On occasion I buy speakers because I can’t make them for the price. A good example is the NHT Classic 2 center channel. I purchased a pair of these to act as the left/right speakers in the living room during the NHT holiday sales. Price was $299 each. The NHT Classic line, particularly the Classic 3, have received a lot of very positive magazine reviews. The family lineage caries over to the Classic 2 center channel. I really like these speakers, recommend them in general, and on value. You can spend a lot more money and get a lot less speaker.
Yes, you read right. I’m using a true center channel for a left and right speaker. Here’s my reasoning. The TV in the living room is above the fireplace, leaving just less than 8″ of height for speakers below it. I looked at several loudspeaker bars and really did not like most of them. The crossovers are too high, and the mid-bass units too small to really go down to 80 Hz. Not all, just the vast majority. The few audiophile quality designs I liked were quite pricey.
The NHT Classic 2 is a 3-way design. A tweeter, a small mid-range, and a pair of mid-bass units. The advantage of the small mid-range is the cross-over to the mid-bass units can be low enough that a horizontal layout doesn’t beam in the upper mid-range. And the Classic 2 is short enough to fit underneath the living room TV.
First up, the frequency response. Measurement conditions are on a box 32″ off the ground, mic at about 18″, in the front third of a 14′ x 17′ room. the measurement window is only 3.5 msec, so the response is limited to 220 Hz on the low frequency end. 3 dBW was required to reach 90 dB at 1 meter. The response is reasonaby flat up to 10 kHz.
What I am really happy with is the distortion levels at 90 dB. 0.4% or less at frequencies over 1 kHz. Distortion falls to 0.2% between 300 – 800 Hz. This is excellent, beating anything else I own or have built !!! Distortion is also mostly second order, the nice distortion, except the 300 – 800 Hz range, where the third harmonic rises.
The sound is very detailed, even with cable TV. Vocals are so clear. I watched the movie The Man from Uncle and was blown away. This movie has several parts where the movie plays music – just an amazing, immersive experience. I attribute this sound quality to the very even distortion characteristics.