Why don't you check out the new Emotiva Airmotiv 4's or 5's and use your NAD as a preamp to drive the speakers as they have built in amps. They use ribbon tweeters and are supposed to sound fantastic for the $$.
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I have listened to the NHT Super Zero, PSB alpha B1, Silverline Minuet, Paradigm mini Monotors. So far the Minuets and Mini Mononitors sound the best for me. The Minuets are smaller and have a very large sound. The Mini Monitors have this great 3 d sound. Hard to pick right now. My room is small 11x10 with a bed
Thanks for all your suggestions. Its hard to obtain some of the speakers used to audition. I want to try the ushers , Triangle, Rega RS1 and Dali Zensor 1.
After searching through all the mini monitors, I purchased the Silverline Minuet Supremes. For my surround sound minis bought the Monitor Audio 90s. A real sleeper that was purchased for $60 for the pair,new in the box.
Larger monitor bagains include the Quad 12L, Quad 11L, VS VR1, Usher 520 and Wharfedale 10.2.
Right now the Airmotiv monitors are on sale. You can get the Airmotiv4 or Airmotiv5 for under $500 and they have built-in biamplification. This is a high-tech composite slot-loaded woofer with a Heil-type folded ribbon tweeter.
There is also a pair of Quad 11 L2's on A-gon for $450/pair. I have no affiliation with the sale or seller. Those little Quads are fabulous and relentlessly engaging. Beautifully made, too.
Are the amps in the Airmotiv products actually good Hi-Fi amps? (Hi-Fi is my new old term for audiophile level) It's hard to believe they could be good, and the speaker drivers being good at the same time for, that price. I may just be so caught up in this hobby where money is spent like water, that I have lost all perspective.
I was told by a speaker pro that Monitor speakers were good and not expensive. I therefore believe you about the Monitor 90s, although he recommended a different model. Perhaps I shouldn't be so surprised.
There are several things that create this price discrepancy, and none of them impugn the quality of the Airmotiv products.
First of all, amplification: General purpose amplifiers have to be built with enough power, current, bandwidth, damping factor, and low enough output impedance to drive a wide variety of speakers with different impedance curves and current demands, and with a bandwidth to cover the full range of human hearing and beyond. In powered speakers, the engineers only have to build an amp that will power those specific speakers well. And for biamped speakers, the amps only have to cover the frequency range of the individual driver they power. So for example, the tweeter drivers don't need big power supplies. Then there's the packaging. Go to a DIY amplifier site and the amplifier module may be $150, but by the time you add a chassis and front plate, the price doubles at least. Built-in amps need no such packaging. Then add in that they are assembled in China and direct-marketed and you are at about 1/4 the price compared to USA manufacture and wholesale/retail distribution.
As for the speakers themselves, ask any speaker maker how much furniture-grade cabinetry adds to the price of his speakers. I used to moonlight with a piano restoration company, and the refinishing of the cabinetry amounted to fully one half the price of the restoration of an old grand piano. Such a piano would get a new pinblock, soundboard, strings, and the keys and action completely disassembled and reworked. Yet stripping and re-finishing the casework cost just as much. With monitor speakers such as the Airmotiv, there is no veneering, no filling, no finishing other than wrapping the enclosure in a black or dark grey synthetic.
Then there's economy of scale when you have bespoke drivers for a large production run. That enables Emotiva to include a ribbon tweeter that might cost $200 on an individual basis from PartsExpress.
Add it all up and Chinese-mf'd direct-marketed monitors in plain-jane enclosures could equal the performance of a $1500 combination of amp and speakers. Reviews of Emotiva products seem to confirm their high level of quality. My latest issue of Stereophile reviewed some of the Emotiva MTM-array floorstanding speaker, and they look to be well damped, linear, and an excellent value.
In order to have a great sound, the floor speakers are the way to go. Believe me, I have heard and tested a lot of floor speakers and I would highly recommend Polk Audio RTiA9 without hesitation and without breaking the bank. This model is very well design and it has nice tones separation. This model is the best one of all in Polk Audio line. It sounds better than Revel F12 and F32. Please test them out and decide for yourself. Put in a hip hop top 40 musics and listen to how well the sounds separation are. I believe tones separation are define how well the speaker is made. If you listen to Jazz, orchestra, and classical that are too easy do decide on the speakers because basically there is not much of floor/background noise to begin with in Jazz, orchestra or classical, i.e, you would not hear the bass mixing with the vocals..etc.. I am not associate with Polk audio or Revel, but these are the two brands that are very well made and very competitive. Revel F 52, Studio and Salon 2 can be out perform some of the most expensive speakers under 70K. i.e, Salon 2 has better bass than the MBL 116, it has no bass,and 101E mkii, the bass is too boomy.