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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys! New to the forums here. Been receiving great help!

So i'm looking to replace my front 3 (L,C,R) in my current set up. I was hoping to find a modest pair of towers new or used that would last me a while until I graduate college and can set up a more expensive system.

I went to a local audio shop and told a worker there what I was hoping to achieve. He showed me a system he had on consignment. It was 2 NHT A20 Monitors, 1 NHT C20 Monitor, and 2 B20 Subs. He had the amps for the A20s and C20s however there was no amp for the two subs.

I tried to find somethings online about this system and can't find too much so I thought i'd ask about it here. The price is pretty low from what I've read online (~$400 for all).

I'm curious as to if this would work for a home theater set up. It will be used for movies, gaming, and music all about equally. From what I understand is it's usually used for recording and in studios. Is this right or will this for a nice home theater set up?

I just want an upgrade from my current system.

TV: 51 inch Samsung Plasma
AV Receiver: Denon E300
Front: BIC America DV62
Center: BIC America DV52C
Surround: Bic America DV32
Sub: Dayton 1200

Also I've never seen or hooked up monitor speakers like that to an AVR such as my Denon and am confused as to how that would work! This is the "Pro" system also.

Let me know what you think!
Thanks much!
DanOpi
 

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I don't know if I've heard these particular models (if I have, it was, as you mention, in a studio), but IIRC those arrived at the tail end of NHT's days as an independent boutique, prior to being purchased by Recoton. The early NHT stuff was fantastic. I was an owner of 2.5's, an SW2Pi sub, HDP-1 surrounds, and an AC-1 center for decades, until just the last year or so, actually...and I also owned other NHT speakers from that era as well - 2.1's, Super Ones, Super Zeros, etc. They are fantastic. If these are in good working order and they sound good to you, there's no reason to not go with them, I think you'd be pleased.

As far as NHT, they seem to have made a return to some good sounding stuff, but there was definitely a period there that I was pretty disappointed in what they were turning out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
So it's not uncommon or out of the question to use monitor speakers and a set up similar to that for home theater use? I think the price i'm getting for it is real low. 2 Fronts with an Amp, Center with an Amp, and hopefully he finds the amp for the 2 subs. All that plus wiring for $400 flat is a pretty good deal from what I'm seeing online.

How do I go about using my Denon receiver with these though since they are powered by amps? Denon to Amp to Speaker? What connection is made between the Denon and Amp?

Edit:
Ebay Pricing:
1 NHT Pro A20 Monitor: ~$200
1 NHT Pro C20 - ?
1 NHT Pro B20 Sub - ~$300
Speakers without Amps is roughly $1000 + Center Channel (Couldn't find)
The C20 amps looks to go for $350, B20 amp for $300 and A20 amp I couldn't find.
So the set i'm getting looks to be going for over $1650 on ebay. I just hope it works well as a home theater set up.
 

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There should be no problem. There are many people who use various powered studio monitors (Mackie HR824s, Behrenger Truth Monitors, Emotiva Stealths and Airmotivs, among others) for home theater.

You'd need to use the pre-amp out of your Denon for the channels that have their own amp, and the speaker level out for the channels that don't, then just set the level on the amp to blend levels with the Denon's amps.

One thing to note, the NHT amp only accepts XLR or TRS, so you'll need to pick up some cables or adapters to convert the output from your Denon, which I'm going to assume is RCA. Not an expensive prospect, or see if the guy at the shop will throw them in.

Take a look here for a nice, plain-english explanation of the amps functions.

It could also be worth it to try connecting the monitors to your Denon's speaker level outputs and leave the NHT amp(s) out of the loop for simplicity's sake.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hm okay. If he can find the B20 amp I'll definitely jump on this. I only see one pretty out on my receiver hovered the fronts have an amp, the centers have an amp, and the subs have an amp. So would I need 3 pretty outs to make this work? And I believe the are XLR.
 

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Hm okay. If he can find the B20 amp I'll definitely jump on this. I only see one pretty out on my receiver hovered the fronts have an amp, the centers have an amp, and the subs have an amp. So would I need 3 pretty outs to make this work? And I believe the are XLR.
Just looked up your AVR. You only have a preamp output for the sub, not for the speakers, and it's an RCA connection. This particular setup probably won't work with your Denon. At least not the best.

You'd need to figure out how to connect speaker level outputs of the Denon to the XLR connection on the monitors, or upgrade the Denon to something with preamp outputs for each channel.

The manual linked above does have the wiring diagram for the XLR output of the NHT amp, so in theory you could wire it without too many questions, if you're up to it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
What would I need to spend to purchase a receiver that would be able to handle something like this? Seeing as I'm about to send this receiver in to a service center to get the HDMI board repaired and the set up is cheaper than my budget I maybe able to purchase a new one.
 

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That depends...and if you're going to have powered speakers, this opens up a lot of new avenues for you.

You don't NEED an AVR anymore. You could get a preamp/processor, which doesn't have a built-in amp, but generally will outperform an AVR in terms of pure sound quality.

I have an Emotiva UMC-200, which is no longer in production, but you can still catch them on ebay most of the time (none today, however) in the $300 range.

Or its main competitor:
https://www.outlawaudio.com/products/975.html

If you want to stick with an AVR, look up your brand of choice and check the specs on their current product line. You are looking for "preamp outputs" or "line level outputs" for each channel. It also might just say "7-channel output". They will probably be RCA outputs on the lower end AVRs. Higher end models may get into XLR outputs. Just remember, these are different from the speaker binding posts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
If I don't use an AVR how do I go about using multiple devices on my TV with only two HDMI ports? Feels like a dumb question but not quite sure.

Edit: I saw that the Emotiva has HDMI ports. So it's like an AVR but not really? I guess my main question is if I have 500 dollars to spend to upgrade my system, what do I do knowing that I could get this what seems to be a steal of a deal for $400.
 

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A preamp/processor is basically an AVR without the power amps, but with higher quality components and build quality. It allows source switching and audio decoding, but requires a separate power amp.

If your budget is $500 total, you have a couple options.

1: Go with the NHTs and create some custom cables to connect the monitors without the amps, and you can save up and upgrade your AVR down the road, THEN use the NHT amps.
2: Forget about the NHTs and keep looking.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Gahhh. I suck at this whole shopping and deciding thing. So many variables haha

If the guy doesn't have the B20 amp I don't think it's worth purchase the set even though it's a sweet 3.2 for a nice price.
 
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