Omega Super 3 HO Monitors

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roscoe65

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Omega Super 3 HO Monitors
« on: 18 Sep 2017, 04:12 pm »
I just received my pair of Super 3 HO Monitors from Louis.  I had originally sent my Super 3U's to him to be converted to 1.5 status.  He didn't really go down that path and upon examining my speakers realized it would be an impractical modification.  Instead, he offered to simply make me a new pair of speakers and my old speakers were resold to a happy new owner.

I now own a pair of Level 2 Ebony monitors.  The fit and finish is spectacular but I was unprepared for the proportions of the speaker:  it is a largish stand mount speaker that simply disappears visually.  They replaced a similarly-sized pair of GR Research XLS Encores.  Despite their similar sizes (XLS = 12.5" x 8.5" x 12"; Super 3 HO = 16" x 8" x 12.5") the new speaker is much more visually successful.  MY SO immediately commented on how good they looked in the living room.

They only arrived Saturday and I haven't gotten a chance to start the break in.  I will update as they break in and hope to do a comparison among Omega monitor models (I own Super 3's (RS5 driver update), Super 3 HO's, and SAM's).

slefley

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Re: Omega Super 3 HO Monitors
« Reply #1 on: 18 Sep 2017, 05:11 pm »
Looking forward to reading your impressions of the Super 3 HO's compared to the SAM.  I owned the Super 3i (L2 Ebony as well) and loved their overall sound quality, but in my system they sounded a bit 'thin' - beautiful clarity, staging, etc but lacked the body to make male vocals sound as good as they did with females.  The

roscoe65

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Re: Omega Super 3 HO Monitors
« Reply #2 on: 18 Sep 2017, 05:27 pm »
Looking forward to reading your impressions of the Super 3 HO's compared to the SAM.  I owned the Super 3i (L2 Ebony as well) and loved their overall sound quality, but in my system they sounded a bit 'thin' - beautiful clarity, staging, etc but lacked the body to make male vocals sound as good as they did with females.  The

"Thinness" in narrow baffle speakers is pretty common unless it is compensated.  My Super 3's have a wide baffle (12" w) that pushes baffle step frequency downward.  Combined with desk or shelf mounting )(or stand-mounting close to the wall) they actually produce reasonable midbass.  But when we use a narrow baffle, we push the baffle step frequency from about 380hz to 570 hz.  Most speaker designers will include baffle-step compensation in the crossover, attenuating the output above the baffle step frequency.  Louis chose the additive approach:  he brings in the second driver at 500hz to boost the lower frequencies to reduce the drop in output.

guf

Re: Omega Super 3 HO Monitors
« Reply #3 on: 18 Sep 2017, 08:44 pm »
I'm interested in hearing your comparison. I've had the SAMs for 5 months and then a few months ago quietly picked up a pair of super 3 HO monitors. I have been traveling most of the summer so my listening has not been what it was. But for sure some kind of Omega speaker is the best in my system. The 3 HOs are currently on my desktop system. They performed well with the main system. My conclusion is that I probably need the SAM HO monitors and desktops 3s  :)

congrats!

pstrisik

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Re: Omega Super 3 HO Monitors
« Reply #4 on: 20 Sep 2017, 02:05 am »
Hi guf!  Looks like we have been on a similar path.  Still have the SS-8's?  After moving to single drivers (Omega) and low wattage class A amplification (Inspire and First Watt), I couldn't be happier.  I took a look at a photo of those SS-8's just now.  I forgot how beautiful that finish is.  Too bad their sound didn't match their appearance for me.  But glad I found a path more to my ears' liking!

.......Peter

AvsFan

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Re: Omega Super 3 HO Monitors
« Reply #5 on: 20 Sep 2017, 09:35 pm »
How do you think the HO's would work in a 5.1 living room system? My living room isn't enclosed either, it's open to a dining room/kitchen.
I would also be using a sub to blend in with the HO's.

guillaume bougard

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Re: Omega Super 3 HO Monitors
« Reply #6 on: 21 Sep 2017, 04:10 pm »
Pix pix pix please!

pstrisik

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Re: Omega Super 3 HO Monitors
« Reply #7 on: 21 Sep 2017, 05:02 pm »
Randy,

I'm also interested on your take between these and the SAMs.  Same as what has been said about ferrite vs alnico in general or anything to add?

.....Peter

roscoe65

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Re: Omega Super 3 HO Monitors
« Reply #8 on: 21 Sep 2017, 06:28 pm »
Peter - unfortunately my free time has been re-prioritized by my SO - she has a friend from out of country coming to visit for a bit and my work assignments have changed.  Turns out spending time and money on new speakers brought out the sore spots of the painting and picture framing that still needed to be done.  Combine that with a busy month for concerts and my time to do real comparisons is very compressed at the moment.

That being said, one of my systems will be perfect to compare the two:  Tidal HiFi -> Chord Mojo ->RWA Signature 16 -> speakers (with/without stereo subs).

Going to see these guys tonight:  http://www.xtheband.com/

pstrisik

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Re: Omega Super 3 HO Monitors
« Reply #9 on: 21 Sep 2017, 06:59 pm »
Peter - unfortunately my free time has been re-prioritized by my SO - she has a friend from out of country coming to visit for a bit and my work assignments have changed.  Turns out spending time and money on new speakers brought out the sore spots of the painting and picture framing that still needed to be done.  Combine that with a busy month for concerts and my time to do real comparisons is very compressed at the moment.

That being said, one of my systems will be perfect to compare the two:  Tidal HiFi -> Chord Mojo ->RWA Signature 16 -> speakers (with/without stereo subs).

Going to see these guys tonight:  http://www.xtheband.com/

Punk rockin' in NY!  Sounds like a fine time!

By the time all the smoke clears, those HO's should be just broken in.   :thumb:

roscoe65

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Re: Omega Super 3 HO Monitors
« Reply #10 on: 23 Sep 2017, 11:08 pm »
Hooked up a quick test system and started to break in the HO monitors.  It's been so long since I've heard brand-new speakers I forgot about the break in.  They are pretty tight right now, bass is a little light, and don't really like poor recordings at the moment.  They only have a couple hours on them right now so they're still pretty raw and sounding like they are fighting going too loud.  I get the feeling they will need a lot more hours until I'm ready to try to balance the subs with them.

uncola

Re: Omega Super 3 HO Monitors
« Reply #11 on: 24 Sep 2017, 08:22 am »
how about some pics!

roscoe65

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Re: Omega Super 3 HO Monitors
« Reply #12 on: 25 Sep 2017, 12:18 pm »
how about some pics!

Here's a teaser:  The speakers started out all but unlistenable.  I put Tidal on repeat, plugged a Chromecast Audio into the amp, and left the house for several hours with the volume turned halfway up.  It made a big difference.  I think I will need to do this several times to smooth them out and loosen up the bass.

The speakers still sound tight, as if they need to stretch out.  I notice two phenomena:  they need a bit of volume to open up at all, and they can't take much more volume than that before compressing.

I think I will switch gears soon and connect them to the Marantz AVR and use them for 2.0 video use for a while.  At this point I am just trying to get hours on them.




roscoe65

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Re: Omega Super 3 HO Monitors
« Reply #13 on: 2 Oct 2017, 01:09 pm »
Update.  After a few days of letting the speaker play on repeat they are loosening up.  They are still not 100% (probably have about 40 hours on them now) but are getting there, enough so I can now begin to use them to judge the electronics driving them.

To date, the chain feeding them has been:  Tidal Hifi -> Chromecast Audio -> Chord Mojo via optical (Chromecast direct during the day when I am just running speakers in) -> RWA Signature 16 -> Omega Super 3HO Monitors.  Cables are nothing to speak of, set up is basic at the moment, subwoofers are off, and the room is untreated.

In my 15' x 22' x 13" (vaulted ceiling) room they play plenty loud using both the RWA and my Fi-design (Oliver Sayes-built) 4wpc 421A amp.  Two points thus far:

1.  In this room, these speakers do not have enough bass to provide the visceral impact I prefer.  However, they do have enough bass for most people, and likely put out more bass than small "subwoofers" common in inexpensive HT systems.  I haven't tried these in my smaller room, but in this larger volume space there are only so many miracles a 4" driver can do.

2.  While the speakers are nominally 97.5dB, the RWA sounded noticably better than the SET 421A amp.  It had perceptibly more drive and may have sounded a little cleaner.  Both amps are dead quiet (RWA is battery powered, and the 421A is a pi-filtered IDHT).  However, the 421A had better bass than the RWA.  The 421A may be able to deliver more balance power into the rising bass impedance of the speakers.  The RWA doubles in power into 4 ohms, so it may be delivering more power (up to 32wpc) into the upper bass and midrange than it is into the deep bass.  If the impedance rises to 12 ohms in the bass, the amp would only be putting out about 10wpc.  Conversely, the 421A is running the 8-ohm taps off its Hashimoto OPT's and may be delivering more bass into the rising LF impedance.

I want to get to about 100 hours or more before I try to start integrating the Rythmik subwoofers.  The RWA has a separate set of preamp outputs, so I can run the Omega's full-range off the built-in SS amp and adjust the crossover controls of the Rythmik's.  Both speakers are fed from the tube stage of the RWA.

RDavidson

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Re: Omega Super 3 HO Monitors
« Reply #14 on: 6 Oct 2017, 03:10 am »
Do you think the better bass from the 421A amp is due to lower damping? The reason I ask is because I'm experiencing sort of the same thing comparing my First Watt F7 with a Dennis Had SEP hooked up to my CAMs. Both amps are enjoyable in their own ways, but the Had amp has bigger/fuller bass and I think it is because of the lower damping. Anecdotally, the biggest/fullest bass I recall ever getting from my CAMs came via a Pass XA30.8...which contradicts my aforementioned thoughts. Surely, the XA30.8 had the highest damping factor of the 3 amps mentioned, so there must be other factors at play.

roscoe65

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Re: Omega Super 3 HO Monitors
« Reply #15 on: 15 Oct 2017, 05:30 pm »
I came home from the park and turned on the system.  Holy crap!  I must have hit a tipping point in the break in because the speakers now sound twice as big, with fuller bass, a bigger soundstage, and the "desire" to play louder.

I am still playing them with a Red Wine Audio Signature 16 (about 20wpc into 6 ohms), Chord Mojo, fed Tidal via Chromecast Audio.  I have not turned on the stereo Rythmik F8 subwoofers yet.  I think the Super 3 HO bass will continue to develop.  I also found that the RWA amp now sounds better and with fuller bass than the 421A amp.  I think as they break in I will see which works better.  I should note that the 421A is running off the 8 ohm tap.  The 4 ohm tap might be better.

Overall I will state that this system is one I could easily live with forever and not feel like I am missing anything.  These monitors provide enough bass for most needs in my largish room, the amp could supply twice the power I need, and the DAC/preamp sound robust and natural.  As an added bonus, if I played Tidal offline from my phone, I could have a completely portable, high end audio system that could run for hours with no external power at all.

Artemand

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Re: Omega Super 3 HO Monitors
« Reply #16 on: 6 Nov 2017, 01:43 pm »
There are no updates for more than 3 weeks in this thread.
Would you like to give some additional comments on the speakers? (and comparison to SAM)

Jorge

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Re: Omega Super 3 HO Monitors
« Reply #17 on: 27 Nov 2017, 04:36 pm »
Hi, any update about the HO, I am very interested in knowing a bit more about their perfomance and characteristics with diferent types of music. Having a pair of CAM I am thinking seriously moving forward to the HO, monitor tough.

Thank you!

roscoe65

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Re: Omega Super 3 HO Monitors
« Reply #18 on: 27 Nov 2017, 05:25 pm »
The Super 3 HO Monitors are coming along very nicely, but the break in continues to be a long process.  They actually change in character (improving and subsequently getting worse and then improving again) as the break in progresses.  Here are some consolidated thoughts:

1.  Efficiency:  They are probably a legit 97 dB efficiency.  I can drive them with any amp I own, though some do better than others.
2.  Impedance:  The impedance definitely drops below 500hz before rising again in the bass region.  This is not really a bad thing, since it still stays above 6 ohms most of the time.
3.  The second driver adds 3dB when used with a tube amp, and 6dB when driven by a solid state voltage amp.  My of my amps (RWA Signature 16) doubles in power into 4 ohms. In the current position in my room with my current music, the RWA puts out too much midbass.  I switched back to a 4wpc SET amp and was much happie.
4.  The speakers loosen up as time goes on.  They are producing much more bass now, though the vocals seem somewhat recessed at the moment (problably from the recordings).  Vocals now sound as if they are being given equal weight with the accompanists, rather than being prominently featured on top of them.  A lot more subtlety, but mostly in contrast with the single-driver Super 3.  Additionally, they still sound a tiny bit truncated on top, but haven't completely broken in yet.  The SET definitely has a more extended top end.
5.  Most surprising is the inner detail.  It really creeps up on you and you literally hear things you haven't head before, but in a much more subtle manner than simply adding a lot of HF detail.  You can hear this effect in another room as well.

Break-in system context:

Source:  Chord Mojo fed Tidal from Chromecast Audio
Amp(s):  RWA Signature 16, battery power only.  Oliver Sayes-built 4 wpc 421A SET based on Fi 421A (ohm tap on Hashimoto H203 outputs).
Speakers:  Omega Super 3 HO Monitor

I am not one to take food off of Louis' table, but if I already owned a CAM, I would not be moving up to a SAHO Monitor.  I think your better bet is to add a pair of bass/midbass modules capable of reaching up to the CAM's.  If Louis' new 8" woofer modules work that high I would recommend them, but an alternative is to ask Louis to do custom Rythmik servo woofer modules that would match your speakers.