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NHT Subwoofer  

post #1 of 53
Thread Starter 
Hi there.

I was wondering if anyone reading this forum has owned or had experiences with the NHT SW-2pi subwoofer package? It comes with the SA-2 mono amp since the SW-2si is a passive subwoofer. Was wondering what do you guys think of the perofrmance of this sub? I am looking for a 10" sub for both HT and playing back cds. But using it more for HT. I am not a person who really needs earth shattering bass, but enough to feel it:) If you get what i mean:P Anyways i was wanting to compare this to the velodyne VX-10 which is an entry level 10" sub or maybe even the CHT-10 but i could get the NHT for a cheap price used.

Comments appreciated. I am in Australia by the way:)

Regards.
Kenn.
post #2 of 53
Thread Starter 
Anyone? :)
post #3 of 53
I own one of those subs and I found it was a really good sub for music. I personally thought it lacked the range for HT though. I recently upgraded it to a SVS 20-39PC+ and find the SVS to be much better at both HT and music. The biggest problem I had with the SW2pi was that when it distorted on really low bass scenes, it felt like it was pushing well out of it's range on some discs. So if your mainly in it for the movies I might stear towards a different sub because a lot of newer movies are putting very low bass sections in and I don't think that the SW2pi can handle the lower ranges as well, but for music it is definately a very good sub. Just as an example, the scene in "The Matrix" with the mini gun in the helicopter sounded a whole lot better with the SVS than the SW2pi.
post #4 of 53
I concur. In a small to medium sized room it's fine. NHT always took a "music first" approach. They've gone to great lengths to improve this on newer models. DVDs have made the problem a little worse as they can put on ridiulous levels of bass. So, if you can spend more, it would be a good idea to spend more on a newer sub. NHT's own SW10II is a big upgrade over the SW2Pi in power capability. But, for a good price and in a reasonable room, it's a great sub.
post #5 of 53
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys for the reply. My room is 20'X12' and floor to ceiling is around 8'. Is this considered a small to medium room? Do you think the NHT sw2pi will be ok? Actually i am not after earth shattering bass, just want enough bass to feel it and know bass is there.

What do you think?:)

Regards.
Kenn.
post #6 of 53
Well I will say you will feel it but the problem is will you like how it feels ;). As I said for the real low bass movies we are seeing now I don't think the unit can handle it. It makes a bad sounding noise on the really bass heavy movies that I didn't like. When you get a better sub or hear someone else's better sub you will say to yourself why doesn't that movie sound like that in my room. I am a big NHT fan and I love their stuff, but the SW2pi is rather old by todays standards and unless your going to be more towards the music side I'd recommend getting a better sub.
post #7 of 53
Thread Starter 
Hi Luffy.

Thanks for the info. Yeah the problem is the better subs out there for HT costs quite a lot more. I was actually gonna eye out the Velodyne VX-10 entry level sub but i think that sub won't be as good for music as the NHT? I was originally looking at that price range which is ~US$200. I am only a budget HT guy hehe. Since i could get hold of a used NHT package for US$200 i thought thats not a bad price and its in good condition.

What do you think?:)

Regards.
Kenn.
post #8 of 53
Actually, two things. Your room isn't that large and, for that price, you can easily resell it if it doesn't suit. It probably will from what you're saying, but we don't want you to get stuck either. At that price, you could probably sell it at a profit if it didn't work out. You may actually love it. I owned one and never really made it distort, though, I didn't have a DVD player at the time.
post #9 of 53
Thread Starter 
Hi John.

Thanks for the info. Yeah i was thinking perhaps if i didn't like it then i would try to sell it off for a good price. Anyways how low does this subwoofer go down too without distorting?

What volume setting do you usually use?:P

Regards.
Kenn.
post #10 of 53
They're designed to hit 27Hz flat, but I don't know at what volume it can do this. The sub volume would be set based on your gear. As for listening volume, I listen to about 0dB to +3dB on my NAD receiver, but have inefficient speakers and a room about 2.5 times your size.
post #11 of 53
Well honestly I used the SW2pi w/ SA2 amp till about 2 weeks ago, and if you carefully adjust it via the gain on the SA2 amp along with your prepro/receiver it will sound good with most movies. It is just the ones that have really low bass that will make a distorted sound that you will not like. For example the Lion scene in Jumanji always bottomed out the SW2pi along with several scenes from LOTR.

Well for the volume knob on the SA-2 amp I kept it at about 1/3 of the way up (about the 10 oclock position). Any more and it some scenes that didn't distort would distort because it was playing too loud for that frequency. This is not necessarily where you would want it because that is where it was best for my particular setup when I calibrated my system with the VE disc and did alot of trail and error calibrating with various movies in my collection.

For $200 I'd say thats a good deal if it is for both the SA2 amp + SW2pi. I saw some used ones being sold without the amp for just under that amount. If your budget can't get you to about $500-$550 then I would definately consider the NHT.
post #12 of 53
Thread Starter 
Hi.
Thanks for the replies guys. Yes the $200 comes with the amp and the subwoofer. By the way is the MA-2 amp of good quality? What is making it distort at really low bass? Is it the subwoofer itself or the amp not having enough power? I was wondering guys what methos connection are you guys using with your setup when you had the NHT package? Acoording to the manual there is 4 methods. I am not sure what i should use. I have JBL bookshelf speakers are the fronts left/right, it goes from 50Hz-120khz with 125W max power i think(full specs below). I have a yamaha rx-v595 dd5.1 receiver(specs below) which don't have pre outs, but it has a subwoofer out RCA connector.

Hmm let me check my yamaha specs for the front speakers.

Yes the fronts i can select small or large on the yammy. And under the filter characteristics section in the yammy manual it says:
MAIN L/R. REAR L/R(SPEAKER SMALL)
(H.P.F) ........ fc = 90Hz, 12dB/oct.
SUBWOOFER
(L.P.F) ........ fc = 90Hz, 18dB/oct.
Not sure exactly what they mean but maybe you know?

Now for my front speakers specs , ie JBL J820M bookshelfs:
There is a high frequency transducer(14mm Ti composite),no midrange transducer,there is a low frequency transducer(8").
The crossover frequency is 3.5kHz and the frequency response(-6dB) is : 50Hz to 20kHz. Sensitivity is 90dB. Recommended amplified power is between 10 and 125W.

Hope these specs can help you out and me hehe
And after all this not sure if my speaker is small or large hehe.

Regards.
Kenn.
post #13 of 53
Can't tell you exactly why it distorts but I think it basically is trying reproduce a sound at a frequency (for example 20hz) that is out of it's range.

Well I connected without really using the crossover stuff. I took the preout sub connector and put it through a splitter (in your case the sub out rca connector), then connected that to the SA2 amp RCA input. The receiver is what is doing the bass management so you don't have to deal with the other added connections.
post #14 of 53
Thread Starter 
Hi Luffy.

Thanks for the reply. Hmm according to the SA-2 manual there is a number of ways to connect and some may be good and some may not according to the size of your front speakers. Do i need VE to tweak my sub? I don't have the disk i sold it 2 years ago!:P I have a radioshack SPL meter though but not sure how would i use it to set up my sub. Is there a guide somewhere?:)



Regards.
Kenn.
post #15 of 53
Well I used the VE disc to calibrate, but you can use the test tone that your receiver puts out (assuming it outputs a test tone on your sub channel). I would recommend using a disc based test tones over the interal receiver test tones but if you don't have one, the interal is better than nothing :).

As far as the other way to connect the speakers, I think the sub out one is the best way overall especially if your receiver does bass management. I think your receiver does from your description. The other methods basically make the SA-2 amp do the crossover work so if you were to use that you would have to set your front speakers to full and sub to none. Personally I don't like that method of connection.
post #16 of 53
Thread Starter 
Hi Luffy.

I see. Yeah i'll see if i can pick up the disc for a good price if not i will just use internal test tones. I don't think my receiver has internal test tones for the sub but i will check. I am gonna go pick up the NHT sub and amp in 30mins:) Will let you know how i go:)

Regards.
Kenn.
post #17 of 53
Thread Starter 
Hi Luffy.

I just got my subwoofer+SA2 amp. So far its pretty nice. Watched gone in 60 seconds and Saving private ryan all in DD5.1 and its not bad:) Music is alright too. The thing is i am not sure which part of my room should i put the sub? I have it on the right side about 1.5 metre in front of my front right speaker and the sub is facing inwards as in centre. By the way when i up the volume to say 10:30 on the SA2 amp there is like a humming sound, a slight one at that, is that normal? If i lower the volume to say 8 o'clock or so i can't hear it, do you get this?

Regards.
Kenn.
post #18 of 53
Well subwoofer placement is a PIA. Try a corner first is the ususal party line, but for the most part it is more trial and error so I can't really help you there. But I did have mine placed the way you describe.

The hum, I don't remember having. Maybe you have a ground loop problem in your setup? I have had my SA2 to a max of about 1/2 way and I don't remember hearing a hum. First see if the hum is based off your equipment by removing the receiver->SA2 connection. Then turn on the amp and see if you hear a hum. If you don't it is probably some kind of ground loop from one of the things plugged into your receiver.
post #19 of 53
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the info Luffy. If its a ground loop problem, how do i get rid of it?:)

Regards.
Kenn.
post #20 of 53
Kenn,

Did you get the email I sent ya ? (John-Tompkins) on htf..

I ran some sweeps with the nht sa-2 and it REALLY rolls off at 40 hz..almost nothing at all below 35 hz...so while this sub will provide you with tight musical bass, it wont produce any really low rumbling bass.

This sub would compete well with the others you mentioned...maybe down the road, when you have some more funds you could add a svs or something
post #21 of 53
Thread Starter 
Hi psuJohnny.

I got your email thanks for that. Yeah i played saving private ryan and it seemed to rumble enough for me:) But maybe later on i may want more bass:)

Regarding the humming, i took out the interconnect from the sa2 amp that connected to my receiver sub out, then the humming went away any ideas?

Regards.
Kenn.
post #22 of 53
I believe there are several posts on the subject here or in the amp section about the ground loop hum. Just do a search for ground. Solving it is not fun. Basically speaking you have to find which component is doing it by removing everything then plugging things in one at a time till you get the hum back. That is most likely the one causing the problem. Just make sure you start with the receiver and speakers only first to eliminate that the receiver is causing it. If it is then I am not sure how you'd fix it, but from what I read the most common one is when something like a VCR or TV is going through the receiver that is the cause. Something to do with cable TV connection that is plugged into them. But do a search and you should find more accurate info on the subject.
post #23 of 53
Thread Starter 
Hi Luffy.

Thanks for the info. But i don't have any vcr or tv connected to my receiver. For video i use direct connection from source to the TV. Could it be electrical cords that is too close to my interconnect from sa2 amp to my receiver sub woofer output? By the way this humming is not that bad, i have to put my ear next to it to hear it actually. Will it be bad for my equipment?

Regards.
Kenn.
post #24 of 53
Thread Starter 
^^bump ^^ :)
post #25 of 53
Have you lifted the grounds on your power cables. That's usually the problem. Not RCA cables. The RCA cable just create the bridge for the hum.
post #26 of 53
Well I say do a search, I am not very familiar with ground loop hum problems. I had it once when I hooked up my PC to my old denon 5600 receiver but I corrected it using one of these radio shack ground loop hum things that sit between the PC and receiver. I no longer hook up my PC to my receiver so I don't have the problem anymore.
post #27 of 53
Thread Starter 
Hi.
Thanks for the info guys.
John: What do you mean lifted the grounds on my power cables? How do i do this?:P Sorry i am new to this.

Regards.
Kenn.
post #28 of 53
I don't know about there, but here, the cables have either two or three prongs. The third prong is a "ground" which almost always causes the ground loop. There are cheater plugs that eliminate this ground. Or, you can just cut off the ground. There is no problem with doing this. It's fairly redundant. It's the redundancy that is causing your problem.
post #29 of 53
Cutting off the earth pin or using a cheater plug can be a very dangerous thing to do. The purpose of the earth pin is to provide a low-impedance return path for any fault current so that your circuit breakers will trip as soon as possible. If you bypass your earth pin, you could very well be using your interconnect grounds as fuses, as they will basically be destroyed when they try to conduct the fault current (and maybe destroy some equipment and start a fire). Don't use cheater plugs or bypass your earth pin. There are better and safer ways of getting rid of a ground loop.

--Andre
post #30 of 53
I would like to see a substantive scientific article on that. In practice, this appears not to be true. We have been doing this on a regular basis for a decade with no problems, failures, fires, etc. There is plenty of grounding available in a system to disperse an electrical short. And plenty of fusing to deal with it in any event. Correct me if I'm wrong.
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