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  Ohm Walsh Micro Talls: who's actually heard 'em?

I'd love to hear the impressions of people who've actually spent some time with these speakers to share their sense of their plusses and minuses. Mapman here on Audiogon is a big fan, and has shared lots on them, but I'm wondering who else might be familiar with them.
Rebbi  (System | Threads | Answers | This Thread)

  Responses (2051-2100 of 2100)
Click title to read one, or click date to read all below it.

06-10-14: Mapman

DEscribe your room size and any special considerations acoustically.

I have run my 5s off 120, 180 and 350 and 500 w/ch 2 channel amps in my 20X30 L shaped room with standard height drywall ceiling and carpet over concrete floor.

ALl these were "suitable" for low to moderate volume no doubt, the more power and current, the merrier, for the "biggest", fullest sound. All amps were limited in terms of biggest sound possible compared to my current 500w/ch BEl CAnto ref1000m Icepower monoblocks.

I would recommend 500 w/ch Class D or something similar for best results with the largest OHMs. Current delivery capability is as important to overall tonal balance as # watts is for distortion free higher SPLs often needed to reproduce large scale works at a realistic level in a larger room.

My smaller 100s make due nicely with "only" 180 w/ch in most any room in my modest size house I use them in, but current delivery is also critical. Your B&K might be the bottleneck to best large scale "big" performance possible. More watts and perhaps even more current as well to go along with that will surely take things to a higher level, assuming everything is in good working order.

Mapman  (System | Reviews | Threads | Answers | This Thread)

06-10-14   Coot, what would you identify as the issue with large scale ...   Martykl

06-11-14   Martykl when a crescendo builds, the louder it becomes, the ...   Coot

06-11-14: Martykl

I noticed a similar issue with my 100s. I added a pair of subwoofers to address the bottom octave and take some of the upper bass workload off the Ohms. I love the result, but I use Audyssey to integrate the woofers and I know that that's not everyone's cup of tea.

FWIW, I don't think that Ohm's greatest strength is macro-dynamics (tho I haven't heard the larger models so I can't comment on those). Conversely, the MBL 101 is great on that front, but hideously expensive, a bit flabby on bottom, and -to my ear - bottom heavy in medium sized rooms.

I haven't heard any other full range omnis, so there may be other ways to skin the cat. However, if you want to address the issue without replacing your speakers, adding subwoofers to your Ohms might be your best bet. Worked for me.

Martykl  (Reviews | Threads | Answers | This Thread)

06-11-14: Mapman
Adding powered sub that goes down to 20 hz or so no problem and can be integrated cleanly with mains probably has the most up side if done right to throw more at the problem to increase clean output levels possible.

More power and current to the amp as I mentioned above is another. That should deliver better macrodynamics and fuller extended bass down into the 20-3ohz range for so with larger OHMs in matched size room (see teh chart on OHM site that matches models to room size), maybe talk to JS. He could probably help confirm if teh speakers are capable of meeting goals alone in target room with the right amp or not, in which case the sub route is needed. OR, he now makes model 5015 for a few grand more with powered sub built into each cabinet along with 5000 drivers.

More power and larger drivers is always the key with OHM Walshes. ONly question is how much needed in a particular case and is there a model that scales up enough alone for a particular room to meet goals.

Mapman  (System | Reviews | Threads | Answers | This Thread)

06-11-14   Yeah amps and subs - anyone like to contribute the $$ to mak ...   Coot

06-11-14: Mapman
Coot, my 5s are limited in a manner similar to what you describe if I use my 180w/ch TAD Hibachi monoblocks in place of my Bel CAnto Ref1000ms.

The TADs do pretty well with my 100s in our large open family room/kitchen area that opens up to the whole first floor of our 3000+ sq. foot home. At higher volumes though not even close to the 5s off the ref1000m amps downstairs in the 20X30 L shaped room, which does have doors and is more acoustically sealed.

Big, natural, clean sound at realistic volumes does not come cheap, unfortunately, especially in a larger volume area/room. Its the one thing that truly justifies a lot of the money spent towards the goal of the "ultimate sound" IMHO.

Class D amps will be your friend towards this end with the OHMs when the time comes. Either more power to the 5000s and/or adding powered subs, which by the way mostly all also use Class D amp power these days.

Its basic physics. Big sound needs bigger drivers and speakers and more power and all that ups the cost.

Mapman  (System | Reviews | Threads | Answers | This Thread)

06-12-14: Mapman
Modern OHM Walsh design speakers are without match I find in terms of their ability to go loud and clear (with the necessary amp behind them) for teh particular size and at the particular price point of each.

I think a lot of that has to do with the Walsh driver principle as JS has implemented enabling more output from any particular driver than might be possible using typical pistonic motion only driver design. If one reads up on Walsh driver operation principles, I suspect that is a result of the fact that sound leaves the cone at different frequencies from different locations along the cone. Also because the Walsh driver does not cover the higher frequencies, above 8Khz.

Lincoln Walsh's original design attempted to be full range. It succeeded fairly well at that but all implementations at the time were quite delicate and fragile and easily destroyed at high volumes if things went wrong.

Modern similar designs, like Dale HArder's, might have solved some of those problems, or I am confident at least are able to address them better to some extent, using modern technology advances at his disposal today that did not exist in LW's day.

Remember though that the largest modern OHM Walsh driver, like the ones in my F5s3s, appear to be only about 10" or so. I have not encountered it yet practically in my case, but that will become a limitation at some time, even if the design manages to squeeze the most possible out of a driver that size.

10" and even 12" bass drivers (not even wider range like modern OHM Walsh CLS) used to be common years ago, but few modern speakers use driver's larger than 10". Many modern speakers, including OHM to some degree, tend to use smaller drivers and be less efficient in order to fit better into most people's homes. Smaller lower efficiency speakers put more burden on the amp, especially to deliver high SPL full range sound in larger rooms. Huge, heavy, and expensive monster power amps, available to few, used to be needed. No longer the case however with modern Class D amp technology, which I consider to be one the greatest recent innovations in home audio technology. A perfect match made in heaven for JSs modern innovations with the Walsh driver principle.

The sky is the limit now for home audio enthusiasts with Class D amps. Especially when you toss a few into a sub cabinet along with a good quality 12" or 15" bass driver.

Mapman  (System | Reviews | Threads | Answers | This Thread)

06-12-14: Martykl
To clarify one point re: adding subs. I actively cross my set up at 72hz - that number reflecting the smoothest FR I could manage thru the x-over region. I suspect that diverting those large excursion signals below 72hz away from the Ohm allows for a greater sense of macro-dynamics. The really long excursions are now executed by the Rythmik subs which handle the job better. Freed from that work, the Ohm can handle its job better, too. The increased bass extention into the bottom octave is less important to me, since it's so rarely present on any of the music that I listen to. Since Coot's a pipe organ guy, it may be more useful to him - provided he's got one (or more) of those rare recordings that actually provides the bottom end of the pipe to a system that can handle it.
Martykl  (Reviews | Threads | Answers | This Thread)

06-12-14   32-ft pipe = 16hz. not that uncommon in large organs.   Coot

06-12-14: Mapman

If it is the lowest notes of organ music that you are looking for, make sure your electronics, particularly pre-amp, is up to the task. I have found that to make the biggest difference with my OHMs over times.

My current ARC sp16 tube pre-amp is a wonderful sounding pre-amp, but not the most extended for low pipe organ notes. My old "mid-fi" Carver pre-amp was much better in that regard, but not in much else.

You might want to assess what you have currently in that regard and compare on paper to other options.

I would make sure that is covered first before doing anything else.

There may also be big differences in terms of low frequency response and distortion with source gear, particularly turntables and carts, more so than modern good quality digital.

At least that has been my experience with pre-amps and the OHMs with pipe organ music. Pipe organs aside, it does not matter nearly as much. If I listened to pipe organ music more often, I would be considering a different pre-amp I think, probably a very good SS one. It is good enough as is, but I have heard it can be much better, with my OHM 5s and in my room.

Pipe organs push the edge for low end extension versus pretty much anything else, so not just anything will do there anywhere in teh signal chain. Its not a huge consideration for many these days, so do not assume that just any gear is up to the task.

Mapman  (System | Reviews | Threads | Answers | This Thread)

06-12-14: Mapman

I agree that adding a sub and offloading work from main speakers and amps significantly reduces what is demanded from both amp and speakers in most every case, not just OHM, and if done right can only be of benefit, if one chooses to go that way.

As I know you know, it's the "done right" part that is the challenge, but you more than most anyone here seem to have done your homework and found a good way to do it right.

Mapman  (System | Reviews | Threads | Answers | This Thread)

06-12-14: Mapman
In summary, I have heard where my OHM 5s in my room with the right gear in front of them can do an excellent job alone on the lowest notes of pipe organs, shaking hte rafters in the process. Top notch low end extension in source gear and enough power to go along with it are the keys.

Power demand increase exponentially at lower frequencies, so I would think 250W/ch or more for larger OHMs in a larger space to start to be where one would want for pipe organ notes that shake the rafters (as they should).

Damping factor of the amp is also significant for this. Higher damping might make bass tighter and more articulate, and lower damping will loosen things up more and help to get teh room vibrating.

My current setup is more towards the former than the latter these days.

But when I started out with my 5s off Carver m4.0t power amp (tube like sound, low damping) and matching Carver pre-amp, the rafters shook to the point where I would be concerned about things starting to fall off the walls and other similar problems.

Now its leaner and meaner, and not as loosely damped in the bass, but when I get things up to proper level for pipe organ and such, the lock key sitting on a narrow ledge nearby usually ends up on the floor still. And the sound is rock solid and clear, with no sign of breakup or distress EVER.

That is all with no subs in the picture.

Toss a couple of those in then get them set up right and you will likely take a nice shortcut to the place you seek.

So far, I have not felt the need, but do I do get the urge to try to push the limits from time to time....

Mapman  (System | Reviews | Threads | Answers | This Thread)

06-12-14: Mapman
I also just thought to mention that cabinet volume is a big factor with teh OHM Walshes along with driver size in terms of being able to deliver the goods down to 20hz.

I have never seen John advertise any Walsh models to extend below 20hz (few if any vendors ever do), but I am not sure it is not possible with the larger Walsh cabinets and drivers.

I like the older pyramidal shaped OHM cabinets in this regard in particular in that they tend to be wider and have greater volume per height accordingly, compared to the newer sleeker looking cabinets. Not to mention no || sides. All Walshes sound best when listened to from driver level or above, so narrower cabinets must be taller to have same volume. Taller will not work as well if listening from typical chair level closer to the speakers rather than at more of a distance, as is more possible in a larger room.

I prefer the older pyramid shaped cabinets on paper for all these reasons myself. Not to mention, they can be had for less than new ones in that when available they are essentially recycled and refurbed.

JS hit the bullseye with his Walsh design. Same sound scales as needed, old cabs can be re-used to offer a discount, plus all the rest. Very smart. No other speaker line can make those claims, I think.

Mapman  (System | Reviews | Threads | Answers | This Thread)

06-13-14   32-ft pipe = 16hz. not that uncommon in large organs. no ar ...   Martykl

06-13-14   The jean guillou rendition of pictures at an exhibition on d ...   Mapman

06-13-14   Frankly, i would not want to reproduce anything below 20hz w ...   Mapman

06-13-14   Hi mapman, i have been many times to organ recitals where 32 ...   Coot

06-13-14: Mapman

Pipe organ music lovers are almost always prime candidates for bigger drivers and more power than most. Powered subs may not be the only way, but probably the most expedient way in most all cases, including OHM.

Just remember that recordings are recordings, not live events. I would not expect much if any music in most recordings below 20hz. The Jean Guillou recording I mentioned above is the one I know that might have the best chance.

Maybe Martykl has that or another recording with music he can measure with his gear down that low. I might have a test CD or test record around still with a 20hz test tone. Or there are tone generator apps on internet and computers that could work with the right connection to assess system performance at the lowest frequencies.

It can be done. Where there is a will (and budget) there is a way....

Good luck.

Mapman  (System | Reviews | Threads | Answers | This Thread)

06-13-14   The least expensive way to assure flat 20hz response that i ...   Martykl

06-14-14   Thanks martykl. i think step one will be upgrade power amp( ...   Coot

06-27-14: Joekapahulu
All this discussion about Class D makes me wonder how many of the Ohm owners on this site are running those kinds of amps and if so what? I havent heard a lot, just W4S and Wadia and I wasn't taken with either. The Wyred was 4 or so years ago and the Wadia more recently. I am looking to upgrade my amp ,whether as a separate or integrated to something modern (vs McIntosh mc250) to get more from my ohm w2-100s3. Be interested to hear others comments on this direction and products below $2k.
Joekapahulu  (System | Threads | Answers | This Thread)

06-27-14: Mapman
I use Bel Canto ref1000m amps with my OHM F5 S3 and Walsh 100S3 speakers.

These are the bomb for those I would say.

Have not heard others with OHM, but I have heard of very good results with OHM and Wyred from others, particularly audiogoner Mamboni, who is perhaps the most knowledgeable and well rounded listeners out there.

500w/ch ref1000ms work well with any OHM it would seem, but is probably overkill for 100s. THey are perfect for my 5s.

For 100s, you can easily get away with "only" 250w/ch in most all cases I would say. That will help lower the cost.

In my experience, larger OHM Walshes in particular benefit from power, current and damping. Modern good quality Class D amps tend to deliver all these in spades in a small and affordable package.

D-sonic is another Class D line worth considering on a budget.

Due to high damping in particular, Class D amps can come across as somewhat lean in some cases when this is not called for. FOr example, this is the case running my little Triangle Titus monitors of the BCs. The resulting sound can be a touch towards the lean and bright side, however over tweaks like adjusting speaker location relative to floor can help even out even this case, so anything is possible with Class D if done right I would say.

Mapman  (System | Reviews | Threads | Answers | This Thread)

06-27-14: Jedinite24
Hi Joekapahulu

I currently have the Ohm Walsh MicroTall SEs and I'm currently powering them with a pair of Red Dragon M1000 Mk I Monoblocks. With a tube front end I'm VERY happy with this combination. Music is loud and clear and I have bass that I'm very happy with. During the colder months I use a Jolida JD-502P with the Ohms and I'm happy with the results. I do notice a little difference with the bass when I have the Jolida in place. It isn't as tight.

Best of luck in the search.

Jedinite24  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)

06-27-14: Mapman
I use 180w/ch TAD Hibachi monoblocks currently in my second system with teh OHM 100S3s and have used these amps as substitutes for BCs in my main system as well.

These are SS amps made to sound more tube like, lower input impedance, lower damping etc. Sound with these is much different, bass not as tight, etc. That can work for or against you depending on room acoustics. Room acoustics in the room these are in are less than optimal, but not bad.

I much prefer the BC Class D amps with my 100s when I use them in my office, which is more optimal acoustically as well. Concrete foundation with thin pad and carpet there, versus typical plywood flooring and carpet in family room where my second system is. Bottom firing bass ports on Walsh speakers can interact strongly with floors like that.

SO I think BC Class Ds are much better overall for OHMs than the TAD Hibachis, though neither are a slouch by any means. When losser, fatter, whatever you call it bass is called for, amps with damping factor well under 50 might have an edge.

Mapman  (System | Reviews | Threads | Answers | This Thread)

06-27-14   Thx for the feedback. it might be time to check out class d ...   Joekapahulu

06-28-14   Just a different take on the hibachi vs class d question. i ...   Martykl

06-30-14   Personally, i find it extremely difficult to dial in a subwo ...   Mrjktcvs

06-30-14   "my question is, why go with a 5000 if it still require ...   Mapman

07-19-14: Coot
I'm about to pull the trigger on Hephaestus Harpocrates amps to feed my Ohm 5000s. Anyone heard this amp?

Coot  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)

07-19-14: Mapman
I have not.

Looks intriguing. Would like to hear. Would appear to be a worthy mate to a pair of larger OHMS.

Mapman  (System | Reviews | Threads | Answers | This Thread)

07-19-14   Guidocorona here on agon does a lot of work with class d amp ...   Mapman

07-21-14   Thanks mapman, i'll try to contact him. i'm on temporary ho ...   Coot

08-11-14: Mapman
Some interesting new content on the website these days.

All shapes and sizes of Walshes, many seemingly new, for various applications and locations, with new pics of some. ALso JS's weekly post on various topics. Good stuff!

Mapman  (System | Reviews | Threads | Answers | This Thread)

08-13-14   Appears not many folk left at this thread, but i'll throw th ...   Coot

08-14-14   Coot, the usb cable difference is interesting. what kind o ...   Mapman

08-14-14   The lh replaced a mapleshade clearlink ii plus (now in it's ...   Coot

08-14-14   Coot, are you using cd resolution music files as the source? ...   Mapman

08-14-14   Hi mapman, i listen almost exclusively to classical music - ...   Coot

03-02-15: Parasound63
So, on the Amazon series "Bosch", the main character has Ohm's, being driven by an old McIntosh Amp with a Marantz turntable!
Parasound63  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)

03-02-15: Mapman
...and they don't even sell ohms on Amazon. 😉
Mapman  (System | Reviews | Threads | Answers | This Thread)

03-03-15: Wtf
I just saw the episode of "Bosch" where you can clearly see the Ohm's and it put a big smile on my face. I'm a fan of the novels the series is based on and Harry (main character) is a jazz and vinyl lover. Fun. Oh, and I liked the first season btw.
Wtf  (Answers | This Thread)

03-03-15   Which episode is that? i've seen them but only for a few f ...   Mapman

03-04-15: Wtf
Map, I'm pretty sure it was the 9th episode. There is a nice shot of them placed along that amazing wall of windows (gorgeous view!). I was glad to see/hear Harry's love of jazz faithfully portrayed .. the Ohm's and Marantz gear is a nice touch.
Wtf  (Answers | This Thread)

03-04-15   God bless the internet. and heere they are...   Mapman

03-11-15: Jwc2012
I recently got a Micromega Mydac which has received very good to glowing reviews. Most intriguing for Ohm Walsh fans is the repeated observations that the Mydac excels at 3D imaging and enhancing the soundstage. Of course, this plays to the Ohms' strong suit.

I run a Squeezebox Touch into the Mydac, and the dac into an Acurus DIA-100 integrated amp (substituting for my ailing Sansui). The Acurus is known to be very sensitive to source (quite true). The Mydac does improve the sound from the Acurus top to bottom, with great clarity, detail, and high end extension. But the most impressive change came from my Ohm 2000s. The Mydac matched superbly with them, broadening the soundstage beyond the speaker (which only happened occasionally prior). The imaging is now notably more 3D and holographic on recordings where this characteristic is present. It's not a particularly warm sound; it's more neutral and transparent, much like the Ohms and the DIA-100. IMO, this sound signature works well with the Ohms' well-behaved tweeter. To top it off, the Mydac is an affordable budget item. One gets a lot of bang for the buck on the dac market these days. But this one seems to play particularly nice with Ohm Walshes.

Jwc2012  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)

03-11-15: Frazeur1
John, good to see that things are going well for you with the Ohms and DAC etc.!
Frazeur1  (System | Reviews | Threads | Answers | This Thread)

03-11-15   Hey tim! great to hear from you. all's well here. i got a ...   Jwc2012

03-13-15   I would agree, seems to be a lot of good dacs to play around ...   Frazeur1

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