And Now, For All You Omni Fanatics

I present the review of the Ohm Acoustics F5, article found at! (Note, previously known as the Beta F-5015)

You may enjoy the extended discussion of comparison of the Ohm Walsh Model F that I had refurbished several months ago. See the other thread I started about that project (I think I called the thread Ohm Walsh Model F Resurrection), or similar).  At the time the plan was already in place to review the F5, but I kept mum about it, wanting to surprise the community. SURPRISE!  :)

The F5 is a more formidable speaker than the old Model F and imo a superior performer, but as might be expected, with idiosyncrasies. It will be some listeners' ultimate expression of transducer tech. In encapsulated form, I would encourage those who love Ohm speakers and have the vintage sets to not worry over losing what they love about the speakers in moving to a contemporary set. I feel most of the pure full range is kept and somewhat enhanced by the newer, novel design with the omni/directed tweeter pair. See the article for more discussion. 

Like all our news media today, of course the article is fair, balanced, unbiased, etc. ;)

Wow awesome review! You really nailed a lot of key points! Also a nice surprise that you obtained these for compare after your Ohm F rebuild project.

My F5s are similar design minus built in subs and one gen older main 12” CLS drivers from ~2008. Lots of output possible but not as much as when the built in subs are added.

Lots to discuss there with folks who may be interested. Thanks for taking the time you obviously dedicated to a very thorough and fair review.

I heard the F5015 models with same design as those you reviewed at Capital Audiofest a couple years back. The setup did not do the speakers full justice. Toughest room in the show ( a balcony in an atrium actually…for real..) and John Strohbeen always seem to like to show systems where not much is invested to get good sound out of their speakers and in lesser rooms. But I know what mine sound like and that the beefed up versions with built in subs can only be better if set up well. I think John S. refers to them as the best speakers they have ever built.
Also worth noting that if this review triggers one to buy, you will see the Ohm website has announced price increases starting September so only a couple days to get ‘em while they are cheaper.
Wonderful to see a venerable old line USA audio company investing in product improvement in the service of better music reproduction!

Bravo !
@Douglas_Schroeder: Harry Bosch would be proud of you.* I haven't heard one of these for decades. And still made in Brooklyn!
Congrats- nice piece. 

*If you were a fan of the TV. series, you'd notice he never had any wires connecting his system. But a hell of a roster of jazz was featured on the program. 
Also just for fun and comparison here is the review of my F5s I did many moons ago when I Acquired them and still a youngster in these parts.…..

and ta dah… they are still around today.
Doug, thanks for your post and the review. I had a pair of the original Ohm Fs back in the mid-1970s -- still one of  my all time favs. I have a pair of the smaller Ohm 1000s these days, but with an added subwoofer, they do everything I want.
Doug,  thanks for this review.  On one hand, Ohm doesn't get much coverage and the coverage it does get often leaves the reader with unanswered questions.  On the other hand, they've been around for 50 years which says a lot about their products and service.  Add to that, you almost never see their products come up for resale and those that do seem to hold their value.

You've heard a lot of speakers and I'm sure that at the end of your review process you are left with a feeling of "this is a pretty good speaker and if I owned it, I could enjoy listening to it...or, this speaker has too many quirks that would drive me crazy"?

I'd like to boil all of my questions down to this one:  Assuming a potential Ohm customer is really into the big soundstage/immersion thing.....Is this a speaker that will make people want to listen to music because it just sounds good, or is it a speaker that will will have people scratching their head thinking the sound is lacking in some area/s?
The thing I like about Doug is he is a bonafide audiophile who talks about things like build quality, parts, engineering decisions and other technical issues relating to what is being listened to and he seems to have a lot of listening experience under his belt . Many Ohm owners are not necessarily audiophiles in that regard. So that makes what he has to say particularly interesting to me. The ohms were recommended to me personally by the late great reviewer John Potis, another bonafide music lover, audiophile and good guy who I think reviewed a pair he owned on several years back.

Also the topic of Old versus new Ohm Walsh comes up often but this may be the first time a bonafide reviewer went to the trouble to have an old pair rebuilt and available for comparison. Good stuff!
Thank you all for the complements, I appreciate them. 

snapsc, regarding your ultimate question; for a person who values the bulbous soundstage and sense of grandeur above all, I believe the F5 would be very gratifying. Because it has a built in subwoofer, it can be downright impressive in presence and scale, two aspects that can yield a sense of an overwhelming experience. It's unusual capability to be contoured to nearly any set of electronics should satisfy all but perhaps the most hard core ESL or horn lovers. It is a legit dual purpose speaker for stereo and surround systems, should a person wish to use it for that, too. 

I was surprised by how handily the F5 outperformed the Walsh Model F - and that was with the vintage speaker being modified by removing half the dense dampening material and bypassing the fuse! The difference in capacity to perform at a very high level was strikingly in favor of the F5. Though it was not my intent to demonstrate it, as I had no idea how the comparison would turn out, the result once again supported my conclusion I reached years ago that vintage does not typically have the capability to perform on the level of contemporary designs. Looking into these older designs literally, there was nowhere near the fanatical attention given to cabinets, dampening, bracing, etc. that happens now, and the character of the performance is fundamentally different. Imo, modern cabinet making for speakers is on a higher level and my ears enjoy the difference. Imo, the appeal of vintage aesthetics is not enough to overcome the performance gap. YMMV 

I've owned Walsh 4's for 35 years so I consider myself as an expert on their sound.  
One aspect that has not come out much over the years by other Walsh 4 owners is the ability to tweak the sound to compensate for room acoustics and personal preferences.

@douglas_schroeder  I noticed that you modified the F by "removing half the dense dampening material". I can tell you from personal experimentation that this will alter the sound significantly... at least it does so on the 4's.

My original 'Tufflex' started to deteriorate in the late 90's so I began experimenting with different cotton batting of various thicknesses and density.  On the 4's this 'Tufflex' is placed on nylon straps which are held in place by 2" duct tape in a 'U' shape inside the cabinet approximately 1/3 of the way down from the top.

I have placed the straps both in a flat and 'U' shaped positions (always 1/3 of the way down) and then played with the batting to hear what the differences are.  

I can vary the sound from tons of muddy bass with hardly any treble to just the opposite.

What I ended up liking best to my ear in my room was 3/8" of dense batting in a 'U' shaped configuration.

I've ordered replacement 'Tufflex' from JS at OHM.
Curious as to how it will alter the sound, if any.