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Thanks for your review Bondmanp, I've been following the MW Tall thread for a while but still can't form a good idea about the real differences between a Micro tall and a 2000.
My room size is 1800/ft^3, and I'm currently very happy with my pair of MW talls especially now they are fully broken in. I'm powered my pair with a NAD M3(recent upgrade) and at times I wish I can hear more dynamics and bass with some recordings...
Do you think it's worthwile to upgrade to the 2000s just for bass and dynamics only?
A great question, Wudai e, but one that really only you can answer for yourself. I briefly hooked up the used MWTs (I bought as surrounds) to my main channels. Sonically, they were so close to the 2000s as to be nearly identical. I thought there might have been a little less fullness in the upper bass, and i did not push them hard enough to determine their dynamic limits. Remember that with my 2000s, I do use powered subs (one for each Walsh 2000). With the subs, could I have gotten by with 1000s or with MWTs? Perhaps. My instinct was to go for the model that matched my cubic footage. The good news is that Ohm will give you a generous trade-in credit on the MWTs if you decide to move up the line. More good news, you can audition the 2000s next to your MWTs for 120 days and decide for yourself if the upgrade is worth it. After 120 days, either send the 2000s back or send Ohm the MWTs for your trade-in allowance.
You might also consider adding a subwoofer or two. There is a beautiful pair of Vandersteen 2Wq subs for sale right now at a very good price here on Audiogon (no personal connection to seller). These are the subs that I use, and I can promise you they blend seemlessly and easily with the Ohms. This will reduce the demands on the MWT Walsh driver, (which should enhance their dynamic cpabilities somewhat), but less so on the super-tweeter. That said, it is possible that the MWT uses the same tweeter as the larger models. John Strohbeen of Ohm can also give you his thoughts on this. And, while the Ohm Walsh line does a good job with bass all things considered, you cannot expect even the biggest Walsh towers to do bass better than a pair of 300-watt, 3-driver subwoofers in purpose-designed enclosures. I like the Vandy subs so much that one requirement for my speaker upgrade was that the new mains had to work well with the Vandy subs. They're that good!
Good luck and please keep us posted!
I agree that if you just need more bass, or more control over bass levels, blending a powered sub with a pair of Walshes is the best solution. You can even use Walshes that are smaller in a larger sized room to better effect that way.
In my case, I've managed to nail bass and dynamics to the point where nothing more is needed and have no desire or need to add a sub. The juicy Class D amp was the solution here, though the 120 w/channel Musical Fidelity A3CR I used prior was no slouch either.
The 360 w/ch Carver m4.0t I used before that definitely did not cut it. Low current, low damping factor made for a less dynamic and balanced presentation overall. That amp did work quite well for years with Magnepan MG 1Cs however.
I do use a sub in my second system (music/A/V) with a pair of small Triangle monitors running off a mere 20 watt vintage Yamaha receiver.
I'd say bass levels in both off my systems are comparable in terms of relative levels in that both are tuned to my personal preferences. The levels I set on the sub are a small percentage of teh levels possible and more or less comparable to the OHM Walshes in two other rooms. This is what sounds balanced and full to me. I find too much bass will negatively affect midrange clarity and such so I avoid that.
Both systems can be felt as well as heard when required, but my main system is the better overall performer by a fair margin these days I would say.
Good info, Mapman. I, too, dislike too much bass - bass, bass all over the place! ...as they say. I suppose I could get boomy excessive bass out of the Vandy subs using (abusing?) the controls. People who hear my system usually make some comment about the bass being a bit lightwieght. Then some music with a heavier bass mix or content comes on, and they say "oh, there it is!" That's what I love about the Vandy subs. Bass that is faithful to the source, not BOOM BOOM BOOM added to everything I listen to. Sounds like we appreciate the same type of bass performance.
Thanks for the response Bond and Map, I'm really trying to avoid subs right now because I'm happy with whatever bass my MWT can get out 90% of the time, and I don't really want to get into trial and error with cut off freq and sub placement that work with my room, and John also implied that I might be driving my MWTs a bit too hard with a M3 and a pair of 2000s might be a better match, thus the upgrade.
I just ordered my 2000s in black and they'll be ready in 3 weeks! Yeah, I guess this is the best way to find out. I'll keep you guys posted. :)
Congrats, Wudai e! I understand your concern about subwoofers. Just FYI, there is no crossover anxiety with the Vandys, since the crossover is fixed at 80Hz. Placement, as well, is intended for room corners. Richard Vandersteen took a lot of the guesswork out of the equation. The only subjective issue is what resistance the in-line crossovers sound best with. This is accomplished with the temporary crossover included with the 2Wq, which has jumpers for adjusting resistance. Once the best match is determined for your amplfier, you order fixed in-line filters with that resistance.
I think you'll love the 2000s. They look nice in black (mine are black). I did run them briefly without the subs, and they do a pretty good job on bass down into the low 30Hz range, I would guess. The driver size, on a percentage basis, is much larger on the 2000s than the MWTs. I think, in addition to deeper, stronger bass output, you'll enjoy better dynamic capabilities. My 2000s play really loud with no signs of strain whatsoever.
BTW, I just ordered a matching center channel, so I'll post my thoughts on that on the Ohm thread in the discussion forums in the near future.
One of the lesser mentioned benefits of a powered sub in any case is the straightforward control it provides over how the bass sounds. For those fussy about bass (like me), using a sub to get bass levels sounding right can be relatively straightforward compared to dealing with room acoustics, speaker placement, etc. So in my mind, there is a clear niche for a sub in these cases.
Having said that, I prefer to avoid having to integrate a sub myself as well if avoidable. It all depends.....
Also, the benefit of the Walsh 5s (or newer 5000s) is that there are 4 3-way level adjustments right on board to help tune the speaker to the room. Two of these are for bass levels. I have found these adjustments on the Walsh 5 most useful in getting things tuned in optimally in my challenging L shaped room.
thanks for the review posted here. It was a good read throughout.
Interesting. I've never been a fan of omni directional speakers per se. The notes here that got my attention however were those associated with Dynamics, naturally.
As Map.... said, and I tend to agree whole heartedly, music should be felt (to some degree)as well as heard. That punchy impactful aspect seems for me to be what listening in home is all about. Music has to keep my attention in other words.
consequently I found it odd such a report on an omni directional design could reproduce such swings and transients. Good to hear.
Glad you found speakers that are for you a cut above.
Update - As I posted previously, I ordered a pair of custom made, spiked cradle bases from Sound Anchors for my Walsh 2000s. Although John Strohbeen told me that this was not necessary for the Walsh speakers, my uneven floor prevented me from getting the speakers level and level with each other, and they rocked a bit too much (not rocked as in Rock & Roll, but as in back and forth). The stands were $300 plus shipping. Pictures can be seen on the Sound Anchors web site. They are solid, well made and heavy, with 3-point, adjustable spikes that screw into the base.
After I levelled the speakers on the bases, I noticed that the sound was cleaned up a bit, with a little more fine detail. The soundstage also seems a little larger than before, especially in the lateral plane.
As a side note, I think I need a different listening chair. The high-back leather reclining chair and ottoman I bought when I set up my basement HT in 1994 are less than ideal for music listening. I discovered this when I leaned forward in the chair. The sound was significantly better in terms of details, soundstage and even smoothness in the highs. So, along with seeking improvements in acoustic treatments, cables, ICs and powercords, I will now be on the hunt for an *affordable* comfortable low-backed listing chair or two.
I am also well into the trial period with the 2000's. I was previously using Maggies and surprisingly, the 2000's have a similar sound. Maybe not quite as detailed as the Maggies, but to appreciate the Maggies you need to sit in the sweet spot, which is only a few feet wide and tall. This makes them somewhat limited, unless you have a dedicated listening position.
Overall, I am extremely pleased with the sound of the Walsh's and will almost certainly keep them. I do have an issue with the phantom center sound with HT. John recommended using the phantom mode, but I can't quite come to terms with the voices not being locked to the center of the display, instead voices sound wide and even though the sound is centered, they sound very wide, to the point that you are aware that the sound is coming from the fronts.
I haven't seen any comments on this, so I'm wondering if I have a unique situation. Do I need to buy the center Walsh to fix this? I was told it was 30inches wide by 16 inches tall. I don't know if I can accommodate
speaker location can effect the ability to create a focused center image. in general, if the speaks are further apart, they may also need tobe somewhat further out from the wall.
how far apart are your ohms and how far out from the wall
i had maggies prior to the ohms. with the ohms, placement within the room is also key to getting max detail. too much bass can obscure midrange clarity and detail. moving the speaks out from
rear wall and/or using plugs in the ports on bottom can help tune/tone down bass if needed. also, toe out so super tweets are more facing your listening position or center of room can help brighten things up which may alsohelp with detail if needed.
Thanks for the valuable response. The speakers are about 18 inches from the rear wall; 7ft apart facing straight forwards and approx. 14ft from the listening position. I've moved the speakers further from the wall, without improving the situation, so I'm thinking it must just be that the Omni sound from the fronts is causing this and it makes sense.
Apart from the center channel sound, I have no issues with these speakers and quite appreciate the subtle differences with the Maggies. These are not inferior by any means, just different. And after spending time comparing the two, I don't think I could even go back to the Maggies for all around use.
I am surprised by John's suggestion that a center speaker isn't needed, after all, why have the dedicated center channel sound track if there is no improvement when used? Any thoughts?
Has anyone heard the Walsh center speaker? Has anyone else had a similar concern with the wide sound with HT vocals?
I'd recommend continuing to tweak speaker placement as needed especially as they continue to break in. You should be able to get a clean center image location as needed aat least if sitting perhaps up to 7-10 feet back with the speakers 7 feet apart. 14 feet back, it might be hard to get a tight center focus, depending on the room.
It should come across as more 3 dimensional still with the OHMs, but still localized centrally and not spread across from left to right. Toeing the OHMs out somewhat so the tweeter is aimed just in front of you prime listening location may help get things more focused and will decrease sound stage width somewhat, which can help in some cases like narrow rooms. Maybe try some mono recordings while tweaking placement and orientation to help get things zeroed in. Once mono sources are clean and center focused, the rest often comes in quite well from there without much additional tweaking.
Experimenting with a mono recording is an exceptionally good idea, I'll see what I have.
I did try toeing the speakers out and it did help considerably, the downside was that the overall sound stage collapsed somewhat, to the point that I toed them back to the original position. The listening room is approx 18x18, but the speaker positions are fairly limited, I can't separate them any more than they are, I will try with the mono as suggested.
Jfriswel: Welcome aboard! A lot depends on your room. My 2000s are only ~5 feet apart, and I had no serious issues when I used the phantom center setting on my prepro. That said, I did feel there was a slight lack of solidity to the center channel image, and I did have to push the left and right channels a bit harder for the same relative sound levels as I had with my (mismatched) center. My Ohm Walsh Center arrived Friday. I sit only about 10 feet back from my RPTV, so John Strohbeen recommended a smaller Center. It is about 20" wide, 9" high, and 6" deep. Saturday night I watched "Ray" on DVD. I thought the system sounded great with this center. The next day I realized that I had not even used the left and right mains! So, I was pushing the center pretty hard. I heard no strain at all - it is an authentic Ohm Walsh speaker. My room is about 1800 cubic feet, but for me, the smaller center seems to be appropriate. Even without any break-in, it is smooth and clear. Dialog is terrific. The smaller center is $700 plus shipping. Even if John feels your setup needs the bigger center, you could try the smaller one. You have the 4-month return option.
I moved the speakers around using a mono recording and have the fronts toed out, so that the tweeters align approx. 5ft in front of the listening position. How does this compare with your experience? The center channel sound in this position is much more acceptable, but still not up to center channel standards. This is an interesting situation, I've tried adding a Maggie center and it blends surprisingly well. About 1/2 the people that I have asked for opinions prefer it with and without the center. I'll report in after further experimentation
I had had the 2000s toed in significantly, and this produced an acceptable phantom center for soundtracks. However, I did feel the center was lacking some "oomph" when set up this way. Although my Vandersteen VCC-1 seemed to be an okay match (not perfect), I did sell the Vandy along with the quad of my Vandersteen 1Cs. I have had the smaller Ohm Walsh center about a week and a half. I posted some comments on it in the MWT Tall thread in the Speaker Forums. In brief, it's a fantastic center, an Ohm Walsh in every way, and a spot-on perfect match for my 2000s. A good value at $700 + shipping, IMHO. And my 2000s are now facing just about straight, which produces, I think, the best combination of center-fill (for stereo sources) and soundstage width. The 2000s sound wonderfully smooth this way. Perhaps they have become even smoother since the end of my 120-day trial, which ended in January.
" Perhaps they have become even smoother since the end of my 120-day trial"
These things are hard to say for certain but I think it took a good 6 months or so for my 5S3s to completely settle in and that was with regular daily usage at various volumes.
Would love to see a picture of the Walsh center channel speaker.
It's been a while, finally some update :) I've been tweeking the placement of my 2000 since I got them 2 month ago.
What's interesting is the past July/4 weekend while I was doing BBQ in my backyard, I cranked my amp much louder than usual so people can hear some music through the rear window, and after the party is over, I sat down in front of these speakers for some quiet time... with volume turned back to my normal listening levels, and WOW, as if the speaker just opened up after the loud session... everything I put through them are wowing me the second time... especially the bass...
I just realized how crittial speaker placement and burn-in is for these ohms.
Since I traded my Micro Talls with 2000s, I always feel that I gained and lost something at the time. After last weekend however, I have a smile on my face everytime I sit in front of them :)
Hi, thanks for your review-
Just wanted to know- how do the 1C's and Micro Walsh Talls compare w/ each other? It seems you're comparing a higher-model Walsh with a lower-model Vandersteen. I'm planning on spending 1K or less for speakers in a small (10 x 12 x 8) office, and would like to know the strengths and weaknesses of each as they compare to each other.
I'll be using substantially better electronics than would typically be paired with these speakers (extra equipment with no space for bigger, more full-range speakers for hook-up since moving into a smaller living space!
Also- sad to say- the speakers must be only about five feet apart from mid-driver to mid-driver, with about one to two feet on each side, and only two feet behind them to wall, given a bookcase and doorway by each speaker in the room.
Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
Just another update.
My 2000s were bought May 2010, after 6 month of regular use, I finally believe the speakers are 95% burned in!
That's how long it took for my pair to really shine and with my current humble system, I would not want anything more for any money period! That's how good these Walshes are after they are burned in! Even now, I still notice subtle improvements every once in a while but the most obvious improvement compared to new is in the bass department, I cannot emphasis how good the bass sounds coming out of these ohms! Not too much not too litter, just right there for my taste!
What you relate is consistent with my experience with the OHMs.
Once 100% settled, you may then still find that the simplest inexpensive tweaks to the system overall (speaker location, power supply, toe-in, different ICs/wires, etc.) may be made as needed to help fine tune the sound to near perfection.
Aubullience: Yes, the 1Cs retail for roughly half of what the 2000s sell for. My comparison was done because that's what I was upgrading from. The 2Ce Sig IIs, while priced competitively with the 2000s, were physically too wide for my room. Like yourself, I have a narrow space for my system. My 2000s are barely 5 feet apart as well. I don't think this has been a problem, even though I would think it is far from ideal. I sit in a roughly equilateral triangle with the speakers for serious listening. Unbelievable soundstage that constantly brings a goofy smile to my face!
I have a bit more space outside and behind the speakers than you do, and I would expect a quasi-omni like the Ohms to need some space. However, the current Walsh models do attenuate output to the rear of the speaker to minimize the space required behind the speaker. But, and here is something that will be difficult to arrange with Vandersteens or other brands, you get a full 120 day in-home trial to find out if they work in your room. And before you order, you can speak to a live person at Ohm and determine which model will best suit your room and electronics. I suspect you might be fine with the 1000s based on your room dimensions. As I have mentioned, the Ohm Walsh line shares identical sonic characteristics, but scaled for different room volumes (although you lose a bit of bass extension as you move down the line).
Here is the room size info on the OHM site:
MODEL ROOM SIZE (volume) ~SIZE PRICE (per pair)
MicroWalsh SE 600-1000 cu.ft 6"x6"x36" US$ 1400
1000 800-1600 cu.ft 7.5"x7.5"x38" 2000
2000 1300-3000 cu.ft 9.5"x9.5"x39" 2800
3000 2400-5400 cu.ft 11"x11"x41" 4000
4000 4500-8500 cu.ft 13"x13"x43" 5500
5000 800-8500 cu.ft 13"x13"x43" 6500
Your room is 18x18x14 feet or 4536 cubic feet.
That would point towards the 3000 at least for best results with the low end in particular.
The back wall being open probably pushes things upward even further into the range where 4000s or 5000s could add value.
Call OHM and talk to John. I'm sure he will be able to confirm the best options.
Thanks for the great review. I am looking for speakers for a combined music/home-theater system, probably 40% music, 60% HT. I would welcome any thoughts on how the Ohms would work in that environment. If using conventional speakers, it will be a 5.1 or 5.2 system, but based on preliminary discussions with John Strohbeen, I may forego the center channel if I go the Ohm route.
i really like your review as it precisely fits the audio system i wish to purchase in the future: Ohm Walsh 2000 with two Subs.
You mentioned, that they sound very clear even at very high volumes. My question is how loud your "very loud" is?
I mostly listen to moderate volume levels, but at times i love to push the volume up, to levels that make you dance. Is your combination capable of driving a bigger homeparty with rock and electro music?
i am looking forward to your answer :-)
christian - Even though I have both a phone app and SPL meter, I haven't measured the SPL of a louder listening session. But I would think that my louder sessions are in the 85-90 dB range. If your amp can handle it without clipping, and the Walsh model you have is appropriate for the cubic footage of your room (including any other rooms that your room opens to), I would be surprised if the Ohms had any problem providing dance-party type volume. Don't forget, a pair of capable subs will only increase the system's ability to get loud and stay clean.
But since my Ohms are in a cluttered basement system, and ceiling is only 6' high, I don't think I will be able to test the Ohm's party abilities any time soon.