Ohm Ohm WALSH 300 Mk-3 Floorstanding Speakers

Ohm Ohm WALSH 300 Mk-3 Floorstanding Speakers 


Floor standing, full range, omni-directional loudspeaker.


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[Mar 13, 2007]


Coherent and neutral tonal character from top to bottom. Excellent bass extension and drive when properly positioned. Seamless super-tweeter integration. Omni-directional dispersion pattern of the Walsh driver eliminates the 'head-in-a-vise', 1" diameter sweet-spot audiophile rite of passage. Why put up with 'sitting like a stone statue' nonsense to hear the best your rig can deliver when a true 360 degree dispersion loudspeaker design such as the Ohm Walsh is available and affordable? Careful room placement is mandatory, but when the right spot is found the W300S3s will produce a wide and deep soundstage with well recorded material.

The W300S3s are mounted on casters, making fine adjustment of room position and moving the loudspeakers for cleaning a snap. Even if I had carpet spikes for my W300S3s, I wouldn't use them.


The only minor quibble I have with the W300S3s is the higher than typical listening height necessary to put the super-tweeter on-axis with the ear where the tonal balance of the system is optimum.

The W300S3s require a powerful, high current delivery, high-damping factor power amplifier to really sing.

My pair of Walsh 300 Mk-3s required hundreds of hours of break-in before the drivers stabilized for best performance. Exercise patience and take full advantage of the 120-day in-home trial period. Your reward will be sonic excellence that can't be equalled for 2 or 3 times the price of the W300S3s.

This review is specific to the Walsh 300 Mk-3 (or S3) with the newest Series 3 driver. I have owned my pair for ~5 months and have come to know and love this product. Let me first point out to all potential Ohm buyers that Ohm allows a 120-day in-home trial period. I personally know of no other manufacturer offering such a liberal in-home audition policy.

I purchased my pair in November 2006. I still recall to this day calling Ohm to check on the status of my pair - to my surprise John Stohbeen, President of Ohm, answered. He was in the process at that time of fine tuning my pair of drivers. That is the only time in 20+ years as a serious high-ender I've spoken directly to the President of a manufacturer who was also engaged hands-on in dialing in my personal pair of new loudspeakers. Being new to the Ohm customer base, I now know why so many Ohm owners are fanactically loyal to the product and the company.

Sonically, I find the new S3 driver to be tonally coherent from top to bottom. Ohm crosses the Walsh driver over to a super-tweeter in the top end. To my ears, when heard on the tweeter axis, the transition is well-nigh seamless with the exception that the super-tweeter is directional whereas the Walsh driver is omni-directional. The only nit I have to pick with the W300S3 in this entire review is the supertweeter axis height, which is on the high side for the typical seated listener.

Ohm comes across as almost apologetic about the deep bass capability of the S3. Perhaps this is because of the reputation previous iterations of the Walsh driver have had for prodigious bass extension and drive. I've found after much experimentation the W300S3s to be quite sensitive to room placement. When properly positioned, the W300S3s produce to my satisfaction tonally accurate and deep bass response. No, the W300S3 will not generate the fundamental of a 32-foot pipe with authority, but few loudspeakers with anything short a stratospheric price tag will. Suffice it to say I have no complaints whatsoever about the bass drive of W300S3.

Voicing of the W300S3 is neutral. Ohm is to be commended for resisting the temptation to play the usual psycho-acoustic tricks with the tonal balance of the driver. I detect no mid-bass bump, upward sloping high frequency brightness, or any other obvious tonal deviation. I find the W300S3 to be tonally honest. For me the acid test is a good small scale orchestral recording (e.g. chamber music on period instruments). I find the W300S3 simply sounds right, no more, no less. With jazz material, particularly vibraphone and well recorded Hammond B3 organ, the image and tonal structure as reproduced by the W300S3 is as fine as I've ever heard reproduced in my home.

The W300S3s I've found through experience to be power hungry. In my moderately large room the W300S3s taxed the poor McIntosh MA6500 integrated I originally used to the limit of its power delivery capability. I've since substituted a Bryston 4B-SST power amplifier for the MA6500. The 4B-SST is an excellent match providing all the current drive and bottom end control the W300S3s need. From my experience, those contemplating purchase of the W300S3s should keep in mind the need for clean solid-state power and plenty of it.

A final observation about break-in of the W300S3s. The W300S3s are the 1st product from Ohm I've owned and lived with. I had no expectation from past experience regarding how short, or long, the break-in period might be before the W300S3s settled into optimal performance. The W300S3s are a study in patience and audiophile endurance. Fresh out of the carton the W300S3s came across as somewhat recessed and dark. It took hundreds of hours (~500 hrs by my reckoning) of daily normal use before the Walsh S3 drivers finally opened up and performed to full potential. But remember the 120-day audition period Ohm offers to every new Ohm Walsh owner to properly run-in the drivers, to experiment with room placement and treatment, and to swap components and cables to find a system configuration that extracts the best performance from a pair of Ohm Walsh loudspeakers in the home. I reiterate that I know of no other high-end audio manufacturer providing a similar in-home audition benefit.

Similar Products Used:

Aerial Acoustics, Silverline Audio, Paradigm Signature, Audio Concepts Inc., Magneplanar, Harbeth, Spendor

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