Originally Posted by Barfunkel
Nothing wrong with the modern, accurate speakers, it's just a personal, aesthetic choice. The last hifi fair I went to, I must have listened like 30 different speakers (ranging from a few hundred to 25k a pair) and I found just one suitable pair I liked (by Atohm, and those were like 7k€ a pair). Everything else left me cold.
I just want something different, that's all.
So I've been thinking about Barfunkel's post for many months now, as I've been grappling with a similar problem. Just this month I think I came up with a pretty cool solution that so far has been amazing for my home music needs.
A few years ago I randomly acquired a pair of 3-way speakers called Ohm C2. These are bookshelf speakers designed in the 1970's that sounded great compared to what I previously had, especially for rock music and afro-beat. Little did I know that this company is still alive and well, making speakers in Brooklyn, NY of all places. I called the company and began communicating with their owner, who actually picks up the phone and will talk to you at length about his products.
I liked the speakers and the company so much that I decided to see if I could get more of them, and couple them together to try to improve upon the sound for house and disco. This was definitely an area that they needed to improve -- pounding 4 on the floor bass drums. So I waited and eventually found 3 more pairs on Craigslist, and I upgraded all of the woofers going through Ohm's service dept and ran them in a parallel-series configuration into an old Ashly FTX-2001 mosfet amp that I had on hand. I stacked them up to my ceiling (see attached photo). This sounded a lot better and more immersive, but still could not deliver the bass I wanted. It's a shame because I love the Ohm label and their customer support.
So I did some more research and learned that Ohm really were more in the jazz/classical/rock specialty, and not so much in the disco/house arena. At this point I was considering selling my stuff and trying to get a pair of Klipschorns, even though the idea of being tied to a corner horn was not ideal for me. Plus I would have needed a subwoofer too.
BUT THEN! I discovered that Ohm made one really obscure speaker specifically for disco: the Ohm Model I flagship speaker. It was a 4-way omnidirectional speaker with a built-in 12" woofer that takes up to 1500 watts, designed in 1980. And it had really cool advertising that spoke to me (see the ad in the attachment). I had to find this speaker!
So I waited, and lo and behold, someone 15 miles from me in Detroit was selling a pair on CL. I reached out to him and he sold them to me this weekend at a very reasonable price. Better yet, this happened one week after I had found a pristine Crown Macro Reference amplifier for sale from a closed recording studio. Not a bad stretch for me!
So now I have this great setup with the Crown Macro Reference driving the Ohm Model I's. It sounds amazing. I need to push the speakers against the wall for optimum performance, but even as-is they really pound. The omni-directional thing takes some getting used to, but for home use I actually kind of like it. The Macro Reference does not make any noise at all and it's superior power isolation has completely knocked out the ground loop hum I was getting with the Ashly amp. I love this amp so much, it's a beast and even bigger than the PSA-2 coming in at 4 rack spaces.
Anyway, that's my happy story and I hope this provides an interesting alternative to the tried-and-true Klipschorn/JBL methodology for househeads without a nightclub in their homes. I am a happy advocate for the Ohm Model I and Crown Macro Reference. You won't have an easy time finding a pair, but if you do, you should be a happy camper.
Full hifi setup:
Thorens TD-126 MKIII Turntable
Nakamichi DR-3 Cassette Deck
Bozak CMA-10-2DLA Disco Mixer/Preamplifier (all original)
DBX 503 Dynamic Range Expander
DBX 500 Disco Boom Box Subharmonic Synthesizer
Klark-Teknik DN360 Three Octave Equalizer
Crown Macro Reference Amplifier