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-Ottica Tower.Initial Impressions
Ah, the speaker I was the most reluctant to listen to. As many of you know, I own the Super 7 from GR Research which is fully OB and uses planar magnetic drivers for midrange and tweeter. And it is one of the very best speakers in the world, IMO. A big part of what I love is the blazing speed and transparency of those planar mids. I was sure that the NX-Ottica tower with it's heavier mass midrange drivers simply would not be able to keep up. And Danny's sitting right next to me during the audition. If it's not great.... awkward!
Visually however, this is a beautiful speaker - the copper baffle really sets off the copper phase plug on the midrange drivers. The crazy thing is Danny said he was able to get this finish/look out of a can of spray paint!Listening Notes
Started out with them using the First Watt BA3 amp and it sounded good, but my fears were confirmed, it was definitely slow compared to the planars we'd heard earlier via the Super Mini.
Oh boy, how am I going to tell Danny I don't like his design?
After a bit Danny suggests we switch to his battery powered chip amps. That certainly picks up the resolution, speed and imaging. But it sounds tonally thin vs the BA3.
Almost as an afterthought, we decide to hook up my Elekit Japan 300b amp. What a transformation! NOW there's speed, resolution, soundstaging, dynamics galore and also that beautiful 300b glow that just brings everything to life. OK, so now I'm eating crow. These speakers, with the right amps, are really, really good.
Also, even though they are a tower speaker, they really need the servo OB subs for full range sound. We had the triple OB subs hooked up and man these speakers sounded huge!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