Sharing my excitement...the new Hemp drivers

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-Richard-

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Sharing my excitement...the new Hemp drivers
« on: 25 Apr 2005, 11:48 pm »
Like many music lovers who have the great
good fortune to have discovered at some
point in their musical lives that highly realistic
and refined music reproduction adds
immeasurably to the depth, intelligence,
emotional and spiritual life of the music
they listen to, I wanted my wife Deborah to share
the excitement and pleasure I experienced
by making her an important part of the decision
making process of what speakers we buy.

Let me say that Deb is a wonderful sport about
all things audio...for one thing she probably
enjoys music even more than I do...her father
was an avid music lover and amateur musician
who collected records and had a profound love
of Jazz...Deb’s exboyfriend had a thorough
knowledge and appreciation of classical music...
and listening to music was an important part
of their relationship...so when Deb and I got
together she had a wide and deep appreciation
of all kinds of music...her favorite music being
women Jazz singers from the 30’s up to the
present...especially the ladies from the 40’s and
50’s...including Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan,
Dina Wahington, Carmen McRae, Ella Fitzgerald,
Nina Simone, Elis Regina, and more recently
Casandra Wilson...it was Deb who really turned
me on to their interpretive genius and we listen
to all of them regularly...can’t live without it!

When we moved to this mobile home in Ojai, California
I sold my Maggie's...Deb felt they were too big for the
space and I agreed completely...she asked me to look
for monitors that could go on stands...DMason had
already extolled the virtues of single driver full range
(Dan likes to call them “wide range”) drivers and I
began to look into what was available...

I looked at almost everything that was available...
including folded horn or back horn floor standing
monolithic speakers...but I quickly felt that they were
too heavy for our needs...our penchant for moving
every two years or so would be much better served
by a comparatively light weight monitor speaker...
but I really wanted to experience the wide
range single speaker phenomena...and I trusted
DMason's auditory experience and aesthetics...

Dan really liked the Fostex 8” 207E driver at this time
and purchased a pair himself...along with several other
single drivers to experiment with...

By perseverance I finally found Louie Chochos
and the Omega web site...after spending time
reading about his solution to using single
driver’s in bass reflex cabinets I became
convinced that here was exactly what I was
looking for...his enclosures were light weight,
beautifully finished and he believed he had
solved most of the problems that the folded
horn heavy floor standers said could not be
solved with this kind of cabinet...

I called Louie and spoke with him...I immediately
liked him...here was an honest, intelligent,
passionate, well informed, thoroughly charming
and extremely accessible professional
innovator and designer who knew what he
was talking about and who put me at ease
and inspired me with his understanding of
what his intent was as a creative speaker designer.

I trusted him...and on the spur of the moment I
ordered a pair of Grand 8R’s...something I did
not have the intention of doing when I called...
I should mention that this is rather uncharacteristic
of me...I am usually circumspect when it comes
to expensive (for me) purchases and my budget
demands prudence and careful attention to
all the facts before I make these kinds of decisions.

I told Dan that night about my purchase and he
reminded me that he had mentioned Louie to me
a few weeks before...which I immediately remembered...
I also remembered at that moment that I had
read the very upbeat and positive review of the Omega 6's
from Sam Tellig of Stereophile...

Dan seemed to be as excited as I was...he told me I was
in for a paradigm shift...and he could not have
been more right...as he always is about all things
audio...

After a painful break-in period the 8’s began to sing...
I also ordered a pair of speaker stands from
Noel Nolan, our friend from Canada who makes
Skylan stands for Louie’s speakers...a lovelier guy
you will never find in Audio...like Louie he is honest,
extremely well informed, full of helpful ideas and his
stands are state of the art...and...they look fantastic...
I could not be happier with them...and I highly recommend
them to anyone who wants to get the most
out of their monitor speakers...they are light
weight but you fill them with play sand from
Home Depot which cost $5 dollars and they
begin to function on a very high level of
physics to eliminate any unwanted resonances
that your speaker and cabinets might be
generating...Noel makes everything easy
and he packs his stands to perfection...
a classy and scientifically sophisticated product...

Deb could not believe what she was hearing...
Her favorite singers came to life and stepped
into our room and sang just for us...intimate,
compelling, seductive, fleshy, human, breathy,
real and “there”...their sheer presence in the
room was startling...

Everything sounds so detailed, so warm and
present that all of our CD’s have taken on a
life they never had before...

DMason was right...I was experiencing another
kind of audio paradigm here...

Now I am thrilled knowing that soon I will be
getting one of Louie’s first examples of his
new hemp 8” speakers...in a matter of weeks...
and according to Louie the level of sophistication
will increase exponentially...

Deb does not believe it!

She is so thrilled with the Grand 8’s that she
refuses to believe that the new speakers could
be that much better...but from what Louie says...
and I trust him implicitly...which is why I purchased
the Grand 8’s from him originally...his new hemp
drivers are something one has to hear to believe...

Even DMason is excited to hear them...his experience
with single drivers far exceeds anyone I have ever
read or heard about...he builds his own speakers
and is always experimenting...but he admitted to
me that he thought the potential for a well executed
hemp driver could really come close to an ideal
wide range speaker...

So I wanted to share with everyone my excitement.

Thanks to DMason I have entered a world of musical
pleasure I thought was impossible on my limited budget...
thanks so Louie Chochos and his
revolutionary approach to implementing
single driver speakers, Deb and I are
enjoying music that the audio world would
say we have no right to enjoy...

And now Louie is on the verge of implementing
an entirely new driver...a totally new material
based on Louie’s own design parameters
is about to be launched...

And today I told Louie to start to build
me a cabinet of his new Macassar Ebony
wood...

I would like to point out that Louie has
redesigned his new drivers since the
Canada show...several important
features of the new drivers have
been modified to conform more
perfectly to the performance level
Louie feels these new speakers are
capable of...to make them even better!

Just sharing my excitement with everyone...

Thanks Louie, thanks DMason, thanks Noel...
you have given Deborah and I the gift of supreme
musical pleasure...and now with the new
hemp drivers on the way...my expectations
have just risen to white hot excitement.

Warm regards -Richard-

Vinnie R.

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Re: Sharing my excitement...the new Hemp drivers
« Reply #1 on: 26 Apr 2005, 12:56 am »
Quote from: -Richard-
And today I told Louie to start to build
me a cabinet of his new Macassar Ebony
wood...


Hi Richard,

I have a pair of Super 3's in the Macassar Ebony finish and they are really something special!

To add to your excitement, I must say that the 8" hemp speakers that I heard at the Montreal show definitely sounded superior to the Grande 8's!   I think you are in for a real treat  :D

I'm just waiting for the hemp Super 3's to come out  :hyper:

In the meantime, Louie has told me about his other new speakers that will be coming out that are based on the Minuet (BTW, the Minuet really impressed with their BIG sound, and I think they still need to be "discovered!")  One of them will be his smallest speaker to date (yes, smaller than the super 3), but with one driver.  The other will be like a Minuet (two drivers), but configured along the wide baffel of the speaker.  He also mentioned revising his finishes and has some nice new options coming out.  

I am looking forward to visiting Omega next week to give them a listen with the Clari-T + Monica 2 DAC combo!  Oh yeah, I'll also be bringing my all-battery cdp/transport prototype  8)   I need Louie to come out with an enclosure that will look as good as this unit sounds!  More on that later...

Sincerely,

-Richard-

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  • Posts: 853
Sharing my excitement...the new Hemp drivers
« Reply #2 on: 26 Apr 2005, 01:40 am »
Hi Vinnie,

I would like to add your name to make a  triad of
yourself, Louie Chochos and Noel Nolen as the
three nicest, most accessible, and most pleasurable
audio designers I have ever worked with. Really.

I consider it an honor to be working with all three
of you...and look forward to our growing relationship
with excitement and continued fascination.

I love your amp...both conceptually and the real
thing in operation...and I love your feverish desire to
constantly improve and refine your already supremely
high level of audio products...Bravo!!!

I am very interested in the Lotus amp and will be
getting in touch with you in the next few weeks to
talk to you about it.

Meanwhile we are all lucky you are there...
improving, modifying, designing in a flurry of creative
innovation that is always exciting to follow...

Keep up the great work!

Warm regards -Richard-

RoadTripper

Hemp
« Reply #3 on: 26 Apr 2005, 01:42 am »
Didn't Louie say that the 8" hemp drivers were not drop-in compatible with the Grande 8Rs? Apparently that is no longer true.

How much are the hemp 8" drivers? Anybody know?

zane9

Sharing my excitement...the new Hemp drivers
« Reply #4 on: 26 Apr 2005, 03:32 pm »
Quote from: -Richard-
Hi Vinnie,

I would like to add your name to make a  triad of
yourself, Louie Chochos and Noel Nolen as the
three nicest, most accessible, and most pleasurable
audio designers I have ever worked with. Really.


Not sure if you all have seen this, but Rick Becker (enjoythemusic.com) comments on the Montreal show:

"In the Omega Speaker Systems room I encountered a very unusual system.  The somewhat kidney shaped Consonance CD player features top loading, upsampling and a tubed output stage for $3000 US. It fed a 12 volt sealed lead acid battery powered Lotus stereo integrated amplifier dressed in birdseye maple veneer.  We're talking 6 grunge-free watts per channel and a cost of $1350 US, including the necessary battery charger. This Red Wine Audio amplifier powered the 87 db efficient FJ-Mini two-way, rear ported loudspeakers with beveled edges that revealed they were made from handsomely finished plywood.  These Omega Speaker Systems loudspeakers also sell for $1350/pr US and deserve closer attention.  These loudspeakers hung in my mind for the entire show, but I could not find them in an effort to have a second listening.  For the price, this was an outstanding rig."
 
Congratulations!


J.

Vinnie R.

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Sharing my excitement...the new Hemp drivers
« Reply #5 on: 26 Apr 2005, 04:26 pm »
Quote from: -Richard-
Hi Vinnie,

I would like to add your name to make a triad of
yourself, Louie Chochos and Noel Nolen as the
three nicest, most accessible, and most pleasurable
audio designers I have ever worked with. Really.


Thanks for the kind works...much appreciated!  Noel Nolen was
at the Montreal show with us as well, and I enjoyed hanging out with
him as well...a real fun guy!   8)

Quote from: zane9
Not sure if you all have seen this, but Rick Becker (enjoythemusic.com) comments on the Montreal show:

"In the Omega Speaker Systems room I encountered a very unusual system.  The somewhat kidney shaped Consonance CD player features top loading, upsampling and a tubed output stage for $3000 US. It fed a 12 volt sealed lead acid battery powered Lotus stereo integrated amplifier dressed in birdseye maple veneer.  We're talking 6 grunge-free watts per channel and a cost of $1350 US, including the necessa ...


Hi Zane9,

Cool, it didn't see that...thanks!  Too bad Rick didn't hear the Lotus with the Omega Hemp Speakers when he stopped in.  We were sharing the room with Tommy of Hudson Audio Technology (www.hudsonaudio.net), and we wanted to see if the Lotus was able to power his 87dB FJ speakers.  We also had to be fair and give Tommy's equipment play time since he was sharing the room with us.  He had some nice gear in there!

BTW, Rick was mistaken is stating that the FJ speakers are Omega speakers...they aren't.  FJ is a German speaker that Tommy sells.  

Thanks again guys!

-Richard-

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Sharing my excitement...the new Hemp drivers
« Reply #6 on: 26 Apr 2005, 06:00 pm »
Thanks Zane9,

Nice to hear everything positive that is being said
about Louie's and Vinnie's audio offerings...

This is how the high end should be run...
small businesses run by very special people
who make fantastic products that are reasonable
and perform on the highest level...innovators that
are enthusiastic, accessible and genuinely nice
to work with...

Warm regards -Richard-

miklorsmith

Agreed!
« Reply #7 on: 26 Apr 2005, 06:15 pm »
My dreams are populated with the best of the best high end.  I guess they always have been.  Except - now I can afford it!

Most of the participants here have their "Indy Superstar".  My system comprises a Modwright CDP, Modwright pre, Vinnie amp, and Zu speakers (they should get "in").  All these guys share the same small-guy-with-vision-and-ability cache and sell stuff that is competitive with or kills all the names I can't afford.  I've been doing business with Dan Wright for about 3 years and must say he's a genious and darn nice guy too.  His tube stuff is amazing and blends with the small amp/hi-eff program brilliantly.

Am I interested in the new hemps?  YOU BET!  My new place has space for two systems and maybe three.   :mrgreen:  I'm not even close to done.  I'll be mix'n'matchin' till the cows come home.  And, my 3 systems will still be cheaper than one done the old, slow way.  It is a beautiful time to be an audiohead.

-Richard-

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Sharing my excitement...the new Hemp drivers
« Reply #8 on: 27 Apr 2005, 07:35 am »
Hi Miklorsmith,

I agree completely...the ability to assemble
a musically satisfying system for a fraction of
what the so-called high end expects us to pay
for their overbuilt junk jewelry is what this "revolution"
is all about...and it is thanks to innovators like Louie
Chochos and his speaker designs...and AC members
like DMason...who are both tirelessly experimenting with
inexpensive alternatives to bank account depleting
corporate branded conspicuous consumption electronics...

Warm regards -Richard-

Louis O

Sharing my excitement...the new Hemp drivers
« Reply #9 on: 28 Apr 2005, 01:45 am »
Hi Richard,

Thank you so much for your great review of the Grande 8s. Your kind words are greatly appreciated and really make me feel good about what I do. This is the only business I’ve ever been a part of that I really feel this way about and I’m lucky to be a part of it.  

I’m so happy that you and Deb are enjoying them so much. Can’t wait for you to hear the new Hemp speakers. The new mods have been done and hopefully are in by next week.

As much as Dan helped you, he has helped me too. He surely has a wealth of information that I take very seriously. He was the first to point out to me the merits of battery powered digital amps and the results are amazing. Getting together with Vinnie has been great and his amps are fantastic and a great match with the all the speakers.

Noel too is definitely one of the good guys in Audio and so accommodating to my needs especially what I put him through with all the changes I make and my constant tinkering.

Thanks again,
Louis

Hemp Update

The latest word is, new 8” production drivers are getting ready to be shipped. They include new rolled wizzers, Bucking magnet and a dust cap mod. We got rid a miner peak at around 3K and 10K.
4.5” drivers will no longer be 4.5”. Can’t find the right basket for the deep cone. Now the 4.5” will be a 4 7/8” driver and this makes it a lot easier to source the right basket. With the larger cone I can use a 5” basket with no worries about the depth. It still could fit in the Super 3 cutout, as it’s pretty big. This new driver will have about 95 dB SPL.

Hi Vinnie,

Many thanks for posting about the new speakers as they are done and finalized. These will be part of the Omega Underground line and are Factory direct only. My site is still a wreck and I will post pics hopefully soon.

The speakers are called Me and Mini Me. The Me is a twin driver speaker just like the Minuet, but the drivers are mounted on the wide side with rear port. The speaker is very fast and dynamic and has big bass too. I use the Super 3 cabinet and this really helps keep the costs down.

The Mini Me is the same concept as the Me, but with 1 driver and front port. The size is 12 H x 9 W x 7 D.

I may have a Bipolar Me as well.

The will be finished in Macassar Ebony, Gloss Teak and all the laminates.

Prices:
Mini Me: $379 pair
Me: $699 pair.  

I can’t wait to hear all the new gear with the speakers. The new CDP is wild.

Hi Seminarian,

I still have to check out the compatibility with the Grande 8s and it still could work. I will have to redo the ports, but I will try it out for sure. I still have to figure the prices on the new speakers, but I will work out a great price on the retrofit too.

Hi Zane 9,

Many thanks for posting the enjoythemusic review of the room. This is funny because I remember telling Tommy that this could happen. The FJs where right under my sign. I remember the demo and it was great to hear the Lotus gripping those little FJs. Vinnies dac may have been in the system at that time too. I did tell Tommy he could still be the distributor.  

Hi Miklorsmith and Richard,

I agree too and it’s definitely a great time to be an audiohead. There’s so much wonderful affordable gear right now and the people making them are very genuine and more about the sound. I know Dan’s gear through Bill at Response and it’s great.

Thanks again,
Louis

-Richard-

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Sharing my excitement...the new Hemp drivers
« Reply #10 on: 28 Apr 2005, 06:14 am »
Hi Louis,

Great to hear from you as always...

Thanks for keeping us posted on the latest
information about your new hemp speakers
and the new lineup of smaller speakers...
it all sounds very exciting.

"...Can’t wait for you to hear the new Hemp speakers..."

Yes...yes...I am truly excited to experience them...
I am especially interested to see what Deb thinks
of them...I have a feeling she is in for real surprise
and a marvelous treat!!!!

Warm regards -Richard-