NHT Classic Three vs Polk RTI A9 System - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 27 Old 08-16-2012, 10:08 AM - Thread Starter
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Hello,

So let me try to explain this in a short way. I'm moving to Brazil on the first week of September and yesterday I was chatting with an adviser from Crutchfield so he could help to choose a 5.0 system. (I already have the subwoofer from energy, i believe it's the ESCW 10.)

He advised me to get the following system to use with my Pioneer Elite VSX50:

- Front Speakers: NHT Classic Three
- Rear Surround: NHT Classic Absolute Zero
- Center Channel: NHT Classic TwoC
Total: +/- US$ 1,950.00

I told him I had a $2,000 budget total and that's what he told me to get. I also told him that during the week I will be mainly using it to watch regular tv and movies but on the weekends I would like to crank it up and put on some blu ray concerts and "distinguish the musical instruments" I usually listen to John Mayer, Phil Collins, AC/DC (Yes, I'm very eclectic). I'm not sure about the size of my room because I'm moving and I still have to pick a place there but I will be using this system on the living room which is open to the dining room.

I asked him about the polk RTI A9s and he said he would put his money on the NHTs even though the Polks are floorstanding speakers and the NHTs are bookshelves speakers.

So here I am, totally confused and as I said on the beginning of this thread I'm leaving on the first week of September to Brazil and I probably have only one chance to try one of these speakers.

The system that I had in mind is:

Front: 2x Polk RTI A9 (bi-amp)
Center: Polk CSIA6
Rear: FXIA4 (my wife don't want the A6 since they are big)
Total: US$ 2,070.00

He said that he still would put his money on the NHTs and left conversation lol.

Now, I would like to hear some opinions and thoughts. I know I'm $70.00 (WOW) above my budget but I can pay this difference if the Polks are better.

Again, what do you guys think ?

Sorry for my grammar and MT.tongue.gif

Thank you in advance! biggrin.gif
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post #2 of 27 Old 08-16-2012, 01:18 PM
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I have listened to the Polk Rti series and was not impressed with the mids and highs. I have the NHT superzero 2.0 x5 for my surround and I love the way they sound. They are of course very different than the Classic series which have aluminum tweeters.

Based on reviews the Classic 3 is one of the top speakers in its class. I would go with the NHT package if it were me. Just not a fan of the lower end Polks.

What AVR or amp are you using to drive these? The NHTs are not particularly sensitive. This is an area where the Polks probably have an advantage.

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post #3 of 27 Old 08-16-2012, 02:11 PM
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fwiw, why don't you just order them at nht website will be alot cheaper classic3 $800 pair
classic3 center $500
absoulute zero"s $400 pair total $1700 and this is with better center channel the classic3 not the classic2
they also have 30 day garauntee and will even pay for the shipping back if your not satisfied
a few years back when i was looking for a $1000 budget speaker i auditioned the classic 3, the ascend sierras and the outlaw bls and imo the classic three sounded better than the other 2 in all ways from soundstage to great low end,great mids and highs. a very well rounded speaker for music but ended up with the outlaws because of a unbelivable deal that i got on a pair of slightly used. great sounding speaker like someone else mentioned the sensitivity is not as high as others but will get loud enough in a small to medium sized room and i would personally recommand them in a ht system. just my 2 cents

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post #4 of 27 Old 08-16-2012, 05:48 PM
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They should be $1700 from Crutchfield as well with the 3c center. I just checked. Don't know how it got to $1950? Did they add stands, wires, mounts etc....?

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post #5 of 27 Old 08-16-2012, 05:57 PM
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I think that the NHT are unquestionably better-sounding speakers than the Polks.

The sensitivity on the NHT speakers is a bit low, however, and the Classic 3 is getting way overpriced for its performance limits.

Excuse me for jumping to something different, but I would like to recommend some speakers that are within your budget and IMO much much better-sounding speakers (and nicer-looking, too...) than what you have considered so far.

Consider the following KEF speakers:

2- iQ90 floorstanding speakers ( $900 per pair).

1- Q200C center speaker ($449)

2- C1 speakers ($199 per pair)

You can get those from the KEF Direct website for only $1550 total ($600 off list price), and this system will no doubt be about two levels higher in sound quality than any of the above IMO. The sensitivity is also very good (91 db per watt).

The appearance of the iQ90 also probably has a WAF factor about 5 times higher than the others; very nice-looking!

At $1550, this system is a real bargain; high-end sound quality at an affordable price!
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post #6 of 27 Old 08-16-2012, 06:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

I think that the NHT are unquestionably better-sounding speakers than the Polks.
The sensitivity on the NHT speakers is a bit low, however, and the Classic 3 is getting way overpriced for its performance limits.
Excuse me for jumping to something different, but I would like to recommend some speakers that are within your budget and IMO much much better-sounding speakers (and nicer-looking, too...) than what you have considered so far.
Consider the following KEF speakers:
2- iQ90 floorstanding speakers ( $900 per pair).
1- Q200C center speaker ($449)
2- C1 speakers ($199 per pair)
You can get those from the KEF Direct website for only $1550 total ($600 off list price), and this system will no doubt be about two levels higher in sound quality than any of the above IMO. The sensitivity is also very good (91 db per watt).
The appearance of the iQ90 also probably has a WAF factor about 5 times higher than the others; very nice-looking!
At $1550, this system is a real bargain; high-end sound quality at an affordable price!

Considering how poorly the IQ90's replacement (Q900) measured in stereophile, your statements about "two levels higher in sound quality" are a complete joke.

The NHT's are a solid choice.
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post #7 of 27 Old 08-16-2012, 07:00 PM
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John Atkinson, who did the measurements, and has tested hundreds of speakers, did not feel that way. He said "KEF's Q900 offers superb measured performance". Since he is an acknowledged expert armed with state-of-the-art test equipment and you looked at the same results, I think we can all see how ridiculous it is to allege that they tested poorly. THAT is a really bad joke! Your claim is outrageous on its face.

You apparently are not competent to properly interpret the test results, or have an agenda which is unresponsive to the published facts.

It also appears that you did not read the text, where the reviewer said "there is no other speaker (under $2000) that I prefer to the KEF Q900" !!

He described their superb performance in great detail. Try reading the entire article and get the facts right.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay1 View Post

Considering how poorly the IQ90's replacement (Q900) measured in stereophile, your statements about "two levels higher in sound quality" are a complete joke.
The NHT's are a solid choice.
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post #8 of 27 Old 08-16-2012, 07:12 PM
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Q900 suffers from cone break up at 6khz to 10khz.
http://forums.audioholics.com/forums/loudspeakers/75414-kef-q900-towers-4.html
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post #9 of 27 Old 08-16-2012, 07:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

John Atkinson, who did the measurements, and has tested hundreds of speakers, did not feel that way.
You apparently are not competent to properly interpret the test results, or have an agenda which is unresponsive to the published facts.
It also appears that you did not read the text, where the reviewer said they were his new standard for their price class.
He described their superb performance in great detail. Try reading the entire article and get the facts right.

Lol, what is said in a review isnt relevant, obviously you aren't qualified to interpret the data and have to rely on what a reviewer says





Here we have a stiff coned mid range driver with a massive breakup mode between 5khz and 10khz. A competently designed speaker would have a notch filter placed on this breakup to remove a chance of audibility, the breakup should be down in level at least 30-40db. This breakup is only down 7db at 7.5kz... There's also a 3-4db spike at 1.8khz, right in the middle where your ears are the most sensitive. What we end up with is a forward sounding, fatigue inducing speaker. Maybe you should re-read what JA wrote, and this time put your glasses on and read between the lines wink.gif
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post #10 of 27 Old 08-16-2012, 07:25 PM
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Now you have showed in detail how incompetent you are to interpret the data.

Since the crossover frequency is 1800 Hz, and its slope is 18 db per octave, the midrange driver does not receive any significant signal above 3600 hz. The fact that IT WOULD break up at higher frequencies without the crossover is moot since it does NOT receive any significant input at that frequency due to the crossover slope.

The input to the midrange driver is down 36 db at 7200 Hz due to the 18db/octave crossover slope and its PHYSICAL response is down about 15 db (according to the green trace), so the actual output of the midrange at 7200 hz is down over 50 db.

I am quite competent to interpret the data; you have proved you are not.






Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay1 View Post

Lol, what is said in a review isnt relevant, obviously you aren't qualified to interpret the data and have to rely on what a reviewer says

Here we have a stiff coned mid range driver with a massive breakup mode between 5khz and 10khz. A competently designed speaker would have a notch filter placed on this breakup to remove a chance of audibility, the breakup should be down in level at least 30-40db. This breakup is only down 7db at 7.5kz... There's also a 3-4db spike at 1.8khz, right in the middle where your ears are the most sensitive. What we end up with is a forward sounding, fatigue inducing speaker. Maybe you should re-read what JA wrote, and this time put your glasses on and read between the lines wink.gif
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post #11 of 27 Old 08-16-2012, 07:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

Now you have showed in detail how incompetent you are to interpret the data.
I am quite competent to interpret the data; you have proved you are not.
You may need an oral surgeon to get that foot out.

wow, amazing come back. Please elaborate.

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post #12 of 27 Old 08-16-2012, 07:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

It also appears that you did not read the text, where the reviewer said "there is no other speaker (under $2000) that I prefer to the KEF Q900" !!
He described their superb performance in great detail. Try reading the entire article and get the facts right.

Speaker sound is too subjective. Maybe to John's ears they sound the best of the speaker he's heard under $2k. Has he heard every speaker out there under $2k? Room plays a big part in speakers sound, did he listen to every speaker under $2k in the exact room using the same equipment, setup in the same location, using the same source material ect....

Its his OPINION its not a factual statement.
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post #13 of 27 Old 08-16-2012, 07:36 PM
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Kef does something similar that Axiom does with there crossover on the M60 tower, let it run fullrange. No high or low pass filters in the crossover.
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post #14 of 27 Old 08-16-2012, 07:41 PM
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Lol, commsysman, first of all, I quoted all of your posts as they were, so stop going back and changing everything you wrote after the fact. Like this post for example
Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

Now you have showed in detail how incompetent you are to interpret the data.
Since the crossover frequency is 1800 Hz, the midrange driver does not receive any significant signal above 3600 hz. The fact that IT WOULD break up at higher frequencies is moot since it does NOT receive any input at that frequency due to the crossover slope.
I am quite competent to interpret the data; you have proved you are not.

You obviously have no idea how a crossover works with this post. You are literally saying the drivers dont play past the crossover point. You fail.

The response at 3.6khz is 18db down, one octave past the xover, making it a 3rd order slope. It is not a brick wall filter that eliminates response above/below the crossover. The breakup is literally down 7 db in level at 7.5khz, as has been explained and clearly shown in the graph. I'll repeat, you fail.
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post #15 of 27 Old 08-16-2012, 07:48 PM
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You have that all mixed up; John did the testing, not the review. Read it again; you will figure it out if you READ it instead of doing a quick scan.


Quote:
Originally Posted by gtpsuper24 View Post

Speaker sound is too subjective. Maybe to John's ears they sound the best of the speaker he's heard under $2k. Has he heard every speaker out there under $2k? Room plays a big part in speakers sound, did he listen to every speaker under $2k in the exact room using the same equipment, setup in the same location, using the same source material ect....
Its his OPINION its not a factual statement.
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post #16 of 27 Old 08-16-2012, 07:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay1 View Post

Lol, commsysman, first of all, I quoted all of your posts as they were, so stop going back and changing everything you wrote after the fact. Like this post for example
You obviously have no idea how a crossover works with this post. You are literally saying the drivers dont play past the crossover point. You fail.
The response at 3.6khz is 18db down, one octave past the xover, making it a 3rd order slope. It is not a brick wall filter that eliminates response above/below the crossover. The breakup is literally down 7 db in level at 7.5khz, as has been explained and clearly shown in the graph. I'll repeat, you fail.
I love the way you contradict yourself!

You say that the response of the crossover is down 18 db at 3600 Hz Correct. (one octave).

That also means its output to the midrange is 36 db down at 7200 Hz (two octaves)

Now if the SIGNAL to the midrange is 36 db down from the crossover, HOW THE HELL is it going to put out an acoustic output only 7 db down? Huh?

That is a bizarre and silly thing to say.

The green line is the PHYSICAL characterisic of the midrange driver. You have to ADD the 36 db slope of the crossover to the 15 db drop in driver response to get the output of the speaker at 7200 Hz...51 db down.

(the green line stays well below the -10db line above 3000 Hz in the graph, so 7 is obviously wrong; the number is -15 according to the green line; you can't even read the graph, let alone figure out what it means.)
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post #17 of 27 Old 08-16-2012, 07:58 PM
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It doesn't matter who the hell wrote the article. Its an opinion piece. The name doesn't matter, just cause he's (who ever) said that they are the best under $2k doesn't mean nothing. Gene from Audioholics could do a review and write that (insert brand name) is the best speaker under $2k or someone from Soundstage or 6 Moons could have a different speaker as well.

You always say the NHT sub is the best under a $1k, I say its the SVS PB12 NSD, someone says its the Epik Empire, someone else says its the HSU VTF 15H. Neither one is right and no one is wrong.

The best speaker under $2k is the one that the OP or end user is happy with. Not what a review for a magazine says.
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post #18 of 27 Old 08-16-2012, 08:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

Now you have showed in detail how incompetent you are to interpret the data.
Since the crossover frequency is 1800 Hz, and its slope is 18 db per octave, the midrange driver does not receive any significant signal above 3600 hz. The fact that IT WOULD break up at higher frequencies without the crossover is moot since it does NOT receive any significant input at that frequency due to the crossover slope.
The input to the midrange driver is down 36 db at 7200 Hz due to the 18db/octave crossover slope and its PHYSICAL response is down about 15 db (according to the green trace), so the actual output of the midrange at 7200 hz is down over 50 db.
I am quite competent to interpret the data; you have proved you are not.

Hey cool you learned something from my reply, and once again you edit your post to include the info as if you figured it out rolleyes.gif




You dont understand anything, clearly. The circled part shows the breakup is in phase with the tweeter and contributing to the tweeters output, as the summed response matches the breakup exactly. The driver does not follow its crossover slope because it has a massive uncontrolled breakup. What about a clear as day picture where the system response follows the -5db line, and the breakup is sitting between -10 and -15 makes any of the random numbers your throwing out make sense?
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post #19 of 27 Old 08-16-2012, 08:04 PM
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For the OP too bad you get the commsysman jumping in on EVERY thread peddiling KEF, Monitor Audio and other of HIS favorites with little regard to what YOU want or are looking for. The NHTs blow away any of the lower end KEFs (which include the iQ series he is pushing) in looks and build quality. They no doubt probably sound better too. But that is subjective.

Add to that Crutchfield is a great place to buy from. Their customer service IME is beyond reproach, plus free shipping anywhere in the US.

So to put things back on track, just ignore the sysman's speaker peddling (AKA "advice") and listen to what advice others give. As you can see it took only 1 or 2 posts for your thread to delve into bickering. rolleyes.gif

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post #20 of 27 Old 08-16-2012, 08:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

I love the way you contradict yourself!
You say that the response of the crossover is down 18 db at 3600 Hz Correct. (one octave).
That also means its output to the midrange is 36 db down at 7200 Hz (two octaves)
Now if the SIGNAL to the midrange is 36 db down from the crossover, HOW THE HELL is it going to put out an acoustic output only 7 db down? Huh?
That is a bizarre and silly thing to say.
The green line is the PHYSICAL characterisic of the midrange driver. You have to ADD the 36 db slope of the crossover to the 15 db drop in driver response to get the output of the speaker at 7200 Hz...51 db down.
(the green line stays well below the -10db line above 3000 Hz in the graph, so 7 is obviously wrong; the number is -15 according to the green line; you can't even read the graph, let alone figure out what it means.)

Your level of knowledge is mind numbingly low. Have you never seen the response curve of a metal coned driver?



That breakup doesnt magically disappear unless you notch it out. A regular xover slope is ineffective BECAUSE THE RESPONSE HAS MULTIPLE MASSIVE PEAKS


RE: "the green line stays well below the -10db line above 3000 Hz in the graph, so 7 is obviously wrong; the number is -15 according to the green line; you can't even read the graph, let alone figure out what it means."

The peak is ABOVE the -15 line, and the speakers output is at the -5db line. What's 12 minus 5?
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post #21 of 27 Old 08-16-2012, 08:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thiagovlira View Post

Hello,
So let me try to explain this in a short way. I'm moving to Brazil on the first week of September and yesterday I was chatting with an adviser from Crutchfield so he could help to choose a 5.0 system. (I already have the subwoofer from energy, i believe it's the ESCW 10.)
He advised me to get the following system to use with my Pioneer Elite VSX50:
- Front Speakers: NHT Classic Three
- Rear Surround: NHT Classic Absolute Zero
- Center Channel: NHT Classic TwoC
Total: +/- US$ 1,950.00

I think you'll be ecstatic about those NHTs once you hear them, and I would choose them over the Polks myself. But as others have said, be sure to compare prices with the NHT website--you might even call NHT direct from their site and see if you can get a discount.

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post #22 of 27 Old 08-16-2012, 08:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by a|F View Post

Considering you blast the Commy, one would think you'd offer more help than "looks and build quality. They no doubt probably sound better too." You should instead give him some credit- he held back and didn't mention the PSB Image line or his miraculous Vandersteens! I would not ignore his recommendations, or anyone's for that matter. The real answer is- at your $2k price point, you have quite a few options. Get out there and listen before you move.
Also, the link to the Q900 re: cone breakup was very little help, as it only appeared to have been another discussion/bicker fest with no real consensus.... Suprising indeed wink.gif

If you want to hop in this and bring something technical to the table, please do. Commsysman's argument is that a reviewer said this is a good speaker.
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post #23 of 27 Old 08-16-2012, 08:43 PM
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Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

I think you'll be ecstatic about those NHTs once you hear them, and I would choose them over the Polks myself. But as others have said, be sure to compare prices with the NHT website--you might even call NHT direct from their site and see if you can get a discount.

I would also check with Onecall.com > you can make an offer.

http://www.onecall.com/product/NHT/Classic-Three-Ea/Speaker/_/R-29721

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post #24 of 27 Old 08-17-2012, 06:33 AM
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The thing that is really funny about this is that I recommended the iQ90 to the OP, and then doofus jumps in and says the iQ90 can't be any good because the Q900 is no good. That is how the Q900 came into play.

Anyone who looks at the iQ90 and Q900 will immediately see that they are miles apart in size and design. Trying to infer very much about one from the other is not very astute.

I still recommend the iQ90, because I have listened to it a lot and I know it sounds good (AND it is only $449 now...HALF the price of the Q900...).



Quote:
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If you want to hop in this and bring something technical to the table, please do. Commsysman's argument is that a reviewer said this is a good speaker.
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post #25 of 27 Old 08-17-2012, 08:03 AM
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The point is the budget Kef speakers are cheaply designed. They look impressive, and use impressive driver technology, but costs are cut where the consumer can not see. They are not" two levels higher in sound quality" above anything else being discussed. I'm done arguing with you commy, so this is my last post on the matter.
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post #26 of 27 Old 08-17-2012, 11:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by a|F View Post

Considering you blast the Commy, one would think you'd offer more help than "looks and build quality. They no doubt probably sound better too." You should instead give him some credit- he held back and didn't mention the PSB Image line or his miraculous Vandersteens! I would not ignore his recommendations, or anyone's for that matter. The real answer is- at your $2k price point, you have quite a few options. Get out there and listen before you move.
Also, the link to the Q900 re: cone breakup was very little help, as it only appeared to have been another discussion/bicker fest with no real consensus.... Suprising indeed wink.gif


Well I only did that to try and help the threads get back on topic. Unlike sysmman I won't pass judgment on things I have no first hand knowledge of. I won't make things up.

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post #27 of 27 Old 08-17-2012, 05:57 PM
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I am quite happy with my NHT classic 3 system. Of course, that means absolutely nothing to anyone else. They are a sealed design and I found them to sound quite similar and neutral as compared to the larger JBL 4412A studio monitors that were the previous speaker in my room. I swapped out from JBL to NHT for size restraints only, the JBL's being quite large. However, the NHT's did sound quite similar in overall presentation to a speaker that is designed to be flat and neutral.
I haven't listened to the Polks so I can't offer an opinion on how they sound. I do own an older model of Polks which I like quite a bit but different speaker so the sound comparison won't translate well.
For the NHTs, for their size and what I paid, I feel I received excellent value.
You really need to listen to both if you can.
Good Luck.

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