Elac UniFi 2.0 UB52

MWalt

Active Member
OK, I just bought a new transport (Audiolab 6000CDT) and paired it up with my Chord DAC to do some more comparison between the ProAc Tablette 10's and the Super Zero 2.1's. I have come to the early conclusion that in my 18 x 15 foot room that having the speakers out 1/3 from the front wall and the listening chair 1/3 from the back wall nets the best result for any of my speakers (towed in facing the listener). I do have some bass modes to contend with that tomlinmgt is helping me with (DSP-more to follow). The ProAc's bass goes much lower, so I crossed the subs at 60hz and the SZ's at 90-100hz. For continuity, I have been playing a test CD that I got from Dennis Murphy of Philharmonic Audio a while back and Thelonius Monk "Live in Europe".

I keep going back and forth between these two speakers and keep coming to the same conclusions:

-ProAc's are more forward and dynamic. I love these speakers for their tone and resolution. The SZ's are neutral and laid back.
-SZ's have a bigger soundstage with more depth and better spacing between instruments. I am enamored by this. The stage extends back past the rear wall and the side walls. Very neutral and balanced to my ears.
-Both image extremely well, but I give the SZ's the nod here. They may image better than my Hornshoppe Horns did.
-Both play equally loud with the same volume that will surprise you by how efficient they are. My Primaluna Prologue Classic with KT 120's (only about 40 watts RMS) plays them both at very high decibel levels in my 18 x 15 space. I rarely turn the volume knob up to 12 o'clock and that's only for testing.
-Both speakers provide high resolution. I think the SZ's would get even better per what I read (Stereophile review) if they had some sort of passive xover at around 100hz or so that blocks any low frequency reproduction. Something like this: 100 Hz High Pass 8 Ohm Crossover (parts-express.com)
-I am not sure how either of them would fare in a really large room, but I would guess that they may lack the scale of a big speaker in said space.
-They both like a tall stand. I use a 30" stand.

I would really like to see StevenZ and JohnVF try the SZ's so that they could either validate my experience with them or at least provide their opinion. Both of them have far more audio experience and knowledge than I do and I respect that. I really think the NHT Super Zero 2.1 is a hidden gem given the right environment.
 
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StevenZ

Pending Gold Star Member
OK, I just bought a new transport (Audiolab 6000CDT) and paired it up with my Chord DAC to do some more comparison between the ProAc Tablette 10's and the Super Zero 2.1's. I have come to the early conclusion that in my 18 x 15 foot room that having the speakers out 1/3 from the front wall and the listening chair 1/3 from the back wall nets the best result for any of my speakers (towed in facing the listener). I do have some bass modes to contend with that tomlinmgt is helping me with (DSP-more to follow). The ProAc's bass goes much lower, so I crossed the subs at 60hz and the SZ's at 90-100hz. For continuity, I have been playing a test CD that I got from Dennis Murphy of Philharmonic Audio a while back and Thelonius Monk "Live in Europe".

I keep going back and forth between these two speakers and keep coming to the same conclusions:

-ProAc's are more forward and dynamic. I love these speakers for their tone and resolution. The SZ's are neutral and laid back.
-SZ's have a bigger soundstage with more depth and better spacing between instruments. I am enamored by this. The stage extends back past the rear wall and the side walls. Very neutral and balanced to my ears.
-Both image extremely well, but I give the SZ's the nod here. They may image better than my Hornshoppe Horns did.
-Both play equally loud with the same volume that will surprise you by how efficient they are. My Primaluna Prologue Classic with KT 120's (only about 40 watts RMS) plays them both at very high decibel levels in my 18 x 15 space. I rarely turn the volume knob up to 12 o'clock and that's only for testing.
-Both speakers provide high resolution. I think the SZ's would get even better per what I read (Stereophile review) if they had some sort of passive xover at around 100hz or so that blocks any low frequency reproduction. Something like this: 100 Hz High Pass 8 Ohm Crossover (parts-express.com)
-I am not sure how either of them would fare in a really large room, but I would guess that they may lack the scale of a big speaker in said space.

I would really like to see StevenZ and JohnVF try the SZ's so that they could either validate my experience with them or at least provide their opinion. Both of them have far more audio experience and knowledge than I do and I respect that. I really think the NHT Super Zero 2.1 is a hidden gem given the right environment.
Excellent report!

I got an email earlier this morning confirming my pre-order by someone at NHT, so now it's just a waiting game. Based on what you've written I think I"ll be very happy when they arrive.

I don't have nearly the same space as you though so my listening will be done all very nearfield and hopefully by then with a few different amps, including the Nak, the SMSL and a nice little integrated I've got on the way. Regardless, I'll give them the best I can.
 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
I second that motion.

OK, I just bought a new transport (Audiolab 6000CDT) and paired it up with my Chord DAC to do some more comparison between the ProAc Tablette 10's and the Super Zero 2.1's. I have come to the early conclusion that in my 18 x 15 foot room that having the speakers out 1/3 from the front wall and the listening chair 1/3 from the back wall nets the best result for any of my speakers (towed in facing the listener). I do have some bass modes to contend with that tomlinmgt is helping me with (DSP-more to follow). The ProAc's bass goes much lower, so I crossed the subs at 60hz and the SZ's at 90-100hz. For continuity, I have been playing a test CD that I got from Dennis Murphy of Philharmonic Audio a while back and Thelonius Monk "Live in Europe".

I keep going back and forth between these two speakers and keep coming to the same conclusions:

-ProAc's are more forward and dynamic. I love these speakers for their tone and resolution. The SZ's are neutral and laid back.
-SZ's have a bigger soundstage with more depth and better spacing between instruments. I am enamored by this. The stage extends back past the rear wall and the side walls. Very neutral and balanced to my ears.
-Both image extremely well, but I give the SZ's the nod here. They may image better than my Hornshoppe Horns did.
-Both play equally loud with the same volume that will surprise you by how efficient they are. My Primaluna Prologue Classic with KT 120's (only about 40 watts RMS) plays them both at very high decibel levels in my 18 x 15 space. I rarely turn the volume knob up to 12 o'clock and that's only for testing.
-Both speakers provide high resolution. I think the SZ's would get even better per what I read (Stereophile review) if they had some sort of passive xover at around 100hz or so that blocks any low frequency reproduction. Something like this: 100 Hz High Pass 8 Ohm Crossover (parts-express.com)
-I am not sure how either of them would fare in a really large room, but I would guess that they may lack the scale of a big speaker in said space.
-They both like a tall stand. I use a 30" stand.

I would really like to see StevenZ and JohnVF try the SZ's so that they could either validate my experience with them or at least provide their opinion. Both of them have far more audio experience and knowledge than I do and I respect that. I really think the NHT Super Zero 2.1 is a hidden gem given the right environment.
My experience was with the very first SuperZeros, bought around 1998 I think? They were my first ever new audio purchase. I think I used some of my student load stipend money on them and then starved myself for a bit. I know that I'm on record elsewhere kind of dogging on them as they were the speakers I had BEFORE I caught the audio bug, as in, they didn't give it to me. But knowing what I know now, I can also say that I had no idea what I was doing, and didn't give them, at all, what they needed to excel (and spent most of my time with the SuperOnes I bought soon after, which I liked less). Now I think I just didn't know what to do with them, and maybe I'll pick up a pair. It'll be a while as I simply don't have a place for them (I love love love love the JBL L-82s I picked up a few months ago). I think it would be really interesting to go back to where I started, knowing what I know after tens of thousands of dollars of missteps and false alarms of playing around in this hobby learning to navigate it. I am really happy where I've ended up... and they say you can never go home but I'd love to find out that where I started really wasn't that far off from where I ended up. And I'd also like to hear how they've changed in the new iteration. I don't recall the originals being even remotely efficient, which was kind of the roadblock I hit with them.
 

MWalt

Active Member
My experience was with the very first SuperZeros, bought around 1998 I think? They were my first ever new audio purchase. I think I used some of my student load stipend money on them and then starved myself for a bit. I know that I'm on record elsewhere kind of dogging on them as they were the speakers I had BEFORE I caught the audio bug, as in, they didn't give it to me. But knowing what I know now, I can also say that I had no idea what I was doing, and didn't give them, at all, what they needed to excel (and spent most of my time with the SuperOnes I bought soon after, which I liked less). Now I think I just didn't know what to do with them, and maybe I'll pick up a pair. It'll be a while as I simply don't have a place for them (I love love love love the JBL L-82s I picked up a few months ago). I think it would be really interesting to go back to where I started, knowing what I know after tens of thousands of dollars of missteps and false alarms of playing around in this hobby learning to navigate it. I am really happy where I've ended up... and they say you can never go home but I'd love to find out that where I started really wasn't that far off from where I ended up. And I'd also like to hear how they've changed in the new iteration. I don't recall the originals being even remotely efficient, which was kind of the roadblock I hit with them.
Yeah those JBL's are sweet. Do you prefer them over the Harbeth's? I am still fascinated how even great components may or may not necessarily always work together depending on the situation. It sort of goes back to our earlier conversation where we all discussed how certain gear works well together in certain environments...or not. So many other variables...like the room...or even the human element. I have listened to the same gear in the same place with the same music and have not always come away with the same impression. If StevenZ doesn't like the SZ's as much as I do that's OK. I am just happy he can contribute with his opinion.

As for the efficiency, I am not saying the SZ's are super sensitive, but @86db per watt per meter they surprised me by how easy they were for my amp to drive. Same with the 10 ohm Tablette 10's. The Tablette 10's are small and the SZ's are downright tiny. Little sealed boxes that sound bigger than they are. I guess it's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the fight in the dog. OK, bad analogy, but you get my point. Another thing; I am really curious about how the SZ's would perform with a big powerful amp. I will probably never know because I have nothing like that to try. Maybe down the road.
 

StevenZ

Pending Gold Star Member
@MWalt i forgot to say, congratulations on the new transport. I would be surprised if it doesn’t become your new reference for music playback. When I had mine it easily beat any sort of usb and wireless streaming connected to the same DAC. That Audiolab transport is reference grade all the way and priced oh so right.

I will buy another one when I finally get another dedicated listening room back. Keep us posted on it.
 

MWalt

Active Member
@MWalt i forgot to say, congratulations on the new transport. I would be surprised if it doesn’t become your new reference for music playback. When I had mine it easily beat any sort of usb and wireless streaming connected to the same DAC. That Audiolab transport is reference grade all the way and priced oh so right.

I will buy another one when I finally get another dedicated listening room back. Keep us posted on it.
Thanks, man! So far I really like it. It is a big upgrade over the 15 year old Onkyo CDP that it replaced. I like the slot loading better than the tray mechanism as well. I honestly think my Chord DAC is still my reference DAC that really completes the deal.
 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
Yeah those JBL's are sweet. Do you prefer them over the Harbeth's?
I enjoy them as much as the Harbeths but I wouldn't say they're better, just different. I like them both for different reasons. The Harbeths were better for really concentrating and getting lost in the music while the JBLs are just more fun, they're great for playing music while there are people over, they're 'more social' than the Harbeths. If that makes any sense.
 
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