NHT Audio Center 1 Center Channels

4.57/5 (7 Reviews) MSRP : $297.95


Product Description



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Reviews 1 - 5 (7 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

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

Date Reviewed: July 1, 2001

Bottom Line:   
This is the most natural sounding speaker I ever heard. It even sounds better than my 2.5is. I was at my local dealer "just browsing" when I heard a lady talking behind me, I do not remember the exact conversation, but out of curiosity I turned around to "join" the conversation only to find that I was listening to a movie dialogue coming out of the NHT speaker- I bought it on the spot. There maybe a better Center speaker out there but I have not heard it yet.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1999

Price Paid:    $450.00



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Dave a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: April 11, 2001

Bottom Line:   
Extremely clear vocals make soundtrack comprehension easy. No audible sizzle or other distortion in the treble and sibilants are under nicely controlled. Celestion A3s used as mains sound slightly smoother and more real across the range, but matching is acceptably close. That's high praise given the $4K price range and outstanding sound of the Celestions.

Rear speakers are ancient JBL L-100s with Vifa tweeters, custom crossovers, and upgraded internal wiring installed by Audio Ventures. The tweeter in the NHTs looks and sounds the same, while the NHT's midrange is clearly better than the JBL's yet not quite up to the Celestions.

No real bottom end, but unfortunately that's expected from a center channel. Such as it has is crisp, detailed, and without 'boom'. To check this, I had to tell my receiver that the NHT was 'large' and the other 4 speakers were 'small'. Thought the poor thing was gonna explode trying to handle the bass from all 5 channels, but it came through fine. Two of these wouldn't be a bad set of mains for a small room, although the price might be steep for what you'd get.

Cabinet finish is gloss black. Finish and construction quality look good, but I would have preferred flat black since it would match the TV and other gear better. What were they thinking - ever see a gloss black TV?

Adjustable leg on the back of the cabinet is a nice touch. Top of my Sony TV is slightly rounded both left to right and front to back, so the leg and supplied feet proved essential in getting the thing to sit solid.

I'm mostly into music, so I wasn't about to spend the grand or more required for an 'audiophile' center channel, like the Celestion A-series that would have matched my mains. I'm quite pleased with the sound of the NHT - it does a superb job on vocals, and that's what it's there for. I listened to stuff in higher price ranges than the NHT and think that some of the $1000 centers would have been only a marginal improvement. Compared to 'mid-fi' rigs I've heard using center channels from Polk, Advent, Infinity, etc. in the $200 range, well, there's no real comparison - the NHT is far superior in terms of tonal balance, distortion, and realism in general.

On the other hand, the NHT lists for $450. While I got it for less, this is still an awful lot of bucks for a tweeter and a couple of 5.25" midranges, even though they sure seem to be good ones.

I went with a purpose-built center channel since it looks more 'normal' on top of the TV (see Vicki's forthcoming obscenity-laced diatribe entitled 'Decorating With Speaker Cabinets') and avoids the placement hassle of trying to put two small speakers on top of a curved TV. While a single mini-monitor would have been easy to place, power handling and obsolesence concerns convinced me the options were the center channel or a pair of mini-monitors.

Before buying a dedicated center channel speaker you should seriously consider buying a small pair of quality 'normal' speakers since:
1) It's cheaper. Seems like every brand actually charges you more for a center channel than for a pair of mini-monitors with the same components. A pair of NHT Super Zeros or even Super Ones would have cost less, and the Super Ones would actually supply some bottom end. If needed, this might give you improved dispersion since you'd be able to 'toe-out' the individual speakers .
2) Avoid obsolescence. A single center channel speaker is only good for center channel purposes unless you want to buy another that matches, and how well are they likely to match if they get purchased a couple years apart? Home theater seems to be evolving rapidly - my receiver has 7.1 capabilities even though I've never seen a 7.1 source. Yet. What if next year they go to two front 'center' channels? You'll have to toss your dedicated center channel speaker, while a pair of mini-monitors would work just fine. Likewise if you upgrade there's always a use for a decent pair of small speakers but the single center channel is an albatross unless you listen to something mono.

While I've seen reviews stating that the dedicated center channel speakers work better in this role than mini-monitors, few if any seem to have tried a pair of mini-monitors (depending on impedance, you better know the difference between series and parallel hookups). Likewise, if manufacturers can sell you less stuff (usually 1 less box and tweeter) for more money in the form of a dedicated center channel, you can bet this is what they'll promote. I'm unconvinced....

I've given it 4 stars overall, reserving 5 stars for the best there is. As someone else noted, 'the best' costs a couple grand. For value, also 4 stars. While the NHT seemed to be a better deal than the other stuff I looked at, I've still got a problem with $400+ for a tweeter and a couple of 5.25" drivers, even if they are good ones. In this price range, it's gonna take a real wood cabinet and/or drivers with some bottom end to get 5 stars.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2000

Price Paid:    $405.00

Purchased At:   Sound Design



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

Date Reviewed: October 13, 2000

Bottom Line:   
I got these because they are a good match with my NHT 2.5i main speakers. They provide seamless timbre matching across the board and are great for both HT and 5 Channel Stereo music.

Gear:
NHT 2.5i Main Speakers
NHT 1.5 Rear Speakers
NHT AudioCenter 1 Center Speaker
ARS-500 Subwoofer
Marantz SR-7000 Receiver

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2000

Price Paid:    $400.00

Purchased At:   Authorized Dealer



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Bill a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: September 23, 2000

Bottom Line:   
Even though I gave a rating of 4 stars overall, it is a borderline 5 star. I only give a 5 star to the ABSOLUTE BEST like the B&W Nautilus HTM-1 and 2 ( at $2000.00 and $1000.00 respectively ). NEVER underestimate the importance of a good center speaker! This one works well at both volume extremes, disperses very well across the audience, and you never have to use "re-eq" as the tweeter never "ice-picks" your ears even on laser disc. Also, it uses the same VIFA tweeter as the $4500.oo NHT 3.3's. Mid-woofers are spun carbon fiber composite marked "made in Denmark" (maybe Vifa or Dynaudio). Unit has adjustable leg in rear.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1997

Price Paid:    $450.00



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by ruben verdugo a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: November 1, 1999

Bottom Line:   
I'm using this speaker to match my 2.5i's. I was using a superone as a center before and thought it sounded good. but now i know how it is suspose to sound great product

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1999




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