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post #1 of 34 Old 02-07-2007, 08:24 PM - Thread Starter
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I have owned different types of bookshelf speakers and have been listening to a cobbled together system for HT for about three and a half years now. As it has grown and evolved, piece by piece it has gotten to the point where it sounds pretty good, but I am ready to take it to the next level. I know, lol, there seems to be a lot of that contagious sickness on this site=upgradeitis=can't cure that, can't cure that!

My system has evolved to the point where the front left and right speakers differ from the center and differ from the surrounds and differ from the rears.

I sought to try the identical speaker route, that is, just how much better and more coherent would a HT system be if it were composed of 6 identical speakers [accompanied, of course, by ample competent subwoofage]? There certainly is a group of individuals and reviewers and 'those who know' who suggest that the system composed of identical speakers allows for timbre matching at the least, and better panning of sound effects in movies and better experience of sacd music. My guess is that they are probably correct, so how do I attain that in my system?

Cheaply my friends, cheaply. I just don't have the fundage of a craigsub or the ear. Nor do I have the diy skills of many of the talented folks who share their projects in wonderful detail on this forum.

So I started to look for
1] what would fit in the room, allowing for the center speaker to be, not a horizontal center speaker, but the exact same as the other speakers, a bookshelf;
2] affordable;
3] excellent value for the money;
4] pleasing to the eye, not butt ugly;
5] able to disappear into the darkness when movies play;
6] dynamic, in the sense of having the ability to go from soft to loud quickly while still having the ability to 'whisper' when needed and be legible;
7] not compress when hitting the dynamic peaks;
8] be free from [audible to me] distortion;
9] posses ability to measure as a speaker with flat frequency response [since I have subwoofers the speaker should be good at what it does, play within its boundaries rather than trying to go too low]
10] SOUND QUALITY, must sound good to me.

Gee, want that to go sir? Will $40.00 per speaker be ok with you sir? Yes I know, pretty high expectations for bookshelves on a budget.

Some obvious options, powered small studio monitors. Probably meet much of the criteria listed above except with a few drawbacks or limitations.
1] gotta run power lines for the surrounds and rear speakers, the room is running rapidly out of electrical outlets as it is, what with tv, dvd, vcr, cable box, terk antennae, 3 subwoofers and oh yes the warden thinks the room should have lights and phone with answering machine and the kid wants an aquarium with lights and filters yada yada yada. Oh did I mention the incoming cable boxes and wireless lan and the shredder and all the other sh_t? Yea, running out of electric is bad
2] most of the monitors don't have grills in front so you have these nice exposed speakers. I can see my kid inviting over the chuckleheads for texas holdem poker tournament and me losing some tweeters and some chuckleheads losing their lives.

In all likely hood, the new JBL LSR 4326s would be absolutely fantastic from an audio standpoint, with computerized analysis of room effects on the sound and the ability to tune the speakers to the 'monitoring position'. Oh yea, it would probably allow for a very very superb listening experience in a surround system, what with the ample amplification and crossovers and sof]phisticated electronics, BUT, see 1 and 2 above. Besides, they ain't cheap, figure about 600 shipped a piece. Won't fly in the budget. I sure would like to hear a system composed of them or their big brothers the 4328s.

So I figured I would search the net for some ribbons, yea, that's it, ribbons. Smooth up top. I found HTD level three bookshelves and they looked interesting. Let's see, 30 day trial period, good size, transmission line low end, nice very nice how much? Let's say going in around 3 bills a pair. What do I have to lose? Nice price, I can live with that. ring ring order two in black thank you sir.

Found a thread talking about NHT new line, small bookshelf, supposed to be very nice. Found a thread about Infinity beta line, revel bookshelf, yeeha lets go.
Ok, cross off the revels. Tried calling the various folks who sell em, voice mail on a cell phone? Let's just say that I live in a large metropolitan area of the northeast-Philadelphia area there abouts- and I gotta struggle to find these speakers? No, I don't think so, I ain't chasin after these people to give them my money. Infinity betas. Same same. Where I come from the correct response is F em. Pardon my grossness. I don't like standing in line to give people my money.

I ordered the NHT's on line, no problem dealing with a guy named John.

ok, so what do we have?
I compared the following.
JBL S 38s. A competent well designed 3 way bookshelf. A little larger than I want for having 6 of them. I originally bought two of them cause I got them refurbished for a great price. They have served me well. A little bright, not a lot, just a little. Probably an over achiever. JBL did a very good job with this speaker. 8 inch ported woofer, 4 inch mid, 1 inch titanium tweeter in a eos wave guide. Provides better dispersion of frequencies into the room. Not a perfect speaker and I wanted better.

JBL 4408As. A two way monitor. I liked them. I used them for awhile. I sold them to a musician friend for his studio. He is thrilled with them. They actually sounded very similar to the S 38s. Or, should I say the 38s sounded like the monitors? Over all a flat frequency response speaker built like a tank. Too large, too heavy.

JBL 4412As. My darlings. Bought them used off of ebay and had one of those experiences where everything went well. Large three way studio monitor. 12" ported woofer, 4 inch midrange, 1 inch titanium tweeter. They certainly posses the flat frequency response, low distortion, low compression attributes. Having 6 of them in a large large theater would absolutely rock and sock the room. They are suprisingly delicate when needed. The one word I would use to describe them would be 'effortless'. Just too too darn big. They will go to the basement system where I will blast them while I work on various things. They are keepers. The warden says she can hear where everything is, like the band is in the room. She likes them and thinks they work in our room. God bless her I like that kind of acceptance of my craziness.

HTD Level 3. Very nicely built speaker. Like a small tight ship. Not real heavy like a tank but nice finish in flat matte black with black grill. Ribbons. Good size, good price. Too laid back and not clear enough. That is the bottom line. Would they make a very good system with 6 of them in a room. Absolutely. Would someone with need for a good system who was moving up to them from a smaller or less expensive system enjoy the crap out of them? Absolutely. Would someone like me moving from large studio monitors live with them, nope. They are nice at the top end, but they are too laid back for me. Could I correct this with EQ? Probably very nicely. Do they play loud? Yup. Cleanly? Yup. Do they compress or distort? Not to the levels I played them and I ain't shy with the volume button on the remote. [Excuse me sir, but isn't your sons room just above the rec room? yup, well it's kind of late shouldn't you turn down the system? nope. Gosh your crazy. Yup]. Just not enough for me in my system.

NHT classic threes. Very nicely built speaker. Nice finish. Shiny black finish. Actually smaller than the HTD's. Definitely smaller than all the JBLs. Sound? Yup, very nice. I compared them back and forth between the big JBLs and the two speaker are similar, very similar. Your not saying a small three way is able to keep up with the studio monitors are you? Real close, yes they are real close. They are not as efficient as the JBLs. The over all sound signature is very similar. Clean. Precise. Can you explain the differences between them? I will try. The NHTs are very good at letting you hear all the instruments very distinctly. Yea acoustic guitar or jazz guitar very distinct but how about some big band jazz with everyone blasting and cooking and playin as fast as they can how about it? Yes, good stuff. I listened to some Bob Mintzer and Maynard Ferguson (sp?) and yes they do a nice job. Of particular note, drums and cymbals are done very nice. I keep hearing things that make me look over at the speakers thinking that maybe something was happening in the room. More so than the JBLs. That is a good thing. Second point of distinction. They seem to have the ability to produce the 'edges' better. The beginning of a note produced by a flute and the end of the note. Quick. Agile. They separate the instrument's notes even better than the Jebels. Not by a lot. We are not comparing a 5 and a 9 out of ten, we are talking more ones an 8 and ones a 9. Not surprising when you think the JBLs are from late 80s and early 90s. Just proof of a good design effort and a good production effort on the part of JBL. The NHT with its more modern technology and whatever, has captured, at least for me, a very large part of a good reproduction experience producing an enjoyable listening experience FOR MY ROOM. They may not produce this for you in your room but I would say this speaker is a nice effort.

I will probably order 4 more and load up the room. They will fit and yes I can live with them. [for how long sir, how long??? shut up] I can probably live with them till I move or the freshman graduates and moves out. May be by then one of the other brats will hit the lottery or something good like that?

Are there other speakers I should listen to? Yea, but how much time and effort do we need to put into this? I would say probably onix, ascends, and all the other brands that are seriously doing the internet direct model, and who actually give a shi_ about how their product sounds and how they take care of their customers would also have a good product in this relative size and price range. Am I going to chase them all down and be absolutely sure I have the absolute best ? I think not, for the near term I can live with these. Is there something better? Probably. These will fit nicely on the walls etc. They do a very good job.

I will have to let you all know how the 'system' sounds when all the little puppies are singing in harmony.

Till then, continue the quest gents [and ladies] continue the quest and continue to build up the 'knowledge base' of just what is available in this great market place.

Isn't it great that we have these great choices? I think so.

I think next year I will upgrade the subwoofers-yea, thats the ticket, more subwoofers

can't cure that can' cure that

ciao

deeper than the deepest ocean
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post #2 of 34 Old 02-07-2007, 08:33 PM
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wow long post, didnt even bother reading it, sorry.

super dirty , super clean , pow
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post #3 of 34 Old 02-08-2007, 05:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrPainMD View Post

wow long post, didnt even bother reading it, sorry.

That's just mean!


Same here
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post #4 of 34 Old 02-08-2007, 05:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tase2 View Post

That's just mean!


Same here

Did'nt mean for it to sound mean, I'm just not a reader, made if someone made a tv movie of the week out of his post....I'd watch it

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post #5 of 34 Old 02-08-2007, 08:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrPainMD View Post

Did'nt mean for it to sound mean, I'm just not a reader, made if someone made a tv movie of the week out of his post....I'd watch it

I'll wait for the CliffsNotes!
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post #6 of 34 Old 02-08-2007, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by tase2 View Post

Same here


I got through two paragraphs...
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post #7 of 34 Old 02-08-2007, 09:38 AM
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I read it.

The CliffNotes are in a nutshell he was seeking speaker bliss at a frugal price. He found it within his budget. However, the saga continues.

"Man plans, God laughs"
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post #8 of 34 Old 02-08-2007, 11:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mozvz View Post

I read it.

The CliffNotes are in a nutshell he was seeking speaker bliss at a frugal price. He found it within his budget. However, the saga continues.

Do you think that the professor knows that the Cliff's notes have become available for this thread?

Read about the Sony Rootkit fiasco. http://www.boingboing.net/2005/11/14...stomer-te.html
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post #9 of 34 Old 02-08-2007, 02:36 PM
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I only read the first line and though "what an ******* ", haha j/k
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post #10 of 34 Old 02-08-2007, 03:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrPainMD View Post

wow long post, didnt even bother reading it, sorry.

Rofl. That's cold!

I got through , uh, umm, about three paragraphs or so.

"We were children, once, playing with toys..." ~ Steve Winwood
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post #11 of 34 Old 02-08-2007, 05:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mozvz View Post

I read it.

The CliffNotes are in a nutshell he was seeking speaker bliss at a frugal price. He found it within his budget. However, the saga continues.

Thanks for the distillation. I gave up in the 3rd paragraph.

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post #12 of 34 Old 02-08-2007, 05:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post

Thanks for the distillation. I gave up in the 3rd paragraph.

You are quite welcome Kal. I wonder if there will be a sequel?

It's actually a decent read as the OP went through quite a bit of trial and error to find his final purchase.

"Man plans, God laughs"
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post #13 of 34 Old 02-09-2007, 09:28 AM
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Right, DrPainMD. When I ask an exam question of my med students, I give them a small box for the answer. If they can't fit it in, they don't know it.

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post #14 of 34 Old 02-09-2007, 10:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post

Right, DrPainMD. When I ask an exam question of my med students, I give them a small box for the answer. If they can't fit it in, they don't know it.

Is it multiple choice?

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post #15 of 34 Old 02-09-2007, 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by DrPainMD View Post

Is it multiple choice?

That would be multiple small boxes, so I guess you failed that test
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post #16 of 34 Old 02-09-2007, 10:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by allsop4now View Post

That would be multiple small boxes, so I guess you failed that test

Guess so. I usually leave enough room for about 6 words.

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post #17 of 34 Old 02-09-2007, 11:54 AM
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Quote:
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That would be multiple small boxes

no it would'nt, it's still one box for the answer

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post #18 of 34 Old 02-09-2007, 12:39 PM
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no it would'nt, it's still one box for the answer

A multiple choice test with only one choice for each question? I would call that a single choice test
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post #19 of 34 Old 02-09-2007, 04:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by allsop4now View Post

A multiple choice test with only one choice for each question? I would call that a single choice test

can I have some of the crack your on?

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post #20 of 34 Old 02-09-2007, 07:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Well, looking through the responses . . . yup it sure was a long thread . . yup you guys are funny, couple of good laugh out louds in there

I guess I was just trying to be some what careful in what I said in order to be helpful to others and to avoid the 'hey I found the greatest speakers' type of post

enjoy the ride

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post #21 of 34 Old 02-09-2007, 11:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tase2 View Post

I'll wait for the CliffsNotes!

LMAO
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post #22 of 34 Old 02-10-2007, 03:47 AM
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Bone, your take on the Classic Threes is similar to mine. I'm using 5 bookshelfs in my system, congrats.
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post #23 of 34 Old 02-10-2007, 07:31 AM - Thread Starter
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ericgl
I have 2 right now. I ordered four more. It should be pretty interesting once I have six operating in the room.
Are you using stands, if so what kind and what height? I am going to need a stand for the one I will be using for the center. I am not sure if the speaker are going to fit in my surround wall mounts either, how are yours mounted in the rear?
Thank you.

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post #24 of 34 Old 02-10-2007, 01:06 PM
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My system is a little complex as I have the NHT X2 crossover and a stereo pair of Rocket ULW-10 subwoofers for the L&R . I am using the Parts Express 24" high mass stands, the subs are atop the stands and the Threes sit on the subs. The tweeters are about 50" off the floor, which is now about 6" too high in my case, so I am looking for some 18" stands. The center sits on a small home made stand on my equipment rack at the same height.

One surround is on a 40" speaker stand, the other on a home made wall stand using a 10" corner brace from Lowes and an appropiate sized piece of baltic birch plywood. The speaker hides the where the corner brace is attached to the wall.
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post #25 of 34 Old 02-12-2007, 04:36 PM - Thread Starter
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After having gone a few days and digesting all the intellectual comments on the original post I think I'll go with the old stand by, "bite me".
I was not aware there was an unspoken appropriate length and an inappropriate length rule in play.
DrPain, thanks, "I am really not a reader"=that is real nice on a web site where all most people do is umm, read? Sorry for no pictures.
very nice . . .

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post #26 of 34 Old 02-12-2007, 04:46 PM
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ericgl:

That's a nice set-up. What kind of difference did the X2 crossover make?

If you don't mind reminding me, what other speakers have you auditioned?

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post #27 of 34 Old 02-12-2007, 05:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bone215 View Post

After having gone a few days and digesting all the intellectual comments on the original post I think I'll go with the old stand by, "bite me".
I was not aware there was an unspoken appropriate length and an inappropriate length rule in play.
DrPain, thanks, "I am really not a reader"=that is real nice on a web site where all most people do is umm, read? Sorry for no pictures.
very nice . . .

your welcome, and I did say I was sorry for not reading it. The jokes just came after... once again sorry

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post #28 of 34 Old 02-12-2007, 05:17 PM
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Before I purchased, I auditioned the usual B&M suspects; Dynaudio Audience 42, 52, and Focus 110s, B&W 705s and CM1s, Monitor Audio GS-10s and older GR-10s, Focal, and a couple others. I also own or have passed on to friends and family several others including Seas DIY Odins, Spendor S3/5se's, a couple of different Mission series, and Platinum Audio something or others.

Each of us are bothered by different imperfections when we audition speakers, I was drawn to the NHTs by the lack of box coloration and great dispersion (IMO).
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post #29 of 34 Old 02-12-2007, 05:27 PM
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In my house I am an NHT fan. I would enjoy listening to Dynaudios some day, and people say great things about the gold series Monitor Audios.

You actually didn't answer my one question about the X2 crossover.

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post #30 of 34 Old 02-12-2007, 05:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mziegler View Post

You actually didn't answer my one question about the X2 crossover.

I have high passed the Threes at 150Hz. I believe this has cleaned up the remaining frequencies the 3s are asked to handle. Of course as an objectivist I have to admit it is possible that this is what I expected and therefore heard.

The ULW-10s handle (nominally) 50 to 150 Hz where they provide great midbass impact.

LFE and bass <50 Hz goes to a Mirage S12 which is subject to a future upgrade.
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