Going Vintage. Go figure!
My 40 year old Ohm L speakers are blowing me away. They never sounded this good. Very high end sounding. Soundstage imaging detail and overall listenabillity just beyond my expectations. Far beyond anything prior.
My best explanation:
1) I refurbed them myself a few years back and almost passed on the need to get anything better. Upgraded with very hi quality Morel 8" woofers and OHM sub bass activation circuit. Original crossover and paper tweeters still. Ohm Ls sold for $400 a pair when I bought them in 1978. How much might they cost today? Similar in basic box design to Harbeth for example.
2). The mating with Bel Canto c5i is magic. Every speaker I use with it sounds similarly improved over any other prior amp. But the Ls sound best so far. All I could ask for is perhaps more of the same watts to go a tad louder perhaps.
3) The speakers sit on either side of a large screen TV on a solid wood stand and six foot high cabinets to the right. So there is a lot of flat reflective surfaces nearby that muck with soundstage and imaging. I locate the front of the Ls just in front of those obstructions. The Ls wide baffle must keep sound from reflecting off those surfaces behind them that muck with soundstage and imaging with other modern design speakers I have tried that tend to have narrower baffles which normally helps with soundstage and imaging assuming distance to walls or reflective surfaces ie no early reflections. Same true with more omnidirectional speakers in the same setup. The sound stage with the Ls about 6 feet apart is wall to wall about 20’ wide and very holographic especially with very good recordings. I never would have labeled the Ls as holographic necessarily prior though they were always very good in most other ways.
The results are truly stunning. Just goes to show that the key to great sound is getting thimgs to integrate into your room best. Also of course a good quality amp to drive the speakers. Need not cost a fortune. Though many good modern speakers with 8" or larger drivers would. I’ve always found 8-12 inch drivers are best to provide the meat on the bones in music that many modern detailed and great imaging smaller speakers lack.
Ohm offers refurbed versions of most all speakers it has ever made since they started 40+ years ago in the outlet store section of their website. Availability varies widely with supply it seems. The supply comes mainly from OHMs trade in policy where old speakers with refurbishable cabinets can be traded in for discounts on other speakers. Many wonderful old refurbed and upgraded models with modern drivers and components come up for sale there over time for essentially 1970s prices still.
Definitely worth a look first perhaps before dropping big bucks on many undersized, overpriced speakers out there today. There is a very amenable in-home audition period to help as well but you do pay costs of shipping to return if needed.