lvu wrote:Also horn speakers a bit harsh
"People listen to direct-radiating loudspeakers their entire lives; from childhood they've been listening to clock-radios, boom-boxes, television sets, car radios and such. So to many people the sound of DRs is what they think sound reproduction should be. In hi-fi they want that same kind of sound, a better quality of it but the same kind.
To such people the clarity and dynamics of horns can be disconcerting, they've heard sound reproduced through a veil of grunge and distortion all their lives and now this realistic sounding horn is intruding on them and they don't like it. Gone is the romantic mellowness and sweet distance they like, replaced by a stark realism devoid of sweetening. This clarity and directness is interpreted by some as harshness or shrillness, they don't like the truth.
Direct-radiators, especially those using cone-dome type drivers (I've a high regard for electrostatic speakers) remind me of vaseline spread on a camera lens to make an aging actress look young and "pretty", a haze of distortion and poor dynamics acting as the vaseline. This gives "pretty" sound. But when you cover the wrinkles you cover the truth, the excitement and the emotion.
Horn speakers vary greatly in sound; tonality and imaging and such, but all the good ones share the common virtues of low distortion (with attendant high clarity) and hair-trigger dynamics."