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Since Klipsch bought out API (Mirage, Energy, now-defunct Athena), they've been blowing out the higher end models via Vanns.com at 60-70% off. Sooo... you could get a $2500 pair of Mirage OMD-15s for $800/pair or the $7500 flagship OMD-28s for $2800/pair. I've had the OMD-15s for nearly 4 years now. They are so easy to live with. Tonal balance is very realistic, midrange engaging and transparent. Bass is fast and clean. I like Mirage's approach because it's based on years of research into how live music typically energizes a room. For this reason the omnidirectional pattern throw 60% of the energy to the front and the other 40% to the rear. This difference makes it possible to hear deeply into the recording and the soundstage while having a realistic and very stable soundstage that stays intact wherever you are in the listening are. Timbres and tonal balance stay consistent throughout as well.
If you have the space for the bass to breathe, you could step up to the OMD-28s, which are 2-4" bigger in each dimension, have faster, more transparent drivers, and bass that extends down into the 20's. Professional reviews: Soundstage and Abso!ute Sound.
The OMD-28s are more demanding of the upstream components. The OMD-15s are bi-wireable, but the OMD-28s are tri-wireable. You want to at least use better jumpers than the brass straps supplied with either, and the OMD-28s like lots of current and power.
Still, here we have a couple of true omni's, still in production with full (5 years) factory warranty at fire sale prices that include free shipping and no sales tax.
Here's why I think the Ohm Walsh 1000s are the natural choice in your situation:
1. They come standard with back-wave attenuation to facilitate placement closer to (but not up against) the wall behind them. And there is no rear-firing tweeter.
2. They are within your budget.
3. After owning the 2000s for over two years, I have yet to listen to a recording that they don't make the best of.
4. Ohm offers excellent customer service and support.
5. Ohm offers a 120-day in-home trial, so you can see if they work in your room, with your gear, and your music.
6. They are relatively compact compared to other omnis, yet are still pretty close to full range.
Just make sure your room's volume is not too large for whichever model you plan on trying.
Maybe the Linkwitz Pluto 2.1
Wood Artistry will sell you a pair for $2995 (including amplifiers - they're actively bi-amplified with the electronics contained in the base of each speaker), presumably with some choice of wood accents and paint.
While the cosmetics could be better, the design is _very_ functional. For example, the mid-bass is backed with a damped transmission line with a measured 99% return loss.
There's an official "Seeking Pluto Auditions" thread at the Orion Users Group web site
Don Naples had a pair in the Linkwitz Labs/Wood Artistry room at Axpona and may be doing the same at later stops in the audio show season.
if you can get a hold of older SLS bookshelf speakers, that would be an alternative to ohm's. I'm amazed at what it can do for home theater and audio only with their patented ribbons. I own all sorts of speakers and my favorite is my ESSHEILS and I have more ohm's then anything else. I even own magnepans and acoustats and eminent tech. The SLS pound per pound is the most capable. My ESS heil's are the best because I modified it to my liking with three ESS HEIL drivers. Ohm is the best for placement and all around purpose use. Planars and electrostats you need to work with the room boundaries
OHM Walsh speakers tend to have similar sound from bottom to top of line. Driver and cabinet volumes increase up the line to deliver better bass in larger rooms. Micros are the smallest and 1000s second smallest. That is the main difference. Another is cabinet height. Larger models tend to be taller. You generally want to listen from a position at or above driver level for best tonal balance, especially if listening more nearfield.
SOmetimes the smaller models including micros can still work quite well even in larger rooms. It all depends. JOhn Strohbeen at OHM has a good customer service reputation for helping his customers find the right model for their application and not overselling his products.
I will second the Mirage suggestion. I've owned almost every speaker in their lineup, and currently have the OMD-28s. They are truly amazing speakers, and I only have them about 18" off the back wall. More room would be better, however, they still sound absolutely stunning. I'm pushing them with the flagship receiver from Pioneer...which has been plenty of power.
For smaller room, the OMD-15s are great as they don't have the bass to overwhelm. Good luck!
OK CD2, it's time to weigh in on your own thread. We have a growing thread of tail-chasing but we don't even know the size and dimensions of the listening space where you want to install a pair of omnis.
If you have a large space get a pair of Mirage OMD-28s from Vanns.com. This is a $7500 pair of speakers available for $2800, has state-of-the-art woven fiber drivers, is linear down to the mid-20's, and the Absolute Sound review says in part:
Many speakers claim to offer disappearing act imaging, but I think the OMD- 28s take this to a much higher level one bettered, in my experience, only by speakers such as the reference-class MBL 101 E (an omnidirectional speaker against which all others can be judged).So even at its original price of $7500 it was considered a remarkable overachiever--compared to the multi-thousand-dollar MBLs. The reviewer bought a pair of the OMDs.
If that's too much speaker for your space, get the OMD-28's little brother, the OMD-15, a $2500 speaker pair available new with warranty and return privileges for a mere $800. You can then get a pair of these SVS compact powered subs in matching piano black, giving you bass extension into the 20's and coming right in at your $2K budget. These subs are small and easy to blend both sonically and visually.
Any omni needs to be out from the back wall, but I found that my OMD-15's can function quite well about 24" out from the wall. They also fill a large open-architecture living space with vaulted ceiling. The entire area is a timbre-correct sweet spot with a stable, centered soundstage.