Component Reviews

Ohm Micro Walsh Tall Speakers

Just the ticket if you have a small room and you value quality over quantity of sound.

Published on September 13, 2007

Ohm Micro Walsh Tall Speakers
The Ohm Micro Walsh Tall Speakers
SRP:  $1000


Specs:
Size:  6” x 6” x 37”
Weight:  20 lbs.
Speaker compliment:  One Ohm CLS driver and one supertweeter.
Frequency Response (claimed): 47-20,000 Hz, +/- 3.5 db

Ohm Acoustics Corp.
76 Degraw Street
Brooklyn NY 11231 USA
800-783-1553
www.ohmspeaker.com


I remember the Ohm speakers from the 70s; they caused quite a stir, with a very unconventional look that were praised by many reviewers of the day.  Ohm has chugged along making speakers at their factory in Brooklyn and today sells their products direct to the consumer.

The Micro Walsh Talls reviewed here are only 6 inches by 6 inches and about 37 inches tall.  This tiny footprint allows them to fit almost anywhere and they were perfect for my  11 x 17 foot living room.  I had the speakers about 8 feet apart and about two feet out from the wall, but after a quick call to the factory, I moved them a bit closer together, to about six feet and a bit closer to the back wall.  Fortunately, the bass just got stronger and not at all boomy, with the ultimate spot for me about a foot from the rear wall.

When putting the MWT’s in your room, observe the arrows on the drivers (which requires removing the grilles, that look like little pillbox hats) and make sure the arrows point towards the center, not outwards, or you will have an out of phase sound to your system that is no fault of the speaker.  This is to position the supertweeter so that it is pointing towards you instead of away from you.

Before setup, I gave the speakers about a week in my garage system, playing at a moderate level day in and day out.  They spent most of their time here with the new Classe  CP-500 preamp, CA-2100 amplifier and CDP 102 disk player.  Total cost of the electronics:  about $11k.  The Classe gear is all solid state, so to mix things up a bit, I also substituted the McIntosh MC275 tube power amplifier for the Classe to see how they would do with one of my favorite tube amplifiers.  Never fear, no matter what type of amplification you posess, driving the Micro Walsh Talls will be no problem.

The MWT’s retail for $1000 a pair, factory direct.  Upon paying for a pair, you have 30 days to break the speakers in, another 30 to listen critically and then, should you decide that the folks at Ohm need to customize something so suit your needs, they will do so and give you another 60 days to listen.  At that point if you are not happy, you can return them for a full refund!  That’s as user friendly as it gets, as far as I’m concerned…

With a rated frequency response of 47-20,000 Hz (+/- 3.5 db) and a recommended amplifier power of 20 watts per channel, the MWT’s did not have a published efficiency spec that I could find, but I would say that at least 50 wpc is more like it.

What impressed me the most of these speakers, being a confessed panel lover, was how open and transparent they are.  The main Walsh driver goes up to about 8kHz, with no crossover, allowing a natural rolloff to the supertweeter. Listening to the Beatles Love revealed a lot of airiness present.  Same thing with the new Linda Ronstadt gold CD from Mobile Fidelity.  A great amount of openness was present and vocals were reproduced very naturally.  The bass response is limited, but again what’s there is very good.  Putting on some Pink Floyd and Arnold Bax revealed that the 47 Hz spec is probably a touch optimistic, but I’ll take speed and accuracy over low, one-note bass any day.  This would be a great speaker to mate with a small subwoofer…

While tonally quite good, the real limitation to these speakers is that they are definitely for a small room and do not play terribly loud, even with a lot of power.  If you play a lot of heavy rock or large scale orchestral music, these may not be the speaker for you.  They do however, throw a very good-sized soundstage and offer up a very nice stereo image.  Listening to Me and Yoko Ono on Tosca’s Delia 9 CD had some great ambient sounds bouncing all over the room.

But what the MWT’s do, they do very well.  They have a very neutral/natural tonal character and thanks to a very simple crossover are not only very transparent but very easy to drive as well.  Fit and finish is very good, though the look is a bit dated, so you will either love them or hate them.

The MWT’s are very easy to set up, however they really do demand listening fairly nearfield.  When I contacted the factory, they told me that the speakers should be about 6 feet apart and I should be listening at about the same distance from the speakers.

Bottom line, if you have a small room and you value quality over quantity of sound, the Ohm Micro Walsh is recommended. Ohm has other, larger models as well as subwoofers if your room requirements are larger. With their excellent in-home audition program, I don’t see how you can go wrong.

– Jeff Dorgay

 




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