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Author Topic: thoughts on bfm omnitop 12's ?  (Read 12490 times)

dave celko

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thoughts on bfm omnitop 12's ?
« on: October 16, 2013, 10:53:04 pm »

what are ur guys thoughts on theese
http://www.billfitzmaurice.com/OmniTop12.html

im thinking about building a couple of these in a 2x12 configuration or maybe even the j aray

reason being is my tops are having trouble keeping up with my subs , and im starting to get some bigger events


pricing seems good and reviews seem good , but id like to hear maybe some first hand experiance with them
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Rick Powell

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Re: thoughts on bfm omnitop 12's ?
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2013, 01:14:34 am »

You are probably not going to get a lot of love for this box or any BFM designs around here.  I have never knowingly seen or heard a BFM box in all my travels, I may have heard one of their Tuba sub designs.  The cluster of piezo horns breaks every rule I have heard regarding HF horn design, but as I say, I have never heard this box so I can't comment on how it sounds or performs.
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George Dougherty

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Re: thoughts on bfm omnitop 12's ?
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2013, 01:17:31 am »

what are ur guys thoughts on theese
http://www.billfitzmaurice.com/OmniTop12.html

im thinking about building a couple of these in a 2x12 configuration or maybe even the j aray

reason being is my tops are having trouble keeping up with my subs , and im starting to get some bigger events


pricing seems good and reviews seem good , but id like to hear maybe some first hand experiance with them
I use the compression driver option in the hf and with a bit of tuning am very happy with them from 125Hz up.  If you don't need to meet riders they're fine boxes that can be built as I did them for under $500/ea attributing no value to my labor.  I use 2 per side as a minimum and 4 per side will handle 1000-1500 people. Supporting them in a ground stack above people's heads so they don't kill anyone in front of them can be a challenge.
If you need to meet riders or may want to grow into a real business, put your money into something else.
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David Parker

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Re: thoughts on bfm omnitop 12's ?
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2013, 09:29:31 am »

what are ur guys thoughts on theese
http://www.billfitzmaurice.com/OmniTop12.html

im thinking about building a couple of these in a 2x12 configuration or maybe even the j aray

reason being is my tops are having trouble keeping up with my subs , and im starting to get some bigger events


pricing seems good and reviews seem good , but id like to hear maybe some first hand experiance with them

I built 8 of the single 12 version with the piezo melded array. That's 96 piezos total. I used them a lot in various arrangements. the only time I use them now is for something outside where I need a lot of volume. 4 twelves on each side stacked on top of each other as they are designed will put out a lot of sound. They need a lot of eq, and they are inconsistent with regards to eq in the area they cover. One thing, they are amazingly efficient for their size, weight, and cost when properly arrayed, stacked on top of each other. I've done intimate settings where I put two on each side on stands, with the top ones turned 90 degrees to cover a wide area. they worked well in that setting. As with all Bill Fitzmaurice designs, they do not some anywhere close to his claims, but they are an interesting design, and have some use. That being said, again, I rarely use mine anymore. As one other said, they might be different if I'd used the compression driver option, but the frequency response of the boxes is FAR from flat. They are extremely efficient in a narrow band. That means, to get them to sound good, it takes a lot of eq cuts which negates the efficiency.
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David Parker

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Re: thoughts on bfm omnitop 12's ?
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2013, 09:36:02 am »

what are ur guys thoughts on theese
http://www.billfitzmaurice.com/OmniTop12.html

im thinking about building a couple of these in a 2x12 configuration or maybe even the j aray

reason being is my tops are having trouble keeping up with my subs , and im starting to get some bigger events


pricing seems good and reviews seem good , but id like to hear maybe some first hand experiance with them

here's a photo of one side of the rig I used for a stadium youth crusade. I got rave reviews on the sound. One stack like this on each side, tilted back to aim the sound up into the bleachers.
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dave celko

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Re: thoughts on bfm omnitop 12's ?
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2013, 08:47:13 pm »

I built 8 of the single 12 version with the piezo melded array. That's 96 piezos total. I used them a lot in various arrangements. the only time I use them now is for something outside where I need a lot of volume. 4 twelves on each side stacked on top of each other as they are designed will put out a lot of sound. They need a lot of eq, and they are inconsistent with regards to eq in the area they cover. One thing, they are amazingly efficient for their size, weight, and cost when properly arrayed, stacked on top of each other. I've done intimate settings where I put two on each side on stands, with the top ones turned 90 degrees to cover a wide area. they worked well in that setting. As with all Bill Fitzmaurice designs, they do not some anywhere close to his claims, but they are an interesting design, and have some use. That being said, again, I rarely use mine anymore. As one other said, they might be different if I'd used the compression driver option, but the frequency response of the boxes is FAR from flat. They are extremely efficient in a narrow band. That means, to get them to sound good, it takes a lot of eq cuts which negates the efficiency.

thank you this is the kind of response i was hoping for , i have diy subs ( a dozen) and they work great and they are as flat as the designer said they were 20-100 hz. so was hoping i could find a diy solution for tops that would work just as well 
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dave celko

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Re: thoughts on bfm omnitop 12's ?
« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2013, 08:50:08 pm »

If you need to meet riders or may want to grow into a real business, put your money into something else.

its a hobby for me really, i do some private events for myself/work that i promote, i do some stuff for the township,and some bar gigs, among other gigs.
wont ever get further then that really
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David Parker

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Re: thoughts on bfm omnitop 12's ?
« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2013, 10:00:00 pm »

thank you this is the kind of response i was hoping for , i have diy subs ( a dozen) and they work great and they are as flat as the designer said they were 20-100 hz. so was hoping i could find a diy solution for tops that would work just as well
It was interesting the responses I got with this rig. Most people had no idea what it would do. They compared it to similar sized cabs they recognized. The design allows for a really light cab, because it is not intended to reproduce low frequencies. The band showed up and thought it was going to be a bad night, not nearly enough rig. I put on some mp3 music while they were setting up and they immediately changed their minds, nothing but praise for the rig. The seating area covered would seat 5000. Not rock level, but plenty adequate for a praise band and preacher.
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George Dougherty

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Re: thoughts on bfm omnitop 12's ?
« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2013, 01:57:20 am »

its a hobby for me really, i do some private events for myself/work that i promote, i do some stuff for the township,and some bar gigs, among other gigs.
wont ever get further then that really
I had the same complaints as David with the melded arrays.  Ditched them for the compression drivers and have been much more satisfied. Major issue is how the 12" dispersion is narrowing up at 2k and the melded array kicks in at almost 120 degrees. Gives a very uneven response off axis. I'm crossing my Beyma cd10fe's at 1.2k with good results in pattern consistency. It cost a lot more and I chose to biamp so I could align the drivers, but I wouldn't go back.
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dave celko

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Re: thoughts on bfm omnitop 12's ?
« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2013, 02:00:22 am »

I had the same complaints as David with the melded arrays.  Ditched them for the compression drivers and have been much more satisfied. Major issue is how the 12" dispersion is narrowing up at 2k and the melded array kicks in at almost 120 degrees. Gives a very uneven response off axis. I'm crossing my Beyma cd10fe's at 1.2k with good results in pattern consistency. It cost a lot more and I chose to biamp so I could align the drivers, but I wouldn't go back.

i cant decide if i wanna give them a shot or not , ill have plenty of time to decide though as i dont need a large rig till spring time

what i have now is covering 3-8,000sqft the tops struggle on the upper end of that


with just 8 subs i should be damn near 142db , ive only ever used 6 at a time though, and i know i can peg my spl meter at 135db

what i want and need is something to keep up with all 12 subs at a large event( yes i know probably overkill), stuff like home comings, 4th of july celebrations and other events of this nature and size i do for the township + stuff like warehouse raves and partys

any other suggestions then the omni tops?
if not im try out building some of the omnitops as a 2x12 with compression drivers
« Last Edit: October 19, 2013, 02:02:35 am by dave celko »
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George Dougherty

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Re: thoughts on bfm omnitop 12's ?
« Reply #10 on: October 19, 2013, 02:36:34 am »

i cant decide if i wanna give them a shot or not , ill have plenty of time to decide though as i dont need a large rig till spring time

what i have now is covering 3-8,000sqft the tops struggle on the upper end of that


with just 8 subs i should be damn near 142db , ive only ever used 6 at a time though, and i know i can peg my spl meter at 135db

what i want and need is something to keep up with all 12 subs at a large event( yes i know probably overkill), stuff like home comings, 4th of july celebrations and other events of this nature and size i do for the township + stuff like warehouse raves and partys

any other suggestions then the omni tops?
if not im try out building some of the omnitops as a 2x12 with compression drivers

4 ot12's would run ~135db @ 1m continuous on 200w/cab. Expect to spend some time dialing them in.  You could build 8 for $4000 or less with high quality components.  Speakerhardware.com could do a 1x12 kit for ~$500 with a high output 12" and a faital pro compression driver like the hf10ak.  1x12 precut flat packs are only $150 there as well.  For just under $5000 that would get a lot of output capability with very good drivers.  Not sure what you might get used in that output range but I'm sure others around here might suggest something.
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dave celko

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Re: thoughts on bfm omnitop 12's ?
« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2013, 02:50:44 am »

4 ot12's would run ~135db @ 1m continuous on 200w/cab. Expect to spend some time dialing them in.  You could build 8 for $4000 or less with high quality components.  Speakerhardware.com could do a 1x12 kit for ~$500 with a high output 12" and a faital pro compression driver like the hf10ak.  1x12 precut flat packs are only $150 there as well.  For just under $5000 that would get a lot of output capability with very good drivers.  Not sure what you might get used in that output range but I'm sure others around here might suggest something.

i saw the precut packs , was thinking id need the 2x12 , but if 1x12 can get me that kind of output i think a bunch of flatpacks would be the way to go

u wouldnt happen to know the difference between the standard otop and the j array would u?
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David Parker

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Re: thoughts on bfm omnitop 12's ?
« Reply #12 on: October 19, 2013, 09:12:50 am »

i cant decide if i wanna give them a shot or not , ill have plenty of time to decide though as i dont need a large rig till spring time

what i have now is covering 3-8,000sqft the tops struggle on the upper end of that


with just 8 subs i should be damn near 142db , ive only ever used 6 at a time though, and i know i can peg my spl meter at 135db

what i want and need is something to keep up with all 12 subs at a large event( yes i know probably overkill), stuff like home comings, 4th of july celebrations and other events of this nature and size i do for the township + stuff like warehouse raves and partys

any other suggestions then the omni tops?
if not im try out building some of the omnitops as a 2x12 with compression drivers

I did a lot of gigs with the omnitops before I retired them. Most of them were 2 on each side. They could be clearly heard 300' back. Not loud back there, but you could hear them clearly. One nice thing about them, you can keep stacking them and they keep coupling. Other speakers like your typical 2-15+horn cabs don't array well, you increase the horizontal coverage, but don't add as much as far as how far they reach back. Stacking the omnitops is kinda like a line array (although the experts will tell you it isn't a line array) in that they just keep getting louder which means the reach farther back. Never ever put two omnitops side by side, always stacked one on top of the other. If you lived closer I'd let you play with mine.
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George Dougherty

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Re: thoughts on bfm omnitop 12's ?
« Reply #13 on: October 19, 2013, 11:41:37 am »

i saw the precut packs , was thinking id need the 2x12 , but if 1x12 can get me that kind of output i think a bunch of flatpacks would be the way to go

u wouldnt happen to know the difference between the standard otop and the j array would u?

The Omnitop is a line array cab.  Like all similar cabinets just a handful does not make a true line array.  With 6 cabs you start to get into some amount of low mid near field effect for more than just a few feet. It's a box designed for vertical arraying so you really don't want to stack them side by side, like David said.  Unlike a professional line array cabinet, they're only designed in the plans for ground stacking and there is no handy integrated fly hardware which is probably a good thing for most of the people that build or use them. 

With a vertical array, your horizontal coverage is what it is.  The HF horn is good for about 100 degrees horizontal at best. If you need wider than that, you can do a helix arrangement, but the stacking can get precarious, especially if you keep the HF fronts in line for best alignment.  Plan accordingly.  Mine always get strapped down to the platform they stack on when I twist the stack for wider dispersion.

The normal box is a small rectangular shape. If you want a curved front to hit different seating you have to separate the fronts which is not ideal from an integration POV. The j-array looks like many other line array cabinets with an angle built into the top and bottom to curve the front as you stack them. Wedges or brackets can then straighten out the front if needed. It makes the build that much more difficult with all the angle cuts.

The 2x12 is no different from a pair of 1x12's except for being heavier than a single box and less flexible in deployment. One nice thing though; you can wire a 2x12 as a 16ohm cab if you wanted to hang a pair of them off a high output amp. With the 3012HO in a 2x12, you could easily put 900W continuous into the cabinet and a pair would give an average 8ohm load for a bridged amplifier.  That doesn't get you any power shading ability if you stack the bottom box at ear level and want to turn it down a bit.  I tend to run my 1x12's in pairs for 4ohm loads and better versatility in volume adjustments.

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David Parker

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Re: thoughts on bfm omnitop 12's ?
« Reply #14 on: October 19, 2013, 11:50:41 am »

The Omnitop is a line array cab.  Like all similar cabinets just a handful does not make a true line array.  With 6 cabs you start to get into some amount of low mid near field effect for more than just a few feet. It's a box designed for vertical arraying so you really don't want to stack them side by side, like David said.  Unlike a professional line array cabinet, they're only designed in the plans for ground stacking and there is no handy integrated fly hardware which is probably a good thing for most of the people that build or use them. 

With a vertical array, your horizontal coverage is what it is.  The HF horn is good for about 100 degrees horizontal at best. If you need wider than that, you can do a helix arrangement, but the stacking can get precarious, especially if you keep the HF fronts in line for best alignment.  Plan accordingly.  Mine always get strapped down to the platform they stack on when I twist the stack for wider dispersion.

The normal box is a small rectangular shape. If you want a curved front to hit different seating you have to separate the fronts which is not ideal from an integration POV. The j-array looks like many other line array cabinets with an angle built into the top and bottom to curve the front as you stack them. Wedges or brackets can then straighten out the front if needed. It makes the build that much more difficult with all the angle cuts.

The 2x12 is no different from a pair of 1x12's except for being heavier than a single box and less flexible in deployment. One nice thing though; you can wire a 2x12 as a 16ohm cab if you wanted to hang a pair of them off a high output amp. With the 3012HO in a 2x12, you could easily put 900W continuous into the cabinet and a pair would give an average 8ohm load for a bridged amplifier.  That doesn't get you any power shading ability if you stack the bottom box at ear level and want to turn it down a bit.  I tend to run my 1x12's in pairs for 4ohm loads and better versatility in volume adjustments.
I had a couple of events where the seating was wide and shallow, with a lot of the seating on either side of the stage. I put two omitops on each side, 90 degrees to each other. It worked very well, but in these events, they didn't want a lot of volume, so one cab in each direction gave plenty.
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George Dougherty

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Re: thoughts on bfm omnitop 12's ?
« Reply #15 on: October 19, 2013, 12:40:13 pm »

I had a couple of events where the seating was wide and shallow, with a lot of the seating on either side of the stage. I put two omitops on each side, 90 degrees to each other. It worked very well, but in these events, they didn't want a lot of volume, so one cab in each direction gave plenty.
Of course you can use them with the same caveats as a traditional trap style box. Minimize your pattern overlap in any situation like that.
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dave celko

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Re: thoughts on bfm omnitop 12's ?
« Reply #16 on: October 20, 2013, 03:02:29 am »

Of course you can use them with the same caveats as a traditional trap style box. Minimize your pattern overlap in any situation like that.

thanks guys , im going to give them a shot , i have a gig next weekend , and then again on Halloween, so right after that im going to order up 4 of the flat pack kits and put them together and see how it goes
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ProSoundWeb Community

Re: thoughts on bfm omnitop 12's ?
« Reply #16 on: October 20, 2013, 03:02:29 am »


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