a small room at a 2 metre listening distance (with a £90 to buy now amplifier) than PMC PB1i's with AW180 amplification. Especially for delicate music - eg string quartets - where low level detail retrieval is important.

Pub type PA speakers may well sound rough and uncouth. Theatre, cinema and higher end church hall PA speakers - especially the classic USA ones EV, JBL, Altec, Bozak - don't.
 

insider9

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2016
1,182
634
12,070
I won the auction and waiting to arrange collection. They're nothing special but just want to see how they work in home environment and how they respond to DSP.

Most importantly they're £40! Not really a risk, is it?

They're pub type Yamaha S15e...
 

Electro

Well-known member
Mar 30, 2011
43
3
18,545
lindsayt said:
Electro said:
If they are of the cheap variety and you want an alternative to ear syringing or perhaps a party then yes they are a very good alternative. *shok* *dance4*

I you have a very Large area area to fill and you want a very 'live ' sound then the better quality more expensive models are worth a try but they are no good for background listening or delicate music also most recorded music does not have the dynamic range to make them sound natural .

Horses for courses imo .
There's cheap and cheap.

Cheap as in to buy now. Cheap as in cheap to manufacture. Some speakers are both. Some are either. Some are neither.

I paid £415 plus £80 in parts for my PA speakers with 15" bass drivers and horned midrange units and tweeters. Making them cheap for me to buy. They were not cheap to manufacture.

I would rather listen to my PA speakers any day in a small room at a 2 metre listening distance (with a £90 to buy now amplifier) than PMC PB1i's with AW180 amplification. Especially for delicate music - eg string quartets - where low level detail retrieval is important.

Pub type PA speakers may well sound rough and uncouth. Theatre, cinema and higher end church hall PA speakers - especially the classic USA ones EV, JBL, Altec, Bozak - don't.
I don't disagree with most of what you say, some of the old fairly large speakers would cost a small fortune to build today so they are not what I meant by 'cheap ' .

My ' slimline ' PB1i's are not your normal slimline speakers they do bass like a pair of 15 inchers with sub bass down to 24hz ( tested with FR sweep ) deep bass can sound like it is coming from outside ( like a 40' container being dropped on the floor outside ) and is felt as much as heard , the upper bass could be described as a little dry without that commonly found upper bass hump that is used by many speakers to give the impression of powerful bass.

The review below is worth a read as PB1's are compared to some very unusual very large speakers not normally found in an average home .

http://www.theaudiobeat.com/equipment/pmc_pb1i.htm
 

Electro

Well-known member
Mar 30, 2011
43
3
18,545
They definitely look better without grills, *good* .

BUT HOW DO THEY SOUND ? I am shouting just in case you can't hear me, have you temporarily damaged your ears ? *mosking*
 

insider9

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2016
1,182
634
12,070
I'm running them on the end of Hegel at the minute. They sound very dynamic. And they go very loud with little power. Bass is definitely not an issue and I'd even go as far as saying they don't have much of it. Great drums, lovely projected vocals and overal very enjoyable. They are setup narrow but I've got good distance to them so I'm happy about that. They do feel a little shouty at times so time for measuremnts and some DSP.

For anyone looking at budget gear, I don't see £40 better spent.
 

nopiano

Well-known member
Feb 15, 2009
1,211
822
20,070
I suppose this is one way to learn that efficiency and bass extension are trade offs, one with the other! Now you’ll be able to use a 3watt tube amp!
 

insider9

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2016
1,182
634
12,070
They're a very interesting pair of speakers. Mid forward and even thoug big woofers bass isn't neither big or great. It actually rolls of at 50Hz so I'm missing the first octave. I mean it's not like I could go down to 20Hz in my room but 30ish is very doable. Top is also rolled off. My ears took some beating but it was worth it :)

Mids are very forward as stock 2-3kHz in particular that give it aggressive voicing. Bass is lean in general which gives them a punchy sound. I generally like bite but with huge dynamics and easily going too loud I had to tame 2-3kHz region.

So far the best DSP I've got them to is more or less flat 50-3,000Hz and rolling off from there at 1dB per octave.
 

davedotco

New member
Apr 24, 2013
20
0
0
nopiano said:
I suppose this is one way to learn that efficiency and bass extension are trade offs, one with the other! Now you’ll be able to use a 3watt tube amp!
And of course, enclosure volume.

Consider a horn loaded 15 inch driver, for a cut off frequency in the range 50-60hz, the horn needs to be about 12-15 ft long with a diameter around 12 ft. Picture this, it is actually quite large.

For practical applications, the horn is usually folded and designed to make use of room boundaries, for real world applications look at the Tannoy GRF enclosures or the Klipschhorn, both designed for corner mounting. When mounted away from from a room corner we end up with the classic JBL 4320 or Vitavox Thunderbolt enclosures which are actually useable, check out the big Living Voice systems as examples of Thunderbolt systems in use.

These are still pretty big enclosures, typically 16-20 cubic ft, and remember, this is the bass enclosure only! Back in the '60s and '70s, JBL optimised its best 15 inch drivers for reflex loading, into 9 cubic foot enclosures, typically 3 ft tall, 2 ft wide and 1.5 ft deep, the basis for the 4320 and 4330 series studio monitors and the hi-fi equivilents, the various L200 and L300 models.

As far as I know, the L200/300 models were, until quite recently, one of the last 'bin and horn' models build for the hi-fi market by a major manufacturer, the revival of the Klipsch Heresey/Cornwall models in recent times being one of the few exceptions I can think of.

As far as the Yamaha system is concerned, it would benefit greatly from a larger bass enclosure but that will involve a lot of work, interesting project though.
 

insider9

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2016
1,182
634
12,070
I knew vintage Tannoys also benefit from larger boxes. Didn't realise Yamahas would too. Not far from me there's a guy who builds guitar and bass amp cabinets. It wouldn't be out of question to do something like this. Probably not with these as quality of drive units isn't great (not complaining just being realistic) but maybe something better could be sourced.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS

Latest posts