Omega Super 3 HO Monitors

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roscoe65

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Re: Omega Super 3 HO Monitors
« Reply #20 on: 8 Apr 2018, 07:44 pm »
Funny you should mention it.  I have been going back and forth among my different Omega speakers.  I have put off the RS5 vs. Alnico comparison for now and have focused on the single driver Super 3 (original wide baffle) vs. the Super 3HO (dual driver, narrow baffle).

My review context is Chord Mojo or Schiit Bifrost/MB feeding a Redwine Audio Signature 16 or Fi 421A SET clone.  Speakers are more or less in the corners (within 2 feet of both boundaries) of a 15’ x 22’ room.

With both DAC’s and both amps I found the midbass to be too much with the Super 3HO’s.  I’m sure that pulling them out into the room would help, but it resulted in a thickening of the sound and made the already dark-sounding RWA sound muffled.  It also seemed to lose some of the midrange forwardness that make single driver speakers sound alive.

I swapped in the Super 3 wide baffle speakers with RS5 retrofit drivers.  This is slightly (7%) larger than the current Super 3, but turned sideways like the CAM.  I’ve only used the 421A amp so far with these.  Right off the bat my impression was that they produced about 90% of the bass as the HO models.  They sounded lively and dynamic and more balanced than the HO models.  However, I noticed dynamic limitations almost immediately.  I am unsure if it is the 4.5wpc amp running out of steam or the speaker reaching its bass limitations.  The latter is not unlikely; the 421A amp is surprisingly powerful in the bass despite its low power.

I think that while I prefer the essential character of the single driver speaker, I don’t think it can move enough air in this particular room.  While the dual-driver speaker does a much better job dynamically, it does not gel with either of the two amps I have used in this comparison.  My preference ( and the topic of a future comparison) would be to supplement the single driver speakers with active stereo subwoofers.  Ideally this would allow for the ability to high pass the Omega’s to relieve load in the bass, but my subwoofers (Rythmik F8’s) only have low pass crossovers.  I’ll need to break out an amp/preamp combo to high pass the speakers.

A last note: 

I believe the dual-driver Omega’s are a less than ideal for both of my amps for a couple of reasons.  The RWA amp doubles power when impedance is halved and I think it is simply putting out too much power in the mid to upper bass region.  The 421A amp already puts out great bass.  Being transformer-coupled it couples really well with the single driver, giving it surprising bass.  The HO model does develop more bass power, but not enough to warrant the loss of immediacy of the single driver.

That is not to say the dual driver HO is not for me.  I just received a NP Amp Camp kit that I think would match really well with the HO speakers.  I also have the strong suspicion that high-quality Class D would sound great with these (The Denon HEOS AVR is tempting for a five channel HT setup.  It puts out a real world 20wpc or so and has native Tidal support).  I would argue that the HO model will work better in configurations suited for conventional speakers, albeit at high efficiency.  It would excel as a substitute for a KEF LS50 that can accommodate low power amps.  I think you could pair it with almost any Firstwatt amp and be satisfied.

pursuitofnow

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Re: Omega Super 3 HO Monitors
« Reply #21 on: 10 Apr 2018, 04:30 am »
Thanks for sharing. Interesting to read about your preference to the single driver high passed with active stereo subs and how the HO lose the immediacy of the single driver. I wonder if dropping down the LF driver to 200Hz would help the problem of too much mid bass?

I'll be pairing some super 3 ho xrs soon to an SE84UFO. Have read great things with that pairing and will soon find out for myself. Love all the knowledge on this forum. Looking forward to learning more about your next comparisons with the single drivers and subs.

peckjed

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Re: Omega Super 3 HO Monitors
« Reply #22 on: 10 Apr 2018, 02:10 pm »
Thanks for sharing. Interesting to read about your preference to the single driver high passed with active stereo subs and how the HO lose the immediacy of the single driver. I wonder if dropping down the LF driver to 200Hz would help the problem of too much mid bass?

I'll be pairing some super 3 ho xrs soon to an SE84UFO. Have read great things with that pairing and will soon find out for myself. Love all the knowledge on this forum. Looking forward to learning more about your next comparisons with the single drivers and subs.

I used a SE84UFO with my RS8 monitor speakers before upgrading to SAM HO's. The SE84UFO is a lovely sounding amplifier but didn't have enough juice for my listening style. However what it lacked (for me) in volume, it more than made up in clarity and a very nice 3D soundstage. It actually convinced me to sell my PP tube amp for a 20w Dennis Had SE Firebottle. Are you planning on using a preamp with your SE84UFO?

pursuitofnow

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Re: Omega Super 3 HO Monitors
« Reply #23 on: 11 Apr 2018, 01:27 am »
I hear you, some folks just need more volume and headroom. I'm using a zrock after my dac/preamp for the digital signal and a zstage after the zp3. I've found increased voltage makes a big difference in density and output with the SE84UFO.I'm also using an omega sub. My current speakers (dayton ps-220) are 96dB and I have no complaints with volume. Generally listen in the high 70 to low 80 decimal range. I'm hoping the the super 3 ho provide better imaging and a flatter response in the upper end. Sorry not trying to hijack this thread.

pstrisik

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Re: Omega Super 3 HO Monitors
« Reply #24 on: 11 Apr 2018, 03:21 pm »
......   I have been going back and forth among my different Omega speakers.  I have put off the RS5 vs. Alnico comparison for now and have focused on the single driver Super 3 (original wide baffle) vs. the Super 3HO (dual driver, narrow baffle).

........

With both DAC’s and both amps I found the midbass to be too much with the Super 3HO’s.  I’m sure that pulling them out into the room would help, but it resulted in a thickening of the sound and made the already dark-sounding RWA sound muffled.  It also seemed to lose some of the midrange forwardness that make single driver speakers sound alive.

I swapped in the Super 3 wide baffle speakers with RS5 retrofit drivers.  This is slightly (7%) larger than the current Super 3, but turned sideways like the CAM.  I’ve only used the 421A amp so far with these.  Right off the bat my impression was that they produced about 90% of the bass as the HO models.  They sounded lively and dynamic and more balanced than the HO models.  However, I noticed dynamic limitations almost immediately.  I am unsure if it is the 4.5wpc amp running out of steam or the speaker reaching its bass limitations.  The latter is not unlikely; the 421A amp is surprisingly powerful in the bass despite its low power.

I think that while I prefer the essential character of the single driver speaker, I don’t think it can move enough air in this particular room.  While the dual-driver speaker does a much better job dynamically, it does not gel with either of the two amps I have used in this comparison.  .................

A last note: 

........  The HO model does develop more bass power, but not enough to warrant the loss of immediacy of the single driver.

That is not to say the dual driver HO is not for me.  I just received a NP Amp Camp kit that I think would match really well with the HO speakers.  ...........  I think you could pair it with almost any Firstwatt amp and be satisfied.

Randy,  I know it is not the focus of your current tests but, IIRC, you have SAMHO's also?  If I do recall correctly, would you say the same things about them (too much midbass with your amps, loss of single driver character, but more dynamics) or do the Alnicos handle the HO configuration differently?

Regarding the ACA kit you mention... did you get the kit or buy someone's assembled?  You may recall that I built and modified a pair and have some experiences I could relate if you are interested.  I'm currently running a J2, so your opinion that any of NP's amps would be a good match with the HO's is encouraging.

Thanks.......

roscoe65

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Re: Omega Super 3 HO Monitors
« Reply #25 on: 12 Apr 2018, 02:20 am »
I never got the SAM HO speakers.  I was changing too many variables at once and needed to slow down.  I would assume that my thoughts about the RS5 models would translate to the Alnico’s but cannot say for certain.  The helper driver does come in more than an octave lower in the Alnico model, which should help preserve more of the single driver magic.

WRT Pass, I bought the newly-reissued ACA kit that just came out.  It is the version 2 in a single chassis.  My thought is I could run a nice little system with a Chord Mojo - ACA - Super 3HO Monitor that would be simple and compact. 

But my secondary motive was as a practice run building a Pass amp.  In addition to the ACA I also own a board/parts kit for a Firstwatt F3, which I think may be an ideal match for my SAM’s.  The F3 is alleged to the the most Triode like of the Firstwatt amps.

pstrisik

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Re: Omega Super 3 HO Monitors
« Reply #26 on: 12 Apr 2018, 02:31 am »
I never got the SAM HO speakers.  I was changing too many variables at once and needed to slow down.  I would assume that my thoughts about the RS5 models would translate to the Alnico’s but cannot say for certain.  The helper driver does come in more than an octave lower in the Alnico model, which should help preserve more of the single driver magic.

WRT Pass, I bought the newly-reissued ACA kit that just came out.  It is the version 2 in a single chassis.  My thought is I could run a nice little system with a Chord Mojo - ACA - Super 3HO Monitor that would be simple and compact. 

But my secondary motive was as a practice run building a Pass amp.  In addition to the ACA I also own a board/parts kit for a Firstwatt F3, which I think may be an ideal match for my SAM’s.  The F3 is alleged to the the most Triode like of the Firstwatt amps.

Ok, we shall see as I'm gettin' upgraded!

I haven't looked at the differences with the new ACA version/design.  If similar to the first, it runs on 19vdc and uses a cheap switcher power brick.  I made the switch to a cheap 24vdc power brick and there were improvements in dynamics.  It brought them from 6wpc to 8.  So I sprung for 24v linear power supplies and was really wowed with the improvement.  (You may know that there is a simple bias adjustment to make when changing the input voltage).  The only criticism I would make about them is the high end extension was a bit lacking.  It makes for warm, no doubt.  But still, the imaging and dynamics were excellent.

Fun project.  I learned a bit.


WC

Re: Omega Super 3 HO Monitors
« Reply #27 on: 12 Apr 2018, 02:39 am »
Ok, we shall see as I'm gettin' upgraded!

I haven't looked at the differences with the new ACA version/design.  If similar to the first, it runs on 19vdc and uses a cheap switcher power brick.  I made the switch to a cheap 24vdc power brick and there were improvements in dynamics.  It brought them from 6wpc to 8.  So I sprung for 24v linear power supplies and was really wowed with the improvement.  (You may know that there is a simple bias adjustment to make when changing the input voltage).  The only criticism I would make about them is the high end extension was a bit lacking.  It makes for warm, no doubt.  But still, the imaging and dynamics were excellent.

Fun project.  I learned a bit.



New boards have a different layout, but they are based on the same schematic. The new ACA kits are stereo amps, but they can run bridged as mono amps by plugging in a balanced XLR connection. You can use 19V or 24V switcher supplies.