NHT 3.3 or Mirage M1Si?

Hi. I want to upgrade my speakers (and eventually all my other components..) and I'm considering these 2 (yeah I know, they are very different) models. I'm looking on the used market and I want a killer deal for around $1500 to $2000 US used (erm, around $4000 to $6000 at retail price I guess). I want a full range speaker that can offer detailed highs, liquid mids and abysmal bass. That can be enjoyed at low levels but also at high (ground shaking?) levels. I know that at this price range I can't find a perfect speaker but I want to do a major step up from my Polk RTA11TL speakers (around $1000 early 90s). I listen to all sort of music (from Bach to Metal) and might consider to build a home theater from there...later.

I will power them accordingly (200w-300w) after having choosen my main speakers. And should move to a bigger place in the next years so these factors are of less importance for now. As for my other upstream components since I intend to swap them for better at some point.

I would like advises from peoples who have heard these two speakers, and what pros and cons you have noticed between these two. If you want to suggest me another model that you think is even better (for the same budget) fell free to do so.

Thanx for all inputs.

note: I have already read all the reviews I could find on the net about these 2 models and have a lot of infos on the NHT 3.3, but I dont have as much infos on the Mirage M1Si and no idea if there is one that is really better than the other...

Having worked in a 'high end' audio store in the mid-90s, I have heard a wide range of speakers from that time period, including both that you've mentioned. Not that my opinion should REALLY mean anything to you, but here's what I think:

Mirage M1si - Need LOTS of room for optimal sound reproduction. Bass goes very, very low, but can sound a bit bloated depending on the room setup and amplifiers. The speaker are detailed, but certainly not hyper-detailed as some are these days. I found, for the most part, that their midrange could have been more forward (a bit of midrange suckout), but that could simply have been the electronics or the room setup (as I was just a small-fry in that store, I didn't have much say in what was hooked up to what in the 'high end' room). The bipolar design provides the listener with a wide soundfield, but perhaps not as accurate pinpointing as a pointsource speaker.

NHT 3.3's: In my opinion, a much more accurate speaker. Clinical, some would say, but I can tell you that when you shut your eyes, you won't believe how amazing the sound can be with these beautiful slabs of speaker. One major caveat: MUST BE PARTNERED WITH HIGH QUALITY, SMOOTH SOUNDING AMPLIFIER(S), or the sound will just be too harsh for longer listening periods. These speakers are meant to be placed up against a back wall, so it's my opinion that they may be a bit less intrusive than the M1's. Bass goes low...VERY low and, from what I recall, is tighter than the M1's. Detail retrieval is top notch and, because of their narrow front baffle, they image like champs. Some would say that they are unforgiving of poor recordings, but it's my opinion that they reveal the music for all its good and bad (which, to me, only adds to the presetation). They play nicely at lower volumes, but can really, REALLY knock your pants off if you want to turn them up (again, you HAVE to have high quality, high amperage amplification).

In case you hadn't already noticed, my nod goes to the NHT's. If I had the space (and the money), I would likely pick up a pair as I've been a longtime fan of 3.3's. Sure, in this day and age, I'm positive that there are better speakers out there, but I seriously doubt they can be bettered for the money for which they are sold now.

Again, I reiterate that I am in the 'accuracy' camp rather than the 'forgiving' camp and because everyone has their own tastes, many people might completely disagree with my comments.
HI, I had a pair of NHT 3.3 speakers and they sounded awesome with a pair of PS Audio mono blocks, as they did it all from highend to bass response. They where very detailed, but I had problems with them as the tweeter in the right speaker kept going out. I sent them back to NHT three times as they put in a new tweeter twice and a crossover once but they were never the same. Don't get me wrong they were awesome and maybe I just got a bad pair. I hope this may have hepled you. I would try to listen to both and go from there.
Loose is right on the money about both of these speaker systems sound, I may have used different words to describe each speakers over-all sound...but my meaning would pretty much be the same so I agree with him...EXCEPT, different strokes for different folks, I like the darker sounding Mirage over the NHT's.

I have owned a pair of 3.3 for 8 years never had a problem at all with them. Every time I upgrade front end componets these speakers sound better Loose covered there sound and you have read the reviews. I have been considering replacement speakers but ever time I audition other speakers I find it hard to change I still have my NHT 3.3 The one thing I wish they did is present ihe sound stage a little higher.Even tiping them backwards with the spikes does not get them to present the stage above the top of the speakers.At used prices you get a lot of speaker and one that is easy to place.I now have a BAT VK 200 amp 100watt and they have a great synegry with these speakers. Good Listening
From your description of what type of sound you want the NHT 3.3 is the better choice. Though there is a caveat, they won't sound real "liquid". As stated by others above, the NHTs require plenty of high quality watts and a lot of attention to placement. They're not perfect, but I think the NHTs are one of the great bargains in high end audio.
I've owned 3.3s for 4 years. They still bring a joy to my face everytime I sit down, turn down the lights, and listen to my favorite tunes. The 3.3s do benefit as the electronics get better. Just get a good 200+ wpc amp like the Aragon 8008BB (~1200 used on audiogon/ebay) to drive them well and control the bass. You can vary how much liquidity your system has by changing the preamp and source. A tube preamp will add all the liquidity you need (ie, Rogue Magnum 66).
Well thank you all for you responses. I guess that the NHT's crowd is more present on Audiogon than the Mirage crowd, hehe. Though my choice will probably go to the NHT 3.3, if any of you have more inputs on the mirage M1-Si, feel free to add your comments.


Ender, you are absolutely correct with your statements on preamp and source. I ran a pair of 2.5i's with a Unico for a while and it, having a tube preamp stage, smoothed them out quite a bit...very liquid. Only problem for me at the time was that the room was too small for that particular combination...


(the 2.5i's are obviously NOTHING like the 3.3's, but they have a similar upper-range behavioural pattern as the 3.3's, so i would imagine the same would apply with respect to a preamp for the 3.3's, but even moreso)
i've never heard the mirages.

i owned the 3.3's briefly, and for the prices they go for they are w/o a doubt some of the best values out there. i thought they compared very favorably w/ merlin vsm-ms, and WP6s (of which i have owned both). they do need the tweeter tamed (tube preamp, Cu cabling) and a good size room for woofer integration, and they can be wonderful.
Hello; I have a pair of M1-Si- My amp is 400 watts @ 4 ohms. If you want the very most of these babies should have 400-500 watts 4ohms or a 500 watt Bryson have(8 ohms I think)! to really get them cranked up!!!
I see this is and old thread, but even today - the NHT 3.3's are really great speakers. To me they are among the classics (like PSB Goldi) that will always sound excellent and defy the gravity of progress in speaker design.