Ohm Walsh vs. Mirage OMD 28

I'd love to hear any opinions/comparisons between some higher end Ohm Walsh models and Mirage 28...Especially regarding their soundstaging abilities...thank you all
I own the Walsh 2000s, but have not heard that particular Mirage model. Major differences to consider are the use of metal tweeters in the Mirage, and the frequency of the crossover, which is way up at 8kHz for the Ohms. Although both aim at a quasi-omnidirectional dispersion pattern, they are radically different designs. One thing about the Ohms, is that IME, every model sounds the same, with the only difference being max SPLs and deep bass extension.

If you can find a seller of the Mirages that will allow an in-home trial, like Ohm does, you could compare them yourself, in your room with your gear. IMO, that's the best way to choose a speaker.
I know, nothing like trying speakers in your own environment...I have a decent set up now, but playing with an idea of getting omni speakers, to produce bigger and deeper soundstage...
haven't heard the Mirages but on paper, I see they have two crossover points and the omni driver configuration appears to target mainly the higher frequencies.

OHM walsh drivers in comparison have a single crossover point at a relatively high frequency. The Walsh drivers deliver a highly frequency coherent omni sound very wide range up to that crossover point. The result is top notch performance through the critical midrange region. The OHMs are also not true omni in that range in that the omni driver sound levels are physically attenuated in the wall facing directions (by acoustic damping material inside teh "can") to allow for easier placement closer to walls than pure omnis.
I got a feeling myself that Ohms might be easier to place than Mirages...
My Ohms sounded good in a number of positions, but careful placement will bring out their full potential, as will acoustic treatments to your room. As usual, Mapman makes some excellent points.
yes, the OHMs are not hard to place compared to most designs, but careful placement is still needed to yield the best results possible. You can put them most anywhere and they will sound fine for background listening perhaps but imaging accuracy and detail and bass levels may not be optimal.
Is it recommended to use damping materials at the first reflection point?
I have seen Ohm setups with a lot of absorptive materials not only at the first reflection points, but almost all around the front and side of the room at ear level. Remember: the "first reflection" point for an omni is not the same as for a conventional dynamic cabinet loudspeaker. I have the traditional first reflection point more or less covered, as well as the front ceiling corners, but plan on adding more foam panels along the side and rear walls at ear level in the future.
I think need for use of damping materials will depend on the room and user preference. I have never used any nor been strongly tempted to.

Historically I've found wood or other lively floor materials to be the main issue in that the OHMs are bottom ported and a lot of energy is directed towards the floor.

"Remember: the "first reflection" point for an omni is not the same as for a conventional dynamic cabinet loudspeaker."

The first reflection point for an omni is variable depending on listening location I believe since you can listen from a wide range of lcoations and not just the "sweet spot". For the "sweet spot" the first reflection point on the rear wall would be the same as for other speakers in teh same location essentially I think. It would change depending on where you listen from. So it might become a difficult task to treat the room optimally in this way in a manner that works best for a wide range of listening locations.

I always view omnis like OHMs as best applied in scenarios where you want to use the room as it is as your concert venue as opposed to typical audiophile scenarios where you become obsessed with modifying the room to avoid interactions with the speakers.

Of course, some rooms can just make flat out lousy concert venues, so in these cases, you might want to think twice about using more omni designs like the OHMs.
I haven't listened to Ohms since I worked at an audio store in the mid-'70s, but I have owned the OMD-28's little brother, the OMD-15, for 1-1/2 years, and the concerns leveled about the OMD-28s have no substance. These things are seamless, both in dispersion pattern and crossover points.

As for placement, the Mirages are very forgiving particularly in one way--you will always get a room-filling sound with realistic timbres regardless of where you place them. They are not naturally bright, though you can control brightness by opening or closing window shades and deciding on your wall hangings.

There are two placement issues with the OMDs, however. If you want that deep, holographic soundstage, you want to pull them further into the room and place them wider if you can. If you put them where you put a typical forward-firing speaker you'll get some center clustering, though the timbres will be spot-on. If you want a sonic hologram, bring'em out into the room.

Secondly, the OMD-28s have very strong bass down into the 20s, so that's another reason to have them out from the front wall. I have my OMD-15s a little more than 3 ft into the room. If you have the room to bring OMD-28s 4-6ft into the room they'll probably blow your mind.

The other thing to consider is that these are fairly easy to drive, reasonably sensitive, but can absorb huge amounts of power and translate that into dynamic range. Even my little OMD-15s are bi-ampable and rated for 250 watts power handling.

I have had live music in my living room, and no speaker I've had energizes the room and reproduces the correct timbres as precisely as the OMDs.
"There are two placement issues with the OMDs, however. If you want that deep, holographic soundstage, you want to pull them further into the room and place them wider if you can. If you put them where you put a typical forward-firing speaker you'll get some center clustering, though the timbres will be spot-on. If you want a sonic hologram, bring'em out into the room.

Secondly, the OMD-28s have very strong bass down into the 20s, so that's another reason to have them out from the front wall. I have my OMD-15s a little more than 3 ft into the room. If you have the room to bring OMD-28s 4-6ft into the room they'll probably blow your mind."

The placement considerations for the OHMs are quite similar though moving them out 4-6 feet may be overkill except for larger OHMs in very large rooms.
The placement considerations for the OHMs are quite
similar though moving them out 4-6 feet may be overkill except for larger
OHMs in very large rooms.
And I would put the OMD-
28s in the same bass response/power response/dynamic range category as the
larger Ohms in large rooms. I don't think they'd have to be 6' out; 4' would
probably be enough in most rooms.

Chris Martens of Abso!ute Sound reviewed the OMD-28 and bought the review
That's why I need to probably scratch Mirage off my list...just like other threads suggested, they do need space around them...I have sort of an open plan, so I probably won't overload my space with bass with either speaker, but I don't have 4 feet to bring them out into the room...and if I put them about 8 feet apart, they have about foot and a half from side walls...it also seems like I'm ok sitting 6-7 feet from Ohms whereas Mirages need at least 8-10 feet to sound their best...these are of course just my conclusions from reading this and other threads...they both seem to like decent power, amp maybe more on the cleaner side to balance out warmer nature of both Ohms and Mirages...
The MIrages don't *need* space around them. I still get the same tonal balance and room-filling soundstage when I move them within 18" of the wall to make room for visitors. It's just that when you move them out you get this all-encompassing 3-D holographic soundstage that seems miles deep. But even close to the wall the soundstage is not shallow. I have open architecture and cathedral ceiling too. The Mirages are an ideal match for that setting.
Well, maybe one day I'll compare the two in my environment. Then I'll share my findings with everybody here on Audiogon...

02-19-10: Branislav
Well, maybe one day I'll compare the two in my environment. Then I'll share my findings with everybody here on Audiogon...
Ohms are direct market, so you have to audition them at home. Vann's is an authorized Mirage dealer and offers a 15-day refund period as long as the product is in original condition and is returned with all original packaging.

Right now Vann's is offering the $7500/pair OMD-28 for about $3K/pair in black or rosewood. Pricewise this puts the OMD-28 at a decided advantage, because it should handily outperform the similarly priced Ohm 2000.

The OMD-28 and Ohm 5000 should be a good matchup, but Vann's pricing gives the Mirages a $3500 advantage.
It will be interesting match up...just ordered Mirage 28...when I sell my current Hyperions 968, I'll get Ohm Walsh 3000 or 4000 and do the comparisons...

have you discussed your room with john at ohm? there is no advantage to larger more expensive ohms over smaller unless room size considerations warrant it. the exception is the 5000 which has adjustments on
board to taylor the sound to roomsize and other acoustic considerations.
I briefly talked to him...I guess it will have to be trial and error, because of my open plan, it's hard to establish which model should work. I think they offer an upgrade program...if that's true, it would be better to start with 3000 and then if I need to, can upgrade to 4000....5000 would be the best choice, but I'm losing the best bang for the buck with them in case I found a lower price model that works in my room.
I put up my current Hyperion 968 for sale..terrific speaker, anybody who's looking for a speaker that does a lot of things well, might end up being quite pleased with them
supplementing a smaller pair of ohms with a sub is not a bad option either.
I'll be interested in how well the mirages stack up. i think they both will sound very good but also quite different.
I'm very intrigued myself...however, unless I sell my current speakers, I'm not sure how long it's going to be before I can order Ohm Walsh...of course first I need to break the Mirages in and play around with the placement so that might take even a month....I'll use this thread to post my impressions of the Mirage and then later Ohm Walsh...a lot will depend naturally how they react with the room...
The thing that intrigues me about the 5000-hence my question about the controls/switches in the other thread, Map, is that the overall room size with the 5000 is so adjustable. It almost makes your speaker something you won't have to worry about upgrading/downgrading to fit should you move house, rooms or whatever. If one likes the Ohm sound, and can obviously afford the 5000 to begin with, makes it very attractive.

I am anxious to hear about your findings on the Mirage OMD 28 too. Interesting! Enjoy! Tim
If you ever get the Walsh 5000 and do a side by side comparison to the OMD 28 that will be intriguing.

Yes, the larger adjustable Walshes makes it easier to adjust or optimize the sound to the room and your preferences especially when things change.

A parametric equalizer or flexible tone controls on a pre-amp can also accomplish the same, but having the controls right on board the speaker works well.

Toe-in/toe-out, port plugs, speaker placement, room treatments and of course equipment tweaks are the weapons you have at your disposal otherwise.
I still have to figure out if there's any difference between Ohm 3000 and 4000 other than the ability to play deeper and louder...it looks like the quality of the midrage and upper frequencies might be exactly the same. It's just a matter of trying to see if 3000 will be enough to pressurize the room. Of course if it was closed in room, they would be easy to figure with the info that's available online. In case 3000 works perfect in my room, spending over 60% more for 5000 loses its appeal.
Branislav, in talking with John at Ohm over the past 6 months or so, the main thing I come away with is that all of the speakers in the 1000 series(And MWT)are voiced as closely as possible to sound alike, only that as you go up in the range, they are more capable of being played louder and potentially going deeper in the bass.

After going from the 2000 to the 3000 driver, I would say that is all true. I didn't notice any difference at all in the midrange/upper frequencies, yet I do notice a definate increase in bass response/output.

My listening room, which also is a living room, not dedicated, is very open too. It adjoins a kitchen/dining area, as well as a couple adjoining hallways. I had to take as much of that space into consideration in order to come up with the volume that the speaker would see or try to energize. Probably with my 3000's, I am close to being at the edge of it's range. Make sure you don't short-change yourself in this respect.

The 2000 really sounded very good, just didn't have the lower bass/impact on recordings which required it. It all depends too on what is acceptable to you in the bass range. I came from Magnepan MMG's which had little to no bass to speak of, so what I have now is quite good actually. The 3000 is still breaking in, but it does indeed energize my listening space very well so far.

I find the midrange/upper frequencies to be very good, and the music so very realistic and natural. I have to say as impressed as I have been with my Maggies in this regard, the Ohm does every bit again as well. On some occasions such as listning to Michael Hedges/Taproot, or some other solo acoustic guitar, the Ohm doesn't quite have the defined "snap" that the Maggies have(And which is more truthful?), but I do chalk some of this up to the direct sound wave that comes right at you. Yet I find the Ohm presentation a little more realistic overall. Vocals are pretty much dead even for me between these two speakers. The added bass of the Ohm wins every time though.

Another aspect that I am pretty happy with on the Ohm's is the image height. I know I have said this before, the Maggies do a wonderful job with this-and they should being a tall panel speaker, but the Ohm's do a very credible job as well. I always hated listening to tiny monitors and getting this shoe-boxed size image of a performance, even if everything else was great.

I have to say that I am enjoying these Ohm's very much, it is good to be re-aquainted with a new/old friend. Having been able to listen to an un-modified/original pair of 2's, and then swap for the 2000 series driver, and then to a pair of 3000's on a 3 cabinet, it has been interesting. The newer series of driver is a definate step up from the original, yet still retains all the good stuff that made an Ohm so enjoyable to listen to in the first place.

The main thing is to take your time and figure your room volume as closely as possible, and talk to John about your options. Now that you have some Mirages, it may be a non-issue anyway! Either way, enjoy your music! Tim
Frazeur, are you saying 3000 is barely strong enough to energize your space or almost too much?
Branislav, I would say that my 3000's are strong enough to energize my space, but maybe more on the upper end of that scale. I know the 2000 was too small and wouldn't give the bass needed, it did sound very good though with respectable bass in the mid/upper 40's I would guess.

My space is roughly 4000 cu. feet, and the 3000 information shows a range of 2400-5400 cu. feet that they would work well in. But I am sure that if all the doors to adjacent rooms off my hallways etc. aren't closed/sealed, there is a fudge factor there. It is not like having a dedicated room that can be totally closed up when listening. I am sure others with much more experience in this issue would have more to say regarding this.

Also, I haven't figured up the exact cabinet volume/porting between the new 3000 cabinet and my old 3XO cabinet, guessing quickly, I would say they are very close so the output should be similar.

The thing is, you can't make more bass(unless you add subs, of course, and I do not have the space/option for subs), but there are ways to deal with a little too much, not that too much is a fun thing to deal with either.

I also do not know how much break-in affects this overall figure, I know my 3000's are just in the beginning phase of that, so they will more than likely open up a bit more as time goes on.

Again, I am sure John at Ohm can help you in this regard, as well as input from others much more knowledgeable than me in this respect. At this point, I can say more than likely, the 3000's will be right for the area I currently have them in.

Last night I had a couple of hours to listen and I had a ball. Joni Mitchell, Marc Cohn and David Sanborn/Bob James were all sounding very good in the room last night! I am sure things will only get better! Tim
Well, today I received a pair of Mirage 28's in rosewood. All I can say it that they are truly gorgeous. I know that's not exactly priority in this hobby, but it still is nice to have good looking speakers. I just started breaking them in, so for any kind of observations, I'm going to have to wait just a little bit...tbc
Cool, Branislav! Keep the posts coming!
Branislav, enjoy them, they are a very nice looking speaker, I checked them out on the web the other day. Will be anxious to get your take on them!

I am still in the long process of break-in of my Ohm 3/3000's, they are starting to open up a bit and the bass is smoothing out more as well. I am enjoying them very much so far.

I do think the bass response is going to be more than adequate as well, unless something really changes dramatically in that regard. Tim
I just wish I could make the break in period go faster...2 weeks return policy is not too long if you need to play them for 100 hours before making evaluations. Of course I could play them 24/7 Im just not sure if I want to put my cd player through an ordeal like that. We'll see what happens...
If you can put your CD player on repeat with some varied music, that would be great. I know neighbors don't always appreciate it, but if you don't have that to deal with, then you should be good to go. The CD player itself will not care.

I did that last weekend with my Ohm's, I was away for part of the weekend, so I cranked them up a bit, CD on repeat. Every little bit helps, especially if you only have 2 weeks to do it! If I could, I would do it during the day too with my 3000's, but my wife works from home. Shame she can't enjoy music all day.

The break-in time is another example of what makes trying the Ohm's so great, you can't get any better than the amount of time John gives you to test run a pair!

Could be that the Mirage's won't need that much break-in time, some speakers do, others don't. At least you should be able to get some sort of flavour that they will bring to the table. Enjoy, Tim
I have this one cd with this one particular track that lasts about 5 minutes and goes from deepest tones to highest frequencies. Supposedly "cleans up" the entire system, removes static, whatever...I think it actually works... May not hurt to play that track over and over :-)
You will really want to be gone when you are going through that one! Yikes! Make sure to check your gain on your amp before you leave. Tim
I have read of some who face the speakers toward each other (against each other so to speak) when breaking them in so as to cancel out the sound or even going as far as throwing a blanket over them when not listening to them so as to not annoy neighbors.

If you are concerned about your CD player, go buy a cheap one to play when you are not listening to them.
If I had rca interconnects, I would use one of my dvd players...but now with xlr its a different story...I wouldnt even mind the break in, makes it all the more rewarding once the speakers open up, if it wasnt for the short return policy. It's pretty cool that the Ohm is offering such a long trial period...I can already tell that Mirages are a bit less efficient than my Hyperions, and might benefit from a high power amplifier, even though my integrated seem to do a decent job with them.
If you have a tuner, you use that for extended break-in sessions.

My theory is this: If a speaker sounds good right out of the box, it should only get better with break in. IME with the Ohm Walsh 2000s, there were odd sonic characteristics that came and went during break in, but they never really sounded bad, especially once a friend helped me reposition them.

I would suggest you play the Mirages as much as possible in the two week period, and when you're listening, try out all kinds of familiar recordings. If you're still grinning like an idiot after two weeks of that, the Mirages are probably keepers. If you keep them, and then lose your enthusiasm later on, I think you got them cheaply enough that you could sell them without taking a big hit.

Speaker selection should come before amp selection, so if you keep the Mirages because you like the sound, you can upgrade to more powerful amps in the future. That will probably expose another week link in your system. Welcome aboard the upgrade merry-go-round!
You can also minimize the volume level during break-in by connecting the speakers intentionally out-of-phase. This cancels a lot of the sound. If you have an FM tuner or a loaded iPod, that's another way to send uninterrupted program material to the speakers. You don't have to have the volume way up to break them in. In fact, Mirage recommends keeping the volume low until they've broken in.

My OMD-15s broke in pretty easily. They never sounded harsh or wrong out of the box as some do. But the first 30-50 hours opens up the bass response, and I found that as I kept playing them (for weeks), the resolution exceeded my expectations. These are very resolving speakers. They'll sound pleasant from the first, dynamic soon after, add bass slam soon after, and then over time you'll notice how delicately refined and nuanced they are as well.
I meant to also say to wire the speakers out of phase when facing them together. Thanks Johnnyb53 for the reminder!
Well, I'm continuing to play the heck out of them to break them in. I know the thread implies comparisons to Ohm which I've never heard, but I can maybe start to compare it with Hyperions 968 which are quite a hard act to follow in its price range. Like I mentioned, it's apparent that the Mirages need more power and are less sensitive. This makes the low level listening a little harder. Their frequency response is about the same as Hyperions, with spectrum going from low base to 20khz. They are both very easy to listen to, nothing bright or harsh like so many speakers out there. Unfortunately, so far, I can't say the size of their soundstage betters my Hyperions...I was looking for a more enveloping sound and I'm not experiencing that yet. Also I don't think they disappear any better than Hyperions and don't spookily suspend sounds in the middle of the room like Gallo's 3.1 that I used to have. Again, they are not fully broken in and placement plays a big role so there's still hope. They play better than when I first got them...even though they go as low as Hyperions, their mid bass seems to be boosted a bit which I for one like, though opinions vary on the subject....so far it's a toss up if they stay or not...tbc
I hate break in of any gear or cables.
What speaker cables are you using? Are you bi-wiring or using the factory brass jumper bars? You can get an immediate improvement by at least swapping out the jumper bars for some made from a good cable.
I took off the jumpers right away...I'm using one biwire and one regular speaker wire (MIT CVT Terminator)...
Well folks, Mirage finally brought a smile to my face and i guess thats about the best compliment you can give a speaker (or equipment). Process of breaking in might be painful sometimes but all the more rewarding afterwards. The soundstage opened up, thanks to me moving them around too, and resolution has gotten considerably better. Boy, do these have bass? Hyperions were no slouch in that dept. and go as deep, but as far as sheer amount of bass, Mirages win. Detail retrieval is on the same level as Hyperions, though most of the images dont have as much precision as I reached with Hyperions, just like it is to be expected. I find them overall a very pleasant speaker to listen to. I'm sure they would benefit from a little more power, an amp with a cool nature might be a perfect fit for these.
I just have to figure out how to fix the fact that the image is being pulled to the left side a bit due to the surrounding behind the speakers. One corner is a regular one, the other opens up the the staircase. Is there anybody out there who actually doesn't sit in the middle between the speakers?
Try toeing in the right speaker for more direct exposure at your listening position to move the image to the right? Or, if both toed in already equally toe-out the left speaker.

Sometimes a balance control can come in handy!
03-12-10: Branislav
Well folks, Mirage finally brought a smile to my face and i guess thats about the best compliment you can give a speaker (or equipment). Process of breaking in might be painful sometimes but all the more rewarding afterwards. The soundstage opened up, thanks to me moving them around too, and resolution has gotten considerably better.
That's why I was so enthusiastic about recommending them. Some speakers sound actively irritating out of the box until they settle in and reach their intended tonal balance (e.g., Totem). Mirages aren't like that. Out of the box the tonal balance is OK but the thrill factor is meh.

Give them 100-200 hours, though, and the low level resolution starts coming in. Pretty soon you start hearing things that you might not have noticed before. In my case, I particularly noticed the richness and detail of subtle vocal harmonies and call-responses between two or more groups of vocalists. I don't think the Mirages' improvement in resolution and detail let up for about six months. You will love these speakers even more as the months go by.

My opinion: They put a smile on your face because the tonal balance is very natural and the dispersion energizes the room like live music. They have a natural presentation that makes you forget about speakers and simply enjoy the music.

To get a better L-R balance, you might try either some sound absorption behind the speaker that has solid walls behind it or putting something reflective near the other speaker.
Actually, that's what I did, put a rug on a left side to limit the amount of reflective material that was pulling the sound to the left a bit...it helped...just like with any speaker, one needs to play around with a placement a bit, but probably even more so with these. I think they are a terrific value for 3K, and I don't see them leaving any time soon. I'd love to try one of the Luxman integrated amps with these, maybe 507u or even 509u, since they seem to be great with bass. There is certainly quite a bit of it, I toned it down just a bit with my amp, which allows me to do it. BTW, I did hear the top of the line Walsh too...and they didn't make me regret getting Mirages. Of course, different room and different equipment, so I give it a little benefit of a doubt. I think the Ohm's take the "live concert" sound to the next level, which I'm sure is great for some, but a bit too much for me. A lot of it depends on personal preference and choice of music.