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Mirage Omnipolar Speakers

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

So I've been strongly considering moving away from headphones (or at least in a different room) and into a nice speaker setup. I've long lusted after the Decware ERR's with a Torii III but don't have 6k to blow. (My wife wants to kill me over $200!) In doing some research, I found a recommendation for the Mirage OMD15 or OMD28 currently being sold at Vanns for over 50% off with a very similar approach with their "Omni-polar" design. Has anyone tried these and had any luck?

 

I just went ahead and bought the Mirage 5.1 setup last night for $350 to see if I like the sound of them, but I'm curious if anyone has had any experience with these and doesn't mind sharing it. Nearly all of the reviews I can find for their entire line is very positive but it also seems like it is mostly written by people who would never consider themselves "audiophiles."

post #2 of 3
Vann's has had those Mirage speakers "over 50% off" for a while now (I want to say years), I don't know what to make of it, but it is what it is.

Onto the impressions:

The Nanosat speakers that you can find on Newegg and at stores like Best Buy seem to be yet another "Bose clone" attempt; something small and cute to meet WAF. They don't sound terrible, but they're not giant killers. They go over a cliff at some relatively high frequency, and that makes them very limited for real listening enjoyment (you *must* use a sub).

The nicer OMNI and OMD speakers are a bit more robust; the OMNI-550 and the OMD series can stand without a sub in many rooms. They sound better, and are nice quasi-omni-polar speakers. They, like any other omni (true or not), are very picky about placement and set-up. Also, like other omnis, they can create a very diffuse/spread-out image depending on placement. They're less finicky than full omnis (they do not radiate 360* full range), which is to their advantage when it comes to placement and alignment.

For the prices that Vann's wants, I'd say they're not a bad deal, but they're not really approaching full-range until you get into the OMD-28. There are other models I'd consider at $3000 (I'm not saying "would take over the Mirage") - just to be realistic. The lesser OMD model (which is/was a minor update on the OMNI-550) will be fairly thin without a subwoofer (just like their new line-array replacement for the 550).


TBH, I'd get the OMD15 and a quality (non-Mirage/Klipsch) sub; you'll spend less than a pair of 28's will cost you, and have a smaller pair of speakers with better bass extension (even if you go up to $1k on the sub you're still under).

Like this setup:
http://www.vanns.com/shop/servlet/item/features/542999198/mirage-omd15-gloss-black?s_c=site_search
http://www.vanns.com/shop/servlet/item/features/549706761/velodyne-eq-max-15
http://www.vanns.com/shop/servlet/item/features/538970548/harman-kardon-hk990

You could go with OMD28s and the same, but it'll rack the price up substantially (you go from $800 + $800 to $3000 + $800, basically over some 8" woofers). The HK990 is just a random suggestion on a nice piece of gear that was available from Vann's - you can go less expensive:
http://shop.emotiva.com/collections/amplifiers/products/xpa2
http://shop.emotiva.com/collections/processors/products/usp1

Or whatever else you have that can provide bass management and amplification for the speakers (or run without a sub if you want to - there's plenty of great 2ch components out there).
post #3 of 3

Years ago I had the Mirage OM-6 (a very shallow baffle bi-polar that Mirage called an omni) and more recently I had the OMD-5 monitors and OMD-15 floor standers. In my opinion, the older Ian Paisley designed bi-polar speakers (M1, M3, M5, OM-5/6/7/8/9/10 are much better than the new stuff. The bi-polars were more expensive to make, double the drivers after all, but the dispersion pattern worked in the drivers favor. That's how they are supposed to radiate. With the up-firing OMD series, the design really doesn't work with the drivers. A dome tweeter isn't designed to be listened to 90 degrees off-axis, but that's how it's used. My experience with them is that they are finicky and annoying to set up, and even if you can actually get them locked in, the sound is average at best.

 

The OMD subs were discontinued within months of their release, and the OMD speakers hang on at Vanns in a sort of indefinite purgatory. Part of the problem is that they were never worth anything like their retail prices in terms of performance. For the $2500 list, most of the better speakers on the market would blow the OMD-15 into the weeds. Due to the price cutting, used values on them have collapsed entirely, and M1s and M3s are worth far more. The OMD-15 is less embarrasing at $800/pr than it was at $2500, but I still think even for that you can do better.

 

Underwood Hifi for example is closing out an ERA D14 at $950.

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