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Horn-Loaded Speakers
Topic: Integrated sound field optimization.

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Posted by Romy the Cat on 12-02-2012

A few days ago I visited a local friend of mine. He has a decent audio setup in his living room with mid-size monitors. Leaving aside what sound he is getting just would note that I know what to expect in his room. This time it was a bit more then ridicules.  The friend of mine, like most of the African-American folks believe that western African ebony is a magic wood that besides curing cancer, define gravity, preventing from radiation poisoning  can also dramatically improve sound not matter what one does with it.  So, in past he piled up ebony atop of all his amplifiers, turntables and phonostages and felt that it made huge difference for him. I found this behavior of my friend was ridicules from practical audio perspective but also cute on human level. What kind black man you are if you do not believe in magic spell of ebony wood?

This time my friend took it father then to be ridicules. His entire room was saturated with all imaginary pieces of black ebony, that he used as amulets, sticking them on the walls and installing them on tripods across the room.  I had zero interest even to listen all of it as it was too obviously too retarded. It would be the same if I try to arrange not-connected tube in Magen David pattern and would anticipate that it might improve sound.  Anyhow, one thing led to another and I ended up hearing the sound of that room. I was more than impressed – it was spectacular.

No it was not spectacular from all perspective and it was a LOT that was wrong I that sound but at the same time it was absolutely unexpected sense of holographic presentation. I said unexpected as I know very well what to expect from the installation in that room and what the installation   did show was truly unexpectedly sensational. The imaging of the instruments during the Shostakovich’s 8th quartet was truly out of this world – something that never happened in that room.

The friend of my explained to me that this is a result of his “black magic” – the ridicules ebony resonators that he “strategically” positioned across the room. I have seen a lot of people use them in 90s and claimed that they “work”. I did not have them and have no opinion about them.  My guy refused to remove them and I do not know what specific resonator made difference. It was a combination of Shakti Hallographs with a few other devises. However, my interest is not to run and buy some kind Shakti Hallograph Soundfield Optimizer and try it home or to look at the event deeper.

If the Shakti Hallograph Soundfield Optimizer works and deliver that wonderful result that I had in my friend house then why do not use the underlying principle that make Shakti to work and to incorporate it into the design of our horns? You see, Shakti devises are ugly and they are additional devises for the existing acoustic system – something that I would like to avoid for instance in my integrated listening room. The acoustic system I use horn are horns that imply large horns, large frame and sort of distribution in space. So, why do not integrate the Hallograph Soundfield Optimization with termination of the horns. The peripheral of the horn’s mouths is the place where Shakti’s ideas need to be experimented with. I remember when a few years back I did implemented teeth on my MF horns it was very welcoming change and I still have it. As I understand Shakti Soundfield Optimizers teake it way further and I would like to look into it. However, I would like into it as an integrated solution and I would like do not toss those ridicules resonators across my listening room. I wonder if anybody even looked into this direction?

Romy the Cat

Posted by Paul S on 12-02-2012

I happen to know the original Shakti creator, a very smart guy whose real job was studio film editor.  As I recall, the idea for the original product, the Shakti Stone, was, basically, convert "wrong" frequencies to heat.  Anybody could cut one open to see if/how this is done.  I promised not to reveal the "active ingredients", but I am OK to say my hearing never detected any differences I could specifically attribute to the "device", at least not according to its "function" as I understood it. But, after all, everyone knows I'm at least 1/2 deaf.

I have not seen the guy in a long time, and I don't know much about all the newer products he or his successors have come up with, but I always equated it with Peter Belt's stuff, Shunyata, etc., etc.

If someone is patient and methodical, and an acute listener, who knows what might be accomplished in the way of shaping in-room sound?  And - if it "works" - who cares if the "theories" sold with it are weird?

By the way, Romy, what do you mean by,  "As I understand Shakti Soundfield Optimizers teake it way further and I would like to look into it." ?  How do these things "work", and what are they taking way further?

Best regards,
Paul S

Posted by Romy the Cat on 12-03-2012
 Paul S wrote:
By the way, Romy, what do you mean by,  "As I understand Shakti Soundfield Optimizers teake it way further and I would like to look into it." ?  How do these things "work", and what are they taking way further?
I do not know how the Shakti Soundfield Optimizers work. From what I have seen they are some kind of space-distributed resonators. They have white paper and you might read it – I did not look into it deeper. However, what I do not like in that whole idea (I do presume that it all works fine) is that the Shakti Soundfield Optimizers are self0contined stand-alone solution that meant to work with any acoustic system and within any acoustic environments. I do not blame Shakti for that but I am not in business to sell more Shakti gismos but in the business of providing best possible solution for my specific case. So, I do feel that those Shakti Soundfield Optimizers need to be converted into some kind of horn-specific solution that would be: 
1) Not as ugly as it is now.
2) Completely integrated with horn and horn’s frame.
I am not against of what Shakti do but I do feel that if we think about organization and positioning of our horns factoring in the Shakti Soundfield Optimization ideas then we would have better results.

The Cat

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