Hi A9x, thanks for the details. Not line array, i prob should not have described it that way.
There's no end to the possibilities, lots of amazing designs out there.
I saw this thread when I was Googling something else.So I thought I'd throw-in what I have in mind for an upcoming project that I will implement within the next year.
I have been using Altec 846A Valencia speakers since December 2002.I am very happy with them.I put this(largely)down to tne compression driver/horn combination which in these speakers operate from 800Hz and above.
Very soon after acquiring the Valencias,I diy converted them to active configuration by bypassing the internal passive crossover in favour of an external active crossover.The unit I am currently using for this purpose is the Accuphase F-25,a very well regarded component.
I have long wanted to extend the perceived virtues of compression drivers/horns to a lower frequency point.To this end,I have been acquiring components to eventually assemble a multi-way system.I plan to utilise the woofers already situated in my Altec Valencias.I will be leaving the Altec 416Z woofers in situ within the Valencia cabinets.Instead of crossing them over at(the stock frequency of)800Hz,I intend to cross the Valencias' 416Z woofers over at 380 Hz,to a pair of Altec 288-8K compression drivers.The horn I intend using with the 288s is an Azura horn.
The Altec 288s I intend to cover the frequency band of 380 Hz to 5000Hz.This is a very critical portion of the frequency spectrum.To be able to avoid a crossover point within this region is to avoid possible phase shifts and especially to avoid or at least minimise discrepencies in the dispersion patterns.I will be using a Great Plains Audio GPA 902 compression driver for the frequency spectrum from 5000Hz and upwards,again with an Azura horn.
I also have acquired a pair of Altec 411 subwoofers in two separate cabinets.These will supplement the bottom-end response of the 416Z woofers by crossing-over below 70 Hz.
This proposed four-way speaker will be actively driven by four monoblock amps(three pairs of Kenwood L-06Ms driving the Altec 416Zs,the Altec 288s and the GPA 902s ,plus a pair of Kenwood L-08Ms devoted exclusively to the Altec 411 subwoofers).
I still have to purchase the two Azura horns,plus acquire a pair of diaphragms for the Altec 288 compression drivers,but other than that I already have all the components to procede with this project.Thus my conviction that I will have this project operating before the end of 2010.
I have listened to systems over the last couple of years comprising in one instance an Ayre digital player,ASL tube preamp,Krell CAST poweramp and JM Lab Alto Utopia BE speakers.In the second instance the system was TOTL Electrocompaniet CD player,Electrocompaniet preamp,Electrocompaniet Nemo monoblock poweramps and B&W 802D speakers.In both instances the systems were coupled with a livery of extemely high priced interconnects and speaker cables,audiophile power conditioners and stands etc.
In neither case of hearing those two High-End systems did I prefer them to what I am listening to at home.At the audition of the system containing the JM Lab speakers,I was accompanied by a friend who had heard a previous incarnation(vastly inferior to what I have now)of my system.After listening to the JM Lab system,he spontaneously commented to me that he much preferred my system.This experience was repeated when I listened to group of systems owned by another audiophile I know.His systems contain similarly well reviewed components which I won't name in case he is a member here.I found his systems spectacularly uninvolving,bland and lifeless.
I feel that a well assembled,well balanced compression driver/horm system conveys a dynamic freedom which is difficult to convey with high powered amp and lower sensitivity non compression driver/horn systems.
If it weren't so difficult(because of size and expense considerations) to extend compressiondriver/horn sound down into the lower bass regions,I'd opt for a totally compression driver/horn system.