Omega, Harbeth, JM Reynaud, ad Skylan

On a previous post I asked for thoughts regarding Harbeth and JM Reynaud speakers.  My subsequent speaker upgrade journey led me to discover Omega speakers, and specifically the Super Alnico Monitor.  I took the plunge, taking advantage of Omega's 30-day home trial.  So here is my update.

These speakers are now a permanent addition to my system and my musical enjoyment.  I am so thoroughly satisfied. While break-in took a good 100 hrs, the sound of these Omega Super Alnico Monitors is beyond reproach. Every day my wife and I are amazed at what we hear when we put on an old cd that we haven't listened to in a while. I have had several audiophile friends come over for auditions (folks with NHT XRS system, the new big JansZens, Vandy 2s and 3s) and to a person they cannot believe the level of detail, sound staging, spaciousness, and just overall great sound these speakers produce. And when I point out they go for $2K, their jaws really drop. I made one additional tweak to the system and got dedicated Skylan stands. The addition of the stands, and a bit less toe-in (as some Omega users have posted) seemed to really put everything in place.   The combination of these speakers and stands goes for less than $2,500, and I encourage anyone looking for new speakers in this price range to seriously consider the Omega's.

Are these the best thing since sliced bread? No, they do not do everything, nor would I expect them to, but I also have that same feeling for all other modestly priced speakers ($5K or less, can't believe I consider $5K as being modest).  But to my ears, these speakers are 95%+ of the way there. Is this a speaker I can and will live with happily ever after?  YES.  While I will still read all the high end mags, all the various audio websites, go to AXPONA, and regularly visit my local shops, I am done speaker shopping. Now I am just enjoying the music, which is really my ultimate goal.

Finally, I am still intrigued by all the Omega owners who rave about the combination of Omega speakers and SET amps. While my tube/SS hybrid integrated sounds great with these speakers, I am really curious about what improvement, if any, a low watt SET might provide.  Maybe that will be my next audio journey.

Finally, I would like to give a shout out to Loius Chochos of Omega  and Noel Noland of Skylan.  Louis has been a real pleasure to interact with, his customer service is nothing short but outstanding, and the quality of his product is absolutely first rate.  In a similar light, I have the same high regard for Noland ad the Skylan stands.  Dealing with both gentlemen was an unexpected pleasure in this day and age.  Thank you both.  And thank you for your fantastic products (Louis, your speakers do live up to the accolades presented by others on the Omega User's Circle website).

Final score:  Omega Super Alnico Monitors + Sylan Stands = about $2,500.  The Harbeth 30.1 monitors I was going to get would have been $5,600 (new, around $4K used), plus about $400 for stands.  Total savings for me = about $3,500!!!!  Even if I get a new SET integrated amp, I am still looking at $2,000 or more left over from my budget for new music!  

I am jealous!  Thanks for the update, Omega Super Alnico Monitors look terrific and the single driver technology has some great benefits. One question, what is the height of the speaker stand? 
My stands are 20 inches.  When I called Skylan and spoke with Noland, he told me he regularly builds stands for Omega speaker owners, and the ones I ordered are the ones he has for this specific monitor.  My understanding is that he will do other heights to meet your specific needs.

It is a shame that TAS and Stereophile only occasionally review single driver speakers, (Audience being one such speaker they review and like) and rave about 'exotic' new ones (like the $2.5K Bonsai mini monitor TAB raves about in its Tokyo Audio Show report in the Jan issue), yet overlook a truly high fidelity and high quality single driver products made here in the US.
Omega speakers are fantastic and they don't get near the acclaim they should. They are definitely one of the best bargains in audio. Besides the top of the line Alnico drivers the new RS5 drivers are significantly better than his older, but still excellent,  drivers. Also Louis Chochos is a very talented, honest and decent person who gives you an awful lot for your money. His workmanship is top notch!! Louis doesn't advertise or go to shows, but his speakers smoke many of the speakers, single and multi driver, speakers that get raves.

I think it's really great that you saved 3500.00 buying the Omega rather than the Harbeth. Did you ever do an AB comparison between the two?

Not at the same time. But both were auditioned in my home with the same system and acoustics.  Obviously the Omega's won!
Louis is a great guy and all etc, I have some Omega 3XRS with RS5 drivers.
Very good on vocals and small jazz groups , fair at best on Symphonic music where Harbeths are good . Harbeths are better and not by a little bit as they should be with the price gap . 
The Super Alnico Monitors are really good on symphonic music (to which I listen quite a lot). They are easily as good as the Harbeth 30.1s from what I remember from my auditions. Massed  strings and brass in particular are very well and clearly conveyed. They certainly can't recreate a symphony like the big B&Ws, Sonus, Harbeth 40.1s and others can, but I don't recall hearing a monitor similar in size to the SAMs do any better. and certainly not at the SAMs cost.  They convey the startle factor of many Telarc recordings amazingly so.
I don't have the Super Alnico model - wish I did.  I own a pair of original Hemptones in Makarssar Ebony.  (After they shipped - over 10 years ago - Louis told me mine are the first production pair).  I agree with the OP on break-in time - minimum 50 hours before they start to sound good, but after 100 hours they are sublime. I listen to they every day and wouldn't part with them.  
I've been living with Omega xrs's with the rs5 drivers now for a couple of years.  After going on a bit of a speaker merry go round these really did it for me and even today I marvel at their sound.  They replaced Harbeth's and Kef LS 50's.  I don't miss them a bit.  I've drive them with a variety of tube amps which really lets them shine.

I put in an order for the Alnico monitors recently.  It'll be fun to see how they compare to the rs5's.

You said you replaced the Harbeths with the Omegas. I am wondering which model Harbeth you had?


Ihor said he compared the Omegas to the Harbeths and the Harbeths won. You said that you thought the Harbeths were a lot better than the Omegas. I find it so Interesting how's people's opinions vary so much. I was thinking about picking up a used 30.1. But after hearing about the Omega being about half the price of a used Harbeth I am thinking about trying them. I looked at the website and they do offer a 30 day money back guarantee. I guess I have nothing to lose by trying them. (If I didn't like them I would be out a few bucks in shipping)

Correction, I meant to say Ihor compared the Omega with the Harbeth and the Omega won.

taters, I had the P3ESR's.  I kept them for a year after I bought the Omegas.  I kept thinking the Omegas were a temporary infatuation and I'd move on, but they weren't.  That said, they aren't for everyone and the Harbeth and Omega sounds are quite different.
Can these play music with a bit more slam. Let's say rock or metal? Or are Omega's best suited for vocals, jazz?
The Super Alnico monitor can play anything and put out an amazing amount of great bass.....much more than you would ever expect.  I too have replaced Harbeths with Omegas and will never look back.  Louis is one of the very best to work with.  My next purchase will be an additional Omega speaker, but one with 2 Alnico drivers in the same cabinet.  Louis and I are talking about it now and he's in the process of finishing a pair for another customer.  I hope to hear this new speaker in the near future.

Sense63, good to know, always been intrigued by single drivers. Have to admitt Omegas are a good looking speaker. Heard they shine with lower powered tube amps. Anyone what are you using??
joejoe, I use two different amps, both with great results.  The EAR 869 SET and an Octave V110 integrated.  
joejoe, I'm not sure of metal, but the Who (Quadrophenia), Pink Floyd, Talking Heads, Wilco, all sounds really good on the SAMs.  
I'm  late to this post but I can attest to the above. I have a pair of the Hemptone Super 8 speakers with the updated drivers purchased from Louis. I'm using the Audiopax amps and the sound is outta this world.