2020 and we're stuck in "head-in-a-vice" mode?

I’ve been wondering why this is, with very applicable (quasi-)omnidirectional solutions available.
The Walsh driver is ages old and still in use (and improved), not just by Ohm Acoustics but HHR, German Physics, many others…
I frankly don’t understand why >100k$ speakers are persistently being built, just for a single seat. I know there are wide dispersion high-end speakers available, just… why hasn’t the capital focus moved towards omni-directional development? It’s a very fringe market today, despite the technology having existed for decades.
What gives?

people expect to see big boxes with drivers on the front, maybe they don’t believe omnis can provide the same experience.

me, i’d be keen to try some at some point, especially as i’m not good at sitting still even for something i’m enjoying.


Because consumers love the soundstage presentation…and they do have $$$$$
and can and will purchase…

Home 2 channel systems are known to be “small audience” products. Though
family members do gather round to enjoy…

Some years ago on another forum a college kid comes home for Christmas
vacation with some friends…his friends only knew music through their Ipods.

The kid’s father had a major 2 channel system in the basement…large Infinities
driven by big amps and had a good vinyl collection…

So down to the basement he takes his friends…they never left the basement
for the duration of the vacation…

This system was “your typical single seater”…

Quite an anecdote…

Which system do you have?
You enjoy it right?

I’m not stuck with my head in a vice btw…
Happy trails

I’ll soon have a restored pair of Infinity Kappa 8’s, which I trust will have fairly good dispersion.
I can’t exactly complain about my current vintage Sansuis either, my head isn’t in a vice. It’s more of a metaphor.

Next I’ll be saving up for some Ohm Acoustics though.

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Years ago I almost got a set of Kappa 9s…and sure all fired wanted a
pair of Martin Logan CLXs driven by Thresholds and matching preamp…

Dreams of long ago…Sansuis great stuff…I remember their upscale
BA line stuff of dreams…don’t let em go

Take a look do so e clicking around


Here’s s’mores


I only wish preamps like this were still made with all the control features


Omnis are great because they maximally react with the room. Omnis are also bad because they maximally react with the room.

They offer a diffuse sound field, but on the good side it is everywhere. Instead of interacting with the room only primarily in the register of ~ 100HZ and below, creating dips and peaks, omnis interact in all frequencies making them harder to tame.


Never! These 78’ Sansui ES-207’s are certainly a “banger” type of speaker. Easy 25Hz with moderately sized cabinets w/ PRs.
I love them, will definitely build new cabinets and crossovers for them. Gotta fix the left spider a bit, too.

BTW, the “ES” stands for “European Sound”…
I think this is where Sansui had their golden era in terms of speakers. These totally beat the crap out of my modern JBL active monitors in all ways.

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Taming… Isn’t this a thing with any set of speakers?
The modern Ohm Walsh line is built on the premise that they’re to be selected and placed according to how they’re designed…
Their design philosophy makes it easy to tame these nowadays. Just have some reflective surface behind them and you’re set, given you chose the right model for your room.
(Unless your room is non-euclidean or something…)

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Taming = to room treatments…seems to be to my .02

I found my ideal speaker to be one that has an omnidiectional speaker combined with directional speakers. Loved the pair so much I bought another pair.

Decware HR-1. Really an amazing speaker. I drive mine with 3 watt per channel Monoblocks, and a 4 watt per channel amp.

Those are some efficient damn speakers.
Not available in Europe though (without a huge customs fee)

Looks ecstatic.

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Having listened more than a few times time state of the art Omni directional speakers (MBL) as well as designs from Ohm Walsh and others it seems obvious that one chooses that type of design because you prefer what it does better compared to what dynamic traditional designs do well. Each type of speaker has specific things that it does better in comparison to other designs. I was quite taken with the sound of MBL speakers and seriously considered buying them, but in the end I just preferred the particular virtues of Tidal dynamic speakers. No speaker does everything perfectly, all have compromises. One simply chooses the design that sounds least compromised to your tastes. Also, a well set up set of dynamic, planar, or electrostatic speakers doesn’t necessarily imply a “head in the vise” listening scenario. There are varying degrees of susceptibility to that issue depending on any given design design.

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I could never get Ohm Walshes right at home. Omnis represent the opposite design extreme to dynamic driver systems. Some like the diffuse presentation because of the illusion of envelopment in the sound field. The sacrifice in imaging specifity, soundstaging, depth proved to be too great for my liking. Head in vice as you describe it has the distinct advantage of not exciting all kinds of room modes that can be frustrating as all get out. I suppose if I had wanted to spend a small fortune on and hours of trial and error on room treatments to tailor those room modes I might have been able to find peace with Ohm Walshes in my abode. Wasn’t interested and have found great satisfaction with my head in vice traditional driver monitors.


You do a much better job at explaining the issues with Omnis.

As someone who has used (predominately) Shahinian Diapason Omnis for 25 years, ‘to my ears’ they are the most musically engaging out of all the speakers I own. I also own Klipsch horns, Wilson, Harbeth, Linn, Rega and Quad speakers.

Omnis: One has to consider that the wave-forms of music and sound are radial. They radiate in all directions so why make a loudspeaker box where the drivers sit on the one face pointing towards you? Listen to someone standing in the middle of the room and speaking or singing: have them rotate through 360 degrees and they have a sound that you can specifically hear as being on-axis and off-axis. Put the voice through a tape player and through a conventional loudspeaker and rotate it, and once you get about 10 or 15 degrees off-axis – not withstanding all that’s published about dispersion – the voice takes on a very different character because of diffraction and collected axial effects. Do that with my mighty Diapasons, taking care not to get tangled up in the speaker cables, rotating the speaker on castors through 360 degrees and it sounds like the person rotating.! I know this sounds primitive, but every-time I’ve carried out this demonstration every-one present was suitably impressed at how realistic the speaker being rotated sounds like someone rotating, the presence and sensation of someone rotating, as they speak or sing in the room.

What’s required for “MY” listening pleasure is that a loudspeaker be a point source with polydirectional activity. Just to reiterate; this is “MY” preference.!
Using such speakers I can enjoy the recreation of a three-dimensional, natural effect of listening to music instead of the synthetic activity of listening to two sources with my head-in-a-vice. With the Diapasons it’s from the left side of the room all the way to the right side of the room, front all the way to the back.! I listen to many genres of music: when it comes to classical or jazz (acoustic instruments) no other speaker I own gets remotely close to the mighty Diapasons. I’ve yet to see a conductor conducting an orchestra where the middle of the stage was empty, yet that’s what it sounds more like – a sensation - from all my other speakers, all the conventional box speakers, which includes the excellent/expensive Wilsons… On first listen it may not appear to sound that way / or to sound at all poorly with conventional speakers and they can, and do, sound excellent but, when I switch to the Diapasons there is no going back to my other speakers - as good as they all are in their own specific way! It’s the sheer sense of realism with the big Omnis that ‘fills the whole room’ with music that just pulls me in!

I don’t hear anything untoward / negative / the soundstage being diffuse and / or a poorly presented musical performance – ‘Musically’, hell, I literally get lost in the music… In my room they aren’t the least bit fussy about placement. I have them 4ft away from the backwall 3.5ft from each sidewall because this distance suits me…! The sensation of a group of musicians playing in time, and giving it their all, is stunningly realistic.

When I fire up the Harbeth’s or the Wilsons ( both excellent loudspeakers! ) I spend A LOT more time with them moving them about the floor, attempting to hear past the loudspeakers, trying to get the best from them….but I never get there, because, I am constantly analyzing sound and comparing what I’m hearing from them to the musical attributes of the Diapasons. Then I reconnect up the mighty Diapasons and right away I am at one with the music. The connection with the music is immense!! Head down, brain in neutral, emotional connection at the max with the music!!

The downsides: They are BIG hence you need a ROOM.! They take A LOT out / demand A LOT from the amplifier. 18 speaker drivers per loudspeaker: which includes 6 super-tweeters per speaker module. They NEED the right amplifier to make them sing… BHK250: crumbles with a dose of the vapours, flashing blue light and then the amp goes into limp home mode. The Diapasons are “expensive” in the UK!!! They are built to order - took 8 months from placing the order to taking delivery - well, that was the score when I bought my current Diapasons 3 years ago. I own two pairs of Shahinian Diapasons and three pairs of Shahinian Obelisks. I would never sell any of them! Built in New York but I don’t think there are any dealers in the U.S. that sells them. They are highly thought of and hold cult status in the UK. They also sell well in Germany.

Like I said; this is just “MY” personal take on Omnis, living with them / loving their special qualities for over a quarter of a century, and also through comparing them to my other makes of top-quality loudspeakers… I am not saying they are the best loudspeakers and / or that they will be to everyone’s taste. “NO SPEAKER IS PERFECT”.

Anyway - just my take, it’s “MY” listening pleasure that I care about…. All the other makes of speakers I own are excellent in their own way and I rate them all highly, but just not as musically satisfying to ‘my ears and brain’ as the mighty Omni Diapasons.


I went to Decware and listened to those. I loved the sound of them. Very nice indeed!

And in light of this discussion I brought a pair of MBL 120 speakers home which I quite enjoyed at the owners house but did not care for them at all in my home. The Wilson Yvettes won by a large margin.

Glad you got to hear and enjoy them. They work so deliciously with my Decware SE84UFO3 Monoblocks with the 25th Anniversary mods in one system, and the Decware Taboo Mk IV with 25th Anniversary mods in my other system–I am set for speakers and amps for a long time to come.

I was fairly certain I was going to buy a pair. But that would have resulted in my death as my wife says no more speakers. I have speakers in rooms that don’t need them. Unconnected of course.

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