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NHT "built in" subwoofer


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#1 of 15 OFFLINE   Ray Gutnick

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Posted November 15 2001 - 05:14 PM

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 of 15 OFFLINE   Justin Doring

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Posted November 15 2001 - 05:38 PM

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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#3 of 15 OFFLINE   Ray Gutnick

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Posted November 15 2001 - 05:57 PM

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

#4 of 15 OFFLINE   Tom Vodhanel

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Posted November 15 2001 - 06:36 PM


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 <100hz. Factor in the advantage of relieving the mains(and the amps driving them) of the bass responsibilities...leading to lower thd and more accurate source reproduction...and it's a win/win situation in my book.


TV

#5 of 15 OFFLINE   Gregory Scott Bass

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Posted November 15 2001 - 11:16 PM

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 of 15 OFFLINE   Ricky T

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Posted November 16 2001 - 12:24 AM

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/....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 of 15 OFFLINE   Ray Gutnick

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Posted November 16 2001 - 06:02 AM

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 of 15 OFFLINE   Gregory Scott Bass

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Posted November 16 2001 - 06:45 AM

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 of 15 OFFLINE   Gregory Scott Bass

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Posted November 16 2001 - 06:54 AM

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 of 15 OFFLINE   Justin Doring

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Posted November 16 2001 - 07:00 AM

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.

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#11 of 15 OFFLINE   Tom Vodhanel

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Posted November 16 2001 - 07:13 AM


>>>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.<<<

I disagree. The -3dB point doesn't mean much unless you know what type of CLEAN output can be produced at that freq. 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 <100hz. Being able to optimize the position of the a seperate subwoofer in the room is a huge benefit to consider I think.

TV

#12 of 15 OFFLINE   Justin Doring

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Posted November 16 2001 - 07:33 AM

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 <100hz. Being able to optimize the position of the a seperate subwoofer in the room is a huge benefit to consider I think."

You're correct, but this problem pales in comparison to the problem of blending a sub properly into a system. I've never, ever heard a sub seemlessly integrated into a loudspeaker system, even when the subwoofer was crossed over extremely low (e.g. 30hz). People who think they can get Dunlavy-sized sound out of a sub/sat system are sadly mistaken. As with engines, in audio there is no substitute for cubic inches.

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[Edited last by Justin Doring on November 16, 2001 at 02:35 PM]
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#13 of 15 OFFLINE   Bob_A

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Posted November 16 2001 - 08:33 AM

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 of 15 OFFLINE   Tom Vodhanel

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Posted November 16 2001 - 08:50 AM


>>>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.<<<


Did they give the THD/SPL graph/data then? I've always found stereophile to have about a 100/1 ratio in regards to anecdotal gushings compared to actual performance measurements.

"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 <100hz. Being able to optimize the position of the a seperate subwoofer in the room is a huge benefit to consider I think."

>>>You're correct, but this problem pales in comparison to the problem of blending a sub properly into a system. I've never, ever heard a sub seemlessly integrated into a loudspeaker system, even when the subwoofer was crossed over extremely low (e.g. 30hz). People who think they can get Dunlavy-sized sound out of a sub/sat system are sadly mistaken.<<<


I disagree again,

I wouldn't never say severe peaks/dips in the response *pale* compared to any other aspect of performance. IMO...the frequency response is one of the 2-3 PRIMARY considerations. I've heard plenty of bookshelf/sub systems that sounded/measured great to me. On the other hand...I've rarely heard/measured any type of *tower* arrangement that could generate low,clean bass with a relatively flat response curve over a variety of seats. You need to look into the mega dollar towers,room treatments and EQing before you get the type of flat/clean output a quality subwoofer optimally placed can offer(imo).

>>> As with engines, in audio there is no substitute for cubic inches.<<<

To an extent. But there's a heck of a lot of 283-327 mice running around that would chuckle at the thought of a 472-500 cu-in caddy racing them.

TV


#15 of 15 OFFLINE   Mike Voigt

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Posted November 16 2001 - 10:15 AM

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 Posted Image

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.