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An Efficiency Constant Comparison Between Low-Frequency Horns and Direct-Radiators

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Evaluation of the efficiency constant for exponential horns reveals that the horn is quite wasteful in its use of enclosed volume when compared to direct-radiator systems. The main advantage of horns lies in the realizability of rather high efficiencies in the 10% to 40% range which is beyond the capabilities of most direct radiators. Use of direct radiators in arrays increases the low frequency efficiency but not without a decrease of high frequency bandwidth. The areas discussed in this paper are illustrated by comparative experimental measurements on three low frequency systems: 1) A dual driver front loaded folded horn, 2) a single driver direct radiator vented-box system, and 3) a four-driver vented-box system consisting of a 2x2 array of a single driver system of item #2.

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AES - Audio Engineering Society