Van Zyl Audio: Alpine Mid-Horns with BB-10 Subwoofer

The Van Zyl Audio Alpine mid-horn speaker ($12,000/pair) is designed to cover a frequency range of 125Hz up to 20kHz. It uses a horn-loaded 8" Tang Band full-range driver that connects to the amplifier directly, free of crossover componentry. The design adds a physically time-aligned AMT tweeter—implemented as a super tweeter—to extend the highs with a simple first-order crossover applied.

While the 40W RMS power handling may seem low, 101.5dB sensitivity (1W/1m) ensured plenty of output from modest amplification.

The Alpine speaker is designed to be used in conjunction with the BB-10 compact bass horn ($6000). This subwoofer uses a corner of a room to complete the horn. Again, power specs are modest, with 250W RMS powering a 12" driver. But 106.5dB sensitivity lets it belt out the bass. The rated bandwidth is 48Hz–100Hz ±3dB, with a usable extension to 20Hz.

The remainder of the system includes a Premium Audio Mini GaN 5 amplifier ($799) and Mojo Audio Mystique SE DAC ($6,999), which is wired with Silversmith Audio Fidelium cable.

The demo was genuinely impressive. The system delivered a sound with power and precision in equal measure. Soundstage and imaging offered depth, width, and proportionality. It's not the only system in the show that gave me goosebumps, but it's certainly one of them.

Wear good headphones as you watch the video for a glimpse of what this system sounded like in the demo room at the show.

hemingway's picture

would love to have heard these. The idea of a full range driver supplemented by bass horn and supertweeter - but not crossed over if I read right - seems like an interesting approach

DaveinSM's picture

Wow, my first reaction upon seeing these pics is that these speakers had better sound fantastic… because they are just plain ugly. And they take up a ton of floor space.

I don’t know about any of you guys, but I doubt many of your wives would allow those things into her living room.

Glotz's picture

'and your dog too! Err, where my witch hat? What? There's two now?'

I really wanna hear the Eagles on these. I hear it's magic!

Anton's picture

I have a pair of the Tang Band W8-1808 8" Neodymium Full Range Drivers that I use in an open baffle horn and they sound pretty great. (The drivers in these pics looks the same model.)

They don't really need a tweeter above, but definitely need a woofer. Letting the Tang band run full range makes for a relaxing listening experience, which I mean in a good way.

In the realm of big fun, I can pop in Lowther DX4 or Voxativ AC 4-X drivers and do one to one comparisons.

My only complaint about the Tang Band is they have require a different mounting template, so I had to make an adapter.

The Tang Band 'punch above their price range' for sure.

I do think the speakers in this report could use a bit better fit and finish for the cabinets, to be honest....they've got a 'bumpy spray over MDF look that could be more appealing, but I am nit picking.) But, I LOVE the idea and application!

In a way, the top unit is a bit like the late great Spica TC 50, so the sound quality makes sense.

The tweeter looks like a Dayton Audio AMTHR-4, the woofer, I don't know....looks a little like a vintage Altec 414, but I know it isn't.

This would have been a fun demo to a good song that reminds you of other songs from your past!

Glotz's picture

I was big fan of the Spica's years back. Great, resolving and mini-monitor like imaging. Really fun and very reasonable. I will have to look for Tang Band at AXPONA this year!

celef's picture

Wow, those looks like something coming from the 80’s but in a bad way! the mfr should really try to make them look better, as now they look more like the speaking hat in a harry potter movie