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post #1 of 15 Old 01-14-2015, 08:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Small or Large Bookshelfs with Sub? Does it Matter?

Hello all -- New member here who is looking to build a budget system. I'm no audiophile, but definitely a lover of high quality audio. I've just finished up graduate school and have moved into a new apartment with an 19x11 living room. It is rectangular in shape, and opens up into kitchen and dining room (no doorways in between).

After extensive research I've decided that I want to go with a stereo 2.0 or 2.1 setup, mainly for music and light movie/tv watching. I listen to country, jazz, blues, rock, and occasional metal. I've decided on the Yamaha A-S500 for the integrated amp, and need to decide on speakers. My main considerations are:

NHT SuperOne 2.1 without Sub ($300)
NHT SuperOne 2.1 with Super8 Sub (package deal $450)
NHT SuperZero 2.1 with Super8 Sub (package deal $530)


These speakers will be on stands and placed roughly 7 feet from listener.

I'm considering the SuperOne 2.1 pair without Sub becuase I'd prefer to go without a sub if possible, but I imagine I will want one (as all my previous systems have had one). The package deals at NHT allow me to pick up the whole package at a $150 discount so I'm willing to jump in with their sub at that price.


Specs:

SuperOne 2.1
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
System Type - Acoustic Suspension, 2 way, 7.3L internal volume.
Cabinet Size (H/W/D)- (11.6”) x (7.25”) x (8.5”)
Shipping Box Dimensions - 14.75” x 10.25” x 11.8”
Cabinet Material - 16mm MDF with .5 mm vinyl laminate exterior.
Speaker Weight - 9.1 lbs
Tweeter - 1” soft dome
Woofer - 6.5” paper cone
Magnetically shielded - No
Frequency Response - 56Hz - 20kHz +/- 3dB
Sensitivity - 86dB
Impedance - 8 ohms nominal, 5.3 ohms minimum
Crossover: 2.4kHz, 12dB/oct. low pass, 18dB high pass
Power Handling: 125W

Superzero 2.1
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
System Type - Acoustic Suspension 2 way, 2.4L
Cabinet Size (H/W/D)- (9”)228.4mm x (5.5”)139mm x (5”)127.7mm
Shipping Box Dimensions - 11.6” x 7.9” x 7.8”
(295mm x 200mm x 197mm)
Cabinet Material - 12mm MDF with .5 mm vinyl laminate exterior
Speaker Weight - 5.8 lbs (2.6kg)
Tweeter - 1” soft dome
Woofer - 4.5” paper cone
Frequency Response - -3dB 85Hz - 20kHz
Sensitivity - 87dB
Impedance - 8 ohms nominal, 4.3 ohms min
Crossover: 2kHz, 12dB/oct. high and low-pass
Power Handling: 75W

Super8 Sub (included with package)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Cabinet Material: 15mm MDF with 0.5mm vinyl laminate
Product Weight (pounds): 18.2 lbs. (8.3 kg)
Woofer: 8” paper cone long throw
Frequency Response: -3dB 37Hz - 210Hz, -10dB 30Hz
Distortion: <1% above 65Hz 1W equivalent
Peak output @1M: 112dB @65Hz, 106dB @40Hz
Amplifier Power: 110W, 4 ohms, 0.5% THD
Amplifier Type: BASH
Inputs: LFE RCA, L and R RCA and (speaker) high level
Inputs: L and R RCA line, L and R Speaker Level, USB (for wireless signal and power)
Outputs: L and R Speaker Level (HP filter 6dB/Oct 100Hz @ 8 ohms)
Adjustable Low Pass: 60-150Hz
Phase: 0-180 degrees 2 position switched
EQ: Music/Movie (0dB, +3dB @58Hz)



My main question:

If I go with the package deal am I better off going with the SuperZero 2.1 package or SuperOne 2.1 package? Is the SuperOne 2.1 package worth 80 dollars extra?

Will I really notice the difference between the SuperZero and SuperOne with the sub there? The SuperOne runs 125w RMS, while the SuperZero runs 75w RMS. The Yamaha outputs 85RMS, and thus should provide adequete power for both.

Any thoughts? On NHT? Suggestions?
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post #2 of 15 Old 01-14-2015, 09:03 AM
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I can't speak to the difference between those 2 speakers- but I can tell you you can do a lot better than that sub for ~$150

http://www.parts-express.com/dayton-...oofer--300-629
$124 with $5 off coupon (though it's out of stock for a few weeks) and a good 2 steps up from that $150 package sub.

or a step up from that-

http://www.parts-express.com/dayton-...oofer--300-634
$184 with $5 off coupon
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post #3 of 15 Old 01-14-2015, 09:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Kurtz -- Thanks for the reply. What makes the Dayton a better performer? I've definitely heard of this sub before and will check it out but was curious why NHT prices the Super8 at $350? Just price markup?
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post #4 of 15 Old 01-14-2015, 09:31 AM
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Most of the speaker manufacturers: Paradigm, PSB, DefTech, NHT, Polk, and anything you'd get in Best Buy etc. don't offer very good bang-for-the-buck when it comes to subwoofers.
Internet-direct like Hsu and SVS beat them at that game ten years ago.

Expect to pay 50% to double or more from the retailer speaker companies for equivalent performance. And their top-of-line subs usually don't compare to the better internet-direct companies' better subs.
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post #5 of 15 Old 01-14-2015, 09:44 AM
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If you are going to employ a subwoofer, the Yamaha A-S500 seems to be lacking in proper subwoofer management. True, it has a "Subwoofer Output," but no details as to what that output actually is. My guess: a simple lowpass filter output derived from the summed L+R channels, probably around 100 Hz. It seems like it's really meant for full-range (LARGE) speakers, not bookshelfs.

Nothing terribly wrong with that, but It says that you can use the subwoofer connection for "extra bass," which implies that there isn't any complementary highpass filtering (biamping) for the main speakers. The subwoofer module can passively filter out some of the low frequencies with its "100-Hz highpass filter" (likely a 100-300 uF electrolytic capacitor), but that's not giving you the dynamic range extension that the biamped bass management used in most AVRs will provide. So...

My suggestion would be to consider buying a modest (under $100) 5.1 AVR from Craigslist. Its main shortcoming would be the lack of HDMI inputs/switching -- which, since you are not video oriented, is not important. That way you could, through the AVR's bass management, select an active 100 Hz (or lower) dividing point which would divert the power-hungry bass frequencies away from the AVR amplifer/bookshelves and let the subwoofer amplifier handle them. As a bonus, the AVR likely has some simulated acoustic environments available ('Large Hall, Jazz Club, Small Hall," etc.) that you might find entertaining.

On the speaker front, get the larger bookshelf with the sub. The smaller bookshelf is a little closer to a Bose-type system voicing.
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post #6 of 15 Old 01-14-2015, 09:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajcarson11 View Post

I'm considering the SuperOne 2.1 pair without Sub becuase I'd prefer to go without a sub if possible, but I imagine I will want one (as all my previous systems have had one). The package deals at NHT allow me to pick up the whole package at a $150 discount so I'm willing to jump in with their sub at that price.
Well from looking at your post and desires - you would prefer to go without a sub
and are not looking for head-banging bass levels.

For that and since the NHT sub is a good sub for what you desire - plus it is popular and
known to be good for music and will not be a wimp for TV/movies - I for one would still
consider it.

Also it does measure good for your needs to augment your bass needs.
–3 dB point is around 36Hz and the –6-dB point is around 32 Hz.

I would not be quick to dismiss it - and all subwoofers do not sound the same/alike

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Speakers > MB Quart VS05, Boston VS260, Snell K7
Subwoofer > Mordaunt Short Aviano 7
Receiver > Tascam PAR-200, Pioneer VSX-30

Last edited by zieglj01; 01-14-2015 at 10:05 AM.
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post #7 of 15 Old 01-14-2015, 10:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajcarson11 View Post
Kurtz -- Thanks for the reply. What makes the Dayton a better performer? I've definitely heard of this sub before and will check it out but was curious why NHT prices the Super8 at $350? Just price markup?

Well for one the NHT sub is an 8" driver, pretty tiny for the space you're putting it in...the Daytons are 12 and 15 inch drivers- and the NHT is sealed at that so that's further reduced output compared to the ported Daytons... 110 watts so a bit less than the Daytons there too... but the biggest thing is bass extension... the NHT specs say it's -3db at 37Hz, which is awfully high for a sub... the Daytons are rated down to 25Hz and 23Hz respectively.



None of these subs will be earth-shaking in your gut bass- in a room your size that'd cost a lot more and doesn't seem in line with your use anyway- since your use is primarily music your need for really deep bass is considerably less... but at that price level the NHT seems very underwhelming on the spec sheet at least compared to the Daytons


Of course that doesn't always tell the entire story, but the Daytons are known outstanding performers for the money so unless NHT is vastly under-rating their sub and performing some physics defying wizardry with an 8 inch driver, I think you're better off with one of the Daytons.


The sub I'd probably suggest on a little bit bigger budget, since it's mostly for music, would be the PA150- supposedly they'll sell them as cheap as $350 (list price is much higher, and "street" price is $499, but you can apparently just offer PA 350 and they usually take it).... it'll be a lot more capable in a big open space, and while it also doesn't play very deep extension wise it's got a lot of power for the range music mostly plays in.


But much under that price point I've not seen anything that seems to offer a better bang/buck than the Daytons do.
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post #8 of 15 Old 01-14-2015, 11:04 AM
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For larger room, you want larger speakers to fill it. Well unless the sound stage is contained within a smaller sub-section of the living room.

Sub or no sub that's up to you. Bearing in mind you live in an apt and it would be nice to be a good neighbour.

If you listen to mostly music, a good large bookshelf will be more than enough. Try to find a used B&W 602 S2 or S3. Best large bookshelf speakers.
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post #9 of 15 Old 01-14-2015, 11:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajcarson11 View Post
NHT SuperZero 2.1 with Super8 Sub (package deal $530)

These speakers will be on stands and placed roughly 7 feet from listener.

I'm considering the SuperOne 2.1 pair without Sub becuase I'd prefer to go without a sub if possible,
I believe you meant SuperOne 2.1 for $530

It should come out to $521 - which means you are paying $221 for the sub

Sub choice is up to you - however, they all do not perform bass notes the same
for music - and some subs that go lower can distort more.

Some differences between subs can be lack of definition, some can sound more
one note, some can be more resonant/muddy sounding - and some will sound
more tight/articulate and controlled than others.

If you have the money and desire - you can buy the NHT and another sub, and
then compare the 2 - and send the losing sub back.

Have fun - your call

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Who and Where - is the Way, the Truth and the Life?

Speakers > MB Quart VS05, Boston VS260, Snell K7
Subwoofer > Mordaunt Short Aviano 7
Receiver > Tascam PAR-200, Pioneer VSX-30

Last edited by zieglj01; 01-14-2015 at 11:15 AM.
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post #10 of 15 Old 01-14-2015, 05:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies everyone -- I know it seems like these 'advice' threads come up often, but I appreciate the responses as its difficult to demo speakers here in Muncie, IN.

I've considered the Dayton in the past and it is definitely on my list again. Saving a few dollars would be nice, especially if I end up with a better product. I am considering the idea of purchasing both subs and sending the loser back, although I'm not sure if NHT would let me return just the subwoofer portion of the package deal. I've got an external crossover which I will try before going with the AVR, although I certainly see the need.

I've considered the size of the room with my limited knowledge and I think i'll be OK -- I'll only be playing it in a smaller section (about half the size) of the room. I won't be playing loud very often, and going with Wunderkind, I'll try to be a good neighbor

Perhaps the best option is to go with the SuperOne bookshelf set, and buy the dayton sub. With stands it would come out to $485 which seems like good value! I'll talk to NHT tomorrow (as they have a 30-day no questions asked return policy) and see what they say.

I've heard great things about the B&W 602 but can't seem to find any around here unfortunately. Local pickup on the ebay ones from what I can tell.

I'm not necessarily set on the SuperOne 2.1s. I'm also considering the Monitor Audio BX2s and Diamond 10.1s as they both fit in the same price range. Any thoughts on these as an alternative to the Superones? It sounds like that if I go with a dayton sub, I wouldn't need to worry as much about the lower end of the bookshelves.
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post #11 of 15 Old 01-14-2015, 06:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajcarson11 View Post
I've considered the Dayton in the past and it is definitely on my list again. Saving a few dollars would be nice, especially if I end up with a better product. I am considering the idea of purchasing both subs and sending the loser back, although I'm not sure if NHT would let me return just the subwoofer portion of the package deal.
Check with them and see - they are good people.

__________________________________________
Who and Where - is the Way, the Truth and the Life?

Speakers > MB Quart VS05, Boston VS260, Snell K7
Subwoofer > Mordaunt Short Aviano 7
Receiver > Tascam PAR-200, Pioneer VSX-30
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post #12 of 15 Old 01-15-2015, 02:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post
Check with them and see - they are good people.
Just talked with NHT -- they gave me the go-ahead to buy the SuperOne 2.1 speakers now, and if I want to purchase sub later they will sell to me for $221. A sub comparison is in order it looks like!

I'll report back with thoughts.
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post #13 of 15 Old 01-15-2015, 02:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajcarson11 View Post
Just talked with NHT -- they gave me the go-ahead to buy the SuperOne 2.1 speakers now, and if I want to purchase sub later they will sell to me for $221. A sub comparison is in order it looks like!

I'll report back with thoughts.
That is cool.

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Who and Where - is the Way, the Truth and the Life?

Speakers > MB Quart VS05, Boston VS260, Snell K7
Subwoofer > Mordaunt Short Aviano 7
Receiver > Tascam PAR-200, Pioneer VSX-30
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post #14 of 15 Unread Today, 12:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Just wanted to give an update. Purchased the NHT SuperOne 2.1 pair and Warfedale Diamond 10.1 pair. After several comparisons (side by side, independent test on stands, blind comparison) I came away preferring the Diamond 10.1. Feeding 85w from the A-S500 the diamonds had much more midbass in the lower registers, and sounded more "wooden" than the SuperOnes. The natural sound (the feeling of voices present in the room vs coming from a speaker) was present with the 10.1, while the SuperOne had a more crisp (and slightly artificial) high end that reminded me of a cheaper speaker. I think if I could put more power into the SuperOnes (150RMS) it might have been a difference story with the low end, but the 10.1s felt like a more robust speaker (and looked better).

Considering that this is a sub $1000 system I think it is fair to count the SuperOnes out. It seems that a quality amp putting out 100w/ch would warrant a cost that would outpace the 10.1 speakers anyway.

To continue with the thread topic -- With the Diamonds 6" from the wall I'm surprised with the bass output, and while I expected that rear porting close to a wall might be an issue, it doesn't seem to matter much. For their size, the output in the low end is impressive to me. I've just purchased an SPL meter and will provide chart it out for the room that I am in and report back. I will probably be purchasing a 10" or 12" dayton sub to supplement low volumes -- It's hard to pass up when they are so cheap.
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Congrats. I'd suggest you stay off the forums for a while and enjoy your new speakers
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