NHT loudspeakers - anybody here own or heard them?

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by LanceJ, Jan 28, 2007.

  1. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    NHT (Now Hear This) Loudspeakers homepage

    I've read about their speakers for years but have never actually heard them. And now that their Classic 3 bookshelf is on the cover of The Absolute Sound, I figured this is a good a time as any to ask & also to let others know about this respected, and sort of quirky [​IMG] company (not too many other manufacturers use yodeling on their site's front page).

    They are one of those "near hi-end" manufacturers that don't charge nearly as much as you would think for their gear. They are also one of the few companies that still utilize acoustic-suspension bass systems.

    Here is an interview written in late 1997 with the company's founder, Ken Kantor, and an excerpt: I've been semi seriously planning a pure stereo/no subwoofer/separates/music only system for rock/pop music and their Classic Four floorstander seems to really fit the bill (Stereophile reviewed them). Plus, they look very cool.
     
  2. Doug Brewster

    Doug Brewster Second Unit

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    Have just 1 (using a SuperOne as a center channel in my home theatre). Have heard SB3's in store. These speakers are not as efficient as some (suspect you need a decent amp), but they sound REALLY good. The Classic 2 & 3 will produce enough bass for most music, but you'll need a sub for movies.
     
  3. Rich Allen

    Rich Allen Second Unit

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    I'm using 5 Sperzeros, an older model, and love them. Definately go and check them out.
     
  4. Jack Gilvey

    Jack Gilvey Producer

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    I had 3 SuperZeros across the front, a pair of their dipole surrounds, and one of their subs back in '94 or so in a Pro Logic system. Great stuff! I sold 'em years ago, but I'll bet the Zeros still hold up. I've since had SuperOnes and Twos, as well as a SuperCenter I still have, but the Zeros were the special ones.
     
  5. Rich Allen

    Rich Allen Second Unit

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    I've listed to many since, and the only ones that i can say I clearly liked a lot more were quite a bit more money. They still sounds good to me so I'm happy.

    I still remember Cory Greenburgs review of them in Sterophile.
     
  6. Dan Driscoll

    Dan Driscoll Supporting Actor

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    Listen (preferably in-home) and if you like the way they sound, buy them. NHT makes some excellent speakers, but like all speakers, in the end it's personal preference.
     
  7. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    What Dan said. The last ones I listened to were the Evo M5s and M6s and I really liked them as well as the SB3s. Across the board, they do like to have more power than your average speakers to really bring out the best in them.
     
  8. BrianTwig

    BrianTwig Second Unit

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    I have their IW3 inwall speakers all around and am very happy with then.
     
  9. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    Thanks for your thoughts everyone.

    Do your NHT's have any particular "sonic personality" i.e. warm, neutral or bright?

    For these newest models I'm a little bit worried about the use of aluminum domes for the tweeter and midrange drivers, but don't think this company would use anything that sounded "tizzy" or harsh.

    I figured they use more power than ported speakers but am not worried about that as I would be using a power amplifier with them.* Actually, the Classic Fours use a bass reflex system for their 10" aluminum woofer but the speaker's relatively low SPL figure of 86dB tells me that it will very probably produce more extended bass vs. a same-sized speaker with higher efficiency. I'm thinking they will need a 150watt/ch power amp to properly utilize them (I'm leaning towards a B&K).


    * for anyone using THX-certified receivers/processors, sealed speakers work better with the crossover slopes mandated for the THX standard - check out this issue here (about half way down)
     
  10. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    They've used those aluminum tweeters for the past few generations, not sure about the midbass. I do find them a bit crisp, but not annoyingly bright. I found them less bright than the Studio 40s I had for auditioning. If anything, I would call their midrange more neutral and the highs a bit forward from neutral.

    Aluminum drivers does not always mean bright; I have Mordaunt Short 902s which use an aluminum dome tweeter and midbass and they are definitely not bright.
     
  11. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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    I have a pair of the Classic Absolute Zero's in my 2.1 channel music-only rig. They replaced a pair of SB3's that are now in a 2CH music rig in my office.

    The AZ's are very nice loudspeaker. They image very well. I have read some descriptions of the Classics as being a tad forward, but these 46 years old ears are not hearing that at all. If a recording is bright, they well convey that, but for the most part, I would consider them nicely balanced.

    No doubt you would need a sub with the AZ's, but if carefully set up, they sound sensational. The room where I have the AZ's is a pretty large front room, with a high sloping cathedral ceiling, opening to a dining area and also a foyer. In other words, way too much room for this little puny(!) loudspeaker, but what amazes me is that they will play loud and clean up to any sane level (I have measured them at the listening position in the high 90dB range).

    Build quality is top shelf...the paint finish rivals most cars. I can well imagine that the 4's would be sweet if you can set them up to both image well and produce decent low bass.

    Unrelated to the Classics, I auditioned the Xd's last year, and was astounded. More $$$$ then I would spend for a 2.1 channel rig, but they are an amazing set of loudspeakers.

    Brian
     
  12. Arthur S

    Arthur S Cinematographer

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    Hi Lance

    You will think this is some kind of joke...however, I would save about $4,000 and get a pair of HTD Level 3 Towers.

    Used to be the NHT 3.3 and I knew a guy who had them and loved them and ended up getting JM Labs...

    Please keep us informed of your progress in making a decision.
     
  13. Arthur S

    Arthur S Cinematographer

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    Hi Lance

    I saw those speakers you are thinking about on sale...look pretty good at the sale price I saw...please keep in touch.

    PS Stratis Minis look interesting too.
     
  14. Charles Gurganus

    Charles Gurganus Supporting Actor

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    Sounds like Ricky T to me.

    NHT are hard to beat for the money and they DO like power. I'd call them neutral sounding unless you use bright electronics all around.
     
  15. Arthur S

    Arthur S Cinematographer

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    Hi Charles

    You are exactly right...I was talking about Ricky Troung...do you know where he is hanging out these days? I haven't seen him posting on any of the forums I visit...Last I heard he had bought an NEC front projector.
     
  16. Kin Poon

    Kin Poon Stunt Coordinator

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    i have NHT M6 across the front, and i agree, they are neutral. Feed them warm gear, and they will sound warm, feed them bright gear, they will sound bright.

    AKA.....feed them crap, its gonna throw out crap.
     
  17. Arthur S

    Arthur S Cinematographer

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    Hi Lance

    I knew a guy who bought a pair of $11,000 high end speakers that were flat from 20 to 20...when he got them out of their huge wooden crates...he found them very very bright...he first bought all new speaker wires and cables... which did next to nothing...and finally ended up with something like a 3 watt single ended triode amp to try to tame the brightness.

    Please keep what Kin Poon said in mind. I support your desire for an ultra clean stereo pair of speakers.
     
  18. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Producer

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    I'd like to hear an Xd set-up in a good room myself. But the NHT website is somewhat confusing as to which dealers have an Xd display or not.....
     
  19. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    Definitely. Especially since much of the music I listen to* is not exactly recorded to audiophile specifications so would rather not hear every sonic negative outlined in stunning clarity. [​IMG] The Four's bass response is a definite plus because this will be a "pure" 2.0 system: CD player & turntable --> preamp --> power amp --> loudspeakers. That's it......and a comfortable chair to be decided on also.


    * alternative rock (Beck, Sonic Youth, Black Flag etc) ska (just getting into this), punk (NOFX, Minutemen etc) and downtempo like Blue States and Massive Attack, though this genre usually does sound better.
     
  20. mississippi_xj

    mississippi_xj Auditioning

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    I have 5 absolute zero bookshelfs in my system. Phenominal speaker. I have the most coherent and realastic sound stage that I have ever had in my room.

    They are also *VERY* revealing of source equipment. You can easily hear differences in amplifiers, dvd, cd, etc... I personaly would call them high-end. The only problem is that they don't cost an arm and a leg.

    The highs aren't overly bright at all. I actually switched from b&k to yamaha in my system because the b&k soundes so laid back in comparison. (to my ears)

    happy hunting.
     

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