Tower of Power
I decided that since Stereophile only had two show bloggers this year, I would avoid writing about weird custom-install products and home-theater systems. However, rules, as they say, are made to be broken.
I knew I was in trouble when I saw NHT's $42,500 7.2 Pro Theater system. Think of it as an Xd system writ large.
The brains of the system is NHT's The Controller. Each channel uses one XdA amplifier, which contains DEQC calibration and 800W of power. The monitors are M-80Xds, with two 8" magnesium-cone woofers, two 2" metal-dome midranges, and a 1" metal-dome tweeter. The M-80Xds come from NHT's Pro line, so hey can provide maximum SPLs all night long—and show enough detail to master on, which is what they were designed for.
The system boasts two S-80Xds subwoofers, which each have two 12" aluminum-cone drivers and a 500W PowerPhysics amplifier. Since the S-80Xds are controlled by the XdAs, you could have one per channel.
The Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds Live at Radio City Music Hall HD DVD sounded detailed and extremely lifelike. Then the NHT crew rawked out with AC/DC. First, I could not believe the power chord crunching impact and Angus Young's riffing. It's the quality of live music most often lost in reproduced music. Then I noticed that, in an open demo, far from any room boundary in the Denver Convention Center, NHT was getting real bass.
That was impressive.
As for why there are no individual product prices, NHT VP Andy Regan said, "Pricing is easy, it's less than $5k per channel."