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Thread: Good sounding cheap speakers

  1. #1
    Founding Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2010

    Good sounding cheap speakers

    My GF and I spent last weekend in my boss's mountain retreat, and he had a nice little system set up, with NHT Absolute Zero speakers and a little receiver+disk player from NAD that had a front-panel audio input and a remote. (All listening was AAC192 files from either her iPhone or my Evo.)

    The speakers were not terribly well placed, but sounded very good. No bass, but the balance was pretty good. The midrange, in particular, was wonderful.

    Out of curiosity, I moved them to where I would've placed them, and they sounded astoundingly good. True, the treble was a smidgen hot for my tastes - though I often can't tell if the voicing is bright by design, or simply perceived as bright because of the relative lack of bass - but everything else was excellent. So much so that I think they'd have serious potential - as in, beat the pants off of most $5k speakers potential - mounted with a simple low pass at maybe 200Hz, bass bins (maybe with a Peerless SLS10, side-firing like the old Ken Kantor flagship NHT's) under them, and a modest multisub system. That could be done, with 5 channels of amplification for bass bins and subs and commissioned cabinets, for under $2k easily.

    This morning I looked up measurements of the Absolute Zero, and can't say I'm surprised based on what I've heard:

    (top trace; 5-point on-axis, 15deg off horizontal and vertical, averaged. The bottom trace is a toppled MTM center channel, and shows the typical midrange flaws of that topology.)

    If I go up again when the leaves change, I'll bring the little KEF eggs to compare them.

    It seems that between these, the Infinity Primus stuff, Andrew Jones' Pioneer speakers, and KEF's new Q-series, there are more legitimately high-performing cheap designs than ever before.

  2. #2
    Founding Member OSN's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Interesting. Tanks for sharing


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