NHT 2.9 or PSB Goldi

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by DennisG, Feb 19, 2002.

  1. DennisG

    DennisG Extra

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    I was looking for some opinions on these two speakers. I am considering them both. I know I can get a better deal on the NHT's because they are replacing their speaker line come April 1st. Any help you can give would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Justin Doring

    Justin Doring Screenwriter

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    I own both the PSB Goldi (for home theater) and the NHT 3.3 (the bigger brother of the 2.9) (for music). Although the 2.9 is about 70% of the 3.3, I think my observations are still valid, as I have heard the 2.9 in dealer showrooms.

    The PSB Goldi is on the warm side and is pretty laid back. It needs at least 200wpc of power, but the quality isn't too important, meaning you could get by with a mid-fi amp (ATI, Parasound, and Bryston all seem to work well). The midrange of the Goldi is pretty accurate, the highs are rolled off a bit, and the bass is low and solid, if a bit bloated. I chose the PSB Goldi for HT because of it's forgiving nature, rolled off highs, and slightly bloated bass (I don't use a sub).

    The NHT 2.9 sounds quite different from the Goldi. While the Goldi is laid back and warm with slightly bloated bass, the NHT 2.9 is a tad on the bright side (the 3.3 is basically neutral), a tad forward (once again, the 3.3 is perfectly balanced), and has tighter, lower bass than the Goldi (the 3.3 is significantly even tighter and lower than both). On soundtracks, nearly all of which are bright and overprocessed), I find the 2.9 to be a bit fatiguing, but on well-recorded music, I think it is better than the PSBs, meaning it is more accurate and the PSB Goldi sounds a bit veiled in comparison. The 2.9 also needs 200wpc of power, but it's pickier, meaning a high-end amp is preferred (Classe' is a perfect mate), as the NHT 2.9 reveals the "warts" of mid-fi designs that the PSB glosses over. Your savings on the 2.9 will be more than eaten up by the amp they require.

    The speakers are both at the top of their respective classes and sound better than many speakers several times their price. It really comes down to personal preference. If you like a brighter sound and want accuracy, the NHT 2.9 is the way to go, but if you like a warmer, more laid-back, pleasant sound and listen to lots of not so well-recorded music, the PSB Goldi is probably the better choice.

    Also, don't forget to think about the center channel, as that's what gives most of the sound on movies. Both centers are excellent, but the three way NHT Audio Center-2 is the better of the two IMO. Of course the PSB C6i (avoid the C5i like the plague), like the Goldi, is more forgiving.
     

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