(Available in black fine speckled finish, high gloss black and Alpine blue)
The Alpine mid-horn is a very interesting design.
It is a mid-horn designed to reach a lower frequency of 125Hz when placed on the floor against a wall. This means that the mouth only needs to be one-fourth the size compared to a full horn. This smaller size is more practical for home use.
It is meant to be used with the BB-10 horn-loaded subwoofer to enhance the low-frequency response. The Alpines are constructed from 24mm Baltic birch plywood to ensure a ridged solid structure, which prevents ringing and resonances during playback.
By positioning the mouth at floor level, it eliminates floor reflections from the mouth. The "V" shaped mouth is also highly directional, directing sound towards the main listening area and reducing side reflections.
The 8" Tang Band driver is a full-range driver, meaning that it covers the entire audio frequency range. This driver operates without any crossover components in the signal path, ensuring that the signal remains free from contamination. The amplifier directly controls the motion of the driver.
Although the horn was originally designed to horn-load from 125Hz upwards, we have found it beneficial to drive it over the entire frequency range.
These horns do not have to be bandwidth limited unlike other mid-range horns, which means we don't have to run them through a processor or passive cross-over that degrades the sound.
It is interesting to note that the general rule for horn design is to limit a horn driver to a maximum of 3 to 4 octaves. This is primarily done to prevent throat distortion. Allowing a horn driver to operate below its cut-off frequency often leads to the driver unloading from the horn load, resulting in driver misbehavior.
The VZA Alpine mid-horns are an exception to this phenomenon. Unlike other horns, they operate below the 125Hz cutoff and maintain their performance without any throat distortion at high frequencies. The back of the driver drives the horn, while the front adds additional detail in the high frequencies.
We have added an air motion tweeter to enhance the high frequencies. It is driven by a single first-order capacitor network. The air motion tweeter is perfectly time-aligned with the horn driver.
One huge advantage of the Alpines is that they can be placed directly against the back wall. The directivity of the horn is very beneficial in that it focuses the sound towards the listener which reduces back and side wall reflections. Most direct radiating loudspeakers have to be pulled away from the walls into the room to reduce first reflections.