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NEAR 10M Series II
5 Reviews
rating  4.8 of 5
Description: Metal Cone Speakers


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Reviews 1 - 5 (5 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Steve a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: February 20, 2000

Bottom Line:   
I picked these up because they were $240 and I needed speakers for a system in the computer room to run with a Sansui 8080DB receiver. They are TERRIFIC! They image easily and have a real depth and clarity to them. One of their nice features is that they focus well so I can play a cd or the radio at reasonable volumes and not be heard in other rooms. They would be great for rear speakers on sound surround. I also have two pairs of their big brothers, the 50me, and these have the same clarity and ease of listening. Do not let the bargain price scare you off these little gems.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1999

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by dan byrne a Casual Listener

Date Reviewed: December 3, 1999

Bottom Line:   
I bought a pair of these speakers from audio advisor for 250 dollars and am more than happy with these speakers.I have amusic room as well as a home theater room. The nears are great in both, but are more suited for music. Their sound betters a pair of 30 year old 3 way speakers i have loved for years.I own nht superzeros but they don!t have as much bass,yet cost almost as much.I also have a pair of energy xl16s ,which are great but lack the fullness of the nears. the only problem with the nears is that they need power like the nhts and matching the right cchannel with themm is hard.

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Used product for:   3 months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Casual Listener

Product model year:   1998

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Keith a Audiophile

Date Reviewed: November 24, 1999

Bottom Line:   
You have to keep in mind what you are getting for this modest sum. High quality aluminum cone mid/woofer and titanium inverted dome tweeter. That's where all of your money goes with these speakers. The enclosure could use an extra brace or thicker walls, the crossover components are middle of the road, the plastic input cup is just so-so, the binding posts are ok, the plastic grill frame is aesthetically pleasing, the drivers may benefit from a gasket seal, the wood screws which have been driven straight into the baffle without the use of T-nuts sort of bothers me. All minor annoyances.

Some may feel that metal drivers have a harsh sound. Not true with the NEAR 10M IIs. Very smooth. I'm sure lots of viscous ferro fluid in the mid/bass voice coil helps to tame resonances. The tweeter is very smooth and non-fatiguing.

Imaging is very good. A sound stage 1-2 feet past the outside edge of the speaker can be had. If you flip them upside down the soundstage seems to get about a foot higher. Don't laugh.

Bass impact is very good considering the size of the mid/bass (5.25") and enclosure.

Not the most accurate sound in the world. I also feel that the use of magnetic liquid suspension instead of a traditional spider tends increase the "Q" and rob the mids of some resolution. But I guess this helps to the smooth any resonances. They just aren't as detailed (or over-etched) as some other metal cones that I've heard.

No glaring defects in sound that I could detect with my modest equipment.

Very good value!

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audiophile

Product model year:   1997

Overall Rating:5
Submitted by Henry a an Audiophile

Date Reviewed: June 8, 1999

Bottom Line:   
This is a quick follow-up to my very favorable first impression of the NEAR 10M Series II minimonitors.After allowing the minis to break in for a little over 50 hours, I conducted a second evaluation. The speakers should be used, sans grills.
All of the positives of the first session remained. In addition, the bass, deeper than this speaker has any right to produce, became slightly more resonant and tuneful.
Especially acoustic string bass. On "Easy Money" and "Danny's All-Star Joint" on Ricky Lee Jones debut effort, the string bass is tight, tuneful and guaranteed to initiate "toe tapping."
And I never thought I'd hear a mini do anything with the Hammond organ on "Rocks in the Ocean" on Al Stewart's "24 Carrots" LP. The 10Ms, while not getting all of it, did a thoroughly enjoyable job of it.
And the slightly forward of neutral top end backed off just the right amount.
I cannot recommend this speaker strongly enough. I suspect the reason more high end mags have not raved about it is due to its ridiculously low price. No speaker that retails for $450 a pair could possibly sound this good, right?

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Duration Product Used:   an Audiophile

Overall Rating:5
Submitted by Henry a an Audiophile

Date Reviewed: June 4, 1999

Bottom Line:   
Where to start? Well, I hate reviews that make you wait to the very end for a conclusion, so I'll give it first.The NEAR 10M Series II is one of the true bargains in audio. If you are looking for a neutral, detailed speaker that makes the rear wall of your listening room disappear, look no further.
My reference minis for many years have been the Acoustic Energy AE1s, the speaker that in the late 1980s redefined the concept of the minimonitor. With a 1" alloy dome tweeter and 4.5" metal cone woofer, they were expensive, had no bass below about 80Hz and required an amplifier with some cajones to drive them, but it didn't matter. Properly set up, they simply disappeared and all the listener is left with is glorious music with a wide, tall and deep soundstage.
I recently acquired the Musical Fidelity A2 class A integrated amplifier and the AE1s were a bit of a load on the little amp. They are low sensitivity (about 84db) and never drop below 8 ohms. The A2 is only rated at 25 wpc at 8 ohms, but being class A can put out twice that at 4 ohms.
In the last few months I had heard some good things about New England Audio Resource and their metal driver technologies (yes, I'm a metal diaphragm freak, too) and when I saw Audio Advisor had a sale on these little jewels it was too much to resist.
The 10Ms employ a 1" inverted titanium dome tweeter and a 5.25" anodized metal alloy woofer. Sensitivity is rated at 88dB with a one-watt input at one meter and the speakers are rated at 4 ohms nominal impedance. This was a much better match for the A2.
I took the AE1s off the Sanus Reference Stands (27" high) with sand and lead shot filled pillars, and placed the 10Ms in their place.
Speaker cables (the 10Ms are not bi-wireable like the AE1s) is AudioQuest Type 4. Sources were a modified MMF2 turntable with Grado pickup and a Philips Magnavox combo DVD/CD player with 96/24 DAC. Interconnects are StraightWire Rhapsody.
Normally, I let speakers break in with some industrial noise (i.e. techno pop) but I couldn't resist and Thelma Houston on Sheffield Labs CD went into the Philips.
Whoa! What's this? Bass? You bet. Solid and tuneful down to around 50Hz, a full half octave lower than the AE1s! The mids were neutral with no nasties. The highs were a bit more forward than the slightly polite AE1s. These speakers should not be used with bright sounding electronics unless you have a relatively "dead" listening room. Mine is far from dead!
And the dynamics! I thought the AE1s were dynamic, but these speakers are their equal in every respect in this important area. Whip quick is the best term I can use.
The 10Ms also just disappeared into the music. The soundstage was wide, of appropriate height (some dealers sell 24" stands for these speakers, but I think 27-28" stands should be used) and deeeeeeep. Image focus was rock stable. Wandering musicians playing acoustic instruments can be tracked precisely with no aberrant floating around.
Tower of Power does a couple of hot solo riffs on the Thelma Houston CD/LP. You could actually sense the sax swinging back and forth during those sections!
The extra bass output over the AE1s mean the 10Ms could give a fuller measure to larger scale classical works.
Rimsky-Korsakov's "Sheherezade," the classic Fritz Reiner performance on RCA Gold Seal, was awesome.
On smaller scale works, string tone on violin and cello was excellent with just the right amount of resonance. Paul Tortelier's performance of the Dvorak Cello Concerto on Angel LP was a delight.
At around $450 full retail, the NEAR 10M II is an outright steal. Add $150 for a really good set of stands and you're in business.
Audio Advisor is selling these speakers in either black ash laminate or white for a ridiculous $249.
The AE1s cost over $1,500. Guess which pair of speakers is staying in the listening room, at least for now....the 10Ms.

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Duration Product Used:   an Audiophile

Reviews 1 - 5 (5 Reviews Total)

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