NHT 2.3A vs. NHT 3.3 original model

Just curious to hear if anyone has ever compared these two speakers. I know that the 3.3 has to have much greater bass extension and power, but I'm wondering if there are any significant differences in the midrange and treble, and how the imaging and soundstaging compares between the two models.

By "original model," I mean the 3.3 with the soft-dome tweeters, not the newer metal ones.

I've recognized the fact that I need to upgrade my amplification -- just wondering if I will need to upgrade my speakers in the near future, too, and need to take that into account when buying a new amp, or if the 2.3As will be good enough, so I just have to worry about getting an amp that makes THEM sound as good as possible.


You can't even start to compare these two speakers. There is NO comparison. The 3.3 is in an entirely different class. The 2.3 was a very average speaker for the time.
A realistic comparison would be the 2.3 vs the 2.5 which it still comes out on the loosing end.
Bigtee --

Thanks for the input! Unfortunately "there is NO comparison" doesn't really provide any details on where the 2.3As performance is lacking re: the 3.3 (or the 2.5, for that matter).

Since you've obviously heard all three speakers, what did the 3.3 and 2.5 do better than the 2.3A (other than bass)?

Pat, the 3.3 bettered the 2.3 in every area. The 2.3 is not on the same playing field. The 3.3 is more open, has better highs, has a better midrange and MUCH better bass. The 2.5 is a better speaker than the 2.3. It betters the 2.3 in transparency, midrange definition and bass.
The reason I didn't get more specific is there is actually not a lot there to get specific with. It is a apple vs a grape comparison.
The 3.3 will play much, much louder.
You can go to an old Stereophile (look at their web sight) and read the review on the 3.3. It was a "B" rated speaker. The 2.3 was a poor "D" rated speaker at best. So, think of any audiophile term and the 3.3 betters it!
The 2.3 was one of NHT's initial products. They got a lot better with time.
Yes, I have owned all 3. I still have the 3.3's and the 2.5's in a home theater application.
The only area where the 2.3 betters the 3.3 is it doesn't require as much power to operate.
Thanks -- that's the kind of info that I was hoping to get!

A question, though -- you mention that this was one of NHT's initial products. Are you thinking of the plain 2.3, as oppposed to the 2.3A? The 2.3 was introduced in 1991, while the 2.3A was introduced in 1993, the same year as the 3.3. I have no idea what the difference (if any) is between the two models, though.

Thanks again!

In the mid to late 90's, NHT really began to build some decent products. The 2.3 upgrade was a relatively modest change. The 3.3 was a statement product. The 2.5 was an excellent product along with the Super 1 and Super Zero. The 2.9 gave about 90% of the performance of the 3.3 at a lot less money(although I personally thought it was somewhat bright and more closed in) Then they upgraded the 2.5 to the 2.5i with the metal dome tweeters debut. It was considered a great buy for the money.
In all, the 2.3A wasn't a bad speaker. It just wasn't up to the level of performance of the newer entries. A more fair comparison would have been between the 2.3A and the 2.5. I would still choose the 2.5 but they are closer. Hope this helps.
I have been and continue to be a fan of NHT. I think they make some excellent products for the money. The Super 1(or even the super zero) and a good sub like the SW3Pi made for a relatively inexpensive system with great performance. This combo bettered the 2.3A by a substantial margin.
Some of NHT's latest stuff like the SB3 has been getting some really good press.
I currently own the 2.3a's, 3.3's, 3 Audio Center 2's, SW3, VR-3's and a Sub Twoi... needless to say, I am a big NHT fan! The 2.3a is an excellent speaker for the money... I have A/B'd them in the same room with the 3.3's and they do present the basic core qualities of reproduction... just in a smaller and less refined manner. I personally felt that the 2.5 series was a step backward as they neglected a key trademark to the NHT sound... ACOUSTIC SUSPENSION BASS!
I like the 3.3's so much, I just sold off my B&W 801 Series 3 and got another pair!
Just a note to anyone here that is using 3.3's or 2.9's in a surround format... you are doind a complete injustice if you are using anything BUT the Audio Center 2 for the center or surrounds. The 3.3/2.9/AC-2 all have a similar crossover design that actually has the upper mid and tweeter OUT OF PHASE with the lower mid and woofer. I have used the 2.3a's(and many others... VR-3, etc...) as my rear speaker and noticed a less than ideal soundstage from front to rear. I recently got a pair of AC-2's to use as the rears and... WHALLA! Instant majic and an extemely engulphing 5.1 experience!
THANKS to member John Ashman for the AC-2... you have made my surround dreams come true!
I don't remember ever hearing the 2.3 before, but I own the Superone and used to work at a shop that carried the entire NHT line. Although every model seem to have an incremental change/improvement in design as you move up (larger bass driver etc.), the 3.3 is an entirely different animal from the guys below it in my opinion, and I am speaking only of the newer version with aluminum tweeter.

The main difference that mattered to me is transparency. The 3.3 sounds completely "boxless" with tons more detail.
Auditioned both speakers, 2.3A and 3.3. Could not afford the 3.3. I did buy 2.3A's. They are totally different speakers. If you can afford the 3.3's and can fit them into your room, buy them. The 2.3A wasn't that bad a performer. I personally feel that it bested any of the 2.5 series. It just needs a lot of good current. My speakers said 8 ohms on the back, but the manual stated 2.7 to 4 ohms nominal. They had extremely good bass down to around 35hz. I prefered the silk dome tweeter to the aluminum that replaced it. Just my opinion, the guy that I sold them to said that they were equal to his 2.9's in every respect, except for the bass extension.
the only downside to NHT regarding their "slanted baffle/focused gometry design"...the soundstage never gets outside of the speakers....granted they image well(but what doesnt at this level)...however they sound a bit "closed n" for my tastes...