Reviewer: Joël Chevassus
Financial interests: click here
Source: Esoteric K-03, Lumin S1, Apple iMac Lion/Audirvana, Trends UD-10.1, MacBook Lion with HiFace USB bridge
Amp/preamp: Coincident Technology Statement Line preamplifier, SPL Volume2, Luxman M-800a x 2 (bridged), Trends TA-10.2, Angstrom Research Stella [on loan]
Vivid Audio G1, Magnepan 20.7 [on loan]
Cables: Skywire Audio 2020 digital cable, Naturelle Audio interconnects Live 8 MK2, Grimm Audio TPM interconnects, High Fidelity CT1 Enhanced speakers
Power Cords:  Supra, DIY, Triode Wire Labs 10+
Stands & room: Music Tools Alicia furniture, DAAD 4 bass traps, Microsorber room insulation, PYT panels
Review components retail: €9’000/pr

Context. After the South African gems from Vivid Audio, my virtual audio journey left me in Lublin/Poland at the doors of the Autotech conglomerate. Established in the early 2000s, they deal with various productions of automotive parts, motorbike trailers, housings for electric vehicles - and yes, loudspeakers. The guy behind this unusual panoply of products is Lukasz Lewandowski, founder and chief designer. The division in charge of audio has simply been named hORNS since their core business is the manufacture of horns and wave guides (another name for very shallow horns) which are disseminated as kits or as complete loudspeakers. DIY in fact was hORNS’ very first market.

Wave guides and horns help to match the acoustic impedance of compression drivers which produce a highly concentrated sound to the impedance of the room which dispersed that sound. They act as a kind of acoustic transformer and came standard with the very first gramophones. Lewandowski offers a large choice of horn types but mainly promotes Jean-Michel Le Cléac’h (JMLC) hyperbolic horns and SEOS hybrid forms (Super Elliptical Oblate Spheroid) which are slightly less intrusive and offer wider horizontal dispersion. But he can meet most customization requests with many different sorts of horn shapes.

hORNS’ specialty is poly-glass as the overlap with Autotech’s automotive glass-fiber productions. The company manufactures parts from epoxy and polyester laminates as well as with RIM tech (reaction injection molding). They specialize in developing concepts, designs, build patterns and molds, manufacturing finished parts as well as conduct R&D of prototype parts. Autotech use CAD & CAM for their production as well as 3D laser scanners and CNC planer mills and are experienced also in more traditional mold making. Autotech can manufacture in rigid polyurethane foam (PUR) with injection molding. We are suddenly not that far removed from the gestation process of my Vivid G1 where their enclosures are concerned. [New Autotech project at right.]

The current range topper in their turn-key speaker catalogue is the Universum 3-way. It combines a spherical midrange horn for a Beryllium driver over a narrow 300Hz – 3’500Hz window augmented by a hornloaded tweeter in a miniaturized horn of the same shape. The 15-inch downfiring woofer is backloaded in a narrowing 'inverted' horn/line which vents at the top. The Universum flagship is adjustable for phase, gain and roll-off and claims 95dB sensitivity with 30Hz to 20kHz bandwidth. It also requires tri-amping.

new project

The FP range models based on the SEOS horn geometry are less exclusive by deliberately adapting to smaller rooms. FP is short for front panel which began as a solid, heavy, stiff and resonance-free open baffle for the compression driver. These designs were sold to DIYers. After Lukasz achieved excellent results with his own crossover designs, he decided to forego the SEOS open baffle DIY business and launch his own FP boxes starting with the mid-sized FP10, then built from it a range above and below. Hence the current small FP-6, the original FP-10 and my bigger FP-15 loaners (the number indicates woofer size).


The FP-6 shares the same size as a BBC Rogers and is said to be the smallest front-loaded hornspeaker ever produced. Its 87dB sensitivity is naturally lower than the bigger models and accompanied by a typical monitor bandwidth of 50Hz to 20kHz. It allows audiophiles with very limited space at their disposal to enjoy the horn-loaded sound. The original mid-sized FP-10 is a 30-litre enclosure (compared to the FP-6’s 12.5l) with 96dB sensitivity at more or less the same bandwidth. The top FP-15 is really bigger with a 90-litre box and bass starting at 30Hz.