Founded in 2006, Oswalds Mill Audio (OMA) is known for making gear that inhabits the outer limits of high-end audio. The brainchild of founder and CEO Jonathan Weiss, OMA’s horn loudspeakers, tube electronics and slate-based turntables are no-compromise, artisanal products aimed at replicating music in a big way. The antithesis of clinical, etched and highest-tech, OMA systems are lifelike, effortless, organic, and capable of prodigious volume. They can also be eye-wateringly expensive.
Weiss decided it was time to offer the same sonic attributes and horn-loudspeaker magic to customers looking for a more affordable system. Fleetwood Sound Company (FSC) is a new division of OMA, named, in part, for the company once located next door to FSC’s 42,000-square-foot factory in Fleetwood, Pa.
“With our new brand, it’s a story about how everything that goes around comes around,” says Weiss. “Fleetwood Metal Body made some of the world’s finest motor-car bodies using Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Duesenberg, Mercedes, Cadillac and other drivetrains. That ultra-high-end luxury manufacturing is now gone from our country—that’s what we are trying to bring back in an age that desperately needs things that are authentic. Things that you can pass down to your kids. OMA has done it, and now with Fleetwood Sound Company, we can take it one step further in terms of reach.”
Starting at $9,600 per pair, Fleetwood’s premiere speaker is the DeVille, the first in a line of smaller speakers using the same solid hardwoods, hand-rubbed natural finishes, conical horns and engineering-driven design as their OMA siblings. Cabinets are handmade from sustainably harvested, solid Pennsylvania ash hardwood and, in addition to standard black, are also available in a plethora of finishes, including Farrow & Ball paint colors, antiqued leather, Japanese indigo-dyed denim and handmade Japanese washi paper—or just about anything the customer demands.
The natural sound from the DeVille comes from a 1-inch neodymium compression driver coupled to a 6-inch-thick solid wood conical horn with a beautifully machined phase plug, which optimally disperses high frequencies to create a large, lifelike soundstage. Bass is handled by an 8-inch paper-cone, high-efficiency woofer with neodymium magnet, mounted below the horn in a downward dual-ported reflex cabinet.
Their compact size—at 24-inches tall or 48 inches with optional stands—makes DeVille speakers welcome in smaller interiors. And with 94 dB efficiency, the two-way design can be driven to concert-hall volumes using an amplifier producing as few as 10 Watts. Tubes, anyone?