Had a chance to visit Danny recently and spent a few days listening to ALL the most recent OB offerings and thought I'd write up separate reviews for each of them. This review is for the NX-Studio Monitor.Initial Impressions
I listened to this after I listened to the Super Minis (and the Super Minis had blown me away). But the NX-Studio Monitor was the speaker I was the most excited to listen to. Per Danny, it could be placed close to a wall due to the sealed box used for the mids, but it would give some of that "OB magic" due to the Neo3 planar magnetic tweeter being used in a clever OB fashion. Listening Notes
All right, this is now officially the second time I'm being blown away in the same day. This speaker didn't have "some" OB magic, it had a LOT of OB magic. And I'm not sure what Danny did to the box but that thing was freaking INERT. There was almost no box coloration that I could detect. Yes, there was a slight coloration to the sound in the lower mids, a slight beautification that wasn't there in the ruthlessly honest Super Mini we'd heard previously. Danny said that a lot of it was because the wave guide was so deep it allowed the tweeter to be crossed over much lower than previous speakers. Even lower than the Neo3 in my Super 7 speakers. Thus the tweeter and it's OB nature tended to dominate the sound of the speaker.
Also, the midrange driver - that's a special unit. I'll say more about it in my upcoming review of the NX-Ottica and NX-Treme.Edit to add more info requested below
- I tend to think of speakers less as individual drivers and more as mid/tweeter combos nowadays. My current references are of course the Neo10/Neo3 combo in my Super 7s, but also the Beyman TPL150-H tweeter and the JBL 2226H midrange that a friend has in his speakers. Both of these designs have perfect integration of the drivers as well as a see-through transparency and detail level, without being 'analytical' sounding AT ALL. That last part is important. Lots of speakers can sound detailed but it's because they are voiced on the analytical side. That voicing leaves me cold. So the trick is to get a speaker that has all the detail and none of the analytical coloration.
From a detail level I'd say the Neo3/M165NQ combo is better than the Beyma/JBL combo and very close to the Neo10/Neo3 I have at home. Shockingly close. Honestly I've been in this game so long and I've heard every 6 inch driver out there and they all bore me to tears. But this driver is different - it seems to combine the sheer resolution of the best ceramic cones with the quite self-damping properties of the best paper cones. And the integration with the Neo3 tweeter is just perfect. Color me impressed.
In fact, now that I've had a bit more time to think about it, I feel more comfortable saying this - the NX-Studio Monitor is the best box based bookshelf speaker I've ever heard. It does most things better than anything else out there and some things MUCH better than anything else out there. At least IME. Edit to add:
Here's a link to the recent New Record Day visit to Danny's and their impressions on several speakers, including this one. They heard stuff very similar to what I did:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8xxFKVC2Xro