After living with my Omega Super 3i Monitors for nearly 2 years they continue to impress, even startle me at times with their effortless realism. However, as with many bookshelf speakers the Super 3i’s are a bit bass shy (55-20kHz) and could use the support of a subwoofer. An Omega sub was an obvious choice.
To match the speed of the 4.5″ drivers in the Super 3i designer-in-chief Louis Chochos chose a down-firing sealed design using his proprietary 8″ driver. In an email exchange with Mr. Chochos he mentioned tuning the sub more for music than home theater. Thankfully. The results speak for themselves, no dreaded boom boom to be found. Instead we are treated to articulate, tuneful, and musical bass. Spec’d down to 28Hz the sub doesn’t quite reach the lowest of lows but certainly comes close enough for my taste.
This little subwoofer indeed provides the foundation I was hoping for and, as an added bonus, imaging improved. I can only imagine what a pair of these would sound like in my room. Hmmm …
DeepHemp 8 specifications
Driver: proprietary 8″ HempCone
Power: 150w 8ohms, 250w 4ohms
Input Sensitivity: 88dB at 8 ohms
Impedance: 8 ohms
Frequency Response: 28-160Hz
Inputs: line level and speaker level
Dimensions: 14″H x 11″W x 11.5″D (excluding spikes)
Weight: 40 lb. in shipping box
Input power: 120v and 240v
The image at the top of the page is a stock photo. For my subwoofer Mr. Chochos matched the EKO Ash Tweed veneer of my Monitors.
Well, it’s about that time of year when I simplify my system. Why? Think cool as in cool-running. Think summer. I love the heat and I want my windows wide open. I want to smell the rain and fresh-cut grass. Yeah, I’m one of those people and honestly, I really dislike air conditioning. The only place in my home I use air conditioning is in my bedroom during those times when a fan doesn’t do the trick. Of course my friends think I’m nuts and refuse to visit me during these months (God bless their delicate constitutions). I don’t care. I’ll have plenty of time to visit with them in their lovely climate-controlled homes .. of course I’ll need a sweatshirt.
The most significant changes are with the amp and the DAC. First and foremost, my Fleawatt integrated will take the place of the toasty little APPJ PA0901A. This wonderful sounding class d integrated amp runs as cool or cooler than any component I’ve ever come across. Second, instead of swapping the Bifrost Multibit with another external DAC, I’ll be utilizing the Node 2’s on-board DAC. Perfect for summer! Cool.
Fanning the flames
Yes, I run a fan in my listening space when the temperature soars. I suppose this isn’t practical for critical listening sessions but is just fine for everyday enjoyment. Funny, I don’t often find myself in the mood for these critical type listening sessions anyway. No doubt my audiophile cred will suffer and my club card will be revoked because of this. Bad audiophile.
Like many an audiophile I’ve had way too many components pass through my doors over the years. Here’s a list of gear I simply don’t want to part with. While packed away for now, each will see the light of day again at some point. Why hold onto such excess? What holds my interest? The speaker collection, for example, consists of a quasi-ribbon panel, a two-way mini monitor with an AMT tweeter, and a pseudo-omni floorstander. Each design philsophy is radically different from one another and offers a different presentation with unique strengths and weaknesses. Of course, they all sound good too. I just can’t part with them. Besides, it’s never a bad idea to have backups.
- Chord Qute EX
- dB Audio Labs Tranquility (Gold Level mods)
- iFi SPDIF iPurifier
- UpTone Audio USB REGEN
- Wyred 4 Sound bLINK
USB to SPDIF converters
- Bel Canto mLink
- SOtM dX-USB HD
- APPJ PA0901A
- Fleawatt Audio TPA3116D2
- Odyssey Audio Cyclops (SE+ w/ps upgrade)
- Response Audio RAM 301
- Magnepan MMG
- Mark & Daniel Maximus-Ruby
- Ohm MicroWalsh Tall
- Ohm MicroSubwoofer 10 (pair)
- iFi Audio iPower
- iFi Audio iUSBPower
- KingRex PSU MK2
- SOtM mBPS-d2s
- Teddy Pardo 12/2
- Decware ZSB
- Outlaw Audio ICBM-1
This system came about after many years searching for my own little slice of audio nirvana. I put this together with a budget I was comfortable with and no, this is not an uber-expensive system to lust over but a high-value, high-performing, and utterly satisfying one. My favorite to date.
My listening space is a typically appointed 13′ x 18′ living room. Distance from loudspeakers to ears is about 10′.
- Mac mini (2012, 2.6GHz i7, 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD)
- Bel Canto mLink
- MHDT Lab Pagoda
- Decware SE84UFO
- Omega Super 3i
- Omega DeepHemp 8
- MHDT Lab USB
- Black Cat Cable SilverStar! 75
- Better Cables Silver Serpent RCA
- OmegaConnect Speaker One
- DIY solid silver (for subwoofer)
Component rack/speaker stands
- Salamander Synergy
- IsoAcoustics Aperta
- Sanus Steel Series
- Oyen Digital MiniPro Thunderbolt SSD (flac – uncompressed)
- High Sierra
- Amarra Luxe
- Amarra sQ+
- Audirvana Plus
- Deezer HiFi
Recently, I found myself in need of some new speaker cables. After much looking around online and not finding the right cable at a price I was happy with, I decided it was time for a project. It’s been a while since I went the DIY cable route so I needed to research a bit and find good sources for the materials. The last item arrived just in time for my free weekend.
.999 Pure Silver
This project seemed a perfect time to kill 2 birds with 1 stone (so to speak) and build some solid silver speaker cables. Cables made with this precious metal intrigue me but the cost of admission is a bit off-putting. Enter DIY. First and foremost I want to mention an article and website where I found a wealth of information including where to source some of the materials I used:
Make Your Own Silver Audio Cables by Joseph Levy, The Vinyl Tourist
The article was last updated in 2010 but remains relevant today.
I decided on 16 gauge .999 pure soft annealed solid silver, 14 gauge clear PTFE jacketing, and Audioquest SureGrip bananas. Originally I was not going to terminate the wire but the APPJ PA0901A requires bananas for connection. I made 8’ cables (ordered enough for 9’) and opted not finish them with an outer jacket. My budget for the project was $200 (sans shipping) and I came in slightly below that amount.
I’m very happy with the results .. they look decent and sound great.
After many years pairing high-powered amps with low-efficiency loudspeakers I decided to go in the opposite direction. Why? Mainly curiosity. I’ve never had the opportunity to hear high-efficiency single-driver loudspeakers in my system and thought it was time. And tubes. I find tubes fascinating, single-ended triode in particular. Cost of these amps was always somewhat prohibitive for me and is why, for the most part, I shied away. Enter Chi-Fi. Initially I think many of us audiophiles balked at the spate of cheap (and cheaply made) electronics coming out of China. After all, how could anything so inexpensive be remotely “hifi”?
APPJ PA0901A integrated amp
For me, it was the oddly named PA0901A that caught my eye. This minuscule “integrated” from APPJ is a single-ended triode design rated at 3.5 wpc with an SMPS (yes, you read that right) and uses one 12AX7 and two EL84s. The use of an SMPS in the design allows for it’s small form factor (approx. 5” x 5” x 5”). The sound quality is simply astonishing at this price-point ($189).
Omega Super 3i loudspeakers
Omega Speaker Systems has been on my radar for as long as I’ve been reading about high-efficiency loudspeakers. Louis Chochos has been building his single-driver designs for 14 of his 34 years in the speaker industry. I purchased the Super 3i’s in the beautifully finished EKO Ash Tweed for $695. These speakers have an efficiency rating of 94.5 dB at 8 ohms and are a perfect match for the little Chi-Fi wonder amp. Coherent. Fast. Addicting.
Fleawatt Audio TPA3116D2 integrated amp
I also purchased a low-powered solid state integrated amp from Fleawatt Audio recently. This class d integrated amp (25 wpc) is built around the TPA3116D2 chip which was the darling of the DIY community at one time. Derek Sanderson builds these creations as a hobby and sells to members of the audiophile community at such a low cost it’s almost ridiculous*. Mine, which has significant upgrades, cost me $250. While not actually Chi-Fi, much of the parts were sourced from China but nicely built right here in the USA.
From a conversation with Derek: “The somewhat lower dampening factor, 3D imaging and smooth highs are very much like a single ended triode amplifier, but with more power.” He wasn’t kidding. Incredible sound for so little cash. I’ll be using this nice cool-running amp in the summer months when I’ll want a break from those lovely little glass heaters.
It’s a great time to be an audiophile.
*Derek is now on hiatus.