NHT Model 1.3 loudspeaker Associated Equipment

Sidebar 1: Review context

The NHT loudspeakers were auditioned in my dedicated listening room with the following ancillary equipment: VTL 225W Deluxe monoblock power amplifiers, Esoteric D-10 and D-2 digital processors, a Theta DSPro Basic digital processor, and the Electronic Visionary Systems Stepped Attenuator, a passive control unit. The analog front end was a VPI HW-19 Jr. turntable with an AudioQuest PT-5 tonearm and Sumiko Boron cartridge. A new outboard phono preamp made by Precision Audio allowed me to use the passive control unit for both CD and LP playback.

Speaker cable was AudioQuest Green Hyperlitz, and interconnects were AudioQuest Lapis and Music Metre by Second Opinion Audio. Speaker stands were lead-shot–filled and spiked Celestion stands, as well as NHT's own stands made for the 1.3.—Robert Harley

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TheAnalogkid's picture

I know mine look exactly like these but are the 1.5's. Maybe a diff tweeter or something.

4 NHT 1.5's, NHT SuperCenter, and my old trusty Velodyne ULD-15. Sounds great! Probably worth around $1k but would cost a lot to replace.

I had NHT 3.3's for 10 years until I finally upgraded to the GoldenEar Triton Ones. I loved the imaging, dynamics, and soundstage of the 3.3's but the GE Triton Ones do all of that and more. I waited a long time for a "bang for the buck" speaker to compete and I am not disappointed.

My wife says I traded a couple monoliths for a couple more monoliths, just a bit less imposing.

These are great times for the audio lover!!

DaveinSM's picture

I had the NHT 2.9 and it was a good speaker with very good bass that could play effortlessly very loud. But when I switched to Thiel CS 22, it was immediately apparent that they were better in flat frequency response, open, airy soundstaging, pinpoint imaging, and, to me, musicality. Those Thiels were just sweet speakers. The only area in which they could not match the NHTs was in max SPL and low bass slam. No contest there.

Anon2's picture

I appreciate the old reviews. It sometimes shows that a bargain might be had, if even to upgrade with new drivers from two of the excellent suppliers that we have in the US.

I would ask, when we will get more reviews of new stand-mounts? I don't mind having a German or Swedish or Polish translation lesson, because it's often what you have to do to get more reviews on new speakers.

The superb B&W 685 was never tested in this publication; the S2 is now two years old with no Stereophile review. The Amphion Argon has been around for over a decade; it now has a new upgrade. No review to be found in this publication. There is a new Dynaudio Excite X18 (to your credit you did review the X14); I hope a review is forthcoming. Sonus Faber has had the Olympica I out for a couple of years; I enjoyed what I heard from a brief listen. The exiting Dynaudio Focus 160 (and, yes, the non-amped Focus line is going away) got a blog/blurb, but never a full review.

I know you can't review everything. But there are some products that your competitors have reviewed--to high accolades--that never reach these pages.

Maybe mobile audio and hi-rez are now more prominent than speakers. Still, for many of us, speakers, and wide-ranging new speaker reviews, is an area of prime interest for any publication of our hobby. Please, we need more speaker reviews, preferably of new products. We don't mind the linguistic education we get from European websites to learn terms like "Spitzenklasse" and "überragend," and "Kvalitetsintryck," with help from Google. It's what I find myself doing more and more often when it comes to speaker reviews.

Fortunately, our British friends provide some relief with their more prevalent reviews of English-language stand-mount speaker reviews, some of which now have video content.

Please help, or explain what we're missing.

androman's picture

...Dynaudio excite x18 ,Amphion Argon 3s and Acoustic Energy reference 1, wonderful Air Tight Bonsai 2 are the kind of speakers this publication should be reviewing and not just to label them with A,B,C rankings but rather to arm readers with useful information on their character to make their purchase easier. That's what your audio readership is all about, Mr. Atkinson if you haven't figured out that one, yet. Then perhaps audio magazines wouldn't have to merge in order to survive on the market if you gave readers what they expect from an audio publicaton.