I got 5 nOrh 4.0 ceramic speakers for my HT after reading reviews and auditioning many different products. After reading many good reviews from critics and users alike, I decided to give nOrh a try.
Originally, I liked the Energy Encore and Boston 9000 very much for home theater and the B&W's for music. After reading good reviews on speaker manufacturers that sell direct on the internet, I decided to take a chance and try them out.
The nOrh drum series looks unique, but may be too radical for some people. The protruding side binding posts may annoy some people, but they don't bother me. Their rear firing port can cause some placement problems, putting them too close to a rear wall may reduce performance. The stainless steel feet have a foot print of about 7" x 7", it is sometimes hard to find speaker stands big enough to accomodate them. Also, they almost produce no bass below 65Hz.
But all the minor flaws mentioned above don't stop me from giving it a 5-star rating. The soundstage produced by these speakers is wide and very deep. Sound is natural and detailed, no audible coloration or distortion. Bass is tight and fast. Intruments sound clear and accurate. When teammed with a good sub (Hsu Research, SVS, Adire), the performance is incredible for the money.
If you don't mind their looks and have a room and decor that fit them, these ARE the speakers for you. Highly recommended.
I actually sold my Contour 1.1s after getting these, despite the huge gap. Go and take a look at my Contour review over in the Danes's section. This speaker has slightly less bass, but actually does everything else at least as well, if not better.
You'll find these speakers to be neutral, quick, and very honest in their presentation. The 'sweetening' that one might find with a Dynaudio is gone, and replaced by a yet more neutral presentation.
I'm currently very satisfied with these, and for me, the next step up will be a speaker literally over 10 times the price (the JM-Reynaud Offrandes at $4,200)
I don't see what the fuss is about. People rave about the sound of these speakers. They are good, represent a good value, but are not the giant, world beaters that some of these over the top norh ravers say.
I bought a used pair at audiogon having to hear what the fuss is about. They are smaller than I thought they would be and are pretty light. The rosewood color is nice, the finish is terrible. Uneven laquer material and grills that do not fit right and tight.
The soundstage is wide and clear with good detail. The sound can get distorted at loud volumes. I have heard the marble versions are better, I hope so. The DIY Ed Frias AR speakers sound much better with the same source, electronics and songs and can be had for less. These are O.K speakers, nothing special but represent a nice bang for the buck. How can this be a 5 star speaker? What do you give wilson, proac and other great speakers?
Please do not comment or review the speakers that you have not heard. Talking about customer service is fantastic but doesn't come close to telling you how they sound. There is no place for "These speakers suck" without given a reason or "They look weird so I'm giving them one star." The looks are not for everyone. The looks of the speaker count toward the overall rating but should not be the primary basis for the rating. That being said:
I have the blue/silver 4.0s. The pictures do not do them justice but, in person, they are closer to silver than blue. I would have preferred more blue than silver but I can live with the color without a problem. I also noticed there are a few small black marks on the speakers due to the firing of the ceramic material. No problem there since it really isn't very noticeable and doesn't deter from the looks of the speakers. The feet are stainless steel and look wonderful. You also notice the design is closer to that of a jet engine rather than an inverted horn (although they could be seen as that too). They look very sleek indeed. Anxious and ready to get underway.
Having listened to them now for a couple of months, I felt it is about time to give them a review. More important than the way the speakers look is the way they sound.
When I first hooked them up, I played some country, jazz, rock, various songs over a period of several hours in order to get them broken in. They sounded good right out of the box. After being broken in (takes about 80 hours), they sound fantastic!
The highs are clear and warm. Extremely pleasant on the ears. The warmness, if you can call it that, is due to my upgrading from a Yamaha RX-V496 to an Onkyo TX-DS595. The Yamaha is a bit brighter but perfectly liveable without any problem or listening fatigue. The Onkyo is more relaxed and easier with the highs. More specifically, I should say with the horns (brass instruments). Please keep this in context. I am not a big fan of horns to begin with but movies use a lot of them so you learn to live with them. Perhaps what I am trying to say is the Onkyo made it a bit more liveable for me. Alas, I digress.
The mids painted a sound stage before me. Violins here, drums there, guitars there, etc. You can easily get caught up in your being present as the music is recorded vs. listening to the speakers as if it is coming out of a boom box. Very clear details. You can hear the breath of a vocalist and the pick of an acousitic guitar. They are very revealing and that can be both good and bad. They will tell you if your equipment is good or bad and if the recording is good or bad.
For bass, nothing real low but that wasn't unexpected. They definately need a sub but, if you do not have one, they are still passable.
So, what did I use to test the speakers? Again, mostly movies, since I watch them more than listen to the music. The Matrix was passed with flying colors, even as the bullets whizzed by my head. Helicopters and airplanes fly overhead as they are supposed to. Dialog comes from the center and, if an actor is talking while they are leaving the stage, the dialog follows them seamlessly. With Fantasia they performed beautifully! I never knew how much information was there. For SPR, you are at the beach. Good luck in getting out. :) Star Wars (DPL II), Imperial cruisers fly overhead and laser dart all around you. Titan AE is wonderful as you are in the battles and the dialog is before you. TV? Let's just leave it at I'm enjoying DPL II more and more! :) Perhaps the standout to me was Chicane's Behind the Sun. Overture and Low Sun sounded like you should have been in the IMAX theater rather than home as they were playing.
The speakers are truly wonderful. If I don't get the marble ones (much classier, IMO), they will stay with me for many years to come. The whole experience with nOrh was a very positive one and I wouldn't hesitate ordering from them again. The 3.0s also sound close to the 4.0s but will not play as loud or go as deep as the 4.0s do. The 4.0s have much better bass than the Wharfedales but do not go as low. However, they have clearer, cleaner bass and are not boomy at all. The AR, DCM, and KLH aren't even close to the 4.0s. Actually, the same can be said about the Wharfedales. The 4.0s offer tremendous value and performance for their cost. The sound is what counts and they performed above and beyond my expectations. Thank you Tyson and Marbles for introducing me to these wonderful speakers. :)
Recently, I have been putting together a 2.0 system for my home gym. I tried plugging in my iPhone 4 to the reciever, using Belkin AV cables, it sounded really bad, and I was unable to listen to my music. Fm radio and CD player work fine.
So my question is, how do I ... Read More »
Hi. I have had these speakers for a few years, and they have worked great for me. They are in like new shape. I love their sound and don't really want to get rid of them, but we are redoing our tv room, and they won't fit well in the new room. I paid $1075 from their website, which included ship ... Read More »
I am looking for speakers that will be a nice conversation piece in my livingroom and I really like the nOrh's. My livingroom is about 20'x12'x9' and it also connects with the diningroom, so its rather large.
Has anyone compared the 4.0's to the 5.1's? I want the synthetic marble if I go with ... Read More »