Replacing NHT Super One (5) w/LCR in a cabinet - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 04-24-2012, 12:00 PM - Thread Starter
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I've kept up with my electronics but my NHT Super Ones are a little long in the tooth. With my HTPC, Integra, Oppo and Outlaw components I've recently added a Vortexbox Appliance NAS, Logitech Squeezebox Touch and an Emotiva XDA-1 DAC. While I'm just getting started with digital storage, I know my next weak link is my speakers. The three in the front are in the HT cabinet. No issues with the rears. But for the fronts and best WAF they need to go back in the cabinet. The speaker enclosures in the cabinet are to either side and above a 65" Mits TV. Oh, I plan to retain my Sunfire True Sub.

Considerations for left and right:
1. Use original locations- installed from the front, 7.875w,12.75h,22d.
2. Use original locations- installed from the rear, 9.5w, 13.625,22d. More work.
3. Use NEW location- 9.5w, 22d. Height in the range of 20"-30". A lot of work.
4. Outside of cabinet- stand or attach to side of cabinet. Really low WAF.

For the center:
5. Use original location- installed from the front, 18.25w, 10.5h, 22d.
6. Use original location- installed from the rear, 19.125w, 12h, 22d. More work.
I designed this cabinet back when. I'm glad I made the center opening a little bigger.
I've always wondered if I've compromised the sound by putting bookshelf speakers in a cabinet. I know when I close the speaker cabinet doors, even with speaker grill cloth, I can hear a slight difference. And of course, using the cabinet speaker locations means I can't have any rear, top or side ports.

I'd like to keep my sub and I would like to keep the price under $2k, preferably between $1,200 and $1,500. Piece o'cake, right? Open to any and all suggestions.
TIA

Patrick
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post #2 of 12 Old 04-25-2012, 06:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Wrong forum?

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post #3 of 12 Old 04-25-2012, 07:18 AM
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Right forum I think, but what's the question here?

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post #4 of 12 Old 04-25-2012, 08:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick Collins View Post

I've always wondered if I've compromised the sound by putting bookshelf speakers in a cabinet. I know when I close the speaker cabinet doors, even with speaker grill cloth, I can hear a slight difference. And of course, using the cabinet speaker locations means I can't have any rear, top or side ports.

I'd like to keep my sub and I would like to keep the price under $2k, preferably between $1,200 and $1,500. Piece o'cake, right? Open to any and all suggestions.
TIA

I am not a fan of placing speakers inside a cabinet.
All speakers tend to sound better out in the open, away from reflective
surfaces - even sealed speakers. This is where the imaging and sound
staging stands out.
It is up to you and your wife, what you end up doing. I would at least
expierment with your left/right speakers out in the open - to hear how
they sound and what they can do.
NHt still has some nice speakers, Focal has some good ones - and KEF
has some front ported speakers.

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post #5 of 12 Old 04-25-2012, 08:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick Collins View Post

I've kept up with my electronics but my NHT Super Ones are a little long in the tooth.

Were you happy with the NHT's? If so, perhaps just getting a pair Three's for the left/right, and a ThreeC center would be a nice upgrade with a brand you already like.

If you take yourself too seriously expect me to do the exact opposite
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post #6 of 12 Old 04-25-2012, 09:08 AM
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Due to the extremely non ideal placement I recommend you dont bother with upgrading to any traditional hifi speaker. Speakers are either designed to be placed out in the room, mounted on the wall, or flush mounted in the wall. No speaker will perform as intended inside a cabinet.

The only speakers you should even bother looking at are active studio monitors with adjustable level controls. Something like these Genelec 8030A's will allow you to cut/shelf bass and treble levels to reduce peaking from your placement. Vertical placement will work for your center (11.2" high). You can place a rear ported speaker in your cabinet FYI, because of the depth. The rule of thumb is a port needs as much breathing room as its diameter (2" port needs at least 2" space). I'm guessing based on your setup that your receiver has preouts for an external amp, if they're not XLR you would simply need an RCA to XLR cable to hook these up to your receiver.

(These are low distortion, extremely accurate reference monitors, so SQ will be upgraded)
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post #7 of 12 Old 04-25-2012, 10:25 AM
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See if your wife might like the HTD Flat Panels mounted on the wall next to the cabinet. They come in white, light and dark cherry as well as black. I was leary of getting them but the white ones on the wall have a pretty good WAF for me and they actually sound clearer than the polks they replaced although they take a few more dB on the amp to drive them to equivilent levels as measured by my ears (not an SPL meter). You'll need a sub with them for sure as the mid-drivers are 4½" on these.

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post #8 of 12 Old 04-25-2012, 02:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Ah, some good suggestions already. But how is the SQ of the speakers impacted by placement in the cabinet if the face of the speaker is flush with the face of the cabinet? With acoustic suspension, everything is coming out of the front. Is it the proximity of the cabinet to the side that's causing bad reflections? I don't doubt the theory, in fact the seven (now 5) NHT's with their good reviews, never sounded as good in stereo as my floor standing Polks. Of course they were too big for seven channel.

Well it's sounding like it's time to work on the bride. But then I'm the one that designed the cabinet to get speakers off the floor. Hum. If I go for out of cabinet for the L&R I'll still have to place the center in the cabinet. Then I'm left with that 9.5h x 13.625w x 22d dimension. I still want all five channels to be voiced as close as possible.

1. Is the center speaker location dictating the type of all five speakers?
2. Would wall mounting the L&R be an issue with the face of the center being two feet from the wall?
3. As for the sound quality of the NHT's, who wouldn't want better if you can get it in a speaker. I think my components deserve a little better. So I'm looking for the best bang for the buck that I can get in my price range.

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post #9 of 12 Old 04-25-2012, 02:42 PM - Thread Starter
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I should mention the Outlaw is a seven channel amplifier (200w x 7ch).

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post #10 of 12 Old 04-25-2012, 03:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick Collins View Post

Ah, some good suggestions already. But how is the SQ of the speakers impacted by placement in the cabinet if the face of the speaker is flush with the face of the cabinet? With acoustic suspension, everything is coming out of the front. Is it the proximity of the cabinet to the side that's causing bad reflections?

Like a good tower speaker, a good bookshelf speaker is designed to
radiate to the front and sides - they perform better out in the open.
When positioned and spaced properly, they can open up and breathe
with good imaging, and a big soundstage with a nice sense of depth.

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Speakers > MB Quart VS05, Boston VS260, Snell K7
Subwoofer > Mordaunt Short Aviano 7
Receiver > Tascam PA-R200, Pioneer VSX-30
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post #11 of 12 Old 04-25-2012, 06:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick Collins View Post

Ah, some good suggestions already. But how is the SQ of the speakers impacted by placement in the cabinet if the face of the speaker is flush with the face of the cabinet? With acoustic suspension, everything is coming out of the front. Is it the proximity of the cabinet to the side that's causing bad reflections? I don't doubt the theory, in fact the seven (now 5) NHT's with their good reviews, never sounded as good in stereo as my floor standing Polks. Of course they were too big for seven channel.

Well it's sounding like it's time to work on the bride. But then I'm the one that designed the cabinet to get speakers off the floor. Hum. If I go for out of cabinet for the L&R I'll still have to place the center in the cabinet. Then I'm left with that 9.5h x 13.625w x 22d dimension. I still want all five channels to be voiced as close as possible.

1. Is the center speaker location dictating the type of all five speakers?
2. Would wall mounting the L&R be an issue with the face of the center being two feet from the wall?
3. As for the sound quality of the NHT's, who wouldn't want better if you can get it in a speaker. I think my components deserve a little better. So I'm looking for the best bang for the buck that I can get in my price range.

Good question. Unless you plastered those speakers flush with the cabinet there's still an air gap on the sides/top. What happens is the sound wraps around the speaker baffle and immediately reflects off the cabinet, this creates out of phase cancellations for some frequencies and in phase peaks for other frequencies. The only thing you could really do to reduce this without changing placement is to fill the air gap around the speaker with acoustic foam/fiberglass/polyfill etc. That will absorb a large portion of the reflected frequencies and clean up your sound. You could wrap the material with black fabric so no one could really see anything unless up close.
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post #12 of 12 Old 04-25-2012, 08:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick Collins View Post

Ah, some good suggestions already. But how is the SQ of the speakers impacted by placement in the cabinet if the face of the speaker is flush with the face of the cabinet? With acoustic suspension, everything is coming out of the front. Is it the proximity of the cabinet to the side that's causing bad reflections? I don't doubt the theory, in fact the seven (now 5) NHT's with their good reviews, never sounded as good in stereo as my floor standing Polks. Of course they were too big for seven channel.

Well it's sounding like it's time to work on the bride. But then I'm the one that designed the cabinet to get speakers off the floor. Hum. If I go for out of cabinet for the L&R I'll still have to place the center in the cabinet. Then I'm left with that 9.5h x 13.625w x 22d dimension. I still want all five channels to be voiced as close as possible.

1. Is the center speaker location dictating the type of all five speakers?
2. Would wall mounting the L&R be an issue with the face of the center being two feet from the wall?
3. As for the sound quality of the NHT's, who wouldn't want better if you can get it in a speaker. I think my components deserve a little better. So I'm looking for the best bang for the buck that I can get in my price range.

Some excellent feedback so far. I'll throw my two cents in since I went through this scenario a few years back. In my opinion, for a specific budget, you'll get the best sound if the speakers are out in the open. However, that is not always an option and if your circumstances dictate in-cabinet, such as mine did, you can still get great sound. If in-cabinet is where you end up, read up on baffle step compensation, because you'll want to get speakers designed for in-cabinet. Here are good links on it:

http://www.salksound.com/hts%20-%20home.htm

http://www.salksound.com/wp/?p=42
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