All listening, even movies, will be two channel
I bought a pair of Walsh 2’s a few years back in order to revisit my first encounter with a like pair when I was...well, younger. Much.
While they were in acceptable cosmetic and sonic condition, I nonetheless contacted John, in the process discovering the Ohm factory is located in Brooklyn NY, the place of my birth, a mere 45 miles from my current home. I drove there after accepting John’s offer of an upgrade/update.
Think of Ohms as the Mona Lisa of loudspeakers. While there IS the typical/expected sweet spot similar to conventional designs, the two channel effect follows you as or if you move about the room. It takes a little getting accustomed to, but not long after this attribute becomes ingrained in the mind, giving one pause to ponder why all other speaker manufacturers don’t...do the same.
What I recall most is how well highs were articulated through those cans, how the sound filled the room naturally free of low end bloat or boominess - very organic for lack of a better term.
1extreme - Excellent question. Our room is 44 feet long, 14.5 feet wide, and a little over 7 feet tall. It's a basement room with the classic live end (where the speakers are) and dead end in the back of the room.
John confirmed that this is ideal for the Omni sound of the Walsh drivers, and this room is my favorite place for music.
obigny - John described your experience as the norm for the Walsh Drivers. In his own words - the 120 day break in is to get one's self acclimated to the "you are experiencing live" sound that is promised, rather than the speakers needing break in.
I am having email dialogue with Ohm and was thinking about the Super Sound Cylinders or the 3.310's that have an integral powered subwoofer in each speaker. My guess is that you were debating between these as well (since both fit your room volume) and you mention movies in one of your earlier posts where the sub would come into play. Would like to know what led you to pick the speakers you ordered as I am trying to make that decision now. (I did read somewhere that a 2 channel amp could still be used with the integral sub speakers by hooking both the sub and the other speakers in each tower up to the same output line.) Also what veneer did you pick and what acoustical treatment / carpet does your basement have?
michiganbuckeye (Thanksgivings must be fun a your place :) ) ..
The 4900 will have more output in the all important 50-5000 Hz range, which is the primary reason for my decision. The M700 mono amps will deliver about 500 WPC into the nominal 6 ohm load, and based on the specs, should provide close to subwoofer level bass in this compact package.
The finish is Rosewood.
Here is the room:
The floors have a thick pad underneath the also thick carpet, the walls are all 2x6 over block with insulation and the ceilings are acoustic tile.
Behind the listener is a stairwell that is perpendicular to the length of the room, and it sets up the "dead" side quite well.
For full disclosure, as we get into next winter (which I hate bringing up as we get close to spring), should the SSC-4900's deliver, we may move up to the 5015's.
I hadn't heard the OHM speakers for at least 25 years. I recently picked up some old Pro-200's.
I'm pretty enamored with what they can do. Particularly for a 1k speaker 25 years ago, and for their age. I'm contemplating picking up a full 5 channel system myself. I've been e-mailing and dialoging with John also. Ironically, I'm also in Michigan.
Now, I'm driving them with a pretty nice system, in a pretty good room. But the signature sound I really like (big, big soundstage, good dynamics yet not bright).
I've kicked around the 4900's, but I may do the 5000's if I pull the trigger.
I will say the cylinders are nice as they don't take up much floor space, yet sound huge.
One if the guys at a audioclub owns s pair ,and said the parts quality is very chesp gor a dpeaker if thus price .i added sbout
$500 in upgraded capaciyors, resistors and inductors
I heard them before and after with same equipmrnt
The whole performance was night and day better a 15% improvement across the board with ease .now refined and much better focus. Just look on Ohms site, it Google images.
I am not trying to be hard on them but $7.00 capacitor a Really
Even the drivers are nothing special. He didnot change the drivers.
If you have them without question go for the better Xover parts .
I received a couple of emails about using a subwoofer with the SSC-4900's. As this process unfolds, we have a Power Sound Audio V-3601 and an Axiom EP-800. Both subs are powerful, with the Axiom being world class to 13 Hz in a sealed design with the "tight" bass audiophiles love.
We will have options to running the SSC-4900's full range with the PS Audio Stellar Gain, and also swapping the PS Audio pre-amp for a Marantz 7703 and crossing the system at 40 Hz.
Time for an update: the speakers have not shipped yet. They are built, but the Ohm is having a hard time with shipping boxes. Another customer had his damaged during shipping, so they are trying something different for the cylinder speakers.
While I understand the delay, it is disappointing that no one called or emailed to inform the delay. I had to call Ohm a week after the expected ship date.
I will update when they ship.
The Ohm SSC-4900's have arrived. They got here on Thursday - There is a thread on Home Theater forum which allows posting pictures, so anyone is welcome to visit that thread. It is under forums, the Loudspeakers and Subwoofers sub-forum. I am not sure posting links to other forums is permitted here.
Here is a copy/paste of the initial set up and first 3 day's of ownership:
""We ordered the speakers in late February, 2018. It took just over 2 months for delivery, with good reason. The speakers are a new model, and are a cylinder in shape. Ohm was having shipping difficulties, and finally, after several weeks of experimenting, they came up with a solution: Ship the cabinets in 2 separate boxes, the drivers in 2 separate boxes and the grills in their own box, for a total of 5 boxes.
The cabinet boxes are on the left, the driver boxes in the middle, and the grill tops on the right. There was some final assembly required, which took less than an hour, including unboxing the TRIPLE boxes for the cabinets and drivers. (Note - there is a picture here in the HTF thread)
The drivers were mounted on particle board to further protect them during transit. Assembly was simple - plug the drivers into the main cabinets using the "fool proof" connectors (they won't let you accidentally wire the speakers out of phase), then lining the drivers up with the 7 mounting holes and using the supplied screwdriver and screws to secure the drivers to the cabinet.
Next - the binding posts are under the speakers, and are high quality, easily accepting banana plugs. The Ohms were then placed where the Axiom LFR-1100's were located. For now, the subwoofers are still there, although we will "clean up the area" this week when I have more time. For now, we are using the Ohms in a far less than ideal situation. Here they are as they are now placed: (Note - there is a picture here in the HTF thread).
Initial listening impressions: The Ohm SSC 4900's are unlike any speaker I have ever auditioned. One of the first things that was noticed about the Ohm's is they present sound from an almost "black" background. The impression is similar to a band starting the music from a blacked out stage. You hear music, but it just seems to be a wall in front of you.
Discs being played already are Roger Waters "In The Flesh", Cowboy Junkies "Trinity Session", Steely Dan "2 Against Nature", Bob Seger "Live Bullet" and Diana Krall, "Live in Paris".
Some initial impressions: One can be sitting outside the left speaker, and STILL get a pretty good stereo image, including hearing the right speaker quite clearly. The soundstage is wide and deep, yet vocalist and instruments are placed with excellent location and imaging. Margot's voice on Trinity Session changes as she is singing to us from varying parts of the stage. Lyrics are also really clear and easier to discern than from other speakers we have had.
Even with all the detail, they are also very musical. With most discs, one has favorite tracks and others that one might skip. The Ohms are immersive to the point that I am never tempted to skip a track.
After 3 days of ownership, they are already impressing.
Once you have had enough listening experience, perhaps with and without one or more of your subs in the system, can you please comment on what value the added sub contributes for a) music and b) movies. Curious if a good sounding sub placement was difficult achieve since it is separate from the speakers.
Also, can you post a picture showing how the upper grills interface with the top of the cylinder. It looks like there could be an exposed fastener on the grill ring above the Ohm symbol on the left speaker in the image you posted on the HTF.
Finally, how have you set the room size switch on the speaker - does the setting make an appreciable difference?
Thanks in advance. Your guidance will help with my selection process.
MB - Eric Clapton's "Unplugged" is playing now, and it is really good stuff. One can easily hear/feel the tapping on the guitar - that weight that an acoustic guitar delivers is coming through with authenticity.
The actual grills are not in place yet. What you are seeing now is the protective grill for the Walsh Driver. The cosmetic grills are still in their boxes. When we get the room reorganized, the grills will be added and more close up pics taken.
This review process will probably go into fall, with all the aspects to discuss. Yes, a subwoofer will eventually be added. It will likely be the Axiom EP800. The EP800 is flat anechoically to 13 Hz and the DSP crossover can be set to a lowpass at 40 Hz without interfering with the full range response of the Ohm's.
Checked out that thread. Would love some close ups of the finish, they use real veneer now I believe? The old cylinders used vinyl wrap.
looks like you have the tweeters firing straight ahead in the pictures, do you have them crossed as John suggests now?
Any chance you took pictures of the drivers before installing?
I know John typically suggests running them about 12-15 inches off the back wall, then adjusting for bass response, thoughts? I have to imagine those put out prodigious bass.
looking forward to more posts.
Rlb - All that is required is placing the driver "cage" onto the cabinet and putting in 7 screws per speaker. That part of assembly was less than 15 minutes. AND ... this is the only speaker in the Ohm line that requires this. The rest, with more traditional "rectangle box", ship fully put together. Ohm is also working on the shipping issue with the drivers already installed in the cylinder speakers. They likely will have this resolved soon.
dep14 - the speakers are "toed in" so they cross now. That picture was just an initial shot with my phone just so people could get a feel for the size. We will be (if I can get my son to help) getting all the subwoofers and other stuff out of the way this coming Saturday and putting the speakers closer to the boundary walls as suggested by John.
The SSC 4900's are being evaluated within the 120 day time period. I have the option of returning them. On day 10, they will be set up in the optimal position, as will the PS Audio amps - we will be replacing the RCA's with XLR connectors and putting the amps on their own, dedicated stands from Pangea.
Look for "good" pictures from my wife's (her obsession) multi thousand dollar camera. It's a Canon something.
As the process continues, we will swap out the current 20 feet of 12 AWG wire for 6 foot runs of 10 AWG wire.
After that, we will be adding the EP-800 subwoofer from Axiom.
My F5s similarly came in 6 boxes in 2008. 2 for cabinets, 2 for drivers, two for grilles. This saved much time and aggravation getting these into and set up in the room downstairs. These are big and heavy and would be harder to ship safely much less move around fully assembled. Assembly was a snap, Attach fail proof connector and tighten 4 wing nuts to secure driver on top of cabs. These also sit on lockable castors which makes moving them around in the room and tweaking location for setup a snap. I would never want to deal with anything as big and bulky as these otherwise.
Roysq - A lot of info on the driver is available here:
I think the woofer is 12 inches, and the bass is very good. It goes a bit deeper than the Axiom LFR-1100's, which extend to about 31 Hz.
When you go to the link, the woofer is inverted, and a lot of work went into the design to make it full range, with just a tweeter to augment the highs.
Yeah, figured it was a 12 inch. Should be tons of bass in that big tube. As for that link... I think it’s a bit misleading. I suspect they are using an off the shelf, or slightly modified full range driver. Doesn’t bug me, just curious as to who makes it. I figure it’s paper based, which doesn’t bother me either. Just always interested to figure out what the driver might be and get an idea of the quality etc. Also curious at to the tweeter.
I realize they build (like everyone) to a price point and margin, but I'm always curious what could be done in a more cost no object type build. Could/Would they sound even better?
I know it’s the sound that matters, and what I’ve heard of older stuff, they sound great for the price point. But with the more expensive stuff, just wondering what the quality of the parts, crossovers etc are for the money and vs the competition. It’s remarkable how little info is really out there on their newer stuff.
Roysq .... This is not my trying to pick a fight, but rather responding to some of your post.
1. On what are you basing your suspicion that this is an off the shelf driver?
2. All too often, when we are told about all the wonderful drivers used in a speaker, the speaker does not sound like music. Golden Ear is a great example of this. I have auditioned the Triton Ones in three different showrooms, and none of them sounded like music. They were loud, and clean, but they were not engaging. In one case, a pair of Klipsch Heresy's with a JL Audio Dominion 10 inch sub was in the same room, and was SO much more musical that it wasn't even close.
When auditioning speakers, I spend a lot of time on vocals and unamplified instruments. I don't think about the drivers. I feel the music.
This is a nice escape - feeling music. I spend too much time in the objective world of running and consulting in the auto industry. When it's time for music, all I care about is the system that takes me "there".
Not looking to argue at all myself. Looking at old pictures of Ohms, it simply had me wondering. What I have heard from their speakers I like them. As far as an off the shelf driver, Ohm (like most companies) don’t make their own drivers from what I know... so it’s a question I always ask/research when I look at new speakers. Most companies it’s "easily" discovered, with the Ohm, I’ve had a little less luck. My hope had simply been you took some pictures.
I’m all about the sound also. Really, simply wondering as I have considered buying some myself. Just so little out there on what woofer, tweeter, and crossover parts are used these days. I’ll admit, that is a little important to me. Sound is 85% of the equation, I suppose pride of ownership (and knowing that quality parts were used, and that the price was "worth it") is part of it for me.
NOT disparaging the speakers at all, I have really liked what I have heard.
I’m also not a huge Golden Ear fan either. We are on the same page here, it just seemed you were really into an in depth review, so I had hoped you might know the answers. Not a big issue either way. Won’t stop me from potentially buying a pair, I’m just a research nerd before buying.
Take this from an Ohm fan, I doubt the drivers are made in-house. The "secret sauce" is in how the drivers are modified, loaded and positioned to both load the cabinet for bass extension and provide the bending wave effect that the original Walsh driver made famous. Also, FWIW, I seem to recall hearing that the drivers were not all the same material. For instance, my 2000s, which, I believe, use an 8" main driver, is actually made of aluminum, according to something I read on line (never asked Ohm about this; I don't really care). There is nothing metalic about the sound, though. That said, I have log wondered what my Ohms would sound like with a folded ribbon tweeter, since I like the way those Heil tweeters sound so much. But again, Ohms are built to a price point, and very reasonable one at that. So, I am certainly not complaining.
I don’t know what drivers are used, but having owned OHM Walsh speakers now since 1982, I can say they they seem virtually indestructible and never show any sign of strain or being over driven. More so than any other comparable speaker I have owned. And believe me I have run them pretty loud and hard on occasion. I do it these days with high current 500 w/ch BEl Canto Class D amps. They love it!
I was told by Evan of Ohm that paper divers are used along with cloth covered dome tweeters. He stated that they had tried different tweeter configurations without success. That is all he volunteered.
He also stated to me that the outer shell tubes were made of paper on the Super Sound Cylinder model that Craig ordered. I presume that a fairly dense paper based tube was used. The cost to move up to a multi-ply plywood tube isn't much more than a paper tube considering the overall speaker price. If Ohm did this, they would likely have a more robust product that could survive in shipping without multiple layers of boxes that would probably be near the same consumer price point considering the shipping packaging savings and their desired pricing margin.
I believe they use SonoTubes - or concrete forming tubes. Same thing SVS uses in their tube subwoofers.
Honestly, they seem to work really well in the subwoofer format, and the weight savings are really nice. I've wondered if it is actually a more optimal shape for a speaker to reduce reflections and standing waves in the cabinet.
I do wonder how the veneer looks on it from a finish standpoint, how the seam looks etc.
I will say OHM does a pretty good job keeping things under wraps as far as what is inside. I've liked what I have heard, but even with that big can on top, it really defies speaker convention of not obstructing the tweeter.
My guess is John specs the tweeter based on pure measurements, and doesn't really look at the price, other than to find a good performer at a low price.
Time for an update - Our opera singing/masters degree in waiting daughter is home for the summer. She was completely astonished at Margo’s voice in the Cowboy Junkies "The Trinity Session". It really is something one has to hear.
Normally, the daughter listens to "Mining for Gold" and leaves. Tonight, she sat and listened to the disc in its entirety. So did I. I was sitting in front of the left speaker, and once again, the stereo imaging and soundstage was outstanding, even from this seat.
My daughter now thinks I need a pair of the larger Ohms so that she can take these.
I suspect that all the discussion of off axis image and off the shelf components misses the point which most people want to hear about. The ohms have been around for a long time yet very little has been written on “ how the compare”.
You don’t remain in business selling a product that doesn’t sound pretty good and at a fair price... but side by side... how do they stack up with similarly priced planars, electrostats, open baffles and traditional box speakers in producing accurate lifelike exciting music??
At the end of the day, its the sound that matters... and if ohm bests various loudspeakers and loudspeaker types using cardboard tubes or off the shelf transducers or $10 capacitors, good for them.
@roysq - I think John Strohbeen of Ohm is more focused on voicing his speakers to his liking than specifications.
@snapsc - Agreed. Speaker design is a bit like making sausage. Especially in the case of Ohm. I have not been able to do side-by-side comparisons, but I hear many speakers in the course of each year through attenting shows and my local audio club meetings. To be clear, there are better speakers, IMHO, than Ohms. But so far, none of them that I have heard that I would rather own than my 2000s come in at less than about twice the price or more, often much more. I pride myself on having been able to assemble a modestly priced system that punches way above its price. I did this with careful listening, a lot of reading, and communicating with other audiophiles, like I do here. I ended up with a system that has wonderful synergy, and produces sound the way I like it, if not totally neutral. Now I am having some equipment issues, but I am trying to get everything back up to par. But the 2000s may well be my last speakers.
Snapsc - Well stated. I have been an audio nut since getting a pair of Electro-voice 16B's in 1977. That was also the first time I experienced push selling from an audio salesman. He had the EV's for $169 per pair and JBL L100's for $499 per pair.
He pretty much told me I was stupid for liking the EV's more than the JBL's. I was 17 at the time, and went elsewhere and bought the speakers I liked.
Spin forward 41 years later, and it's still the same. Everyone told me I HAD to love the Legacy Signatures. I didn't. And this wasn't bias - I loved the Legacies I purchased in 1988. These were just, well, sterile sounding.
Good science and hard work make for good speakers. I like Axiom because they sound like music. The fact that they build all of Bryston's speakers adds credibility on the street, but doesn't change the sound. The Axiom LFR-1100's are about $5000 MSRP including the DSP. Having heard Magico's, Revels, etc ... along with Golden Ear, the Axioms are the speakers that sound like live music.
The Ohms are doing the same thing. Neither company waxes on about ribbon drivers. Neither does a lot of advertising. Both seem to have a loyal following. I am not a part of that loyal following: If I tried a pair that sounded terrible, I would say so.
The Ohms make me want to listen to more music. They don't add nor subtract from the performance, but they sure do present the performance in the manner which the disc presents it to the speakers.
Bob Seger's Live Bullet is fantastic on the Ohms. Typically, this is outside summer music on a Peachtree Bluetooth speaker. Now it's a fun listen again.
If you want to be able to tell your friends about how there are ribbon tweeters, sub bass radiators ... etc .. Ohm is not for you. If you want to experience live music, you just might like Ohm speakers.
@audionoobie - I will tell you, but I will also tell you that things aren't good right now, and I don't know why. I have an Odyssey Audio Stratos HT3 (3 channels), which failed last September. I sent it in for a repair and upgrade to full Kismet internals. The amp seems fine, but it no loger plays well with my Vandersteen subwoofers. I am working with a local dealer on resolving this issue, but it has baffled everyone who I have explained it to. But prior to the amp failure, I was in hog heaven and listened to music every chance I got.
My cables are simple Kimber 4PR, which I have always liked, but would eventually like to upgrade.
I am sure Ohm will offer you a demo at their factory. I know they have a listening room there, although I have never been. Just call to arrange it (Ohm is better at replying to phone calls than emails).
I have no doubt that loudspeaker designers (think Eric Alexander, Sean Casey, Clayton Shaw, Paul Barton, John Strohbeen...and many others) are designing products that to their ears, sound like music with the goal to be as musically engaging as possible. As a listener, I may conclude that John's interpretation is more to my liking whereas you may prefer Clayton.
No doubt there is no substitute for having the loudspeakers in your room hooked up to your equipment in order to make the best evaluation...and almost all manufacturers make that possible for the price of return shipping (if you are not happy).
Reviews and owner comments help a person decide whether go down the "home trial mode" or not...but often reviews and comments don't answer the comments a person might have based on their own experiences and concerns....For Example:
The few "official" reviews out there would make it seem as if the Ohms are position sensitive (as in they need to be close to the rear wall) and power hungry (as in they need hundreds of watts) in order to sound good.
I think it would be helpful if anyone who own a pair of ohms would comment on their experiences with location...close to walls vs 3' out (for example), 6' apart vs 9' apart (for example), 100 watts vs 300 watts (for example), high quality electronics vs entry end electronics (for example)....in other words, the more people can share, the more it will help those trying to decide on whether to move ahead with a home trial.
I use a pair of 2.000 satellite speakers that sit on REL Q201e subs they are 2 feet from the back wall and 6 feet 4 inches apart . The Ohms are powered by a pair of VTL 100 mono blocks running 2 KT120 Tubes that have a high pass filter 50 Hz . They make 75 watts . There is two more subs in the room distributed bass . All I can say I am bathed in great full range sound . There are very few systems that I have heard that move me like my own . Except one that was Jim Smiths the author of Get Better Sound book . After that visit and some room treatment additions I am moved every time I play music .Ohm speakers Highly recommended .
@snapsc - If you look at my review for the 2000s in the reviews section here at Audiogon, I addressed most of your questions. I don’t have a lot of options for positioning my 2000s in my room, so they are where they are. That is about 2.5 to 3 feet away from the side and front walls, and only about 5.5 feet apart. Also, my cieling is only 6 feet high (a basement), which I am sure is not ideal. I can’t really speak to the power requirement issue, as I usually run them with powered subwoofers so that the Ohms roll off, first order, beginning at 80Hz.
Have larger Ohm 5s with 12" driver and smaller 100s with 8" driver.
Positioning considerations are similar to most modern speakers that image well. You always want drivers a couple feet away from wall to avoid early reflections for best results. Optimal location from there will vary room by room, case by case.
I’ve used my 100’s with as little as 1 foot from walls to good effect, though perhaps not optimal in regards to detail and imaging.
I’ve had amps as little as 20 w/ch deliver very good results but the OHMs love power and current and will generally reward that if ultimate dynamics and very high SPLs matter to the user.
They are also very transparent. Most any change in the system might be heard. That may include power cords, interconnect wires, source device, pre-amp and amp.
If bass obscuring the midrange is an issue, that is often due to floor interactions. Set the OHMs on an isolation pad or stand of some sort, much like one would do with a subwoofer.
The omni sound is SOOO addicting that I will never go back to direct firing speakers. That said I've moved on from Ohm's as the WAF in our new modern condo was untenable. I purchased a pair of Duevel Planets about a year ago and they and the Ohm's are darn close in sound with the Ohm's having just a little more oomph. Other than that they are indistinguishable from the Ohm's, the room filling, sit where you please sound is magical.