SL2

Hi,

I have managed to source a pair of Maple SL2s in excellent condition which I will take delivery of next week and will run with my N272, XPS and 250DR. I have been reading numerous extremely helpful posts on the forum around set up and considerations; like, critically, the need for a solid wall to site them against. I am very excited about the SL2s but I must confess I am slightly apprehensive about the challenge of setting them up. Richard's set up instructions are very thorough and I'm sure that you really need to have the speakers in front of you to make absolute sense of them. I will be very careful in following the procedure to the letter and will take my time but I just had a couple of questions:

(i) I know that certain tools are required (mention of torque wrenches, allen keys, clamps etc). Does anyone have a definitive list of exactly what I need so I may ensure that I have the right tools for the job?

(ii) I am considering siting the SL2s on granite slabs on top of my carpet (noting the consensus that a solid floor is optimal as well as a solid masonry wall behind them). Is that worth doing or is it, as I suspect, just a case of "try it and see"? 

Thanks in advance for any tips / insight.


 

Original Post

You need an Allen key for the tweeter arm, a spanner for the spikes and a spirit level to get the bottom box dead level. A torque wrench is needed if the bass driver has worked a bit loose. This, and the bolts in the metal interface plates (top of bottom box and (I think) bottom of top box) should be torqued to 3.6 Nm. Don't touch any of the other bolts. You will also need an Allen key to centre the wooden plate on the front of the top box, so that the tweeter sits central. You may find that this plate has stuck and won't move. In that case, with the top box on the floor and laying on its back, remove the four bolts and pull the plate off - it can be really firmly stuck. I'd avoid granite slabs. Cut slits in the carpet and underlay so that the spikes touch the floor. Get the spikes as short as you can without the metal base touching the pile.

If you live near Portsmouth I'm happy to come and help. 

Thanks HH. That's extremely helpful. I am so thrilled to have managed to obtain the SL2s. I have coveted them (in Mapel) as my dream speaker for many years but have never been able to get a pair. I know that the golden rule with speakers is to try before you buy but, in this case, that was not an option so I'm going for it!

The offer of help with set up is very kind. Unfortunately I'm in the South West so quite a way from you. I was wondering whether I might see if there were any experienced SL2 folk around these parts who I could call on if required but let's see how I get on.

Good post from Nigel.  Yes, avoid the slabs.  Cut slits in the carpet - assuming the floor is solid underneath.  Oh, and take your time with the setup and don't be afraid to take a break then start all over again of you're not sure or happy with the result.  It can take a bit of practice but it's very rewarding when it all works out.

If you're in the South West then you could try e-mailing Naim's Jason Gould at the factory and see if he has anyone he can recommend.

Chipboard is not ideal.  How solid is it?  You may need to slot in some Fraim chips under the underlay otherwise the spikes will sink in to the Chipboard and the performance will go off quickly.  Of course, only do this once you have decided the best position for the speakers.  It can take a bit of time to get their positions along the wall just right.  SL2s are all about driving the room, and the walls, floor and ceiling, should work with the speaker rather than against it.  It means that their positioning is important to the overall performance.

Hi S3,

Wonderful... you've done really well to find a pair as they are like gold dust these days. I'm certain you're going to love them. I've had mine for six years now. I use them with an active 500 system connected with Super Lumina and I love them to bits. Set-up is not difficult, just take your time. I also have mine in the loft... which I converted to a music room... and the slopes of the ceiling and irregular walls definitely help. The sound is unbelievably detailed and exciting. I have my SL2s slightly out from the back wall, and very slightly angled inwards. Like you, I also have thick chipboard floors and you will definitely need Fraim Chips. Yes, they are expensive, but you only have to buy 'em once.

Keep us posted and let us know how you get on. They really are quite a remarkable speaker.

Many congratulations from me too Mr S3, they're superb speakers, a maple pair of which I had the privilege to own for a few years. Mr Halibut's advice is excellent, as is Richard's setup guide. I agree slabs are not a good idea. Just take your time setting them up, much as you might be keen to listen to them, and it'll all go swimmingly. If you encounter any difficulty there are other little things you can do, so please don't be afraid to ask for assistance.

Enjoy, as they say.

S3 posted:

Thanks Richard, I suspect the spikes would go into the chipboard. I have some Atacama floor protectors already. Will they do the job or must it be Fraim chips which appear to cost nearly £20 each!!

...other floor protectors are available (but do they sound as good as Fraim chips?).

Once you've set them up, rap the front of the bottom box with your knuckles. The whole speaker should gently oscillate for a little while. This shows that everything is properly set up. The tweeter, being separately attached to the base, will not move. 

The SL2 is an incredible speaker, but setup is key. I had a cherry pair many years ago, with a 552 and 300. The setup I have not doesn't actually sound that much worse, and I'm sure it's because the current maple pair are set up much better. I used Richard's excellent guide, which really does work beautifully. Just set aside a few hours and take your time. The only bit I found hard was attaching the tweeter arms. They have to be tightened up so hard and for a long time I thought it wasn't going to work, but it did of course, just when I thought that the screw threads were going to strip. 

Like Mike, I have mine a little bit out from the wall, about four or five inches, and toed in just a couple of degrees. They will of course sound better with active 500s and so on, but with 'just' a 250DR they still sound pretty damn good. 

I'm very envious as I have been looking for a pair now for around a year - since I moved house and need speakers to go against the wall. The only pair I have seen for sale were on the fishy site and went immediately before I saw the ad. Did you get them privately or through a dealer? I'm on a list with one dealer but I should probably try some others within a reasonable distance!

Clive

Richard Dane posted:
S3 posted:

Thanks Richard, I suspect the spikes would go into the chipboard. I have some Atacama floor protectors already. Will they do the job or must it be Fraim chips which appear to cost nearly £20 each!!

...other floor protectors are available (but do they sound as good as Fraim chips?).

I use 5p pieces under my two Fraim racks and Focal Diablo Utopia speaker stands - total cost = 70p. Sounds fine to me (when the PSU's humming is drowned out by the music, but that's another story..............................).

I use mine with the fraim chips on the carpet. It works very well. The best result I got when turning the front chip up side down (as Tonym mentioned). The back chips are used as intended.

I wish you a lot of fun with this very spezial speakers.

Stefan :-)

SL2 on chips

Thanks Stefan, as ever plenty of options and opinions which is what makes this forum so fascinating.

All of your encouraging advice and insights into to this most alluring of products will, I'm sure, be invaluable. 

I'll let you know how the set up goes!

Make sure that you have them in what will probably be their final location before setting up.  You will get away with small movements of a few inches or so but larger moves will mean starting from scratch again.

Not something I like to do too often but it is always very satisfying afterwards.

A couple of years ago I sourced some longer tweeter arm bolts from NAIM which made tightening of the assembly much easier. They may still be available.

I hope your grilles are in good shape, if not too perfect there is a thread on the forum somewhere to register interest in possible 3rd party replacements if numbers are sufficient.

Ron

Thanks Ron. I'll enquire about the longer bolts. The grills look ok from the photos but, even if they are, I'd certainly be interested in replacements as they will not last forever. If there is some sort of registration for that I'd be happy to add my name once the SL2s arrive.

I currently use two 1.5m runs of Chord Epic twin to my Kudos X2s. I know it may be considered too short by some but seems to work well in the current set up. With the SL2s I'm going to try to site the rig to the side of the speakers rather than in between them as I know that is likely to be better. That isn't definite as it would involve blocking an eves storage door which will not go down well! If I have to site the rig in between the SL2s will it be ok to use the Epic with them or do I really need to looking at 3.5m of NACA5?

many thanks

Go for the NACA5, as Nigel suggests.  If you have to go short then try to not go less than 5m per side with SL2s.  The extra length does make a difference.  Then just concertina up the extra length that you don't need. Properly soldered with the Naim speaker plugs at each end is a must here.  

Why spoil SL2s "but for ha'penny worth of tar"?  OK, a little bit more than half a penny, but you get the point.

SL2 setup tip no. 2,549 - When centering the tweeter assembly, I found that when you tightened up the three bolts holding it in position there was a tendency for the thing to move out of position. I overcame this by using a "Helping Hand" clamp to gently hold the surfaces together, enough to allow movement but with enough pressure to ensure they didn't move when tightened :-

 

Been a while since I had my SL2s, which were kind-of second-hand, but IIRC after ensuring the arm holding the tweeter's upright, those bolts enable you to position the tweeter spot-on within the upper enclosure. Seemed pretty straightforward to me...

Really interesting comments on here. I too acquired a beautiful pair of Cherry SL 2's four years ago to replace my 20+ year old SBL's,  followed Richards brilliant set up guide andthey are truly exceptional. With regard to the carpet debate, I have a chipboard floor that is carpeted. I adopted the same solution as with my SBL's in that I used some 10 guage philips screws screwed hard down into the floor through the carpet and then sited the SL 2 spikes into these which gives a very stable set up. I'm a bit surprised no one has mentioned this solution, am I missing something here

PS: If I were to take the stanley knife to slit the carpet, I would fully expect to see my dear wife appear with a carving knife and "that look" in her eyes !!

Hi all,

My SL2s have arrived! Excellent service from the dealer and they were very well packed.

All I've done so far is opened the boxes and everything looks to be in order. The other top box is in its packaging!

I'm picking up 5m of NACA5 from my dealer tomorrow and still waiting for the Fraim chips which I'm told will be with me Wednesday so nothing I can do set up wise I guess until then. However it will give me a bit more time to prepare!

I'll keep you all posted.

Kind regards

 

Maple, same as mine. Gorgeous! They look mint, too. We're all dying to hear what you think of them once you've got the Fraim chips and you've set them up. Keep us posted.

I remember when I set mine up and on first listen thought 'That's disappointing. The bass doesn't sound anything like as good as the SBLs I had previously.'

Then I discovered that I'd stupidly connected the SL2s out of phase.... (not quite sure how I managed to do that!)

JohnL posted:

Really interesting comments on here. I too acquired a beautiful pair of Cherry SL 2's four years ago to replace my 20+ year old SBL's,  followed Richards brilliant set up guide andthey are truly exceptional. With regard to the carpet debate, I have a chipboard floor that is carpeted. I adopted the same solution as with my SBL's in that I used some 10 guage philips screws screwed hard down into the floor through the carpet and then sited the SL 2 spikes into these which gives a very stable set up. I'm a bit surprised no one has mentioned this solution, am I missing something here

PS: If I were to take the stanley knife to slit the carpet, I would fully expect to see my dear wife appear with a carving knife and "that look" in her eyes !!

JohnL, I've been using the cross head screw into the floorboards method for over 25 years since The Sound Org London installed my first set of Linn Kans and used just that method. Cheap and really makes a difference. Tricky to get them perfectly aligned though as the screws need to go into the spike holes dead straight. That's given me hours of frustration as every house I've ever owned always seems to have totally wonky suspended floors and of course you have to ensure you're not trying to screw into the gap between boards! The only reason it's feasible with my Isobariks is because you can site the stands first. I suspect with a large (heavy) floor stander it would be too much of an ask to get everything perfectly lined up so that you could get the speaker to sit nicely.

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