Power amp to go with Headmaster?
Aug 14, 2002 at 8:47 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 13

blueocp

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As much as I have spent on headphones alone, I have decided that I need to get some speakers for my room. Sometimes I just feel like listening to music away from headphones. Does anyone have any opinions for a decent amp for around 400 that I can use in tandem with the Sugden? I was looking at the NAD amps and they seem to be my only choice for my requirements. I would like some tubiness in my setup though, as I still miss my MG Head. However I havent been able to find a decent amp in this price range. Maybe a used Jolida integrated? I am thinking about mating it with a pair of PSB or NHT bookshelves, not sure which ones as I have to audition them first. While I am at it, any more suggestions for bookshelf speakers to fill a 10x10 room?
 
Aug 14, 2002 at 9:28 PM Post #2 of 13

MacDEF

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Quote:

Originally posted by blueocp
As much as I have spent on headphones alone, I have decided that I need to get some speakers for my room. Sometimes I just feel like listening to music away from headphones. Does anyone have any opinions for a decent amp for around 400 that I can use in tandem with the Sugden? I was looking at the NAD amps and they seem to be my only choice for my requirements. I would like some tubiness in my setup though, as I still miss my MG Head. However I havent been able to find a decent amp in this price range. Maybe a used Jolida integrated? I am thinking about mating it with a pair of PSB or NHT bookshelves, not sure which ones as I have to audition them first. While I am at it, any more suggestions for bookshelf speakers to fill a 10x10 room?


Blueocp: Check out my system in the For Sale section; it's pretty much ideal for you (plus I'm local to you
smily_headphones1.gif
). Arcam Alpha One, PSB Alpha Minis, Atlantis stands, and AudioQuest interconnects.

If that doesn't interest you... an NAD amp would be ideal if you want a "tubi" setup via solid state; NAD amps tend to be a bit warmer and more musical than other solid state amps in their class.

Good bookshelf speakers for that size of a room:

PSB Alpha (B, AV, Mini)
NHT Super One (the Zeros are exquisite, but have NO bass)
Axiom
Paradigm Atom

I personally prefer the PSBs because they have (IMO) a bit better bass response without sacrificing too much detail, and have a good tonal balance. The NHT, Atom, and Axiom models that I've heard all have a bit more treble/highs, but IMO they don't sound as balanced. All are very good, though, and all are less than $300 a pair.
 
Aug 14, 2002 at 11:40 PM Post #3 of 13

kelly

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Macdef

Which NHTs have you heard?

There were some that err'd on the bright side a few years ago but that's by and large not the case. I specifically chose my NHT VT-2/VS-2 system because it was a little on the warm side (my preference for home theater speakers) and because of their deep tight bass response.

My findings were somewhat opposite yours. I've heard PSBs with better treble than my NHTs provide, but I've never heard a PSB that beat the VT-2's bass, not even the Stratus Gold.

Anyway - for the most part, I've not really been happy with 2 channel music reproduction from either of their lines.
 
Aug 15, 2002 at 4:48 AM Post #4 of 13

MacDEF

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Quote:

Originally posted by kelly
Which NHTs have you heard?

There were some that err'd on the bright side a few years ago but that's by and large not the case. I specifically chose my NHT VT-2/VS-2 system because it was a little on the warm side (my preference for home theater speakers) and because of their deep tight bass response.


I was referring to the inexpensive SuperZero/SuperOne/SuperTwo line. Do they have a different current line that sells for $300 a pair or less?


Quote:

My findings were somewhat opposite yours. I've heard PSBs with better treble than my NHTs provide, but I've never heard a PSB that beat the VT-2's bass, not even the Stratus Gold.


How much is the VT-2 per pair?

Actually, what you're saying probably makes sense nowadays. Back when the SuperZero/One/Two were all the rage, NHT was really a bit anti-home theater. I've heard that now they're embracing it and their current speaker lineup has a lot more bass for that reason. Does that sound reasonable?

Quote:

Anyway - for the most part, I've not really been happy with 2 channel music reproduction from either of their lines.


I've been very happy with my NHT system, but only because I have the SW2P sub with it
wink.gif
The SuperZero/SW2P system actually does 2-channel music very well. It's with home theater stuff that it falls short.
 
Aug 15, 2002 at 5:01 AM Post #5 of 13

kelly

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I don't remember a time when NHT was ever anti-Home Theater. Before the Super Ones even came out, the Super Zeros paired with a sub were a popular option for Pro Logic systems--at least they were in this neck of the woods. And even back then, the VT-2/VS-2 was in production and was their statement HT package (the 3.3s were their statement 2 channel speakers).

Anyway... I noticed on Audiogon that a few people were selling VS-2 and VS-2.4s for ~$200 each. These are much better than the Superones if those can be considered and they're not bass shy at all as far as standmount speakers go.
 
Aug 15, 2002 at 5:11 AM Post #6 of 13

BenG

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I've tried both SuperTwo and NHT 1.5 in a small room. If you don't need the extra bass extension, go for the 1.5 out of the two. The 1.5 rolls off the bass very convincingly if you are using it without a sub. I got the 1.5 for close to $400 a couple of years ago. I don't know about the newer HT-oriented models, though. I haven't been looking into speakers lately.

IMO, I think balance is one of the better strengths of those NHT speakers, along with a open and largely un-colored sound for the money. But try to audition any speaker in your own house before buying them.
 
Aug 15, 2002 at 5:27 AM Post #7 of 13

MacDEF

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Quote:

Originally posted by kelly
I don't remember a time when NHT was ever anti-Home Theater. Before the Super Ones even came out, the Super Zeros paired with a sub were a popular option for Pro Logic systems--at least they were in this neck of the woods.


In the late 80s/early 90s, when home theater was really starting to catch on, NHT was still trying to emphasize 2-channel audio. However, a lot of audio dealers quickly caught on to the fact that five NHT Super Zeros made a killer movie system
smily_headphones1.gif
But it took a few more years before NHT themselves were really starting to make speakers intended for use in HT systems. I was just wondering if this explains some of the differences with the speakers you have and some of the "Super" series?

BTW, in my post above, I wasn't trying to imply that the NHTs (the SuperOnes, SuperZeros) "err" on the bright side -- merely that they forego the bass region altogether for the purpose of getting the mids and highs *right* -- which I think they do very well. However, if you want bass, I found the PSBs to have a better overall balance than the Supers (simply because they actually have the bass present
smily_headphones1.gif
)
 
Aug 15, 2002 at 5:32 AM Post #8 of 13

kelly

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Macdef
I still disagree about NHT not being involved in home theater. The VT-2/VS-2 was well established when the Super Zero became popular (and there was no other Super speaker at that time). You might want to look at some old Home Theater magazines.

Anyway, your comments about the bass make more sense now. Yes, the Super Zeros don't have bass extension because they are meant to be small and paired with subwoofers. Any of the NHTs that are floorstanding have excellent bass for their size and they're somewhat known for that.
 
Aug 15, 2002 at 5:49 AM Post #9 of 13

BenG

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I really meant 'balanced' within the context of monitor/bookshelf speakers. As long as the sound goes smoothly to 50 -55hz I consider that balanced, which the the 1.5 can do. If you need more bass, you can add a sub. It's very hard for a bookshelf to put out decent deep bass without sacrificing other parts of the sound, no mystery there.

The Super Two can go pretty tightly to 40Hz or so but omits the lowest octave, which is decent for a modestly priced full-range.
 
Aug 15, 2002 at 7:16 AM Post #10 of 13

CRESCENDOPOWER

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I will second the recommendation of BenG. I love the NHT 1.5s. They are by far my favorite bookshelf speaker per dollar. And, the high gloss black looks so cool. I have seen them on the internet for 300 bucks. Now, that's a deal. Oh, yeah! NAD matches up perfectly with them.
 
Aug 15, 2002 at 8:04 AM Post #11 of 13

MacDEF

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Quote:

Originally posted by CRESCENDOPOWER
And, the high gloss black looks so cool. I have seen them on the internet for 300 bucks. Now, that's a deal. Oh, yeah! NAD matches up perfectly with them.


Totally agree -- the gloss black finish is sweet. Our SW2P sub is one huge gloss-black cube
smily_headphones1.gif


I also agree that NAD amps work *very* well with NHT stuff.
 
Aug 15, 2002 at 3:45 PM Post #12 of 13

daycart1

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The matching Sugden amp would certainly LOOK best, but I suppose it is expensive and not very "tubey"? Can they be found used?
 
Aug 15, 2002 at 4:08 PM Post #13 of 13

TimSchirmer

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I agree that the AmpMaster would be the best choice...

http://www.stoneaudio.co.uk/stoneaud...=415&range=415

but it is out of your budget.

Try out ebay for some used meridian power amplifiers. Or, do the tube thing and get paramours. Actually, just do a search for the word "monoblock" on ebay, and I'm sure you will find something.
 

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