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Norge 75 review

Norge 75 Bookshelf Speakers
By: Siddharth Bhatia   |   Feb 18,2008

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3.5

 


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Wide soundstage
Nice HF response
Very affordable

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Mid-frequencies are a little high








 

Norge is a brand that's weathered many a storm and taken on some fancy competition, yet never yielding to gimmicks or tall claims. The company makes only audio gear, such as stereo amps and speakers, so a lot of audio purists opt for Norge as the products are very reasonably priced. They're from India, not Norway, which probably explains how costs can be cut.

From what I've seen so far, most of Norge's gear fall in the band of decent-to-good, notwithstanding some obvious flaws. Do the new Norge 75 bookshelves offer any significant enhancements? Can decent sound can be achieved from a device whose cost runs into just four digits? I'm as curious as you are; so let's go ahead with our review.

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Design and Features
These are classic bookshelf speakers with a basic straight-edged rectangular cabinet; the type that brings back memories of a bygone analog era. The cabinet is MDF, with a PVC coat of light oak. Though the beauty of PVC is arguably in the eye of the beholder, this one does look warm and rich.

The front panel is coated in black and supports the tweeter and woofer drivers, making this a two-way reflex design. The bass port is at the back, along with the most basic speaker connectors. The design is unpretentious, but some may want a jazzier look – perhaps some smooth curves to make things interesting. All that comes at a cost, so whatever we have is not bad.

The silk dome tweeter is 30 mm in size, while the woofer with a 'specially treated' cone is 5.5 inches. Encouragingly, the drivers are from Wavecor. The weight is 5.5 kg, which I think is on the lighter side.

Performance
These robust speakers need to be placed on heavy stands, about 3.5-4 feet wide, and slightly toed in for a full spectral delivery. The amp has to be good, as stereo sound can get greatly colored in the amp itself, which the speaker can do nothing to improve. We were using an Harman Kardon amp, which I like.

The speakers came to us already broken in, so I straightaway started the tests. First off I inserted a Sheffield Labs test CD and ran a few tones and sweeps to check the scene. The speaker can go down low till about 30 Hz odd, though not in a flat way. In highs it touched 18K before wisping off. While I did not have the actual sensitivity rating, qualitatively I can say it would be quite high.

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I listened to Sarah McLachlan, Patricia Barber and Jamiroquai; in addition to the pristine recordings from the test discs. What I inferred was a wide and open soundstage; the sort of stuff that appeals to a mature audience. Thump was not there, though low bass frequencies were present, and sounded nice.

The mids were a little forward for my taste: very crisp, and made some vocals sound overemphasized, but not harsh at any point. Sound depth was commendable as a convoy to the impressive soundstage. High frequencies were rolled off and subtle, with no extra sibilance anywhere. This I liked a lot, as I hate too much shine in the sound.

Conclusion
At a price of Rs 8500, the speakers offer bang for the buck. If you're not a perfectionist, the flaws mentioned can be ignored, as the good points outweigh the bad. The design could have been better, it's true, but then true audio quality has nothing to do with looks.

With a sub I’m sure these speakers will rock. They nicely fit the requirement of a bedroom stereo music system (you will need a separate amp) and could be an ideal choice for a quiet musical evening, but not a party.

This review is a 100% exact copy of the original as published by Tech2.com India.
Reprinted here courtesy Tech2.com, http://www.tech2.com/
The original review is available here.
[The Norge 75 Bookshelf Speaker uses Wavecor drivers WF138WA02 and TW030WA01]

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