Originally Posted by seekr613
Indeed, a great return policy and, by all accounts, excellent customer service and care all around. There are so many things going for ohm.
But, for my room, I would need one of their largest speakers. Either the ohm 5000, or the ohm super sound cylinder or 4000. In an ideal world I would get the super sound cylinder - I think that shape offers space efficiencies for the output you get.
But - cost on those babies is pretty significant, at least for me. As much as I want a great music listening experience, I have a really hard time justifying the cost against my current budget. I think expenditure in the 3000cdn range is doable. But ohm sound cylinders work out to 7000cdn. Ouch.
Some food for thought...
Ohm speakers are "omni-directional". They are designed to be placed near walls to take advantage of the early reflections of sound off those walls. The benefit of this is a wider, broader soundstage that is more spacious and immersive. The detriment of this is less precise sound localization. The reflected sound, which comes from the boundaries around the speaker, combines with the direct sound and makes the directional cues more imprecise. Sonic imaging is predicated on precise localization of sound sources. Therefore imaging suffers when lots of early, high intensity reflections are added to the direct sound. "Phantom imaging" (which is placement of sounds between
speakers), can be quite detrimentally impacted by reflected soundwaves, especially if the reflections cause timbrel shifts.
In a music-oriented system, a large, broad, open soundstage is beneficial for certain types of music, like large orchestral music, large venue rock concert music, etc., where precise imaging is found less in the recording. However, for other types of music, like small acoustic venues, or studio recordings, precise localization of instruments and voices within a soundstage are a higher priority.
In a Home Theater environment, precise sonic imaging allows sounds to be "heard" as correlated to the on-screen visual images. A "large, broad, open soundstage" is not always beneficial to that precise imaging. A system that prioritizes direct sound while minimizing early reflections will provide the best opportunity for precise sonic imaging, which enhances the correlation of what you see to what you hear. The soundstage can then be broadened by adding additional speakers, as in a multi-channel system.
My own system, which you can see in the link in my signature, prioritizes direct sound, by virtually eliminating early reflections. All the walls around my front soundstage are heavily treated with acoustic absorption. Behind the red drapes is 2" to 4" of acoustic absorption, with 10" thick bass taps straddling the corners. The ceiling uses 1" thick fiberglass ceiling tiles suspended 5" below the joists, which are filled with pink, fluffy fiberglass, making the entire ceiling a large broadband absorber. In addition, my speakers use "dispersion lens" technology to control the amount of sound sent to the side walls and the ceiling/floor. Basically, what emanates from my front soundstage is the direct sound from my speakers... and very little else.
The net effect of this is that all the imaging cues contained in the recording come through completely unadulterated by the room. Sonic images are precisely located in space and directly correlate with on-screen visual images. The CC is paced behind an acoustically transparent screen, which places dialogue and other centrally imaged sounds, (music, special effects, etc.), precisely where they need to be. To widen and broaden the soundstage, I have added Wides, Surrounds and Heights to provide a "large, broad, open soundstage."
Now, I'm not saying you should go to the lengths to which I have gone. It would not be practical or even doable in your situation. Nonetheless, (I think) it would be better to start with more tightly controlled, directional speakers, (i.e., monopoles), instead of "omni-directional" speakers, especially if Home Theater is a significant part of your intended use of the system. Monopoles will provide more precise imaging, and retain the important phantom images that less directional speakers do not provide. Reserve the Walsh's for a 2 channel system in another location if you find that the more directional, multi-channel system doesn't do what you want for stereo music reproduction.
One other factor to consider...
I guess as part of this, in your experience how important is it that my main speakers match the brand of the centre channel?
Some more food for thought:
Some on this forum will tell you it is not important to timbre-match your front soundstage. I disagree with that logic for a number of reasons. While it's true that the vast majority of dialogue comes exclusively from the CC, and therefore doesn't *need* to timbre-match, because it doesn't come out of any other speakers anyway, the fact is that other sounds besides dialogue also emanate from that location. Music in movies is often recorded in multi-channel with the CC included. Special effects often occur in, and/or pan through, the CC. When those sounds don't match their tonal characteristics with the L/R speakers, things can sound "off." Now, some will tell you that only "OCD" listeners will notice this, or that one needs to "micro-listen" to notice it. If you are one of those inattentive listeners who doesn't notice, then by all means mis-match your CC. However, if you're at all like me, and things that don't sound "right" draw your attention... and take you out of the movie or music, then timbre-matching will be an essential part of your design criteria.