In this blog post I wanted to provide an update on some exciting projects that are in the pipeline.
Nighthawk V2 Build (second pair)
We are nearing completion on a second pair of V2 Nighthawks. These will be going to a customer in British Columbia. The wood is looking just fantastic on the bass towers.
We are also CNC machining the Nighthawk horns which underwent a minor revision. The horn side petals are now one solid piece instead of two. As you can see it takes up quite a bit of space on my CNC.
The latest design takes on a more elegant look with bolting features to the adjacent petals.
The horn is now comprised on four pieces total...a top and bottom petal, and side petals. The previous build involved making the horn from eight petals. The new design eliminates the vertical seam running down the middle of the horn.
System 2807 Currently in Inventory
With each system we build I make small improvements to various parts of the design. The current system uses the latest ES-290 Biradial Horn No.2386 (formerly No.1670) which includes a number of significant improvements. The product page has been updated with the latest changes HERE. Basically the horn gets the same updates as the latest ES-450, which includes the rubber ball mount system, longer rear extension, and custom decals.
New deeper horn throat for better loading (see below).
Additionally the ES290's flare geometry has been slightly changed to deepen the throat. This change allows for stronger output in the 300Hz-600Hz region. This helps reinforce male vocal authority when using large format drivers such as the RCF ND950 and B&C DCM50.
The current system in inventory uses the B&C DCM50 chosen for it's warm sound character. It plays freely to 10kHz with no low pass filter. The super tweeter is the T900A with my custom 2258 horn lens. This lens removes a slight "hashy" sound character. What's left is just a pure sound you'd come to expect from alnico magnet based drivers.
The 1798 bass cabinet is the first time we've grain matched the front horn petals for a beautiful flowing appearance.
We haven't finalized the passive crossover for this system since I am not sure if the final customer will want either the current installed woofer or one with higher sensitivity. The current driver is the Acoustic Elegance featured here. This woofer offers great bass extension to 20Hz however sensitivity is relatively low at 90dB. The system is ran open back (rear cover removed) for dipole radiation. The cabinets include the rear covers which allows for bass reflex operation as well. (the cabinets have slot ports for this configuration).
The customer may want to switch to another woofer such as the Beyma 15LX60V2 which will provide 98dB sensitivity (anechoic) which is around 105dB (in-room). This limits bass extension to 30Hz.
Large Scale Horn Speaker System Build No.2118
Another fun and exciting project is system No.2118 for a customer in California.
The centerpiece of this system is the large 100Hz biradial using a 125mm throat and custom compression driver based on a highly regarded 10" midrange.
Compression driver code named No.2118-10 is almost ready for testing.
This driver came about after listening tests on the 1723 horn featured here.
Here is an excerpt from that blog...
"What I noticed was an extreme level of ease to the sound, effortless, and palpably dynamic. I did detect some mild coloration in the 2kHz - 5kHz region, but this is outside the operating range of the horn, as you would typically pass this onto another horn. "
The phase plug will clean up the sound quality in the 1kHz, further increase sensitivity, and lower distortion across the bandwidth.
We will be at the sanding stage for the 2118 horn mid March. Once assembled I will get some test data.
Below is a photo of my brother helping me with some subjective listening on the Yuichi A290 as well as a variety of super tweeters. We also setup the system as fully active using the Hypex FA123 connected directly to the Bluesound Node via digital coax.
System No.2095 Successfully Delivered
The customer took delivery of this system over the holidays. I was never able to get good photos of the system as the customer took the speakers right from my shop. So this is all I have for a photo.
The 2095 cabinets looked beautiful in the Birdseye maple veneer. The test results for the bass cabinet can be found here.
I was really happy with how the solid birch ES-450 Biradial horns came out which were sprayed with satin varnish.
I designed and built an outboard crossover for the 2095 project.
A new product page with pricing is up on my site which can be found here. This is available as a build only. I am not offering the DIY plans since this will likely be licensed to another speaker company.
Super Tweeter No.2258
2258 uses the Fostex T900A which went out with Project No.2095. I've since purchased a pair of Fostex T90A in an attempt to do the same type of horn lens. It just so happens that the T90A shares the same diaphragm as the T900A, so there should be minimal changes to the 2258 lens. The T90A retails for $249 USD each while the T900A is $604 USD each. So the savings might be very welcome to most customers.
There are a number of drivers in the queue for testing.
A customer was kind enough to send me a single TAD TD-4003 compression driver new in the box. The box was still factory sealed when I opened it!
I am making a custom pair of ES-450 Biradial Horns for this driver which uses a very unusual 1.50" throat. I also plan to test this on the Yuichi A290 and so I've made a special adapter based on the smooth transition adapter No.2322. I will also test on the ES-290 using a custom 3D printed adapter. This will occur mid February '24.
Fostex T500 Mkiii
I have purchased a pair of T500 Mkiii tweeters as well for testing. These are the flagship tweeters from Fostex which cost $1,262 USD each. I will look at adding my 2258 style horn lens to further improve the sound quality.
Speaker No.1815 Build Commission
I received an order for a turn-key build on the 1815 speaker. I am currently building an extra pair for inventory. If you need a quote please contact me.
We have the horns finished for this project and they look stunning. The cabinets will also be finished in real walnut veneer. I decided to add a nice 3/8" radius to the cabinets as well which I think will look great.
We have a couple of extra pairs of these horns in stock as well, both in walnut and oak.
Bass Horn No.2420
The image below has been intentionally blurred since I'm currently not sharing the design in detail. The horn path spirals to a total length of 4.5 meters! This is critical for achieving bass extension to 30Hz. The double stack gets the horn mouth area up to where it needs to be for a smooth frequency response. The double stack provides mutual coupling...greater than the sum of the two cabinets. The modularity allows for scale-up in case someone is so inclined.
The bass horn requires double stacking to achieve the required bass performance. I figured this was more desirable for physically handling the cabinet. The empty cabinet weighs only 66lbs empty and 94lbs with the 15" subwoofer.
Sensitivity will be 105dB anechoic at 2.83V with the cabinets wired in parallel for a 4ohm. load. Wired in series the sensitivity is 99dB.
For in-room with a rear wall (1pii), sensitivity becomes 113dB for parallel and 106dB for series wiring respectively.
Corner placement (0.50pii) will bump the overall sensitivity up 3dB.
We will be building a pair of these cabinets this coming week for testing purposes. Construction of the prototype uses 45 degree wall for a relatively smooth horn path.
The bass driver is sealed inside the horn and is technically a front horn design. The horn path geometry was designed using my ES horn flare equation within solidworks along with help from Hornresp.
Once I prove out the design with actual testing I will make available a smooth version using the kerf method to bend the plywood. Although this would be purely aesthetic. Personally I like the appearance of the straight edge version.
Horn Lens No.2332
I've introduced a new horn lens which is a 20cm wide x 12.5cm tall horn for a 1" compression driver such as the Celestion CDX1-1425 which can face mount to the back of the horn. Click HERE for more information.
Included with the 3D CAD files are two versions of thickness...38mm and 48mm depending on the type of loading required.
Shown below is the 48mm thick version of the lens which sticks out 10mm further from the baffle.
The idea is the provide a basic horn that can easily be machined in one setup or 3D printed with no in-fill. The assumption is the the horn would be glued to the front baffle. The plans include a dimensional drawing for the front baffle.
I chose the SB17 (6.5") series of woofer for the cabinet. This woofer frame size is available in a variety of models from SB Acoustics in either paper, aluminum, or textreme.
This is not a complete plan set but gets the DIY enthusiast well under way towards a great project. No test data is available currently for the new horn lens, but it does include the full ES wrap around so edge diffraction will be very minimal.
I also include a drawing for a decorative front cover for the woofer. This just cleans up the overall appearance.
Speaker System No.1680
Back in November I had a sale on some 1159 speakers which sold quickly. The customer received the speakers and was very pleased with the sound quality. He subsequently ordered a pair of the 1680 speakers (see above). The customer had purchased the 1159 stand mount speakers just to see if I was capable of producing a great sounding speaker. The 1680 is every bit as good as the 1159 speaker and then some, offering slightly better clarity and lower distortion, but overall a very similar sonic signature. If you would like a quote on the 1680 speaker please contact me.
I continue to keep my project matrix updated with most of my projects. Be sure to stay updated by observing the revision log and changes.
Speaker Baffle No.2422 Added to Site
I am now offering the floorstander baffle for those looking to CNC or 3D print the front baffle. Click HERE for more information.
- Accommodates Purifi PTT6.5 woofer
- Rear mount for clean appearance
- Clamped with washers (see photos)
- Accommodates TW29BN-B