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post #1 of 364 Old 04-12-2003, 02:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Looks like there are some other thread dealing with NHT speakers, I might as well add another one.

I already have a Yamaha subwoofer, recently decided to purchase a pair of NHT SB1 for rears and a pair of NHT 1.5 for mains. I was going to purchase the SC1 for the center channel to complete a home theater setup. Since NHT speakers are not very efficient, what kind of receiver should I be getting to drive these speakers?

I currently have an old Yamaha integrated 2 channel amp, 110 wpc, driving the NHT 1.5. The SB1's are still sitting in their box.

What kind of wattage should I be looking for to drive these speakers? I would like to keep the cost below $350. Anyone have any suggestions?
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post #2 of 364 Old 04-12-2003, 08:33 PM
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I have nhts (2.9,ac-2,vs2.4,nht subs and have had 1.5s,2.5i in the past. I have had over 25 different amps mated to these and at the price you want to stay at (350.00) the 5 channel amps that sound the best (imo) with nhts would be
Parasound 855
H/K PA 5800
SHERWOOD AM9080
As far as watts go all of the above drive the nhts just fine...On the other hand the sensitivity is around 86~87 and they can gobbel up as much power as you care to throw at em..hope this helps
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post #3 of 364 Old 04-12-2003, 08:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the help, really appreciate it.

Do you have any opinions on the mass market brands like Sony, Pioneer, etc.?
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post #4 of 364 Old 04-13-2003, 06:40 AM
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psujohny what is the best amp you have heard on your NHT's. I also have the 2.9's. What pre/amp do you use.
Allen
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post #5 of 364 Old 04-13-2003, 09:23 AM
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Fourseasons,

When you mention Sony, Pioneer etc..are you refering to reciever amps or external amps ?...If you are talking about the recievers internal amps then no, I think you could do much better with any of the amps listed above..

Allen,

I havent heard them all but my favorite is the Brystons (which I currently have , actually lexicons but they are the same)..I am THRILLED to death wiht this combo...Parasound would be a good choice.....I tried allmost all the moderately priced amps but havent tried amps such as krell, class, proceed..ymmv

Dont let the occasional review that says the brystons are bright scare you away. Imo it is the FURTHEST thing from the truth..It is dynamic as hell and has allmost NO background noise, but not bright.

Oh, as to your other question, currently Im using an aragon soundstage as my pre-pro..but have went through allmost as many reciever/pre-pro's as I have amps.:rolleyes: ...My wife insists that Im some kind of freak
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post #6 of 364 Old 04-13-2003, 09:41 AM
 
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Hi guys,
You're now fully in MY territory. Here's the deal, NHTs, yes, are inefficient. That's how they are able to get such remarkably flat frequency response. But, they have a fairly benign impedance curve and won't break your amp. The only problem is that they are revealing enough that you will notice more about your source gear, but it is VERY hard to make these sound bad. Unlike many people that claim their favorite brand "only sound good with the finest ancilliary equipment", this is NOT the case with NHTs. However, they can go from good to great if you are more careful with your choices. The only problem with your Yamaha is that they tend to be a little thin and steely and it will run out of steam at higher levels.

If you really want to improve your sound, I highly recommend NAD surround receivers (in other words, save your shekels). They are the ONLY affordable receiver that can generate true "continuous power, ALL channels driven". This will make them perk up and fly even at very high volumes. Unfortunately, it really is the case that even companies like Denon, Onkyo, Marantz, Yamaha, "the good stuff", drops to about 1/3rd power when in surround mode. Yep, let me say it again, most other receivers drop to less than 35W/ch RMS with all channels driven. NAD receivers are going to start just over $500 for a T742 so if you can't swing that, look for a T751, T760 or T761 used in your budget.

The NAD 208THX (used) and 218THX (new) are excellent amps for driving 2.9s and 3.3s. They have exceptional bass control and dynamic range, yet aren't bright in the top end. Parasounds are also good for this. NHT even has 200W monoblocks that work very well and are getting many people worked up for about $700/pr NEW. B&K's work good, but you'd want the 200W models at least as the lesser ones don't have enough control in the bass. Rotel is also a good affordable choice. You can always buy even better, but you can OVER spend too. If you spend too much you could always upgrade to higher end NHTs.

As for inexpensive multi-channel amps psujohnny made are very good (is this because he also went to Penn State and is also named John?).

NHT 1.5s work very well with 60W-125W B&W amps as they're a little bright and thin. HOWEVER, slipping in the new SB3 crossover completely turns these speakers into a different animal.
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post #7 of 364 Old 04-13-2003, 10:36 AM
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Nice write-up John,

Your kinda right about my handle...My father went to Penn St. and Ive been going up there watching Joepa, basketball team etc. since I was 3~4 years old. I am brainwashed blue/white...and my name is John

I'd also like to second the notion that nhts can sound very good without gobbs of power, but the difference between nhts and some other brands is that they can take the added wattage and use it to sound even better...(some efficient speakers will sound the same whether driven by a clock radio or a 100 watt amp if you know what I mean)
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post #8 of 364 Old 04-13-2003, 11:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the good suggestions guys. I only listen to music at moderate levels, most of the time I only have the volume dial a quater of the way up, and that'll be enough to get my roommate to pound on my door. I'll look into all the good recommendations you guys made.

Here is a question for you, what's your opinion on SB3's vs. the 1.5's? Is the new cross over in SB3 matter really that much? I've heard that 1.5's sound better than the SB3's.
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post #9 of 364 Old 04-13-2003, 11:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Although I do have to admit, certain music does sound "thin" on the 1.5's, even when compared to the SB1's, when I had them hooked up as mains (I'm on a very limited budget).

However, a subwoofer really helps in this respect. Could this "thin" sound be due to the fact that the SB3 goes lower than the 1.5?
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post #10 of 364 Old 04-13-2003, 12:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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However, now that I think about it, I would describe the sound of 1.5 as a bit "cold" compared to the SB1. SB1's sound, if its sound even remotely approach the SB3's, can be described as a bit "warm."

I read some threads on this board that said the reason why the British 2 ways have a "warm" sound to them is because they have a dip in the 3-5 khz range. I'm wondering did NHT adopt the same approach in their new SB line?
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post #11 of 364 Old 04-13-2003, 12:37 PM
 
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SB1s - very neutral but not as refined as SB-3s

SB2s - ditto

SB3s - more refinement, amazing bass, a little on the warm side which helps get people in the door. Some people can't handle too much accuracy the first time around.

1.5s - Definitely thin, but image very well. The SB3 crossovers really work in the 1.5s, so if you have 1.5s, you can keep the sound you love and ditch the thinness. Bass is deeper, midrange is richer, treble is smoother, imaging is more natural.

Jack Hidley has told me there should be no problem with SB3 crossovers in 1.5s as the parts/design is so very similar (it is the new version, afterall), but he was just surprised there wasn't some unintended side effect. About 20 people have done this with nothing but positive comments.

Also, 1.5s with upgraded crossover imaging like crazy. Better than the SB3s, but many will prefer the overall sound of the SB3s to even upgraded 1.5s. BUT, the Evolution M5s and M6s are an absolute upgrade from both. Not even close in my opinion. the extra $300 or $600 buys you so much, it's absolutely incredible.

PS - John, I'm from Williamsburg PA. About 45 minutes down and to the right.
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post #12 of 364 Old 04-13-2003, 10:40 PM
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john, where can i get an upgraded crossover for the 1.5s? how much for a pair x-overs? thanks.
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post #13 of 364 Old 04-14-2003, 01:26 PM
 
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You should be able to get them from the local dealer. If they give you a "what, are you CRAZY?!?" look, I can get you some. We sell them for $75. Also, Jack Hidley of NHT, himself, will tell you that the crossovers were the weakest link in those speakers and that it was the product of an unfortunate cost-cutting manuever to keep the speaker under $600/pr. I think they'd have become legendary at $650/pr with the proper crossovers. They've learned from that and all new NHTs have excellent crossovers for their price point.
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post #14 of 364 Old 04-14-2003, 01:39 PM
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John,

Do these new crossovers also work with the other music series models: 2.5i, 2.9, 3.3, AC2? Is it hard to replace the crossovers? I currently have 3.3 mains, AC2, 1.5 sides, and SZ rears.
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post #15 of 364 Old 04-14-2003, 01:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yea, how do you replace the cross overs? How much soldering is required?
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post #16 of 364 Old 04-14-2003, 02:51 PM
 
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Replacement is easy. A screwdriver will handle it. 15 minute, 5 with a powered screwdriver.

I haven't secured anything that will work on any other model. I have tried to get the original "high-end" crossover for the 2.5i, but no luck. They can't find it and don't have the time to reconstruct it. The SB3 crossover was almost a fluke. Other attempts to transplant failed miserably.
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post #17 of 364 Old 04-14-2003, 05:32 PM
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john, thank you for the 1.5s' x-overs info. i'll check with my local NHT dealer see if i get them there - else i'll get them from you. i've read your posts with great interest because i found myself coming back to NHT after auditioning a number of speakers. i guess i like the NHT's sound. is the tweeter in the Super Series the same one used in Focus Image Series?
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It's the same as in the Evolution series if that's what you meant. Evos use "virtual" FIG while the original 1.x, 2.x, 3.x models used FIG with different tweeters. The new tweeter is pretty amazing. The more I listen to it, the more I like it and that usually doesn't happen. Things with me usually go downhill........

John
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post #19 of 364 Old 04-14-2003, 09:18 PM
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Well, after months of research and no one talking about NHT I thought I was the only one lately who has purchased these things.

In the super audio series, I heard that they just released another center channel to add to the line....the SC-2. Anyone been able to listen to it yet, any better/worse than the SC-1? Thats interesting you say the SB-3 is a much better x-over than the SB-2. I tried all over to find a dealer to demo the 3s but no one had them, so I settled for the 2's assuming the only difference was the fact it could go a few Hz deeper?

I only have one pair of SB-2's coupled with my Sony DA4ES. I am still trying to figure if I want to go with SB-2s all around. or maybe the 3s up front and 2s in the back with the SC-2/SC-1.

I am leaning with the 6.1 with all 6 being SB-2's though....let me know any opinions :)
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post #20 of 364 Old 04-15-2003, 01:21 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I think John Ashman is trying to say that SB3 has better crossovers than the now discontinued 1.5 series. SB3 and SB2 should have similar quality crossovers.

I have a spare pair of SB1's, if you like, PM me or send me an e-mail.
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post #21 of 364 Old 04-15-2003, 06:03 AM
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what amps do you like with your NHT's or which amp do you want to get for your NHT's. I have the 2.9's with a citation 7.1 bi-amp on them. With all this talk about the T6's and M6's I got tolook for a place to demo or I just might order a M6 for the center and see how I like it. Okay John tell us the best amps for the new M6 speaker.
Allen
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post #22 of 364 Old 04-15-2003, 07:30 AM
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Allen,

I think JohnA mentioned he uses the NAD 762 receiver for his T5 system, and that the 200+ wpc NAD 208/218 amps are good for driving 2.9/3.3s. IMO, your Citation 7.1 monsters are ample for any NHT speaker.
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post #23 of 364 Old 04-15-2003, 11:43 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by SevenVII
Thats interesting you say the SB-3 is a much better x-over than the SB-2. I tried all over to find a dealer to demo the 3s but no one had them, so I settled for the 2's assuming the only difference was the fact it could go a few Hz deeper?

I am leaning with the 6.1 with all 6 being SB-2's though....let me know any opinions :)
You can and should use the SB2 as your center if you can. Less expensive, better matching. The SC1 and SC2 exists because some dealers sell what is expedient, not what is the best for the customer. People now expect the center to be "special" or "different". Not so. It should be identical (shielding and spacing allowing this).

The SB3s have a *slightly* better crossover than the SB2s, but the main topic is that the SB3 crossover CAN be substituted for the 1.5 because the drivers/design are so similar. The original 1.5s and 2.5is were supposed to have better crossovers designed by Bill Bush and is team, but Ken Kantor who was in charge at that time didn't believe in good crossovers (parts is parts), just in good cabinets/drivers. This has thankfully changed which is why you'll hear noticeably more refinement in the new models. We've tried other subsitutions, but so far, only the SB3s and 1.5s are compatible and that, is a combination of similarity and luck. There are rumors that somewhere exists the original high-end crossover designs for the 1.5s/2.5is but no amount of begging on my part has led anybody to find them. The new SB3s and ST4s show off a little more of what the 1.5s/2.5is coulda shoulda been. Still, they were great speakers when they came out. The fact that they could have been better is pretty amazing and one wonders how history and reviews might have played out in this alternate universe.......
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post #24 of 364 Old 04-15-2003, 12:12 PM
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Ricky I not looking for driving capability of speakers but amp sounds match with NHT's. I know you switch amps to the parasound amps probably getting a warmer sound on the highs. I was just wandering if any body had amps that gave NHT's a little laid back sound things like that.
Allen
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post #25 of 364 Old 04-15-2003, 12:46 PM
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Allen,

I changed to the Parasound 2200II 250x2 model to drive my 3.3s for a few reasons: true dual-mono design (with 1.2kVA transformer per channel), more biased in class A (first 6-8 watts), sounds a little better to my ears, more power, and because I'm a Parasound fan and wanted my rack to have matching components (ie, I also bought Parasound changer and dac). I would not have traded my Citations for the other Parasound models.
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post #26 of 364 Old 04-15-2003, 12:47 PM
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John,

"Ken Kantor who was in charge at that time didn't believe in good crossovers (parts is parts), just in good cabinets/drivers."

This is one of the most absurd things I have ever read from you. I have spoken to Ken Kantor, as well as Bill Bush, Jack Hidley, and other NHT engineering staff about their engineering philosophy and the design of NHT speakers, and this is about the farthest thing from the truth as possible.

A much better, and accurate, account of NHT's and Ken's working style may be found here:

THE CYNICAL SPEAKER DESIGNER'S COOKBOOK by Ken Kantor, NHT

The last point of the page is especially relevant to this discussion.

--Andre
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post #27 of 364 Old 04-15-2003, 12:49 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by SevenVII
Thats interesting you say the SB-3 is a much better x-over than the SB-2. I tried all over to find a dealer to demo the 3s but no one had them, so I settled for the 2's assuming the only difference was the fact it could go a few Hz deeper?

I am leaning with the 6.1 with all 6 being SB-2's though....let me know any opinions :)
You can and should use the SB2 as your center if you can. Less expensive, better matching. The SC1 and SC2 exists because some dealers sell what is expedient, not what is the best for the customer. People now expect the center to be "special" or "different". Not so. It should be identical (shielding and spacing allowing this).

The SB3s have a *slightly* better crossover than the SB2s, but the main topic is that the SB3 crossover CAN be substituted for the 1.5 because the drivers/design are so similar. The original 1.5s and 2.5is were supposed to have better crossovers designed by Bill Bush and is team, but Ken Kantor who was in charge at that time didn't believe in good crossovers (parts is parts), just in good cabinets/drivers. This has thankfully changed which is why you'll hear noticeably more refinement in the new models. We've tried other subsitutions, but so far, only the SB3s and 1.5s are compatible and that, is a combination of similarity and luck. There are rumors that somewhere exists the original high-end crossover designs for the 1.5s/2.5is but no amount of begging on my part has led anybody to find them. The new SB3s and ST4s show off a little more of what the 1.5s/2.5is coulda shoulda been. Still, they were great speakers when they came out. The fact that they could have been better is pretty amazing and one wonders how history and reviews might have played out in this alternate universe.......
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post #28 of 364 Old 04-15-2003, 01:50 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by AndreYew
John,

"Ken Kantor who was in charge at that time didn't believe in good crossovers (parts is parts), just in good cabinets/drivers."

This is one of the most absurd things I have ever read from you. I have spoken to Ken Kantor, as well as Bill Bush, Jack Hidley, and other NHT engineering staff about their engineering philosophy and the design of NHT speakers, and this is about the farthest thing from the truth as possible.

--Andre
Andre, I hate to tell you this, but I not only "speak" to these guys, I KNOW them. In a way, I'm part of the family. So, to call the statement "absurd" shows how little you understand the NHT family. Ken, along with Chris Byrne was the guy who created the NHT concept. It is an AMAZING construct because now that it is in place, it moves along regardless of who is actually doing the design work. However, Ken, believes that good drivers in a good cabinet with a properly designed crossover using standard grade parts is the way to good sound and, it it's accurate, it's right. Bill was a BIG (literally) force in the use of higher grade parts such as air core inductors and polypropylene capacitors. Ken, quite frankly, believed that spending more money on better crossover parts was a waste and preferred to spend the money on better drivers or cabinets or both. Remember also, Ken wrote an extensive article about Nyquist theorem and how CD sound IS perfect sound and DVD-Audio was a waste of energy because it technically could not sound better. Ken didn't believe in bi-wiring or high-end wiring or any of the other audiophile standards. That's Ken. He's a theoretical kind of dude. Bill and Jack believed that better crossover parts, IN MODERATION, would improve the sound and it did. Ken doesn't dismiss crossover quality entirely, but feels it isn't worth it if you can spend the money elsewhere. I think Bill and Jack are more pragmatic and use nicer parts in the signal path and generic ones outside the path. My statement, crossover parts is crossover parts, may overly simplify Ken's beliefs, but it wasn't inaccurate, let alone "the farthest thing from the truth"
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"Expensive crossover components that do not obviously alter the net work's voltage magnitude response do not improve (or degrade) the sound in any way." - Ken Kantor

This doesn't sound to you like crossover "parts is parts" philosphy? He's saying "expensive parts don't do anything unless they're significantly different electrically". I'm guessing you're probably a Democrat, Andre, because we keep seeing the exact same facts and drawing entirely different conclusions from them. Unless you're really "Baghdad Bob" in disguise!

http://www.welovetheiraqiinformationminister.com/
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post #30 of 364 Old 04-15-2003, 02:38 PM
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Ok, now that we've sorted out NHT's philosophy, I'm still very interested in the new crossover idea for my beloved 1.5s. How much are these things?
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