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post #1 of 26 Old 09-09-2006, 10:53 AM - Thread Starter
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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 impressive.

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:
OMD-28 $7.5K
Revel $20K
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.

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post #2 of 26 Old 09-09-2006, 02:37 PM
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Rider,

Nice review. They're pretty cool looking speakers but $7.5k seems a little steep (except when compared to your other choices).

What did you think of the Von Schweikert VR4SR's? I heard these once with VAC integrated amplification and I thought they were outstanding. Ultimately, I went with Salk Veracity HT3's and I couldn't be more satisfied.
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post #3 of 26 Old 09-09-2006, 02:46 PM
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post #4 of 26 Old 09-09-2006, 03:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jermmd View Post

What did you think of the Von Schweikert VR4SR's?

Of those spkrs I heard, I would place the Von Schweikerts last. The dealer was extrememly nice -- he came out here and set them up in my theater for a demo. In terms of presense and realism --like the performers are right in front of you -- they were just totally unconvincing. With the OMDs and MBLs, with a really good recording, you can close your eyes and you'd swear there's someone standing right in fron of you singing (and/or playing). It can be downright spooky sometimes.

I think one of the most impressive experiences I've had with the OMDs so far was the Fleetwood Mac concert DVD "The Dance." You hear all the sounds, dynamics and acoustics of being in a large concert venue with a pumpin' rock band, with a huge soundstage, yet it sounds like you're sitting right in the 1st row. All the guitars, drums, percussions, keyboards, etc. are perfectly distinct and embodied in space, and even though they're in a huge hall, it really sounds like the singers are right in front of you, singing in an intimate club performance. It sounds pretty amazing.

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post #5 of 26 Old 09-09-2006, 10:58 PM
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thanks for the review

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post #6 of 26 Old 10-27-2006, 12:14 PM - Thread Starter
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I've had the OMD-28s now for a couple of months, plus I got the matching OMD-C2 center channel, so I thought I'd post an update.

First off, even though I think the birdseye maple is really gorgeous, it just didn't match the decor/colors of my fairly dark HT, so instead of keeping the rep's demos, I got a pair in the rosewood:



Here's a few shots of the OMD-C2 center.

Front view, grille off:


Side view, showing how it angles up in back to direct reflected sound up to the screen:


Grille on, in front of screen (poor lighting, sorry):


The center channel is truly amazing, and a bargain IMO @ $2K. It has the identical "Omniguide" tweeter/mid array (1.125" tweeter + 5.25" mid) as the towers, so the three spkrs are perfectly timbre-matched. It also has 2 6.5" woofers. The mid and woofers are carbon fibre, same as the towers.

The 3 spkrs, including the center, completely disappear, whether music, movie soundtracks, or dialogue. Dialog is especially noteworthy: it's super distinct, clear and 3-dimensional, but it is imaged in space above the center spkr. In other HTs I've seen/heard, dialogue so distinctly eminates from the center spkr that it diverts your attention to above/below the screen, and is a distracting disconnect between where the sound is coming from visually (on screen) vs. aurallly (the spkr). This center is just the opposite: if you look right at the spkr during dialog, you actually think the spkr is turned off, b/c no sound seems to be coming directly from its location. The sound seems to be coming from off the screen. As a note, the one HT I went to where the center was behind an AT screen, the center's soundfield was so narrow and focused that all dialog seemed to be coming from dead center of the screen, and didn't seem that realistic, IMO. YMMV.

All in all, I'm very happy w/the 3 spkrs. Very musical and refined sound, linear top to bottom, detailed and transparent highs, robust yet smooth mids, tight bass w/plenty of slam, and superb soundstage and palpable 3-D imaging. Definitely a tremendous value at just under $10K for the 3. I'll be getting the matching rear/surrounds as soon as I finish my HT remodel.

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post #7 of 26 Old 10-27-2006, 12:43 PM
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Very nice review and write up. Glad you were able to get something that moves you with out breaking the bank. Considering the competition I would say that you found a great deal. They also look very very nice. Enjoy.

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post #8 of 26 Old 02-14-2007, 11:15 AM
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Gorgeous speakers!

I just ordered a set of their "little brothers" (the OMD-15 and OMD-C1) for my theater, and I wonder if you could share a bit more about the process you used for getting them positioned "just right", and what ended up being that sweet spot for you.

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post #9 of 26 Old 02-14-2007, 12:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustMike View Post

Gorgeous speakers!

I just ordered a set of their "little brothers" (the OMD-15 and OMD-C1) for my theater, and I wonder if you could share a bit more about the process you used for getting them positioned "just right", and what ended up being that sweet spot for you.

Hi Mike - sorry I didn't get to your PM yet.

My dealer (Mark Haflich) helped me w/the rough positioning, then I tweaked further. To start with, Mark started w/his back to each of the 3 adjacent walls to the spkrs (rear and 2 sides), and while talking w/his head roughly at the level of the tweeters, slowly walked forward. His voice sounded a little nasal at the walls; as soon as it sounded clear, we marked that spot - that's the closest the spkr should be placed to that wall to avoid resonance w/it.

From there, it was just a matter of playing w/toe-in, distance between the spkrs, and moving back and forth from rear wall while listening to them to see what sounds best. Painter's (non-paint removing) masking tape comes in handy for marking different spots to come back to for A/B comparisons.

This was just my amateur spkr positioning effort; I'm sure many in this forum who are professionals and/or who have much more experience than I have better ways to do it. Hope this helps.

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post #10 of 26 Old 02-14-2007, 01:41 PM
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Very helpful! Thanks. If the shipping goes as expected, I'll have the OMD-15's here this weekend and will try this technique.

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post #11 of 26 Old 02-14-2007, 01:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustMike View Post

Very helpful! Thanks. If the shipping goes as expected, I'll have the OMD-15's here this weekend and will try this technique.

When you get them set up, let us know how they sound.

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post #12 of 26 Old 02-14-2007, 02:00 PM
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I certainly will. I'll be doing A/B comparison with a set of M&K S-150 THX speakers. I bought the M&K at a local dealer because their accuracy was mind-blowing, but I'm finding them honestly a little harsh and not so pleasing...

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post #13 of 26 Old 02-14-2007, 02:21 PM
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[quote=rider]I've had the OMD-28s now for a couple of months, plus I got the matching OMD-C2 center channel, so I thought I'd post an update.

First off, even though I think the birdseye maple is really gorgeous, it just didn't match the decor/colors of my fairly dark HT, so instead of keeping the rep's demos, I got a pair in the rosewood:



Here's a few shots of the OMD-C2 center.

Front view, grille off:


Side view, showing how it angles up in back to direct reflected sound up to the screen:


Grille on, in front of screen (poor lighting, sorry):


Those are absolutely beatifull! Much prettier than the birdseye maple.

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post #14 of 26 Old 02-14-2007, 02:34 PM
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It's fun just to look at the pix and read the review ... must be great to listen to! Thanks.

There is a real danger to reading threads here when you thought you were very happy with the speakers you have ...
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post #15 of 26 Old 02-21-2007, 01:18 PM
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Well, I've had the OMD-15 [edit by JustMike to fix brain-fart typo!] and the OMD-C1 [edit] for about five days now, and my preliminary reaction is very positive. I either got stupidly lucky or the OMD-15 are not as finicky in placement as the OMD-28, because the very first spot I tried placing them sounds excellent. The imaging is spot on and the highs are very good without being overwhelming. They have good bass response for a small cabinet as well, but of course nothing to compare with my old M1 pair in my living room. Since the theater has dual SVS subs, this is not a problem.

I'm less pleased with the OMD-C1 [edit]. It feels to me as though it has an over-emphasis in high mids, which makes some voices sound not so great. I'm still tweaking, and the speakers are still going through their 100 hour (!!) required run-in. Pretty difficult to run in a speaker for 100 hours and give it a fair listen when the store has only a 15-day return policy... Still, I suspect that I may end up keeping the OMD-15s and returning the center in favor of my venerable MC-si.

Anyway, I'll post more detailed comments in the next few days.

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post #16 of 26 Old 02-21-2007, 10:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustMike View Post

Well, I've had the OMD-28 and the OMD-C2 for about five days now...

I'm less pleased with the OMD-C2. It feels to me as though it has an over-emphasis in high mids, which makes some voices sound not so great.

I thought you were getting the OMD-15s....? And did you get the OMD-C2 or the OMD-C1 (which matches the 15s)?

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post #17 of 26 Old 02-21-2007, 11:41 PM
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rider:

Thanks for the review. I want to ask: How reflective is your room? My room was horrible without large 3" thick panels at the 1st reflection points. It was painful to be in there. Since the panels, and subsequent DIY bass trapping in the four corners, it has ingrained in me that good acoustics is every bit as important as the speakers themselves. Now, Mirage is encouraging an echoey room.

The only way to be sure is an in-home demo. I have a Mirage dealer nearby so one day I'll give them a try.
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post #18 of 26 Old 02-22-2007, 01:26 AM
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rider: you're absolutely correct. I really must not have had a lot of sleep in the last couple of days. Too much speaker testing!

I've edited the posting above to remove the multiple brain farts, but to reiterate: I got the OMD-15 "little brother" to your OMD-28, and the OMD-C1 center that is matched to the OMD-15.

I did a little more listening tonight comparing the C1 and my old MC-si, but tomorrow I plan to listen in greater detail. I continue to be quite impressed with the OMD-15.

I wish somebody around here had the OMD-C2 that I could try in-home. Although it's nearly 3x the price of the C1, dialog is obviously a critical part of any movie, and I'd have to consider it if it were the best of the bunch and blended well with the OMD-15s.

[As an aside: as far as I can tell, the specs of the OMD-28 are very similar to my old M1s -- it'd be really interesting to hear them both and compare the newer omni approach with the older bipolar!]

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post #19 of 26 Old 02-27-2007, 02:39 PM
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I promised to post some more-detailed comments after I'd had a few more days of listening.

First of all, I decided to keep the OMD-15s. I like them. They have nice clear highs and great imaging, as well as pleasant mids. They're a bit lacking in bass "punch", but in my theater with the subs, I don't think this will be an issue. I would want more oomph from a primary music speaker, and would be inclined to look at the OMD-28s because of their similar specs to my old M1s. The claim is that the OMD-15 will "tighten up" with the spikes installed. I guess I should try that (they're on carpet now).

I'm still undecided on the OMD-C1.

Pros of the C1:
  • Very wide listening angle. Unlike my old MC-si, there's much less difference in sound quality between the center seat and the other seats in the theater.
  • Good timbre match to the OMD-15
  • Nice-looking, and matches the OMD-15
Cons
  • Male voices don't have the punch and depth that they do on the MC-si. I even felt that the M&K S-150 had more "chest" than the OMD-C1. I'm listening to Sir Ian McKellen and Christopher Lee on Lord of the Rings, as well as Craig T. Nelson on The Incredibles as my test material.
  • I feel as though there's either a slight resonance or an over-emphasis in the mids that is particularly noticeable on certain female voices. Probably a parametric EQ could sort this out, but I'd prefer not to have to EQ a speaker to like it.

I really wish there were a way to get an OMD-C2 to try, but there are no dealers in the Bay Area, apparently, who have them, and I'm struggling to even find mail order with a return policy.

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post #20 of 26 Old 02-27-2007, 03:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustMike View Post

I would want more oomph from a primary music speaker, and would be inclined to look at the OMD-28s because of their similar specs to my old M1s.

I really wish there were a way to get an OMD-C2 to try, but there are no dealers in the Bay Area, apparently, who have them, and I'm struggling to even find mail order with a return policy.

Have you tried contacting Mirage? I spoke to Martin quite a few times; he was extremely helpful locating dealers, and even arranging the rep to bring the 28s to the dealer for me to audition (it was when they first came out, and no dealers had them yet).

Re. the 28s: they have tremendous punch and kick in the low end. I haven't heard the 15s to compare, but if you get a chance to hear the 28s I'd recommend it.

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post #21 of 26 Old 02-27-2007, 03:36 PM
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I sent them an email, and they forwarded me to a distributor, who sent me two dealer names, one of which is several hours' drive away, and the other of which doesn't have the OMD series.

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post #22 of 26 Old 03-05-2007, 02:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rider View Post

I've had the OMD-28s now for a couple of months, plus I got the matching OMD-C2 center channel, so I thought I'd post an update.

First off, even though I think the birdseye maple is really gorgeous, it just didn't match the decor/colors of my fairly dark HT, so instead of keeping the rep's demos, I got a pair in the rosewood:



Here's a few shots of the OMD-C2 center.

Front view, grille off:


Side view, showing how it angles up in back to direct reflected sound up to the screen:


Grille on, in front of screen (poor lighting, sorry):


The center channel is truly amazing, and a bargain IMO @ $2K. It has the identical "Omniguide" tweeter/mid array (1.125" tweeter + 5.25" mid) as the towers, so the three spkrs are perfectly timbre-matched. It also has 2 6.5" woofers. The mid and woofers are carbon fibre, same as the towers.

The 3 spkrs, including the center, completely disappear, whether music, movie soundtracks, or dialogue. Dialog is especially noteworthy: it's super distinct, clear and 3-dimensional, but it is imaged in space above the center spkr. In other HTs I've seen/heard, dialogue so distinctly eminates from the center spkr that it diverts your attention to above/below the screen, and is a distracting disconnect between where the sound is coming from visually (on screen) vs. aurallly (the spkr). This center is just the opposite: if you look right at the spkr during dialog, you actually think the spkr is turned off, b/c no sound seems to be coming directly from its location. The sound seems to be coming from off the screen. As a note, the one HT I went to where the center was behind an AT screen, the center's soundfield was so narrow and focused that all dialog seemed to be coming from dead center of the screen, and didn't seem that realistic, IMO. YMMV.

All in all, I'm very happy w/the 3 spkrs. Very musical and refined sound, linear top to bottom, detailed and transparent highs, robust yet smooth mids, tight bass w/plenty of slam, and superb soundstage and palpable 3-D imaging. Definitely a tremendous value at just under $10K for the 3. I'll be getting the matching rear/surrounds as soon as I finish my HT remodel.

Ryder, how did you get the pics of the 28's in the body of your post? I've tried but It just put's links the the jpg's when I try.
Thanks!
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post #23 of 26 Old 03-05-2007, 02:50 PM
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Well, I've checked and checked, and literally nobody within 2 hours' drive of me seems to carry the OMD-28 or the OMD-C2. Pity.

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post #24 of 26 Old 03-05-2007, 10:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mickboy View Post

Ryder, how did you get the pics of the 28's in the body of your post? I've tried but It just put's links the the jpg's when I try.
Thanks!
Mickboy

The pics have to be hosted on a web site, such as photobucket or whatever. Those sites usually give the URL of each pic below its thumbnail. Copy that URL and use this format (but use brackets instead of parentheses):

(img)URL of pic(/img)

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post #25 of 26 Old 03-05-2007, 10:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustMike View Post

Well, I've checked and checked, and literally nobody within 2 hours' drive of me seems to carry the OMD-28 or the OMD-C2. Pity.

Call Mirage and get the name of the rep in your area. Reps usually make the rounds to the dealers in their territory; call the rep and ask him if you can set something up for him to bring the 28s and C2 to one of the dealers for you to audition.

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post #26 of 26 Old 03-06-2007, 01:16 AM
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I'll give it a try, but I feel as though I have basically already done that. I sent an email to the designated address on Mirage's site, and was put in touch with a local-ish company that I guess is the rep. The closest halfway-decent dealer they could offer was 1.5 hours' drive away and did not have the larger OMD series. Sigh. I'll take your advice, though, and see if I can get better results by phone. At least I can point out to them that they *really* need to get a presence in the Bay Area.

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