horn speakers readily available in the UK? or other British speakers to check out...

Argonaut

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Jul 30, 2013
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Yes, sorry, good point. 240V. I contacted ARC customer service/repairs, and they indicated it'd be no problem to have the multi-tap transformers rewired for UK voltage. And, luckily, their distributor in the UK can do the work and is, in fact, located in London.

They also said that the unit would work fine with a step-down transformer, so that could be another option. (Though I've read varying accounts of voltage transformers in operation with hifi kit.)
Do bear in mind that unless the Mult-tap transformer that ARC have used in your US /120V Ref 40 is the size of a UK/240V unit that your mains transformer will be running a little hotter at UK/50Hz as apposed to its native US/60Hz , however it sounds like they are confident that there shouldn’t be any fundamental problem.

Superb Pre amp BTW , myself having run one for several years in a previous system.
 

G T Audio

Well-Known Member
One channel of amplification directly driving a single transducer is in principle inherently superior to one amp driving several transducers via a passive crossover. DSP can achieve crossover and phase / time domain results (and room correction to boot) that are impossible for a passive crossover to achieve. Those aren’t contentious assertions, its just physics. So to discard active systems and DSP out of hand on the basis of potential reliability issues seems like - well I’ll be diplomatic - a rather disproportionate reaction.

In order to achieve one amplifier per driver you will need an active crossover (analogue or digital) and this would have to sit between the system preamplifier and all the power amplifiers needed for each of the drivers. The active crossover can be done using active components, as in op-amps or discrete semiconductors, or in some specific cases using valves/tubes. As you can see your audio signal now has to go through a significant amount of extra circuitry (semiconductors, op-amps, resistors, capacitors etc) all of this has a large impact on the sound you hear. Whereas in a well designed passive crossover there may only be a few components in the signal path (choke, capacitor and possibly a resistor depending on the type of crossover). Every part the signal has to travel through will add a sonic signature and will effect the sound passing through the system. Quite frankly, I am not sure where the assumption comes from that passive crossovers are evil. I can only assume it comes from those speaker manufacturers with an agenda. If you want to screw the sound up even further then you can digitise the signal and perform the crossover function using DSP but this will flatten the soundstage width and depth and the magic in the music will be lost. Having said that, some horn manufacturers use DSP for the low bass and this can be quite effective.

Room correction provided by some of the systems you mention only has a limited range of use. If you have room issues you are still better off treating the room separately rather than using DSP which has limited use and only works when set up for the listening position.

The important point to consider here is that modern technology is changing all the time and what is made today is obsolete tomorrow. You only have to consider your mobile phone, or your computer and how long those last before they either fail, or can't be fixed if they go wrong. It's the same with all modern technology.
 

iansr

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Dec 27, 2010
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In order to achieve one amplifier per driver you will need an active crossover (analogue or digital) and this would have to sit between the system preamplifier and all the power amplifiers needed for each of the drivers. The active crossover can be done using active components, as in op-amps or discrete semiconductors, or in some specific cases using valves/tubes. As you can see your audio signal now has to go through a significant amount of extra circuitry (semiconductors, op-amps, resistors, capacitors etc) all of this has a large impact on the sound you hear. Whereas in a well designed passive crossover there may only be a few components in the signal path (choke, capacitor and possibly a resistor depending on the type of crossover). Every part the signal has to travel through will add a sonic signature and will effect the sound passing through the system. Quite frankly, I am not sure where the assumption comes from that passive crossovers are evil. I can only assume it comes from those speaker manufacturers with an agenda. If you want to screw the sound up even further then you can digitise the signal and perform the crossover function using DSP but this will flatten the soundstage width and depth and the magic in the music will be lost. Having said that, some horn manufacturers use DSP for the low bass and this can be quite effective.

Room correction provided by some of the systems you mention only has a limited range of use. If you have room issues you are still better off treating the room separately rather than using DSP which has limited use and only works when set up for the listening position.

The important point to consider here is that modern technology is changing all the time and what is made today is obsolete tomorrow. You only have to consider your mobile phone, or your computer and how long those last before they either fail, or can't be fixed if they go wrong. It's the same with all modern technology.
Is your day job writing spin for Boris because you obviously have a talent for it. Objectively active and passive crossovers each have their advantages and disadvantages so just like the design of every other element of a hi fi system its a question of deciding which set of compromises you, or the designer, thinks will give the best overall result. The above “explanation” is littered with misrepresentations and omissions of relevant facts and makes no effort to present a balanced assessment of the two approaches. (I note that Mr Tricker makes and sells amplifiers that are designed to work with speakers using traditional passive crossovers.)

If anyone reading this has more than a passing interest in this subject, then don’t take my word for it or Mr Tricker’s, do your own research: read what Rod Elliot has to say on the subject; read what Nelson Pass has to say; watch Darko’s video where he compares active and passive versions of the same speaker; gain some understanding of the electronic interaction between amplifier and crossover in each case. And don’t confuse or conflate the principles involved with specific implementations.
 
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G T Audio

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Is your day job writing spin for Boris because you obviously have a talent for it. Objectively active and passive crossovers each have their advantages and disadvantages so just like the design of every other element of a hi fi system its a question of deciding which set of compromises you, or the designer, thinks will give the best overall result. The above “explanation” is littered with misrepresentations and omissions of relevant facts and makes no effort to present a balanced assessment of the two approaches. (I note that Mr Tricker makes and sells amplifiers that are designed to work with speakers using traditional passive crossovers.)

If anyone reading this has more than a passing interest in this subject, then don’t take my word for it or Mr Tricker’s, do your own research: read what Rod Elliot has to say on the subject; read what Nelson Pass has to say; watch Darko’s video where he compares active and passive versions of the same speaker; gain some understanding of the electronic interaction between amplifier and crossover in each case. And don’t confuse or conflate the principles involved with specific implementations.
No spin, just 50 years of audio experience, including 25 years manufacturing some of the best sounding audio products and working with some of the worlds top audio manufacturers. You forgot to mention the numerous preamplifiers I have made for clients using active speakers like ATC's. Back in 2002 when Avantgarde Acoustic launched their fully active speaker called the Solo. I designed a special preamp to drive that speaker which we used at the HiFi News Show at Heathrow when we represented Avantgarde in the UK. I sold a lot to UK customers who bought the Solo. If your interest is in getting the finest audio performance from your audio system then it helps if you know what is responsible for achieving it.

I also feel it necessary to highlight potential problems with modern technologies when we know the short life span of certain parts like chip sets, semiconductors etc with modern manufacturing as well as supply chain issues that everyone has experienced over the last 2 years. It is up to everyone to research and decide what is important to them, so they can make the correct purchasing decision, rather than rely on companies marketing departments which are only interested in one thing...
 
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gleeds

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May 29, 2018
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"Horns" from Poland seems it offer exceptional value, along with build and SQ. Good luck with your move.
 

wbass

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Jul 12, 2020
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Thanks very much. I'll need to take another look at Horns.

I'll be in London starting Sept. My ARC Ref 40 pre and Allnic H7000 arrive a few months down the line, and I'll figure out a power amp then.

Quad ESL and Tannoy/Fyne Vintage also on my radar.
 

G T Audio

Well-Known Member
Thanks very much. I'll need to take another look at Horns.

I'll be in London starting Sept. My ARC Ref 40 pre and Allnic H7000 arrive a few months down the line, and I'll figure out a power amp then.

Quad ESL and Tannoy/Fyne Vintage also on my radar.
You should start with the speakers in your room. Pick the very best you can afford and then build your system around them...
 
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wbass

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Agreed. I'll sell the ARC and the Allnic if they don't work in an overall system, but I liked them a lot in my previous rig. The power amp I'll match to the speakers, obviously.
 
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gleeds

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May 29, 2018
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Quads and horns, in general, are entirely different animals. I find later edition Quads to work best with stable, musical solid-state amplifiers and Class AB tube amplifiers from 7-100 watts/channel. That said, perhaps worth a shot with you Allnic amplifier if you go that way. A set of efficient horns of any make would be sympatico with you, Allnic. I understand Living Voice dynamic speaker range is quite exceptional, affordable, and designed for use with low-power tube amplifiers, so definitely worth a listen, especially in the UK.
 
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bonzo75

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Feb 26, 2014
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Quads and horns, in general, are entirely different animals. I find later edition Quads to work best with stable, musical solid-state amplifiers and Class AB tube amplifiers from 7-100 watts/channel. That said, perhaps worth a shot with you Allnic amplifier if you go that way. A set of efficient horns of any make would be sympatico with you, Allnic. I understand Living Voice dynamic speaker range is quite exceptional, affordable, and designed for use with low-power tube amplifiers, so definitely worth a listen, especially in the UK.

Allnic H7000 is a phono, not power amp
 

gleeds

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Allnic H7000 is a phono, not power amp
Thanks for the correction, Bonzo. I made an assumption it was an Allnic amp. My recommendations otherwise stand. In other corrections, noted push-pull amplifier power for late model Quads should read 70-100 watts/channel.
 
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wbass

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Quads and horns, in general, are entirely different animals. I find later edition Quads to work best with stable, musical solid-state amplifiers and Class AB tube amplifiers from 7-100 watts/channel. That said, perhaps worth a shot with you Allnic amplifier if you go that way. A set of efficient horns of any make would be sympatico with you, Allnic. I understand Living Voice dynamic speaker range is quite exceptional, affordable, and designed for use with low-power tube amplifiers, so definitely worth a listen, especially in the UK.
Yup, Quad and horns very different, but I like both. And need to pin down a flat first, obviously. Might be some low-level/near-field listening in my future, so might look at monitors, too.
 

gleeds

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May 29, 2018
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This is the fun part. Take your time and enjoy the journey. For near field monitors I suggest Sound Kaos Vox 3 with Alnico driver, and Kerr Acoustics K100 mk2, a relatively new firm in the UK making a reputation for SQ and build.

The former can be driven superbly by with very minimal power, tube or solid state and the ladder, a two-way with a ribbon tweeter and a Scanspeak transmission line mid-woofer for bass that can keep up with the speed of the ribbon.

Good luck with the move and have fun!
 
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bonzo75

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May I suggest you look at LALS speakers.

They are excellent, TAD 2402 style looks and can fit easily into various UK size living rooms, can be run on sets
 

hogen

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This is the fun part. Take your time and enjoy the journey. For near field monitors I suggest Sound Kaos Vox 3 with Alnico driver, and Kerr Acoustics K100 mk2, a relatively new firm in the UK making a reputation for SQ and build.

The former can be driven superbly by with very minimal power, tube or solid state and the ladder, a two-way with a ribbon tweeter and a Scanspeak transmission line mid-woofer for bass that can keep up with the speed of the ribbon.

Good luck with the move and have fun!
I second Kerr Acoustics!
 

G T Audio

Well-Known Member
You should also check out the Klipsch Heritage range of speakers (Heresy, Forte and Cornwall). Good sound plus lots of efficiency so you can use a nice simple amplifier to drive them...
 

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