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You Can Aim Ohm's Egg-Shaped Tweeter Enclosures

Saturday, August 19, 1989 CAM/PRO-32
Publisher: Chicago Tribune | Author: Rich Warren

How do you like your eggs? Ohm Acoustics recommends them over easy at 45 degrees.

No, this hard-boiled stereo writer hasn`t cracked. Ohm mounts the three-fourths-inch dome tweeter of its CAM 32 speaker system in an egg-shaped enclosure that swivels. The company refers to it in its manual as “The Egg.“ The plug-in egg tweeter comes wrapped separately from the woofer enclosure. The black CAM 32 woofer enclosure stands almost 2 feet high and about a foot wide and deep, housing a 6 1/2-inch woofer and a 10-inch passive radiator. The latter is a dummy woofer that reinforces the bass.

Ohm bevels the enclosure edges for a rather unusual appearance. Because the tweeter plugs into the top of the enclosure, the speaker must be used in an upright position.

Ohm says the egg-shaped housing is the optimum shape for radiation of high frequencies into a broad area. A widely accepted theory suggests that a tweeter should have the smallest possible mounting baffle.

As a practical matter, the egg tweeter permits acoustically tuning the speakers` treble response. Aim the eggs toward your listening position to increase the high frequencies; point them more toward each other to decrease the highs. Pointing them inward also increases the apparent size of the stereo stage. Slightly rotating a single egg adjusts balance, helping to center the image. The overall effect from the egg tweeters is a broader stereo listening area than that of most speakers.

Ohm also notes that the eggs make possible unconventional speaker placement, such as having the enclosures face each other from opposite walls but rotating the eggs to face the listener. The eggs do not pivot up and down, so if you place the speaker on the floor you should prop up the front of the enclosure. This angles the tweeter slightly upward.

The egg tweeter is one of the more worthwhile gimmicks to come along. The CAM 32 speakers do reproduce a rather open, airy sound with a wide stereo image. Careful aiming of the eggs is required to avoid a diffuse image. The apparent position of voices becomes rather vague if you turn the eggs too far inward.

Ultimately, the CAM 32 sounds a bit hollow. The nebulous bass is not satisfying. The CAM 32 speakers will play quite loudly without distorting but lack authority. The CAM 32 faces stiff competition at its $400-per-pair price, but the flexibility of its tweeter and its positioning in the room keep it in the running. The Ohm eggs may not make the perfect souffle, but the sound is far from scrambled.