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  Reviews  more
 Midhorn flat pack kit
Wayne, I received the (2) Mid Horn flat packs from UPS ye ..
 5 of 5 Stars!
seven π kit Reviews  seven Pi kit Reviews
Product: seven π kit  seven Pi kit
From: Paul Williams
Date: Friday 20 February, 2009

Copy of the my review posted on

As it’s been now over six months since I finished the 7Pi Corner Horns it is about time I put fingers to keyboard and posted my thoughts on them. Some of you may have noticed, I’ve not been posting much over the last few months and this is perhaps the biggest testament to the sound quality of these speakers I can give – I want to listen to my stereo these days and not talk about it! Going online is something I do right at the end of the day and in all honesty, I’m rather satisfied with my system so don’t visit Hi-Fi related sites as often as before – there are some things I still need to do and a few item I want to look into, but I’m in no hurry.

Looking back over the build thread (been gone so long I can't even remember how to insert tidy links anymore) and it’s conclusion I have to say that there was a certain amount of trying to solve a problem that wasn’t really there – in particular in the bass. That is to say, of course it was there but, not really that much to do with the interaction with the room and the speakers, as I’d initially thought - a change of amp effectively resolved the majority of this issue. From a 2A3 SET amp to a 35 watt class AB push/pull (my CR Developments Romulus) this is not the long term solution though as the 2A3 amp is far preferable to the Romulus and the Romulus is an absolutely fabulous amp in it’s own right, but it isn’t a SET amp. But my SET amps are a little lacking in the output transformer department and this is the “need to do” thing mentioned above but with the current exchange rate, those handmade MagneQuest transformers will have to wait. But amps are for a later discussion and I’m here to pen a few words on speakers.

The 7Pi Corner Horns are fabulous and deliver more than I could have hoped for in so many ways. Large and ugly they may be but the given their ‘corner’ location they actually sit behind where my previous stand mount mini monitors would have been. Also there are of course no problems with finding the best placement – just put them in the corners and you are done, sorry if you don’t have corners available, but then you could always go for a pair of 4Pi Bass Reflex speakers (couple of foot from side walls, back to the rear wall with a bit of toe in and done)!

Now the 7’s were a bit of a leap of faith as I could never of heard them before I put them together and compared with most box speakers they are not the most straightforward build and they are not cheap – I estimate the cost overall was in the region of £1200.

The real plus point of these speakers is that they provide constant or uniform directivity, that is to say they provide an even coverage both on and off axis. Add to this the very nature of their 90 degree output and the fact they have no early side reflections (perhaps the main culprit for giving treble lift and destroying imaging) and you begin to understand why they sound so even and smooth, nothing really seems to give these speakers a hard time, they just respond to whatever they are being fed seemingly without any fuss. If the record/CD is full of drama and detail that’s what is delivered, if dull and muddy, then that’s also delivered.

In many ways it reminds me of my SME turntable, if it’s not on the record the turntables not going to add it, but at the same time it does it’s best to deliver all there is available. There is of course a downside to this and that is the delivery of an explicit insight into the recordings mix, never before has it become so apparent how sloppy the balance of many recordings are! It doesn’t make the recording unlistenable, it just change your perception of the performance, with less articulate speakers you get centre filled with sound, with the 7’s the space created around the individual performers provides a seemingly holographic anchored position and unless the recording is engineered providing an even spread, the sound can appear (aurally) to be lopsided. When setting up my turntable I don’t use a test disc for bias setting, Joni Mitchell’s “Wild Things Run Fast” is much better, just dial in the vocals for centre stage and you are done – a beautifully produced album.

The other factor that is very different from my mini monitors is the disappearing trick, these speakers do it, but I feel due to their size within the context of my room, your mind tends to make you ‘see’ the left/right sounds is coming from the speakers, close your eyes and this psycho-acoustic effect dissolves and you are delivered a wide sound-scape. Indeed these are fabulous home cinema speakers (perhaps to be expected given horn speakers heritage) and provide all the drama and subtlety you could wish for – in the context of a darkened room where you are concentrating on the projected image you become completely immersed in a seemingly realistic soundstage, without the need for surround sound. Though I did attach them to my AV amp last week and set them up using some other speakers as surrounds, now that was something else and if I had the room I’d perhaps look into putting together some of the smaller Pi offerings, but I’ll stick with this more simple set-up for now.

So I’ve spent my money, built the speakers, what have I ended up with? Well, in my opinion a pair of great sounding speaker, that combine both the virtues of horns and conventional designed box speakers without many of the vices that both have. I can use them with flee powered amps (102db/watt/mtr) or I could rock out with a solid state amp, as they will handle up to 600watts (ouch). Effortless, smooth, room-filling, beautifully balanced, perhaps delivering a bit too much insight at times, but worth every penny and all the time and aggravation spent putting them together.

So what’s the future hold Hi-Fi wise, well I would like to build a better mid-horn section for cosmetic reasons, but in no real hurry (though I do have the birch ply for the flares sitting in the garage). As soon as the exchange rate gets to something like $1.75 to the £1 then the transformer upgrade is a must. Finally I’d really like to hear these speakers in a very large room to see what they can really deliver. But to be honest I'm really happy switching on just listening, LP’s, CD’s, watching movies, its all good.


Rating:  5 of 5 Stars! [5 of 5 Stars!]

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