I don't know what you mean by 'still valid today' but I have heard the NHT Xd and would not hesitate to acquire the system if given the chance; advancement in technology notwithstanding. It's one of those things that stay with you for a long time, much like what the original Logitech Transporter did for me at first listen. I regret not jumping on the chance to acquire those kinds of components no longer in production.
Half isn’t a great price considering I’ve seen them go for as low as $1200 for a 2.1 set on ebay, and $1500ish on Audiogon, with the XDA amps.
I wouldn’t pay $3000 for it today. First of all NHT ended up selling upgraded versions of the monitors (M60), and secondly the drivers aren’t really all that valuable, they were pretty much mid level Seas drivers at the time. The selling point of the system was the XDA amp, which at this point is pretty old. Secondly it was a notoriously noisy machine that was prone to mains hum and other noises, back when the XDs were in production people would pay to "upgrade" the XDA with upgraded caps and electronics to get rid of the noise.
Finally, the XDA is probably more hassle than it’s worth, and plenty of people have commented that it doesn’t really sound any better than the passive version of the NHT XD with a custom crossover which I believe Zaph and Selah used to build for people with dead amps.
JD, have you ever actually HEARD the system? If you weren't interested in it, when/how did you "see them go for $1200 or $1500"? Was that like 10 years ago? lol. The selling point of the system was not just the amp, but the active crossover and equalization that resulted from a significant dedication of engineering/development resources. A signal perfectly tailored to the drivers and enclosures is created in the digital domain, and mainline/amplified and sent directly to the midrange, tweeter, and subwoofers, without any phase colorations or crossover distortion caused by passive components. If you believe that a passive version of the system sounds the same, you either haven't heard the immediacy of the active version and/or you are missing the whole point. You probably would not like active studio monitors either. The fit and finish of the system is outstanding, and the results are jaw-dropping. I have not heard of any of the hum or other noise issues that you speak of, or [the need for] any upgraded drivers offered by NHT; the results speak for themselves, as anyone who has actually heard (or reviewed) the system will attest. Enjoy whatever it is you like. :)
Yes, I’ve owned both the active and the passive version (built by Selah) actually. I didn’t think the active version sounded much better.
As far as actives, my mains are Genelec 8351s. I have no problems with actives in general, I just there isn’t that much you can do with the drivers on the XD as they have some serious breakup issues. There’s a reason why NHT released the M60s as a replacement monitor. As far as the noise issues, this is well documented by Stereophile. Maybe you need your ears checked?
I do enjoy whatever I like, thanks for patronizing buddy.
Sounds like you couldn't make the Xds sound the way you wanted because you don't have the technical capability. Those crazy looking upside down M60s were not a "replacement". If you are looking to some side-bar in an old Stereophile column, and you want to call that "well documented", well, then that speaks for itself.. LOL BTW, I wasn't trying to be patronizing. Enjoy your Genelecs. Buddy.
Too late for the OP, but I wanted to reply to the comment about mains hum.
I believe what Stereophile documented was the self-noise of the system, not mains hum. Mine don't hum, but you can hear hiss if you put your ear to the tweeter. You'll find similar comments about hiss from some modern active DSP systems (e.g. Dutch & Dutch).
My Xda (the amp/dsp box) did make an annoying mechanical whine (not transmitted to the speakers), probably from the switching power supply. I sent it in to NHT, and they were not able to fix the issue.
To me, this system is a lesson about undocumented, proprietary DSP systems. As far as I can determine, If my Xda stops functioning, there's no way to repurpose the digital crossover filters. Updating the amps and the DSP is also not an option without considerable hacking, or creating your own crossover filters from scratch.
I hooked mine up last week just to remind myself why I was dissatisfied. Surprise, they sounded great. The very even dispersion means they can really float images beautifully, better than my Vandersteen cloth Quatros in this regard. And though I never got the second bass module, the bass clarity and weight in my room was satisfying. This makes me wonder if I took the wrong path for my room with the floorstanders.