Looking for recommendations - vintage amp & preamp to go with Ohm Walsh 2's


After 20+ years of not owning anything that qualifies as being beyond being an entry level "home theatre in a box", I'm going to go back to my 80's roots in "hi-fi" I have picked up a pair of Ohm Walsh 2's in very good condition, and now am looking for an amp, preamp. I think I need a reasonable amount of power as from what I understand, the Walsh isn't the most efficient speaker.

I'm wanting to start out with something that's better than I have now (LOL... which is nothing) Found a Carver TFM-25 Paired with CT-17 Preamp, which seems like a descent deal just under $400 for starting out, Would expect that should be a fairly good combination based purely on specs on paper.

Eventuality is to upgrade the drivers in the Ohm's with the Super Walsh 2.2, and then start looking at upgrading the amp & preamp.

Seem like a good plan to start? Would be interested to hear options/opinions for amp & preamp based on the speaker set up. Wanting to keep to the vintage 80's equipment.


cdn38
Perhaps you could contact mapman - he has Ohm speakers and adores them.

Cd how big of a room, what kind of music do you listen to and how loud?

Also cd or records for source and what do you have currently there?
The room for now is a bit of an odd size, 10' x 20' with 7' ceiling, so about 1400 cubic feet, carpeted floor. Potential in a year or two for a home reno, at which point I will have a dedicated listening room roughly the same 10' x 20, but 10' ceiling. Hence, the plan for listening now, and renew in a couple years

Most of the listening I'll be doing with these will be jazz, blues, some classical. Rock wise, Pink Floyd, and similar types Alan Parsons, so on.  From what I understand, they not a heavy rock type speaker. I'm after imaging, clear sound at medium volume.

Source will be CD for the foreseeable future.
What is your budget currently? Do you care about phono?

These are original Walsh 2s from teh 80s as I understand it.

I would first plan to do the upgrade or arrange with Johm Strohbeen at OHM to do a trade-in. Whatever works best.

Upgrading original Walsh 2s to new drivers requires some physical alterations. JS would provide the details.

OHM may still allow trade in of up to 2 pair of speakers for up to 40% off. If so it would pay to pick up a second pair of OHMS on teh cheap on ebay and have those shipped directly to OHM for trade-in. They need only have refurbable cabinets not working drivers so buying cheap for trade in can be a good investment. That is what I did to pick up my newer OHMs.

For now go with 60 watts/ch or more of good working vintage gear on the cheap. I’d be looking for tandberg, nakamichi, or NAD.

After the driver upgrade you can re-assess what you have.

If you want to try something newer and maybe better from there I would look for a used Bel Canto C5i integrated amp. This is a fantastic sounding 60 w/ch modern unit with everything you need in a small package that can be had for around $1000 used.  Peachtree Nova or Rogue Sphinx are other very good options depending on your needs.

From there I think the only thing that could be done clearly better for a typical budget is more power if the C5i cannot go loud enough, but I would anticipate there is a very good chance it will in that room. Adding a sub or two is always another possible step forward if still needed (not likely).

Cheers and good luck.


Hi cdn38

In my experience with my Ohm Walsh 3000s or Ohm Walsh Micro Walsh Short SEs I found that a vintage Sansui AU-517 got them to sing really well. Deeper bass and very good mids and highs. With an Oppo DV980 as a source and in my smaller rooms the Sansui/Ohm combination was great.
The driver upgrade for the speakers is in the plan. It's a $1400 upgrade, and to do it first out would be great, but then I would have these nice speakers all ready to go and nothing to hook them up to. Not enough in the budget at this point to do the speakers, AND get components. It's going to have to be one step at a time. That was my thinking behind the Carver set up for under $400, it's got enough power, and it's an extremely low starting cost. Again, my first goal is to get something to actually listen to, as I am starting from ground zero.

Once the drivers are replaced, then I could start replacing components with upgraded ones. All the while, I actually would have something to listen to.
The carver gear is fine to start.  I had it for many years.   

If if you have lively floors with some give I'd set the Walsh 2s  on an isolating platform to keep the bass under control and not obscure the rest.   The bottom ports in particular  can interact heavily with floors.    Try it without then with maybe.  

You can make a platform from covered bricks or something similar for very little.   I use Auralex subdude platforms under my Walsh 2s.  They are perfect for those.   Will cost about $100 pair on Amazon.  
I used Ohm Walsh 3 for a good period of time and really enjoyed them. I think jedinite24 is on target with the Sansui AU-517 integrated amp recommendation. The AU-717 would also be a good choice IMO. Last but not least, I think that a McIntosh MA6200 would be great with your Ohms. Good luck and have fun with it. Ohms certainly are fun to listen to and a great bargain in the audio world.
The flooring should work out pretty well, its a concrete floor with a short pile carpet and underlay. If it seems to be soaking up to much of the sound I'll make some platforms for them from MDF, and maybe experiment with some different coverings. 

Speakers arrive in a week, and I have yet to pull the trigger on the components.... but I'm really excited about getting this all put together.
cdn38,I basically did the same as you,returning to my Ohm Walsh 2's that I have had since the 80's.I had them next to higher end system in my man cave powered by a Acoustic Research amp of the 70's vintage it was 60w per channel at 4 ohms,same impedance as the Walsh.I was always impressed with the sound.
I talked with John at ohm and took the plunge for the upgrade to the super 2-2000. I use a modwright tube pre with a Forte 4a class A solid state amp,that is a very conservative 50w of class a power per channel. Everything about the original 2's was improved.
You will be impressed by the upgrade, I was so impressed I sold my expensive monitors and use the super 2's only.
My room is 13x11,best of luck.
I upgraded my Walsh 2s to 2_100s3 ,6 years ago. Great upgrade. I have run mine very nicely with a upgraded McIntosh mc250 with an Acurus R11, modified McIntosh MA5100, and recently a new marantz pm8005. Also an ATI 1502. I would recommend a minimum of 50 watts RMS. The 5100 was rated for 45 but delivered about 60. All in a 15 by 22 room with soaring ceiling playing all kinds of music. I have hardwood floors with s large area rug to handle reflection. The speakers deliver equal with vintage or modern gear.