Omega, Harbeth, JM Reynaud, ad Skylan
On a previous post I asked for thoughts regarding Harbeth and JM Reynaud speakers. My subsequent speaker upgrade journey led me to discover Omega speakers, and specifically the Super Alnico Monitor. I took the plunge, taking advantage of Omega's 30-day home trial. So here is my update.
These speakers are now a permanent addition to my system and my musical enjoyment. I am so thoroughly satisfied. While break-in took a good 100 hrs, the sound of these Omega Super Alnico Monitors is beyond reproach. Every day my wife and I are amazed at what we hear when we put on an old cd that we haven't listened to in a while. I have had several audiophile friends come over for auditions (folks with NHT XRS system, the new big JansZens, Vandy 2s and 3s) and to a person they cannot believe the level of detail, sound staging, spaciousness, and just overall great sound these speakers produce. And when I point out they go for $2K, their jaws really drop. I made one additional tweak to the system and got dedicated Skylan stands. The addition of the stands, and a bit less toe-in (as some Omega users have posted) seemed to really put everything in place. The combination of these speakers and stands goes for less than $2,500, and I encourage anyone looking for new speakers in this price range to seriously consider the Omega's.
Are these the best thing since sliced bread? No, they do not do everything, nor would I expect them to, but I also have that same feeling for all other modestly priced speakers ($5K or less, can't believe I consider $5K as being modest). But to my ears, these speakers are 95%+ of the way there. Is this a speaker I can and will live with happily ever after? YES. While I will still read all the high end mags, all the various audio websites, go to AXPONA, and regularly visit my local shops, I am done speaker shopping. Now I am just enjoying the music, which is really my ultimate goal.
Finally, I am still intrigued by all the Omega owners who rave about the combination of Omega speakers and SET amps. While my tube/SS hybrid integrated sounds great with these speakers, I am really curious about what improvement, if any, a low watt SET might provide. Maybe that will be my next audio journey.
Finally, I would like to give a shout out to Loius Chochos of Omega and Noel Noland of Skylan. Louis has been a real pleasure to interact with, his customer service is nothing short but outstanding, and the quality of his product is absolutely first rate. In a similar light, I have the same high regard for Noland ad the Skylan stands. Dealing with both gentlemen was an unexpected pleasure in this day and age. Thank you both. And thank you for your fantastic products (Louis, your speakers do live up to the accolades presented by others on the Omega User's Circle website).
Final score: Omega Super Alnico Monitors + Sylan Stands = about $2,500. The Harbeth 30.1 monitors I was going to get would have been $5,600 (new, around $4K used), plus about $400 for stands. Total savings for me = about $3,500!!!! Even if I get a new SET integrated amp, I am still looking at $2,000 or more left over from my budget for new music!