|NHT SuperTwo Tower Loudspeakers|
|Home Theater Loudspeakers Floorstanding Loudspeakers|
|Written by Tony Kaklamanos|
|Friday, 01 October 1999|
Many loudspeaker manufacturers tout their products as a great value for the price. NHT does more than beat its chest about such bargains; it’s the company’s philosophy. At $750.00 for the pair, the SuperTwo system is no exception.
Since 1986, NHT has challenged the notion that there is a direct correlation between emptying your bank account and acquiring the very best sound. The guiding star of NHT’s product designs is based upon the sciences of psychoacoustics, human auditory perception and love for music and sound. Each model is designed with both acoustic and aesthetic parameters of the home environment in mind. In addition, this company believes in putting the cost of production in the mouth of sonic quality – real world sort of stuff.
The nuts and bolts are as follows: The NHT SuperTwo is a three-way tower system, which includes a 1" fluid-cooled soft dome tweeter, 6.5" midrange woofer and a 6.5" long-throw down-firing subwoofer. The upper drivers are magnetically shielded, allowing the enclosure position to be placed in close proximity to TVs. The subwoofer is capable of 14mm peak-to-peak excursion and delivers solid bass response to 35Hz. To prevent warping and resonance that can influence sonic reproduction, the enclosure itself is constructed of pre-laminated, high-quality medium density fiberboard. Also included is the SpikeKit, which easily attaches to the base of each speaker with four screws, securing its physical position and down-firing subwoofer reflection position.
When I first saw the word "Tower" on my review schedule, I took a deep breath, thinking of where I was going to set up these beasts. How was I going to tell my wife that we were going to have to move her grandmother’s bookshelves into the garage? As it turned out, the SuperTwos weren’t beasts at all: More like high gloss, sleek, long-legged black enclosures with a very small footprint.
When I first lifted these babies out of the box, I was discouraged to find that the down-firing subwoofers weren’t powered - oh man, how disappointing. Read on.
My disappointment was extinguished in about 10 minutes, the time it took to set-up these speakers to my Sherwood Newcastle R-725 receiver. Using Yamaha’s DVD-S700, I loaded Joan Osborne’s Relish (Polygram Records). Wow, who needs powered subwoofers? The haunting rhythmic mandolin on St. Teresa was punctuated with an exclamation of the kick-drum. More than just long legs, these speakers were off and running the full gamut of the frequency range. Highs, mids, lows ... you name it.
I was also impressed with the sensitivity that the SuperTwos expressed. On The Rolling Stones Stripped (Abkco Music) I gave Wild Horses all of the rein, listening at ear-bleeding as well as lullaby levels. The frequency response kept step with every stride. By the way, Keith - it sounds as if you’re getting a slight buzz from your A string.
The NHT SuperTwo duo also performed brilliantly as front mains in home theater applications. Rounding out my system for this review were the following components: Aura LSC-537M center channel speaker, LSS-107A active subwoofer and LSB-527M bookshelf speakers for the surrounds. Having been impressed with the low frequency response, I was curious to discover how these units would stand up under fire during the climatic shoot-out scene of L.A. Confidential (Warner Bros.). The imaging was vivid and so true-to-life I felt a tightening in my throat. The sensitivity of these units once again was heard in the nearly paralyzing sound effects of gun shots, shell casings hitting the floor and lead striking flesh - all at the same time.
I then powered down the Aura active subwoofer to hear the bottom-end frequency response of these twin towers. Although the lower frequencies weren’t quite as thunderous as the huge waves crashed during In God’s Hands (Columbia/Tristar), I still had to nail down a couple of pieces of board that popped loose from my hardwood floor. Pretty amazing.
The downsides were far and few between. For objectivity’s sake, I’ll mention a couple. First, and personally, I don’t care for high gloss black finishes. I prefer the warmth of natural woodgrain. The NHT SuperTwos are only available in the high gloss black.
Next, the high-end frequencies may be a little on the bright side. I tend to like this characteristic, but for some it may be a little too harsh. (Also, I reviewed these speakers in a very live environment; hardwood floors and plaster walls which tend to liven things up a bit.)
I thoroughly enjoyed reviewing the NHT SuperTwo Tower Loudspeakers. Even though the high gloss laminate is not my favorite finish, these enclosures framed my TV beautifully. The footprint is no larger than what would be left by bookshelf speakers with stands.
The sonic performance was outstanding. NHT has turned their philosophy into reality with the SuperTwo Tower Loudspeakers. A standout product.