the amazing Super 3R Loudspeakers

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smithereenys

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the amazing Super 3R Loudspeakers
« on: 22 Jul 2003, 06:32 pm »
If you are the owner of budget tube electronics, chances are you have faced the dilemma of selecting the best speakers you can find in the same relative price point as your electronics. I own a little gem of a budget integrated amp (ASL's MGSI-15 DT) that sucked me into tube audio (and NAD 541i on front end). The first speakers I could afford were the Axiom m3ti - which came highly recommended for tube-heads on a budget. I was pretty floored. What a sweet sound, if not a little edgey on poorly recorded or bigger passages of music. I then started to listen - for fun - at local shops to some more expensive speakers, which made me realize that while the Axioms were great, they were lacking in headroom and dynamics by comparison - I needed HIGH EFFICIENCY! Did a lot of research on these boards and others, and opted on trying out Omega Loudspeaker's TS3 monitors - which were very reasonable priced for getting beatifully hand-built single ended (READ no cross-overs and single point source) speakers possessing a 93 db sensitivity rating and an extremely flat impedance curve. After the requisite 72 hour break-in, I finally sat with them for a true listening session, and quickly felt like I had made the best audio purchase of my life - by a mile. I read a lot about how single ended amps mated to single ended speakers had the ability to sound magical, so my expectations were already high. These little monitors made the previous set-up with the axioms sound not very good at all. Everything promised was there - dynamic presentation, a wide soundstage, extremely life-like imaging, "space" around the instruments, vocalists right in the middle of the stage, and great rythm and pace. I then added Omega's 8" sealed sub (together with the TS3s, this is Omega's "mini-max" speaker sytem), which fleshed-out the low notes nicely and further enhanced the midrange detail. I was in heaven - couldn't get any better, right? Wrong. I was off of the boards for a while until I recently logged onto AA and read mention of Omega at the Mid-west Audio Fest (I think?) and a demonstration of the new Super3 monitors. I was intrigued - could the sound from my "mini-max" be improved? Feedback was far too postive ("best in show comments, etc.) to just walk away - I had to know. Called Lou (nicest guy I ever bought anything from - ever) of Omega and after a detailed discussion, I am now the extremely proud owner of a pair of Super3 R's (with the enhanced damping and the upgraded wiring and binding posts). To borrow a line from Frank of Everybody Loves Raymond - "HOLY CRAP". I look at these as a very cost effective purchase simply for the fact that I am not very motivated to pay to see live music. After setting them up properly, I am getting more of every positive attribute of the "mini-max", and no real compromises (okay they can't go as low as the sub in the "MM", but they can go pretty damn low, and they are never-ever boomy in my room - an error the sub could sometimes commit). Everything is fuller or "richer", but without any bloat. Those with concerns about their wide baffle design - no worries - the imaging and soundstage coming from these are jaw-dropping. Besides occasional sub-integration issues, their were instances where the TS3s could get slightly "shouty" (very slightly, and likely more a function of my room than anything else). Not so here. The Super3s are never shouty, voices sound more full and real, midrange has been dramatically opened-up, and there is just more space around every instrument. For instance, last night I was listening to CAKE's "Prolonging the Magic" disc, and couldn't believe how much more music I was hearing. On the the first track - "Satan is my Motor", John McEntire's voice is completely 3-dimensional, the bass is tight, tuneful and extremely fast, the horns have great natural timbre, and, well, really sound like horns. Also, listening to the remastered re-release of Uncle Tupelo's all-acoustic MARCH disc (possibly my fave disc of 2003), I'm amazed at the level of emotion from these performances (recorded over a five day period in March of 1992) conveyed by the Super3 Rs. Jeff Tweedy's heartfelt voice on "Black Eye" and "Fatal Blow" is haunting me still the next day. I can't say enough good things about these speakers. I have no affiliation with Lou or Omega, I am just an extremely pleased customer. I may consider adding a sub down the road, but I am getting such nice tuneful bass (my guess is down to around 60 - 55 hz) from these, that I am not in a rush to go sub shopping. If I do, I am certain that these will be an easier speaker to integrate with a sub than the TS3s due to their fuller range sound (they may be slightly more forgiving than the TS3s). If you've read this far, I'd like to point out that my listening room is 12 x 19 x 8(h). I have the Super3s about 4.5 feet from the back wall and 2 feet from the side walls, very slightly toed-in. My amp has been upgraded to Amperex BB 12ax7s in the front and either JJ or EH KT88 in the outputs (I like both quite a bit) A have simple Outlaw PCS interconnects, and Audioquest Type 4 speaker wire. While they aren't on everyone's budget, the Super3s are no more expensive than the basest of tube integrateds, and will deliver an astonishing amount of sound for the dollar.