What is a Lowther anyway?
Lowther is the brand name for the finest loudspeaker drive units that are
They are all full-range drivers with extremely powerful magnets and
ultra-light paper cones, leading to extraordinary sensitivity, transient
response and low distortion.
They are made by Lowther-Voigt Ltd in England, and undergo a unique
production process where everything is done by hand.
The Lowther-Voigt factory has been in the business of manufacturing
loudspeaker drive units for over 60 years, and is one of the true pioneers
in audio technology. Twin cone drivers, folded horns, tractrix horn contour
were all invented by Lowther-Voigt.
The new drivers from Lowther-Voigt incorporate "Hi-Ferric coil control",
a new landmark in voice coil technology (pat. pending). This is a brand
new way of controlling coil travel, that works over the entire frequence
range (as opposed to magnetic oils, which will only work for high frequencies).
It allows the speaker cone to accelerate and decelerate faster (better
damping). The result is even better inter-transient damping and 'air' around
each and every instrument and voice. Hi-Ferric coil control also effectively
prevents overshoot ofthe coil/cone from occuring.
Another astonishing property of the new drivers is that they are actually
capable of handling 100 watts of input power (yes, it is true). and that
is a lot, considering that you only need 4-5 watts of amp power to play
them ear-deafening loud.
If you want to know more about the company and their products; check
out Some history on Lowther-Voigt
The Lowhers can not be used for bass reproduction in vented/sealed cabinets.
You will have to house the driver in a horn enclosure, which is the best
way to build a loudspeaker anyway. If you do not know what a horn enclosure
is, read the rest of this document.
It is of course also possible to employ a Lowther driver as a midrange/treble
drive unit in larger systems.
Find out more about why horns are the best way to go if you want no-compromise
stereo on Thomas Dunker's 'horn page' (via the
For those of you who really want to dig into horn theory, visit the
references page. Very extensive list of litterature
And what is a Lowther Club?
Lowther Clubs are Lowther-Voigt's way of spreading throughout the world.
The 'HiFi Establishment' hasn't been particularly keen on handling Lowthers
in their portfolio, and there's a number of reasons why the Lowthers have
become an 'out-of-the-mainstream' product for audio enthusiasts.
So, as a result of all these things, Lowthers are today spreading through
networks of enthusiasts around the world. These enthusiasts form 'Lowther
Clubs' that act as distributors/importers in their segments of themarket.
They are initially financed from their founder's wallets, membership charges
and (hopefully) sales of drivers/cabinets.
Product strategy: Lowther-Voigt never let go of their sound product strategy,
and refused to be tricked by the market trend into building poor efficiency
/ cheap to make 'long-throw' bass/midrange and the other drivers that most
of today's mainstream products are made up of. The Lowthers ended up in
many ways an idiosyncracy in the market place. However, there has always
been a number of dedicated audiophile fans embracing their products, and
thanks to them, the Lowthers are still here.
Hi-Fi reseller's business strategies: The Lowther drivers are to a large
extent aimed at the DIY marketplace. Not surprising, considering the cost
of shipping a big horn speaker, easily weighing 70-100 kg. Obviously, this
means that there's less money to be earned from each sale, compared to
selling a complete box. For a very reasonable price, you can buy the world's
finest drive units at the hifi reseller's , and then spend the rest of
it at the sawmill/woodshop/whereever.
One-way vs multi-way speakers: The hifi audience has been led to believe
that multi-way speaker is the only way to go, if you want hi-fi sound.
This is, of course, totally untrue. The problem is that it's a lot cheaper
to build multi-way speakers, hence more money to be earned, both for the
vendor and the reseller. Profit and sellability has has outdone musicality
and listening enjoyment in the marketplace. If you really want hi-fi reproduction;
Public taste issues/sellability: Big speakers are not 'in' anymore. Today's
ideal speaker is invisible. This clearly raises a conflict with horn designs,
which tend to be quite big.
The 'know-how': Selling a drive unit intended for horn construction/building
is clearly somewhat more of a technical challenge than selling 'boxes'.
In order to be able to answer your horn building customer's questions,
you need to know a lot about horn acoustics /construction theory. To sell
an off-the-shelf 'box', all you really need to know is the difference between
(+) and (-). And of course, the obligatory 'test winners' listings...
And so on and so on...
Building your own horn
Building your own Lowther horns is a fun venture, and a lot easier than
it sounds. There are some complex designs that are definitely out of the
hobbyist's reach, but most Lowther horns are pretty easy to build and do
not require the tools of a professional woodworking shop. Building with
Lowther drivers also means building without a crossover, and in most cases
with only one drive unit per loudspeaker, all of which simplifies building
As an example, take a look at the "Voigt pipe".
Hardly a project to scare anyone off. The construct is unique in it's simplicity,
and has surprisingly good bass response.
If you feel like spending some more time with your table saw, take look
at the plans for the highly acclaimed Acousta 115
(51K). An original Lowther-Voigt design of 1964. This horn is representative
of a lot of Lowther constructs. The constant-width folding of the horn
greatly simplifies construction and building. If you want to learn more
about this particular speaker, read the towards
New designs from Lowther Voigt
New designs from Lowther Voigt inc. all incorporate the groundbreaking
BICOR principle (patented by Lowther-Voigt in the 1980's. This is an igenious
construction technique that effectively eliminates standing wave patterns
in folded horns, making it possible to build relatively small horn loaded
cabinets without sacrificing overall performance. Take a 'cross-sectional
look' at some of their current designs; The Fidelio,
the Academy, the Bel
Canto, the BICOR 2000 (11K) and the Delphic.
More information on these loudspeakers (and better resolution graphics)
will be made available on these pages soon.
All the work...
For a complete description of the steps necessary to construct/build your
own horn, read the article BIG FUN. Plans for
this horn are available here (22K). Now there
is also a somewhat scaled-down version of the BigFun available, it's new
and it's called The "All Fun" horn, read
this extensive article.
Go back to / visit the Lowther Club home page