i have ohm supper 5 prototype they are the biggest speakers ohm has ever made they stand over 5' tall and have 12" walsh driver the bass is very low i don't know if i can get these upgraded and i am afraid to find out how much it would cost but i think i will need to have them done someday. harpsichord sounds great i also have have sound cylinders and c2 used to have walsh 4s and d2s does anyone think these would be worth money ?
Walsh 5LE upgraded with new 5000 series drivers purchased December of 2010.
I recently purchased a W5.5000 upgrade from Ohm Acoustics for my 1998 vintage Walsh 5LE speakers and wanted to share the experience with you.
In a word: WOW!
I don’t know what the folks at Ohm did to make the driver improvements but they surely did knocked it out of the ballpark with the changes.
First, the expansion of the soundstage is remarkable. The speakers have simply disappeared in a sonic sense. All I hear now is a wall of sound in front of me. There’s no hint at where the speakers may be.
Secondly, the improvement in midrange clarity is striking. I can easily pick out individual instruments and details I never heard before. Vocals are crisp, clear and utterly transparent.
Third, I can now easily pick out where individual elements are in the sound field where before they were somewhat indistinct.
Fourth, the improvement in the low end is great. I’ve been able to substantially dial back the level of assistance from my subwoofer. Low bass was always there before but it lacked a palpable component that I used the subwoofer to provide. You could hear the low bass but not feel it very distinctly. No more. The bass from is now tight, palpable and crisp from the 5s without any assistance or supplement.
Moreover, I can now even hear the distinct differences in audio mixing and engineering between various CDs and SACDs which is a totally new facet of listening to the 5s. And I’m getting all this without the drivers being fully broken in yet. They have nowhere to go but up.
The best part is that I’m getting an emotional thrill out of listening to updated speakers because they reproduce music in such a fantastic way. Listening to them sends a tingle up my spine - a good thing to be sure.
About the only downside to this upgrade was getting it installed.
Let’s just say the 5LE cabinets were built to last, which is a good thing. But that substantial construction made installing the upgrade a challenge. I ended up destroying the crossover and switch panels getting them removed from the cabinets. They were glued and stapled in place quite well. But once I got them out of the way the rest went pretty easily. Jockeying the new terminal boards into place before the hot glue set was something of a challenge because there isn’t much to grab on to in order to hold them in place while the glue sets. But I managed it.
Ohm recommends using hot glue to mount the new terminal boards. However, using a moderate bead of a construction adhesive like Liquid Nails instead may work as well or better. Just be sure to use a continuous bead of the adhesive of choice to guarantee an airtight seal.
After that, the rest was pretty straight forward and a totally plug and play effort with the new drivers fitting right in place of the old drivers.
The last issue was that the original W5LE speaker grills didn’t fit around the new drivers. Specifically, they didn’t clear the driver can mounting flange on the driver mounting board. However, I discovered that the grills on my F300 Omni rear channel speakers did fit. They had the scallops taken out of the base frame to clear the flange. I ended up swapping the grills since the W5LE grills fit perfectly on the F300s. So, if you decide to tackle this upgrade to your W5s be aware you’ll probably need a new set of grills to go with the upgrade unless you’re equipped to modify the grills you have. Fortunately for me I didn’t need to. In the end, the upgrade was worth all the effort and every penny I paid.
I’m glad Ohm came up with these new drivers and even more grateful that Ohm offers upgrades to older speakers when it would be just as easy to try and steer customer into buying new. That alone set Ohm apart from a lot of the competition. Factor the new Ohm sound into the equation and Ohm simply rocks.
This review is for the Ohm Walsh 4 which is the 1st in line down from the 5. I recently came across a for-sale post on Craigslit that I could not pass. A pair of mint Ohm Walsh 4 with a company rebuilt drivers. The owner was the original owner and had all paper work and even sales sheets and review sheets that came from the factory,
I have heard of Ohm speakers before but never has had a chance to listen to them. I always was curios about them due to their weird technology and appearance. I have owned many speakers in my life. I'm a 50 years old audiophile on a budget so I always buy 2nd hand and then resell and mostly even makes some money so it is a healthy hobby of mine. Like I said I have owned the following speakers and listen to much, much more at friends homes, stores and trade shows. I have owned, Magnepan MMGs, Klipsch La Scalla, Fore I, KLF 20, Altec VOTT Valenica, Electro-Voice Emprie, 15TRX Mark II, PSB Image 5t, Phase Tech Tearo 7, Pioneer HPM 100, Many other Pioneer 70th speakers and Sansui, Boston VR975, NHT Monitors, AR3, ADS 770, and listen to many high end speakers like B&W 800 and others.
With that said I can tell you that when I first time I hooked to my Fisher 500C tube receiver and listen to them my jaw drop, couldn't believe to what I hear coming from those cylinders shape speakers. I have a pair of headphones, the famous Sony MDR V6 that are my reference due to their linear production. Pure and simple you hear what was recorded, good and bad. The Ohm Walsh were the closes I ever had speakers to sound like my reference MDR-V6. Moving from the headphone to the speaker I would have not even tell what playing if not the ovius contact of the headphones to my head. First time ever! Never had a speakers that sound that close to the MDR-V6.
What is really amazing about those speakers are the veriety of music that play with ease. I had speakers that was great in vocal and Jazz but suck in Rock or pop. The Ohm just play everything that you through at them with ease. Another thing I had speakers like horn loaded that sound live and forward (which I really love) but you get an ear fatigue quickly as well.
The Walsh is very smooth and amazingly detailed. The bass is trumendos, tight, and literally make your subwoofer useless.
The first time ever I lost the need to listen to something else. It is like I found my nirvana. (bad for business if you also make some money with your hobby). I can only wish I would have find them sooner. I highly recommend them.
This is a review of the latest iteration of the classic Walsh 5 loudspeakers [“W5s”], the “series 3” henceforth herein called the “W5-S3s.” I had reviewed the W5s back on March 8, 1999 for this website. I have been immensely happy with the W5s all these years; however, several months ago, I noted some flapping sounds when driving them with (admittedly loud) 16-20Hz organs pedals(!). I suspected driver suspension/surround failure or misalignment due to driver mechanical drift after thousands of hours of perfect performance. Prompted by a fear of sudden mechanical failure (and the withdrawal effects from the loss of my W5s), coupled with curiosity about what the newer Ohm drivers might sound like after 20 years of R&D, I called Ohm Acoustics. John Strohbeen informed me that he was putting the finishing touches on the latest and greatest W5 drivers, the series 3 [S3], scheduled for market sometime in 2006. I could, for about $3000, purchase the W5-S3 head units and pop them onto my Walsh cabinets (with minor mods to the cabinets). Frankly, I was skeptical that the new drivers could sound better than my beloved W5s, let alone $3000 worth of improvement, and I was afraid that if I was disappointed with the W5-S3s, that conversion back would be a pain! John indulged my reservations and suggested W5-S3 head unit drivers with the binding posts built in, so only the cabinet port mod (which is easily reversible) would be needed when switching between the W5 and W5-S3 drivers for listening comparisons. We agreed and several months later, the new drivers arrived, packaged to withstand any abuse, double-boxed and padded so as the thwart the best efforts of the UPS (pronounced OOPS) gorillas, in perfect condition and working order and with the binding posts professionally installed. The units appeared solidly and smartly built. Switching these new W5-S3 units with the W5s, and the port mod insert, took all of 5 minutes. I resisted listening to them before performing a pre-break in of 12 hours of wideband Bach organ music at moderate (~80 db) volumes, followed by same material at high (~90-95 db) for 12 hours. On Saturday morning, serious listening began. Frankly, I was stunned by the improvement in sound quality. Yes, the huge soundstage, the holographic imaging, the clean non-fatiguing sound, and the wide sweet-spot and the amazing disappearing act performed by Walsh speakers: all these were instantly apparent. But, there were dramatic improvements. First, the noise floor has been reduced to near blackness. The W5-S3s reproduce more detail than the W5s. They depict every nuance, every microdynamic of the musical line. The hall acoustic and space between performers is far more evident. Vocalists have amazing presence and every manner of breathing, chest/throat resonance and articulation can be heard – very up close and personal. Dialog comprehension is perfect. This detail retrieval far surpasses the W5s – though voices are never artificially spotlighted – their sound is vivid, natural and perfectly placed within the context of the wonderfully coherent soundstage. The orchestral image is somewhat larger, as stings are now closer and sit at eye/ear level just behind the speakers. The rear of the orchestra is further back and less foreshortened. Images routinely extend well beyond the W5-S3s laterally and well beyond the rear walls of my listening room. The soundstage is huge – an impressive sense of air and space. On well-recorded CDs, you are there – these speakers create such presence. If the original W5s had a somewhat reticent and polite midrange, the W5-S3 midrange is incredibly vivid and alive – it breaths – what a difference for the better. The sound is pure electrostat and Quad-like – detailed, delicate and utterly free of noise and distortion and oh so coherent – quite an achievement. There is absolutely not the slightest hint that what you are hearing is emanating from box/cabinet. The W5-S3s project a perfect depiction of the acoustic space and performers within, superimposed upon and obscuring the room boundaries like some impossibly realistic sonic hologram. The W5-S3 have superior dynamics and better snap – subito fortes startle. On low level passages and small ensembles, they sound like tiny little studio monitors with their intimate detailed presentation whilst the acoustic space remains immense – a split second later they can project a fortissimo orchestral tutti with stunning power and authority that energizes every air molecule in the room. Every instrumental voice is clearly delineated. Unison sections are depicted as distinct voices seated side by side (i.e. when the horns play unison, horns 1-4 are distinctly voiced, the slightest differences in attack, intonation, tone and phrasing distinguish them). Massed strings are depicted lifelike, bowing, rosin and all. When the strings bow in unison, you feel the subsonics of the stair floor flexing. The W5-S3 effortlessly project the power and artistry of a symphony orchestra at full tilt – quite hair raising – major goose bumps factor. At loud volumes – they remain detailed and unrestrained – there is simply no audible distortion or compression – absolutely no fatigue after hours of listening. The W5-S3 never run out of steam. And the bass: holy cow! I still cannot believe the bass output of these W5-S3. The bass is tighter, louder and lower than the W5’s, easily flat to 20Hz. Bass drum whacks sound like a Howitzer firing. The entire room is energized, the floor seeming to bend and ripple, my chest thumped. There seemed no limit to the bottom extension. More amazing was the complete perceived lack of energy storage: whilst playing subsonic bass, the midbass and above remained completely transparent and clean. The bass would stop on a dime – instantly –not the slightest hint of overhang. The grip the W5-S3 maintained on the bottom octaves was like some massive steel vise – just jaw dropping. And, the W5-S3 are more efficient than the power-hungry W5s. Similar musical calisthenics on the W5s would cause the humongous heat fins on my Sumo Andromeda II beasties (400W per channel into 4 Ohms – high current over-built Mosfets) to get hot to the touch, and I had blown more than one power rail fuse on a room-shaking drum whack. Running the W5-S3s hard for hours couldn’t even get the amp fins warm – huh? – I was completely surprised by this seeming violation of the laws of physics. I must attribute this improved efficiency to the massive neodymium motors of the main drivers with their vastly greater magnet flux densities (vis-à-vis ceramic or alnico). The W5-S3s are an achievement in superlative sound reproduction. With their gorgeous airy top, their palpable you-are-there breathing pulsing midrange, to a bass that is otherworldly in power, extension and vise-like control, the their amazing disappearing act within the huge soundstage they project, I would stack them against any loudspeaker available today at any price. The W5-S3s manage to give you a spacious and completely coherent and transparent soundstage with life-like 3D imaging, a distortion-less completely non-fatiguing sound and unrestrained dynamics. They do it all – and virtually perfectly. But, that this is accomplished with a single crossover-less full-range driver (the tweeter is only used to fill in the very top octave above 8 kHz) that is flat and coherent from 20Hz to 20kHz is extraordinary. To the W5 owners out there: I urge you to upgrade to the W5-S3s - you really don’t know what you are missing. To everyone else: the W5-S3s are the very best loudspeaker I have ever heard – I truly believe there is no other loudspeaker with the collective attributes of these amazing sound transducers. Congratulations to John Strohbeen and his team at Ohm Acoustics for a hitting a veritable acoustic grand slam – the Walsh 5 Series 3 is a masterpiece!
This review is for the F-5s, which are Walsh 5 Mk-II drivers on F cabinets which produce the same sound as the 5s, but bass down to "only" 25hz rather than 20hz. I first heard an Ohm Walsh speaker in 1985 while walking through an audio shop in a mall. I heard a Joni Mitchell CD playing through Walsh 2's, and it was so realistic it sounded to me like she was in the room. I'll never forget that experience. The next year I purchased a pair of Walsh 4's which I lived happily with for 15 years, when I upgraded to the Walsh 200 Mk-II drivers--same character but smoother, more refined top end. When Ohm had a sale of Ohm F-5's last year, I traded the upgraded 4's in for the F-5s, so the price quoted is including trade-in (a serious bargain). I have never heard a speaker that can come close to the ability of these speakers in re-creating a sense of the original recording space in the room. Big, spacious sound, very smooth top to bottom (very low bottom) with fantastic imaging. The sweet spot is fairly broad, and so speaker placement isn't as critical as with other speakers. In fact you can still perceive the image walking around the room. (With some jazz recordings, it sounds like you're in a club). They're great speakers if you like organ music but also wonderful with acoustic guitar or chamber ensembles. With well recorded classical (like early Mercury Living Presence, the Columbia Bruno Walters stereo recordings, RCA Living Stereo CSO/Szell) or classic jazz like Miles Davis' Kind of Blue, the sensation of the actual presence of the performers in the room is uncanny. My friends are amazed. Some friends watched The Fellowship of the Ring with me using the 5s (two channel mode), and they thought the sound was better than in the theater (no center channel speaker needed, the imaging is so good). I am puzzled why Ohm's speakers are so little mentioned in today's audio press because the few times they have been they've received very glowing reviews. The original 5's received a high recommendation in Stereophile from Dick Olsher who remarked on their excellent imaging, and said that they "compete very well with the best dynamic designs money can buy. Soundstaging is another strength and at their best the 5s can set up a very palpable illusion of the original performing space. . . . it is one of the few dynamic speakers that my jaded electrostic taste buds could live with." More recently, Kenneth Duke, in a review in the Sensible Sound of the Walsh 300 Mk-II's (5's without the room adjustment controls), commented on their "marvelous you-are-there" imaging and said they "join the ranks of the two or three other expensive speakers that I can strongly recommend." If it's not obviouos from my comments, I agree 100% with these reviewers. A caveat: they're very accurate speakers and so are ruthless on bad recordings (esp.early digital) and need a fair amount of power (100 watts-plus into 4 ohms) and so to sound their best they need a good quality signal source and high quality amplification.(They sound okay with mid-fi--I had a Carver amp with my original 4s--but with high quality gear their amazing capabilities come out). I'm currently running them with Musical Fidelity A3cr pre- and power amps, Musical Fidelity A3CD with A324 upsampling DAC through MIT MI-330 Plus S3 interconnects, and MIT MH-750 Plus S3 speaker cables. With the current set-up I am not overstating when I say they sound fabulous! I can't afford to spend $20-30K on a sound system and short of that I don't know how it could get better than what I have with the MF gear and the Walsh 5's. A final note: John Strohbeen of Ohm is a pleasure to deal with.