That's the thing with semi-omnis; they really do open a window and let you hear the human qualities of the musicians as they perform. Technique, and instrumental reality is what they seem to major in.
Additionally, on suitable recordings, such as many of those in the classical field, you get the venue being brought into your room. Live jazz recordings also allow semi-omnis to pull off the same trick, in fact anything live is a revelation when heard via a semi omni speaker. They are absolutely involving.
Except......Try taking a semi-omni out of a domestic living room context and you can very easily find yourself in trouble.
With mine, it has been nigh on impossible to convince anyone about their very special qualities, unless they have heard them in my own room because they won't drive a large space.
Sit in their near field in a large room and they actually do work pretty well, but with a six deep row of occupied chairs, only the front row will get anything like the full panoramic effect.
Those standing at the back can forget it as all they will get is a wishy washy wall of indistinction. Within ten seconds of a record starting, they will lose the will to live and start talking over the music.
Take a pair of semis to somewhere like Owston and you will look like a complete prat within seconds, to anyone sat more than eight feet from them.
Even in a dealer dem room like MCRU's you are on a hiding to nothing. Yes, they'll fill the room, but it won't be with enough conviction to keep people interested.
Semi-omnis need to be heard in a real room, where as you, me and the Doc's Cube customers have found, they are absolutely magical.
It is soooooo incredibly frustrating that the bloody things keep their magic resolutely hidden from the show or dem room audience.
You can, if you are a manufacturer, bludgeon a dem or show room into submission with massive solid state amps and six figure priced Radialstrahlers of German Physiks true omnis, then the magic will come out and the punters will sit there open mouthed both at the sound and at the eye watering prices of the speakers and the amplification needed to drive them.
What these poor punters don't know however, is exactly the same awesome sound is available at a fraction of the price, from semi omnis in real rooms. Pity the damn things hide their awesomeness so effectively in front of the public, preferring instead to amaze and entrance only in the privacy and intimacy of your living room.
But... for those of us who have experienced these wonderful devices in their own rooms, nothing else comes close.
However the word is slowly but surely spreading. As yet, we are quite a way from the tipping point, because tradition is so strong, but progress is being made.
BTE Designs modified Lenco L75 idler turntable, Rega R200 Tonearm, Goldring E3 MM cartridge, NVA Phono1 phono stage.
Mac-Mini music server with iTunes, AppleTV4 media streamer, Musical Fidelity M1 DAC,
NVA A20/P20, 25WPC stereo power amplifier/passive control unit,
own design, semi-omnidirectional, transmission line speakers- "The Flatback Banned".