DBL setup recommendations

Posted by: Jo66 on 12 January 2019

Hi all Naim experts, helpers... , a german DBL owner needs some advice.

Some years ago Ive catched second hand DBL speakers from England. I was looking for them because you can place them near the wall.

When I was comparing them directly with my old speakers. The most impressive improvement was their capability to reproduce voices more natural and besides ohter benefits that they had a better low range. 

Then I had to move in a flat where I listened with partly active speakters (low range) whereas mid-range and tweeter where driven by a tube-amplifier, 

Some days ago I moved back home to my DBLs and now I have to choose which speakers to keep. I do rum the DBLs passive with a NAP 250. What surprises me is that when Im listening to well known tracks my partly active speakers (comparaitive slim ones)  reproduce low frequencies quicker, deeper and with more punch.

Now my questions for the DBLs: 1. Setup in the room, minimun size, e.g. distance from side walls and so on?  2. Is there a possibility to test the solidity of the gasket? 3. What to expect when moving to run them active in a suitable way, let`s say a solid starter package 4. As I read in the forum, it`s possible to run the DBLs with different amplifiers, of course all of them more or less premium quality. IMHO the woofer needs the most powerful amp, whereas for midrange and tweeter a more moderate perfomance amp should be sufficient because of the good efficiancy of the DBLs (91/92 dB). 5. Due to the good efficiancy (the same as my partly active speiakers) it should be possible to rum the tweeter with my tube amplifier (triode, 2x25 watt on 8 Ohm)?

I know a lot of questions and Im going to ask my dealer, but I would like to have some uncommitted opinions.

Thanks in advance,

Jo

Posted on: 12 January 2019 by Peder

???? JO66,...A short first response,..In an active solid state system,always strive to have equal amplifiers for all registers..Bass,Midrange and Treble.
This is to achieve the best synergy and musicality.

Do you have different quality of your solid state amplifiers,..you should always have the best amplifier on the treble.
This is to get the best musical result.

How it will be if you mix solid state and tube-amps,..I cannot answer because I have not tested this.
I've had many tube-amps,..but never mixed them with solid state in an active system.But maybe I'll try,..an interesting thought JO66,..I have run active systems since 1991,but never thought of this????.

We start there,..so get others to fill up with other advice.

/Peder ????

Posted on: 12 January 2019 by Innocent Bystander
Peder posted:

???? JO66,...A short first response,..In an active solid state system,always strive to have equal amplifiers for all registers..Bass,Midrange and Treble.
This is to achieve the best synergy and musicality.

Do you have different quality of your solid state amplifiers,..you should always have the best amplifier on the treble.
This is to get the best musical result.

 

 

Active driving is indeed capable of getting the best from speakers.

Ideally you should have amps of the same character, but they need not be the same power- more power is needed lower in the sound spectrum, and all else being equal it is unnecessary to have equally high power capability at the top end. But if not equal, the amp with the clearest character should probably be on the midrange, although some peopLe say on the treble - which I assume is where Naims own recommendation comes from, keyed of course to their own amps.

Posted on: 13 January 2019 by tonym

Congratulations on being a DBL owner jo66!

Having run DBLs passive and mostly active, let me assure you that there is no comparison - good though passive is, with active you'll have a much better speaker. I really wouldn't use such a mix of different amps, you'll always be aware of the disjointed sound. You would be far better off using three lesser amps of the same type. If you must use different, then as others have posted you need to use the best one on the treble - trust me on this.

For best results, keep the speakers very close to the back wall, which hopefully is solid, and avoid putting them any closer than about 0.5 metres from side walls if you can.

AFAIK there's no easy way to check if the gasket's intact. Have you moved the speakers since original installation? It's straightforward enough to reseal them, but if Fairy Liquid hasn't been used on the boxes (other makes are available) before the silicone, it's a struggle to seperate them.

Posted on: 13 January 2019 by mlauner

I have no experience with DBLs but active NBLs are significantly improved active. The control and immediacy are increased . Passive operation with a single Nap 250 was perfectly acceptable but I could never go back.

Posted on: 13 January 2019 by Peder
mlauner posted:

Passive operation with a single Nap 250 was perfectly acceptable but I could never go back.

???? Mlauner,....I agree with you ????????.

The only music-system that I can accept passive in my own home,is a good tube-amp system.
They are at the same level as active solid state.

/Peder ????

Posted on: 13 January 2019 by Innocent Bystander
Peder posted:

The only music-system that I can accept passive in my own home,is a good tube-amp system.
They are at the same level as active solid state.

 

The difference in drive between active and passive is quite different from the difference between solid statecand valve (tube) amplification. If, to your ears, tube sounds better, it would be even better still active with tube amps!

Posted on: 13 January 2019 by Jo66

Thanks to all for the replies, the immediate action! Didnt expect that, really great

Unfortunately this is my first time being active into a Forum and for me as non native english speaker Im not sure how to continue the conversation, so I hope this is the right way ....

What seems to be clear is that mid range and or treble are a little more critical respective to the qualitiy of the amps, whereas the woofer requires adequate power to achieve control.

Relating to mix solid state and tube amps I already made some experienes with my flat setup, because my partly active speakers do have a solid state amp (integrated into the speaker housing) and mid range and treble were driven by my tube amp with a really good result.

But this is for sure no guaranty that this will work with the DBLs too....

Posted on: 13 January 2019 by Innocent Bystander

JO66, your English is  better than that of some native British contributors to the forum! sometimes the nuances of language can mean that people misunderstand, which can sometimes lead to upset - however having clarified that it is not your first language I am sure people will be patient and try to understand if you struggle with anything.

Good luck with your active project!

Posted on: 13 January 2019 by Willy

JO66, last year I moved from DBLs passive with a single 250 to active with 3*250s. 

When driven with a single 250 DBLs only hint at what they're capable of. Not that they're bad, could quite happily have continued with that setup but....

Activation transforms them. Even with a humble (by some standards) trio of 250s they're a very different beast. Can't speak for how they'd work with mixed amplification, some folks seem happy with that and others not. 

Regards,

Willy.

Posted on: 13 January 2019 by Franz K
Jo66 posted:

Hi all Naim experts, helpers... , a german DBL owner needs some advice.

Some years ago Ive catched second hand DBL speakers from England. I was looking for them because you can place them near the wall.

When I was comparing them directly with my old speakers. The most impressive improvement was their capability to reproduce voices more natural and besides ohter benefits that they had a better low range. 

Then I had to move in a flat where I listened with partly active speakters (low range) whereas mid-range and tweeter where driven by a tube-amplifier, 

Some days ago I moved back home to my DBLs and now I have to choose which speakers to keep. I do rum the DBLs passive with a NAP 250. What surprises me is that when Im listening to well known tracks my partly active speakers (comparaitive slim ones)  reproduce low frequencies quicker, deeper and with more punch.

Now my questions for the DBLs: 1. Setup in the room, minimun size, e.g. distance from side walls and so on?  2. Is there a possibility to test the solidity of the gasket? 3. What to expect when moving to run them active in a suitable way, let`s say a solid starter package 4. As I read in the forum, it`s possible to run the DBLs with different amplifiers, of course all of them more or less premium quality. IMHO the woofer needs the most powerful amp, whereas for midrange and tweeter a more moderate perfomance amp should be sufficient because of the good efficiancy of the DBLs (91/92 dB). 5. Due to the good efficiancy (the same as my partly active speiakers) it should be possible to rum the tweeter with my tube amplifier (triode, 2x25 watt on 8 Ohm)?

I know a lot of questions and Im going to ask my dealer, but I would like to have some uncommitted opinions.

Thanks in advance,

Jo

Hi Jo66

I ve been running DBLs for over 10 years now initially passive with single 500 now active since last year. As good as they are passive there is now contest to a propperly setup active DBL system. Cant comment on running wonky with differing amps but from what I understand most of the folks here who went that path consider a wonky setup a step towards three identical amps. DBLs although discontinued over 10 years ago are still hard to match.  In my setup they are app 180cm apart with enough air to the sidewalls and my listening posotion is about 3,5-4,5 meters back. With respect to sealing/resealing you can check if the sealing is still tight by carefully pushing the membrane of the bass driver and see how fast/slow the membrane comes back. fast-broken, slow seal intact. It is definitely worth checking I found my seal broken after about 9 years running.  

Good luck, F