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Any omnidirectional speakers below £1K?

Discussion in 'audio' started by Fin, Dec 30, 2018.

  1. marshanp

    marshanp pfm Member

    I am interested in this, too... the Planets work very well in my smallish room, and I wonder whether Venuses would be any better in that space. I prefer Duevel to Shahinian from my limited exposure to the latter and want a wood finish, so the Venus is my only possible (affordable) upgrade.

    Isonoe isolating feet made a small but worthwhile improvement to the clarity of my Planets*, which are tuned to the room with a DSPeaker Anti-mode 2. I think I have taken them as far as I can. It seems to be impossible to audition Venuses in the UK. Buying a £4000 speaker on a sale-or-return basis does not appeal; while a home audition would eventually be necessary, I'd like first to get an idea of whether they are likely to represent a worthwhile improvement. Drivers in a vertical line - probably a good thing; port on side, rather than bottom - possibly harder to position?

    *you need to install threaded inserts in the chipboard bottom of the enclosures, which for me was rather nerve-wracking but turned out fine with help from a skilled friend
  2. TimF

    TimF pfm Member

    jtrade-I have owned my Venus now for a year and love them, very simple, elegant in that weird way of things Duevel. They are my only speakers now. And yes, the Venus are certainly a step or more above the Planets, the Planets are a very neat, fun speaker though, especially for the money.

    The Duevel came along as part of a system approach I took last year, see my signature line for all the details. I wanted to work on a totally new system that completely worked together, no fuss and would take me the distance without want for upgrading this or that. After a good bit of listening, playing about, this is where it all ended up, and I am completely happy with the outcome. Certainly not a setup that many, if any will have or will hear unless they come to my place. And I am okay with that!

    So yes, I did at one point own Obelisk2’s and Larcs from Shahinian. I never could get the Obs to work as well as I know they are capable of in the room I had at the time. It was pure delight and pure frustration too. Amps came and went, and in the end, the Obs went too. The Larcs came about after the Obs and were more of a fun thing, but then for a bit over five years, my Larsen Model 4’s were where it was at for me. They just worked in my system (Naim Uniti/Nap-100’s)and room, and I really got on well with them, and still highly recommend them to people who want something that physically gets out of the way of the room, and still sounds great.

    I also still highly recommend any of the Shahinian, they generally always work well in most situations, but as been rehashed many times, one needs to get amps and source right to get the most out of them, the Larsen more forgiving of this. The Duevel too are very forgiving in that they are a fairly easy drive, work well with either tube or solid state amps, and they will do justice to a system as one upgrades front end, amps etc. Another thing I feel the Venus does over any of the Shahinian and also the Larsen, it plays better at lower listening levels, something I require these days after moving to an apartment setting. And lastly, I must say the North American distributer, Pascal Ravich of Mutine, was wonderful to deal with, he is just a no nonsense kind of a guy, and he worked endlessly to make sure my Venus order arrived and got through customs etc.

    Anyway, Omni speakers will never be everyone’s cup of tea, but for me, I don’t know if I could ever go back to the typical monkey coffin speakers. Guess I am satisfied as things stand.
    bhazen, marshanp and jtrade like this.
  3. TimF

    TimF pfm Member

    Your comment about the port on the Venus being on the side versus bottom has been a somewhat puzzling thing to me too, as it would seem the design of the Venus cabinet would be ideal for bottom porting. What do I know? But, the neat thing is, I just rotate the port directions as to where they “fire”, and this kind of makes an ideal tuning tool, as each speaker can be tuned independently. It works.

    Also, the only tweak I have been thinking of trying, is buying some IsoAcoustics Gaia isolator footers, as the Venus has threaded rubber feet. I just haven’t gotten around to that yet. May do soon. FWIW.
  4. jtrade

    jtrade pfm Member

    Very helpful response, thanks, Tim. If I'm anywhere near Duevel, I've made a note to pay them a visit (only 2 or 3 hours drive away from Amsterdam).

    The one other omni-style speaker I'd have been tempted to try if living in the US would have been the Decware radial http://www.decware.com/newsite/ERR.html : have you ever heard it ?

    Btw, you're up either very early or very late !
  5. TimF

    TimF pfm Member

    j-Nope, I am up at this hour every morning, my day starts at 3:00am and doesn't end until....All work and no play....Yes, I have heard one of the earlier versions of the Decware, I forget, but it is one prior to the current one, which looks wise, I do not care for as much as the older Ohm-like grill/form, but sonics may be an improvement, who knows? Decware is located next state over, so not a far drive for me. The ERR is a really decent speaker, and is easy to drive. I cannot say really how it would compare to my current Venus, as it has been quite awhile ago since I heard the Decware.

    One other small Omni that would well suit say a bedroom, the Davone Mojo-which I see you made a note to looking at the Davone site above. I just like how simple it is, need to listen to it at some point, they have been on my radar for awhile now as just that, something to mate with my Naim Uniti in my master bedroom.

    Hope all is well with you!
    bhazen and jtrade like this.
  6. Seanm

    Seanm pfm Member

    This seems like the thread to ask: is there an omni that does well in corners? I like the idea of filling the office with music rather than listening near field (bit distracting), but it's a long, narrow space.
  7. TimF

    TimF pfm Member

    Typically pushing an Omni into corners just makes thing a confused mess. So many reflections to deal with. Now some may find it isn't a terrible thing, but it isn't really correct. Most Omni's do still need walls behind/around them to work right, but again, proper placement/distance from them makes a world of difference.

    One might get away with some damping to said corners/walls, however it isn't really ideal. Ohm Walsh current designs, attenuate the back 1/3 or so of the can driver so that it can be used closer to the wall behind them. But it is more or less a design feature, not just something done willy-nilly.

    Edit-I should add too, that most of the current Ohm Walsh CLS models are not true Omni in the treble, the tweeter is slightly firing at an angle upwards, and diagonal to the other speaker, so that their axis somewhat cross at the listening position, which actually works very well. Certain models can be built as Omni/upwards firing in the treble, just has to be specified at time of order. I doubt too many are floating around like this though, and if so, most were made for A/V situations mainly. FWIW....
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2019 at 9:19 PM
    Seanm likes this.
  8. jtrade

    jtrade pfm Member

    The Sonab OA-12 might work. You can see my OA-14 in my first post on this (incorrectly named) thread https://pinkfishmedia.net/forum/threads/sonab-od-14.206010/ . What you can't see - and which I describe in that thread - is that there is a pair of OA-12 deployed in each corner to the sides of the OA-14, works really well.

    Last week I found and bought locally another JVC AX-Z711 amp (as backup / spares, really) and my 18 yr old daughter has commandeered it to drive my (now her) previously unused (by me, they're 1970/80s) Sonab OD-11 'cubes' in her bedroom. A DJ friend has lent her a modern disco / keyboard / mixer contraption - don't actually know what they're called - after she played her first pro set at a festival in Switzerland earlier this month; she's practising non-stop as she's booked for several small festivals this summer. Anyway, I first set the cubes on their sides as nearfield desk monitors - Stig Carlsson actually did this for this specific purpose apparently - but actually the room sound is best to my ears - if not to her needs - with them stuffed in the corners firing upwards. As you can see, I have taken a sophisticated approach to setup (not) !

    Edit : Tim's response is correct, of course, but in a small or narrow room, & depending on whether this for "prime listening" or not - I understood not - I would not be too concerned.
    Seanm and TimF like this.
  9. marshanp

    marshanp pfm Member

    Hallo, Tim - how pleasing to hear from someone who is completely happy with his system!

    I see what you mean about using port position as a tuning strategy... I chose the Isonoe feet because (being originally intended for turntables) they are designed to absorb vibration in a vertical plane rather than the horizontal one assumed by the designers of the Gaia feet. Each Isonoe foot can support 4kg, but versions for heavier loads are available on request. They are M6 threaded.
    TimF likes this.
  10. Snufkin

    Snufkin pfm Member

    I don't know if 'does well' is quite how I would put it but the Shahinian Compass, which is a quasi omni speaker, seemed happy near corners. I sort of miss my recently sold pair as they were just about the easiest speakers to position that I have ever owned as well as being the best looking.

    I used to wonder why the price of new Compasses was so close to the price of their bigger brothers (Arc's) but I think I get it now; they are probably the most flexible and least demanding (in terms of positioning and amplification) of all the Shahinian speakers I have experienced. So Sean, if you can, try and get to hear some Compasses.
    Seanm and TimF like this.
  11. TimF

    TimF pfm Member

    Yes, it is nice to not be fussing about and just playing music, and enjoying every moment of it! Shock, horror! As to the Gaia footers, I do realize they were designed for horizontal use, and they talk about facing the footer with the logo forward/towards the listening position with typical front firing dynamic speakers. In talking with a couple of folks-not Iso themselves, it was thought for Omni, one could just face each footer outward evenly around the speaker. We shall see, again, no big priority for it honestly. I do want to experiment a little with a square slab of tile or something underneath the Venus, as now they are located on carpet with a fairly thick pad, where prior, they were sited on laminate flooring. The Venus now are a bit wobbly...
  12. PerF

    PerF Member

    I seem to recall one of the original Carlsson were designed for corner, or near corner placement
    Maybe OA50 by memory (haven't checked)

    The original Carlsson's were great speakers and IMO better than his Sonab design, not widely available and old by now, replacement units or upgrades available.
    Larsen worked with Carlsson

    A Scandinavian holiday is my best bet if anybody wants a pair, many sold in Sweden.
    Snufkin likes this.
  13. Chris

    Chris pfm Member

    Heed used to have some, think they were called Omega.
  14. h.g.

    h.g. pfm Member

    This is a corner speaker with a 90 degree constant directivity horn. It is perfectly omnidirectional and without the strong early reflections that often plague omnidirectional speakers near boundaries (although one or two do design to handle the reflections off the front wall). It is a nice design. You might be able to find something similar in the UK. There are plenty of 90 degree horns on the market and so it would be easy enough to DIY a smaller 2 way equivalent if so inclined.
    Seanm likes this.
  15. beammeup

    beammeup pfm Member

    What about NVA Cube Loudspeakers? They are a semi omni to integrate with the room acoustic. This will be within budget and is another idea that you haven't had yet: https://www.nvahifi.co.uk/cube-1-loudspeakers

    Well the Cube 3's are at least, or the Cubettes if you want to go smaller.

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