nOrh Mini 9.0 Floorstanding Speakers

nOrh Mini 9.0 Floorstanding Speakers 



  • Long: 19 inches, Tall: 14 inches
  • Response - 3 dB at 33Hz
  • Tweeter - Scanspeak Revelator 9900
  • Woofer - Scanspeak Revelator 15W/8530-K00
  • The nOrh 9.0 begins to roll off at 35 Hz and its 10 dB downpoint is 29 Hz
  • Availability: Pairs in marble and synthetic marble, with real leather baffle.
  • Colors: Black, or white in Marble.


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    [Apr 24, 2005]


    1.) Accurate with nice, tight mid-bass 2.) Beautiful finish 3.) Solid cabinet 4.) Vocals are "in your face." (This could be a weakness, too, depending on personal preference.) 5.) Mike Barnes provides excellent customer service even after the puchase


    1.) Very placement and room-sensitive for a monitor 2.) Can be a little dry and analytical with solid-state gear 3.) No instructions for DIY kit 4.) If you get a DIY kit, be sure to wire tweeters with reverse polarity

    I bought these as a DIY kit, and now have about 1000 hours on these speakers. With mixed emotions, I call these my "Oh my God" speakers. When I first got these and installed the drivers I was horrified. I only heard sound out of one speaker. I thought, "Oh my God, I've fried something." When I put my ear up to the "non-sounding" speaker I could hear it was putting out sound, but from my listening position I could only hear one speaker. Although I didn't believe in "break in" or "burn in," I patiently waited. In desperation, I even bought the Purist Audio Design System Enhancer CD. I let the speakers play at low levels continuously for 100 hours. At the end of 100 hours, I sat down to listen. I could only listen for 5 minutes before listener fatigue set in. I immediately thought "Oh my God, these speakers suck. I've wasted 1200 bucks!" I hoped 6 years of glowing reviews of nOrh products weren't lies or the opinions of people who hated hearing frequencies below 1Khz, so I sought help on some speaker builder boards, and found Dennis Murphy's revised crossover for the 9.0 series and a key to my problem: the tweeters are supposed to be wired with reversed polarity! After rewiring the tweeters, the sound improved dramatically, but the treble was still overbearing, so back to the help boards I went. The final piece then came into place: the "golden ratio." Turns out these speakers are very sensitive to room placement. I visited the Cardas website and did the calculations for my room, which recommended I move the speakers out another 18" from the back wall and another 18" from the side wall. I did so, and... "Oh my God, these speakers are awesome!" All of a sudden, the mid-bass kicked in, and the sonic spectrum filled in down to about 80Hz. I wired up my sub to the "Output 2" jacks of my preamp, tuned it, and sat back in amazement of what the system sounded like. It was like having a small stage in my house with the artist of my choice performing just for me! I'm quite happy with my investment now. The only problem was the resolution of these speakers allowed me to hear the digital "glare" or "film" from many CD's, which led to a quest to upgrade my CDP. Also, the vocals remain very forward compared to everything else. If you visit the nOrh site, you'll find they also make tube gear. I am convinced nOrh's speakers are designed to be driven by tube electronics. By all acounts, tubes smooth these speakers out beautifully, whereas most solid state gear causes the speakers to sound a bit analytical and dry (which is my experience.) Even on my McCormack combo, I find them a little on the dry side. I'm hoping some lush tubes in my new Cary CDP will cure this. Overall, however, I'm very happy with the mini 9.0's!!! I have found these speakers to be very good for all types of music. I even tried a Will Smith CD to check them on boomy bass, and they sound fine - although they do require a sub. Most of my CD collection is pop/rock, and the mini 9.0's do a good job with rock. They're not going to beat floorstanding Klipschorns, but hey - what will? These speakers really excel with jazz, as well as classical and even country music. A word is in order about stands. Your normal speaker stands won't hold these. The feet (4 of them on each speaker) are 9" apart at their widest point by 7" at their longest (front to back.) nOrh recommends their speakers be at a height of 24-28 inches. I found a steal at on marble pedastels, and bought a pair in black to match my black mini 9.0's. The only build quality issues I have is that one of the front legs (on one speaker only) doesn't reach the ground. I didn't notice this when I first set the speakers up, but I assume it's always been of the stand since there's no "settling" or shape-changing of the cabinet. Apparently other nOrh owners have complained about the plastic pieces holding the grills in place breaking, so nOrh includes an extra set. I did find my grill-holders became loose after taking the grills on and off a half-dozen times. One final note on speaker placement. The speakers are not as sensitive about distance from the back wall as they are distance from the side wall. If the tweeters sound to "hot" in your room, try moving the speakers in from the side walls. The alternative is to find a crossover designer who can increase the resistance to the tweeters to hold them back a little more. Michael Barnes is aware of the tweeters being hot on these, and recommends thick (10 guage) speaker cable. There were some issues with some models of nOrh speakers not playing very loudly. The mini 9.0's have no such problem. As long as you're not trying to host a frat party they'll play as loud as you'd ever want them to play. Associated Equipment: Cary 303/300 CD Player McCormack RLD-1 (Platinum Revision) McCormack DNA-0.5 (Revision A) LAT International SS-1000D Speaker Cable

    Similar Products Used:

    Infinity RS-3, B&W Nautilus

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