Ohm Walsh Speakers - Any Experience?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by RonN5, Sep 21, 2022.

  1. RonN5

    RonN5 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I just saw this video that Steve Guttenberg put up on the Ohm Walsh 1000. It is an interesting and maybe a little confusing description of the sound and how it compares to other types of speakers.

    Does anyone here on SHF own one of the more recent Walsh models? How would you describe/compare the sound?
  2. Frazeur1

    Frazeur1 Forum Resident

    I have owned Ohm Walsh 2000 and 3000's, plus a pair of the older MWT several years back. I really enjoy omni/semi-omni directional speakers, to me they just seem a bit more realistic or life-like in their presentation, to my ears. I have owned Ohm, Larsen, Direct Acoustics, Shahinian, and have lived with Duevel Venus speakers for a bit over four years now.

    All of the models above that I have owned, each have their differences, but are maybe obviously more alike in presentation than not. The Ohms are semi-omni, although John will make versions that are totally omni-directional. The semi-omni's tend to like being closer to the wall behind them, say 6"-12" in general, whereas the full omni version can be further out in space. The Larsen is designed to go as close to the wall behind them, and will not sound good pulled out at all. I had a pair of the Larsen Model 4's for over five years and enjoyed them a lot. A nice boundary speaker that was able to do depth of stage, and also, fairly reasonably priced. The Shahinian, I owned Larc, a small 2-way, and the Obelisk 2, a multi-driver poly-directional speaker, which liked being away from the wall behind them. The Duevel Venus tends to like to be away from the wall behind them, but can be a bit more forgiving depending on overall room space. All of them can be tuned by way of room furnishings and treatments, and this will vary depending on speaker, much like any loudspeaker/room interface will.

    All of the models including the Ohms, gave a very open and spacious sound stage. I thought the Ohms also did a fine job of portraying image height as well, some of the others a bit less so. Each of my Ohms varied mainly in ability to play to room size, just as Steve mentioned in his video. John has made each model to be able to work in certain room sizes, the "voicing" if you will, remains pretty much the same between models. The larger models will of course have a more fuller bass output.

    I often hear many folks comment on diffuse/vague soundstage with omnis, Ohms included. I have not really felt that way about any of the omni speakers that I have owned. No, they don't have the pin-point, ear puncturing detail that many monitor/monkey-coffin boxes have, but what they seem to do is present a very life-like soundstage, and in my opinion, do not lack detail at all. It comes down to placement and taking time to dial in the system, no different than any other system. But if you require that pin-point/laser detail, than certainly, most omni's will not give you that. I find that to be not realistic anyway, at least to my ears. Otherwise, I find most omni/semi-omni's to be very natural sounding transducers. I tend to like the ability to not have to sit with head in vice in order to listen to my music!

    The Ohms I have had, did bass very good, again, for the size of the cabinets and main driver, they were extremely good in this respect. Midrange to my ears while good, maybe a bit laid back, and some of this can depend on placement too. Overall though, treble included, I felt the Ohms sound very good top to bottom. Really, they are very good speakers, in my humble opinion. Very likeable, they do a lot right, and very little worth complaining about.

    Any negatives? If I had anything to say, and this is just me, I was a bit unsatisfied with the quality of build. The veneering while okay, was nothing to jump up and down about, especially when comparing them to my Duevels or Shahinian speakers. The grille covers were shoddily put together, warped, and did not fit well. The main can on the driver-which you wouldn't normally see if you use the cloth grilles, were also a bit shoddy. Did any of this deter from the sound, no. But when spending my hard earned money, I feel like some of this could be better. Some of the veneering on my walnut MWT's was starting to come apart right from the start, not real acceptable. Also, the seams in the veneering showed more than what I felt was acceptable. Maybe I am nit-picking, but there you go.

    Would I buy another pair if say my Duevels all of a sudden disappeared or goodness knows what else? Probably would. Hard to go wrong if you like the omni presentation to begin with, and this is what I think is hard. Many people who have listened to them, haven't given omni's a chance, or they listen/read about all the blab of why omni's are no good, like a one-trick pony thing. If one would put away all of those audio-nerdery biases for a bit, and really listen, one might have a different opinion on them....or maybe not. This is one thing I do think John Strohbeen has provided when purchasing a pair of Ohms, a good in-home time frame in which to trial them, see if you like them. If not, return them. Otherwise, keep them and enjoy! No, I am not affiliated with Ohm, but I have enjoyed them here and there in my systems over the course of time. Really, I have enjoyed all of the omni/semi-omni speakers I have owned for various reasons, making good music the main reason. Anyway, I have blabbed on way too long, bottom line, they are well worth a listen in my book! FWIW
    Bern, bever70, barondla and 7 others like this.
  3. RonN5

    RonN5 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Frazeur1 thanks for your insights. It appeared to me as if Steve was suggesting that maybe the Walsh 1000/2000 were not as dynamic as he wished them to be. I'm not sure how he can say they sound like music and at the same time say that they lack dynamics. What was your experience?
  4. ls35a

    ls35a Forum Resident

    Eagle, Idaho
    It's a four month wait to get a new pair. I asked if they could send me a pair without the 'Ohm' sticker on the front as I think it really does not look good. They said that would be 'too hard'.

  5. Frazeur1

    Frazeur1 Forum Resident

    Like a lot of things, reading between the lines or trying to interpret Steve's comments on lack of dynamics can be a tough one. I think typical forward firing dynamic speakers can give you that sort of direct gut punch if you will. The Ohms maybe a bit less so due to the radiating nature of the main driver that produces those frequencies. I never really felt the Ohms lacked real dynamics, maybe just a slightly different feel to it, as the bass etc. is still all there. Omni's just do it up a bit differntly, and it all depends on what a person keys in on or how much they value certain aspects of a speakers presentation. It is certainly why actually taking time to listen to speakers in your own home environment on your equipment is so important. My words or a review is really quite meaningless overall.

    @ls35a Yes, wait time for Ohms can be a tough one, at least it is improving little by little! I had to wait almost that amount of time for my Duevels to be built and shipped from Germany, but as they say, some things are certainly worth the wait! We live in such a fast, get it now/instant gratification environment. As to the Ohm sticker, a little patience, some fishing line, you could take it off no problem.

    By the way, if you haven't already looked, over at Audiogon, there are quite a few threads on Ohm Walsh, well worth a trawl through if you are genuinely interested in them, lots of reading!
    RonN5 likes this.
  6. RonN5

    RonN5 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Hmmmm that doesn't make any sense....if you look at their website, here is the link, the show the speaker without the Ohm insignia...I would think that someone could request either no insignia.or put it on the back if it has to be somewhere.
  7. Frazeur1

    Frazeur1 Forum Resident

    They usually always come with the Ohm logo from the factory. Sometimes their web page is a bit lacking. I would take a guess that maybe on some refurbished cabinets, maybe one would not get put on, but that is a guess on my part. Any speaker that I have purchased through Ohm has included one.
  8. RonN5

    RonN5 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    As for the wait time, I placed an order for the new (not even on their website) Magnepan LRS+...they estimate about 6 months....as well know, supply chain issues are hitting the audio companies in the wallet...which they pass along with higher prices and in parts availability...which becomes extended lead times.
    Frazeur1 likes this.
  9. jeddy

    jeddy Forum Resident

    I use a pair of BLUE CIRCLE BM-2 speakers using the ohm/walsh design...
    I can verify the soundstaging is huge and wherever you are in the room it is a good experience. Gilbert Yeung (the designer and engineer and owner of Blue Circle Audio) had a few prototypes made and later abandoned the speakers from going to production because the veneer and finish on them never seemed to look that great. I luckly aquired one of these pairs
    and yes they may be cosmetically flawed but they sound awesome!
    Reminds me of good electrostats....
    Blue Circle is now no-more as Gilbert is retired. Their stuff is very collectable.
    Frazeur1 likes this.
  10. layman

    layman Forum Resident

    New York, NY
    I have heard Ohm Walsh loudspeakers at the New York Audio Show in the past and I really missed them at the New York Audio Show 2o22 (a few weeks ago).

    I knew how much I missed Ohm loudspeakers when I saw how everyone fought for the sweet spot in every (demo) room! There was literally only one "sweet" seat in the room where the sound was 100% coherent (with conventional speakers...there were no omni's at this show). If you did not manage to get in that one "sweet" seat, then you were not hearing the speakers at their best. It was like a game of musical chairs (a game that was not fun)!

    With Ohm speakers "sweet" spots and "sweet" seats are just not an issue because the speakers don't create sweet "spots" but are capable of creating sweet "rooms." They can create a room wide coherent sound field! They are perfect for shows! No one has to fight for the sweet seat and everyone in the room gets to hear coherent sound.

    The Ohm speakers don't "beam" sound at your ear's like conventional loudspeakers but disperse sound widely and create a much larger coherent sound field as a result.

    I really enjoyed Ohm loudspeakers when I heard them, I missed them greatly at the recent New York Audio Show (and hope they will be back next year) and I would say that it's important to hear them "live," as for some reason the unique nature of their (omni-directional) sound does not come through as well (as traditional beaming loudspeakers) in videos.
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2022
    wgb113 and DancingSea like this.
  11. motorstereo

    motorstereo Forum Resident

    Upgraded 4's and 2's lived here for a while. Try as I might I could not warm to the sound of either pair. I found they sounded their best with a bright room. Lots of glass and a tile floor which normally is problematic for most speakers is a setting that worked well for them. I don't have such a room to use them in so away they went.
  12. RonN5

    RonN5 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I googled the BLUE CIRCLE BM-2 as I was not aware that such a speaker ever existed...they looked pretty interesting. I think there is definitely something as to how speakers put sound into a room.

    If you are at a concert with a singer...you hear then through the PA project right at you. If you hear a piano live, the sound is not so much projected at you but floats toward you and envelopes you.

    I suspect that what you listen to has a strong influence on what kind of speaker "sound projection type" you prefer.
    wgb113 likes this.
  13. layman

    layman Forum Resident

    New York, NY
    I think you are on to something...but you may have missed something to.

    It's true that with live instruments and voices it's ok to move around (the room). Because these sound sources disperse omni-directionally, you will still get good sound at a variety of points (seats in my example) in the room.

    Yet, the huge speaker arrays that you see in stadiums are designed to also disperse sound omni-directionally. They may create the illusion of projecting sound only at you but that's an illusion. If it were true (and only you could hear coherent sound) then the other 4,999 (hypothetical) people attending in the stadium would want refunds on their tickets.

    You are perfectly free to move around at a stadium show. The soundstage won't collapse if you do (in the way it can if you move out of the sweet spot with conventional home "beaming" loudspeakers).The truth is that speaker arrays (at big shows) must ensure that a stadium wide coherent sound field is maintained for all 5000 attendees and the only way to due that is with massive, complex arrays of loudspeakers with hundreds of drive units, all set up to disperse sound omni-directionally and mimic (but enhance with greater power and projection) the (omni-directional) way live music naturally disperses.
    wgb113 likes this.
  14. RonN5

    RonN5 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Good points layman… you will notice in Steve’s review his one tweak is that they don’t have the aliveness/realism that he gets with the Klipsch.

    I wonder if this is a sensitivity issue… or if they might be more alive if they were crossed over to two subs?
  15. jeddy

    jeddy Forum Resident

    "Envelops" is a good term...
    This is the experience I find
  16. jeddy

    jeddy Forum Resident

  17. Frazeur1

    Frazeur1 Forum Resident

    I would imagine sensitivity would have a bit to do with it, Ohms like a good bit of drive from the amplifier, unlike a horn speaker like Klipsch.

    Many ways in which to float one’s boat, just depends on what is important to the listener, and what areas are keyed upon. While I truly enjoy Omni-type speakers, and have owned more of them over the years, I can still enjoy a “normal” box speaker as well. But my overall preferences typically are with Omni’s.

    I certainly recommend those that shy away from an Omni, to give them a try if possible, they may do more for you than at first thought possible. Either way, enjoy your music, that is what it is all about anyway, hopefully!

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