REVIEW: Ohm Acoustics Corp. 1000 Speakers
Model: 1000 Category: Speakers Suggested Retail Price: $2000 Description: Walsh tower speaker Manufacturer URL: Ohm Acoustics Corp.
Review by mlsstl on October 19, 2018 at 18:02:30
IP Address: 188.8.131.52
I owned a pair of the original Ohm Fs back in the mid 1970s and they’ve been in the back recesses of my mind ever since. I did a home audition of the Ohm 200s back in 2003 and they didn’t quite capture what I remembered – an incredible ability to eerily float a realistic image in space without having one’s head locked in a vice.
This summer, I thought I’d give Ohm another try and ordered a set of Ohm 1000s. I’ve had them for just over a month now and thought I’d weigh in with a first report.
The speakers arrived in good shape and were easy to set up. Over the first few weeks, I experimented with position to find the best spot within the limited range I had available. I also had one issue with some upper vocal range stridency which turned out not to be the speaker itself or positioning, but rather the back panel of the flat screen TV in between the speakers. Apparently the extra output to the side from the quasi-omni radiation of the Walsh driver excited a resonance in this panel as the volume increased. The problem was solved with the use of some Siless adhesive sound deadening panels on the back of the TV.
I listen to a wide variety of music. My reference point is unamplified acoustic instruments and voice. If a speaker reproduces these in a natural fashion, then I’m happy with everything else. These speakers are simply impressive on an all-around basis.
The most favorable of my first impressions is that the Ohm 1000s make me feel like I’ve had the shackles removed that kept me pinned to a small sweet spot when I wanted to do serious listening. It is simply marvelous to be able to move about the room or sit in different spots and have he music continue to image like a live ensemble, without the 3-D qualities disappearing or changing unnaturally.
I used to tell myself that when I’m listening seriously, I sit quietly in the one small sweet spot, and if I’m not there, then I’m just listening casually and imaging didn’t matter. I think I’ve been cheating myself with that view.
The other strong point is that acoustic instruments, and vocals in particular, are extemely well voiced. They are natural and accurate sounding. This, in combination with the big sweet spot, makes the sonic image float eerily independent of the speakers – very nice.
One does need to experiment with the position of the speakers in the room. The quasi-omni radiation interacts with the room (and objects in it as noted above) differently than conventional front-firing speakers. Often a few inches one way or the other makes a big difference.
Now that they are set up and broken in, I’ve yet to find a good recording that doesn’t excel on these speakers. Murray Parahia playing Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 1 gave a lifelike presentation of a full orchestra in a spacious hall, and piano’s percussive nature is beautifully presented. Imaging is stable left to right, and there is also a good sense of a front to rear depth. Obviously, things vary with the recording at hand – the speakers do not fix poor recordings – but that is an unrealistic expectation. And, if poor recordings were “fixed”, that means good recordings would not be presented correctly.
Acoustic instruments are amazingly realistic – steel string guitars, trumpets, saxes, strings and other instruments are lifelike. Drums, which are notoriously difficult to record well (and in balance with the rest of the recording), are presented with impact when well done. Acoustic folk recordings, whether Peter, Paul and Mary or Eliza Gilkyson, have the singer in the room with you. Choral music, such as the Thomas Tallis Scholars is stunning; you feel like you’re in a cathedral with them. Rock ‘n Roll is all there, and the speakers crank up nicely to a higher volume.
These speakers are somewhat power hungry and do like a bit of current, though at 6 ohms do not present a terribly difficult load.
All in all, if you are looking for an all-around great speaker at a reasonable price, these are worth checking out. The folks at Ohm are easy to get ahold of and their low key approach is appreciated. They are a direct-sale product only, but they do offer a 120 day home trial. You are only out the shipping cost if you return them.
Product Weakness: Finding the best placement can take some experimentation and time. Product Strengths: Accurate and natural presentation of music with an enormous sweet spot. Surprisingly deep bass but not thumpy.
Associated Equipment for this Review:
Amplifier: Bel Canto C5i Preamplifier (or None if Integrated): None Sources (CDP/Turntable): Squeezebox Touch Speakers: Ohm 1000 Cables/Interconnects: Ordinary wire Music Used (Genre/Selections): Various Room Size (LxWxH): 13 x 14 x 10 Type of Audition/Review: Product Owner