An Ode to Ohm Walsh speakers, written over many years (Week 51, 2022)

Sound Advice
By Don Lindich

Week 51, 2022

Q. I am building a stereo system ($18,000 budget) for a room 18×22 feet in size, using a CD player and a turntable as music sources. In the past I have seen you recommend Ohm Acoustics Walsh speakers for high-end applications, isn’t that what you use yourself? Would they be a good choice for me?

-L.R., Camp Hill, PA

A. I recommend Ohm speakers to anyone with the budget and a good room for them. I own many excellent pairs of speakers accumulated over a lifetime of audio passion, but Ohms are my reference and what I listen to most of the time.

Ohm Walsh speakers use a unique downward-firing driver named after inventor Lincoln Walsh. This driver reproduces waveforms much more accurately than conventional speakers, and I still find their sonic realism and musical purity to be unmatched. They do not sound like speakers, you just hear beautiful, crystal-clear music filling the room. They combine this fine sound with excellent stereo imaging and a satisfying sense of spaciousness, creating a unique listening experience.

A pair of Ohm Walsh 1 speakers purchased new in 1986 was my first quality speaker purchase, and today a pair of top-of-the-line Walsh 5000s graces my listening room. Since that auspicious purchase 36 years ago I managed to acquire a pair of the unobtainium Ohm A speakers, the first Walsh model produced and one of only thirty-something pairs ever made. The Ohm As are as big as a small refrigerator, require a huge amount of power to make them so much as squeak and they still work perfectly! I also have a pair of working Ohm F speakers, the legendary and commercially successful follow-up to the Ohm A. Even 50 years later there are few speakers that sound as good, at any price, as these groundbreaking designs from the 1970s. My original Walsh 1s are still in use today in my home theater room. When I set it up 10 years ago I tried a few high-end conventional speakers, but the system never sounded quite right due to the acoustics of the room. I pulled out my old Walsh 1s, hooked them up and the system sounded perfect! I certainly got my money’s worth out of them, and I am glad they are still with me today.

Despite the great sound, the early Walsh models (A and F) were large, power-hungry, expensive, required very precise placement and were relatively easy to blow up despite the high wattage requirements. Modern Walsh speakers have an updated design that is much more consumer-friendly. They are smaller and require much less power, are easier to place and the stereo imaging is maintained over a wide listening area and not just in the sweet spot. It’s the best of all audio worlds, and why I am so fond of them.

Ohm Walsh speakers start at $1,900/pair. I suggest the Walsh 4000 Tall ($7,600/pair) or Walsh 5000 Tall ($9,000/pair) for your room size. With your healthy budget you will have plenty left over for amplification, a turntable and a CD player.

I am glad you remembered my Ohm recommendation because I have not mentioned them in print for quite a while. Ohm is a small, successful company that has made their speakers by hand in Brooklyn, NY since 1971. They only sell direct and make their products to order. For several years the waiting list to get Ohm speakers was six months long, driven solely by demand. The wait is down to a more manageable two months, so anyone buying new Ohm speakers can look forward to getting them a lot sooner.