A combination of traditional folk art and science


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About Us
History Of Norh

nOrh Loudspeakers Company Ltd. Is based in Bangkok, Thailand. Michael C. Barnes formed the company as a way to merge Thai craftsmanship and audio to create loudspeakers that not only sounded great but also were works of arts. Over the past two years, nOrh Loudspeakers has created loudspeakers that have won praise throughout the world.

All loudspeaker designs must start with good drivers. nOrh Loudspeaker uses Vifa and Scanspeak drivers exclusively. Today, many loudspeaker manufacturers use very inexpensive "no-name" drivers from Asia. It is amazing how inexpensive some of these drivers are. It costs a premium to use drivers from Vifa and Scanspeak. However, if the loudspeaker starts out with poor drivers, no adjustment to the network or cabinet can ever create a great speaker.

The major difference between nOrh models is the difference in the quality of drivers. The quality of the cabinets, hardware and crossovers is the same throughout the product line.

Release History

Our first loudspeaker was the nOrh 6.0. This was followed by the 6.5 and 5.0. All of these loudspeakers received glowing reviews and all of these loudspeakers are still popular for the people who bought them. We introduced the nOrh 7.0, which was the loudspeaker that got us recognized. This was our first loudspeaker to use Scanspeak drivers. The combination of Scanspeak drivers and our cabinet became an instant hit. Today, we still offer the 7.0 but it is now improved. The new 7.0s are made from marble, They use the 9700 tweeter and they are upgradeable to be biamped.

Our first prototype - January 1998

Prototype - January 1998. Notice the duct tape on the side

Our first loudspeaker, nOrh 6.0 - June 8, 1998

Pair of nOrh 5.0s, late June 1998

After we released the 7.0, we decided to focus on our low-end. The 5.0 was a great loudspeaker. It used the same Vifa drivers that are used in the popular Ariel loudspeaker. We didn't like the fact that this driver would not play loud. It did indeed have very good performance but it didn't play loud at all. We worked for six months trying to design the ideal small loudspeaker. The nOrh 4.0 became another hit. This speaker got the most reviews of any of our speakers and continues to be our most popular loudspeaker. We have built a marble version of this speaker and recently have come up with a ceramic version.

The 5.1 is essentially a 4.0 in a larger cabinet. The larger cabinet gives the 5.1 better bass. The 5.1 has been described as the perfect A/V loudspeaker. While the 5.1 is very good for A/V, we have designed a new loudspeaker that we feel is even better for A/V. This is the Prism 5.2. The Prism 5.2 uses a more efficient driver. This improves the dynamics and sensitivity. The 5.2 is a floor standing loudspeaker.

The Prism line has expanded to include a unit based on a new Vifa 6.5 inch driver - The prism 6.1. This driver achieves 90 dB efficiency. It is mated with a new high sensitive driver from Vifa. A dual 6.5 inch driver version is also available - Prism 6.6. This will allow very modest A/V receivers and smaller integrated amplifiers to sound very dynamic and powerful.

Our flagship product has been called the "best two-way loudspeaker" in the world by many who have listened to it. This is a marble loudspeaker that uses the "top-of-the-line" drivers from Scanspeak. This loudspeaker exceeds almost every expectation people have had for it. It has literally made individuals regret purchasing loudspeakers that are many more times expensive. I have received several letters from people who have written that the nOrh 9.0 marble has driven them to tears because the music simply entered their soul like no loudspeaker they had ever heard. One day, we might have the components we need to build a better loudspeaker. However, as of now, we have no way of building a loudspeaker that sounds better.

The 7.0 also uses Scanspeak drivers. The marble 7.0 uses the 9700 tweeter which is electrically the same as the more expensive 9900 used in the 9.0. The marble 7.0 and 9.0 now sound very much similar except that the 9.0 produces deeper bass and is faster. The 7.0 is more sensitive and plays louder. The sound of the marble 7.0 is far more refined than the original wood version. Upgrades are available.

One of the attributes of the nOrh Loudspeaker is its ability to play loud. Most loudspeakers are limited in how much volume they can produce because they have to continuously fight with the energy inside the box. The nOrh Loudspeaker allows the woofers to "breath". They do not encounter any back pressure. We have recorded volumes of 120 dB(!) from the nOrh 6.0 Loudspeaker. We are not sure how much louder we could go as even with ear protection, we could no longer bear the test. These measurements were taken three meters away from the loudspeaker.

We recently received a test from England that confirms that the nOrh 6.5 will play at 104 dB using a 100 wpc amplifier with no sign of strain.   The fact that the nOrh loudspeaker can be played so loud makes it ideal for many commercial applications.

We did not engineer the nOrh Loudspeaker to fill large auditoriums or provide sound for large clubs. Nonetheless, we believe there must be an application for this technology in those environments.  We have installed nOrh loudspeakers in several restaurants, malls, and nightclubs in Thailand. The results have been spectacular. We think that the nOrh loudspeaker is ideal for commercial applications.