DIY horn loudspeaker review


After living with my DIY Back Loaded Horn loudspeakers for more than 2 years, I think its time to share my listening impressions with you.

First of all I recommend you ( if you are planing to build this design), to take the time to experiment with setup and placement to get the best of this kind of speakers. The sound produced by these specific BLH's is affected both by the behavior of the speaker in the room and the size of the room.

In my listening room ( 6.40 m long and 3.4 m wide) I deliver an absolutely enormous sonic picture but in fact, these speakers need to be heard in a room bigger than mine. Sound performance is very good with good depth from both sides (left to right wall), even when I put the speakers close to the wall behind them.

These Back loaded Horn loudspeaker designs give a totally different sonic flavor than the conventional loudspeaker designs. It took me a long time to get used to their sound. Generally speaking they work like a magnifying glass. They present the music information in accordance to the specific recording and with precision. The better the recording the greater the acoustic result. On the contrary listen to a bad recording you will find yourself thinking of throwing away the cd or lp you have just listened to. But don't be frustrated. Hiend is the art of possible. In more details they produce smooth-sounding high frequencies without glare. In small rooms, bass response below 200 Hz seems to be affected by standing waves ( I' m not sure but I think it probably has to do with room dimensions) and the result is a bass boom and a kind of loss in clarity. If you put them I a room more than 4 meters long, the result will compensate you. They generate clean and powerful bass with extremely deep extension.

After many hours of listening I have noticed that they can generate a wide, and deep sound stage, at both low and high volume levels. This behavior gives you the sense of being into the music scene. I believe that "how it sounds" have greater importance than the data sheet curves. Ok it's not the perfect system . It couldn't be the perfect one. I dont want an orchestra in my living room. Lets be realists.

However when I decided to build these loudspeakers my goal was to allow musical rhythms to flow with non forced ease . Using low power tube amps in combination with these BLH loudspeakers is a fine way, though not the only way, to achieve this goal and to enjoy your favorite music .

costas sarris

The System setup:

Power Amps :

SV811-3 DHT single Ended (DIY)

807 Parallel SE (DIY)

SV6550 Push-Pull (DIY)

Trends TA-10.1

Pre-amp :

Conrad Johnson PV10-A

Turntable :

Rega Planar 3 Rega RB300 tonearm / GRADO F2+

CD player :


Speaker Cables :

Nordost Flatline Gold MKII