It’s been far too long since my last post and it’s good to be back. My silence doesn’t mean that there’s nothing new to report, however. Since parting with my Reference 3A De Capo’s several months ago, there have been a number of major changes to my rig that I’m eager to tell you about…
I purchased a pair of Omega Speakers. I really wanted to try the single-driver thing and see what all the fuss was about, especially since so many owners of SET amps seem to find single-driver designs an excellent match for their electronics. I ended up with a pair of Omega Super Alnico monitors, which feature a 6-inch, hemp cone driver which is proprietary to Omega. I’m still breaking them in and tweaking them, so there’s no review just yet.
But They Need Stands!
The Super Alnico’s need some good stands and they are somewhat larger than many monitors. Additionally, conventional wisdom on the Omega Forum is that you want them to be about 20 inches off the floor, which isn’t a standard height for monitor stands. Thus, if you want to get the absolute best out of these babies, you’re looking at ordering a custom stand. After doing some research (and yes, there are cheaper alternatives out there) I took the advice of a bunch of folks on the Omega Forum at Audiocircle and went with a pair of custom stands from Skylan. Why spend all that money on speakers and then not hear them at their best by putting them on substandard stands? So, Skylan four-post, custom stands it was.
In this post I’ll share some detailed unboxing and assembly photos, along with overall impressions.
Skylan is located in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and is owned and operated by Noel Nolan. They’ve been in business since 1985. Skylan makes component racks, speaker stands and amplifier bases. Everything can be custom made to your exact measurements. Noel is a delightful guy to talk to and is keen to answer all of his customers’ questions before and after the sale.
Noel gave me a 3 week ETA on delivery of my stands. He beat that delivery date by a few days, which put a smile on my face.
But what really got me grinning was the way in which the stands were packed: there seems to be at least as much forethought and engineering built into the packaging of these stands as there is in the stands themselves.
Assembling the Skylans
Although the assembly instructions consist of two sides of a single sheet of paper, they are clear and thorough, making the assembly process fairly easy.
You tell from these photographs just how handsome the completed stands turned out to be. You cannot really see the textured, black finish, nor can you lean on the stands and see just how rock solid they are, and how well they couple to the floor. But I will tell you that this is a product that just embodies the concept of “pride of ownership.” Noel Nolan clearly cares a lot about his products, and they fairly exude quality from top to bottom.
As for the sound, there’s no doubt that the Skylan stands have improved the focus, detail and low end of my Omega Super Alnico. I’d had them on cheap and somewhat wobbly, temporary MDF stands before receiving my Skylan’s, and the improvement is not subtle.
Of course, you know the old cliché, “You get what you pay for.” This is clearly the case with Skylan speaker stands. They aren’t cheap, not by a long shot. Specifically, these stands cost about $500 Canadian, shipping included. (Fortunately, with the US-Canadian exchange rate being favorable to the American dollar at the time, the cost to me was just under $400.) Are there are cheaper stands on the market? Certainly. But I am completely delighted with my Skylan custom stands and I’ve no doubt that they were worth the extra expense.
I’ve tried to convey as best I can what a beautifully designed and executed product this is. If you need speaker stands and can afford to buy (or can save up for) a pair of Skylan’s… do it, you won’t regret the purchase.