NHT "built in" subwoofer

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ray Gutnick, Nov 16, 2001.

  1. Ray Gutnick

    Ray Gutnick Stunt Coordinator

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    My NHT 3.3 speaker manual suggest bi-amplifying my speakers with their SA-3 mono amp (250 watts). Part of each 3.3 is an internal 12" long throw polypropylene subwoofer. Does this make sense, or would it be better to get an external subwoofer? Has anyone tried bi-amping their 3.3 (or 2.9)speakers? Is there any advantage to buying the NHT amp over any other mono amp? I am using a yamaha 2095 as my receiver. Thanks
     
  2. Justin Doring

    Justin Doring Screenwriter

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    You're powering the NHT 3.3 with a Yamaha receiver? Yikes! Most people with the 3.3s use separates from companies like BAT, McIntosh, Classe', Proceed, etc. with at least 200 actual watts per channel or more! I'd suggest you look into separates yesterday. If you can't afford hi-fi gear like the above mentioned companies, at least look into high powered mid-fi stuff from B&K, NAD, Adcom, etc. If you can't afford that, I guess the NHT amp would be a good temporary solution, but in that case, I think you bought the wrong speakers.
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    "Home is where the theater is!"
     
  3. Ray Gutnick

    Ray Gutnick Stunt Coordinator

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    My main goal is home theater; aren't most of the above 2 channel amps? The yamaha outputs 100w x 5.
     
  4. Tom Vodhanel

    Tom Vodhanel Cinematographer

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    Ray, I think you'd be better off using a dedicated subwoofer. By the time you factor in the expense of adding large amp to bi-amp with...you could probably get something like the PW2200(paradigm) for the same price.
    Since bass reproduction in a typical HT room will be governed by modal patterns...having a seperate enclosure(that you can optimally place just for the bass performance) will almost always lead to the best response signature
     
  5. Gregory Scott Bass

    Gregory Scott Bass Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi, I have NHT 2.9s, When I first got them I was using a yamaha to power them and I ended up buying a carver tfm55x 380 watts per channel to power them. I personally think you should be putting at least 200 watts per channel in to the 3.3, these speakers are awesome but need lots of power and I think if you give it to them then biamping becomes more trivia, I mean trivia in the sense of critical listening required to tell the difference. However the difference between my carver and the yamaha amps(100 watts) was night and day. I cant really explain why more power makes such a big difference since you normally dont use but just a fraction of it but even with volume low the speakers just sound better. Also as far as the external subwoofer goes I would say you do need one, but you need a very tight one that will complement the nhts, The Nhts subs on the 3.3s are very good but keep in mind these speakers were designed for hi end audiophile music listening, I think for home theater you need a corner sub that you can create different crossovers and take better advantage of the .1 sound effects in movies. I use a 10" snell and it does the job nicely. Congrats on your 3.3, I think its one of the best speakers ever made bar none. I went with the 2.9s because they are more forgiving with room placement while the 3.3s have to be set up almost exactly as recommended in order to be at there best. Also one more thing, You will need to purchase the audio center 2 to match the 3.3 or 2.9, this center was designed specifically for these speakers because so many audiophiles were using them in hometheater, its 850 retail but I have seen it for under 600 and it uses the same drivers as the 3.3s. Its a must to have these match at least across the front. hope this helps...sorry so long Scott
     
  6. Ricky T

    Ricky T Supporting Actor

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    Ray,
    I also have 3.3s. I think you have two issues. First, the nice yamaha 2095 may be slightly underpowered. Second, an external sub would be a better bet for the LFE HT channel. Hence, I would suggest the following purchases:
    1) pick up a used Parasound 800II 100x2 for ~ $150 to biamp the woofers...in effect, adding more power. The parasound also has variable L&R volume controls..in a simple way, two NHT SA2 subamps in one chassis (without the crossover features that you don't know for this application).
    http://cgi.ebay.com/aw-cgi/eBayISAPI...tem=1293858426
    2) the powered paradigm 2200 (or Servo 15) sub that TV suggested.
    TV,
    I will try to fax you the 3.3 reviews today.
     
  7. Ray Gutnick

    Ray Gutnick Stunt Coordinator

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    It sounds as though (assuming I don't replace the yamaha amp), that I should at least bi-amp the speakers, and add an external subwoofer. Gregory: are you using an external sub along with your carver amp? Ricky:I believe the yamaha has line out, main in, and subwoofer out connections. would I connect the new amp to the line out and main in, along with an external sub to the subwoofer out?
     
  8. Gregory Scott Bass

    Gregory Scott Bass Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi Ray, sorry I was confusing, my carver is connected to the preout(front) of the reciever and then the 2.9s are connected to the carver, so you will no longer use the amps built into the yamaha for the fronts. and yes I use a powered subwoofer connected to the .1 lfe output. This is really the best way to set this up. I really think you will be happier buying a high power(200 plus) 2 channel amp for the 3.3s instead of biamping. if you can find a carver tfm on ebay at a reasonable price it is very neutral and works well with my 2.9s Scott
     
  9. Gregory Scott Bass

    Gregory Scott Bass Stunt Coordinator

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    Just to make sure you know, they don't make carver tfm series anymore so try to ensure the unit is in good working order, you can still get parts but no service that I am aware of. because of this you can find them relatively cheap as compared to other hi powered amps. another plus is they use such little power when not in use you never have to cut them off. tfmx is thx certified, tfm without the x isnt. And for sub recommendations try looking up that svs everyone is excited about here, sounds like its a winner, I really like my snell but its way expensive at 1200 for a 10" Scott
     
  10. Justin Doring

    Justin Doring Screenwriter

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    Considering that the 3.3 is +/-3db down to 23hz, a sub should be the last thing on your mind, as a tight, fast, deep sub will cost almost as much as the speakers themselves.
    As a bare minimum, I would recommend getting a mid-fi high-powered two channel amp for the 3.3s and forget bi-amping. I suppose you could use the Yamaha as a pre/pro, but I'm still not sure why anybody would spend $1500 on a multi-channel receiver to power speakers that give $20,000 Wilsons a run for their money. With the Yamaha, the 3.3s probably sound like a clock radio.
    ------------------
    "Home is where the theater is!"
     
  11. Tom Vodhanel

    Tom Vodhanel Cinematographer

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    >>>Considering that the 3.3 is +/-3db down to 23hz, a sub should be the last thing on your mind, as a tight, fast, deep sub will cost almost as much as the speakers themselves.
     
  12. Justin Doring

    Justin Doring Screenwriter

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    The output of the 3.3 at 23hz is quite clean. The Stereophile issue in which the 3.3 was reviewed had a full set of measurements for, and they said it was the most full-range loudspeaker they'd ever measured.
    "Also...locking the primary bass producers into preset positions in the room(like where the main left/right speakers need to be positioned)will almost always lead to severe peaks/dips
     
  13. Bob_A

    Bob_A Supporting Actor

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    Whatever you do, do not "compromise" on the sound of your main channel speakers. If they will sound significantly better with a high powered amp throughout the entire range, then I say go for it...and add a quality external sub down the road when convenient to add shake for movies.
     
  14. Tom Vodhanel

    Tom Vodhanel Cinematographer

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    >>>The output of the 3.3 at 23hz is quite clean. The Stereophile issue in which the 3.3 was reviewed had a full set of measurements for, and they said it was the most full-range loudspeaker they'd ever measured.>> As with engines, in audio there is no substitute for cubic inches.
     
  15. Mike Voigt

    Mike Voigt Supporting Actor

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    Well, I listened to the 3.3s extensively, while making a purchase decision. Eventually, if I ever set up a stereo-only system, they or something equivalent in price/performance ratio will be there - and the latter will be very tough to find.
    These are definitely audiophile-grade speakers; they are accurate, and with sufficient power, mean buggers down low. They are also extremely revealing (as much as most anything in NHTs lineup) so be ready to pony up some money for decent sources - and amps - and cables [​IMG]
    That being said, I would consider running them for large speakers, but most certainly pair them up with a good sub. And in that regard, don't bother with the NHT subs - now that you can get the SVS subs for half or less than their price. A nice, as-low-as-you-can-go ULTRA would make an excellent pairing with it.
    Also, most DEFINITELY try running these with a different amp. Any of the Parasounds work well, try a 200WPC model or so. Biamping the bass speakers makes a huge difference; the SA-3 amp works quite well in that regard, but so do others.
     

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