Ohm Walsh 3/3000 upgrade comments.......

Just to provide a little background information, some of which has already been stated in a couple other threads previously, on my quest to find a pair of Ohms. I remember listening to a pair of Ohm Walsh 2’s and 4’s some 25 years ago at a dealer near my home. They were one of the most unusual looking speakers at the time, with the cool looking pyramid-style cabinets and funky metal canister drivers on the top. But what made the deal for me was the music coming from them. Very unique and awesome soundstaging and I didn’t have to be in the sweet-spot!

At the time I had a pair of Magnepan MG-1’s, and while I loved everything about the music they made, I had a difficult time living with the head-in-vise seating in order to totally enjoy them. So, I bought a pair of Ohm Walsh 2’s on the spot and lived with them for about 5 or 6 years. I think I thought about them from the day I sold them and regretted ever getting rid of them. A couple of my friends had Ohm’s, one had a pair of 2’s and the other a pair of 4’s. I always wanted 4’s, but at the time, a little out of reach. Of course we all lusted after F’s even though I had never heard them.

So, moving on to a little over a year and a half ago, I began searching for a pair of Ohm’s. I was looking for a pair that had good condition cabinets. The drivers to me weren’t all that important as my research and a call to John at Ohm confirmed that he could get me set up with a number of driver solutions. I was happy to even find that Ohm was still doing business, as once they went away from dealer reps, I wasn’t sure if they were still around.

After a little searching, I came up with a pair of Walsh 2’s and eagerly awaited for them to arrive. In the meantime, I had already ordered from John a pair of the new Walsh 2000 series drivers and was playing around with them on a friend’s pair of 2’s. This gave me some time to do some small comparisons with the older drivers, and also get some break-in time on the new 2000’s.

Disaster then struck on the delivery of my Walsh 2’s. When I received them from Oops(UPS), one of the cabinets and driver had been crushed. It looked like the speaker had fallen off the back of the truck directly on the driver can. Not a pretty sight at all. I was sick, as was my friend that had sent them to me. So, back to the drawing board. I was quickly able to locate a pair of Walsh 3XO cabinets in near mint shape, and bought them on the spot. In talking with John at Ohm, he told me the 2000 series drivers would indeed work on the 3 cabinet as well, with a little modification to the driver board. As I thought about this, another idea came to mind. Why not just spring for the larger 3000 series driver for the 3XO cabinets and be done with it?

Another call to John and a set of 3000 drivers were sent to me. This was the first set of 3000 drivers that John had sold, and with this brought a couple of complications on the driver mounting. John and I worked through the couple of small problems that I had, and finally, I had a set of Walsh 3/3000’s! I might also add that I was able to get a pretty good impression of the Walsh 2/2000 or Super Walsh 2 as they are called, during the time I spent waiting and playing around with cabinets etc. Briefly, I can say that they are all cut from the same cloth, same great soundstaging, voicing etc. only that the 3000 and the larger 3XO cabinet would allow them to dig deeper. In the end, I think my decision to go with the 3000 in my room was a better choice.

Those of you with older cabinets looking to upgrade, installation of the new cans is very straight forward. The 2/2000 a bit more complicated, but nothing that a person who is handy with a screwdriver and a bit of patience can’t handle. The 2000 can is larger than the original 2 cans, so you get a driver board on which the new driver is mounted, and with 4 screws this is mounted on top of the baffle/driver board. You also receive taller outer grilles because of the additional height of the driver board/can, and also a new terminal cup and mounting board. The hardest part is knocking out the old terminal board and mounting the new one.

The 3000 series driver can is a direct replacement for the 3/3XO driver cans. It drops right into the existing mounting hole, four screws secure the driver to the baffle/driver board, and you also receive a new terminal board as well. The 3000 driver can may be slightly taller, and I believe the driver is a bit bigger inside as well, but the original grilles will work just fine. I might add too that the new drivers have a Molex plug, and just plug into the wiring going from the driver to the terminal board. Nice and easy.

I am also sure that the whole process could have been made easier-and I am sure that John would agree as well-that instead of me looking for cabinets myself, I could have just contacted John at Ohm and had him make me up a new set. But, I am pretty picky, and I wanted an extremely good condition pair of older pyramid-style cabinets. John can supply those as well depending on his stock of older cabinets. So, keep that in mind. All in all, even with a couple small difficulties on the driver mounting, I found that John was extremely great to work with, and the whole process went well. John is a wealth of information on all of Ohm’s products, setup, and history.

Okay, while this might not be considered a review, as I am not worthy of being a true “reviewer”, I will try to give some perspective of the Ohm’s along with a brief comparison of the original drivers as well. I might add that while my 3/3000 project was underway, I was able to find a pair of great condition original 3XO drivers. One of the cans metal grill was loose, but the foam surrounds and tweeters were in fabulous condition. I bought them up thinking about a small shoot-out against the new drivers. I am glad I had them on hand.

After spending a great deal of time with Ohm’s again, I realized what I truly love about these speakers, even after all these years. I find myself totally immersed in the music they make, and instead of music being thrown at me like so many dynamic forward-firing speakers do, the Ohm’s present music in a fashion that I find more realistic, more like true live performances. While I have heard the Ohm’s called too diffuse, and ill-defined, I don’t feel that to be the case at all. Instead, I much prefer the large soundstage and lifelike images that are produced by them. I use live music/concerts as a reference, and while I know this can be a crap-shoot of sorts, I find the Ohm to be more true to live music as many forward-firing speakers that I have listened to.

Speaking of the soundstage that is reproduced by the Ohm, another aspect I find so very realistic is the image height. The Ohm’s present the performers as a real live person in height, not some miniaturization of who is on stage. To me, this is another positive aspect that makes listening to them more fun, more involving and pleasurable. In reference, I have been used to Magnepans for quite some time and thought they would never be replaced in my main system. Image height was always one of the Maggies trademarks as well, and one I find to be important. The Ohm’s do this as good if not better in my listening room.

Of course the soundstaging that stretches out across the room, and image height that is so realistic wouldn’t be much good if the sonic characteristics of the speaker wasn’t good to begin with would it? Well, I can say that the treble is smooth and precise, has all the air you could want, and it doesn’t ever get spitty or sibilant. I would suppose that if you had some really terrible recording, it will only pass that along, but on well recorded music, the treble and midrange just shine. Voices, both male and female are reproduced with a clarity and accuracy that makes me want to hear more. I like to use K.D. Lang as one of my test vocals, and spin her CD “Ingenue” quite often. I also like Norah Jones, and have heard her live as well, the Ohm’s manage both of these vocalists with ease and clarity. I keep coming back for more.

Not to be outdone is the bass. It is solid as they come and not one-note or some blob of booming noise that so often robs music of it’s timing and structure. In living with my Magnepan MG-1’s and MMG’s, there is little bass to speak of, so the Ohm’s bass is a welcome addition to my music room. I find the Ohm’s much easier to place and integrate into the system than trying to get subs to work with the Maggies. I would say the 3000’s dig down into the mid 30 Hz range in my room, and that it is always tuneful and never out of control-unless the music of choice is to begin with. One thing of note too, I mentioned that originally I was going to fix up a pair of Walsh 2’s. I ended up with 3’s instead. If you are going to purchase a pair of Ohm’s, be certain to calculate your room size correctly and consult with John. The Walsh 2’s were just at the minimum requirement for getting the bass out of them that I needed. The 2’s struggled a bit in my room, the 3’s were far better. As with all of the Ohm’s, you get the same basic “family” of sound, same treble, midrange, but the larger cabinets obviously bring about better and deeper bass.

My music choices typically range from pop recordings to jazz, a little gospel and R&B thrown in. I can say that the Ohm’s shine on it all, and while they don’t bring attention to themselves, they just make great music, and that is what I am after. Are the Ohm’s after all these years outdated? No, even as I listened to the older drivers in the 2’s and the 3’s, the music was all still there. Maybe some rougher edges and not quite as detailed, but still wonderful transducers. Briefly, what I found with the new versus older drivers was a level of detail that the older drivers just didn’t have. The midrange and treble of the 1000 series of drivers is just better all around, greater detail, ability to play louder without becoming strident and shrill, and overall just smoother and more listenable. The bass on the newer drivers dig a bit deeper and is not wooly sounding. I thought the original driver bass could lack a bit of definition at times and just not sound as clear. Maybe even tubby at times. The new driver cures this in the 2000 and the 3000. Also I feel as if the speaker as a whole is more open, the soundstaging even more improved and open, and the older speakers were no slouches in that department to begin with.

The newer drivers are supposed to be a bit more efficient as well, I can’t really tell though. I drove them mainly with my Anthem MCA-20 rated at 200 WPC, and also my Audio Research D130 at 130 WPC. Both amplifiers drove them to levels that could be unbearable without any break-up from amp or speaker. I do feel that the Ohm’s do require some power/current behind them, and anyone considering them should watch what amplifier they have to power them. I didn’t find the Ohm to be fussy, they just loved the power. One other thing that goes along with this, I find they like to be played loud(er). While they didn’t lose focus or detail at lower volumes, they were just more fun and enjoyable at a higher volumes(not excessive).

To sum the Ohm’s up, when I think about what they do, is pretty simple. They just make great music, they pass along what is given them in the chain, no more, no less. And for me, they are one of the most realistic sounding speakers I have heard and had the pleasure to own. For me, that is the greatest compliment I can give to a speaker. I think that John Strohbeen has done a fantastic job in voicing these speakers! I come away from a listening session with a great admiration for what he has accomplished with these. I hope Ohm and John is around for a long time to come, I look forward to what he may come up with next. Now if I could just find a way to purchase the 5000’s!

If you are in the market for a pair of speakers, I would certainly urge you to give them a try. Too many people pass them by for whatever reason, not audiophile approved or whatever, but that is a shame. These are great speakers worthy of an audition, and with John’s extremely generous in-home trial period, it is hard to go wrong! If you are just in the market for upgrading your older Ohm’s, again, give John a call, there are many options and he will be happy to go through them with you.I believe the driver upgrade to be worth the money, and to be able to bring new life to an older pair of speakers is an even better deal. Sorry if this sounds like a full-on Ohm plug, it is of sorts, but also I am just a very happy customer! Enjoy the music, that is what we are hopefully after to begin with!


I agree with everything you said and what you said is quite thorough and accurate, I would say. Nice job!

In that they have traditionally been fairly affordable to the masses, there are a lot of OHMs out there that have never been set up to reach their full potential I suspect.

As a result, many have never heard them reach their full potential, which I think helps explain the mixed reactions many audiophiles have that may have heard them somewhere, sometime.

Also, no doubt that the newer drivers provide a more refined sound overall that helps the OHMs better compete with other quality modern designs

The typical OHM customer is a music lover, not an audiophile. Same true of John Strohbeen, I suspect (though he is a music lover with some solid engineering credentials to go along). There is a big difference there!
Thanks Map, I have been wanting to do a small "review" for some time, but honestly, I have been too busy enjoying listening to them versus just talking about them!

As with all speakers, setup is the key, and I am still learning a few tricks here and there, mostly room dependant though.

The only other speaker that really has my curiosity is the Shahinian Obelisk, but it is difficult to listen to them without going to Shahinian's factory, and I don't know anyone close by to get a demo. But I am enjoying the Ohm's too much anyway!

Enjoy the music! Tim
Thanks for the very thorough commentary. I was debating doing the 3000 upgrade on my Walsh 4's. More than likely I'll go through with it, but for now I've decided to live with the Walsh 4 drivers a little longer which incidentally are on the way to Ohm for new surrounds.

I totally agree regarding the presentation of Ohm Walsh speakers. They push all the right buttons for me and are imo the best compromise for real world living arrangements.

I like them so much that I've committed to building new pyramid style cabinets that have identical internal volume, but with the equivalent of 25mm Baltic Birch plywood walls instead of the 5/8" material that was originally used.

The Walsh 3000 upgrade (or possibly the 5000) will be the last piece of the puzzle for my system.
Thank you for a very thorough and positive review. These are wonderful speakers, indeed, and John does a great job in reviving older versions of the current models with either a reconditioning or an upgrade.

Let me add as a comment that I have been listening to the Ohm 2000s powered by a 35-watt tube amp and they work very well in that configuration. The only time I have heard something resembling strain has been when listening to Mahler's 3rd symphony, which has quite a wide dynamic range; even then, it was quite an enjoyable audition.

I wish John would publish an impedance curve for these speakers so we could settle these doubts once and for all. I have read these cautionary remarks many times, about how Ohm speakers require lots of watts and/or current, but my experience has been that it's not as bad as all that.
Hungryeye, have fun with those 4's, glad you are getting them refoamed and back to good working order. My 3000's are wonderful and I am enjoying them very much. I would have just gone for a pair of older 4 cabinets and the new 5000 series driver if I had the extra money to do so. I believe the ability to fine tune the driver of the 5000's to any particular room with the included switches make it a very long-term speaker. I would surely recommend going for the 5000 if you can stretch that far when the time comes.

Trebejo, I do think at times we do make a little bit of a mountain out of a molehill, especially with the power issue. I do think that tube-watts just seem to be more balsy, with solid state, I feel the added power is a good thing depending on the room and acoustics. Just my observation. I have never heard Ohm's with tubes, might have to borrow a tube amp someday as I am sure it would sound pretty lush!

One other comment that I failed to really bring up in my mini review was break-in time. The 2000 driver didn't take much time to really sound at it's best, but I felt the 3000 to be a completely different beast. While both sounded pretty good out of the box, the 3000 just took a long time to settle in and smooth out. Initially I found both to be a little shut-in at first, and the 3000 also had some issues in the mid-bass that took awhile to shake. I don't know how many people really do not use the time to adequately break these speakers in, and I feel this might be the cause of some initial reaction to how they sound at first. They need time. I never put much stock into this break-in thing, but with these new drivers, it made me take more notice of it.

That was a wonderful review, Tim! Very complete and honest but coming from you that's no surprise. I've been listening to Ohm speakers in one form or another for more than 30 years and they've always been total delight. And, lets face it, the truncated pyramid is simply COOL to look at!

Regarding the power requirements and tubes, there is no doubt they can get by for many in many cases with less power (I've used a 20 w/ch NAD 7020 in a crunch on occasion) and perhaps even tube power (haven't tried that but have heard of good results from others). It's all relative. The thing is, I hear differences with pretty much everything I use them with. Some differences matter to some and some do not. In the end, they are quite versatile with tremendous upside. Under the best circumstances, I feel they can compete favorably with the best reference systems I have heard.
Thanks for the great post and update on the 3000's.

Every change so far has paid off with my MWT's. Right now I'm running a Marantz SR7002 (gasp! a receiver) and it is by far the best upgrade to the Micro Walsh Talls sound since I bought them. I think it mostly has to do with Audyssey, which after calibration I run in 'Flat' mode. They honestly compete with the F's (though in much smaller scale) that I have that are hooked up to my Parasound seperates.

But only compete. The imaging of the F's is still frighteningly realistic, even at low volume (one driver is prone to some distortion- I rarely play them.

Very hopeful to try the 1000 series Ohm's at some point. Most likely if I decide to sell the F's.

Anyway, thanks for the update, Frazeur.
Also keep in mind that the CLS driver components have changed over the years. The 1000 series uses a significantly different Walsh driver as I understand it. So exact matching to amps might vary also. Hard to say for sure. My gut feel is that amps that work well with one will likely also work well with the others.
Thanks, Tim, and Good Listening!
Thank-you all for your kind words and input, it has been fun! Will update more as time goes along. Tim
Frazeur1: Thanks for the interesting review. I concure fully with your impressions. I have had the 2000s for about a year now. I am still pleased and impressed every time I sit down to listen. In particular, it amazes me at how un-metalic the aluminum Walsh driver sounds, and how well it produces pinpoint imaging. You expect a quasi-omni to throw up a large soundstage, and it does. And I, too, get a real sense of hieght. In fact, I recently added the matching Walsh center, atop my SD RPTV, which is at roughly the hieght of a person standing. Vocals consistently sound as if they are coming from that center channel speaker, even though they are not! Really amazing.

I am not a DIYer, so I just save a bit longer and buy the finished product. Also, I do run my 2000s with a pair of subs, so I can't comment on the lower bass output. But, they blend really well with the subs. Although I run 150 watts of high current, high damping factor power through them (and that power is rolled off, first order, below 80Hz), I hope some day to try the 2000s with a more powerful amp, as many here have done.

An example: I was listening the other day to a personal favorite CD by a band called Drill. I think they put out just the one album. Through my old Vandersteen 1Cs, this CD was unlistenable - bright, etched, brittle highs that drowned out everything else. I had to run it through a tape loop and EQ just to sit through it (the music is great). With the 2000s, I needed no EQ or tone controls. It sounded balanced, smooth, and clean, yet still powerful (despite plenty of obvious compression). I was thinking, as my feet tapped, that THIS must be what they were hearing in the control booth when they mastered this CD.

What wonderful speakers John Strohbeen has wrought!
IF any of you guys running the latest 1000 series speakers can offer up any comparisons with the prior series 3 versions, I would like to hear. I have heard from Mamboni who indicates a clear difference and would like to hear from others.
A very well written and thoughtful review by Frazuer1. As a satisfied Ohm 4.5 owner (Ohm 4s modified with the 5 S3 drivers) I can vouch for the impressive mid range, tight deep bass and excellent treble.

That Ohm provides kits that you can upgrade a 26 year old speaker, into one that looks like new depending on how you took care of the cabinet, speaks volumes of the versatility and smart appearance of it ( I love the truncated pyramid design)!

Hungryeye, those 4's just beg for the 5000 drivers. If you can afford it later on they match well with the 4s.

As for me, I will await the successor to the 1000 series, if they can be improved at all!
Mapman - in answer to your question, here is something of limited value: After I bought my 2000s, I grabbed a pair of MWTs (which I think are the previous generation to the current MWT SE). I briefly, very briefly, put the MWTs up front and compared them to the 2000s. Like the 2000s, the MWTs were crossed over, first order, to my Vandy subs. As long as I did not punch the volume up to 11, I heard almost no difference at all. Perhaps a tad more low-level detail and extended decay. Pretty remarkable, IMO.

Thanks for that.

Those are areas where it seems possible to me that some noticeable improvement over what I hear currently is still possible

Its often hard to know what isn't there when things are sounding really good until you actually hear it, that's for sure.

It's like how much of an upgrade is trading Tom Brady for Peyton Manning? They are both really good!
I have been enjoying the 3/3000's a lot, have been on a couple days vacation and have played the Ohm's constantly. Just listened to Allison Kraus/Union Station Live, and wow, well recorded live music is just simply a treat on Ohms! I feel they already do a wonderful job with sounding very live to begin with.

I am constanly amazed with how these portray a musical event, just very realistic and so very musical.

One other comment I have with in regards to the older larger cabinet Ohm's, mine has casters on the bottom of the cabinet, and it makes them so very simple to just roll around in order to find the best listening position. Then when I am done with a more critical listening session, I can roll them back out of the way.

While I do not find the Ohms to be really super-critical as far as placement or electronics, they reward you when you go to that last little extra bit of work to find the sweet-spot so to speak. They also are very rewarding as far as equipment upgrades, they allow you to hear even more detail or differences in source gear etc.

Enjoy your music, I know I am! Tim
I own two pair* of both the 4 and the 3XO. I have had Mr. Strohbeen and associates service the drivers of one pair each to ensure that I am still hearing what I am supposed to. For reference, I also own approximately 16 pair of other makes, from JBL L166s through Klipsch Chorus IIs and Spica Angeli to late-production MG1.6QRs (the house has some big closets, I unfortunately read the local classifieds regularly, and my lovely wife has never seen all of them in one place). Hands-down, the 4s are my favorite and are easily my desert-island pair. As for Frazeur1, they are not critically detailed, but they are effortlessly musical, and provide a palpable soundstage from a very wide listening area. Although I normally drive them with 200 watts of clean power, just for fun, I had a glass or two of wine the other night and hooked each of my collection to my restored Tandberg TR2025 (36 watts-- one pair at a time!) and put a few of my favorite LPs on the TT (Honey, what are you doing down there?). Incredibly, the 4s still held my favor, and although the XO driver is supposedly easier to drive, I could not detect a significant difference in loudness, between the 4 and 3XO at any given attenuator position, and the 4 seemed to provide more detail at low levels.

*Now, I am finally on-topic: For the above reasons, I am considering keeping my spare 4s original and upgrading my spare pair of 3XO to 3000 spec as it appears that for those of you who have gone this route, there is sufficient increase in bass quality to justify it. If anybody has any comments on this, especially in comparison to going the 4/3000 path, please comment.
Morgenholz, thank-you for your information on your Ohm's and the many speakers you also own. I think that is good testament to just how good Ohm's do sound.

Another option I might suggest to you if you have the funds to do so, would be to keep the 3XO's as they are, but instead upgrade the 4's to the 5000 series driver. When talking to John Strohbeen at one time, his comment was that the Walsh 4 with 5000 series drivers was one of his favorite.

Either way you go, you will have a very good setup. I do think that the money difference is well worth considering going the 4/5000 route versus 3XO/3000. You will gain considerably more bass, and yet more control with the included switches in the 5000 series can.

If I had the extra funds to do so, the 4/5000 is what I would have now. But in the meantime, my 3/3000's are doing the business!

Also, for those of you that haven't for whatever reason gotten any updates from John, he is having his first "Black Friday" sale today and tomorrow I believe. Give him a call to discuss your needs. Enjoy your music! Tim
Hello all, just ordered my MWT omni's today from John. Decided to take advantage of his Black Friday sale, and he made it well worth it! Can't wait to get them and break them in.

I ordered them in the older square cabinet to kind of match my older Walsh 3 cabinets, and in walnut veneer. They will be a lot of fun I am sure.

I also asked John about the center channel speaker as well, and he gave me a couple of different, but good options with the Walsh lineup. I am going to wait on that one for now.

Enjoy the music! Tim
Glad to see there is activity on the Ohm Black Friday Event. When I received the email, it quickly sparked in interest to upgrade the Walsh 4's - which have been flawless for 26 years (wish I could say the same about me). Talked to John about some options and after considering all possibilities, I decided to order the 3000 driver upgrade kit. They should be here in a few weeks and then the burn-in begins. I am sure glad I maintained the cabinets in excellent condition since it appears I will be seeing them for the indefinite future.
Frazuer1, thanks for the advice-- I'm not in a hurry, but I'm also not parting with my 4's, so experienced opinions in optimizing my continuing enjoyment are appreciated.
Just a quick update. After purchasing my MWT omni's from John during his Black Friday sale, I have been spending a lot of time just using them as my main speakers in 2-channel mode for quite sometime now, mainly just getting a feel for what they can do. I have to say that they have been sounding so good, that I haven't even wanted to stick my 3/3000's in anytime soon.

I had purchased them mainly for use as surrounds in my home theater rig, which they perform wonderfully in that respect. My curiosity got the best of me though just wanting to hear how they would do as fronts only for 2-channel. Basically, I am really thrilled at how they do sound in this respect. I am quite amazed at what is achieved for a speaker that is so physically small, yet sounds so large and grown up. While it doesn't match the bass depth of my 3/3000, what is there is so very good, that again, I have been in no hurry to put the 3's back. I really did not know what to expect with the omni as my fronts, but I have to say that I like the presentation so very much, from the mids on up, I like it even more so than the 3's(This isn't to say the MWT's are better than the 3/3000-while they both have the same family sound, it is more of a presentation that I am enjoying more with the MWT omni).

I had given this some thought even before purchasing the MWT omni, trying to think about what presentation they would give, and I don't think I really had a good answer until I got them and tried it. I had initially thought there would be this massive wall of sound that would be coming at me, and that it might take away some instrument detail and locational cues. But I was wrong, instead the soundstage actually seems to take a bit of a step back away from me at the listening position, yet it has a more open soundstage. I also had thought that having the tweeter facing the ceiling, music would be sprayed all over, and image height might suffer in a negative, overblown way. Again, I was wrong. I have yet to find any of my music where this arrangement sounds un-natural at all. In fact, I have come to prefer this overall presentation to my 3's.

One aspect that this arrangement does somewhat diminish, and may be a deal breaker for some, is the way the traditional soundstaging is with the CLS driver versus the omni. With the omni pattern, you do give up some of that wide expanse and separation of instruments regardless of where you sit. If you happen to be sitting closer to the left speaker, you are going to hear it more and the music will not be as balanced as if you were sitting on-axis with the right speakers tweeter, and can clearly make out the whole stage effect still.

So, you may say, what is the point then of having an Ohm? Good question, and one I am still playing with. In my room, I am typically seated more or less in the sweet-spot anyway, especially when doing critical listening. This is where for whatever reason, I just seem to prefer the omni-pattern more, it just gives more open-ness to the music, and seems more 3-dimensional and realistic yet. The midrange/vocals just seem to be a little more realistic to me. Again, this is in my room, and with my gear. When I take my critical-listening hat off, I tend to not really care a whole lot about staging etc., but still enjoy the music. This omni-pattern doesn't take away the musicality at all, it still allows me to enjoy the performance very much.

I talked to John Strohbeen awhile after I had taken delivery of my MWT omni's. I told John what I had been doing and that I really enjoyed the omni presentation in my room. He said that a lot of people like that, and his only reservation was that on certain female vocals, he said things could sound a bit strange or off. Maybe John could elaborate a bit more on this. So far, I haven't found anything that I have found to be unrealistic or objectionable. Instrument detail and image height is every bit as good. I just keep on listening and enjoying them.

So, after listening for awhile more, and taking notes, I decidied to give John a call and see if he could make me up a set of omni 3000 drivers for my cabinets to try. I am very curious as to how these will work, larger driver and cabinet. I am anxious to hear if these will give me what I have in the MWT omni-I have no reason to doubt that they won't. So, a pair of 3000 omni-cans should be on the way soon if all goes well. It might take awhile for me to give an update on this, but no doubt you will be hearing more about this at some point I am sure.

I am still amazed at the little MWT, it is an incredible performer, one that I constantly think of as a best-buy anywhere near it's price range. I would definately make sure it is on your short-list if you are in the market for a small speaker that just sounds bigger than it has the right too, and yet just gets out of the way and sounds better than a lot of speakers that cost a good deal more money.

I would also like to hear from all of you that have joined in earlier about upgrades on your older cabinets etc., I hope all is working out for each of you. Enjoy the music! More later! Tim

I'm very interested in your observations regarding omni configured OHM CLS drivers compared to standard configuration and will stay tuned.

Are your MWTs configured completely omni, ie upward facing tweeter and no wall facing damping inside the can?

Also I am interested in soundstage depth comparisons and comparisons regarding how much distance from the walls is needed for best results.

Map, my MWT's are configured as completely omni as they can be, tweeters pointing straight up, and no back wall damping, just the typical light layer on the inside of the can face all around. Not sure exactly what it is made of, but there you go.

I find that the soundstage depth doesn't change much with regard to wall placement, just the bass for the most part. I typically have found in my room that the MWT sounds great anywhere from about 18" out to a few feet, and adjusting the stage width until the music appears to be coming from two distinct speakers, then moving them back a bit to taste. I do find most of the Walsh/CLS speakers can be placed pretty far apart without collapsing the soundstage, but you can kind of go too far with it and then the stage takes on a little non-realistic sound/presentation. While I don't find them to be terribly picky as far as placement, playing around a little here and there does reap rewards, and every room will of course be somewhat different. The 3000's will also take a little more experimenting with that too once I get them.

My room currently is a bit odd, in that the wall that the Ohm's are along, has setbacks on the left side and then also along the right side of the speakers for a small entry area, and on the other side a hallway opening. So in a sense I don't have a total "long" wall in which the Ohm's are placed. So, almost out in the open to some extent, the right speaker having a bit more wall reinforcement for it. I am preparing to try another wall that is straight across/flat soon. Will keep you posted. Tim
"I find that the soundstage depth doesn't change much with regard to wall placement, just the bass for the most part."

I'm wondering specifically if the omni versions have a deeper soundstage when placed significantly further out from the rear wall than the standard versions, more like other true omnis I have heard set up this way, like mbl.

With omnis placed further out from rear wall, I would expect driver size would need to be larger in order to maintain bass levels to go along with a deeper soundstage perhaps.

I suspect John leans towards his standard approach in general so that his product fits into most rooms easier and ability to go closer to walls means a smaller driver can be used to achieve bass levels, which keeps costs down for most.
I am using a pair of micro-Walsh short omnis as a 2.0 system for my bedroom flat screen, which is on a table. Because of WAF, the speakers are on the table BEHIND the TV. They sound great.

In addition, I bought these speakers from someone who had been using them as computer speakers. I went over to listen before purchasing, and neither of us realized they were omnis! I discovered it later.
Map, when I have pulled the MWT omni's out further into the room, the stage does seem to go a bit deeper however, the loss of some impact in the mid/bass tends to thin things out too much. There is a happy medium with it depending on what you want to give up. If I had a pair of subs to augment things, it could be really interesting. At some point I would like to try this.

I am sure there are some compromises in the products that John has developed(and what product isn't compromised to some degree?), but overall, I feel he has hit an extremely good compromise if there is one to be made. I am not sure what the compromises really are as the midrange/treble is pretty much consistant with the lineup, just as you move up the line, you do get more bass and maybe a bit more fuller midrange. I am still constantly amazed at how musical and enjoying these MWT's are. Good stuff indeed! Enjoy the music! Tim
Very cool Simon, I was thinking earlier that if I could utilize 2 MWT's in series, and use them as a center placed just right behind and to the outer edges of my flat LCD that it might really be trick, but I am just playing around with various options when it comes to a center channel.

While I think the Ohm's can make a good excuse for just utilizing a phantom center, I have really felt like a dedicated center is better in the long run, just no substitute for good and solid dialog. So many choices, so limited on funds! Tim
I find my MWT's provide solid, clear and localized dialgue better that any center I've used. It also really helps when things are panning left to tight- the lack of crossovers below 8000Hz and extra divers really make the experience seemless.

I've been running my MWT's in a 2.1 system for nearly 2 years, and only on rare occassion do I miss the other 3 speakers.

Now- trying full-omni MWT's, that sounds very interesting...

"Map, when I have pulled the MWT omni's out further into the room, the stage does seem to go a bit deeper however, the loss of some impact in the mid/bass tends to thin things out too much. There is a happy medium with it depending on what you want to give up."

Yep, I find the same to be true with my 5's.

I can adjust the mid bass upward using the controls on the 5s to address the bass level issue, and the soundstage is deeper, but not as deep as with the best set up true omnis I have heard (mbl 111s with about 12-15 feet of open space behind them).

I just wonder if the OHMs could match the mbls running full omni and in the right room.

It's something of a moot point for me because I do not have such a room that facilitates that kind of placement, but if so then that would really help make the argument that the OHMs might be able to match the size and depth of mbl soundstage for a lot less (along with all of the other unique attributes of the wide range Walsh driver) if so.

omni OHM Fs would be another interesting test case, but I suspect those are too fragile to match the magnitude of teh mbl sound as a whole.

Maybe Dale Harder's newer designs might better?
Map, I do think that the controls make the 5 series drivers nice, the controls can seem to help tailor things a bit and not totally mess things up along the way. Obviously with the MWT's, you are limited from the get-go in regards to bass depth and the ability to energize a larger room. I could see where folks would just be overly happy with the MWT's in a smaller more enclosed room. Again, would like to play with these and a good pair of subs, might be really sweet.

I too have wondered what the 4000 series driver in a totally omni arrangement might be like. John had said that the 5000 due to the control switches couldn't be made this way as they would block some of the backside of the driver. But the 4000 driver and cabinet is the same size as a 5000, you just give up the controls. I am sure it would be an interesting comparison, whether or not it would compete with the MBL is an even bigger question and again could prove very interesting. I would surely like the fact that it could potentially save a good sum of money! Tim
Very intersting thread! My $0.02 is that Parasound might be correct when a conventional center speaker is used, but when the Ohm Walsh center is used with Walsh mains, the blend is perfect! I speak from experience. After I bought my 2000s, I continued to use my Vandersteen center until I sold it with the other Vandys as a set. Then while I waited for delivery of my Ohm Walsh center, I used the phantom setting. While the 2000s are champs at drawing a very solid center image, that image does lack a bit of power for film dialog. The Ohm center is perfectly matched to the 2000s - uniformity of voicing throughout the Walsh line is one of Ohm's great strengths, IMHO - and even though my mains are not far apart, the front soundstage is fantastic when watching multi-channel films with the center channel (and another 150 watts of amplifier power).
My biggest hurdle is proper spacing/placement of a center channel speaker. I am looking at moving my 40" Sony LCD at some point to my bedroom and getting a 55-60" LCD to put in it's place. The screen currently sits on a lowboy cabinet that has my gear located in it. This stand is wide enough to accomodate the 55-60" set as well, but I really don't want to put it on a riser so that a center channel will not block any part of the lower screen, and I haven't been all that thrilled with most wall-mounted centers either. Maybe I am being too picky, and hence my thought about utilizing two MWT's at the very corners of the screen, and wiring them in series as a center channel. I do need to play with this option at some point. The other part is wrestling with how my omni MWT's would be in this mode, or if the traditional 45-degree firing angle would be best used in this center configuration.

I also have Magnepan MMG's and a MMGC/center that I will be playing with soon, but I still prefer the Ohm's over the Maggies. I would love to just have John make me up a set of Ohm's all around in the proper configurations if I could just get things sorted here-and once I have a little extra cash!

The more I play with the MWT's, I find how versatile they really are in various applications, and also just how consistant in sound quality/musicality they remain in these various configurations. I just need another pair to add to my situation in order to play a bit more.

Thanks for all the input guys, this is fun stuff! Tim
Frazuer - I had my plasma wall mounted, so I had to relocate my Walsh center, which had been sitting atop my RPTV that the plasma replaced. I used this inexpensive stand:


Not exactly up to the level of fine furniture, but it does the job, and the wood grain perfectly matches the finish on the Ohm center. It has an angled top plate that works well in my room, although the angle is not adjustable. It is only a foot tall, so even with the Ohm on top of it, there is no obstruction of my TV.
Thanks Bond, I was looking at Amazon a couple of weeks ago and checking out some risers just to place the LCD screen on and get it up a little higher to test the Maggie center I have. I may end up going that route for awhile, but I don't know if I will ultimately like the screen height, but will see.

I did find a really cheap riser($9.95) at Target that is open backed which the Maggie MMGC needs to breathe properly, so that may be just what I will try for the fun of it. It will at least enable me to get a good perspective on the MMG/MMGC.

Right now I am hesitant to wall mount the TV until I know I am going to like the position of everything, screen and speakers etc. I just haven't had much time to play around with things lately, all work and no play.....

Would love to see pics of your Ohm center channel speaker, I know John can make up different versions too, depending on need. I am holding off on the Ohm center until I play with the above, and also try some more things with my MWT's and 3/3000's. Tim
Any Ohm users also use a pre-pro with advanced room correction software? With this type of speaker, is it even necessary or would using something like Audessey, MAC, or ARC be counterproductive?
Fin, I have wondered myself too what or how ARC or Audessey would work with the Ohms-or wouldn't for that matter. Would be interesting for sure! Unfortunately, I am in the dark ages, wih my "lowly" non-Arc Anthem AVM-30! But I sure do love the sound of it as it is! Tim
I do not see any unique issues in general using signal processing technologies like those from Audessey with OHMs or omnis specifically compared to other designs.

I see some of their technologies are commonly embedded in other commercially available third party products, so it might be possible to try if you own one of those products and OHMs.

Of course, the devil is always in the details and user expectations regarding whether any particular audio solution adds value or not.
I do not see any unique issues in general using signal processing technologies like those from Audessey with OHMs or omnis specifically compared to other designs.

That's interesting, Mapman. Intuitively, I would have thought just the opposite.

I want to get some Ohms for use in 2-channel, HT, and multi-channel music. Don't know if they are well-suited for all those applications but, given my room, I had figured I'd need to use a pre-pro to handle room correction and bass management issues. So going the digital route seems logical.

It's just that a new 6-channel pre-amp has(almost)come on the market. From the description, it seems so interesting and unique and I just want to give it a try. But doing so would seem to forego the idea of using a pre-pro to its optimum capabilities.
I will say that I never found Carver sonic holography specifically to work effectively with the OHMs compared to others.

Sonic holography was more of a spatial processing function, so in that case perhaps omnis might react differently than others. Not so much with other types that deal with frequency balance, loudness, etc, I would think.

The thing is the OHMs are so easy and natural sounding, I would not want to muck with the sound unless absolutely as a last resort perhaps to address room acoustics if nothing else could work.
Sonic Holography was an interesting thing, I had a Carver C-4000 for a brief time in the mid 80's. It was interesting on some recordings, but not so great on most. Rather "noisy/grundgy" as well. I didn't have Ohm's then though, just the typical cone/dynamic driver speakers.

I haven't messed around with any of the newer processors that have the room correction such as ARC or Audessey. I have no idea how it would see Ohm's general spacial features and how it would adjust. Probably in the bass regions, it might react/adjust fairly typically, but curious how it would react/adjust otherwise to the mids on up. Being frequency related, not sure how it would really change overall spacial characteristics, or if it even would. Again, even reading about all these nice technologies, experience is the key I am sure. My own speculation is probably far off.

Maybe someone out there has given it a try and will chime in.

Just as a side note, have been testing a Magnepan MMGC center along with my MMG's(no surrounds/subs at the moment). I find the Maggie center to work extremely well with the MMG's and is very seamless across the soundstage. Will be trying some more setup/testing in time. Have a test disc coming from Magnepan this week. I am not giving up on Ohm's, so no fear there. I am just playing with my other gear, seeing what works out best in the HT mode at present.

Am planning on trying the Ohm MWT pair as a center with my 3/3000's as L/R, hopefully this coming weekend if all goes well. That ought to be interesting to say the least! Tim
Thanks, Tim. You actually put into words exactly what I was wondering: How would Audessey, etc. deal with the unique spatial charteristics of the Ohms? Someone out there has had to have tried to implement room EQ and / or bass management with their Ohms.

Interesting about using a pair of Ohm MWTs as a center. I especially like the idea of using a pair of them rather than just one (Can one even order a single MWT?).

Just finished reading a review from last year on the Magnepan On-Wall Surround Sound Speaker System. Have fun playing with your other gear.
I run basic Audyssey for my MWT's from a Marantz SR7002. Not exactly an audiophile rig by any means, but even my audiophile friends are pretty impressed. I also use an Emotiva Ultra-10 for sub duties.

The room I have it in is huge, although I listen near-field about 6 feet back. All movies and music are played through this simple 2.1 rig.

I can say that without Audyssey correction, music is still OK but anything with dialoge is, well, meh....

With Audyssey I have improved soundstage, much better bass response and close to pin-point dialogue.

My wife accidentally 'hit a button' one day last year which she didn't even think to tell me about, and I could tell that something just wasn't right. Sure enough, Audyssey was disabled. Imaging AND sounstage were crap- pretty much collapsed and an overall diffuse mess.

Once re-engaged, it was all back to normal. My wife points out that this is a very lazy way to go about things, and was fascinated with the process of getting good sound at our last house. But at the end of the day, we have no complaints with the MWT's and simple room correction.

Thanks for the info. on the Audessey. Again I have no expeerience with it and have heard amny comments based on the typical cone and dome vatiety of speaker, so this is interesting. Someday when I get rich, I will have to upgrade my Anthem AVM-30, and get the ARC. I am sure there are many benefits to it all.

Glad your MWT's are working great with it! The MWT's are just outstanding period. Isn't audio and all that music so much fun! Gotta love it! Tim
Thanks for the info. So at least one has tried it and found it essential; others have not used it but also not found their systems wanting for lack of room EQ. As with anything else in audio, I guess one has to just try it out.

I suppose I was hoping for a clear-cut answer before buying either a pre-pro or the new Decware 6-channel pre-amp.
I use Velodyne DRC (similar to Audyssey, but used only on the subwoofer signal, <75hz, in my case). I've also used full range Audyssey with my Ohms, just to check it out.

In my room, DRC for the subs makes a stunning improvement. Improvement from DRC on the rest of the signal is much less dramatic, and I could go either way. In the end, I settled on the bass only approach.

I believe that the Ohm 100 is pretty damn neutral and benefits little from EQ - until the room effects start (to my ear) to get dramatic below (+/- 150hz in my current room). I treat the 75hz to 150hz range with bass busters and other physical room treatments and DRC below that.

Works for me but, as always, YMMV.

Thanks to those you offered information on using room EQ with the Ohms.

With respect to the pair of older pyramid-style cabinets that the OP wanted instead of the newer cab styles, given the same internal hardware in an upgraded older-style (cans, drivers, etc.) vs. the newer cabinet style, how much of a difference will there be in sound of the old vs. the new? Does one cabinet style give one more flexible room placement options?

I am in agreement with Frazeur1 in that I prefer the older style aesthetics. To me, it is more interesting-looking but if there is more than a reasonable trade-off in sound quality and/or the newer cabs are more flexible with room placement, I would go with the new models.

I am sure there are going to be some qualitative differences but how significant and in what areas of the sound will it be better? The best way to find out is to call John and ask him but it would be great to find some reviews by users familar with both. Reviews of the newer cabs are scarce while one can find a few recent reviews of up-graded older cabs scattered around the Net. It would be nice if John would get some better-quality photos of his speakers online.
My understanding is the main parameter regarding the cabinets that affects the sound (degree of bass extension possible) is the size/volume.

Along this line, I believe the newer cabinets tend to be taller to achieve a particular volume/level of extension, which can sometimes result in the "cans" being located above ear level more frequently, which affects the sound negatively at the listening location. You generally want to listen from a location at can level or above.

Aesthetically, I like the older pyramid shaped cabinets and refurbished these tend to cost less as well.

I also like hiving the castors on the cabinets, especially the larger models, in that this makes it easy to tweak placement.
I have always liked the pyramid-style cabinets from the first time I auditioned a pair of OW-2's in the early 80's. They are very unique in this world of typical box type speakers.

As far as my OW-3X0 cabinets, they are almost exactly the same volume as the new 3000 cabinets. The fill/stuffing is different, but I really don't know about how this difference affects the overall sound, never had both of them side-by-side to do a comparison.

I do agree with Map's comment with regard to the can/driver listening height. I do like having the can/drivers at or near ear-level, and I do think the older cabinets are a bit better in this respect. Both my 3/3000's and the MWT's are about the same height in this regard. With the Omni, I don't think this is an issue as the tweeter fires directly up at the ceiling.

Also, the castors are a nice thing to have, easy to roll out in position, and then roll back if you need more space. Also, you can swivel the speaker a bit, toe-in to suit your tastes. I do think the built-in plinth though has good merit as well, no messing around with the port, or direction of the port. Also, on carpet, this makes it nice as well, you don't have to mess around with other types of plinths. Everyone's mileage will be different in certain instances though I am sure.

I was able to play around a bit with regards to using the Ohm MWT omni in a center channel configuration, one on either side of my 40" LCD screen. I was able to put them right alongside, but slightly in front of the edges of the screen, and my Anthem processor allows for 2 center channel speakers. I utilized this configuration, and using my standard 3/3000's as L/R, I didn't have surrounds or subs. I have to say that I liked this very much, but felt that the standard configuration drivers instead of my omni-versions would work much better in my situation. Still, it was a very good little test. Dialog was a bit easier to understand especially on some tracks that aren't so great, but I found the omni presentation made the whole center/L/R more of an enveloping thing rather than more direct center dialog. Panning from L to R was still good, but just different from a more direct driver approach.

I could see a nice 6 speaker MWT surround setup for my room would work very well, with a pair of subs, and the MWT's are fairly small and don't take up much floor space. Of course there are several other configurations that would probably be better-see Simon's setup using all Ohm's for his room.

I am still playing with my Magnepan MMG/MMGC too, and this is interesting. Not to hijack the Ohm discussion side of things, I do fine the Maggies to be a pretty good alternative, even though they get put down for use in A/V mode due to "lack of impact" etc. But I do find this setup to be very detailed and it pulls you into the films rather than smacking you upside the head with the bombastic blasts etc., all depends on what you are looking for. Also, I find the Maggie to be very good on concert/music DVD's as well. The Eagles live in Melbourne is just fantastic with these.

Hope you all had a great Holiday weekend! Enjoy the music! Tim