Considering Omega...

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rebbi

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Re: Considering Omega...
« Reply #60 on: 10 Jun 2015, 08:43 pm »
Hi, Omega aficionados,
Well, I thought I would report on my ongoing speaker choice journey.
I know that some of the folks on this forum have objected in the past to comparisons between the Tekton line and the Omega line as being "apples versus oranges." Given that I have not had the opportunity to audition Omega's in person, I will assume that Tekton and Omega are very, very different, as other posters have suggested. Yet, it is natural to compare them because they are both moderately priced, very efficient loudspeakers that anyone who is looking for a match with a low-power tube amp is likely to consider.
By the way, before you protest that this is an Omega forum and that discussion of Tekton is inappropriate, I'm still considering Omega – see below.
I came upon someone in my locale who is selling a pair of Tekton Lore Reference towers and who was gracious enough to lend me the pair for a few days. These are relatively small towers, about 36 inches high and 10 inches wide. These do not use the 10 inch, Eminence "guitar driver," but a proprietary, 8 inch unit that seems to be made of treated paper with a treated, pleated cloth surround. It is paired with a small, SEAS, soft dome tweeter with a large surround.
Remember that I am comparing this to my current speakers, the Reference 3A De Capo monitors, a classic and very highly respected design.
The Lore Reference retails for $799 in stock form, is 96 dB efficient and is rated down to 37 Hz.
To my great surprise, I would say that in most respects it is the equal of the De Capo and that in some respects it is its superior.
With just a slight bit of toe in, the Lore Reference throws a much larger and more immersive sound stage than the De Capo, far more immersive and holographic. I also think that it does a better job of nailing instrumental tonality – saxophones, for example, had a realism that the that De Capo does not seem to muster and strings sound beautiful. The Reference also does a far more convincing job with orchestral music.
The presentation is quite different than the De Capo. The De Capo tends to give a window into the performance from between the speakers, occasionally extending beyond the perimeter of the speaker cabinets. The Lore Reference generates a tall, wide sound field that seems to splash the performance over the front wall behind the speakers. I have not messed very much with speaker placement. I would be curious to see how soundstage depth changes with some more distance from the back wall, but I have been unable to move my De Capo's which are attached with blue tack to extremely heavy, sand-filled welded speaker stands. Ideally, I would probably want to move them further apart and a bit further out from the back wall.
Three other points.
First, the De Capo is rated down to 42 Hz and the Lore Reference, as I have mentioned, down to 37 Hz. I don't know what actual in room response I am getting, but I will say that the 5 Hz makes a difference. Having a speaker that nudges closer to the bottom octave really fill things out, and the bass from the Lore Reference is very well controlled and not mushy or "one-note."
Second, I would guess that the Lore Reference exhibits imaging which is not quite as specific as the De Capo. I would describe it as different rather than inferior.
Third, there is definitely something to be said for pairing a 300 B SET amplifier with a much more efficient speaker. I'm guessing that's a lot of what I have been hearing – music flows more easily and I'm guessing it's partly because the amp has more breathing room.
Okay, as for Omega:
I think that, realistically, in terms of finances, if I am going to take a chance with a trial on an Omega Speaker, it is going to be the 7 XRS Tower. I am basing this on several considerations.
First, I would be funding this purchase based upon the sale of my current gear, and I am guessing that I will fall short of the Alnico Monitors.
Second, the 7 XRS is slightly more efficient and digs slightly deeper than the Alnico Monitor, which I think might suit my circumstances better.
Finally, I am increasingly liking the idea of the simplicity of a tower speaker that does not require a separate stand, and if I can sell my stands, it will get me a little closer to a better speaker.
If you have read this far, thank you.
I am very interested in your reactions and comments.
Again, let me emphasize that my discussion of the Tekton Lore Reference is not intended to be trolling or anything of the sort! That's not who I am. I am just gathering information and this seems to be the best place to do it.
Thank you!

Canada Rob

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Re: Considering Omega...
« Reply #61 on: 10 Jun 2015, 09:28 pm »
Hi rebbi,

Great evaluation and thank you for sharing this with us.  I have the 7 Monitors and have played them on SET and Class D and they shine on both, yet are different.  As far as the imaging of any Omega goes, the soundstage is big, deep, and really well focused.  The 7 is fast, punchy, and detailed - one of the most enjoyable Omegas I've heard.  The 7XRS should be utterly sublime on your 300B.  I've heard that's a very good amp.  :D

rebbi

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Re: Considering Omega...
« Reply #62 on: 10 Jun 2015, 10:37 pm »
Hi rebbi,

Great evaluation and thank you for sharing this with us.  I have the 7 Monitors and have played them on SET and Class D and they shine on both, yet are different.  As far as the imaging of any Omega goes, the soundstage is big, deep, and really well focused.  The 7 is fast, punchy, and detailed - one of the most enjoyable Omegas I've heard.  The 7XRS should be utterly sublime on your 300B.  I've heard that's a very good amp.  :D

Thank you, Rob. I'm glad you found this evaluation useful and interesting. Thanks, as well, for your assessment of the 7 XRS. If I go ahead and audition Omega, I think that's the way I will go, for all the reasons enumerated above. I am as prone as the next audiophile to the obsessive "wanting to hear the best of the best" syndrome, but at a certain point economics and other realities come into play and you have to be happy with what you have.   :D
Yes, the Audio Note Kits Kit 1 is a great amp. I had an absolute blast building it and the final result is really something. There may be better sounding 300 B amplifiers out there, but not at the asking price of the Kit 1, I reckon. Besides, Audio Note Kits is a Canadian company, based in Ottawa, so how can you go wrong?  :lol:

By the way, for anybody who is interested, I have a little audioblog on which, among a few other things, I have blogged my building of the Kit 1 amplifier. The blog is right here.

rebbi

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Re: Considering Omega...
« Reply #63 on: 10 Jun 2015, 11:58 pm »
Correction to my monster post, above. It should have said that the Lore Reference main driver has a "cloth surround."

hdrider

Re: Considering Omega...
« Reply #64 on: 11 Jun 2015, 11:23 am »
Rebbi - We have the 7XRS's for over 8 weeks now and we spend last Saturday afternoon after a great sushi dinner till 11pm listening to records (ok and a couple of cd's) and I have to say they are a fantastic speakers. The Rachael drives them with delicacy and gusto. I too also had to sell off gear to afford these and although it took some time, I do not regret the decision. Glad you had a chance to listen to the Tekton's. Take advantage of the Omega offer of a trial. Happy listening, Chris.

rebbi

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Re: Considering Omega...
« Reply #65 on: 11 Jun 2015, 11:51 am »
Rebbi - We have the 7XRS's for over 8 weeks now and we spend last Saturday afternoon after a great sushi dinner till 11pm listening to records (ok and a couple of cd's) and I have to say they are a fantastic speakers. The Rachael drives them with delicacy and gusto. I too also had to sell off gear to afford these and although it took some time, I do not regret the decision. Glad you had a chance to listen to the Tekton's. Take advantage of the Omega offer of a trial. Happy listening, Chris.

Chris,

Thanks a lot for your reply. You're a bass player, correct? And you were considering pairing the 7 XRS with a sub, if I remember correctly? Where are you going with that, if you don't mind? Also, what was your break in experience like?

Canada Rob

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Re: Considering Omega...
« Reply #66 on: 11 Jun 2015, 04:02 pm »
Hi Rebbi,

I saw your build blog on your ANK 300B.  You did a nice tidy job IMO.  :thumb:

steve f

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Re: Considering Omega...
« Reply #67 on: 11 Jun 2015, 06:01 pm »
The Tektron Lore 8" driver rebbi refers to looks like an Emenince Alpha series. Not proprietary. An excellent driver in any case.

steve

seikosha

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Re: Considering Omega...
« Reply #68 on: 11 Jun 2015, 06:53 pm »
The Tektron Lore 8" driver rebbi refers to looks like an Emenince Alpha series. Not proprietary. An excellent driver in any case.

steve

There was talk on another forum about this....trying to determine what exactly was proprietary about it.  They took their Tekton's apart and the photo's and markings of the driver looked identical to that of the standard driver posted on the Eminence website.

rebbi

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Re: Considering Omega...
« Reply #69 on: 11 Jun 2015, 07:35 pm »
Hi Rebbi,

I saw your build blog on your ANK 300B.  You did a nice tidy job IMO.  :thumb:

Hi, Rob,
Thanks a lot for the kind words about the build. I had so much fun doing it... I find working with my hands to be so therapeutic and so different than my day job... it's a great way to relax. You also learn so much by building your own gear. I enjoyed the process so much that I was sort of sad when it was finished! Brian Smith of Audio Note Kits was also thrilled with the blog, as you might imagine. Great publicity for the company.   :thumb:
I'd like to continue the blog and if I end up with Omega's I'll certainly publish about that, as well.

rebbi

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Re: Considering Omega...
« Reply #70 on: 11 Jun 2015, 07:39 pm »
The Tektron Lore 8" driver rebbi refers to looks like an Emenince Alpha series. Not proprietary. An excellent driver in any case.

steve

That could very well be. Come to think of it, I believe I read somewhere that that 8-incher is made by Eminence. Here's what it looks like up close in the Lore Reference:



hdrider

Re: Considering Omega...
« Reply #71 on: 12 Jun 2015, 05:02 am »
Rebbi - Yes, I am a musician (bass guitar, Moog Taurus bass pedals, vocals) when I was actively playing way, way back '74 thru '86 or so. Worked a lot with an original three piece band for year (kybd, bass, drums ELP type) doing so pretty complex progressive covers that lead to some short more air play friendly originals. Recorded a 12'' four song EP and after that ran it course of 6 or 7 years was brought into a band designed just to do covers for $$$$. Great guys, lots of great songs and too much gear. Now days I mix Front of House, monitors and run the recording studio at my local church. I play with them once in a while when they need a fill in, but a twangy Rickenbacker bass and Moog pedal add a way different twist to contemporary worship music. Fun none the less. Then there is the regular day job on top of all the music. I don't listen too loud at home, not wanting to over power the room. But it does rock. Classical music is so alive. Tone, texture and soundstage just ooze from the system now. I am working with Louis on a 8'' sub, should be on it's way to the west coast in a couple of weeks. The 7XRS have plenty of mid-bass for me, drums have the attack and tone that I want but when I am listening to some old Genesis (think Trick of the Tail) I need to have the bottom grunt, I never expected the 7's to do that and they do an amazing job already. The fundamental pedal tone and filter tone is there but not the lowest part. On stage my Moog ran through a 18'' in a folded horn driven with 200 real watts. Then what ever was coming out the PA was bigger and badder.
I love the 7XRS's and I am so so happy with the decision to purchase them. I know the sub will just flesh out the very last nuance of music, acoustic space/recording venue that the 7's do so well now. Actually I can see a second 8'' down the road sometime. If you told me a year ago that I would own speakers that I had never heard myself….well I would have just chuckled and asked if you wanted something else to drink. Love the Omega, Love the Decware…learning to live through the last of this remodel. Happy Listening, Chris.

rebbi

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Re: Considering Omega...
« Reply #72 on: 12 Jun 2015, 12:56 pm »
Hi Chris,
Thanks for the reply. I was a huge ELP fan back in the day (saw the "Works" tour live but after they had to ditch the orchestra)!
Still wondering about your (or others') break-in experience with the 7 XRS.
Best wishes!

hdrider

Re: Considering Omega...
« Reply #73 on: 14 Jun 2015, 03:33 pm »
Rebbi - I realized after I hit the send key, I never really answered you initial inquiry. Sorry for the diversion. I rec'd the 7's on 4-9-15 and got home, hooked them up and had to leave for the evening with them playing one of Gigi's Pandora station. I knew fresh out of the box that I had made the right decision. There was a cohesiveness or ''oneness'' to the sound that I had heard only on two speakers, Acoustat Fours and Teresonic. I got home around 9pm and watched a little TV (everything goes thru the stereo) and the same trait was present. I set up a CD on repeat and asked Gigi to turn on the Rachael when she left the house for work and let it play at a good volume. So by my return Friday after work the speakers had 17 hours on them. I grabbed a few Cd's (Mary Black, Lorenna McKinnet, ) and sat down for a listen. The bass had started to flesh out, midrange was open and detailed and the top end was all present. I was blown away. How can a single driver do it all? Since we both work a very long week and were in the middle of an interior remodel, Friday night was dinner and a little TV and off to bed. Saturday they played from 6am while we painted up stairs until 5pm when we started dinner. so now we are near 30 hours. Grabbed some records and let it rip. More definition all through the spectrum. Gigi turned to me and stated " I could not figure out why you had to change speakers from the Sequerra's, but now I get it'' Huge smile on her face. We did the same break in thing during the week when we both worked and when she was home she always has music on. By that following Friday we had close to 80+ hours and things had locked in. I played with the speaker location, slight toe in and the sound stage is wide, tall and deep.  That's when I played some older Genesis, ELP, Yes, and I determined that I would order a sub from Louis. Most music doesn't need it really, but I have always had some kind of sub so it made sense to me. They are just getting better with time. Last Saturday after emptying a couple of rooms in prep for flooring to be put in, we listened to records from 5pm till 11pm and my wife kept asking play this, play that, let's hear this…you get the idea. Great speakers, great build quality and wonderful to talk to. So happy now to have so much contentment with my choices in the gear I have selected. I first saw ELP during the ''Welcome Back my Friends'' tour, saw the same Works tour you saw w/o orchestra, Black Moon, and then when Keith and Carl play with my friend Robert Berry in 3. I met Keith the day after a local 3 concert but that would be another post…happy listening, Chris.

rebbi

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Re: Considering Omega...
« Reply #74 on: 14 Jun 2015, 08:16 pm »
Rebbi - I realized after I hit the send key, I never really answered you initial inquiry. Sorry for the diversion. I rec'd the 7's on 4-9-15 and got home, hooked them up and had to leave for the evening with them playing one of Gigi's Pandora station. I knew fresh out of the box that I had made the right decision. There was a cohesiveness or ''oneness'' to the sound that I had heard only on two speakers, Acoustat Fours and Teresonic. I got home around 9pm and watched a little TV (everything goes thru the stereo) and the same trait was present. I set up a CD on repeat and asked Gigi to turn on the Rachael when she left the house for work and let it play at a good volume. So by my return Friday after work the speakers had 17 hours on them. I grabbed a few Cd's (Mary Black, Lorenna McKinnet, ) and sat down for a listen. The bass had started to flesh out, midrange was open and detailed and the top end was all present. I was blown away. How can a single driver do it all? Since we both work a very long week and were in the middle of an interior remodel, Friday night was dinner and a little TV and off to bed. Saturday they played from 6am while we painted up stairs until 5pm when we started dinner. so now we are near 30 hours. Grabbed some records and let it rip. More definition all through the spectrum. Gigi turned to me and stated " I could not figure out why you had to change speakers from the Sequerra's, but now I get it'' Huge smile on her face. We did the same break in thing during the week when we both worked and when she was home she always has music on. By that following Friday we had close to 80+ hours and things had locked in. I played with the speaker location, slight toe in and the sound stage is wide, tall and deep.  That's when I played some older Genesis, ELP, Yes, and I determined that I would order a sub from Louis. Most music doesn't need it really, but I have always had some kind of sub so it made sense to me. They are just getting better with time. Last Saturday after emptying a couple of rooms in prep for flooring to be put in, we listened to records from 5pm till 11pm and my wife kept asking play this, play that, let's hear this…you get the idea. Great speakers, great build quality and wonderful to talk to. So happy now to have so much contentment with my choices in the gear I have selected. I first saw ELP during the ''Welcome Back my Friends'' tour, saw the same Works tour you saw w/o orchestra, Black Moon, and then when Keith and Carl play with my friend Robert Berry in 3. I met Keith the day after a local 3 concert but that would be another post…happy listening, Chris.

Thanks so much for the detailed response, Chris!

How cool that you've meet Keith Emerson, too!   :rock:

rebbi

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Re: Considering Omega...
« Reply #75 on: 27 Jun 2015, 05:54 pm »
Well, my De Capo's sold, so I now have a good idea what I have to spend on new speakers.

If I also sell my excellent 24" stands and somehow throw in a few hundred more dollars, I might just be able to scrape together a pair of Alnico monitors, but I wouldn't have decent stands to put them on for quite awhile.

I could also buy a pair of Level 1 finish Super 7 XRS's.

When I spoke yesterday with Louis, he had another brainstorm: to buy a pair of Super 7 Monitors and use them with my stands, and also add his 8" sub. That way I keep my stands and end up with a full range system.

As much as the idea of owning Alnico's, the best of the best, is enticing, I do see some advantages of choosing the 7 monitor or XRS instead. I understand that they are not only the most dynamic of the current drivers (the coming 8" aside) but the also are the most efficient, which can only be a good thing when dealing with a 300B integrated SET amplifier.

I'd love your thoughts on this. Hoping to pull the trigger on something next week.

Thanks!

seikosha

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Re: Considering Omega...
« Reply #76 on: 27 Jun 2015, 06:04 pm »
Congrats on the sale Rebbi,

If you are willing to use a sub, I'd consider the Super 3xrs along with the sub.  That way you'd have the low end you want along with the speed of the RS5 driver and you would still be able to sell your stands.  If I'm not mistaken, your room isn't large, so the RS5 would work out really well in there.

rebbi

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Re: Considering Omega...
« Reply #77 on: 27 Jun 2015, 06:10 pm »
Seikosha,
Thanks for the thoughts. I understand that the 7 driver is the one that takes the most patience to break in and the 3 less so. Louis also said I could do the 3i's plus a sub.

beowulf

Re: Considering Omega...
« Reply #78 on: 28 Jun 2015, 06:23 am »
I would consider these in this order:

1. AlNiCo
2. RS8
3. RS5 or RS7

I have to agree, the 7's took a long time to break in.  I have heard at least 2 different RS7 drivers including the Vintage (no longer available) and the RS7 Ferrite.  Both took a long time to break-in, but when the did they really really shined.  I still find myself quite smitten with the RS7 that Louis built for me and to be honest I go back and forth with wanting the AlNiCo's and not.  Some days I do want to upgrade just because what I have is so good that I think I could get even more and some days I really like what I already have and find that there is magic going on and I don't want to break that spell.

rebbi

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Re: Considering Omega...
« Reply #79 on: 28 Jun 2015, 02:53 pm »
Once you run a sub with an Omega + SET amp setup, have you in any way compromised the SET qualities of coherence, etc., by throwing a sub into the mix? Just curious what you guys think.