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Upgrade HT speakers, looking for advice.. (NHT,KEF,other?)

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
My wife wants to redo our living space and she has given the ok for new speakers. Room dimensions are 20' x 18.5' with a sloped ceiling going from 8.5' to 10'. There is alot of windows and a sliding glass door so placement on the speakers is limited. I originally bought Polk monitor 50's about 3 years ago, those lasted 3 months and I stepped up to the Monitor 70's. I had them for about a year but felt I was lacking the "dynamic" or "impact" in movies, just felt blah... So I talked to a few people they said to try horn loaded and at first I really liked it but have been experiencing fatigue.

I'm looking for sealed speakers mainly because of my limited placement options. Will consider front ported if the sound won't be affected being close to walls. Hoping to get all the info I need before Black Friday comes around and I can get a deal.

Interested in NHT but have read some reviews saying they didn't produce dynamic sound for HT. While others say they sound great! Would be looking at either the Absolute tower or Classic 3. The Classic 4's subs aren't appealing to me, plus I don't know how it'll blend with my Outlaw LFM-1EX? If I were to get NHT, I'd get the matching center.

Also have been looking at KEF but haven't decided on which towers Q500/Q700?

Any other speakers I should be looking at? Speakers will be placed about 6-7' apart and fairly close to the wall, I'd say 6" away. Seating distance is around 9'.

Thank you for any help...

Will be powered with a Denon 3313CI but am looking to get a seperate amp in the near future.
Edited by Randall.White - 10/11/13 at 3:49pm
post #2 of 21
Thread Starter 
Forgot to mention budget. Don't really have one set in mind but would like to get the best bang for my buck. I remember last year NHT had an amazing BF sale.
post #3 of 21
I would go for bookshelves and a better sub. That is a large space so you really need a capable sub(s) to get that impact you are looking for. NHT makes a lot of great speakers, I recently got some and thoroughly enjoy them.

The Absolute Zero is an incredibly accurate speaker and offers great value. I'd imagine the Classic 2 or 3 would be a nice step up.

Another good option is Ascend, they are very popular and the CMT-340SE is a very good speaker. Three of those with a pair of Rythmik LV12R would be a great upgrade and should give you all the dynamics you are looking for.
post #4 of 21
Thread Starter 
I'll look into Ascend, are they sealed speakers as well? Same price point?
post #5 of 21
6" is enough distance for a rear port, you just don't want them up against something. Those Ascends are $570/pair: http://ascendacoustics.com/pages/products/speakers/cmt340m/cmt340m.html
post #6 of 21
Check out Aperion Audio or Definitive Technology!
post #7 of 21
IMO the speakers you're looking at are not going to have obviously more dynamics than your monitor 70s. They all are similar in design and number of drivers. Sure they'll sound better, especially with music, probably have better imaging and sound stage and all that, but not really be more dynamic.

You need to go with some high efficiency speakers like JTR or the Chase models if/when they become available again. Other than those or similar the next rung on the ladder would Klipsch or one of the knockoffs like some of the Bic models.

I'm kind of in the same boat as you, I want more dynamic speakers for movies, but don't want to give up the sweet sound of my little NHT SuperZeros, so I'm still looking for something than fits my wants without breaking the bank.
post #8 of 21
Thread Starter 
That's what I have now, knock off Klipsch and I've out grown them. So NHT would not be a step up? The more I've been reading I don't think KEF has what I'll be looking for.
post #9 of 21
Hi Randall, I'd say "other?"!

If your priority is clarity, dynamics and impact for movies and music, these guys are pound-for-pound the champions in my book and would make an outstanding LCR combo I reckon:



JTR Single 8HT
$899 each

These are high performance monitors that would slay any of the speakers mentioned in this thread so far and embarrass many higher priced offerings from more mainstream speaker brands. Their combination of genuine high sensitivity, high power handling and 8Ω impedance means that your Denon 3313 will have no problems driving these to clean, very loud (115dB+) SPL's. Note that because they are a physically and acoustically concentric coaxial, if required you can simply lay one speaker on its side for the centre channel.

The only downside is that their aesthetics aren't for everyone and this might be an issue in a living room situation. However, each JTR speaker is made to order and Jeff offers a range of custom veneer options.

Edit: The Single 8HT's were amongst some very good company at the NE Spring Speaker Shootout. You might be interested in the attendees impressions of how they performed on the day.

For surrounds, I've often seen the JBL 8320 recommended as a budget, high performing match JTR front ends. They can be found for under $500/pair shipped.

WARNING: Your subwoofage will need upgrading if you wish to push towards the ultimate SPL capability of the JTR's! biggrin.gif
.
Edited by GIEGAR - 10/14/13 at 11:15pm
post #10 of 21
Thread Starter 
Can those be placed close to the wall/corner and still produce great sound? The speakers will also have to pass the WAF
post #11 of 21
With the front firing port they can be placed fairly close. A good trick with corner placement is to ensure that the front baffle is not the same distance from both walls as this will double-up reinforcement of a single frequency. Audyssey should do a pretty good job of smoothing out the in-room response.


Hang on! Something occured to me while writing that: JTR also make the Slanted 8HT and the Single 8HT-lp (low profile) with the same driver. These two speakers are front ported and designed for on-wall/surround applications.

I'm positive that if you discussed your placement situation with Jeff, he could (say) substitute the crossover design from either of those, which will be "voiced" for on-wall applications, for the usual Single 8HT crossover. He may also need to do some minor crossover tweeking to account for the different baffle width. As I said, all JTR speakers are made to order.

So yes, they will still produce great sound close to walls! smile.gif

That only leaves passing the WAF test. Over to you... biggrin.gif
post #12 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by GIEGAR View Post

With the front firing port they can be placed fairly close. A good trick with corner placement is to ensure that the front baffle is not the same distance from both walls as this will double-up reinforcement of a single frequency. Audyssey should do a pretty good job of smoothing out the in-room response.

The result of this will be a power-response dip (drop-out) of the frequency in question, based on the quarter-wave distance of the woofer from the two reflecting surfaces. It will be even worse if there are three reflecting surfaces at equal distances. Search for "Allison" effect on the AVS forum.
post #13 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GIEGAR View Post

With the front firing port they can be placed fairly close. A good trick with corner placement is to ensure that the front baffle is not the same distance from both walls as this will double-up reinforcement of a single frequency. Audyssey should do a pretty good job of smoothing out the in-room response.


Hang on! Something occured to me while writing that: JTR also make the Slanted 8HT and the Single 8HT-lp (low profile) with the same driver. These two speakers are front ported and designed for on-wall/surround applications.

I'm positive that if you discussed your placement situation with Jeff, he could (say) substitute the crossover design from either of those, which will be "voiced" for on-wall applications, for the usual Single 8HT crossover. He may also need to do some minor crossover tweeking to account for the different baffle width. As I said, all JTR speakers are made to order.

So yes, they will still produce great sound close to walls! smile.gif

That only leaves passing the WAF test. Over to you... biggrin.gif

Yeah that last one is a biggy. I showed her them and didn't care at all! Then I found a video of them playing outside and they zoomed out she goes WTF...... Ummm. Pretty sure our neighbors would kill us lol. We are the young people in a nicer neighborhood, and most already don't care for us. So we'll see! It's hard because she likes NHT and KEF because of their finish.
post #14 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Randall.White View Post

Yeah that last one is a biggy. I showed her them and didn't care at all!
That's excellent news! smile.gif

Quote:
Then I found a video of them playing outside and they zoomed out she goes WTF...... Ummm. Pretty sure our neighbors would kill us lol. We are the young people in a nicer neighborhood, and most already don't care for us. So we'll see! It's hard because she likes NHT and KEF because of their finish.

Ah yes the famous JTR in a park video! That's a JTR Triple 8HT, which is 3dB more sensitive than the Single 8HT, being driven by a very powerful Lab Gruppen pro amp. The video just demonstrates that JTR's high power handling means they maintain composure and sound clean at very high SPL's. On that day, that speaker could have been taking up to 2000W on peaks, or 33dB gain which means it was playing at about 130dB peak at 1m from the speaker!

JTR's will still play at play very nicely at sedate "good neighbour" volumes... they will just take micro power to do so and because of that they will be sound crisp, clear and completely unstrained. This is what dynamics is all about!

The solution is in your hands - the volume button on the remote control! smile.gif
post #15 of 21
Procella Audio P6 - shallow form factor, compression driver / constant directivity horn, sound awesome, $1599!
post #16 of 21
Thread Starter 
The JTR look like they may be overkill, I mean I'll be sitting 9' away from them. Maybe if I change this room into a dedicated HT room.

I'm still looking, going to look at the Procella Audio P6 and see how they match up. Are they 1599 each?
post #17 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Randall.White View Post

The JTR look like they may be overkill, I mean I'll be sitting 9' away from them. Maybe if I change this room into a dedicated HT room.

I'm still looking, going to look at the Procella Audio P6 and see how they match up. Are they 1599 each?

There is no such thing as overkill if your stated goal is better dynamics. Stunning dynamics require what most consider "overkill". There is simply no way around it and the less the "overkill" the less the dynamics.
Edited by Gooddoc - 10/17/13 at 3:00pm
post #18 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gooddoc View Post

There is no such thing as overkill if your stated goal is better dynamics. Stunning dynamics require what most consider "overkill". There is simply no way around it and the less the "overkill" the less the dynamics.

Not sure I agree with you there...what you are getting with the JTRs is SPL output capacity. If you can hit 105dB peaks with a smaller speaker (which is louder than most of us listen to anyway) then why not, particularly because, ignoring ID vs Dealer brands, the funds that are going towards max SPL output capacity can now be used for other things such as better crossover components or a less resonant enclosure or lower disortion drivers. Subjective dynamics is a separate topic to max SPL output.
post #19 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Randall.White View Post

The JTR look like they may be overkill, I mean I'll be sitting 9' away from them. Maybe if I change this room into a dedicated HT room.

I'm still looking, going to look at the Procella Audio P6 and see how they match up. Are they 1599 each?
yes.
post #20 of 21
If you are looking for something with real dynamic range, check out some Pi Threes. They are horn-loaded, but they aren't voiced hot like many common brands of horns, Klipsch and BIC, in fact their voicing is very neutral. Their measurements are excellent, you could place them in a corner with no problem. They could run to blazing volumes on any receiver with no problem, they are high impedance and high sensitivity, you won't need a separate amplifier for these unless you really want to damage your hearing. As for WAF, they are somewhat large but, but you can get them in a variety of real woods and finishes, although exotic woods and finishes cost more. If harsh treble is really a concern for you, check out the Pi Four, its measurements suggest an even more laid back treble. Of course, with a 15" woofer for mid bass the dynamic range is basically unlimited.
post #21 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nyal Mellor View Post

Not sure I agree with you there...what you are getting with the JTRs is SPL output capacity. If you can hit 105dB peaks with a smaller speaker (which is louder than most of us listen to anyway) then why not, particularly because, ignoring ID vs Dealer brands, the funds that are going towards max SPL output capacity can now be used for other things such as better crossover components or a less resonant enclosure or lower disortion drivers. Subjective dynamics is a separate topic to max SPL output.
http://www.avsforum.com/content/type/61/id/285298/width/500/height/1000/flags/LL <<<<You must right click to open
Better crossover components than this?

http://bmsspeakers.com/index.php?id=bms_4594nd
Lower distortion than this?

Only if there is No thought to the value vs performance aspect. With no budget limits just about anything can be accomplished but I read "Best bang for my Buck" in the 2nd post. Otherwise I am sure JTR would not be mentioned in an Unlimited budget conversation.

Max SPL output is not the Goal but is a common mistake most make when speaking about JTR products. It shows a lack of interest and complete misconcetion of the design goals that were set forth with this company. This misconception can lead to what is perceived as Overkill. If there is a volume control then Overkill would be a conscious decision the user makes.
People do not buy Corvettes so they can drive at 160+mph at all times. It's b/c the ride is Effortless, Comfortable, and Thrilling at all speeds just like the design engineers intended.

I also understand the OP has No interest in this design.
Chris
Edited by countryWV - 10/18/13 at 11:01am
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