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Horning Eufrodite Ellipse PM 65 speakers Review

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Look at the rear of the Horning Eufrodite Ellipse PM 65 and you’ll see the substantial cast baskets and magnets of four Beyma 8-inch woofers arranged vertically in close proximity to each other, pulled up against inlet holes on the rear of the cabinets by a cage tensioned with steel bolts. Not visible are four more identical drivers inside the cabinets arranged so that the eight units in total face each other across the void of a quarter wave horn. The two banks of woofers fire in push-pull, 180 degrees out of phase.

Horning Eufrodite Ellipse PM65 speaker

The horn is just over 8ft long with its rectangular mouth located just above floor level at the rear of the cabinets. It is acoustically elongated by 10% by the use of additional compression at its blind end. The horn loads the Beyma drivers but it also loads the rear output of the Lowther PM65 , too. What the listener hears is therefore the sum of direct radiation from the tweeter and the Lowther, integrated with the horn-loaded rear component of the Lowther and the push-pull woofers. All that complexity; yet just a single capacitor for a crossover. “The rest of the integration is done acoustically,” confirms Horning.

What drives him to such complexity is his wish to achieve full range horn-like speed without the major downside of pure horns – primarily that of the size required to get convincing low-end performance. Do it all with horns, as a purist, and what you end up with for the bass is a long horn, as in many yards long, and that in turn means a cabinet that is about as living-room friendly as a juvenile elephant. And since we’re talking stereo – make that two juvenile elephants.

Quite a few speaker designers wanting to buck the inescapable physics use horn-loaded compression drivers for the tops and mids, but combine them with conventionally ported or infinite baffle cone drivers – 10-inch, 15-inch and sometimes larger still – for the lower frequencies. Horning’s assertion is that this is a compromise doomed to failure and that it simply leads to irreconcilable integration incompatibilities.

Horning’s alternative approach is therefore to use a shorter horn but employ big surface area. A 15-inch driver has a surface area of approximately 176 square inches, but the Eufrodite’s eight times eight-inch drivers have a combined surface area more that twice that – a whopping 400 square inches.

Horning arranges his eight woofers in push-pull so that not only is there a lot of control over excursion – each cone moves just about 1mm even when driven hard – but the smaller magnets required compared to the large carbuncle on the rear of a large cone are much more responsive to input from the power amplifier. They therefore exhibit a far lower propensity to break up and distortion than would a single, larger speaker with a cone made of the same material.

Because it has a necessarily small mouth to fit within the width of the cabinet, the Horning Eufrodite Ellipse PM 65’s horn behaves as a transmission line at the lowest frequencies, transitioning to true back-loaded horn behavior as frequency rises. It also performs best – in rooms with an ideal ratio of ceiling height to width and length at least – when the speakers are placed close to the room corners where the acoustic impedance of the horn mouth is reinforced by the boundary.

This explains why Tommy Horning recommends corner placement and how UK distributor Iain Borthwick reports ‘prodigious’ bass without boom or overhang when using the Eufrodites in his high ceilinged 12’ X 12’ listening room. What I’d heard at the National Audio Show was a tight and deep bass that was tuneful.

Iain Borthwick was in no doubt that the low ceiling of my listening room prevented the Eufrodites from performing at their best and delivering an impressive bottom-end. However, having put people to the trouble of long distance delivery, and being personally intrigued by the speaker’s design, I decided to press ahead and do the subjective review anyway.

I drove the Horning Eufrodite Ellipse PM 65 with my Audio Note UK Kegon 18-Watts-per-channel 300B PSE monoblocks, speaker cables connected to the amplifiers’ 4 Ohm taps. The Eufrodites have a claimed 98 dB efficiency and present a claimed flat 4 Ohm load over their frequency range. Although I was unable to verify this through measurement, the efficiency figure feels broadly right to me – they played two clicks louder than my Es for the same volume setting.

The immediate sonic impression the Horning Eufrodites give is of grand scale and detail. The tweeter and mid range drivers are considerably higher than the ear of the seated listener, and they create a sound cloud that billows high and wide, beyond the cabinets in every direction. Pulled forward into the room as the review pair had to be, they were detail meisters, delivering a really remarkable level of micro dynamics that gave acoustic folk and jazz a very appealing and intimate feeling. They didn’t make anything acoustically larger than life. Solo voices and acoustic instruments were tightly drawn in space and were a believable size. However, when I played my copy of Beethoven’s Fifth Piano Concerto, Radu Lupu and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra under Mehta, the Horning Eufrodite Ellipse PM 65 threw a sound stage that was simply enormous, taking me by the scruff of the neck from my usual Audio Note E position of two thirds of the way back in the auditorium and plonking me down up at the front, nose to the stage, right behind the conductor and in close proximity to the orchestra.

The Lowther mid-range driver and the tweeter are extremely well integrated giving a soaring, sparkling top end that is sweet and grain-free. Tommy Hørning has worked wonders on the mid-range driver, taming the Lowther house sound which unkind critics sometimes describe as nasal, giving us a midrange that to my ears and in my room was even and without obvious colouration, even if with some recordings it had a tendency to sound slightly thin in comparison to my reference Audio Note Es.

The performance of the speakers below 200Hz where the eight horn-loaded Beyma drivers are working together is also worthy of particular note. The expectations brought to the business of a subjective review are frequently validated by the listening experience. Not so in this instance, though. Although the positioning of the Horning Eufrodite Ellipse PM65 speaker in my room was compromised, they were audible (just) at 30 Hz, and then developed strong energy from around 40 Hz all the way up to the acoustic crossover point with the Lowther. I’d been expecting a clash of the cones, so to speak; a blurred or slurred bottom end resulting from multiple drivers all trying to do the same thing but not quite succeeding. However, I ended up being blown away by low end detail portrayed cleanly and convincingly. Stanley Clarke’s electric bass on “Return To Forever’s” live double The Mothership Returns was rich with such a level of harmonic detail and nuance as would bring tears of joy to the eyes of many music lovers. The Horning Eufrodite Ellipse PM 65 have a truly remarkable ability to portray texture at this end of the audible spectrum and Tommy Horning’s decade-plus-long quest to refine the concept of multiple push-pull units has not been in vain.

4 Responses to Horning Eufrodite Ellipse PM 65 speakers Review

  1. Panos says:

    I had the pleasure of auditioning a pair of Horning Eufrodite Ellipse PM64 driven by a pair of Lamm ML2.2 mono valve power amplifiers (18W). The speakers were a revelation! So natural and involving, with a seamless integration and fluidity across the frequency range. Perhaps the best speakers I have ever heard…

  2. Claudio says:

    Thank you for your euphrodite review but to be honest for my opinion it’s very difficult to judge any kind of loudspeakers in a listening room like that…..
    I own a pair of horning euphrodite and in a normal and average listening room they sound
    In a very wonderful way.
    They are not positioned in the corners but at almost 1,5 metres from the front wall ( measured from the front baffle)
    The bass performance is simply incredible
    Best regards
    Claudio from italy

  3. Stefano casagrande says:

    Il prodotto offerto da horning è definitivo e destinato all
    ascolto della decadimento armonico la velocità ed il timbro sono perfetti. Mi riferisco agli altoparlanti in alnico. Uso un integrato audio tekne e un transistor A batterie audio consulting. Ribadisco che si tratta di diffusori definitivi fuori dal mondo hi end. Prodotti destinati esclusivamente alla riproduzione dell evento musicale originale . Facili da posizionare e pilotare. Per palati ultrafini e che già hanno avuto e sperimentato tutto. Stefano

    Italian to English translation by Google:

    The product offered by Horning is definitive and destined to the listening to music. Harmonic decay speed and timbre are perfect. I refer to the alnico speakers. Use an integrated Audio Tekne and a transistor A battery-powered audio consulting. I reiterate that these are definitive speakers out of the hi end world. Products intended exclusively for the reproduction of the original musical event. Easy to position and pilot. For ultra-fine palates that have already had and experienced everything. Stephen

  4. Craig Hartnoll says:

    I own a pair of these Horning speakers which are set up in my purpose built sound room ( 5m w x 7m d). Driving the speakers is my EAR v12 tube amp, 50 watts, Lumin T1 streamer as a transport to a Naim DAC and wired using Kubala Sosna cables and interconnects. The sound is amazing and the journey to reach this level of listening has been worth it. Thanks Tommy for producing these beauties.

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