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.



No doubt those mods bring the performance up a notch. But unless you’ve addressed the cabinet resonances as the LS II did, you are not all the way home.


I see you did modify the cabinets. Good job 👍 

ozzy62, if you have done any damping, to your horns, woofer backets, and isolating the mid horn and the crossovers from the boxes ( vibrationally ), your LS IIs could not be a better reproducer to my LSs. I also heavily damped and added mass to the cabinets. If you have not done these simple upgrades, you are leaving a lot on the table. In my experience, this is the most dramatic improvement you can make to the design. You will realize where PWK did not go all of the way, because as a PA speaker, it did not matter. But at home, things NEED to be done, to get rid of the nasties. My best, MrD.

I have LS IIs. Had khorns a few years ago. For me LaScalas + 2 subs is better than khorns. They just push all my buttons so I think they will be here a while. Hard to beat horn loaded bass and 104 db efficiency.

My older 1989 LaScala's were not stock by any means, all the drivers were from Crites, Crites 4500 crossover as well, i also damped the horns with dynamat and the cabinet was extensively damped as well. so they did not sound anywhere near what the originals sounded like. They were really nice and I regret selling them but I I hate black speakers and they were black, and looked like black holes.  I was going to buy the new ones in a wood finish but thought I'd try some Spendor D9.2's after a listen at my dealer along side the Klipsch's. Regrettably the Spendor's did not work in my room, reason I'm back on the speaker hunt. 

While we're on the subject of LaScalas....I own a pair of them powered by the Raven Blackhawk tube amp. Recently I finally decided to try the Bybee Quantum Clarifiers. They cost $200 for the pair. They conveniently magnetically attach effortlessly to the rear protruding mid horn magnets. (I love non-invasive tweaks that don't cost too much) Fantastic improvements beyond words. But I'll attempt to voice some impressions...clearer for sure, instruments are less hazy, the sound stage isn't as tunneled but pleasantly naturally spaced out. Vinyl playback has gained an air and sharpness which stuns me. LaScalas apparently can benefit immensely from these small square "magic" attachments! Revolutionary. I'm just sorry I'm so late to the Bybee creations!

If you liked LaScalas but want something more refined, consider the LS II or the AL5. Much better than vintage LS.



I agree with mrdecibel. One should be aware of the large design differences between horn models and the comprises they entail. Some of those horn loaded woofer designs sound very different from hybrids and have different setup requirements. I have owned the 4367.  It has lower efficiency, requires a very high-watt amplifier and has a better step response. It is not full range, like a D9 but LF extension satisfaction will largely depend on your taste and your room. When given power the woofer is outstanding, though.  

For me, horns are the way to go. I have owned all the Klipsch Heritage models ( not all of the different series ), and I feel the Lascala, which I own, offers the best bang for the buck. Of course, they need some attention with vibration and resonance control ( and the correct crossover specific to the listener ), and if you need the extension of the lowest 1/2 octave, a pair or more of subs can do the trick ( not all subs are fast or agile enough ). For me, the LSs do more right than wrong, work great in my room, allow me to listen near field, and sounds great with a number of many different amplifiers. By themselves, the bass reproduction and " tunefulness ", is awesome, and they are, imo, very coherent. I get quite a lot of musical satisfaction from them. I have heard others, with conventional woofer set ups, such as the 4367, lower priced Volti's, Altec 19, Avantgarde, etc. and often hear a disconnect between the bass, and the horns. Keep in mind, this is based on my listening, my room, and what pleases me. YMMV. It comes down to what characteristics, both good, and maybe not so good, you can live with. Every speaker / room is a compromise in some way. 58 years in this hobby ( I am 69 ) has taught me this. Enjoy ! MrD.



I've had LaScala's in the past in my room so not a concern. I prefer the bass loaded bass of the LaScala over both the Cornwall and forte even though both go considerably lower. but I'd like to try something a little more refined. 

Is SIZE a consideration? Those who mention Klipsch Cornwall or LaScala  are talking about HUGE Space Takers; really big footprints.  If you're interested in Klipsch, the Forte series give big sound in a more reasonable size.  I have Forte IIIs which are not much different than the newer IVs. They are very efficient, work well with bi-wiring, need a sub for most music if you like bass to be more pronounced, and in my opinion should be raised a good 8 to 12 inches at the bottom for the best sound quality.  I have mine standing on 4 isolation pucks atop 4 subdude platforms for each speaker.  That increases the height about 10 inches. Not only are the speakers raised higher using the pucks and subdude platforms, they have excellent vibration isolation that they would not have, otherwise.  One thing I don't like about the Forte is the lack of protection for the massive 15 inch passive woofer in the back of the cabinet. I sourced simple plastic waffle grilles from Parts Express for them.  The grilles prevent little fingers, paws and claws from damaging them.  For the Price, the Klipsch Fortes are a good buy.  They provide realism, clarity, and actual good looks (nicely finished cabinets), but they are heavy at 72 lbs each (consider that the pricier, larger Cornwalls are about 100 lbs each) and they DO need to be raised higher unless you sit on the floor when listening.  Why Klipsch hasn't corrected this is anyone's guess.  

JBL Hartsfield. JBL's answer to the K Horn.

Available as a replica or you can build your own from plans online.

The term “horn” has several meanings, so it is a bit tricky determining what is a horn system.  Some drivers may have a wave guide in front of the driver cone or dome and that may qualify as a “horn” to some people but not to others.  I tend to think that a horn system as having compression drivers plus a long throat and a waveguide.  Others will look at the cabinet the speaker is in, and if it has a long folded channel for the backwave that increases in cross section to a large opening, that makes the driver a back-loaded horn.  Rethm speakers, like Charney speakers are back-loaded horns.  The large, single full or wide range drivers, like those in the Rethm and Charney and Cube Audio speakers, have wave guides coming off the center part of the drivers which, depending on one’s definition, can also be considered “horns” (those smaller cones are also intended to vibrate so they do much mor than act as wave guides).

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.  

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.

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.  

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. 

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

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 

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


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.



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.

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

Symphony 10” – hORNS

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!



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



@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...


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.



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

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.  


@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. 

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.

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. 

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.

@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. 😎


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. 

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

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. 

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.

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. 




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


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.

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.

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