NHT Absolute Tower Loudspeaker Review

Discussion in 'Loudspeakers' started by admin, Apr 17, 2014.

  1. admin Audioholics Robot Staff Member

    admin
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    The NHT Absolute Tower loudspeaker is small in stature but capable of playing loud and clear when coupled with a subwoofer. The Absolute Tower is built like a tank but is still slim and sexy with an extravagant piano black finish. Is this absolutely the best loudspeaker on the planet? Well, quite frankly no. Is it absolutely the best loudspeaker in this price range? We will let you decide.

    One thing is for sure, at $1,100 per pair you should definitely know what you are getting. With NHT, you're getting the real deal.

    [​IMG]

    Read the NHT Absolute Tower Loudspeaker Review

    Do you own these speakers? Are you planning on getting a pair? Please share your NHT experiences here.
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  2. Steve81 Audioholics 5-O

    Steve81
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    Thanks for the review Joel. I know these had made my short list back when I moved from the old Klipsch setup to my current KEF HT. These are certainly a winner in the WAF department. I can also appreciate that NHT isn't trying to fight a battle against physics w/ respect to the low end. The polar plot in the 3-5kHz range are very interesting though as you mentioned. Probably just as well I didn't go that way since my basement is pretty lively.
  3. j_garcia Audioholic Jedi

    j_garcia
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    Always been a NHT fan. Sounds like these ones stack up well in the price range and hopefully I can give them a listen sometime. They're sort of in my back yard too, I drive through the town they're located in on a regular basis.
  4. gene Audioholics Master Chief Administrator

    gene
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    New NHT Absolute Tower Youtube Video Review

    [video=youtube_share;nXtotcHVbjk]http://youtu.be/nXtotcHVbjk[/video]
    gene,
  5. shadyJ Audioholic Ninja

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    Those are some excellent measurements. The 3 kHz to 5 kHz hump looks fairly mild, and is something that any room correction routine should be able to deal with pretty easily. I agree it is a wise decision not to go for any further bass extension, these speakers just don't have the cabinet volume to do any serious bass anyway. More speaker manufacturers should take a cue from this and let the subs handle the bass. Nicely done review.
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  6. konajoe Audioholic Intern

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    Would you expect other NHT speakers, such as the Classic series or absolutes to also be "unforgiving in reflective rooms" since they share the same drivers?
  7. zieglj01 Audioholic Spartan

    zieglj01
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    The NHT tweeters do not hide - they reveal.
  8. jcparks Full Audioholic

    jcparks
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    What town is that j.garcia? I would like to give them a listen myself...
  9. Steve81 Audioholics 5-O

    Steve81
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    Benicia, CA in the SF Bay Area. Fun fact: I actually lived there years ago.
  10. jcparks Full Audioholic

    jcparks
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    Ehh that's too far north...
  11. konajoe Audioholic Intern

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    The quote "unforgiving in reflective rooms" isn't mine. It comes from the summary of the review. It is listed as a 'con', and is explained in detail in the body of the review. I will be using whatever I buy in a reflective room. So should I expect similar or worse 'reflective room' issues with lower end NHT speakers?

    I'm not saying that they are not fine, accurate speakers in most situations. I'm just noting the expert reviewer's warning.
  12. zieglj01 Audioholic Spartan

    zieglj01
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    That warning is the same for most speakers and brands out there - for the most part you
    do something with the room (reduce reflections), or live with it.:)
    Speaker Placement for Stereo Music Listening

    http://www.crutchfield.com/S-haBsMcrVxrh/learn/learningcenter/home/speakers_roomacoustics.html
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 19, 2014
  13. konajoe Audioholic Intern

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    But, in this particular case, the author went out of his way to report that this speaker was different in this respect. He doesn't say "unforgiving in reflective rooms" about all speakers. He goes out of his way to explain, in depth, why this would be so. I'm not sure he would go out of his way to note this as a 'con' if it were true for all speakers.

    As a total newb, I hate to appear that I am disagreeing with knowledgeable folks who have been very helpful.
  14. zieglj01 Audioholic Spartan

    zieglj01
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    NHT does not make sharp/edgy and aggressive speakers - their speakers do measure nice.

    I have owned about 85 sets of speakers, including some NHT ones - and the room/rooms, are important.
    None of these speakers would sound good with hard and reflective surfaces all around. Now it is really cool,
    what reducing reflections can do - with something like carpet/rugs, curtains, some soft furniture - and with
    some pictures and/or other type things on walls that do help. Do not need to get real fancy - however, it is
    cool and nice, to even tame the first reflections.

    Your option choice and call - do what you wish - may (hope) you enjoy the adventure.
  15. AcuDefTechGuy Audioholic Slumlord

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    My younger brother still has the NHT SuperZero bookshelf speakers + SW2P sub I gave him. The NHT system now resides in his large family room. This room is reflective as hell - I mean you can hear the echo when you clap your hands. :D

    Amazingly, the NHT still manages to sound good.

    I think the take-home message here is that in general, great speakers tend to sound good in most rooms. They sound best in the better rooms, but they still sound pretty good in lesser rooms. These NHT speakers are just one such example.
  16. alphaiii Audioholic General

    alphaiii
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    I think the reviewer is making the point that, because of the chamfered baffle, some excess off-axis energy in the 3-5kHz range is projected into the room... In a reflective room, this excess may be perceived as brightness, or unforgiving mid-treble. As the reviewer mentions, some placement adjustments can help counter that.

    I found the Absolute Towers to sound bit forward in my room, and liked the Classic Three better (which did not sound forward in my room)... but I can't say it was because of that 3-5kHz region...
  17. Steve81 Audioholics 5-O

    Steve81
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    Hi Joe,

    The issue in question isn't uncommon:
    This is a simple matter of a directivity mismatch, which is to say a 1" tweeter will have a very wide dispersion pattern at the bottom of its passband (i.e. where the wavelengths are large with respect to driver diameter), while a 5.25" midrange driver's dispersion will be narrowing at the top of its passband (i.e. where the wavelengths are getting smaller with respect to driver diameter).

    There are a couple common ways around this:

    1. As seen in NHT's Classic 4 tower and Classic 3 bookshelf, you can use a smaller midrange driver; in the case of the NHTs, they use a 2" dome midrange down to 800Hz, which ensures a wide dispersion pattern throughout the midrange.

    2. Use a waveguide or horn to constrain the tweeter's dispersion, which you can see on a lot of Harman speakers (JBL, Infinity, Revel), KEF, etc.

    XTZ also looks to have an interesting solution with their Cinema series, i.e. use an array of tightly spaced tweeters down to a lower XO point of 1.2kHz, with only one of them handling the band above 3kHz.
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