Amplifier advice from Ohm Walsh 100 Mk. II owners

I am awaiting a pair of Ohm Walsh 100 Mk. II speakers. My current system uses a Rega Brio 3. (49 watts at into 8 ohms, 64 watts into 4 ohms) I suspect it may fall short with the Ohms.

The room is around 30x20, with a cathedral ceiling that extends up to 16 feet. The system is along the long wall, and most listening is done with 8-10 feet.

The amplifiers under consideration are:

Rogue Cronus Magnum (90 watts, Tube)
Wyred4Sound STI500 (250 watts into 8 ohms, 550 watts into 4 ohms, Class D)
Quad 99/909 (140 watts into 8 ohms, 250 watts into 4 ohms, Solid State)

Any input/guidance from other Ohm Walsh owners, specifically Ohm Walsh 100 Mk. II owners past and present, would be greatly appreciated.
If you like to listen loud, you'll need more juice than the Brio can supply. The Rogue might or might not work out well, but I suspect the other 2 would be fine.

In my 15 X 23 room (similar ceiling), the 122 WPC ARC VT130SE does fine for my needs, but I'm not sure how much further I'd want to push it.

200+ SS WPC would probably be more than enough.

Good Luck

Thanks for the advice, Marty. In my Audiogon Ohm search, I came across your mention of the TAD Hibachi. I hadn't initially considered going the separates route, but perhaps I should. I know you may not have used the W4S amp, specifically, but given your experience with the Bel Canto S300 , would you say the TAD Hibachi would be a better match with the Ohm Walsh than the W4S amp? I understand that there something of a disparity between the W4S and the Bel Canto in terms of watts and implementations of Class D, and I understand it would only be an educated guess on your part, but which would you choose if for your money? I'm thinking the Hibachi might work well with a Doge 8 preamp. Given the fact that the Doge 8 has a well regarded phonostage and I would need a separate phono preamp for the W4S amp, they end up pretty close as far as price. I'm just wondering which would have better sound/synergy with the Ohms.

Thanks again for your experienced input.

Ohms require an amplifier with current. I had a different pair of Ohms than yours, but I would be looking at a high current amp that doubles down with at least 100 watts into 8 ohms 200 into 4 ohms.
The Hibachis work well with Ohm 100s and are dirt cheap right now ($650/pr direct from TAD, last I looked). I can assure you from personal experience that this combo works well. However, the TADs are on the warmish side for SS amps, and they're not the last word in "transparency", so - if that's your thing - they may leave you a little short of the mark. They're also slightly quirky on the layout and - tho nicely finished - they're definitely not "jewelry".

If you tend to listen "to" (ratther than "thru") the music, you'll probably love 'em.

Good Luck,

Incidentally, if you use a single source, the current version (I think) offers attenuation - so you (technically) don't need a preamp (tho you might still want one).

You might want to check w/TAD to be sure on this point.

Marty, thanks again for taking the time to offer your advice. I emailed Paul and he's been extremely helpful, providing incredible service by answering a number of questions. I ordered a pair and was even able to get XLR inputs since the Doge 8 has an active balanced circuit with XLR outputs. I needed to verify that with Pacific Valve before asking Paul to go ahead with the XLR's in place of the single ended inputs. From your descriptions of the sound and the other extremely positive reviews of Paul's work, I feel confident that I'll be happy with the amps, despite not having had the opportunity to hear them first. And at an extremely reasonable price! I'll let you know how it all comes together. I'm really glad I came across your mention of the Hibachis and appreciate all the advice you've offered.

My pleasure.
Good luck with the project.

UPDATE: I just wanted to let you guys know that the Doge 8 and Hibachi have both arrived. They sound fantastic with the Ohm amps and I feel pretty certain that they should keep my urge to upgrade those components at bay for the next couple of years. Thank you, both Marty and Foster, for the advice. I'm trying to get the components burned in, within my time constraints, but even now everything sounds fantastic, given the relatively modest outlay. I assume it'll only get better as time goes on. The Hibachi, at first, seemed less robust than the 200 watts implied, but after 2 days of playing, the initial question marks disappeared. As these are the first new amplification components I have ever bought, this is the first instance of burn in that I've had immediate experience of. I'm very happy with the Ohms. Despite having looked into them for the past few years, I hadn't imagined I would be buying a pair at this time, but the opportunity for a relatively close sale in a finish I like made it irresistible. I'm glad I took the plunge, despite this not fitting into the equipment map I'd had for myself. I think these Hibachis will be keepers and can do duty with a W4S DAC-2 as a preamp in a second system when the urge to try SET becomes too great and I'm forced to change things up. Thanks again, guys!
I picked up a second hand pair of tad hibachi 2 amps that should arrive week.

I'm trying them out as an upgrade in my second system driving a pair of Triangle Titus XS along with the sub. I'm expecting good things there.

Not planning to use them with any OHMs currently though except perhaps as a back-up if needed there. Would be interesting to try that combo though if I like what I hear with the Triangles.

I tried the Hibachis with the Vandersteen 1C speakers prior to selling them and they sounded great together. Given the similar sensitivity levels, I think you'll have an easy time getting a pleasing sound from the Triangles. Hearing the Vandersteens with my system after the Ohms made me appreciate the need for more watts with Ohm speakers, even the 100s.
I currently own a pair of Walsh Ohm 100 Mk IIs.

The Exposure 2010S2 is a first-rate match; this is with Naim CDX2 as source (Naim 5-pin-to-RCA interconnects), Nordost Flatlines as speaker cable.

The Exposure amp is quite transparent, and everything it retrieves - and I do mean everything - ends up being music; a great piece of gear, and a very high-quality match with the 100s indeed. Highest recommendation.

I never had much luck with the 100s in my 30x16 family room,
but they sound very good in a 17x13 bedroom. A very balanced, coherent sound, articulate without brightness, excellent bass - easily reaches into the 30s.
I'm very happy to hear that. I currently have my Ohms listed for sale because I got a wonderful deal on another speaker I'd always wanted to own. However, if they don't sell at my bottom line price the Ohms are going over to my girlfriend's house to replace her aging speakers. It's funny. I won't actually be that disappointed if they don't sell because it'll give me an opportunity to listen to them that much longer. I really like them a lot, but the desire to experiment with other types of speakers and only have one set of floorstanders in my home at a time forces my hand. Anyway, if they go to her house, they'll be run off an HK receiver with similar power output to the Exposure 2010S2. While the receiver is highly unlikely to have have anything approaching the quality level of the Exposure, especially in terms of its power supply, I'm hoping it'll drive the speakers well enough for her living room, which has similar dimensions to the bedroom you described. That Exposure is really an incredible integrated amp. I recall being very impressed with it when I heard it, and thinking I'd love to own one someday. Have you used it with any other speakers aside from the Ohms? Also, would you mind sharing how you have the Ohms placed in your bedroom setup? I always appreciate any feedback others have with regard to optimum placement.
Hi, Anonymoustao -

Tried the Exposure 2010S2 with Epos ES12, Audio Note J/L, Reference 3A Veena (which are still breaking in). Works well with all, altho AN J/Ls may like tubes better. I would say the 2010S2 is a best match with speakers that are articulate even to the point of being slightly bright. Tone is outstanding with the Exposure. Actually, so is everything else, including bass.

The 100 MKIIs were set up along the 17' wall, about 7' apart, altho they can be separated more than that; my room is in a state of flux, so not an ideal setup - they sound good anyway. Among the easiest speakers to set up - move closer to wall behind them for a meatier, full sound; further away for the opposite effect. Love the wheels; no spikes!
State of flux...I can relate to that. :) I've also heard from folks on the Harbeth owners' forum that the Exposure works well with Harbeth speakers, but have no personal experience of that match. I was considering purchasing a pair of Compact 7s or SHL5's a while back and was researching amp options for those. And I believe Stephen Meijas from Stereophile uses an Exposure 2010 with Devore Gibbon 3's. I've never heard the Veena but have read good things about it, and can imagine that would be a nice pairing.

So true about the Ohm set up. Those casters make playing around with placement a breeze. Experimenting to get a proper set up with the Ohms has been a joy, especially compared to the Vandersteen 1Cs I had before the Ohms. I have hard wood floors and dealing with spikes and discs and getting the tilt set properly was a bit of work, made especially slow because I was doing it alone. It's too bad they dropped the casters from the newer Ohms.

Here's to speedy break in on those Veenas. Cheers, Irc3479!
"It's too bad they dropped the casters from the newer Ohms. "

I agree, but I suspect they could be done by special request, especially with refurbished cabinets, or they may not be hard to add yourself.
I was never a fan of the casters on the Ohm Walsh speakers. Although very practical for speaker placement the casters just looked cheap. IMO it took away from the looks Walsh speakers which already some find not so visually appealing.

Now as soon as I have the money for a pair of Ohm Walsh 100s or Micro Talls I'll pounce on them. Power wise would a rebuilt Sumo Nine or a rebuilt Hafler DH-220 be enough to power them? I would only be sitting at most 6ft away from them most of the time. Thanks
What are the power, input impedance, current delivery and damping specs on the Sumo and Hafler amps?

Most any amp will drive them if used in the correct matching size room (see OHM web site for model to room size mappings).

To drive and CONTROL them to their max however (can be a BIG difference in results) in a properly matched room, I'd recommend a beefy 80 w/ch or higher amp with good current delivery capability and damping factor of 50 or higher to be safe.

Similar for larger Walshes but for those I would throw as much power and current with high damping as is possible at them. Class D amps are an excellent choice to accomplish this with reasonable cost of ownership these days.

Because the OHm Walshes have ben reasonably affordable over the years, a lot of people (including myself) have made the mistake of running them of similarly affordable receivers or integrateds that work OK but are not able to drive and control them to the max, which is needed to get the results that might be considered competitive soundwise with many of the "big boy" higher end systems out there.
Hi Mapman

Thanks for chiming in. Here are the specs of the Sumo Nine from the manual I was able to find.

Class A amplifier

Power Output (both channels driven 20Hz to 20KHz):

8 Ohms: 60W @ less than 0.25% THD
4 Ohms: 120W @ less than 1% THD

Input Impedance: 1 megohm

Damping Factor: 120 min, 20Hz to 1 KHz

I don't know how to calculate current delivery but the manual of the Sumo Nine can be found here.

The specs of the Hafler DH-220 can be found on page 16 here.

I pulled some specs that I'm hoping will help you.

Power Rating: Less than 0.02% total harmonic distortion at
any power level up to 115 watts continuous average power
per channel into 8 ohms at any frequency between 20 Hz
and 20 kHz with both channels driven.

Input Impedance: 47,OOO ohms.

Input Sensitivity: 1.55 volts rms for 1 15 watts into 8 ohms.

IM Distortion (SMPTE): Less than O.OOS’%, from 1 watt to 1 15 Damping Factor: 300 to 1 kHz into 8 ohms
watts into 8 ohms. 60 to 10 kHz into 8 ohms

Typical THD at 115 watts into 8 ohms: 1 kHz - 0 0025%; 1O kHz - 0.007%; 20 kHz - 0.012’/‘

Frequency Response into 8 ohms: - 3 dB. 2 Hz to 160 kHz at 1 watt, +O, -0.5 dB, 6 Hz to 60 kHz at 1 15 watts

Rise Time: 10 kHz. 60 volts peak to peak square wave, 1 0% to 9 0 % 2.5 us.

Slew Rate: 10 kHz. 60 volts peak to peak square wave: 30 VI’,~ s.

Typical Channel Separation: 20 Hz:> 75 dB
1 kHz:>85 dB
20 kHz: >6S dB

Signal to Noise Ratio, unweighted: Better than 100 dB at 115 watts into 8 ohms.

I'm hoping either amp works with the Ohm Walsh Micro Talls or the 100 series. I can't fit the larger Ohm Walsh series speakers in the listening space I have to work with.

I also like these amps a lot. I really don't want to sell them in favor of Class D amps. The ones in my budget that I've listened to weren't for me sound wise.
I think either amp should work well with either MicroWalsh or 100. I'd try each and see and then go from there if needed.

Again, make sure these are the right size for your room based on the model to room size mappings on the OHM site. 100s will do better in a larger room than Micros.

In teh case where the OHM Walshes are undersized for the room, even in the case of Micro Walshes, adding and integrating a good subwoofer later if needed is a good way to make up the difference in lieu of going to a larer model.

Also, some report good results using even tube amps with the OHM Walshes when subs are used to offload the work needed for the low end. So adding a sub and offloading the work for teh low end to it is another option for weaning better performance out of any given amp.
Mapman, any sub recommendations to go with the 100s?
HAven't tried subs with 100s (no need in my 12X12 rooms that I use them in).

Choice of sub will also probably largely depend on room size.

Bigger room-> bigger sub with more power needed. That usually always is the case.

The line I am most familiar and comfortable with from having heard sound good in higher end dealer systems in general is Rel. That is a popular line with the audiophile crowd in general. I am sure there are many other good ones though.

In general, 2 subs are usually better than 1, but 1 can work well especially if big enough and you have flexibility with locationand used with more full range speakers to start (like the 100s) where the crossover frequency need not be too high. Higher frequencies are more directional sounding in nature so a lower crossover point is generally better especially if using just one sub.

Personally, I would rather right size the OHMs to the room if possible rather than go the sub route, but that is just me. You might defer some cost adding a sub later, but not really save much if any money in the end once you do.

Plus the Walsh drivers are full range up to about 7Khz or so, which is part of its magic in terms of coherency. Crossing over to a sub might intrude on that.
Thanks for the info! I believe Martyk1 has used the 100s with subs in a larger room, but it's beginning to look like my 100s will end up in a 12x12 room, so it's unlikely to be an issue. I thought they sounded very good in my larger room, but given the fact that I wasn't willing to put in the effort/expense to integrate a sub into my setup, I think that putting them in the more appropriate sized room will bring out their best.
YEs, I would say MartyKL is the one to talk to with the most experience I know of regarding use of OHMs with subs and tube amps and how that setup might compare to others.
For anyone interested in Ohms, I thought I should relate the following. It seems the room sizes recommended by the company really are key to getting the best sound from Ohm speakers(Go figure!)...seemingly more so than amplification or source quality. I now have the speakers in the 12x12 office running off an HK receiver fed by an HRT MusicStreamer from my girlfriend's Macbook Pro and we love them more now than when they were much better fed in the living room. These are fantastic speakers for a smallish room with far less than optimal acoustics. Monitor speakers would have only worked well on the desktop, and these worked fine in the corners, with great sound throughout the room. I imagine the Micros would be about the same for such a small space. Anyway, I can't recommend these speakers highly enough for a relatively small, almost square room. I think down the road we'll replace the receiver with a compact all in one integrated. Maybe Bel Canto or W4S. For now, though, all is well. Thanks again for all the helpful advice!