"Gangsta" Beast Omega speakers
I am the happy owner of a pair of 7XRS's and Super 3i's. I use the 7XRS's with a truly magnificent 6wpc Swissonor amp at home (the Super 3i's with a small 2wpc Decware at my office) and was very happy with the sound (I had posted reviews back in the day). I listen to Reggae (which I also produce with Jamaican legends Sly & Robbie), Funk, Hip Hop, African music, etc…. These music are quite bottom heavy. Whenever it is possible, I enjoy playing my music loud, much to the anger of my neighbor downstairs and my wife whose tolerance for "noise" seems to decrease with the years (go figure).
Anyway, I had exchanged over the years with Louis and one day, late last year or early this year, I decided to ask him for a pair of speakers that I named the Beast because I wanted more bass, more ability to handle loud music and something Louis would be interested in designing and building. Something a bit more "in your face" than my XRS's, but with the musicality that is one of Omega's trademarks.
Louis came back with a sketch which I approved and went to work.
Fast forward yesterday when I received the speakers at my office. I picked up my car and drove through the insane Paris traffic. I was THAT determined!!! It took me three hours of fighting massively deranged Parisian drivers to get back home, but less than 10 minutes to unpack and set up the speakers.
So what do we have here: Ebony box, a fast and punchy 10" and … shoot, I can't even remember! So I emailed Louis for help on this, and rather than paraphrasing the master, let's just quote him
"The top driver is the RS5 and the woofer is an Eminence 10-inch woofer with a neodymium magnet.
It’s 8 ohm and should be about 95dB
In my room I got a good 40 to 20kHz
The crossover is at 500 Hz
The RS5 is in its own sealed chamber.
I think the transition from the woofer to the RS5 is spot on and the dynamics are really good."
Also sprach Louis Chocco
The first record I played on these new speakers was my favorite record of all times (yesterday, today, I might have picked Kaya or Exodus): Uprising by Bob Marley & The Wailers. I could tell right away something was wrong. For a second, I had a doubt about the speakers, never having heard the mediocrity of the poor mastering job so blatantly. So, the first thing I found out is that those speakers reveal flaws mercilessly: I knew instantly the version of Uprising I played was the poorly mastered one.
Boy oh boy… Then I played The Dub Factor by Black Uhuru and Sly & Robbie and… KA-BOOM! Any doubt about the speakers disappeared immediately: I'm not going to use words used by audiophiles and equipment reviews, I think most of them are gibberish. I'll just lay it out for you in a word: everything was huge and nice and heavy and crisp and … The physical and mental (I wouldn't go as far as using "spiritual", but close) pleasure I felt was huge. I heard details and I wasn't drowned in a muffly, drony bass or had my ears pierced by shrill trebles.
I also played Dr. Dre's The Chronic and was blown away. I now call these speakers Beast Gangsta because they can handle Gangster Rap quite well: in a way, these speakers are taking the Omega Outlaw concept to another level!
I then spent a couple of hours going through some of my favorite: Earth, Wind & Fire, Michael Jackson, Mtume, Black Uhuru, Grace Jones, Third World, Aswad, U Roy, Gregory Isaacs, Bitty McLean, Sly & Robbie…. What a treat. I made a playlist if any of you guys are interested.
I am aware my music tastes are not those of the typical Omega Speakers forum member, but, hey… I didn’t listen in audiophile conditions: the window was opened due to the heatwave here in France, there was noise outside, I hadn't yet really placed the speakers in an optimal position, etc… But I immediately heard a significant improvement over the already fabulous 7's.
What's interesting is that I'm currently mixing a new album that I produced last month in Jamaica. I use Adam monitors for studio work. Lovely speakers. I always check my mixes on my stereo, in my car and on my iPhone just to see if they work in good to crappy conditions. One thing: I always trust the sound I get from my Omegas to adjust the mixes. What's incredible with those is that although they are clearly voiced to be musical and are not meant to be studio monitors, they are somehow faithful to the raw signal. I mean if I play a new song on, say, JBL stereo (not studio) speakers, I have no idea if the mix is OK or not. With my Omegas, I freaking know right away. I am even toying with the idea of using Omegas as studio monitors one day, just to try. Anyway, I really wonder how Louis achieves that feat.
Last, I noticed that these speakers require more power to deliver the same level of "noise" as the 7's. With the 7's, I need to turn the volume knob to about 11AM, while on the Beast Gangsta's I need to go all the way to 2PM. But that's not an issue at all (why should it be an issue if the amp doesn’t distort or behave funny at high volume?). Yet I'd be curious to swap this amp with another one I have: the Audio-GD Master-10 (yes: a non-tube amp, yes: made in China, double sacrilege, I know, I know, but believe me, a fantastic piece of equipment), which pumps 250wpc from the top of my head.
Louis was wonderful from start to finish and even sent me several pix, which he kindly authorized me to post.
So here is the Beast, also known as the Gangsta Beast: