NHT Xd Loudspeaker System Review

A

admin

Audioholics Robot
Staff member
The NHT Xd system is the successful realization of an ambitious technical goal NHT set for themselves years ago. It’s a brilliant melding of disparate technologies that so well expresses itself with musical elegance, finesse & power. Critical listeners everywhere will experience musical satisfaction to an altogether uncommon depth & degree. This system comes highly recommended to those who demand both sonic excellence and a product that adds a strikingly attractive new dimension to the overall visual appeal of their listening space.


Discuss " NHT Xd Loudspeaker System Review " here. Read the article.
 
Rock&Roll Ninja

Rock&Roll Ninja

Audioholic Field Marshall
Lucky dog. I've been looking for almost 2 years to find an NHT dealer that has this system for a demo! And at $6000 its actually cheaper than it was in '05 ($7000).

But life's priorities shift, and that $6000 now would seriously hamper my 'buy myself a new Rolex' fund. :p (Its an SS Explorer 1 if you happen to have any spares lying around).
 
U

u2generator

Junior Audioholic
Isn't this the same type of techno Bose uses?







I am not a Troll!!!!!!!!!!!!!


TW
 
davidtwotrees

davidtwotrees

Audioholic General
Sounds like a hot rig. It sure looks hot. Though I am of a mind that stands seem redundant-I would just as soon have a floorstander and use that space more productively.....
 
M

mattburk

Audioholic Intern
look good

I have heard nothing but good things about these nht's. I would love to check them outmyself. Any one here have them in their system?
 
M

MrClean

Audiophyte
They rock. I've had mine for almost two years and am still very satisfied.

There are benefits to going with the sub-sat system over a traditional floorstanding setup, which includes more flexibility in placing each component where it operates best, and better isolation of the critical midrange and upper frequencies from bass-induced cabinet resonance. Housing the midrange and tweeter in a very small enclosure also allowed the NHT folks to build an extremely rigid box that further ameliorates cabinet resonance. It also provides a very small front baffle. The list goes on and on. This is a very well thought-out and executed design.

J
 
W

warpdrive

Full Audioholic
But life's priorities shift, and that $6000 now would seriously hamper my 'buy myself a new Rolex' fund. :p (Its an SS Explorer 1 if you happen to have any spares lying around).
Come on man, get your priorities straight, you want an Explorer 2
 
Giant Steps

Giant Steps

Audiophyte
Hello,
I've been interested in the NHT Xd for a long time. The system was introduced in the end of 2004 and although the system fitters have been modified, it is a shame they did not keep their promise to enable full room correction option. The boundary-compensation EQ has no affect on the frequencies below 200Hz - in the old NHT web site they claimed they" will fix those later ", but 3 years later the only option they offer is buying their multi channel " Controller " and not using the Xda microphone input . It sounds strange also because DEQX themselves have offered such an option long ago.It seems to me like they missed a chance to make a system that would sound perfect in any room - even one with bass problems. In other aspects, the system looks like a remarkable achievement. Mark Sunfilipo, did you feel the speaker boundary compensation enabled you to place the Xds near walls or corners with no effect on sound quality?
Thanks!
 
M

MrClean

Audiophyte
The system was introduced in the end of 2004 and although the system fitters have been modified, it is a shame they did not keep their promise to enable full room correction option. The boundary-compensation EQ has no affect on the frequencies below 200Hz - in the old NHT web site they claimed they" will fix those later ", but 3 years later the only option they offer is buying their multi channel " Controller " and not using the Xda microphone input .
Well, they didn't say when, so I'm not ready to say they broke their promise just yet. Even without the mic input, the system sounds very, very good. There are precious few manufacturers out there that are employing any correction technology, so it's not like NHT is behind the game. And not having actually gone out and plunked down your cash on an Xd system, you might be the last one to complain...

I don't think NHT is a huge company, and they have been very busy developing and distributing their other, very successful products, such as the above mentioned controller, and the classic line. They can only do so much. If and when the room correction capabilities become available, it, along with the ability to swap filter sets, will help keep this product obsolescence-proof.
 
furrycute

furrycute

Banned
Very nice review! I've always wanted a decent 2 satellite, sub combo.

One thing is, can someone post some detailed pictures of this whole setup?

That picture posted at the beginning of the review article is too small.
 
R

romanesq

Audiophyte
Some other benefits...

Well, they didn't say when, so I'm not ready to say they broke their promise just yet. Even without the mic input, the system sounds very, very good. There are precious few manufacturers out there that are employing any correction technology, so it's not like NHT is behind the game. And not having actually gone out and plunked down your cash on an Xd system, you might be the last one to complain...

I don't think NHT is a huge company, and they have been very busy developing and distributing their other, very successful products, such as the above mentioned controller, and the classic line. They can only do so much. If and when the room correction capabilities become available, it, along with the ability to swap filter sets, will help keep this product obsolescence-proof.
The other thing to consider is that although the system doesn't yet take advantage of the mic measurement, there are now filters available that you can download from NHT's Xd website. Even running only one sub, I tried the dual sub option and it works great and made for a better sound in my system.

Also, there are easy options to run this. By using a hard drive to run all your CDs, you can merely use Itunes or any other combination of connections to run your music library without even a preamp. I've done it but have some additional recommendations.

I'm currently running the Xd system from an Intel Mac Mini to a Lavry DA-10 DAC along with PS Audio's GCP 200 preamp. It's a very, very nice match.

Just replaced a PS Audio P300 with their new Premier Power Plant. It takes the Xd system to a whole new level. Really adds tremendous dynamics and oooomph to everything. The PS Audio P300 Power Plant alone allows you to plug in the whole system to it. The Premier though is the bomb. (The Premier also permits you to measure distortion on your electrical line in and after it comes out of the Premier. Mine showed 4.7% in and .05 out. You think the Xd likes it. Heavens it's eating it up? Gulp!)

It's really tremendous what giving Xd that pure low distortion energy does. As Xd has a really low noise floor, anything helping that is going to be a big benefit. My components all sit on a Grand Prix Audio Monaco stand, and that includes the PS Audio Power Plant. The stand is another level of scientifically measured isolation lowering the noise floor. Similar to the PS Audio Premier, it makes you think the system is actually louder when the volume setting is EXACTLY the same. Both produce this same affect.

Combined together, the Xd is just a remarkable achievement. And the Lavry DAC, PS Audio preamp and Premier along with the Monaco stand is just crazy how good it'll make your whole music library. Even those poorly compressed 80s CDs sound very listenable now. Great recordings, even remasters like the Ella Fitzgerald box set are mindboggling good.

The Xd just loves clean everything powered to it. The bass now even with one sub, once good is just tremendous and now great, along with the whole system. Kapow! :cool:
 
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furrycute

furrycute

Banned
Thanks for posting the picture Ninja san! :) They look nice! Very nice!

Sure hope that I can afford this system one day. Elegance combined simplicity, this is the perfect 2.1 setup. But at $6k, I have to save up quite a bit before I can afford this rig.:eek:



And oh Romanesq, congrats dude on your setup. But one thing is, did you ever take a look at NHT's own description of this setup on their website?

The whole underlying premise of creating something like this is aimed squarely at all the pseudo scientific snake oil running so rampant in the high end consumer audio circle nowadays (that includes those $6K "faster than the speed of light" power cables, $3K RCA cables wrapped up in really fancy jackets, etc.).
 
furrycute

furrycute

Banned
How does this setup compared to the more traditional 2 tower speaker setup?

I've always felt that tower speakers can handle much more volume without straining than bookshelf speakers.
 
R

romanesq

Audiophyte
Thanks for posting the picture Ninja san! :) They look nice! Very nice!

Sure hope that I can afford this system one day. Elegance combined simplicity, this is the perfect 2.1 setup. But at $6k, I have to save up quite a bit before I can afford this rig.:eek:



And oh Romanesq, congrats dude on your setup. But one thing is, did you ever take a look at NHT's own description of this setup on their website?

The whole underlying premise of creating something like this is aimed squarely at all the pseudo scientific snake oil running so rampant in the high end consumer audio circle nowadays (that includes those $6K "faster than the speed of light" power cables, $3K RCA cables wrapped up in really fancy jackets, etc.).
I'm completely taken aback by your incorrect assertion. You must be stuck in a Bose budget because you completely miss the truth of the target market. First off, how is any snake oil cable snake going to make any money on speaker cables when NHT provides them and they are not replaceable?

Have you even done some basic homework to know that speaker cables are four pronged and provided with the system?

You couldn't be more wrong. They've left that world behind and clearly are looking beyond anything other than simplicity. You can't play with the toys, all you can do is plug them in and let them do their thing.

Of course I've seen the website. Where elsew would I go to get those free filters?

And its obvious that NHT did this intentionally. :cool:
 
R

romanesq

Audiophyte
Size belies their ability

How does this setup compared to the more traditional 2 tower speaker setup?

I've always felt that tower speakers can handle much more volume without straining than bookshelf speakers.
To put it short, the technology behind Xd puts them in most respects outside the box of what one considers as typical to bookshelf speakers.

Feeding them the best quality source will produce big results that compete with many tower systems up to a reasonable point. They can produce a very accurate and pleasing sound in most any room something that towers can't often defeat.

But If you are looking at big quality towers, they will have the ability to play louder, of course with more distortion than Xd. The best way to understand the limitations on both ends is to have demo in the same room. Short of that, Mr. Clean I believe is in a position to recount that experience.

I had a a system with B&W Nautilus 803s backed by an awesome modded McCormack DNA-2 Rev. A amp and it pushed more air no doubt. But the speakers couldn't match the accuracy and low distortion that Xd has as a primary strength. One of my colleagues heard the system not long ago and really like clarity. He was caught by surprise and said they were so clear and he's very critical. (My system had not yet the PS Audio Premier but the Grand Prix Audio Monaco stand does add to the equation.)

Placement is no contest as well. The Xd system makes it easy for you to find a "right" place to have your setup. Optimumly, it was not easy to maintain the 803s in the right spot in my living room with sound reflective padding, placement, etc. And then there was the sweet spot. Xd has an insane, just absolutely insane ability to make the whole room sound great. You don't have to put yourself in the narrow zone to take advantage of what's coming from the speaker.

That's just another aspect of Xd's advantage. But in terms of a full out wall of sound compared to something like a Legacy Whisper, it doesn't push that kind of air.

If you get a chance to hear them, you'll discover alot of it for yourself. :p
 
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furrycute

furrycute

Banned
Sorry Romanesq if my last post came across as offensive.

It's just that your description of that Grand Prix Audio Monaco stand with scientifically demonstrable noise isolation/lowering kind of reminded me of that "faster than speed of light" power cable that I read about a while ago.

I know in audiophile circles every little bit helps. But does that stand really help reduce the noise floor?

And thank you for giving me that comparison of the Xd to the B&W 803's. The one thing I have always been worried about with bookshelves is that during passages where a lot of air needs to be moved, almost all the bookshelves I've heard strain to some extent. It's a good point you bring up about clarity versus sheer volume. I guess with the traditional stereo thinking, most of us have grown to accept muddiness (relative to the Xd sound) as a given when play large speakers at concert volumes.

But just how loud can you play the Xd before you notice any strain? What is the size of your listening room?

Thanks for all the helpful info.
 
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Rock&Roll Ninja

Rock&Roll Ninja

Audioholic Field Marshall
First off, how is any snake oil cable snake going to make any money on speaker cables when NHT provides them and they are not replaceable?
The XD spealer cabling is regular 12G zip. You can use any brand you want with pin connectors, NHT will sell you 100' rolls of the stuff. (Remember you'll need 4 sets of cable!).
 

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