I currently own the Mirage M3si and have owned the M1si in the past. I've listened to the subsequent Mirage lines and have always felt they took a step backward in support of more WAF friendly designs. I think the M Series are the best Mirage ever made. Not saying the OM and OMD series aren't good but not my preference. Just my two cents. Best of luck in your search.
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This is a loooong post, but I figure you're looking for all the info you can find.
Before I start, here are some useful reviews of the OMD-28:
-- TAS review by Chris Martens, who bought the review pair and made it his new reference
-- Soundstage review by publisher/editor Doug Schneider
-- UltimateAVMag review by Thomas J. Norton. The measurements are a poor indication of the quality of this speaker, as they are taken quasi-anechoically while the speaker is designed to interact with the room to achieve a flat power balance. The Manufacturer's comments bear reading; they match my personal experience in tonal balance and optimum in-room placement.
I have been a Mirage user for over 12 years, starting with a pair of M5si's anchoring an all-Mirage 7.2 HT surround system in the family room. I have a pair of the OMD-28's little brother, the OMD-15, in a 2-channel system in the living room, which is my primary music-listening system. The OMD-15s replaced a pair of 1st gen Omnisats w/matching LF-150 sub. I have Mirage speakers from their bipolar, Omnipolar, 1st gen Omniguide, and 3rd gen Omniguide product lines.
The Omnisat satellites I bought in 2005 proved to be a revelation. I had just gotten married at home 4 months earlier, featuring live music in the same living room. The Omnisat principle energized the room and achieved very realistic tonal balance, timbral balance, and soundstage--just like live musicians in the room.
Originally the Omniguide was designed to provide a forward-bias omni pattern in a tiny speaker. But the design proved so effective that it took over Mirage's entire product line from top to bottom, including their new flagship, the OMD-28. The Omniguide showed such potential that Mirage started developing a $20K statement speaker around the design, but new owner Klipsch yanked the plug on that project and instead came out with their own $20K statement speaker.
The OMD series has a very realistic, transparent, neutral midrange with focused, real-sounding vocals. The singer doesn't sound like she's standing in a hole as with so many "audiophile" speakers with a purposely recessed midrange. Nor is the vocalist in your face as a '60s-era horn-based studio monitor. Perspective is just right, and duly fast and transparent.
Compared to the previous gen (e.g., OM-9) bipolars, the OMD series throws 60% (or a little more) of the sound directly at the listener. Compared to the first generation Omniguide speakers, the OMD-series baffle surrounding the omniguide assembly is larger, which seems to throw more sound forward and focus the vocals better. This 60/40 bias was based on Mirage's extensive research into creating a soundfield that sounds most like live music to the greatest number of listeners. The new OMDs have far more direct, precise midrange location than either the old omniguides or the earlier generation bipolars.
The OMD series also features a highly effective mid- and woofer innovation--the ribbed elliptical woofer surround that enables the bass driver to maintain linearity over a longer cone excursion. My OMD-15s put out astonishing bass speed, clarity, extension, and fullness from a couple of 5.5" active drivers, and nail the depth and fullness of orchestral concert bass drum, timpani, and large gong. Yet when playing fusion jazz or with a nimble bassist the OMD's bass is also appropriately quick.
As for soundstage, it's just like if you were at a club. At center stage you hear a balanced, detailed presentation. Move to the side, the soundstage remains where it was, while you hear it from an off-center perspective. Because of the omni characteristics, you hear plenty of the far channel in perspective with the near.
The speakers also scale very well. Put on solo voice or solo voice with guitar, and it hangs a realistic-sized image in space between the speakers. Then, when you go to 4-piece jazz combo to choir to big band to full scale 100-piece orchestra, it scales up accordingly. By the time you get to 100-piece orchestra, the soundstage takes over all room space even with and behind the two speakers.
The OMD series is far easier to drive and more transparent than the old MXsi series, requiring less heroic amplification and cabling to get them to sing. I'm driving my OMD-15s with a 100wpc Onkyo A-9555 integrated, bi-wired with some $100 Belkin OCC speaker cable. The OMD system totally kicks the M5 system with its 150wpc amp and $1500 PS Audio bi-wire cables. The OMD's clarity, transparency, realistic soundstage, tonal balance (not as dark), and dynamics all trump the M5si on significantly less power. Yet the OMD-15 is rated to accept 250w. I wonder what that would yield, because it sounds awfully good with the Onkyo integrated. Maybe they just like switching amps?
As for putting the omniguides to work in surround sound, that's also great. When I replaced my living room Omnisats with the OMD-15s, I installed the Omnisats as rear surrounds in the HT system. I think it's the best way to implement a 5.1 or 7.1 system. The broader soundfields combine to make a completely enveloping soundfield with no gaps or obvious handoffs from one speaker to the next. Yet when the soundtrack calls for pinpoint location they deliver.
Can't say enough good about the OMD series. They broke in easy, but 10 months later I'm *still* hearing things in my recordings i hadn't noticed before. I'd love to upgrade to a Phonomena phono stage and a NuForce stack of separates to see just how resolving the speakers are.
The performance of the OMD-28s should significantly better the OMD-15 in every way: The cab is larger and the midrange and bass drivers are made with lighter, more rigid materials. But they're also less sensitive and would demand better amplification. With the larger cab and woofers, the OMD-28s stand to perform their best with a high current powerful amp with a high damping factor. A powerful switching amp should also do the trick.
I think it depends what you want them for. IMO, they are great for home theater, especially with a projector and a big screen, as they offer a large soundstage (though dependent on your wall configuration). However, I would say they are only average for stereo; not bad by any mean, but one gets to wonder what the TAS folks were smoking (although this exaggeration is no different than their usual hyperbolic crap).
We have a pair of OMD-28 in our home theater and a pair of KEF Reference 205 in our stereo system. Sound-wise, the KEFs are in a different league (they also cost more, especially considering the current prices for Mirage OMDs). More detail, better midrange, better soundstage definition, and more balance overall. Nonetheless, in terms of looks, the situation changes 180 degrees. I used to think that the maple KEFs look great, but the Mirages in burled maple outclass them no contest really. So if their role as furniture is important and you have to account for the WAF then they may be impossible to beat for what they sell for nowadays.
PS: we also have had Mirage OM-9s, as well as the Mirages first omniguide series (which were the last made in Canada, I believe); the OMDs are clearly better speakers than those but then, they cost substantially more, and even the Monitor Audio Silver Series that we had in the stereo system at that point in time (and were in the same price range) were also better for music.
Where I first positioned them, my OMDs had a narrow soundstage, and not the best detail, but bringing them out closer and spacing them wider made a world of difference for 2-channel music. That may be why I'm hearing so much more detail and clarity after 10 months of ownership.
I really like how timbrally right they sound, and how they are devoid of suckouts in the in-room power response.
Once I saw the great prices for these on the Web, I jumped and got a pair in of these speakers about 4 or 5 months ago along with the matching center and surrounds.
Quick note - the OMD-R surrounds are AMAZING. Great combination of localization and diffusion, and at current prices are a total steal.
The OMD-C2 I'm not really sold on. It seems too diffuse for me and I feel it's difficult to understand some voices.
Now onto the OMD-28's. The are not only placement sensitive as all the reviews say, but are super sensitive to the "liveliness" of your room. I originally had them in the living room where the maple finish matched our wood floors perfectly, but between those floors and all the windows, they sounded very "hard" and "thin". My Mythos ST speakers in the same room, as a comparison, sound amazing. My wife (who tolerates and enjoys my hobby but by no means really cares about this stuff) noticed the difference immediately and asked me to leave the Mythos in the living room, even though she loved the looks of the OMD's much more.
Once I moved the OMD-28's to the basement, where there is thick carpet, it was a totally different sound. High's were smoother and the midrange was much fuller. It was now an enjoyable speaker to listen to. And the bass is phenomenal - at least as deep as my Mythos ST with dedicated subwoofers, if not as "punchy" or with the same SPL capability.
I think these are great speakers, but in addition to having the right sound-treatment for your room, be warned that you need great amplification for these. My Yamaha receiver at 130wpc was essentially useless, and the Denon that I have at the same rating is better but still not enough. I bought an Emotiva amp to drive them and it's much better, but I still find myself wanting more power to bring out what these can offer.
Hope this helps
The thing about the OMDs is that it is very easy to tune the presence and treble regions to the room with absorptive panels, which are available now in attractive colors and patterns. I have a pair of tall narrow windows behind my OMDs and I adjust brightness by opening or closing the windows' pleated shades and/or curtains. You can also increase image speificity by putting a panel centered on the wall behind and between the speakers, and also on the side walls to reduce sidewall reflective bounce. Each panel you put up, however, generally diminishes the treble energy and at some point you have to stop, or use smaller panels.
Also, they generally sound better facing forward than angled inward.
Like to thank you guys for your posts and in depth responses.
Well I Did buy these (OMD 28) and they certainly solve the problems I had with the OM-9's. The vocals are very good and nicely placed in the soundfield. The bass is great too.I have only had them 5 days and still breaking them in (I have noticed definate changes during the break in!)
I too am seeing big sound differences in fairly small changes in placement (6") At first I was disappointed in the depth of the soundfield but I am hearing more and more as they get played (plus slight placement changes) I have almost 50 hours on them so guess they must be fairly well broken in. Wondering if my amp has enough power to drive them as well as they should be. I have a Butler 5 channel amp that is 150 WPC. I have noticed it gets a whole bumch warmer when I play at volume. While speaking of volume these speakers don't sound all that great untill they hit 80 db-90 my preferance and then they really come alive.
My room too is a bit of a challenge. It is 17' deep and 26'
long with a cathedral ceiling. my speakers are on the long wall 3' from the back wall and about 5' from one side wall but the right speaker is about 10' from a side wall and that's not a solid wall as I have an open foyer and wet bar there. I notice much more depth from the left speaker. Not sure what I can do about that. I have them toed in actually aiming at me, i'll try facing them forward.