I have been following Devon Turnbull, the owner of OJAS speakers on Instagram for years; his speakers are truly works of art in their simple elegance, build, color, and his integration of horns. They have also always been out of reach for me financially — until now. The OJAS Shelf Horn Mod Kit offers a degree of hope for listeners like myself who are focused on affordable vintage amplifiers and want to use loudspeakers like the OJAS at home.
A number of years ago, OJAS started offering a bookshelf model. One that could be produced in non “one off” numbers. It was also offered as a kit; I have a lot of experience building amplifier kits and fixing vintage loudspeakers but building my own speaker from parts would be something new.
The original OJAS featured a 16″ x 14” x 12.5” loudspeaker cabinet and a JBL 328C single full range driver. What further impressed me was the 96 dB speaker sensitivity which allows you to run these speakers with as little as 3 watts of power; which also made them ideal for vintage receivers and tube amplifiers.
The kits and models that are already assembled have been offered for sale on Devon’s OJAS website; demand for the products has often resulted in long waits and there have been gaps in the availability.
The most recent offering is the OJAS Shelf Horn Mod Kit; the kit allows users to redirect the top end of the range to the horns and can be installed with some basic soldering and drilling.
Common Wave Hi-Fi is a Los Angeles-based dealer with 3 rooms at T.H.E. Show 2022 including an excellent setup with the new DeVore Fidelity O/baby loudspeakers. Their OJAS setup wasn’t fully ready when I stopped by but I’m glad that I took the time to return on Saturday.
Common Wave had the OJAS loudspeakers on display ($5,500 USD) on CW Custom stands ($1,100 USD).
They may be small in size but Devon recommends a minimum of 8 feet between the listener and loudspeakers.
Powering the loudspeakers was an Audio Hungary Qualiton A50i Tube Integrated Amplifier ; a 50 watts/channel class A design that uses 4 KT120 output tubes to deliver all of that power. The A50i is manufactured in Hungary and retails for $9,250 USD.
Digital sources included Innuos digital music servers and the the Merason Frerot DAC which retails for $1,475 USD and can also be ordered with an external power supply for an additional $950 USD. The Frerot is a 24-bit/192kHz PCM DAC and offers five digital inputs; 2 S/PDIF, 2 Toslink Optical, and 1 USB. It also offers single ended and balanced outputs.
Common Wave also had two Technics 1210 MK2 turntables in use connected to a Varia Instruments RDM40 Rotary Mixer ($3,800 USD).
I was very impressed with the openness and immediacy of the sound; the room was definitely too small for the scale that loudspeaker is capable of reproducing. The loudspeaker clearly doesn’t need the 50 watts of power that were driving them; one could certainly use a low powered tube amplifier with these loudspeakers.
I’m super tempted.
For more information: OJAS NYC