They are very different judging by my memories. Planars excel in image placement, omnis in image size, by necessity these work against each other to some degree. While both may be good , and "non boxy" , the very different ways they create the sound really calls for a personal audition. Shanian speakers like the Compass or larger might also appeal to you if you like the omni sound.
I used to own Maggie 3.5s and they were great...if the room allowed them to be, which my current room does not. Room corrected subwoofers are mandatory in this space, as far as I'm concerned. So....
I currently own Ohm 100s and Maggie MMGs, both of which I use with subwoofers (in a rotation). The little Maggies are terrific (and at $600/pr, a ridiculous value, IMHO), but the Ohms get 95+% of my listening hours.
They may both be "boxless" sounding, but omnis like the Ohms just sound quite different from planars (and anything else, for that matter). Imaging from the two is very different, with Ohms providing unique (in my experience) weight to dramatically localized instruments. Both planars and minimonitors can do the location part pretty impressively in their own way (perhaps localizing sources even more precisely than the Ohms), but the "weight" (meat on the bones?) is solely an omni thing, IME.
In the end, I prefer the omni presentation, but both speakers are outstanding overall performers: detailed, open, and pretty neutral tonally. I'm sure that some would prefer the planars.
Really it's down to personal taste on this one. Both are very good choices, but I'm pretty sure that most people will come down hard one way or the other; some easily prefering the omni approach and others the planar.
Marty hit it pretty good.
a different kind of "open" imaging compared to Maggie with more weight, impact or "meat on the bones".
I had original OHM Walsh 2s 1982-2007, Magnepan mg1cs 1987-2006, and B&W P6 1997-2006 and my current newer generation OHMs and Dynaudio monitors replaced all three ~ 2007-present.
I have owned Maggies as well, MG-1's that were hot-rodded, and a couple pairs of MMG's. I have spent a lot of time with 1.6's, and have heard the 1.7's a few times. Not the same as living with them of course, but I still have a pretty good idea of their capabilities. I still own a pair of MMG's and like Marty, think they are an awesome value. In a smaller room you can get away with them without a sub, if the total lack of bass doesn't bother you.
In my room, I attempted to get a pair of Velodyne subs to integrate with my MMG's and eventually gave up. It was total frustration to get the sound quality that I wanted, and in the end, preferred the MMG's on their own. But then, I wanted a bit more, I wanted to have some "meat on the bones".
I have had a pair of Ohm Walsh 3/3000's(I had previously owned Walsh 2's years ago) for over a year now, and they gave me everything I was looking for, imaging/staging that in some ways to me is better than the Maggies, more "live" if you will. Also, I have image height that is more correct and natural than most speakers, especially smaller mini-monitors, but very similar to Maggies. The Ohm midrange is as good as the Maggies, and I am often stunned by just how good John has voiced these speakers. Also, I got the bass and "meat on the bones" that I was looking for. That was the icing on the cake to me.
The great thing is that I get all this without the downsides to the placement/listening position with the Maggies. I don't have that head-in-vice postion in my room anymore, the Ohm's just give that nice soundstage really no matter where you are sitting. For me, that is a big plus, because I don't have my speakers in a dedicated listening room that I once had.
They are to me a "real world" speaker, one that definately will respond to better electronics and speaker placement, but one that doesn't kill the musical capabilities if you don't spend every last ounce of effort(or tons of money for electronics) for those things. Personally, I would rather spend my time listening to music than tweaking anyway!
I really still love the Magnepans, they do a lot of really good things, they just make great music. I never thought I would have another speaker that could-or would take their place. The Ohm 3/3000 has done just that. They make even better music for me in my room. As always, I recommend giving them a try, hard to beat John's in-home trial policy. Enjoy the music! Tim
I would agree with all of the replies above, although I have not had much experience with planars.
However, the OP, IMHO, is wrong on the image placement issue. My Walsh 2000s create extremely solid and tangible images of both instruments and voices, throughout the soundstage. This was one of the more surprising aspects of this speaker when I first installed them.
'My Walsh 2000s create extremely solid and tangible images of both instruments and voices, throughout the soundstage. "
Yes, I would say the same applies to my Super Walsh 2 100S3s and OHM F 5S3s.
They are not overly fussy about placement compared to otehr designs, however good placement is definitely required for best results in this aspect.
They do this better than Maggies ever did for me when I owned them or when I hear them at dealers as well these days.
Also easier than Maggies to locate optimally, as has also been indicated. Difficulty with placement in my current room was a major reason I had to go in a different direction than Maggie.
Has anyone attempted to position BOTH Ohm Walsh's and Maggie's in some kind of mutual configuration? Is the question heresy? Is it heterodoxy?
Yes, I have if I understand the question correctly.
I have found that each has very different dispersion patterns (bidirectional versus pseudo-omni) so not likely exact same configuration will work best for both.
Per my above post, I rotate Ohm and Maggies in the same system.
Mapman. You appear to be the/a resident "expert" on Ohm Walsh. I mean that in a complimentary way. As I have googled Ohm Walsh, I have come across some rather critical reviews/opinions. Suggestions that the "inside" driver is far from the original concept and is actually quite "cheap" nowadays and poorly made. Could you provide any insight to these opinions. Thanks. Great thing about Ohm Walsh is that John offers a very generous trial period.
" Suggestions that the "inside" driver is far from the original concept and is actually quite "cheap" nowadays and poorly made."
"Cheap" and "poorly" made comments have no basis other than audiophile snobbery.
Every OHm Walsh I have ever owned goes as loud and clear as amp driving them will allow. That is NOT cheap and poorly made.
There are many professional and other reviews of various OHM Walsh speakers out there that provide excellent accounts of the sound and sound quality, so I will not rehash all that here.
It is true that the CLS driver used today is a significantly different design than the original very wide (not full) range drivers used in original OHM A and F. This was done for very sound and practical reasons.
Benefits far outweigh disadvantages IMHO for most and the fact that the basic design (with minor refinements over the years that improve overall sound quality) has been around since the early 80's speaks for itself.
OHM CLS Walsh driver uses a dynamic driver in "Walsh" operating mode. Read up on Walsh drivers for more detail on what that is in regards to "wave bending" and how different from conventional pistonic dynamic drivers. CLS was designed to offload high frequencies above 7khz or so to a separate conventional operating tweeter (soft dome specifically) to extend response to typical 20khz and eliminate the practical shortcomings of the original "full" range (up to 16khz anyway) Walsh drivers as implemented in OHM A and F. Those are also well documented.
Original OHM A and F speakers were most unique and highly valued to this day by those familiar. That helps inject a lot of emotions into the discussion of merits of new versus old OHM Walsh.
If any other specific questions, I am always happy to discuss either here or via agon email privately.
Having owned 3 sets of Maggies,(MMG's, 10.1's w/sub and 1.5's)and currently Ohm Walsh 3's I feel compelled to chime in... Most of what s been posted I agree with but I feel one other aspect needs addressing and that is musical taste. If your tastes run towards Jazz or softer rock like Steely Dan then Maggies are very hard to top. Their tone and clear as a bell presentation is something to behold. I've had many non-audiophile friends listen to my former Maggies and simply sit in astonishment at their presentation.
However, if you like all kinds of music (and movies) then Ohm's could be your ticket. I stumbled across a pair of Walsh 3's locally on CL and thought wow, I haven't heard Ohm's in probably 25 years. The guy threw on my Steely Dan CD "Everything must go" and I was astonished, the sound was everywhere, so I kept switching CD's, from Zepplin to Patricia Barber and I was simply amazed at how much clean, coherent full range sound I was hearing. Well I couldn't run to the ATM fast enough. However, the best part was getting them home and my wife does her familiar eye roll and I tell her "just wait" to which she smirks, so anyway I get them hooked up and she's like "Damn, where's all that sound coming from?"
Well she's never sat in the sweet spot in our family room but the treble on Ohm's is present pretty much everywhere so she literally was hearing the full spectrum of music for the first time. I hate to say it but Ohm's are kind of an audiophile's lifestyle speaker. Some may consider that a put down of sorts but not to me, when you're ready to get off the speaker merry go round I can't think of a better all round speaker to do it.
To amplify on Mapman's comments, the original Walsh designs used exotic cones that were very expensive to manufacture and were SPL limited. The current drivers are more conventional, cheaper to build and go louder. Some believe that SQ was better with the exotic cones (Dale Harder still makes a speaker using this approach), others feel that the difference isn't really significant
I have minimal experience with the older designs, so I can't comment either way on a comparison. I do like the new Ohms tho.
I appreciate these responses as I'm looking for my next pair of speakers. Ohm is definitely on my short list. As buying speakers today is pretty much an act of faith with so few B&M's I've been doing my due diligence in reading as much as I can find. I've come across just a few of these "criticisms" and wasn't sure how to rectify the difference of opinions. In one case, the author expressed significant "disdain" for the newer models. You folks have helped a lot. Thanks!
I've had Ohm Fs back in the day and they were good at what they did. Took some power to get them to light up however.
I do not care for the current Ohm speaker with the poly/plastic driver(s) (upgrade)(!).
They just sound, well, plastic. Just not the same, sorry.
If you're gonna try the Ohms, make sure you can return them.
You would do much better with these IMO. http://www.hhr-exoticspeakers.com/HHRabout.htm
I have a few questions about Ohm Walsh Talls. How sensitive are these speakers to placement near a rear wall? Do they require more than say 18"? How about the sweet spot, is it large, meaning do I have to break out a tape measure to position my chair just right? (I'm not that kind of listener). I'm the kind of guy that sits off axis so I can be closer to a lamp and read. Once in awhile I'll move my chair to a more optimal location but not often. I like my music to sound fantastic and I have a decent system with a Hegel H200 integrated but I haven't been overly thrilled with my Harbeths. I also have a nice REL B2 which I hate to have. Ages ago I had B&W DM602 speakers and a NAD integrated and never needed a sub.
Donjr, the Ohm MWT's as well as all the talls, are very easy overall to position, and they would work fine from around a foot or so from the wall behind them. I tended to like to position them about as wide apart as the distance I was seated from them, providing this distance isn't so far as to make the middle staging fall apart. For the most part, they are easy to position and don't suffer from the same room dependencies that other speakers have.
I had a pair of them for a few years along with OW3XO's upgraded to 3000 series drivers. I often enjoyed the MWT's just as much if not more so than the 3000's. I don't know why, but there is something really special about the smaller Ohms. They get the midrange just right, but then all of Johns speakers do a fabulous job of just playing music.
As is typical of Ohm in general, the sweet spot is wide and does not require that typical seated position in the middle or head in vise like Maggie's etc. a very livable, real world speaker in my opinion.
Your Hegel gear would also work fabulously with the Ohms, plenty of current drive and grunt, good choice there! Enjoy! Tim
Frazeur1 summed the MIcroTalls up pretty well. I actually went from MWT's to a pair of Harbeths, and in my room I'm much happier. But that's in my listening room. I still always recommend Ohms - one thing to add, as easy as the MWT's are to place, they like a somewhat (not overly) damped room. Or I should say, a room that isn't overly live. Other than that, they're easy to place.
One or two 2x2 acoustic wall panels on side wall prime reflection point based on your listening position will go a long way if room is too lively.
I had Ohm MWT's and then 1000's for awhile a number of years ago. I'd second what was said about room damping. My room at the time was very, very lively (hardwood floors and no carpet!) and I think that the sonics may have suffered as a result. In particular, I found the high end lacking in resolution... again, I think this may have been due to the reflective surfaces in the room.
As I've often said in the past, either the pseudo-omni (pseudo only because the drivers are damped in the back to minimize near wall reflections) does it for you or it doesn't. If you love the huge, enveloping sound stage (which I did) then you may be utterly enchanted. If you want mini-monitor-like image specificity, then you may be (as I was) frustrated after awhile. But I totally get why people who adore them feel that way.
One other thing: John Strohbeen is a prince among men and will take good care of you, and you can't beat the in home audition deal.
Hardwood floors and floors in particular can interact quite a bit with the bottom ported OHM Walsh speakers for sure, more so than other designs. At least that is what I find with my models that use older refurbished cabinets with no plinth underneath. They sound totally different on my home's foundation level floor than on upper levels. Other aspects of their interactions with rooms is less unique.
I've had older Walsh 2s on wood floors on a couple of occasions over the years and found the sonic effects to be quite significant.
The solution is to place them on a more massive platform of some sort to help minimize the low frequency acoustic energy that gets transmitted to the floor. A fairly easy and inexpensive tweak. Most newer Walsh cabinets have a wood plinth underneath which should help quite a bit our of the box in most cases.