I wanted to provide a reality check to the review above. I was severely disappointed by these speakers, considering the price. Big hole in the sound, which was made slightly better by standing. Primary complaint is that speakers never sounded natural. Boxy, muffled sound, like they were playing behind a closed door. Drums were unnatural, guitar sounded more like ukulele. Good imaging and separation between instruments -- those are really the only strenghts in terms of sound quality.
In terms of fit/finish, outstanding. Probably the best looking speaker I've owned, or could own. 10/10 on looks, walnut finish, build quality. Grills never arrived from vendor -- twice, even after a second order for them.
Ran speakers with two mid-fi hybrid tube amps, one Bob Latino ST-70 clone, and a vintage solid state receiver. Tried various speaker cables. Experimented with room placement. Couldn't get over the lack of proper tone/timbre to my ears.
I'm curious if I'm just the minority report, so hope others post reviews. For that amount of money, audition first, or because that is practically impossible, vendors should offer 30-day money back guarantee if these speakers are so good. I bet the higher end models by Blumenhofer Acoustics are much better (especially the horn models).
I bought a pair of FJ OMs earlier this year to replace a pair of Aerial Acoustics Model 5B monitors (which I also reviewed). The FJs have all the characteristics I liked in the Aerials - smoothness, detail, great transient handling, clarity and musicality - plus the stronger low bass response that only a floor-standing speaker (or possibly a subwoofer) can provide (I was basically happy with the Aerials but wanted more bass, and decided to buy floor-standers rather than mess around adjusting a subwoofer). The OMs go down to about 40 Hz, while the Aerials bottom out at about 60 Hz. I listen mostly to baroque and classical music, and I find that the difference in bass response shows up in richer string tones (especially cellos), greater impact in piano music and percussion, and (no surprise!) much greater realism when playing organ music. The OMs have very slightly less "air" or sparkle in the treble than do the Aerials, but they don't sound any less natural or realistic because the overall tonal balance is so smooth and the speakers handle detail and ambience so well.
The OMs are somewhat unusual in design - they are very short (about 28 inches high) and they're wider at the bottom than the top, so that the front baffle slopes rearward. The woofer is mounted on top of the cabinet and fires upward while the tweeter sits at the top of the front baffle, firing forward. Despite facing in different directions, the woofer and tweeter blend perfectly, and the upward diffusion of sound produces a very wide and well-defined image. When I close my eyes I get the illusion of sitting in a concert hall far bigger than my living room, and the image is very stable; I don't need to sit in a specific "sweet spot" to experience it.
Like the Aerials, the OMs are sealed (acoustic suspension) speakers. The lack of a port gives both speakers very tightly defined, clear and articulate bass, and makes them very flexible with regard to positioning. They work well in small listening rooms like mine, and can be placed fairly close to back walls without sounding boomy or thick - a real advantage when you don't have a lot of space to work with. The OMs are also beautifully made, with cabinets built from solid plywood rather than the more common MDF, covered with fine wood veneer (cherry, in this case; you can also get walnut and maple). The front corners are chamfered and covered with an attractive laminate that looks like exposed plywood layers and makes the cabinet look even narrower and more compact than it really is. The speakers blend into the decor nicely and don't dominate the room - a distinct advantage for me, since my wife is not an audio enthusiast and just barely tolerates having the system in the living room. Even she thought the OMs looked pretty nice.
To sum up, I would describe the sound of the OMs as extremely smooth, natural and musical without sacrificing detail. They come closer to the sound of live music than anything else I've heard in this price range, and are better than some far more expensive speakers I've auditioned. They are wonderfully musical, completely non-fatiguing to listen to and delightful in every way. They are pretty expensive by my standards (although not especially costly in high-end audio terms) but worth every cent. Buying them was a financial stretch for me but I consider it money well spent.
NOTE: These speakers are somewhat hard to find; FJ is a small company based in Germany and only a handful of audio shops carry their speakers in the U.S. Hudson Audio Imports in New Jersey seems to be their sole U.S. importer although I think they supply some retailers in other parts of the country. I found out about the OMs through a review on 6Moons which mentioned Hudson Audio. I bought mine directly from Hudson because, by sheer luck, they are located fairly close to my home.
My tonearm(s) are level.
Both the 5E tips I got are slightly bottoming out occassionally on imperfect (mildly warped or noncentered hole) records or if I just hit stop/play when set to the "optimal" 1.75 grams. Is that normal? I'm not sure if it's affecting the sound, or not, but I can see th ... Read More »
MINT condition Mirage OM-C2 omnipolar center channel. One of the finest centers ever made and hard to find now. The driver complement consists of a tweeter/mid-bass combo centered both on the front baffle and again on the rear. To the extreme right of the front baffle is the passive radiator, and on ... Read More »
I am having a little dilema with speaker purchasing here. I'm not sure what to do. All three of these are excellent but in the end there must be only one, or two.......no only one pair! By the three choices I'm sure you can tell my tastes in a speaker, anyways I value your input so lay it on me!Read More »
I am looking to get back in to the speaker thing, this time I want them to be powered by a tube amp of sort. probably a small Manely mahi type.
well which would be better for music, I want to setup a music room with a nad542 (its on its way now) and tube amp, or pair of mono-blocks and either the ... Read More »