N0rh Marble 9.0 is out of this world creation…The results and benefits are amazing. Extraordinary sonic performance beyond anything I have ever heard. Truly an art handcrafted symphony of perfection! This speaker systems coloration artefacts are low, the mix of sharpness and air is almost ideal in any room. This is one of the most appealing and informative loudspeakers I have heard. "Lifelike realism" It's dynamics and spaciousness is an asset with all kinds of music. It's even more remarkable when it comes to Movies & Live Concert soundtracks on "DTS" DVD.
If you are in the market looking for accurate speakers and willing to spend those little extra dollars, then you are privileged to listen to genuine precise sounds. Audio is a multifaceted acoustic waveform, transformed into electrical / electronic signals at the time of recording. It is these original frequency response that we need to hear on playback in our Hi-Fi & Home Theatre systems. With this in mind, I must say that this precisely engineered art handcrafted marble 9.0 which is 5 cm thick represents the ultimate incorporation of the best that N0rh has to offer in a speaker system. It's unquestionably a skilled & creative innovation with realistic sensation.
This excellent performance that N0rh proudly has brought to me today through a friend "Kannan", is an experience I will for all time remember.
Design of a Thai native musical instrument, used as a new technology speaker design system. It is a fantastic combination by itself. A creative innovation, that captures the attention of all my visitors.
As an audio recording engineer, I must say that, ultimate superiority depends on its combination of Audio speaker component, it's joint-less Bodywork & the Crossover itself. The 9.0 consist of the best combination as fas as I know, because they are overwhelming for any Hi-Fi or home theatre enthusiast.
The finest recordings, encoded on the most advance home storage device (DVD, DAT or CD) & played back even through a top grade high current amplifier, will sound unnatural, meaning, lacking of accuracy & poor imaging, if the audio system is hooked up to a poor quality speaker system.
Speakers when put in motion, they always keep on tweeting & woofing, and they shake the very air you breathe into an integrated ocean of waves that shatter on dark shore
I have owned the product for eight moths now, so this is not a first impression. I had very high expectations for this product and it met every one of them! I'm not very experienced at writing rewievs gut here goes.
You can play these peakers quiet or loud, they soud good both ways. Dynamics are just fabulous. I like tight and controlled bass, no dissapointment there. I haven't found the speaker to bottom out in bass range yet. Whole range sounds very good. (for me 85db is nice, 90 is quite loud and 94 is definetly TOO LOUD. I had 45wpc amp and now I have 100wpc amp. works fine with both)
Craftmanship is great. Customer help/ support is also great. Courier company handled the customs so no fuss there.
Why I decidet to buy speakers without hearing them first: 1) quolity drives 2) stats given for the product 3) material 4) cabinet shape 5) two way system (keep it simple)
I'm not able to describe the sound as some more experienced people are. Best I can come up with is "It sounds as it should". I don't have "blessed golden ears" so others might find something lacking. I'm quite critical listener tough and I turned quite many speakers down before I ordered these.
Main thing I'm trying to say is that I really loved these speakers and wanted to post my feelings for you to read as one base for your decision.
I can recomend these speakers. I live in helsinki and I'm willing to meet intrested audiophiles.
I found this speaker to be very dynamic and in your face. Not a bad thing if you like that. The tweeter is one of the best I have heard, very detailed. The woofer bottoms out to easy at higher volumes, but is quick , but not too authorative. The fit and finish is terrible. One speaker sits on 3 legs, yet there are four spacers on another. The grill covers sit in very loosly. One speaker weighs 20% less than the other. If I had bought these from a local store, I would have returned them because of the quality. For something that sells for $3K, it has a lot to be desired in that catagory. I find the speaker to be overpriced and the $2K I paid for it used is more appropriate. I will probably sell them soon having like my 804s better.
*warning* This like many other reviews for this product is a long review so get comfy! I first and foremost love music, but I admit I'm a bit of an audio nut like so many of you. Needless to say, I have heard many many speakers in many configurations. I have heard everything from inexpensive speakers who's performance is beyond that of any speaker within hundreds of dollars of their price, and I have heard $10,000 speakers that sound horrible poorly integrated and unconvicing unless played at ear bleeding levels i.e. b&ws nautalus 801. OK now that I've let all this out let me get to reviewing the item/company at hand here. My system consists of: def. tech pf15tl sub harman kardon signature 2.1 amp nOrh aca yamaha cd player (soon to be upgraded) sony md player for recording bettercable interconncts naim speaker cables prev. speakers were acoustic energy aegis 3s First let me say that this is not the first product that I have purchased from nOrh. Earlier in may I purchased the nOrh ACA. I desperately needed a pre-amp and I decided to give nOrh a shot based on what people on this site such as Tyson and things I've heard from others. I was not disappointed, it performs beautifully, does its job doesn't add anything doesn't take anything away (except gain of course =). I was so pleased from the prompt delivery of the ACA (partially due to dhl hurray dhl!!!) and the quality of the product that I decided that my next upgrade would be the nOrh 9.0s. The 9.0s took less than 2 weeks to arrive at my house from the point when I ordered them up to delivery, so unlike what some of these other reviews state, these speakers seem to be shipping faster now. The speakers arrived beautifully packaged by nOrh in their molded foam and boxed. On top of this they had dhl crate them. Thats right these speakers arrived in what most speakers are made out of, wood crates!!! Just shipping alone looks like it cost a fortune, but it's all included in the price. Oddly enough one of the boxes arrived 3 days before the other (delivery fell on the weekend) of course when the first one arrived I opened it right away like a child does on christmas morn. When I looked inside I felt like an archeologist receiving artifacts from a dig site, these speakers are so beautiful and classy, like M. Barnes says they look like they could be artifacts from our society 2000 years from now. The fit and finish are very high quality, they are polished very professionally. Any way after the initial ohhhing and ahhing I set these heavy things up (70 lbs). Oh before I forget let me tell you finding stands that will work for these speakers is not an easy task first of all the feet sit 9 inches wide by 8 inches deep. I finally just bought some very heavy duty stands that have a mount plate that is 6.5" by 7", and two marble tiles that are 12" by 12" and affixed them atop the stands which I filled with lead shot. I saved about $200 over the stands nOrh offers but what a pain in the butt. Plus the marble tiles I purchased don't match the speakers marble very closely. Setting up the nOrh 9.0s is not an easy task so let me make it easier for you. The 9.0s are too in your face to be toed in all the way so the drivers are facing you, instead I toed them in at about 15 degrees. this seems to be a little better than no toe in at all. As far as spacing I have them about 7 feet apart, unfortunately theres a big ugly entertainment center between them which I think effects their imaging (what can I do it's my roommates) The 9.0s (as you probably know) use scan speaks reference revalator tweeter and woofer which are the best drivers scan speak makes (and definately the best amongst its peers). I checked them out online and they are very expensive, just under $1000 for 2 tweets and the mid/woofers. Being the complete techy I am I of course took the drivers out to check out the cross-over. To my suprise it's really big and uses very good parts. Multicap components, silver cables, and a thick mounting board for the crossover. The interior is designed so that the crossover can be taken out of the network and an external active crossover can be used, wiring is provided for this setup. Although the 9.0s appear to be bi-wireable they are not. The termination closest to the front are not hooked up to anything except loose wires that are meant to be used if active crossover is part of your setup. Unfortunately to my knowledge after the discontinuing of the multi-amp there is no way to get an active crossover from nOrh. The front baffle is leather as you may know but what you may not know is that under the leather and stuffing to fill in the leather (the only place nOrh uses stuffing for their speakers) there is a very heavy duty metal plate that the drivers mount to, unlike mdf which is what most companies use for their entire setup. I was somewhat concerned that the metal might "ring" a bit but knocking on it from the inside of the plate yield very similar results to knocking on the marble enclosures, a very dead nonresonating "tunk" mostly made by my own hand, very similar to the sound made by knocking on a pure concrete block. OK OK I know I'm rambling on but I feel it is important to establish that for $3,000 you are getting more than your moneys worth. Finally THE SOUND. I listen to a variety of music everything from Nine Inch Nails to Kodo (japanese drums) to good ol' Beethoveen. It is my firm belief that a speaker that is not capable of sounding good on all music isn't a good speaker at all. Nothing makes me cringe more than when a manufacturer says "the XXXXX is excellent on classical music and jazz" Are you kidding me!!!! You wouldn't buy a tv that only looks good for sci-fi or cartoons only would you????? No. being able to play any type of music and sound great is one of the 9.0s greatest achievement. I have to respectfully disagree with Mr. Pedersens review below about these not being for "rockers" I feel I fall into this category and they do everything they are supposed to do with rock. Yeah they bottom out if played to loudly but thats nothing that wouldn't happen with well recorded pipe organ music!!! Plus they play a lot louder and clearer at high volume if a sub or two is added. The highs from the tweeter are super smooth and accurate. Although they are some sort of silk or fabric material the tweeters remind me of some of the good attributes of titanium dome tweeters namely sharp accurate treble, without the metallic almost overbearing treble so often associated with metal tweeters. As a matter of fact it's sharp when it needs to be, smooth when it needs to be articulate when it needs to be, and on and on. I find it hard to assign a label to how it sounds because it does all these things,and well. I guess I'd have to say it's revealing (hence the revelator name perhaps) the mids are probably the best part of this speaker very exact never over developed I don't detect any sort of affinity to any given frequency or set of frequencies in the midrange, which to me seems to be something that is a major downfall to B&Ws nautalius 800 series (namely the 801s and the 802s) The 9.0s are very smooth and unbiased in this area. Female vocals are very true, one thing I've noticed in many speakers is that they always make female voices sound overly airy, as if the singer is using to much air flow to make their vocal chords sound, this same tendency to me seems to make male voices sound chesty and congested as if they have a slight cold and too much flem is in their throat. The 9.0s portray a sense of air without overdoing it. Holy cow!! The bass on these babies goes low!!!! When I first got them I had my sub set on the same crossover and volume as they were for my previous speakers and it was over bearing, I found myself turning my sub lower and lower until I realized that the 9.0s were producing all the bass! I was truely astounished, I took my sub out of the system and just let the 9.0s play full range. How can so much bass come from a little 5.5" mid/woofer? I've never been so impressed with a speakers bass performance. Did I just inadvertantly upgrade my speakers and my sub? No not quite although the 9s go low they miss the very lowest bass. While they are capable of producing bass below 30 hz it's just not the same impact as a 15" sub or two is capable of establishing. Plus like I said before if you like it loud you'll need a sub to take over bass from approximately 40~50 hertz and lower. Yet since I've had the 9s my sub has been unplugged and not used at all. The bass is very "tight" and accurate 5.5" drivers are a lot more agile than a 15" sub which for me really adds to the realism. As far as how these speakers work together they image very well, but for me this is something that my room and surroundings make it hard/impossible for them to do to their fullest. Like I said my roommate has a cheap and big entertainment center between where the speakers sit, if it were up to me I would just get rid of the thing but no can do. Plus I live in a house where the living room, the kitchen, the hallway, are all open to each other with no doors. All this in conjunction with street noise, refridgerator and minifridge noise, 3 roommates neighbors appox. 10 feet away and a guy who lives in the basement, makes it almost impossible for complete silience which is very important for good imaging. When I'm the only one up at 3:00 am is the only time I can hear the image really come alive, oh did I metion hardwood floors (I hate rental homes) Well I've heard them in other surroundings and the image was a lot better. These speakers are all around good performers and a fantastic value, unheard of in the audio industry today. There is no comparison to any other speaker at the same price and they rival speakers that cost 3 to 4X more. As a matter of fact they rival many top of the line high-end speaker that I have ever heard (but I didn't tell you that). I know you may have your concerns about not hearing these speakers before you buy and it's a very valid concern based on other "values" internet companies have to offer but trust me, I know first hand that nOrh will go above and beyond the call of duty everytime in the name of customer satisfaction. I give these speakers the highest rating based on performance you get for the price. You will not find speakers anywhere near this price point that perform nearly as well. Thank you Michael Barnes and crew for a wonderful product and experience Feel free to e-mail me with any questions. I thank you for reading my review and I hope it helps you on your personal search for audio nirvana. =)
It is amazing what pleasant sound comes from speakers that have a mid/woofer of 5.5 inches. Plenty of full range sound. My other full range pair of speakers are Wharfedale 89's at 43" tall with two bass drivers that also rate at 30hz -3dB. I'm using the Wharfedale's in the opposite corners (not really in the corner) of my main room (20' x 16')as surround speakers when in Dolby Digital mode. Sometimes I use them as alternate main speakers which is done easily with banana plugs on the wires into the receiver.
If someone is looking for good full range sound, and small budget is important concern, the Wharfedale's are an excellent choice (they also come in the attractive rosewood vinyl, which I have).
If you are looking for something different, that sends a message of your being a unique person the nOrh 9.0 in black will do it. I get the impression that they are very accurate music reproducers. The bass is very tight. The highs are not too sharp--very neutral.
I have not experienced any bottoming out of the nOrh's. But I do live in an apartment and turing them up to extreme levels would be inconsiderate of my neighbors.
There are definite difference between how these sound and the Wharfedale's when they are placed at the same location. The Wharfedale's have a sharper high end which may be preferable to many people. Some people have some hearing loss and the extra high treble response maybe just great for them. Rockers who want the live sound will dig the Wharfedale's. The nOrh's will be loved most by fans of jazz and classical. They do fine with all music. I love Dead Can Dance and both speakers do great.
The minor quality issues are: 1. One of the four legs on one of the speakers doesn't reach the surface of my table. nOhr deals with this difficulty of using washers to extend a leg the extra amount needed. In my case they missed adjusting this one leg. The washers blend-in well. I haven't asked nOhr to send me a washer because the weight of these cabinets will leave dimples in wood furniture. I solved both problems with some thick furniture pads about a .5" in diameter. They are dark brown and match my new end tables. 2. The front grill is of a metal that is too thin for the tension of the silk strings. The tension causes the grills to warp. Also there is no shim to place at the bottom of the grill to keep the grill from falling tight at the bottom due to gravity and the pivot/support point being at the center. To even the spacing of the grill I used some 1/4" thick by 1" glazing tape that I have a roll of and cut it to fashion shim that sits unobtrusively at the bottom between the grill and the baffle. I'm not concerned about the warp in the grill anymore. It's not noticable unless you are examing it very closely. Another thing that is not noticable unless you look very closely is that the finish of the marble has tooling marks from the lathe cutting process. The finishing/polishing process doesn't continue to the point where this is completely removed. This is probably a cost decision. To keep the price within range of more people it has to be decided if the range of polishing is adequate for say 95% of customers. I'm one of those 95%, but you should know it won't be of the same smoothness as flat marble.
For those who are not hearing enough bass, I suggest that move your listening position out of your rooms null spot which is usually in the center. Put your listening position a few feet closer to the back wall and you will hear plenty of bass.
My last words are the nOhrs are fine with home theater use. My system sounds superb.