New NHT Classic line to replace Super Audio - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 11017 Old 08-30-2005, 08:52 AM - Thread Starter
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From a NHT newsletter.

*************

Scheduled to ship in October, NHT CLASSIC will consist of the following eight models.

Absolute Zero - An ultra-compact two-way bookshelf speaker featuring the output and performance that made the original SuperZero a CLASSIC. MSRP: $200 each.

TWO - A traditional NHT two-way design, employing a 6.5" woofer. Great bass response makes using a subwoofer an option rather than a necessity. MSRP: $250 each

THREE - A completely new design, the Three incorporates a new ¾" aluminum dome tweeter and 2" aluminum dome midrange array combined with a 6.5" woofer in a compact bookshelf model, providing full range performance, wide dispersion and high dynamic range. MSRP: $400 each.

FOUR - The Four tower speaker, though extremely compact in size, features a high-output, four-way system that employs the same dome tweeter/midrange array as the Three bookshelf model with the addition of a side-loaded 10" aluminum cone woofer. The system is bi-ampable, and can be used with NHT's X2 crossover and A1 amplifiers. MSRP: $1800 pair (mirror image).

2C - The three-way 2C center channel speaker employs the same dome tweeter/midrange array as models Three and Four, combined with dual 5.25" woofers. Three-way center channel systems provide better dispersion, less lobing and cancellation than typical M-T-M (mid-tweeter-mid) designs, creating a more realistic soundstage regardless of listening position. MSRP: $450 each

3C - The 3C, like the 2C, is designed as a companion to the Model Three and Four. The 3C features a three- way design, employing a dome tweeter/midrange array combined with dual 6.5" woofers for added dynamics and higher output. MSRP: $600 each

TEN - The CLASSIC Ten is a compact, 10" powered subwoofer with a built in 150 Watt amplifier and aluminum cone driver that is attached to an aluminum former, thereby creating a heatsink for minimal distortion and maximum output. MSRP: $600 each

TWELVE - Similar to the TEN subwoofer, but with a 12" driver and 250 Watt amplifier. MSRP: $850 each

Tom Huffman
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post #2 of 11017 Old 08-30-2005, 09:05 AM
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Poor Alimentall. His favorite speaker company adopting the aluminium drivers he despises.

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined. ~ Henry David Thoreau
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post #3 of 11017 Old 08-30-2005, 10:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tex-amp View Post

Poor Alimentall. His favorite speaker company adopting the aluminium drivers he despises.

...when implemented poorly.

I got the email from NHT. What strikes me is that this line is about the same price as the Evos, particularly the center channel. Could they be on the way out?

Tony

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post #4 of 11017 Old 08-30-2005, 10:13 AM
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Hahaha. No, actually, as usual, it depends on how it's used. Aluminum is a great material, just not when used as a 6" midrange, for instance, with a high, shallow crossover. The resonance peak should be high enough to be crossed over effectively (I hope). I love aluminum tweeters and bass drivers. The thing is, you have to know where to cross it over. That's the only thing with metal. I explained that in a thread where Energy Veritas popped up. They also use an aluminum dome upper midrange and also use it properly.

And, strangely, I always like the NEAR speakers which always were smooth and polite sounding and they had aluminum midranges. Not quite sure how they pulled that one off, but they did.

John
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post #5 of 11017 Old 08-30-2005, 10:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tonygeno View Post

...when implemented poorly.

Exactly, thanks!
Quote:



I got the email from NHT. What strikes me is that this line is about the same price as the Evos, particularly the center channel. Could they be on the way out?

I asked this question. Yes, the 2C and 3C seem to be an updated virutal clone of the M5/M6 for the same price. They say "Classic is for retail, Evolution is for custom". I'm curious to find out if the 2C and 3C sound better than the M5/M6 because I suspect they will at the exact same price. Or, at least different. Wider dispersion anyway and very likely some additional midrange resolution. I'll try to ferret more about this. The 2C or 3C will not work with a B5 or B6, so they tell me and would look a bit weird if it did.



John
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post #6 of 11017 Old 08-30-2005, 01:25 PM
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Very nice! My first set of "real" speakers were NHTs.
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post #7 of 11017 Old 08-30-2005, 04:03 PM
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My first set of what I would call real HT speakers were also NHT about 5 years ago. I have since upgraded but they served me well. I did not replace them when I was ready to do an upgrade, even though I had about the biggest stuff they had when I bought them along with their dual subs but that was when all the rumors were going around about sombody buying them out and I just didn't like what I heard at the time so I made a switch. They are good speakers though. Saying that I do think you can do better for the same amout of money but again this new line mentioned above is pretty inexpensive already. Will just have to wait until some folks report back on them...
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post #8 of 11017 Old 08-30-2005, 05:00 PM
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Here's the interesting thing about NHT's products and their "sonic history", since MRL kinda brought it up.

Late 80s, early 90s - A little forward, lacking in bass, precise imaging, not terribly refined.

Mid to late 90s - Still a little forward, deep bass, precise imaging, a little more detailed, a little more refined.

Early 2000s - Borderline warm, certainly by NHT standards, deep bass, imaging less precise, but bigger soundstaging. Notably more refined.

2005 and forward? - What I'm hearing, based on my conversations, design and what I've heard out of Xd, they're going for "not as as forward as the 90s, not as warm as the early 2000s", the image focus of the old, but even better soundstaging than the 2000s stuff. More refined, more detailed at the same time.

IOW, I think NHT gets the fact that a lot of people rebelled against the "too smooth" stuff of recent, despite the fact that this stuff silenced a lot of earlier critics and won over some new fans. So they're trying to triangulate between the earlier and later sounds, hopefully pulling of a "best of both". I haven't heard it, can't say how they've done. But that appears to be the goal. So, hopefully, they'll win back some of the "party faithful", while still appealing to the new audience they've managed to gain. So, for those who felt the last round of stuff didn't sound like "NHT", it might be worth checking out again as I think the whole "classic" name is specifically a signal that they want to, if not go back to their roots, recapture the spirit of their roots. I hope they pull it off. It would be nice if they could get it "just right" with this batch. If they do, I think it will catch some well-deserved attention.

John
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post #9 of 11017 Old 08-30-2005, 09:59 PM
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Is there anymore info on these out there? Possibly some pics of them? I saw the two above - just looking for more (larger).

I'm still running NHT stuff & these may hit at the right time for my next upgrade. I'm running VT-1.4 towers up front, VS-1.4s in the rear, an original SW10 sub, and a SC1 center (the VS-1.4 center that I was using wouldn't fit in my new entertainment center). I love NHT stuff - my kind of sound.

-robert
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post #10 of 11017 Old 08-30-2005, 10:08 PM
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Robert, I should have some more info tomorrow and, if it comes through, I can post some links.

John
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post #11 of 11017 Old 08-30-2005, 10:13 PM
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I've always loved the simple elegant looks of NHT.
this new line looks great too !!
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post #12 of 11017 Old 08-31-2005, 12:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alimentall View Post


That speaker gives me wood. I've always like TMWs with dome midranges. I hope it sounds as good as it looks.

I was going to get 7 SB2s but after hearing about the model Three and now seeing it, I'm definitly waiting.

Greg
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post #13 of 11017 Old 08-31-2005, 08:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Chemist View Post

I've always like TMWs with dome midranges.

I've never heard this midrange, but I do know that Jack Hidley at NHT appears to be madly in love with it and has been for, oh, about 2 years. The same tweeter/midrange drivers will be used on their new $7500+/pr M80Xd flagship studio monitor and $1000/pr inwalls so it must be pretty good. It had better be! I've heard lots of dome midranges on Infinities, ARs, Genesis, etc and I've not quite heard one done really well. I haven't heard the Veritias, however. But with Jack's affinity for it, I suspect it eventually will start showing up in on-walls, outdoors, and probably anything else NHT makes that costs more than $800/pr.

The .75" tweeter will push the "oil can" resonance way up in response, probably closer to 30kHz and the dispersion characteristics should hold the whole way up to near 20kHz whereas normal 1" tweeters begin to lose dispersion by around 10kHz or so. I guess this should mean that they will have "air" or whatever that gets called.

This is the M80Xd pro speaker:


John
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post #14 of 11017 Old 08-31-2005, 02:29 PM
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Very nice! My first set of "real" speakers were NHTs.

Same here, a pair of SuperZeroes back in '94. I think they were the last real "revelation" I had in speakers.

Jack Gilvey
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post #15 of 11017 Old 09-01-2005, 04:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tonygeno View Post

What strikes me is that this line is about the same price as the Evos, particularly the center channel. Could they be on the way out?

Got more info. Looks like the 2C and 3C are *just* centers. They are a mere 6.5" and 7" high (the new BMC driver frame allows this) and are curved at each end in such a way that I don't think you could stand them on end. There is a "danger" that the $800/pr THREE will outperform the M5/M6 in the areas where they aren't quite SOTA - dispersion, soundstaging, resolution. The M5/M6 will player louder, but most people don't need that kind of output anyway. That being said, I think the M5/M6 will be around for at least a year, probably 1.5-2 years and will still probably perform better overall in some situations, mainly bright rooms or narrow rooms or possibly up against a wall. It is, however, an NHT tradition to develop an affordable speaker that outperforms its own (and others brands') flagships in some ways.

Interestingly, the Absolute Zero is really within a hair of being the same size as the SuperZero, despite the bigger midrange. The SuperZero was 9"x5.5", the Absolute Zero is 9.75"x5.625".

Retail price of the TWO was incorrect in the press release - it's $300 each, not $250 each. Here's some more shots:









John
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post #16 of 11017 Old 09-01-2005, 01:05 PM
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Alimentall,

Do you no what the dimensions of the Three are?

Greg
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post #17 of 11017 Old 09-01-2005, 01:26 PM
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13.75H x 7.5"W x 10.375"D

John
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post #18 of 11017 Old 09-01-2005, 03:14 PM
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hmm..the SuperZero replacement at $200 *each* seems a tad high of a price, inflation notwithstanding.
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post #19 of 11017 Old 09-01-2005, 04:06 PM
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Very interested in hearing the three and four.

Does anyone know which manufacturer makes that 6.5" woofer? It doesn't look like the traditional Peerless w/inverted dustcap. Did they stick with poly or go with treated paper? Vifa maybe?

Not that it matters much, just curious.
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post #20 of 11017 Old 09-01-2005, 04:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by christoofar View Post

hmm..the SuperZero replacement at $200 *each* seems a tad high of a price, inflation notwithstanding.

Substantially better tweeter, substantially better (and bigger) midrange, notably better crossover, notably better cabinet (at least in terms of diffraction, nicer finish. Kinda like equating a 2005 Honda Accord with a 1985 one, really.

John
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post #21 of 11017 Old 09-01-2005, 04:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeMarchand View Post

Does anyone know which manufacturer makes that 6.5" woofer? It doesn't look like the traditional Peerless w/inverted dustcap.)

It's an outie. Not sure who's making that one, but it appears to be an entirely custom midrange for NHT, or at least, the frame is.

John
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post #22 of 11017 Old 09-06-2005, 05:44 PM
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Interestingly, one person mentioned to me on my forum that the THREE and FOUR have an aluminum cone 6.5" midrange, so it's official, it's all aluminum, all the time So, basically, a similar design to the more expensive Energy Veritas speaker. The cone probably rings around 4-5kHz, the dome probably around 12-15kHz, so they'd need to get that ringing at least 40dB down. Fortunately, the midbass crossover is at 800Hz, so that should get us down by 45-50dB. On the dome, they're crossover over at 3.5kHz so that would put us down to 36-48dB by 14kHz. I suspect the crossover points are specifically designed to push resonances down below audibility. The tweeter could be crossed over higher, but the dome probably can't. Likewise, the midbass could go higher but not if they want to remove all the ringing, so I'm pretty sure that they specifically chose the points/slopes to deal with it, just as Energy does with Veritas. I guess I'll just have to hear it. I hope they have some in a useful place to hear them.

Actually, the similarities between the Veritas design and the THREE/FOUR design is rather striking. The biggest difference is that the THREE/FOUR are both a little less than half the price. The FOUR also has a single 10" rather than dual 6.5" "Hyperdrive" bass drivers ("Prepare for Ludicrous Bass!!!") and the THREE has an acoustic suspension midbass instead of ported. Both have a narrower, lower diffraction baffle. It would make a nice comparison since the designs are so similar otherwise.

So, Tex-Amp has a point, but I have faith that NHT has dealt with the aluminum thing well, especially since they have previously expressed a high degree of senstivity to ringing. They couldn't do it nearly as well with a 2-way mid/tweeter combo, so the 3-way dome design is critical to avoiding this issue, which is why, I believe, the AZ and TWO use polypropylene. Well, I guess the proof is in the listening. Just kinda ironic though, huh

John
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post #23 of 11017 Old 09-07-2005, 10:28 AM
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Alimentall... great posts here about NHT and very informative. Thanks for your continued hard work. NHT's will always be in my heart as they were the first I guess you would say real Home Theater speakers that were bit floor standers and they did an ok job. I have not spent the time over the last few years to listen to any of their new stuff but my dealer I buy a lot of stuff from has them and I will give them a listen when I go in to replace my HDRPTV here soon for a DLP or LCOS... Thanks!
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post #24 of 11017 Old 09-07-2005, 10:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alimentall View Post

Got more info. Looks like the 2C and 3C are *just* centers. They are a mere 6.5" and 7" high (the new BMC driver frame allows this) and are curved at each end in such a way that I don't think you could stand them on end. There is a "danger" that the $800/pr THREE will outperform the M5/M6 in the areas where they aren't quite SOTA - dispersion, soundstaging, resolution. The M5/M6 will player louder, but most people don't need that kind of output anyway. That being said, I think the M5/M6 will be around for at least a year, probably 1.5-2 years and will still probably perform better overall in some situations, mainly bright rooms or narrow rooms or possibly up against a wall. It is, however, an NHT tradition to develop an affordable speaker that outperforms its own (and others brands') flagships in some ways.

Interestingly, the Absolute Zero is really within a hair of being the same size as the SuperZero, despite the bigger midrange. The SuperZero was 9"x5.5", the Absolute Zero is 9.75"x5.625".

Retail price of the TWO was incorrect in the press release - it's $300 each, not $250 each. Here's some more shots:




Gorgeous, just plain gorgeous. If they sound as good as they look....
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post #25 of 11017 Old 09-07-2005, 11:12 AM
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Here are the promised higher rez pics. Ping me off list if you want high-rez shots ( john@adnm.com ):







John
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post #26 of 11017 Old 09-07-2005, 05:45 PM
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Maybe I missed it, but does anybody know when we can look for these babies to hit the market???????
I love the SB3's!
But I think the Classic 3 will be my next speaker, thinking of using at least 5, probably 6-7, in our pool room system

dc

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post #27 of 11017 Old 09-07-2005, 06:13 PM
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The AZs, TWOs and subs should be late October, the others, hopefully, November.

John
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post #28 of 11017 Old 09-09-2005, 12:52 AM
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All of the woofers in the Classic series that are used in 3-ways have aluminum cones. Both of the woofers used in 2-ways have PP cones. All of the drivers in the line are manufactured in China. We did a ton of development work using FEA for the magnetics and mechanical issues. We ended up using virtually zero off the shelf components in all of the drivers. All of the drivers have shorting rings to reduce flux modulation, even the Absolute Zero. All of the woofers (except the 10" in the Four) have frames made of BMC, the same material used in the XdS baffle. The frames are about 4 times as stiff as the frames in the previous line (Super Audio). The baffles for all of the speakers are about twice as thick as the SA cabinets had. This allows us to use much larger radii on them to smooth out the off axis response and reduces the level of baffle acoustic radiation due to the increase in stiffness. There is a lot of cool stuff in this product.

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post #29 of 11017 Old 09-09-2005, 09:29 AM
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Jack...

Are the new speakers compatible with the 2.9/3.3 in a 5.1 system or are all the drivers wired in uniform polarity?

Are the dome midrange and tweeter in the FOUR the same as in the M80Xd and could the M80Xd be used as a killer Center with the FOURS or XD's as the Mains?

NHT CLASSIC FOUR's Front & Rear, CLASSIC 3C, Classic 12 Sub, Panasonic TC-P65VT30, DVD-3800BDCI, HD-XA2, SONY TA-P9000ES Preamp, BRYSTON and Marantz Amplifiers...
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post #30 of 11017 Old 09-09-2005, 02:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alimentall View Post

Actually, the similarities between the Veritas design and the THREE/FOUR design is rather striking. The biggest difference is that the THREE/FOUR are both a little less than half the price.

One major plus for NHT is a matching CC. I concidered the V2.2i but the lack of a matching CC and surround put me off. The V2.2i are a bit big for surround use but the Three looks like it may be workable.

Greg
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