FRS speakers were part of OHMs line I believe back in the late 80's and early 90's. I believe they use the same CLS drivers as OHMs Walsh branded speakers, like the Walsh 2, 4, 5, etc., and can be upgraded similarly to newer OHM CLS drivers like the series 3 as well in most cases.
I think the main difference is in the cabinet design and construction which would mainly affect the low end the way the OHM CLS Walsh drivers are mounted on top of the cabinets.
I've never actually seen or heard any of the FRS line, but did consider buying a pair for upgrade or trade-in back when I was in that process. They often come in at lower prices on Ebay compared to similar sized OHM "Walsh" branded models.
All the OHM Walsh and FRS speaks are designed to be listened to optimally from in front of the speaker.
If they face towards one room, they will still fill the room to the rear and work to a fair extent, however, the volume heard will be somewhat lower overall and in particular the treble level heard will be lower.
You might be able to order modified drivers from OHM for a more balanced 360 degree sound if desired and install those to FRs speakers. The 360 sound would be accomplished by mounting the tweeter to be upward rather than frontwards facing and by eliminating or re-disributing acoustic dampening material inside the cage that attentuate the SPL in the 3 normal wall facing directions. OHM uses a design like this for some of their surround sound Walsh speakers, I believe. You'd have to talk to John Strohbeen to find out what could be done and for what cost.
I've owned the Ohm Walsh 2s, 4s, and 5s, and to be honest I prefer the 2's over all of them. I just sold my new model 5's S3's and kept my 2s. They just sound 'right' and can be had often for very little (I think I paid $200 for mine) whereas the 5s are $6000 (new). I don't have any experience with the FRS series but don't hesitate to recommend the Model 2s. Just my two cents...
I have F5 S3s (5S3 drivers in F cabinets) and Walsh 2S3. I owned original Walsh 2's prior for about 25 years.
In smaller rooms, I have found there is little or no advantage of larger OHMs over smaller. In larger rooms, larger OHMs have benefit without doubt but mostly all in the low end. Mids/highs are near identical. Of course, 5 drivers have many adjustments possible for fine tuning the sound.
I owned the original Walsh 2s and newer S3s concurrently for a while and had a chance to compare. They are much different sounding. I did not know what to make of the s3 drivers at first, but ended up preferring them once my ears adjusted.
Original Walsh 2s are very good also and big time overachievers for the cost, particularly when opened up to realistic SPLs in larger rooms and especially outdoors where they will really fool you into thinking its live and not Memorex!
Thanks! Very informative. Appreciated. (1) PLEASE someone with Ohm FRS speakers provide some listener feedback, esp. in comparison to 2s. AG has some FRS-15s for $350 pickup only near me. Nice seller, responded to my Qs, speakers seem premium. Still thinking. Unable to get much info at all on FRS line. Unable to listen before purchase. I've been tracking 2s on ebay with $250-$450 (inc. s/h) prices. No $200 ones. Myth! From descriptions unsure why the price range. (2) With much weight to mapman thinking, it seems my sound forward (main space) and backward (secondary space) will work sans some high end. Great! Anyone else have thoughts on this? Obviously no "back" wall reflections. Want Ohms that sound good/great now... if/when love reigns then I consider upgrade... and lottery tickets.
Well, if they are in good operating order, you won't find anything else I can think of for $350 that can even come close to doing what those will even with older Walsh CLS drivers out of the gate.
ALso, local pickup is good insurance because the larger Walsh speaks can be difficult to ship reliably in one piece without detaching the drivers and shipping each speak in 3 boxes (1 each for cabinet, driver and grill).
The FRs 15s upgrade to 200 drivers,which are larger than the 100 drivers used in 2's. For your room, and configuration, that could be beneficial.
SOunds like the stars are aligning pretty well for these with you!
The FRS line used vinyl wrapped cabinets and we were able to give more sound for the money. The FRS 15 was the top of that line with a driver most similar to the Walsh 3XO in a much bigger cabinet (allowing deeper bass).
$350 is a great price although we have had to do our $250/pair maintenance on few pairs in recent years -- listen for noise on bass transients.
They should sound good in both rooms. You may angle them to have the super-tweeters fire at each other and boost the treble slightly.
Thanks again, guys. Maybe last questions before... plunge? Priceless help! (1) I have a new 80w NAD 317 amplifier (from AG; nice but made my Poks bright; other NADs in system). Enough to drive FRS-15s happily? Saw some comments that under 100w had some struggles and 200+W really opened things up. The NAD can be power-amped and used a pre-amp, but that seems like wasted $s. (2) If one needed to choose b/n a good, used 2 or an FRS-15, which to choose? For my room, any room? Why choose one over other? That is, putting vinyl/wood and size views aside as personal/cost preferences. 54"! WAF to be dealt with... Vinyl wood clad might be issue. [Man-oh-man, more and more Qs keep popping up... like why this one so tall and difference it makes? That doesn't count as one of my real Qs... lol.] (3) Lots of information on 2s, basically NONE on FRS-15. And I've researched online very hard. Why? Frustrating. Can you cite an FRS-15 review? Lull in Ohm/coverage at that time? Sold too few of these? Odd. (4) Feedback...? With 2s selling for $250-$400, $350 for FRS-15 seems high. This one listed awhile now and previously. Maybe wait for 2s... Some concern over value, resale, etc. esp. since I've never even heard an Ohm. (5) Re informatin on FRS-15s, as far as I can tell, this thread is now foremost info on topic! (6) As always, THANKS! Invaluable.
The larger drivers in the FRS 15s and taller cabinet compared to Walsh 2 should provide more "meat on the bones" and have more impact in the low end in a larger area like yours and bass extension beyond the Walsh 2s down into the 30hz range according to the ohm site specs.
The taller cabinets might make a difference in the height your ears must listen from for best results.
With a well matched amp, the Walsh drivers tend to sound most balanced and detailed when you listen from a vertical position in front of or somewhat above the can as a result of the shape and orientation of the Walsh driver inside .
The tonal balance can change and sound less bright and detailed if listening from a lower position than the drivers, I have found.
FRS series are less common than Walsh series I believe in that they were produced during the period when OHM was shifting away from the audio store distributor business model they used to have going into the 90's and to their current buy direct model.
I think I read somewhere the shift from pyramidal WAlsh series cabinets to more recent more rectangular cabinets was to help keep production costs in line.
PErsonally, I like the look of the older pyramid shaped cabinets but the newer cabinets appear to have a smaller footprint which may be of benefit to some.
Thanks, btw, to Mapman and Mr. Strohbeen. Ohm 2s or FRS-15s as well as MMGs are in my near future.
I rotate MMGs and Ohm 100s in a set-up with subwoofers. They both sound very good - but quite different from each other. (Over time, I've settled into a pattern that's app 80% to 90% Ohm.) If your intention is to use them in the same system, I'd love to hear your take on the comparison.