Compact Alnico Monitor

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trusturears

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Compact Alnico Monitor
« on: 24 Jan 2017, 02:56 am »
Anyone out there who has actually heard them?  I'm very curious to hear your impressions and about the associated equipment being used and type of music played. 

RDavidson

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Re: Compact Alnico Monitor
« Reply #1 on: 24 Jan 2017, 03:53 am »

trusturears

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Re: Compact Alnico Monitor
« Reply #2 on: 25 Jan 2017, 02:45 am »
thanks.  I especially noted the comment that they sound great at low volume.  that is one of the things that appealed to me.  late night jazz listening particularly.  if there's anything else you can pass along having had them for a while, please feel free.  I'm also considering a monitor version of the multi super 3 series if one comes out.  i've seen pics of a one-off creation I guess.  curious how they'd compare.  when I get closer to purchase I guess I'll call Omega for more insight.

RDavidson

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Re: Compact Alnico Monitor
« Reply #3 on: 25 Jan 2017, 03:03 am »
Louis makes custom speakers based on things he has experimented with and knows works well. It really depends on what you're looking for. Yes, definitely call him for a consultation before deciding on anything. The CAMs were also custom, before he added them to the line last year. I own the pair shown on the Omega site in Zebrawood. Though I love them, I often think about getting another pair of Omegas with the RS5 drivers (from the 3 series). They just have a different set of qualities that I sometimes miss from when I had the 3xrs. They're so lightning quick and super resolving. Like I said, talk to Louis. Let him know your system and listening habits / priorities and he'll steer you where you need to be. Hope this helps.

roscoe65

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Re: Compact Alnico Monitor
« Reply #4 on: 25 Jan 2017, 12:48 pm »
Considerations include how you intend to position the speakers and what characteristics are important to you.

If you wish to position the speakers on a bookshelf or very close to a wall, the wide-baffle CAM may be more suitable.  The boundary reinforcement will improve the midbass, as will the wide baffle.  Note that this would apply to a RS5-based speaker as well.  If you wish to stand-mount the speaker further into the room, you will lose some bass reinforcement but gain additional spatial cues.  In this case, the form factor of the Super 3 1.5 Monitor may be more appropriate.  The 12" depth of the 1.5 Monitor would not be as conducive to shelf placement.

As RDavidson implied, there is a certain amount of custom work even in Louis' "stock" speakers.  He has said in the past that he could mount drivers on the wide face of a monitor and front-mount the port if you prefer.  You would then be able to choose shelf positioning if you like.

RDavidson

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Re: Compact Alnico Monitor
« Reply #5 on: 25 Jan 2017, 03:11 pm »
Something to note is that I've found my CAMs to need much less boundary reinforcement than the 3xrs. The CAMs have more midbass and bass, which is of course due mostly to the larger driver. This is just my personal experience. I've read where others were satisfied with the midbass / bass of the 3xrs when used with amps like the Decware Zen. I'm a Pass Labs / First Watt owner, though I'm keen to try the Decware some day. Point is, there are many things to consider with amp / speaker pairing. Overall, I think the CAMs are probably the most versatile stand-alone speaker Omega offers, based on size, midbass/bass production, ease of placement, simplicity, and tonal balance. Note I haven't heard the dual RS5 based speakers, but their lower impedance could MAYBE present a little bit of trouble for amps like the Decware. It depends. So, this is something that adds to my assessment that the CAMs are probably the most versatile overall. Again, Louis is the man. He won't steer you wrong and enjoys talking to his customers.

roscoe65

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Re: Compact Alnico Monitor
« Reply #6 on: 25 Jan 2017, 04:03 pm »
RD,

Your opinion aligns with my own.  The Alnico driver has better upper bass than the RS5.  This is borne out by the 1.5 way configurations bringing in the helper drivers at 200hz for the Alnico and 500hz for the RS5.  I own a pair of Super Alnico Monitors, and in my smallish dedicated room they get just enough room reinforcement in the mid to upper bass for me.  If i had them in a larger room with less room reinforcement I may find I want the helper driver.

The output transformers in the Decware amps are optimized for 6 ohms and actually perform a bit better into lower impedances.  I own a couple of Dennis Had Inspire amps that are also would to accommodate wide impedance loads (one amp is rated at 12 wpc into 8 ohms and 10 wpc into 2 ohms).

My off the cuff guess about the impedance of the 1.5 way speakers are that that are not really 4 ohm speakers but closer to a nominal 6 ohms.  Coincidentally, Steve Deckert opines that most "* ohm" speakers are really more like 6 ohm speakers in reality.  When I look at drivers that are electrically similar to RS5's (specifically Fostex Fe127e) we see an impedance trough at around 500 - 1,000 hz, with rising impedance both below and above this band.  In the case of the RS5 drivers we are paralleling them in the region (<500hz) of rising impedance, so the aggregate impedance in the bass region will likely stay above 8 ohms.  This works particularly well with the Deware amps that actually like lower impedance.  You have the compound effect of an extra 3dB of output from the paired drivers and being able to draw more power from the amp.  You may actually see an increased bass response of 4-6dB.


RDavidson

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Re: Compact Alnico Monitor
« Reply #7 on: 25 Jan 2017, 05:46 pm »
Agree with all your comments, roscoe. All things considered, the electrical behavior is just one element of the whole. With dual drivers, the impedance may be lower than a single driver, but the difference is likely (for the most part) negated by the increased sensitivity of the system (as you've alluded). Keep in perspective too that we're talking about SUPER light drivers, with strong motors. They will respond to fractions of a watt. Which brings me to another point...

I listen nearfield, both out of necessity (relatively small space) and also to avoid room reflections from dominating the presentation. My ears are 8 feet (usually more like 6.5 - 7 feet) from the drivers. I need VERY little power to get the CAMs singing at my listening chair. Most of the time I don't enjoy listening loud anyway. I prefer comfortable volumes (likely 75db - 85db)....similar to Srajan at 6 Moons (who is also a Pass Labs / First Watt fan). So, an aspect that is SUPER important to me is system quietness. I sit close enough to the drivers that hiss / hum can be bothersome. This can be tricky because Omegas let everything through, for better (music signal) or worse (system noise). It isn't so much a problem as much as it is something worth noting as another variable.

Canada Rob

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Re: Compact Alnico Monitor
« Reply #8 on: 25 Jan 2017, 05:49 pm »
A SET (like the Zen) with no negative feedback will have a very low damping factor.  In the case of Omega speakers where the drivers are very light and need very little damping, a SET with it's low damping factor can produce a very nice bottom end without the need of a sub.  An amp with a high damping factor can lessen the bass output, but not to the point where the speakers will sound lean.  In listening to a variety of Omega speakers on anything from SETs to SS and almost everywhere in between, this has been my experience.

roscoe65

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Re: Compact Alnico Monitor
« Reply #9 on: 25 Jan 2017, 07:52 pm »
Agree with all your comments, roscoe. All things considered, the electrical behavior is just one element of the whole. With dual drivers, the impedance may be lower than a single driver, but the difference is likely (for the most part) negated by the increased sensitivity of the system (as you've alluded). Keep in perspective too that we're talking about SUPER light drivers, with strong motors. They will respond to fractions of a watt. Which brings me to another point...

I listen nearfield, both out of necessity (relatively small space) and also to avoid room reflections from dominating the presentation. My ears are 8 feet (usually more like 6.5 - 7 feet) from the drivers. I need VERY little power to get the CAMs singing at my listening chair. Most of the time I don't enjoy listening loud anyway. I prefer comfortable volumes (likely 75db - 85db)....similar to Srajan at 6 Moons (who is also a Pass Labs / First Watt fan). So, an aspect that is SUPER important to me is system quietness. I sit close enough to the drivers that hiss / hum can be bothersome. This can be tricky because Omegas let everything through, for better (music signal) or worse (system noise). It isn't so much a problem as much as it is something worth noting as another variable.

The need to quiet amplifiers with sensitive speakers cannot be overstated.  My two-channel speakers run from 94 - 99dB.  Fortunately I have very quiet tube amps:  Dennis Had Inspire amps with regulated power supplies and a SET 421a amp with an indirectly heated output tube. 

trusturears

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Re: Compact Alnico Monitor
« Reply #10 on: 26 Jan 2017, 01:53 am »
thanks to everyone for responding and chiming in.  interestingly enough, a few weeks ago i took steps to build the second system i've always wanted to try by ordering a decware se34I.5 amp .  i'm now deciding on the right omega speaker.  they're made not too far from where i live and i am willing to travel up there, but unfortunately from what i've heard there's really no way to hear anything first.  i took the plunge on the decware w/out hearing it so i guess i'll be doing the same w/the omegas. 

OzarkTom

Re: Compact Alnico Monitor
« Reply #11 on: 26 Jan 2017, 03:08 am »
thanks to everyone for responding and chiming in.  interestingly enough, a few weeks ago i took steps to build the second system i've always wanted to try by ordering a decware se34I.5 amp .  i'm now deciding on the right omega speaker.  they're made not too far from where i live and i am willing to travel up there, but unfortunately from what i've heard there's really no way to hear anything first.  i took the plunge on the decware w/out hearing it so i guess i'll be doing the same w/the omegas.

I would look seriously at those Omegas that Decware now sells. Steve Deckart says they are even faster than his Acoustat Monitors, and that is very fast. :o

Rextang

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Re: Compact Alnico Monitor
« Reply #12 on: 5 Feb 2017, 12:58 am »
I have a pair of CAM's and love them. Listen mostly in the evening to jazz and they are incredible. I selected them because I had no choice on placement and had to keep them close to the back wall. These speakers shine in these conditions. I drive them with a Fi 421A 4wpc.




roscoe65

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Re: Compact Alnico Monitor
« Reply #13 on: 5 Feb 2017, 06:37 am »
I have a version of that amp circuit - not by Don Garber but by Oliver Sayes.  I have the universal Hashimoto outputs instead of the nice potted ones.  Mine also looks more conventional.  Not as cool and not a real Fi amp, but easier to modify if I want.

trusturears

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Re: Compact Alnico Monitor
« Reply #14 on: 5 Feb 2017, 04:01 pm »
thanks, I think I'm leaning toward the CAMs.  Love that Fi amp and I wanted one.  I contacted Garber about getting one a while back, but didn't get very far.  It is a beautiful piece.

roscoe65

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Re: Compact Alnico Monitor
« Reply #15 on: 5 Feb 2017, 04:27 pm »
thanks, I think I'm leaning toward the CAMs.  Love that Fi amp and I wanted one.  I contacted Garber about getting one a while back, but didn't get very far.  It is a beautiful piece.

If you wanted one that is similar (same circuit, different look, maybe different parts), Oliver Sayes would probably build you one.  He's on USAudiomart as SonicOli.

seikosha

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Re: Compact Alnico Monitor
« Reply #16 on: 5 Feb 2017, 06:15 pm »
If you wanted one that is similar (same circuit, different look, maybe different parts), Oliver Sayes would probably build you one.  He's on USAudiomart as SonicOli.

I had one of Oliver's 2A3 amps.  It sounded wonderful, but was very unreliable.

roscoe65

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Re: Compact Alnico Monitor
« Reply #17 on: 5 Feb 2017, 11:03 pm »
I had one of Oliver's 2A3 amps.  It sounded wonderful, but was very unreliable.

That hasn't been my experience.  But then this circuit doesn't have that many parts to go wrong.  If his amps have some unreliability they wouldn't be the first from small builders who do point-to-point construction.  One variable with Oliver is that he often uses old iron, which may or may not present a problem in the long term.

Then again, everything that moves or produces power has the chance of breaking sometime.

trusturears

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Re: Compact Alnico Monitor
« Reply #18 on: 6 Feb 2017, 10:59 pm »
thanks for the info.  I'll stick w/what I've got for now and see where it goes. 

sfox7076

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Re: Compact Alnico Monitor
« Reply #19 on: 12 Feb 2017, 05:07 am »
Oliver's work has always seemed great to me. I live 4 blocks from him. I really only use vintage power iron.  Output iron that has aged gets me.