Bottlehead Forum

Other Gear => Speakers => Topic started by: benzxc on August 03, 2019, 04:46:34 PM

Title: Stereomour Speakers
Post by: benzxc on August 03, 2019, 04:46:34 PM
Hi all,

I'm saving up for a Stereomour II and have been eyeing some speakers to pair with.  I intend to place them in my living room (13' x 13'), which has an open floor plan connecting it with my kitchen (5' x 7') and dining room (10' x 13').  While I will probably spend most of my time in the living room listening to the speakers, I also like to play music while I am doing housework/chores around the kitchen/dining room.

I mainly listen to jazz and classical music.  Not too much vocals apart from the odd opera pieces. 

My budget range is USD1,000 - 1,500.

Three speakers have interested me so far:

1. Blumenstein Orcas + Subwoofer combo

2. Omega Super 3 XRS

3. Caintuck Betsy Open Baffle + Alpha Sub

Anyone have any experience with the above speakers or any other speakers to pair with the Stereomour II that can provide me with some advice? 

My concern with the Orcas is that it might not be powerful enough given the open floor plan of my intended listening area. 

While I like the Caintuck open baffle look, I have never used an open baffle speakers before and there seems to be a dearth of places near where I live that I can audition those speakers.

Any advice is greatly appreciated!


Title: Re: Stereomour Speakers
Post by: bernieclub on August 04, 2019, 01:48:04 AM
I don't have experience personally with any of the above specifically, but have experimented extensively with single driver and open baffle speakers over the years, in a similar listening environment.   You don't really have the space to get the best out of the OB.   Single drivers are nice, but come with specific sacrifices.   You might want to consider these with the finished cabinet option...

Title: Re: Stereomour Speakers
Post by: benzxc on August 04, 2019, 01:57:55 AM
Thanks, Bernie!
Title: Re: Stereomour Speakers
Post by: 2wo on August 04, 2019, 05:50:40 PM
I have listened to the Betsy's driven with one of my 45 amps and they sound wonderful. They have a huge sound stage, a "you are there image" and a beautiful tone. I really liked them a lot...John

Title: Re: Stereomour Speakers
Post by: benzxc on August 05, 2019, 12:24:22 AM
Thanks, John!  I'm leaning more towards the Betsy due to the price and I just really like the looks of the open baffle design.  Though the omega super 3 xrs and orcas look really nice too....
Title: Re: Stereomour Speakers
Post by: EricS on August 30, 2019, 07:18:36 AM
I'm a little late to this conversation and don't know where you are in your decision making process, but I thought I'd put in a vote for a single driver design called the "Frugal Horn XL."  You can find some details here: (

I'm using mine with a number of lower-powered amps including a new 300B amp I'm working on.  They have enough bass that I am satisfied to listen to them without using a sub.  Drivers are inexpensive and if you have woodworking skills, you can build cabinets yourself.
Title: Re: Stereomour Speakers
Post by: benzxc on September 11, 2019, 06:35:37 AM
Thanks, Eric! I ended up going for the Orcas with subs and am eagerly awaiting their arrival!
Title: Re: Stereomour Speakers
Post by: oguinn on September 11, 2019, 07:50:37 AM
I have the Orcas and use them with the Stereomour II. I like them quite a bit. I'm using a shitty old Yamaha powered sub and a powered crossover (against Clark Blumenstein's advice, actually - he suggests using the speaker level outputs as the input to the sub but I wasn't really able to get what I was looking for with that setup). I'd love to upgrade to a nicer sub, and I'd love even more to get stereo subs at some point.
Title: Re: Stereomour Speakers
Post by: Jamier on September 11, 2019, 09:24:11 AM

     What, exactly, was the reasoning that Clark gave you concerning not using an active Xover?

Title: Re: Stereomour Speakers
Post by: oguinn on September 11, 2019, 11:32:22 AM
I want to be really careful here for two reasons:

With those two caveats (boiled down to: Clark's nice and I'm probably going to get this wrong) out of the way, here's what I think he was saying: the Stereomour has more than enough power to handle both the Orca and the sub. Concerns about lower frequencies being difficult to drive are a little overblown. Additionally, a powered sub will have a filter that will weed out the higher frequencies, and there's a reasonable overlap between what the Orca is able to drive and what the sub is asked to drive that results in a fuller sound.

I'm 100% sure I butchered that. Apologies to Clark. He's been around the forum before, maybe he'll come rescue that explanation.

In my experience, however, I never got the sound I was looking for with the sub at speaker level, and I think it's because I use The Fix between the Smash and the Stereomour, so I was performing baffle step correction on the sub in that setup. Ultimately it's also easier to control the subwoofer's sound with the various controls on the X2 crossover.
Title: Re: Stereomour Speakers
Post by: Jamier on September 11, 2019, 12:02:15 PM

      How did the system sound without the Fix?

Title: Re: Stereomour Speakers
Post by: oguinn on September 11, 2019, 01:02:46 PM
I want to say it was a little dull and light on the high end, but it's been a while since I listened without it so it's probably worth re-testing.
Title: Re: Stereomour Speakers
Post by: Paul Birkeland on September 11, 2019, 01:28:45 PM
I would add that if you listen loudly in a large room to music with lots of low frequency content, you can overdrive the full range driver in the Orca.  What you'll hear is the voice coil former hitting the back plate, and it will sound like a loud pop.  If this is something you run into, you can stuff the ports with socks or put a passive high pass crossover between the amp and Orcas to increase the power handling. 

This is an inexpensive experiment to try, but often times isn't completely necessary. 
Title: Re: Stereomour Speakers
Post by: Jamier on September 11, 2019, 05:41:48 PM

      I have never seen the curves for an Orca, but it is ported so it probably has a couple of impedance peaks below 600hz. I know what Clark is referring to concerning the constraints, or lack there of, when an amp is driving low frequencies. So with the SII, @ 3.5 W/ side, a good deal of it’s abilities will be consumed driving those speakers in the lower frequencies, if they have the typical twin impedance peaks that most ported speakers have (PB, correct me if I’m wrong). So, I agree with Clark that, all things being equal, low frequencies don’t require more from your amp than higher frequencies, but in real life they usually do.

     I think the reason that you probably prefer the system with the X2 in place is that with speaker level connections there will be a lot of duplication of frequencies around the Xover point ( from both the sub and the satellites) and this will create a loss of coherency in that region with reflections, cancellations etc. With the active xover there is a much cleaner cutoff which reduces that and you get better coherency. In addition you cut your SII off at the xover frequency which relieves it of reproducing the lowest frequencies thus giving the amp more headroom. This has been my experience anyway. YMMV.

Title: Re: Stereomour Speakers
Post by: oguinn on September 12, 2019, 02:16:18 AM
All that makes sense.

Sorry to hijack your thread, Ben. I have really enjoyed the NHT X2 crossover that Jamie recommended, so it might be a good pick up if you find yourself wanting more in the bass department. They're out of production but I found mine on eBay with a little patience.
Title: Re: Stereomour Speakers
Post by: Jamier on September 12, 2019, 04:03:38 AM
Jameson is right, this thread has kind of been highjacked, sorry about that Ben. But it does fall into the topic of speakers for the SII, so with that in mind I would just add this: If I had a pair of Jaegers I would be in line for the active Xover upgrade. I mean, if you own a pair you’ve already made the initial investment. The cost of the Xover and another amp is nothing to sneeze at I know, but the improvement you’ll make to your system is absolutely predictable.

Title: Re: Stereomour Speakers
Post by: benzxc on September 12, 2019, 04:37:18 PM
Hey guys, no worries at all. Great information here for me to know! Especially since I am waiting for a pair of Orcas to arrive!

Title: Re: Stereomour Speakers
Post by: benzxc on December 20, 2019, 09:31:15 PM
So the Orcas finally arrived, four months later! They look very nice and the sound is quite satisfying too. I got it with the sub and sub amp that Blumenstein offers and it pushes out enough bass for me in a near field bedroom environment.

I ended up also getting the Betsy baffles from Caintuck audio and am also very satisfied with them. Considering the price between the Orcas and the Betsy baffles, I think the Betsy's are a great deal. The soundstage is really wide and realistic. Even without considering the price I think the Betsy's are a very good pair of speakers. Woodwork is not as delicate as Blumenstein but I think they look nice to me. It is also significantly cheaper than Blumenstein Orcas.

I was, however, shocked by the unprofessional and poor customer service of Blumenstein. (Caintuck audio was a great pleasure to deal with on the other hand.) Failing to respond to emails, lack of any communication on the progress of the order, repeated missing deadlines without any notice to me, changing ordered products without asking me first, defective cables, forgetting to include products that I ordered etc. Needless to say I won't be ordering from Blumenstein again.  Considered sending the whole system back to Blumenstein for a refund but decided didn't want to spend the extra shipping costs and to deal with Blumenstein any more. Chalked it up as a bad investment. At least the speakers when they did finally arrive sounded decent. Genuinely surprised at the bad service because I read a lot of positive reviews of the company online.
Title: Re: Stereomour Speakers
Post by: benzxc on December 21, 2019, 06:32:30 AM
I should also add that Clark was always polite and pleasant to speak with and always took my calls. It was just the entire experience that left a bad taste in my mouth.
Title: Re: Stereomour Speakers
Post by: ALL212 on December 21, 2019, 10:18:49 AM
Hey Ben!

I'm going to add to this as a buyer beware on Blumenstein.  I really enjoyed talking to Clark and I ordered my Orca "old style" specials last year on December 6th.  I got them on the 12th of December this year, just a bit over 12 months from the initial order date.  Clark did mention it would be after the holiday before I got them.  Maybe I should have asked which holiday?

I received numerous "shipping soon", "shipping this weekend", etc only to find nothing had happened.  I wasn't in a hurry for them so I tried as best I could to allow Clark to work through this.  As far as I know he had issues with his prior land lord and had to move the entire shop to a new location and then get settled in.  I never got a "pre-emptive" email from him.  All correspondence was initiated by me.  Replies were always polite but not always true.

Part way through this, after sending an email to him with all of the prior emails with his responses in them pointing out that there were many opportunities for communication and truth, he did send a loner pair to me and I certainly did not expect that and it was much appreciated.

I have no complaints on the product, beautifully made and they do sound wonderful.  But if anyone here has close contact with him he needs to work on customer relations.  I think he has great potential but I too have a bad taste for his customer service.

Title: Re: Stereomour Speakers
Post by: benzxc on December 21, 2019, 09:21:45 PM
Hi Aaron,

12 months! I don't know what lead time Clark quoted you, but he gave me a lead time of 4 to 6 weeks when I placed the order. Like you, I ordered the old style version. When 12 weeks had passed and I received numerous "shipping next week" emails I had enough and sent Clark a lengthy email detailing our correspondence and the many instances of unfulfilled deadlines and lack of initiative on his part to keep me in the loop on any delays in production schedule. I, as client, shouldn't be put in a situation where I have to continuously follow up to see what's going on - Clark needs to proactively keep me in the loop on any issues with production.

In response to the email, Clark gave me a firm shipping date, which I had requested. It was only after the order was shipped that Clark told me that he shipped a super light orca and not the old style that I ordered because there was production difficulties with the old style. There is a 100 USD difference between the two. Clark said he informed me of the change but I am pretty sure we did not have that conversation.

Suffice it to say it was pretty frustrating to do business with him. Honestly I'm not surprised others may have had similar experiences now that I think about it.

Clark still hasn't refunded the 100 USD difference between the old style that I paid for and the super light that he shipped to me. I don't really understand what kind of book keeping he has to do on his end to issue a refund through PayPal but I can't imagine it to be too onerous. It has been nearly three weeks since the order was shipped and he has yet issues the refund. I'm going to open up a dispute on PayPal if he doesn't issue the refund soon.

I too echo Aaron's comment that I think Clark has great potential but really needs to work on his customer service. It really is a deal breaker for me in this case.
Title: Re: Stereomour Speakers
Post by: oguinn on December 22, 2019, 04:05:55 AM
That’s so disappointing to hear. I picked my Orcas up on eBay and Clark was really super pleasant to deal with when I asked him for advice on which subs to add. I really like the Orcas but I’m not sure. I want to deal with the frustration of what you both did.
Title: Re: Stereomour Speakers
Post by: Doc B. on December 22, 2019, 09:15:52 AM
We don't have any direct connection with Blumenstein Audio other than that Clark is an old friend. As an outsider reading about this transaction I do understand your frustration. And I also have a bit of sympathy for Clark, having run a small business for many years and having gotten behind on delivering products at times. It's too bad that this went the way it did. Posting simply that it took a long time to get the speakers is reasonable. But if you guys have complaints to air at length with another manufacturer it's probably more reasonable to take it to them rather than posting a grievance here and asking us to relay your thoughts.
Title: Re: Stereomour Speakers
Post by: benzxc on December 22, 2019, 09:35:50 AM
Hi Doc,

Thanks for your message. I didn't mean to post anything to air any grievances, just want to let others know about my experience with this particular manufacturer. Especially given the fact that I got interested with Blumenstein from the positive posts here on this forum. But I'm sorry if I gave the impression that I was trying to ask you to relay my thoughts. I just wanted an honest review from my experience about that company. I will refrain from posting further about this on this forum. Sorry about that, Doc!