What Horn loaded speaker/ speaker system for $10k'ish and under

I’m looking to go potentially go back to a horn loaded speaker, or hybrid budget under $15k. I’ve had LaScala’s in the resent past (prior to my current Spendor D9.2’s that are for sale now) and loved them but I feel there is better out there for similar money.

JBL horns like the 4367 or 4349, S3900, S4700? Volti? LALS? others I’ve forgotten or not known.

I’d like to have efficiency above 90db,

extension to 35hz or close to it, I could live with subs though.

I’m not apposed to used in good condition, I will not buy black speakers though.



Ha why won't you buy black?  just wondering.


What about the Klipsch Cornwall?  To me, it's the best of all worlds. Or the Forte IV which i find phenomenal.  

With your budget, you can buy a set of Cornwalls/Fortes and something else and swap them in/out as you get the itch.

@glennewdick --

From what you’ve outlined I’d suggest a pair of (used?) JBL M2’s for active configuration, with a pair of Crown I-Tech 5000HD amps with built-in DSP. To my ears the M2’s are the sonic winners over the other JBL models you’ve mentioned, hands down.

Or, perhaps even better than the M2’s try and seek out a pair of used (and now discontinued) Meyer Sound X-10’s. They’re actively configured with built-in amps and electronic crossovers. Dynamite speakers that don’t "sound like horns" either.

I own the JBL 4367 and use subs high-passed at 60hz but feel they are pretty good without the subs. I already owned the subs. 

Anyway I have demoed the current LaScala and Cornwall IV several times. I feel like the JBL is a better speaker. It is smoother in frequency response (downward sloping treble in room). I feel like the LaSala has a lot more box/horn coloration than the JBL 4367. I found the Cornwall harsher sounding in the mids and highs than the 4367, with the 4367 just being more refined in all aspects. the bass on the 4367 is better than both Klispchs to my ear. It is very detailed and has good leading edge impact. The Cornwall is not bad in the bass, just that the 4367 is better. The LaScala is in bad need of subs, I could not enjoy them long term without subs.

The only real flaw of the 4367 is the somewhat narrow soundstage but I kind of feel that is all horns. Honestly and all and all amazing speaker I have zero plans to sell. 

there is a used pair of Volti Vittora on audio mark right now for $11,000 that look nice. I have never heard them but it looks like a higher quality build than the LaScala. 

I was thinking in these terms, wanting horn-loaded to go with a 300B SET, and opted for Cornwall IV. They’re pretty good stock but become excellent if you upgrade the caps and resistors to VCAP Odam and Path Audio, respectively. There’s a long thread in which Don Sachs outlines the values and process. I also replaced the binding posts with WBT NextGen and damped the horns and woofer baskets with Dynamat Extreme. Really great speakers now.

I got my Cornwall 4’s to behave better by making wood angle jigs screwed to the base risers of the speakers and screwed to my wooden floor. These jigs are aligned with the back wall such that measuring their leading edge distances to the back wall allows for them to be precisely angled in tandem from the back wall. Speaker angles are derived by measuring the outside toe-in speaker corners from the back wall, and the speakers are always in exactly the same plane relative to each other.

The jigs also can be slid laterally along the floor (and locked) at minutely varying distances using each jig’s built-in scale without affecting their distance from the back wall.. This allows for them to be precisely centered to my listening position at minutely varying distances while still being in exactly the same plane with each other. So, this allows for the speakers to be kept at precisely the same angle relative to each other and to the wall behind them and the side walls no matter how you move them.

I also made an added 3/4 inch plywood base that is screwed to the underside of the factory risers with a sandwiched layer of that rubber shelf liner sold at Home Depot, etc. This reduces cabinet resonances without over-damping the cabinet.

Cornwall 4’s are notorious for being very finicky about placement, and these measures have made that a non-problem. These tweaks have revealed to me the full potential of the speakers for imaging and soundstage though they are still not "champs" at that.

Post removed 

I've heard and liked Volti and also Charney Audio both have speakers in your price range.

I am a horn speaker fan, but the really nice stuff is considerably more costly than $10k.  But, the Cornwalls can be quite nice with the right tube amps.  Something like the Volti Rival is nice too.  Although not a conventional horn system, I’ve heard the single-driver (back loaded quarter wave) Charney Audio systems deliver terrific sound; I heard the Companion system which is way beyond your price range, but the sell less-costly models.   

Spatial audio labs they use the very good Beyma Big AMT horn tweeter-midrange 

and dual 10 or twelve inch drivers and a very refined open baffle speaker over 92 db and right in your price range, and 45 day home  audition.

I have a pair of JBL 4349's in my main 2 channel listening system which use a 12" woofer and their relatively new waveguide design with a 1.5 inch compression driver for high frequencies.  I thoroughly enjoy these speakers and the high frequency response and tonal qualities of the waveguide are delightful.  They have no harshness and are not bright.  Smooth response, great soundstage/imaging and are very detailed cabinets.

Low & mid frequency response of the pulp 12" is also very good, though I cross over at 70 hertz to JBL subwoofers.  The few times I've used them while bypassing the subs, I've found the 4349's to have nice, detailed, firm bass response and may be more than adequate for most listeners.

I'm powering the 4349's with 300 solid state watts per cabinet which is more than enough for how I use my system.  Finishes include walnut along with the usual black.  Very heavy at around 80 pounds.  Sensitivity is 91 db and list price is a bit above $8,000 for a pair.

I feel that some of the Klipsch Heritage series cabinets have much more of a traditional horn and live sound to them vs. the JBL 4349's.  JBL did their homework on the waveguide to make it not sound like a horn though high frequencies will extend into the room with great effect.

I have a decent sized listening space and wanted a system that filled the room more than a smaller/traditional box speaker system could.  The 4349's (and associated subwoofers) really fill the room at moderate levels and should I wish to really make the amps work, the system can reach nearly crushing sound pressure levels. But they also work very well at low listening levels.  I enjoy most all genres of music and the 4349's are effective on most anything I listen to.  As you can probably tell from my rambling, I really love these cabinets.

While above your suggested price range, the aforementioned JBL M2's and 4367's are also great choices (M2 being the flagship waveguide loaded cabinet).  The 4435's are a cool old school JBL cabinet that were well regarded in their day, not just in the studio, but at home too.  The single 15" woofer 4430's could be another old school option for typically less money, though they do not have the low frequency "oomph" that the dual 15" JBL 4435 has.

Hello Sir

I personally own 26yo JBL S3100s a 2 way asymmetrical horn design with a 15 inch bass driver. They will not thunder you out the room, but give very fast bass response especially for a 15 with 94db efficiency without the horn drawbacks. The ME150HS bass driver is basically a 600 watt basket with a 2235 cone. You will not hear much talk about them as they were designed for the Asian Market even though made in America. Mine have been used with multiple amps throughout ownership, but settled on Warner Imaging ER300s a small manufacturer based in Baltimore around 2000 who knew how to build solid state with "Tube Character". If I decided to give them up I would replace with 4344Mk2




I have Volti New Rivals in the bubinga tree finish.  The build quality is off the charts.  Best sounding speakers I’ve ever had as well and I’ve owned at least a dozen.

Completely in the Volti camp! With @jond ​​​​@krgottschalk on this. I am completely blown away with my Razz. Either SS or Tube they are simply effortless, have a beautiful soundstage, and the mids are stunning. You could pick up a pre-loved pair of Rivals for under 10k.
If you are in close proximity to Greg at Volti, I highly recommend taking the drive.
If you are anywhere close to NE Ohio, I’d be happy to host.

Perhaps a Horns Mummy, if the looks are acceptable.  Incredibly smooth mids and highs, strong bass from a 12" Beyma.   No need for a sub, at least not for myself.  Soundstage is incredible for this price ($3k used), both vertical and horizontal. 

Good luck on your search


Forgot One

The original JBL Everest DD55000 as they are incredible with a unique build. Heard them in Akihabarra Japan years ago and lusted for them ended up settling on my S3100 which is a scaled-down version. If you have a chance to ever lay your eyes on the DD55000 you will never forget. 




Both the Volti and Avantgarde Duo suggestions are interesting.  They both deliver the dynamics and liveliness that is particularly attractive about horn-based systems.  I like them a lot.  But, like all systems, they have some limitations, and I find them both to have the same issue--the bass driver and the rest of the system do not blend seamlessly, and the bass does not seem to have the same nimbleness as the rest of the frequency range.  Still, on balance, terrific systems.  

As for JBL horn-based systems, I like the sound of the Everest systems and a couple models below the Everest that I heard (cannot remember the names/numbers).  The sound is reasonably smooth and lacking in harshness while having the positive attributes of horn systems.  The overall tonal balance was, for my taste, a bit thin in the upper-bass so the sound seemed to lack a little bit in weight.

My favorite horn systems are custom-made systems utilizing vintage drivers.  There is nothing like the old vintage Western Electric drivers, except for some Western Electric inspired drivers and some direct clones of such drivers (e.g., G.I.P Laboratories from Japan).  But, these exotics are many times the price range for just a pair of one type of driver.

I’ve owned & really enjoyed the Volti Audio Rivals for  a 1 1/2.years now. They do most things very well & effortlessly at any volume level. The smaller Razz are also quite good for less than half the price. Both are worth a serious audition. 

Never liked the Volti sound signature...I'm with the JBL people. They know what 'Musical'  Means.

What is it about the horn sound you prefer?  Directivity, dynamics, efficiency, or the :horn" IM? 

Have you considered something like a older Gedlee that used a compression driver on a waveguide, sort of a horn? Also used a PA style woofer.   Or the new Purify large wave guide speaker?  Neither of these will work if you have a 12W tube amp though. They will give the kind of dynamics you may be looking for but much flatter response and lower IMD. 

Personally, I consider horns only useful for PA.  Places where the SPL and efficiency overshadow DR.  Great we have so many choices though. 

@glennewdick Wrote:

I’d like to have efficiency above 90db,

FWIW, The JBL 4435's have an efficiency of 2.7% and a sensitivity of 96 dB @1 watt @ 8 Ohm's. 😎


I own a pair of University "Dean" speakers from the 1960s. 103 Db @ 1-watt efficiency. Very rare speakers do your research. I think they sound better than K-Horns, with bigger bass and a larger presence. These very LARGE, HEAVY (The 15" bass woofer weighs 39 Lbs) speakers were designed for theatre use in a plain wrapper. Mine are the home version with mahogany cabinets shaped to fit into a corner. My Dad had one in the mono days and managed to find another many years later to end up with a matched set. The cross-over capacitors have been replaced. If you are interested in buying these, please PM me. We are downsizing and to a smaller place and they are too big.

great information everyone thanks you found a few i had forgotten about. 

I've had many of the Klipsch line heresy's mk3's for a time them i tried the new Cornwalls but didn't really like them more then the LaScala's i alrteady owned other then the lower bass. just a note the LaScala's i owned were 1988 vintage with many mods, not one driver was original new crossovers, new wires by duland, extensive damping of horns and cabinet. they were really nice sounding regret selling still. but they were all black not my thing. 

If you have 50ish watts a side theJBL 4367’s are great.  Even with the the 15” woofer, it won’t go down to 35dbs, but if you find you want more bass, one powered subwoofer should be enough to fill in.

All the best.

@ditusa wrote:

I would look for a used pair of JBL 4435’s. I own a pair, great 3D imaging and wide soundstage. See review below and tech manual for JBL 4435’s:


It's been over 30 years ago since I last listened to the JBL 4435's and their smaller siblings, the 4430 (some years earlier, around 1980, I remember listening to a pair of Yamaha FX-3's - also quite impressive monitors, for a pair of young ears not least). Those were also the days of the Everest DD55000 and K2 S9500, and of the four of them I favored the K2 S9500's for their outright dynamics, coherency and MTM configuration. Indeed at the time they were my dream speakers. I'd have cherished listening to them actively configured - to think it would have made them even more dynamically astute, and resolved sounding. 

I little more money but a ridiculous bargain is this used Volti Vittora. A definite step up from the La Scala.  I’d buy them but I don’t have the room.  



May I kindly ask what subs you are using with your 4367's?  Just curious...


A pair of JL E112 (pictures under my profile) and highpassing through the internal crossovers (a true highpass). They sound fine and blend well but I feel the 4367 is more textured than the JLs. The is issue in using the internal highpass is there is a lot of added hiss.  An external crossover and some 18” subs are on my future purchase list.


@james633 - Thank you for the response. I’m using JBL 2269H 18" drivers (pulled from a set of JBL’s ASB7118 cabinets) in custom made cabinets by Stewart Speaker Systems with an external crossover. I love the sonic qualities of JBL low frequency drivers and it’s loads of fun...should you go in this sort of direction...


Those drivers would be perfect. It is what JBL uses in their SUB18 that was designed to go with the M2. 



Altec 604s!  New driver's produced by Great Plain Audio.

Listened to them at the Capitol Audio Fest with Terry Audio.

Terry Audio builds the cross overs and cabinets. Fantastic sound and people!


the Horns speakers look very interesting. example below. they have a really large range that's surprising for a smaller company. 

Symphony 10” – hORNS

I would get the Cornwall IV.

They are an absolute bargain. Not perfect, but they do offer a lot of great attributes at the price.

in no particular order:

Altec Malibu

JBL DD5500

JBL 4343/4344/4345

I own the Malibu, DD5500, and 4343


best of luck in your search.



May I suggest a speaker from Rethm? The Maargas are in your price point and the sound is amazing. Built in active bass drivers. I own an older version of the Saadhana (one size up and the largest) and am always amazed at the sound quality. Always with great reviews

Here is a recent one


You have to look at PBN.  California custom speaker builder.  Petter is a genius and has been awarded many times for his work.  The M series is insane.  I just got lucky enough to get a pair. M1!  (2) 12 and a horn.  Amazing 

The Rethm Maarga is a good call. Someone looking for a speaker in the $3,000 range should consider their Bhaava model.

JBL is absolutely killing this part of the market right now. I was never much of a JBL fan (the original L-100s were magnificently built but horrible sounding) until I heard the 4367 and S3900. Where Klipsch are nasal, harsh and have no low bass, these JBL's are neutral, dynamic and easily handle bass below 40 Hz. (Check out Klaus Voorman's unwinding his Low E string bass solo on Nilson's 'Jump Into the Fire ' or the sub-bass synth line on Stevie Wonder's 'I Believe When I Fall in Love', for true low bass power, then Pat Metheny and Charlie Haden 'Beyond the Missouri Sky' for pitch definition and bass detail. My jaw truly dropped. 

Very few companies have the resources to develop, test, and build their own drivers. JBL's new dual voice coil and diaphragm designs, as well as their mastery of horn design, are simply beyond the reach of their competition. 

Of all the JBLs that I've owned or listened to in the last 7 years or so, the 4367s gave me goose-bumps the most.  The M2s, K2s, Everests were better in some areas, but my overall favorite was the 4367.  

Check out the Pure Audio Project models with the horn. I've got the Trio15 Horn1 and they are superb! Highly sensitive and easy to drive (I drive mine with a 4.3-watt 2A3 tube stereo amp, Whammaerdyne). Glorious music makers.

JBL's seem to be well liked here. i'll have to go for a listen.

Pure Audio project have been on my radar for a while now but i don't believe i have the space for them. 

I've also looked at Rethm but i don't feel they are what i'm looking for obviously not horn loaded but i do like a single driver full ranger in some smaller applications.

PBN looks interesting.