Ohm Walsh F Floorstanding Speakers

Walsh F

Walsh Speaker

User Reviews (32)

Showing 1-10 of 32  
ImpeachTrump   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 09, 2017]

Do not buy these today!!!!

According to the engineers at Ohm these speakers all need repairs now as parts degrade and rot over time and there is no proper way to repair them.

Do not pay a lot of money for broken speakers!

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1
VALUE
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1
gail summers   AudioPhile [Aug 24, 2017]

I had worked in a high end Audio store in Manhassat, Long Island, NY for many years since 1975. The OHM-F's were simply the best speakers you could buy... bar none. I never heard of any complaints like the "audio dealer" represented below. Never heard any complaints with customers or our service dept. For many years after dozens of customers had asked about this speaker remembering as the fineat they ever heard. They were always front and center in our listening showroom. My opinion is , if it weren't for the rubber seals drying out over time, they would still be unmatched even up against todays 2017 speakers... In fact especially up against todays newer "speakers". German Physics sells a updated version of the OHM-F today for $33,000 per pair!

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5
VALUE
RATING
5
musicmasters   AudioPhile [Sep 06, 2015]

10 years later and my Sophia's have been moved to another room after owning the Ohh F

OVERALL
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5
VALUE
RATING
5
vintagfan12   AudioPhile [Sep 06, 2015]

I have been a Hi/Fi dealer for a little over 35 years and have never come across a pair of speakers at any price that can do "certain" thing the ohm F can do..Peter Aczel had very little to do with the Ohm F and was all Marty Gerstan thank goodness..The quad ESL is nowhere as special as the the Ohm F...the Fs draw back were you need the correct gear and specs..the voice coil needed to be improved and even held back the speaker for even more performance....always good to pickup a spare set of drivers/voice coils and enjoy

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RATING
5
VALUE
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5
Robert Bashaw   AudioPhile [May 20, 2015]

I was an audio dealer for about 20 years (please don't hold that against me). Intensive therapy has allowed me to reenter the land of the living even so you may find it strange that I still love music and usually listen daily.
The Ohm F is one of those unique audio products that defines the notion of a contradiction in terms. Lincoln Walsh (a really brilliant guy) envisioned a speaker that would operate full range using a single driver. In his design,a voice coil energized a precise crafted vertically positioned cone so that sound waves would travel down the sides of the cone and be emitted at a right angle to the listener.(so far so good) But as the driver (a rather heavy affair) tried to go into it's the bass range it started to bounce up and down (much like the old jet action washers of my youth). This cone having a fair amount of mass, rang like a bell modulating both the low and high frequencies alike. Peter Aczel ( of the Audio Critic) admitted he was invovled in the design of the speaker, and stated that the designers tried to reduce the problem by cutting horizontal slits in the bottom half of the cone, thus calming things down a bit. Alas it didn't work. If you want to look at the diametrically opposite of this speaker look to the original Quad Electrostatic, a work of considerable brilliance by Peter Walker, that succeeds in almost all areas. ( I never heard the Ohm A, but it may have been even worse since it's cone was even larger). I repeatedly had to deal with this speaker (the F) and always walked away dismayed. I think only the Yamaha 1000's were as bad with it's beryllium dome midrange and tweeter!

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1
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1
DJGonzo   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 07, 2012]


First heard these 30 years ago, and never forgot them, have had a good pair for 15 years and tried many many dozens of other speakers against them

I agree with all of the reviews about these speakers, they need a good 4 ohm amp, they are heavy, they have to be moved around a bit to find the sweet spot..................but once you do.

Your search for speakers will have ended as the OHM-F's are still simply among the best in the world.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Ajaye   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 18, 2011]

You know, it really pleases me to see all of the reviews that have been listed here regarding the old legendary, if you will, Ohm Walsh F's. While I have never heard the F's, I have heard a set of A's a number of years ago in the living room of my uncle, Bob Ajaye. From what I remember, the A's were substantial in everything they did. i mean, big heavy speaker in a rather large cabinet and sound for days! Also, completely unconventional when you consider it on construction and functionality alone.

I'll be sure to pass along this pages URL to my uncle the next time that I speak with him about how his A's are and have been holding up over the years. You know, I might even get him to participate in few of the forums. Time will definitely tell.

Thanks again,

Lee Ajaye

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RATING
5
VALUE
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5
bill   Audio Enthusiast [Oct 10, 2010]

These speakers are simply among the finest speakers in the world. If they are in good condition they will rival any current speaker by any manufacturer at any cost. HHRExotic speakers are the ONLY knowledgeable source that is rebuilding/remaking these speakers.

I have 2 pair of the original speakers, one HHR Exotic repro and one of the newer Walsh Ohm Acoustics models. The best sounding speakers are the HHR's followed very closely by the older OHM F's. Which are in good shape.

No other speaker at any cost can rival a good pair of these. Period.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
TFW50   AudioPhile [Jul 08, 2007]
Strength:

Omnidirectional, phase coherent, clear sound, detailed, full-range (without crossovers to affect sound), and fast response time to impacts (drums, wood blocks, triangles, etc.).

Rating is relative, based on product used at that time. Later Ohm products improved even more.

Weakness:

Needs powerful amp, but well worth it. Sounds better in a larger room, not 10x10 bedroom. Power handling is limited, but I enjoyed it at reasonably loud levels with no problems, and the speaker is fuse-protected. Larger size than "bookshelf" speaker, prefers available room around speaker.

Introduced to Ohm Acoustics by another friend who had bought Ohm A's, the only speaker that made my head turn to look for at the singer. I attended the "world premier" of the Ohm A in the early 1970's, extremely impressed with the sound, and wanted a Ohm Walsh speaker.

First hear the F's when introduced in 1973. Bought them from a friend a few years later. Then upgraded to the Walsh 5's in the mid-'90s. I write here, less of a review and more of what I experienced as an owner for 19 years, perhaps helping the current owners enjoy it more. Other reviewers have more than covered the great sound of these classic speakers.

The F's has a silky high end, when new. It changes slowly over a long time as the "putty" like coating dried, in the titanium, gray-colored upper section. I didn't notice the gradual change, but the highs were different. Thought of fixing it, but Ohm no longer repaired them. The shiny middle section is aluminum with a foam backing. That foam deteriorates over time, and is nearly impossible to replace correctly. The edge surrounds at the bottom of the cone also rots over time. I read that Ohm has better foams now that last 20-30 years.

Despite the aging of the drivers, the sound remained good and clear, even the sibilant 's' on vocals was still clearly heard. I assume that this is because the foam did not fall off the inside of the cone yet, although it was crumbly when touched. I bought a kit and replaced the bottom cone surround foam that finally fell apart, and the speakers regained some lost bass and worked fine again. Critical that you center the surround properly, or the voice coil will run against the magnet and can cause failure of the speaker.

Used a 60 W/ch amp at first, and the sound was very good. But when I turned up the volume, the sound became distorted. Not enough power to run these F's.

Next got a direct-coupled amp that puts out 300 W/ch into 4 ohms. Wow! It brought the speakers alive. the amp has high damping factor, nearly 500 at mid frequencies into 4 ohms. Get an amp with power and damping for these. Normal listening does not require much more than 1-10 watts, so these amps work fine for music peaks of 100-200 watts. Much louder, you need a bigger amp, but the speaker can't take continuously high power. Look into recent Walsh speakers that can take more power.

One reviewer metioned the binding posts, and another the fuses. Recommended were GBB-4-amp from the factory. I tried various fuses and found all of them affected the sound, especially the faster-blowing kind, like the GBB. Be careful with higher than 3 amp fuses. Good if you want to replace the binding posts; I did not find the need to do so, but wired larger 12-gauge cable directly to the post, bypassing the smaller wire internal to the box.

The F's also had different supports over time. The very first ones had a flat steel bar with a small slat of wood glued to it. Later there was more wood and even later, a metal channel support. Either way, I wrapped black felt around the bars, and that improved the sound by absorbing some of the diffraction and reflections from the support members. Do the same for the wood inside surfaces in the grille cloth frame, and the black wood surface that the driver is bolted to, overlapping the felt onto the metal rim. It's best to listen without the grill frame anyway for the best sound, although the sound is still good with grilles on.

The F projected a very wide stereo image, that sometimes went beyond the left and right speaker. The focus of soloists was remarkably good. I did not try to verify the phase coherency with measurements, but could hear effects that demand good coherency, and phase coherency match between the two speakers. I was able to hear surround signals on video recordings coming from behind me that went overhead toward the front center as the source moved in that direction, using only a single pair of F's in the front. Some signals sourced at the side of the listener, were placed there, again with two F's speakers only, no other speakers used.

I had these speakers on vinyl tile over concrete floor and they sounded great. In a room with carpet over foam padding, the sound muddied a slight bit. That was improved by placing the speaker on supports that have points that connect the cabinet bottom through the carpet and pad to the wood floor. The most noticable change was improved bass.

Placement of these F's vary all over the room. They sound greatest in my room of about 17x25 when placed 2-3 feet from the long wall, and about 8-10 feet apart. The bass varies with the room, but is very powerful clear down to below 35 Hz, although the spec is 37 Hz. I also had no obstructions between them or in front of them to the listening area. Damping/absorbing material on the wall both behind and between these speakers can improve the image even more. Don't over do it, or the mids and highs get absorbed too much and you get over-bassed. Move these around to get the best overall sound and leave them there.

Other listeners visiting my home remark that the sound is so clear. I found the sound very smooth too. Listen to an instrument that runs up the scale from low to high and hear how even the sound is.

Those that have F's, try swapping the drivers from left to right and see if the sound improves or degrades. My pair sounded better in one configuration.

Overall, if you can still find these, get them. You can upgrade through Ohm later. They are large and take up room, and need space around them to sound their best.



Customer Service

John S., President, at Ohm was very personable and helpful. Highly recommend buying from Ohm Acoustics.

Similar Products Used: Walsh 5, and the Ohm F3 upgrade (Walsh 5 driver, on original F cabinets, bass down to 29 Hz!). The F3 by itself would have been fine, and is an excellent value.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Dave Smith   AudioPhile [Apr 11, 2007]
Strength:

Bold, beautiful looks, magnificent sound if you had the power (the A's were very inefficient, the F's were not so bad). Awesome 3-D imaging capability, earthquake bass response (a flower on the coffee table would shake its leaves with Rick Wakeman's organ). Vivid treble - drums and cymbals were (seemed) actually in the room!

Weakness:

Ohm Model A: the Model A tended to sound veiled and withdrawn with typical amplifiers of the day (1971-73). It was not until I used 600W rms per channel did they have enough electrical drive dynamic range to open up and really start to shine. They sounded most realistic at near natural volumes: when a drum kick or a cymbal shot was near the volume of a real drum set played in the same room. The the Ohm A was very alive sounding - all veils removed!

Very heavy, difficult to move around. The Model A was very inefficient and could swallow the bridged Dyna ST400 (600 W rms), however super loud volumes were available, but only for about an hour at a time! You could cook the voice coiI eventually. I wish the voice coils had a thermal breaker. When Bob Ajaye left Ohm Acoustics the Model A was effectively history.

In 1972 I worked as an Audio Consultant in Roanoke VA. Our store was an Ohm Acoustics dealer. We had just seen the Ohm A and the new and much smaller Ohm F at a show in Wash DC. The handmade, one-off Ohm A's were magnificent. Actually the pic you see above is the Ohm A, the commercial smaller Ohm F was about 2/3 the height and width of the A and its Walsh cone had the bottom 2/3 made from a paper composite material, while the top high frequency portion was of titanium foil. The Ohm A on the other hand was 100% metallic cone, 18" diameter at is base (the F was 12" I believe). The model A cone was heavy aluminum as its base which extended about 3/4 of the cone height to the transition to the titanium foil "tweeter". The aluminum and titanium portions had different conical angles also, while the F used a single cone angle. The tweeter designs were similar on the F anf the A, the midrange, woofer and the voice coils were very different however. Bob Ajaye of Ohm was the master builder and tuner of the A, while the F was an assembly line "mass produced" product. I used Dynaco ST400 power amps, strapped to mono (600W rms per channel) on the As. I had Dyna preamps to, the PAS3x and the PAT4 and PAT5. I listened mostly then to rock music, and eventually blew the A's voice coil after a particularly loud and out of control party one Saturday afternoon. After the voice coils melted on Lou Reed's Rock 'n Roll Animal , we dissasembled the driver from the base cabinet and I remember getting burned on the giant magnet assembly! Damn that hurt! Man, those were the days. But not to worry, Bob Ajaye rebuilt them for me (under warranty!!!) and I was back in business in about 10 days.
Sonically, the A had thunderously powerful bass response, but relatively clean, even with the (veiled sounding) Dyna equipment. Denon turntable, Formula 4 (Polk distributor) tone arm and Fidelity Research MkIII moving coil cartridge. dB Systems MC-preamp. Back to the A's sound: the midrange and high end was crystal clear with just a hint of a FR dip in the upper mids. Cymbals would actually shimmer and hang in 3-D relief in my room. Unbelievable realism. The stereo image was to die for as these speakers were completely cylindrical and thus nearly omni-directional as a result. We used a lot of room sound control as I remember but once the room was tuned, it was pretty amazing. Talk about getting involved with the music! I started my own audio store in Roanoke iVA in 1975 and lost touch with Ohm. I heard that Bob Ajaye had left the company and took a lot of the Walsh practical knowledge with him. In 1984 I was a grad student at Duke (MSEE) and I needed money - I sold the A's to an eager guy who drove down from Pennsylvania to pick them up. My loss, was his gain. As he left, he was grinning from ear to ear. I was too, since I knew all too well what he would experience when he got them home and all hooked up. Tha Ohm A magic. - David R Smith

Customer Service

Ohm Acoustics was always a very friendly, customer oriented company, located in Brooklyn NY. Bob Ajaye would wear tight back leather gloves to drive (at very high speed) his car through the back streets of Brooklyn. A great guy.

Similar Products Used: Nothing really close to the Ohm A sound of 1973. Other nice "big sound" speakers include (in cronological order) AR LST, Bose 901, Magnaplanar, Dahlquist DQ10, Quad Electrostatic, Magnepan, Fried Model H. I sold all my audio gear in 1982 and did without until about 1992. For the last 14 years I have lived with the amazingly articulate, super 3-D and extremely musical Martin-Login Monolith III.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 32  

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