Thanks to the Mirage rep and my local dealer (Mark Haflich), I have had a pair of the new OMD-28s in my HT for demo this past week. Here's my report.
Here's what they look like. My pair is in the birdseye maple; they also come in rosewood and black lacquer.
My gear: Krell FPB 450Mcx monoblocks, Krell HTS 7.1 pre/pro, Onkyo DV-SP1000 DVD, Cardas Golden Reference XLR interconnects. Current spkrs are Mirage OM-5s, which I've been looking to upgrade for awhile now.
Other spkrs I've recently auditioned: MBL 101E, MBL 111E, Revel Ultima Salon, Genesis 6.1, and Von Schweikert VR-4SR. I spent the most time listening to the MBL 111s; I heard them at 2 different dealers, for a total listening time of about 5 hrs. At the 2nd dealer I even lugged my Krell monoblocks (100 lbs ea.
) to listen to them thru. For all these spkrs, I brought my own bag of Redbook CDs which I'm very familiar with.
For starters, the OMD-28s are very
placement sensitive. As a starting point, I put them in the footprint where my OM-5s were. They sounded terrible. Very chesty, with a pronounced low-mid bloom and resonance. No imaging; just an amorphous collection of sounds swirling around in a huge soundstage.
As I began moving them around, I realized that the placement of these spkrs is a function of how they interact with the room (primarily rear and side walls), not "aiming" them for a specific listener sweet spot. The user manual explicitly states: "DO NOT ATTEMPT TO ADD DAMPENING MATERIALS TO THE FIRST REFLECTION POINTS OF THE SPEAKERS! OMNIPOLAR SPEAKERS ARE DESIGNED TO EMBRACE SUCH REFLECTIONS AND THEY ARE A CRUCIAL PART IN THE PERFORMANCE OF THE SPEAKERS." When properly placed, I found that they have every bit of the holographic sound, and maybe even a tad bit better spatial imaging, than the 111Es. You can walk around the room, including between and behind the spkrs, and the imaging pretty much remains stationary in space; it's as if you're walking among the performers. Very
I finally found a placement inflection point. Moving them slightly back (towards rear wall) increases the immediacy and palpable presence of the voices/instruments, and slightly decreases the spaciousness of the soundstage. Moving them slightly forward does just the opposite. In effect, they can be tuned for one's preference in those areas.
Overall, I'd say they have quite good tonal balance. They are very
"ballsey" spkrs with plenty of punch and tight bass, although they don't approach the explosive dynamics of the 101Es. The mids are well-defined, articulate and robust, yet smooth; but they don't have quite the mellifluous mids of the Revels. The high end is not quite as refined and accurate as the 111E's, but it also lacks that hint of brightness/stridency I sometimes found in the MBLs (both models). The OMD's highs are clear, transparent and musical, with no real noticeable grain or etching that I could hear.
To put these comparisons in perspective, though:
111E $28K (rosewood)
101E $50K (rosewood)
Conclusion: I like 'em!! Great
sound, pretty to look at, and tremendous bang for the buck. I would call these spkrs the "Poor Man's MBLs." My choice is now essentially down to deciding between the 111Es and the OMDs.
I would highly recommend listening to them, but with the following caveat
: if they're not properly set up, they'll sound like crap.