Omega in a small room

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DavidS

Omega in a small room
« on: 17 Oct 2019, 01:15 am »
I have nearly purchased Omega speakers for my small room (12x13) twice over the last 10 years.  Still looking for the right speakers as I have cycled blast from past and still have them Ellis 1801s, Audio Note (E's), Zu Druids, Merlins, ATC, KEFs, Spatial M3s, Frugelhorns - nothing has been quite right.  Last time I considered Omegas I was running an EL84 Decware amp.  Currently using KEF ls50s - they are good but require lots of power.  Thinking of going higher efficiency, which have been my favourite speakers, dynamics, speed, floating detail.  But big speakers like the Spatials or Audio Notes tend to overwhelm the room.

So what Omegas for a small room.  Running Class D (Mivera) so lots of power with KEFs.  Been thinking Schiit Aegirs with Omegas.  Have nice tube preamp (Don Sachs) and nice passive preamp (Tortuga).

Who is running Omegas in small room?  Photos would be great.  Canada Rob are you still out there - you were last time I considered Omegas and had good advice.  Jazz, americana, classic rock, alt rock, Cure on Roon radio right now.

David

roscoe65

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Re: Omega in a small room
« Reply #1 on: 17 Oct 2019, 02:50 am »
I’ve run Omegas in a small 12’ x 13’ room as well as larger spaces.  They work particularly well in the near field, which in your room is mandatory.  I’ve owned and listened to SAMs, wide baffle Super 3 with RS5 update, and Super 3 1.5HO Monitors.  They all work well in true small room, but I found the wide baffle works better when near the front wall and helps boost the lower midrange when out in the room.  If I were buying right now it would be a pair of CAMs.  They may not have the most bass but there is only so much a 6” driver can do.  I already own stereo Rhythmik subs so I can support the bottom end.

However, your amplifier choices do not seem to be ideal for Omega speakers.  I’ve found that they really like single ended tubes (especially the 1.5HO - it is really hard to match with SS) and class SS SE (First Watt).  They don’t really like Class AB amps that much in my experience.  They also don’t really need (and can’t use) much more than 5 or 10 watts.


JLM

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Re: Omega in a small room
« Reply #2 on: 17 Oct 2019, 11:13 am »
DavidS,

You seem to be floundering quite a bit with audio choices.  What are your complaints?  What sort of sound are you after (accurate, dynamic, bass or treble heavy, pinpoint or huge imaging, etc.)?  And what do you mean by "floating detail" anyway?  Is your list of genres in order of priority?  What is your room setup like?  To solve the problem you need to define it first.  And as Earl Geddes is apt to say, "Solve physical problems by physical means".

Your room is nearly square, which is one of the worst room shapes for bass response.  From the stated dimensions you must have a severe bass hump around 90 Hz.  If you read Floyd Toole's "Sound Reproduction" (3rd edition) which is the seminal work for hobbyists you'll learn how sound, especially bass functions in-room and the value of using carefully placed multiple subs to even out the inevitable bass peaks/dips.  Next use of effective bass absorption is also very beneficial (recommend contacting GIK who knows the basics and sells effective products - I use (10) of their 244 panels of them in my 13ft x 21ft room).  Beware of stuff like open cell foam that looks nice but is acoustically worthless.

Regarding set-up, try to get the speakers as far away from walls and corners in particular as possible to reduce bass boom and improve imaging.  It's free to play around.  If possible skew the setup against the walls to determine if that helps.  Realize that dipole speakers will interact with the room differently than monitors, are hard to properly implement in a small room like yours, and have a completely different presentation from monitors.  If it's deep bass or emphasized highs that you're after single driver speakers aren't the solution for you. 

I find that small speakers fit best in small rooms.  One of the advantages of single driver designs is the automatic driver cohesiveness they provide (even better than coaxials like that LS50).  This is critical in near-field or mid-field setups and is one downfall of nearly any conventional 3-way design.  My guess is that an Omega monitor with 3 or 4 subs would be a good fit for your room.  Another option is quality active studio monitors with subs of course, which are designed for near-field use and are very dynamic, accurate, and are what the professionals use to record and mix your recordings with.  Good examples are JBL 305 Mk2 ($300/pair), Neumann KH120 ($1400/pair), or ELAC Navis ARB-51 ($2000/pair).  This of course would save you from buying a power amp. 

Alwayswantmore

Re: Omega in a small room
« Reply #3 on: 17 Oct 2019, 01:06 pm »
My room is about the same size. For a number of years I ran the 6” Alnico monitor and deep hemp sub. Critical listening in near field. In my case the room is dedicated to listening/tv, so my wife let me instal GIK room treatments. Tri corners on front wall, three bass traps on back wall centered on room. One bass trap front wall centered on floor beneath the tv, plus 2” for first reflection. Started with RWA LFP and ended with Decware Super Zen. The room treatments really made a huge difference. Soundstage, imaging, tone, detail ranked very high compared to any system I’ve heard, especially for vocals and smaller ensembles, which are my favorites. 

seikosha

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Re: Omega in a small room
« Reply #4 on: 17 Oct 2019, 02:52 pm »
+1 on the room treatment suggestions.  I was chasing a sound that I wanted for a couple of years in a small room and it wasn't until I got bass traps, diffusers and absorbers that it finally all came together.  I've got 3's, 8's and Alnicos that I play in the room.  All sound great and much better to me than conventional speakers.  Also I'd agree with Roscoe on tube amplification.  Omegas really do sound much better with tubes.

DavidS

Re: Omega in a small room
« Reply #5 on: 17 Oct 2019, 04:57 pm »
thanks for great replies guys - lots of good thoughts. 

I do have room treatment in my room - a couple of bass traps and two corner traps as well.  GIK helped me with this a couple of years ago.

When I think about the speakers I have enjoyed the most they a) the larger speakers being the Druids, the Audio Note Es, and the Spatial M3s.  b) they have been the higher efficiency speakers.

I find the smaller monitors tend to sound more similar.  The KEFs are good - have them well out in room with about 3 feet from walls on all sides.  Just not the magic I got from the bigger speakers.  The conundrum of a small room as the large speakers also overload the room for bass even with the treatment (which takes up a ton of floor space in small room too).  Have a larger living room (18x35) and no doubt big speakers have been magic with the right gear in that room - just its not dedicated and have to share my listening with other family activities so have tried to make small office work.  Even tried high end headphone gear. :scratch:

seikosha

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Re: Omega in a small room
« Reply #6 on: 17 Oct 2019, 06:55 pm »
Well if you like big speaker sound, the 8's do sound much larger than the 6's or 3's.  Very open and relaxed.  Just let them break in.  The 8's were by far the worst sounding Omega's I've ever owned when brand new!

zmaggio

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Re: Omega in a small room
« Reply #7 on: 18 Oct 2019, 07:45 pm »
David:  I’m listening nearfield in a room that’s actually slightly smaller than yours!  I believe I’m achieving as much “magic” as is possible in a highly compromised room like mine.  It’s not perfect, but I’m getting a damn good sound and the Omegas outshine my Harbeths in this space.

You asked for a pic so I’ll try to post one, if this works (forgive my feet):




Doody

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Re: Omega in a small room
« Reply #8 on: 18 Oct 2019, 09:01 pm »
David:

My room is 10x12 feet. In love with my Omega setup in it. Probably 9.5 feet from drivers to ears.

Doody



DavidS

Re: Omega in a small room
« Reply #9 on: 19 Oct 2019, 05:30 pm »
thanks for the photos guys.  Have been doing lots of reading - seems like any of the smaller monitors (leaning towards single driver SAMs or CAMs) would work in my setup.  Can go for lower powered amp as a second step. 

Thinking about sound I am looking for I get words like immediacy, dynamics, life like sound, details.  Not so fussed about bass.  Like to listen at lower volumes so speakers and amp that come alive at low volume would be good.  Also tend to have my speakers out into the room in nearfield vs pushed back into corners or against the end wall (although a lot of my listening is off axis at a desk plus sound for streaming video such as MLB and youtube). 

Will keep reading....

nature boy

Re: Omega in a small room
« Reply #10 on: 19 Oct 2019, 07:01 pm »
As others have indicated Omega Speakers really sound great with Single-Ended Triode (SET) amplifers. They will drive any of the monitors to loud listening room levels and give you speed,  immediacy and incredible realistic sound of live recorded event music.  I ran some of Louis's speakers with a 2-watt Decware Zen amplifer for years. The combination is magical.

NB

Doody

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Re: Omega in a small room
« Reply #11 on: 19 Oct 2019, 09:24 pm »
On the other side of the spectrum, there's an Omega fanboi crowd who swears by direct amplification via Chord Electronics products (Hugo2, DAVE, TT2, etc.) - the path I've taken. Listen and let your ears decide! I run my Roon server to a Chord HMS and then via a Hugo2 that directly drives my CAMs adn feeds my Deep Hemp sub.

Doody

jmolsberg

Re: Omega in a small room
« Reply #12 on: 19 Oct 2019, 11:14 pm »
Omegas sound great in small and medium rooms. I am sure they sound excellent in big rooms too.
I drive my 3xrs HO with a one watt LTA integrated and love it. I say go for it!

Alwayswantmore

Re: Omega in a small room
« Reply #13 on: 20 Oct 2019, 03:13 pm »
The 6" Alnico needs to be experienced to be believed. No crossover, so no phase issues--means an exceptionally open sound. Attention to cabinet design and construction without parallel in the industry = the engineering/construction behind making a small single-driver do what Omegas do. Alnico magnets, with their superior sonic performance, today only found in select Omegas and some high-end guitar amps.

The speaker is extremely fast, IMO very neutral, and when driven with good electronics, and properly set up in a treated room, something very special. Most systems I've heard that exceeded $25K to $30K were in showrooms rather than homes. But IMO the Omegas nearfield did as well and in some areas better then anything I've heard. You say immediacy, my words are lifelike and transparent, and the 6" Alnico have that in spades. Even in my small room, the soundstage had tremendous depth and width. Depending on the recording, instruments can exist as a specific 3-D point in space.

Of note...

IMO Omega monitors hold the best potential for imaging (vs towers). And while you may not place a lot of value on bass, a solid bass foundation like the deep hemp makes everything sound better. For TV's, the blacker the black, the more vibrant the colors. For Omega monitors, the bass does something similar in terms of bringing out the sparkle in the mids and highs.

You may recognize that I'm writing in the past tense. 6" Alnicos were my second round with Louis, having started with Compact Hemps. My wife and I watch a ton of Netflix and Prime so, after many decades of being a budget-conscious audiophile, I decided to embrace the dark side (home theater). For this, I wanted matching drivers and relatively small speakers. Recently Louis finished a build of Super 3 XRS L&R, and a 3 monitor configured with a front-firing port for a center channel. All paired with my existing deep hemp. While I'm having fun exploring HT, and the clarity is absolutely stunning, HT (only 3.1 at this point), does not provide the 3-D holographic sound I got from the nearfield setup. I'll post pictures when the room is more put together.






Kalali

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Re: Omega in a small room
« Reply #14 on: 22 Oct 2019, 09:20 pm »
I could have not said it any better than Alwayswantmore regarding the sound coming out of the Super6 Alnico monitors as I now have his "old" speakers in my system. Once agin, thanks for taking such good care of them. I'm driving them with an SE Pentode (KT88) 18wpc amplifier in a relatively well treated room (14'x18'x9'), at moderately far field and the soundstage is wall to wall and as deep as the recording allows. Even without a subwoofer the bass is tight and natural for the type of music I listen which is mostly small ensamble jazz trios and folk music. Truly exceptional tone and timbre.
Sorry if a bit off topic but I just could not resist not adding my 2 cents.