NHT SuperZero loudspeaker & SW2 subwoofer
I know this because I just spent a whole weekend watching the Beavis and Butt-head Marathon on MTV—two full days of the clearest, most incisive social commentary since Charles Kuralt stuffed himself into a souped-up Winnebago and hit the road searching for the naked soul of this strange and dangerous country.
As everyone now knows, Beavis and Butt-head're two 13-year-old, brain-damaged, dysfunctional cartoon snot-noses who sit on a couch and critique rock videos when they're not out playing baseball with live frogs and shooting down Boeing 747s with shotguns.
Naturally, Beavis and Butt-head have become my Supreme Gurus.
See, Beavis and Butt-head are Real People. I know because I was Beavis and Butt-head. Maybe I still am. I hope I still am, because Beavis and Butt-head know what's really important. When they watch rock videos, they don't lament the lack of plot focus or plausibility—they want babes in tight shorts, fire, babes in tight shorts, ugly, longhaired, devil-looking guys hunched over electric guitars, and babes in tight shorts.
Beavis and Butt-head are God.
Man, I'd love to see Beavis and Butt-head start reviewing affordable loudspeakers! I just know they'd have the right hierarchy when it comes to the things that Real People want from their hi-fi:
Butt-head: Listen to these $1000 high-end minimonitors...like, where's the bass, dude? They suck. Huh-huh, huh-huh.
Beavis: Yeah...huh-huh...they suck! Expensive speakers that can't kick ass suck! Huh-huh, huh-huh.
Butt-head: I bet they were made by somebody who's old. And a wuss. Huh-huh, huh-huh.
Beavis: Do these speakers come in Morning Wood finish? Huh-huh, huh-huh.
Butt-head: Huh-huh, huh-huh.
Beavis: Huh-huh, huh-huh.
When I picture a speaker that would win the approval of even Beavis and Butt-head, I see a speaker that really kicks ass—one that offers true high-end, full-range sound, all for under $1000. A speaker that'll not only play your music as loud as you want, but remain clean and clear under the most trying conditions. Not surprisingly, there isn't a single speaker in the entire High End that can fit this bill.
Until now. Huh-huh, huh-huh.
Now Hear This
Which brings me to NHT's new SuperZero loudspeaker. Forget about "small" speakers, "bookshelf" speakers, "minimonitor" speakers. The SuperZero is just plain li'l! Which happens to give it certain advantages over larger speakers. Because the SuperZero's cabinet is so small, it's much more solid and rigid than most speakers. And what cabinet vibrations the SuperZero does have are much higher in frequency—and lower in amplitude—than those from a larger cabinet made from the same 3/4" MDF material. The SuperZero's tiny front baffle also endows it with the imaging superiority of such classic imagemeisters as the BBC LS3/5A and the various Celestion babyspeakers.
The smallest speaker made by NHT used to be the original $199.95 Zero. I bought a pair several years ago for use as Real World monitor speakers in the production studio of the radio station where I used to work. Not because it was a killer li'l speaker, because it wasn't—it had no bass, the mids were very colored, and the upper mids and highs hardened pretty severely when you played them even semi-loud. No, I bought the Zeros because I wanted a small pair of speakers that sounded par for the course in terms of the station's target audience—mostly young, mostly female, and mostly non-audiophile. If the station sounded good on the Zeros, I knew it'd sound good in the listeners' homes and cars.