Speakers that maximize Naim sound.

Thanks. I confess I have never heard Quad electrostatics with Naim but they do have their fans here.

I was an LS3/5a owner for years (of which, you may know, Spendor was a licenced builder) so your experience of Spendor, and mine in hi-fi retail in the early 90s where we sold ESL 63s (very often to people who loved Spendor LS3/5as) made me think that ESLs might be the answer. Plus, I don't think they would have the sort of rumbley bass to bother fellow appartment dwellers.

I don't know how widely available the latest incarnation are in the US.

Enjoy your music.

C.

Hungryhalibut posted:

Please forgive me if I’m being a bit dim, but I’m a little confused. You say that you value Naim’s musical communication, which is something I’d wholeheartedly agree with. Yet later you say that the Spendor Ds were not for you as they are too lifelike, and that you are looking for something less intense. The two seem somehow diametrically opposed to me. I’ve never heard the various US speakers that you mention, so can’t really help with those. The other thing you mention is preparing to move: my thought on that is that it’s probably best to stick with what you have until you have found your new place. Your current room sounds really big, and were you to move to somewhere smaller you may find that your carefully chosen new speakers are no longer a good match. 

Hungry Halibut thank you for responding, I've read and appreciated your posts for some time. Sorry if my explanation seems ambivalent. My purchase is for new home bought few years ago and now gutted and rebuilt so home is there though I'm not. I will not take delivery until I'm ensconced and have dealer voice the speakers in fully furnished room. In UK dealers provide home demonstrations, I've not seen that stateside. I have pretty good musical memory and not very good musical vocabulary, so buying speakers is merger of experiences of others and auditioning. If I could have three speakers brought to my home for 30-minutes each, Forum inquiry may not be necessary.  All suggestions are appreciated, taken seriously and will be functionally followed up. Hungry Halibut, your thoughts and suggestions are much appreciated and valued given their source.          

Focal Sopra 2!!! I have them with a NAP300.  The 300 has perfect control over these speakers.  Bass is tight and controlled; mid are to die for, specially if you like vocal jazz, female voice in particular.  Transparency with good extension.  Even better if you use convolution to deal with the acoustic of your room.  I can sit down and listen for hours!

CXF04, it's a pity Spendor doesn't seem to care much for their customers in the US but I have heard SP100's a few times and IMO, they are one of the best loudspeakers out there! You asked if the Spendors could use more power so that maybe the best solution for you, especially because you already own a 552 and the 500 would be the perfect partner.

CAT345, thank you for your response. I wish Spendor acted like they were in business to make money. As I probably mentioned in earlier post I added 552DR, just few weeks ago and it has transformed what I was getting from SP100 in ways that did not seem possible. Prior to acquiring 552 I was sincerely ready to leave the speakers  in my building’s recycling. Now I wonder if the speakers were being vastly under powered, but I’m not audio engineer, I have no idea what speaker’s requirements are. However 500’s would cost after trade in something in vicinity of Wilson Yvette. CAT345, thank you again!

 

I have the Proac D40Rs and have been happy with them since I tamed the bottom firing bass with Herbie's Fat Gliders.  

I am open to better speakers but I am not sure what.   Auditioning speakers without buying them is very difficult; you can forget hearing them "in my listening room".    Accordingly, it is a crap shoot at best.

I might be open to the next Proac up the line.   I heard the Rockports and wanted to like them based on friends who love theirs, but the rear port rules them out for me.  I heard the Magicos and liked what they did in the store; they have a fast and detailed sound and might work well with Naim or might be too much of a good thing.   The Wilsons have been an aspirational speaker for me since the Watt/Puppies but It has been a while.  Never seen a Focal.   If there were a Kudos 707 in my future, I would be open to it but there are not a dozen pairs in North America.

 

 

Hi, CFX04,

Just to rejoin the discussion, I started with Neat Motive 2's on the end of my first entry level Naim setup, then progressed through

MF 5's, MF 7's, to my present MF 9's.

You can check my present setup in my profile, but, at each upgrade stage I found that the Neat offering was a perfect match for my system.

I've spent some time in the company of Bob Surgeoner, joint owner of Neat, (and one of the good guys), and they do in fact use Naim kit in arriving at the voicing of their entire range of speakers. Drop him an email with any queries you might have, and he'll be only too happy to answer them.

I note from their website that there is only one US dealer listed, High Fidelity Services, in Massachusetts, and I've no idea how far away from you this might be.

If the above suggests that I'm a huge fan of Neat products, that is quite correct, as their speakers simply make great music.

Hope this helps,

Dave.

According to the store's website, Whetstone Audio in Austin, Texas carries Neat.  However, they seem to have dropped Naim, with the exception of Mu-so.  The fellow who runs the place has been known to send out speakers for audition. High Fidelity Services appears to be the US distributor, not a retail store.

themrock posted:

I have a Nap 300 DR too, my loudspeakers are Dali Epicon 6, great fit.

Themrock, thank you for your suggestion. In past Dali speakers were carried by many fine dealers, I heard them perhaps 10-years ago at a show and they did not have any appeal for me, but your mention of DALI Epicon 6 prompted me to look for review  considering your experience with 300DR.  I just read Absolute Sound review that I'd like to quote if Forum allows: "The DALI Epicon 6 is an extraordinary speaker. In high- frequency performance, in perceived resolution, and in absence of cabinet effects it is in the top echelon." And its not very big and price fits nicely within my budget. Thank you again for raising the recommendation window! One question, may I assume you feel NAP 300DR has enough power for reasonable listening? I do not play my speakers very loud, actually low based on complaints of my last equipment salesman, my musical interest is classical, heavily baroque, piano recital with some opera. Themrock thank you again!          

aht posted:

According to the store's website, Whetstone Audio in Austin, Texas carries Neat.  However, they seem to have dropped Naim, with the exception of Mu-so.  The fellow who runs the place has been known to send out speakers for audition. High Fidelity Services appears to be the US distributor, not a retail store.

AHT, thank you for responding. Its actually easier and almost closer for fly to London, Austin is more than far, I am curious about neat and I know many Naim owners and British audio press favor them, or are very much at home with them. Not clear about real USA access for auditioning. Thank you again.     

Skip posted:

I have the Proac D40Rs and have been happy with them since I tamed the bottom firing bass with Herbie's Fat Gliders.  

I am open to better speakers but I am not sure what.   Auditioning speakers without buying them is very difficult; you can forget hearing them "in my listening room".    Accordingly, it is a crap shoot at best.

I might be open to the next Proac up the line.   I heard the Rockports and wanted to like them based on friends who love theirs, but the rear port rules them out for me.  I heard the Magicos and liked what they did in the store; they have a fast and detailed sound and might work well with Naim or might be too much of a good thing.   The Wilsons have been an aspirational speaker for me since the Watt/Puppies but It has been a while.  Never seen a Focal.   If there were a Kudos 707 in my future, I would be open to it but there are not a dozen pairs in North America.

 

 

Skip, your current equipment certainly allows wide variety of premium speakers. Years ago I  auditioned several Proacs based on "dealer" preference, but found them too bright/intense. As I mentioned before I found the Wilson Alexia Series 2 just right, but price was twice what I budgeted, but the intimacy and focus for me were worth it. I heard them at different volumes, but was mesmerized by being able to have them above whisper with all the musical presentation, again for me it was wonderful, at least that time. Naimite shared that another Naimite with significant budget had bought unidentified Magico and after the wonder receded got rid of them in less than year. Like you I have not heard Focal, will try and hear them. I'm not audiophile and seek equipment that will allow me to listen to music without interruption or fatigue indefinitely and not many speakers are able to do that; great sound is one thing, being able to listen for 10 or 12 hours at time is often different kind of speaker. Skip, thank you for well considered thoughts!          

dave marshall posted:

Hi, CFX04,

Just to rejoin the discussion, I started with Neat Motive 2's on the end of my first entry level Naim setup, then progressed through

MF 5's, MF 7's, to my present MF 9's.

You can check my present setup in my profile, but, at each upgrade stage I found that the Neat offering was a perfect match for my system.

I've spent some time in the company of Bob Surgeoner, joint owner of Neat, (and one of the good guys), and they do in fact use Naim kit in arriving at the voicing of their entire range of speakers. Drop him an email with any queries you might have, and he'll be only too happy to answer them.

I note from their website that there is only one US dealer listed, High Fidelity Services, in Massachusetts, and I've no idea how far away from you this might be.

If the above suggests that I'm a huge fan of Neat products, that is quite correct, as their speakers simply make great music.

Hope this helps,

Dave.

Dave, I'm sending question to Bob Surgeoner  and will get back to you. Thank you for your suggestion.

CXF04 posted:
Its actually easier and almost closer for fly to London, Austin is more than far, I am curious about neat and I know many Naim owners and British audio press favor them, or are very much at home with them. Not clear about real USA access for auditioning. Thank you again.     

Now there's a thought - with the kind of money  you are thinking of spending,  a listening holiday to London would make sense!

If you do end up with European made speakers you may even save money, especially if US hifi importers' mark ups are anywhere near as greedy  as UK ones are. 

Pev, I was holding off buying additional Naim gear, as well as speakers figuring with Brexit Pound would fall into Channel, but now it looks like that's not happening. Its really not fair to American's who've been waiting to shop at Harrods at M&S prices. If you hear of crash anytime soon please post it on Forum so I can catch the next shopping flight.    

As far as I am concerned it's already happened. Pre brexit £ was $1,60 and 1.40 Euro now it's around 1,40 and 1.10 - bloody brexit is costing me well over £1000 a year in currency devaluation just in holiday costs 

$2 and 1.50 Euro to £1 would suit me 

I concur with others here on the subject of Neat speakers. I have purchased my first ever pair, the SX2s.  I have been running them with entry level Naim gears for 9 months, even now they keep on getting better and better with each listening session and they were already amazing to begin with!

Highly recommended!

CXF04-

I'm under the impression that you are in the New York area. There is a primarily naim dealer in Mt. Kisco that still does speaker demoes with only one set of speakers in the room and (i think) will allow for home demoes. He has (at different times) carried dynaudio,focal,dali,sonus faber. 

It seems strange the Spendor is performing poorly.  I would initially rule out some other problems before replacing them outright.  With so many boxes in a typical Naim system it can be hard to isolate a problem;  some I've had with my system include a faulty Naim Hiline and a power supply in need of a recap.  It took a few months of disappointing sound quality to finally recognize there was a real problem to be fixed.

SInce your initial post is a bit contradictory, I'm going to go with the assumption that you want a tonally sweeter presentation than what the Spendors are giving you.  If that is the case I would say the Harbeth's are definitely worth pursuing, as are offerings from Sonus Faber.  That would also eliminate (otherwise competent) offerings from Kudos, Neat and ATC.    

I'll post another strange observation I had using Spendor speakers.  I had owned them for years and felt they hadn't lived up to their glowing reviews.  I was using a naim cd player at the time.  When I bought a hugo I could turn up the volume louder than before - it was so much smoother than the naim source).  The sound from the speakers started to improve overall and it was apparent that the tweeter had never broken in properly using the Naim cd player, despite years of use.  You could argue this was simply a matter of not enough power, but I wonder if the high frequency cut off of naim cd players is a factor. 

CXF04 posted:
Max_B posted:

And yet, a good 2nd hand pair of SBLs has the best value for money ratio on the planet. And, in spite of a silly rumour, their setup can actually be some fun, and teach something (on speakers and on Naim).

Max, I wish I had trusted dealer who inventoried and restored SBLs & DBLs, but USA for moment is not UK where many still cherish audio and keep in mind how nice it is to set time aside to listen for pleasure.   

Well, have my wishes for a lucky strike.

Max

I have heard the ProAc D30R and D48R with some Naim gear. I liked the sound so much that I ended up buying the ProAc D48R.  Very musical I would say.

Thanks to members on this forum who helped me make a decision between the ProAc D48R and Spendor D9.

When auditioning new speakers to replace my old Royd Abbots/Naim pre/power, I demo'd the ProAc D30s (inoffensive but lacking that "wow" factor), SF Cremonas (lovely smooth sound but bass too much for my listening room at the time, ironically they'd work well in my new house) and Naim's SL2s (clear winners and eventual purchase). The SL2s haven't gone anywhere since and no intention of selling. Each upgrade elsewhere and they've got better and better. I run them passive rather than active (52/135s)

Hi CFX04,

Regarding Neat speakers.  If you contact the importer,  High Fidelity Services, they may be able to arrange a home demo with you.  Or work with a local dealer you are familiar with.  They offered both options to me last year, but  I decided to put it on hold since I am considering a move.  

Best regards,

pat

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