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I have a setup with NHT 2.5i's as fronts, an AC-1 center, and SuperZeros as surrounds.


It's a nice system, don't get me wrong.


But I am considering going with bookshelf fronts and a dedicate subwoofer and was wondering about the Rockets.


How do they sound vs. the NHTs? You know, are they similar in character? Any thoughts on quality?


I'd really appreciate any thoughts people might have comparing and contrasting the Rockets against what I've got.


Mark
 

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Send me a note when you are ready to sell your NHT's
 

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Well I can give you some idea....I've heard the nht sb2 and the rocket rs750. Both are great speakers, the sb2 is great for the asking price, smooth, warm mids, nice bass, great soundstage, very musical low cost bookshelves. They are a bit bright (not harsh, but rather the highs sound 'intoxicating' that's the best way I can describe it). The sound is really nice, but will have to audition carefully as the sound may be fatiguing for some people.

Now the rockets have deeper bass (no surprise), a more full bodied midrange, and are less forward sounding. The overall sound of the rockets is more musical I would say, and probably more forgiving than the nht's. I would also say the rockets are easier to listen to.

Give both a listen and see what you like.
 

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I agree with vrao81's comments (except that he related them to the sb2 speaker, a totally different beast than the 2.5i). I own the NHT Superzeros and SC1 and have heard the sb2 and 2.5i. The 2.5i are great speakers and I am sure you have enjoyed them. Several points:


First, the 2.5i will not be as "fast" as the Rocket 250 (I own 750s in front and rear, and the 200 Center). The 2.5i has an 8 inch woofer, which is great, but by necessity, slower. So, you will get tighter bass control on the Rockets, but this will also depend on your A/V equipment. Both the 2.5i and 250s benefit from reasonably good equipment (I drive my Rockets with the Sony 444ES receiver). You can pair the 250s with the UFW-10 subwoofer (to be out soon). Based on initial impressions of the alpha unit, they would make an excellent match.


Second, NHT has a particular sound. It is brighter than most. Not nearly as bright as Klipsch, but certainly more so than any of the Rocket models. It usually translates to the fact that poorly recorded source material sounds worse on the 2.5i than on the Rockets, which are more laid back. The 2.5i is probably slightly more detailed, at the expense of the smoothness of the Rockets. Both present a nice soundstage and great transparency.


Third, the 250 tweeter (also on the 550 and 750), in my opinion, is better than the one on the 2.5i, which is no slouch. You can learn much about the 250 tweeter by reviewing this board. They do sound different, and you really should listen to the Rockets before making your decision (to hear the 250 tweeter, you can also listen to the higher end Polks, which use the same tweeter -- although crossed differently). There are a number of people in California with Rockets who might be willing to let you listen.


Fourth, the 200 center is, in my opinion, substantially better than the SC1. You really need to listen to understand. It provides a bigger sound stage, is more transparent, and -- and this is my opinion -- just better overall in just about every single category you would use to compare the two. I would encourage you to hear it for yourself -- you can order just the 200 and you always have 30 days to return it. This will give you some indication of the comparison and the comparison to the 2.5i, since the 200 uses the same tweeter as the 250s.


Fifth, although the SZs are great speakers, particularly for surrounds -- I kept mine and put them in a different system in the basement-- you will be very impressed with the difference in home theater sound once you get dipoles (like the Rocket 300s) or more substantive rears (like 2 more 250s back there). It really makes a big difference.


Sixth, you have nothing to worry about as far as quality is concerned. The 2.5i were very well built and sold in the days when NHT still enjoyed an exceptional reputation (which has suffered in recent years). The Rockets are oustanding. The finish will impress you, including detail, color, etc. The pictures on their website do not do them justice. The components are all of very high quality (you can tell based on the tweeter used, the wiring, cabinetry, etc.).


Finally, if looking for bookshelves and you really like the NHT sound, you should also consider (and perhaps listen to) the Ref1 bookshelves. They cost more than the 250s, but will have a sound that is closer to the 2.5i than the 250s. I have not yet heard the Ref1 (I have bought them and they are sitting at home now -- UPS just delivered them today). Comments from others suggest to me they will be more closely like the NHT line of speakers that the Rocket models.



I hope this helps. And it sounds like you might even have a willing buyer for your NHTs!
 

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i think there's a Rocket owner in Mtn View...possibly EricD? maybe he'll extend you an invite and you can bring your SZs over to compare them...
 

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I think that Eric D on AV123 forum is not the same person as Eric D here on AVS. But the one on AV123 does list Mnt View as home and has RS730, RSC200, RSS300 (but no bookshelves). Also ChapDog (David) has the same configuration and is in Pleasanton.


Sorry Mark I cannot give comparison to those listed speakers.
 

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I own the SB-2s and I agree they sound bright. I enjoy it though, I like when the deeper male voices have that certain cut to them. Dont really know how to describe it, but in voices like Eric Clapton, Dire Straits, Bruce Springsteen etc....thats what I really love.


As for HT I think they are great too, but again I still have never been able to listen to the Rockets :)
 

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Yes.


If using a sub and crossing over at 80, then a good bookshelf *can* outperform a tower. Case in point: NHT's new line of speakers -- the Evolution series, are all bookshelves. This is not to say the 250 would be better than the 2.5i (I would have to hear both side by side to decide). But, there are numerous advantages, as I explained above.

Quote:
Originally posted by Fourseasons
Is it really fair to compare a tower, 2.5i, to a bookshelf, 250?
 

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Mark,


Have you considered an NHT Audiocenter2 (correct 3way design) for your center and using the AC1 as a future rear center? The AC2 is one of the better sounding centers on the market.


You are not using a sub?
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by officiousintermeddler
First, the 2.5i will not be as "fast" as the Rocket 250 (I own 750s in front and rear, and the 200 Center). The 2.5i has an 8 inch woofer, which is great, but by necessity, slower.
Hi officious,


I dislike "slow bass" as much or more than the next guy, but just to point out a minor oversight we all make in our technical definitions, actually there is no such thing as "bass speed," at least as it applies to driver size or moving mass. Not to worry; I find myself making this assumption many times too!


Consider that if the motor can motivate a ten pound cone to follow the input signal, even the ten pound speaker is adequately "fast!" Remember that at the frequencies in question there are no leading edges; all signal below say, 100Hz is "slow" enough for any woofer, at least as far as its cone mass is concerned.


If there is a parameter related to bass "speed," it would be the total bass system's group delay; in other words, how the output matches the input in the time domain, and that parameter is part of the woofer's alignment with its enclosure and associated electronics, not it's mass or size, although they play roles in the driver's parameters that go into said alignment.


The only other factor to include in discussions of "fast bass" is the success of the crossover (which includes electrical, acoustical, and mechanical properties.) In the case of most subwoofer installations (read: take it home and plug it in) the crossover slopes and frequencies, plus the location of the subwoofer vs that of the satellites determine how well the two halves of the system mesh. Without good setup knowledge, chances are the blend will be less than optimum and the sound will be "slow."


The moral: To minimize bass mud, do everything in your power to (1) use woofers with low group delay, and (2) do everything in your power to optimize the crossover to your satellites.
 

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I don't know the correct terminology, but my Rocket 750's (pushed by a good power amp) have the "fastest" (cleanest?, quickest?) bass on any speaker I have heard. Could actually feel it upstairs. Flim and the BB's "Tricycle" sounds great! I can't wait to get my SVS sub hooked up to hear more of the really low stuff on that CD.


Gordon
 

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This is tougher, because you are giving up a lot in the lower frequencies with the 250 over the 2.5i. But, as I noted above, your highs and mids, in my opinion, will sound as well or better (but no doubt different). You really need to compare for yourself. The 250 will not be able to go as low as the 2.5i, I believe, but may be more than sufficient depending on the type of music you typically would listen to.

Quote:
Originally posted by Fourseasons
Without the use of a separate powered subwoofer, how does 250 stack up to 2.5i?
 

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I have no idea what "Rockets" are (new internet speaker company, I assume?), but I can tell you that the new NHTs have leaped-frogged several generations of quality over the previous models which, while excellent and still competitive, had started to stagnate a bit. The SB2s outperform the mid/treble of the 2.5is whil the SB3s and ST4s are more "musical". The new tweeter is just about perfect. Far less fatiguing, but still snappy and flat without the wispy sound of some tweeters or the crunchy sound of others. The St4s are a substantial leap beyond the 2.5is in refinement and precision and the M5/M6 monitors are phenomenal high-end bargains. You may simply go back to your NHT dealer and see if he'll do an upgrade for you to a models Evolution M5 based system. Or compare the SB3s to these Rocket speakers of which you speak. If they are ported, the NHTs will have a huge advantage in the sub/sat arena which is NHT's forte. Every speaker NHT designs is a sub/sat design, even if it looks like a tower. They're pretty unique in this regard.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Gordon Groff
I don't know the correct terminology...
...And I didn't help by failing to point out that I was generalizing my comments to low frequency woofers. Once one gets into a discussion of midranges, a whole new set of principles and issues crops up. :D


At any rate, it's safe to say that "fast" or "slow" bass, while a very useful subjective description of what we hear, could use a little clarification, IMHO.
 

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Thanks for the link, Andre, and "Hi" Jon! I know that "fast bass" is an unsophisticated and no-doubt inaacurate descriptor (thus the first line of my post), but it's an easy-to-use and intuitive description of what I was hearing on the Rocket 750's. How would you describe bass that makes you jump, but has not a hint of boominess? Just a solid "thump" "pow" "boom" that you can feel? Is there a good phrase for this that I can coin?


Gordon

Words escape me.
 
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