Ohm speakers use unique technology that makes music sound better than most ‘live’ performances. They don’t sound like speakers (including speakers at concerts) – they sound like the music. And, you don’t have to sit in one spot to enjoy the music; almost anywhere they sound natural – even the next room listening through an open door! It is easiest to hear this improvement on voices since we all know what live voices actually sound like. In home theater systems, the actors sound like live people and their dialogue is clearly understood from anywhere in the room.
Our products speak for themselves. Music lovers have listened for over forty years; and commented:
…they create a reach-out-and-touch-it realism…” New York Times – Hans Fantel
…a GAS: a Great American Speaker… Stereophile – Dick Olsher
Masterpiece of the speaker designer’s art. Audio – David Clark
Using them myself is about the best endorsement I can give! Sound Advice – Don Lindich
If this review sounds like a rave, that’s because it is…. Audiogon – Phil Slepian
“But really, that’s what speakers are all about–making good sound–and these do. The Audiophile Voice – James T. Frane
“… incredible positional imaging with an excellent sense of instrumental detail. SoundStage! – Jim Causey
Ohm was founded in 1972 specifically to develop and market speakers based on Lincoln Walsh’s patented design. The first model, the Ohm A, is still considered one of the all-time best speakers ever produced. In 1981, John Strohbeen (Ohm’s president) patented a design that addressed three issues with the original speaker;
- now the stereo imaging could be heard from most listening positions,
- they can now be used near walls and
- normal amplifiers could drive the design while high power would not destroy them.
Ohm went factory-direct in 1999 and redefined the speaker line-up from the traditional good-better-best (as the price went up) to the-best-we-can-make for small, medium and large rooms. With a 120-Day Home Trial, there is no risk in getting the wrong speaker.
Today, this technology has been refined and developed to build speakers for rooms as small as 9’ x 12’ up to rooms as large as 25’ x 40’. Ohm now offers the right speakers for music and home theater. Physical layout ranges from floor-standing to wall mounted. Custom versions for center-channels and surround as well as sub-woofer for complete combined music/theater systems are available.
The History of Ohm Speaker
Milestones in Ohm’s history: Most are marked by products that lead the industry in new directions.
- The Ohm A uses an 18” driver that goes out to 20,000Hz and down to 20Hz, has 360 degree dispersion and in-time, in-phase sound reproduction.
- The Ohm L gives AR3a / Large Advent performance in a small box by optimally venting using A.N. Thiele’s concepts.
- The Ohm I proves loud and accurate were possible with a sub-woofer built into the system.
- The Ohm M & N lead the way with tiny speakers giving big box sound by matching them to a separate sub-woofer.
- Ohm Theater brings the movie theater experience home before A\V electronics with Dolby ProLogic is introduced.
- The patented Walsh 2 makes stereo-imaging available throughout the room – not just in a sweet-spot.
- The Walsh 5 becomes an international best seller as one of the world’s best speakers.
- The Walsh MK-2 series customizes for room size to give everyone the best sound possible.
- The MicroWalsh brings big speaker sound to a tiny tower speaker.
- The Ohm F5 becomes the best Ohm ever – in all respects: accuracy, frequency range, distortion and dynamic range.
Lincoln Walsh was born on Nov. 3rd, 1903 and was a brilliant engineer possessing several degrees from Brooklyn College, Stevens Institute of Technology and Columbia University. Early in his career he formed the Brook Amplifier Company and later during WW II he worked with Dr. Rudy Bozak at the Dinion Coil Company where the two of them developed high voltage power supplies for radar systems. Lincoln’s interests extended well into the field of Acoustics and Loudspeaker design. One of his greatest discoveries in this field was his invention of the “Coherent Wave Transmission Line Driver” which was patented in 1969 via.the US patent # 3,424,873. Application for this patent was actually filed in 1964.The Walsh Driver consisted of a very steeply oriented single cone driver largely made of metal foils and mounted vertically with respect to the speaker box or cabinet.This unique single driver produced coherent sound waves in a full 360 degree dispersion pattern and covered the entire audio spectrum from 20 Hz to 20KHz. Because of its unique properties, containing no multiple drivers and no crossovers, these drivers lacked time and phase distortion common in all pistonic drivers of the day and today as well. The Walsh driver is still considered by many to be one of the finest loudspeakers to date. Only the underlying physics can be improved using materials and techniques today that were not available back then.
Marty Gersten, Chief Engineer of Rectilinear interviews Lincoln Walsh on a radio show about audio that Marty hosted. Marty and his assistant, Jon Dalquist, confirm to their satisfaction that having an in-time, in-phase wave front is superior to traditional designs. Rectilinear declines to license Lincoln’s patent. (Later John forms Dalquist with a design based on these experiments.)
Marty joins with Peter Aczel (who later founds and edits Audio Critic) and three others to found Ohm Acoustics Corp to develop and market speakers based on the principles of Lincoln Walsh’s patent and receives a world-wide exclusive license for the patent.
The Ohm A, an 18” diameter inverted cone speaker almost as large as a refrigerator, is introduced to awe and accusations of fakery until people actually get their hands on them. Never before could one driver reproduce the entire audible spectrum at live listening levels with perfect 360 radiation at all frequencies. Even today, some consider the Ohm A to be the best speaker ever built – by anyone.
The Ohm B, C, D and E models are introduced. More conventional box speaker with a major innovation/improvement: The main driver reproduces most of the sound, from the lowest bass and all through the critical voice range. These drivers are designed to have a natural high frequency roll-off and have no crossover components connected to them. Only the treble is reproduced by the tweeter to give wider dispersion and higher output with a simple first-order crossover. These products support the research and development of the Walsh technology.
The Ohm F is the second Walsh patent-protected design. This is a much more user-friendly design in both size and amplifier requirements. The F receives rave reviews throughout the world with distribution on all continents except Antarctica.
The Ohm H, C2, D2, E2 and L are developed. They are among the very first to use A. N. Thiele’s woofer investigation to get the most bass out of a box. Now much deeper bass at the same efficiency and same size box was available when the whole system was designed together. This was before Richard Small extended Thiele’s work and developed the Thiele/Small parameters that dominate speaker design today. The Ohm L took the performance of the mighty AR 3a or Large Advent and stuffed it into a much, much smaller package. It received rave reviews and went on to become Ohm’s top selling speaker of all time.
Ohm G is introduced. This model combines Walsh’s patented design and Thiele’s bass design techniques to give near Ohm F performance in a much, much smaller vented box. Walsh speakers no longer have to dominate the listening room. Their full-frequency, 360 degree radiation pattern still demands critical place considerations.
The Ohm I becomes the output king with near omnidirectional radiation. Each cabinet has a built in 12”, optimally vented sub-woofer before most people knew what a sub-woofer was. To keep size down and peak-power up, even the 8” upward firing woofer was optimally vented! The Ohm I had a power rating of 1000 watts and happily accepted music peaks reaching 1500 watts. This was the peak of Disco Fever and the Ohm Is could bring the club sound to the home. These were introduced at $1550 per pair and we now sell restored ones for $2350 (when available).
The Ohm M, a tiny (~5” x 7” x 4”) metal-cabinet with a vented woofer and matching Ohm N sub-woofer are introduced to give big speaker sound from a small 3-piece system. This was far before the more popular systems that used this combination (but rarely illustrated their sub-woofers in their promotion – implying all the sound came from the tiny boxes).
In 1978 John Strohbeen becomes president of Ohm Acoustics. John had started Tech Hifi in 1964 in his dormitory room at MIT and remained as Tech’s president until leaving to join Ohm.
The Walsh 2 is introduced in 1982 to rave reviews. The NY Times says, “…they create a reach-out-and-touch-it realism…” They are voted “Speaker of the Year” by the audio press. These combine the inverted, omnidirectional extended range driver with two patented (by John) innovations that overcome many of the limitations of original designs (power handling, efficiency, placement and sweet-spot imaging) while retaining the box-free and natural sound for which the Walshs are renowned. The series was named after Lincoln Walsh to honor his concept.
The same year as the first CD players became commercially available, a new series of bookshelf speakers are introduced to bring Ohm speakers into the digital era. Our patented SubBass Activator technology (now available as a drop-in upgrade on older models) was built into the E2, L2, and C3, making each of these a step ahead of their (still more popular) predecessors.
The Walsh series grows up to the Walsh 5 Limited Edition (only 500 pairs were produced and sold worldwide for up to $15,000 per pair in Japan). Again, rave reviews from around the world. Audio magazine called it “A Masterpiece of the Speaker Designer’s Art” on the magazine’s cover. Stereophile said “The dimensions of the sound-stage stretched clear out to the sidewalls with excellent depth. …the whole end of the room appeared to come alive…”
Ohm Theater was introduced, getting 5-channel sound with five satellites and two sub-woofers from a traditional 2-Channel source. This was before Dolby Pro Logic and five channel amplifiers existed. With Ohm Theater, viewers of stereo video tapes could enjoy the “you-are-there” movie experience. They reproduced music wonderfully as well as movies.
The Coherent Audio Monitor series was introduced. These have vented woofers crossed over to 5/8” Egg Tweeters mounted on top of the cabinet. This eliminates most of the boxiness all traditional speakers suffer from, widens the sweet-spot and makes placement easier. The CAM-16 (the smallest model) is praised for its natural, accurate sound in magazines ranging from Stereophile to Consumer Reports.
The Full Room Stereo series is introduced: three box speakers with the tweeters mounted on the tip of the inner/upper corner and two models using the Walsh 2 patented designs. Like the CAMs, they provide a very wide Sweet-Sweep and virtually no boxiness. These are high-value models made in vinyl wrapped boxes in large production runs. These are mostly sold through a series of small chain stores (with over 300 outlets) owned by Tandy Name Brands, a sister company to Radio Shack; but selling name brand products.
Distribution disaster strikes. Tandy cannot profitably compete with Best Buy and Circuit City and closes the TNB division. Ohm is close to the classic position of “having all our eggs in one basket”.
Factory Direct Sales lowers prices and eliminates showrooms. With over 120,000 Ohm speaker owners in America acting as our showrooms, Ohm switches to a Factory Direct sales mode.
· Prices are slashed as the dealer margin is eliminated.
· A 120-Day Home Trial program is instituted to assure everyone is a happy Ohm owner.
· The product lineup is redesigned: changing from good-better-best to the best-we-can-make for small, medium and large room.
· Facilities are downsized but production is maintained in Brooklyn with some of our very first workers. The average length on the job exceeds 20 years – everybody knows what they are doing.
Ohm regains profitability within two years and stays in the black even in the Great Recession.
The MicroWalsh series is introduced. This tiny, six inch square column produces Full Room Stereo with the naturalness unavailable before from such a small system. Again, rave reviews follow including receiving the “…6moons’ Blue Moon Award for transcending class and expectations…” They become popular in A\V systems because they can produce audiophile music with a wide Sweet-Sweep, intelligible dialogue throughout the room and dramatic movie effects when supplemented with a suitable sub-woofer.
The Walsh Tall Series is evolutionary not revolutionary; but does set some records: They have the widest dispersion and most extended treble of any Ohm speaker. The inner-detail is finer, producing a more precise sound-scape. The dynamic range of each size is increased so you can get higher peaks from the same size box.
The Ohm F5 becomes the best Ohm ever – in every respect: accuracy, imaging, frequency response and dynamic range. They go deeper, can play louder and present a more realistic stereo image than any prior Ohm.