nOrh 4.0 vs. Diva 2.1?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Steve Stogel, Feb 23, 2002.

  1. Steve Stogel

    Steve Stogel Supporting Actor

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    Has anybody heard these two speakers? I did a search, and I found a nice comparison at CHT. The review, however, was not that long. It gave the advantage to the Diva for the lows (decidedly), the advantage of the mids to the nOrhs (decidedly), and the advantage of the highs to the Diva (close call).

    I am one of those who like the looks of the nOrhs (I'm not wild about them, but I think the black ceramics would look pretty nice), but I've got to admit that the Divas are a better looking speaker, IMO. I can't tell, but are the Divas not a box? Looks like they are a bit rounded.

    At this point, I think I might still be leaning toward nOrh because of their imaging (which I've heard so much about), but the looks of the Divas have really gotten my attention (I thought the Divas would image much the same because of the similar tweeter designs, but that was apparently not the case). I know nOrhs use Viva drivers. Is anyone aware what the Divas use and how they compare?

    Thanks for any responses.

    Steve
     
  2. Terry Flink

    Terry Flink Stunt Coordinator

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    I bought the nOrh 4.0 ceramic video system last year and am thrilled every day I turn on my system. I have an SVS 20-39CS so the low end is not an issue. In fact they blend very very well. The detail, transparency and sound stage are amazing. The little 4.0's simply disappear in the room. I am 50/50 music/HT and the nOrhs are very good for both. The suround characteristics are further enhanced by using 5 identical speakers. I like the look of the 4.0's an have no spouse approval issue with which to contend. I would recomend these speakers to anyone regardless of budget. Simply put, I love em...
    Check out www.harmonicdiscord.com. They have both nOrh and Swan threads. Lots of information and comparisons.
     
  3. Jeffrey Forner

    Jeffrey Forner Screenwriter

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    A friend of mine owns a set of nOrh 4.1 speakers. I have to admit that they sound really fantastic.

    However, I opted to go with a set of Diva speakers which includes a set of 2.1s for the surrounds. Unfortunately, those speakers were backordered and have not arrived yet. They should be here sometime this week. If they sound like the 4.1s I use in the front, they should sound pretty amazing though.

    If you're in a financial pinch and want a complete 5-speaker surround sound system, I would go with the nOrhs. You can get all five speakers for $850. It will cost you well over $1000 to get the equivalent from the Swans Divas.
     
  4. Steve Stogel

    Steve Stogel Supporting Actor

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    Jeffrey, what package did you get? Did I read that you bought the 4.1s and center and got the 2.1s thrown in? I was actually considering the 2.1s kind of like the 4.0s and using five matching speakers. Seemed odd that the HT setup they reviewed at CHT had 2.1s in the front, then that expensive center and expensive dipolar surrounds. Seems kind of odd to me to have your mains be the least expensive speakers of the five. I think the Center has promise, but I just figured that if the 2.1s are really that good, they'd be a good center and good surrounds as well. Are the 4.1s even more beautiful in person as opposed to the pics?

    Steve
     
  5. Jeffrey Forner

    Jeffrey Forner Screenwriter

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    Steve;

    That's exactly the deal I got from AV123. I think they said that the offer would continue until mid-March if you wish to take advantage of it.

    The 4.1s are beautiful. The day they arrived I told my friends that felt like I had suddenly started dating a woman who was just way too sexy to even be seen with me.
     
  6. Tyson

    Tyson Stunt Coordinator

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    Just a quick note, the nOrh marble or ceramic 4.0's sound MUCH better than the nOrh prism 4.1 speakers that I believe Jeffrey is referring to. Strangely enough, the 4.0's are cheaper than the prism 4.1's too. The prism 4.1's sound OK used as surrounds if space is tight, but I personally would never use them for any of the front speakers, especially not the center, not when the ceramic 4.0 is much better for less $$. Haven't heard the Swan's, but would like to. Anyone know if there are any owners in the Denver area?
     
  7. Jeffrey Forner

    Jeffrey Forner Screenwriter

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    Whoops! You're right there, Tyson. I did indeed mean the 4.0s. I guess I've just gotten used to the way the Diva products are named (2.1, 4.1, 5.1, 6.1) and it carried over to the nOrh line.
     
  8. Glen_L

    Glen_L Stunt Coordinator

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    I can't speak on the Diva speakers, but have read how highly regarded they are, especially over at the AV Science forums. That said, I'm completely content with the sound of my nOrh 4.0 speaker set.
    I'm in a small room, and they are connected to my HTPC. I had to make major concessions with placement, and could not realistically fit a center speaker to where the sound would "appear" to come from my monitor. I towed the front speakers out quite a bit, and get dead center dialog unless I put my face right in front of the monitor. Before I had my surrounds set up, with just the fronts, I could swear I heard sounds coming from behind me with some material. Now that I've got the surround pair, well...[​IMG]
    A minor qualm I had with my 4.0 ceramic pair were that the black was not true black. Under the light, they are a very dark greenish brown. Supposedly, their new glazing produces a much truer black color (not sure if this was the color you are considering). Also, the white "ring" around the speaker was not completely covered by the grill cloth. Some say it gives the speaker unique character, but it bothered me at first. The sound soon won me over and I'm not as bothered by the looks. When I get the itch for an upgrade, which could be a while based on how pleased I am with the sound, I may upgrade to marble 4.0s. They are more costly and heavy, but much more beautiful (IMO) and without the ceramic cosmetic flaws.
     
  9. DonnyD

    DonnyD Screenwriter

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    I have to pitch in a word or two here..... Somewhere above I read that the Norh were rated best in midrange over the Diva... if that is so, then neither speaker is a contender. I've been breaking in a pair of ceramic 4.0 Norh and now have about 150 hours on them. I am a/b'ing them with some old JBL L100. I am still waiting on the Norh to come to the party but so far they are just not the cats meow that I expected. I also have a 4.1 Prism Norh as a center. It is pretty good and the only reason I keep thinking the 4.0 will improve.

    That all being said, I love the looks of the Norh. The black 4.1 is really eye candy....... and the ceramic 4.0 are the new blacks which are very glossy and surely make a statement with their looks. BUT, when I switch back and forth from the JBL, the 4.0 seems to have no midrange and are still muddy in the bass. (yes they are off the walls 18 in. and are at ear level) The JBLs just overwhelm the 4.0 in all regards..... especially midrange. The Norh have virtually NONE...... very soft and seeming far away.

    The 4.1 center is being compared with the JBL S Center. The JBL is more accurate IMO but the 4.1 is closer to the JBL and is a LOT better than the 4.0 at this point.

    These opinions are MY EARS talking.

    My girlfriend likes the Norhs better simply because they are laid back a whole lot and the JBL seems to get in your face pretty quick with its strong highs and mids. I have not heard anything that touched the L100 midrange.

    Over the past two years I have bought several speakers and tried them against the JBL. I in-home a/b'ed them with Monitor Audio 5i, Magnepan MMG, Energy RVS, JBL S38 among a few other lesser names. My receiver is a Yam RX-V1 although for some testing, I used Marantz Monoblocks for bi-amping. Yes, I lose some money on buying and selling all these speakers but it IS my hobby and I enjoy it. And my friends and family end up with some good equipment at good prices.

    Sorry if this appeared to turn into a JBL ad..... I had actually about decided to buy some Divas next but if Norh and Diva are that close in performance....... nevertheless I am going to persist with the Norh and give them a further chance to break in.
     
  10. Brian Fellmeth

    Brian Fellmeth Supporting Actor

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    Donny,

    Try this. Listen to the nOrh's exclusively for a week or 2. Then try the a/b. The JBL's have the advantage in your a/b that your ears are conditioned to expect their intonation, and any deviation from that (even if more accurate) would be interpreted by your brain as wrong sounding.
     
  11. PomingF

    PomingF Second Unit

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    Steve, if Norh also has a return policy and not too outrageous S&H cost you should be able to compare them with some Diva's in Austin. Skiphunt and couple others had chimed in on Diva's over @ AVS and you can see if anyone of them can let you listen in or even head-to-head the 2.1 (if that's what they have) to the Norh. To do that find the Diva FAQ page setup by Steve Zimmerman and then the demo request link. Btw, the FAQ page should also answer your other ?'s.

    Diva's use HiVi drivers which are of very good quality. In fact I know of a DIY highender considering their M8a aluminum/magnesium woofer in his own speaker project. The tweeter is made of silk dome hence without the ringing & fatiguing effect of some metal dome tweeters yet delivers excellent highs & details.

    PF
     
  12. DonnyD

    DonnyD Screenwriter

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    Brian....

    Yeah, I do that pretty much..... I've been listening to the Norh exclusively all week and only a/b on the weekends. I definitely agree that your brain will become accustomed to sounds and that will make a difference in a/b'ing speakers. Still, that doesn't account for the tremendous difference in the mid-range of the two. I am also hoping that more breakin will bring the 4.0 up a notch or two and be more pleasing with their difference. Yes, I do really like the stong mids and highs of the old L100 and I agree that they have definitely got me spoiled........ but I also have to add that the L100 sound will make you demand that any replacement be as good if not better..... so far that has not happened.

    My friends keep asking.... why are you trying to replace the L100 if they are THAT GOOD..... all I can say is that it IS a hobby and I love checking out other stuff.
     
  13. Russell _T

    Russell _T Supporting Actor

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    Tyson,

    AV123 who distributes the Divas is located in Louisville Colorado. I think this is near Boulder. I also don't know if they have a listening room, but you could give them a call and ask. They are very helpful.

    Russ
     
  14. Bob Marker

    Bob Marker Stunt Coordinator

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    I am not familiar with the Swans but I do own a pair of wood Norh 4.0s that I purchased used sevearl months ago. While they have a very nice finish and can play quite loud for their size without sounding harsh, I have become a bit disappointed in their overall sound after extended listening and comparisons with other speakers of similar price. To me, they have a somewhat veiled, constricted sound. When I purchased these speakers, I thought they would replace the 10 year old Fried Betas I have used for several years in my modest HT system. However, after several months of comparing the two, I prefer, overall, the sound of the Frieds. They just sound more natural and open ,IMO, when compared with the Norhs. The Mission 701s I owned about a year ago also sounded more neutral to me than the Norhs.

    I also have tried these speakers in my 2 channel music system and the resulting sound was similar , although their limitations where more plainly evident when compared to (much more expensive) Thiel and PSB Stratus speakers.

    I should note that it appears most of the folks that own NOrh 4.0s have the ceramic models which are said to sound better than the woods so you might want to take that into account in reading my comments. That said, IMHO, one can do better at the $400/pair price range.
     

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