SL2

I confess up front to never having heard any Naim speakers other than Ovators (which don't float my boat at all). What I fail to understand is why, if speakers such as the SL2s are so brilliant, they were ever discontinued? I appreciate why the link up with Focal signalled the death knell for Ovators, but that doesnt explain the demise of all the earlier Naim speakers which, if the aficionados are to be believed, represent the zenith of Naim sound. 

S3 posted:

Thanks guys. I've connected them up with 5m of NACA5 and put the grills on.

Richard - The base plinth is a strange one. It was very straightforward to fit back on. Just two bolts at the front and three screws at the rear. I was in two minds as to whether to screw in the three black screws to the rear:

As I know that this cross plate is supposed to be loose and screwing in fixes it. I screwed them in in the end as I thought if they were not supposed to be used then why on earth would there be holes in the plinth.

Could you explain what is meant by the leaf spring as I am hearing how critical it is but can not work out exactly what or where it is?

 

I would hazard a guess that those 2 bolts and 3 screws are meant to have those rubber grommets mentioned earlier, between the underside of speaker and topside of plinth around them.

Timmo1341 posted:

I confess up front to never having heard any Naim speakers other than Ovators (which don't float my boat at all). What I fail to understand is why, if speakers such as the SL2s are so brilliant, they were ever discontinued? I appreciate why the link up with Focal signalled the death knell for Ovators, but that doesnt explain the demise of all the earlier Naim speakers which, if the aficionados are to be believed, represent the zenith of Naim sound. 

you hit the nail on the head in your very first line.

Personal preferences. One man's 'zenith' etc etc...

enjoy

ken

Thanks Michael that's helpful and good news in that at least it's not missing! I really need to get to the bottom of what the cross bar at the rear of the plinth does and how it is supposed to be attached.

With the three screws in place that bar cannot be slightly loose although - per Toby's post - it may be that rubber grommets could enable that. I wonder if the screws are intended to be for transit purposes only and should be removed when the speakers are in position.

 

S3, rather than using best guesswork, again I strongly advise you to contact Naim.  The only people who really know exactly how the base should be rebuilt are those who originally built them at the factory.  Send an e-mail to Steve Hopkins (info@naimaudio.com) and he can ask Mike Shord who probably built a good number of SL2s over the years and built my own pair twice thanks to a cabinet change early on from Black Ash to Cherry.

Good. I believe the speakers should be returned to Naim to be checked, unless very precise guidance can be given. If arranged, it may be possible to drop them off early and pick them up later in the day. Any cost should be met by the dealer who took them apart - that's what if be saying anyway. 

Re the point made above about grommets for transit: there are none; the owner should never have to touch the base as it comes attached to the speaker. 

ken c posted:
Timmo1341 posted:

I confess up front to never having heard any Naim speakers other than Ovators (which don't float my boat at all). What I fail to understand is why, if speakers such as the SL2s are so brilliant, they were ever discontinued? I appreciate why the link up with Focal signalled the death knell for Ovators, but that doesnt explain the demise of all the earlier Naim speakers which, if the aficionados are to be believed, represent the zenith of Naim sound. 

you hit the nail on the head in your very first line.

Personal preferences. One man's 'zenith' etc etc...

enjoy

ken

The speakers were discontinued because sales were insufficient. A lot of dealers couldn't be bothered with the hassle of setting up the speakers in the dem room - it's not simply a matter of taking them in and plonking them down. I have heard it said that Naim lost money on the SL2. It's a complex design with expensive parts, such as the curved cabinets made by Hornslet, and the flat interface plates that sit between the boxes. Even the little spacers, which define the gap between the interface plates, are pricey. The SL2 was Naim's exercise in extracting as much as possible from a two driver speaker, building on the SBL and with no expense spared. The fact that they are entirely appropriate with an active 500 system, such as Ken's, shows how extraordinarily capable they are. They may have only two drivers and look like penguins, but they can show a modern £10,000 speaker a thing or two, if sheer musical enjoyment is what you are after. 

Timmo, for some of us they really are the zenith of the Naim sound. I even own a spare pair of SBLs to future proof my system. 

While I am enjoying this thread I also worry that it might encourage people to pass on these wonderful designs. As others have said, they are not normally this much work. It's only down to the incorrect strip down by the vendor.

Go listen to some well set up 'ibbles (I,S,N or D) and let us know what you think.

Stu

Yes please don't be put off and apologies if my travails here are perceived to give these wonderful speakers negative connotations. It is an unusual scenario and not standard I'm sure.

I'm sure that when I get the input from Naim as to what to do with the plinth it will be fine.

I do really appreciate all of your advice and support. 

Hungryhalibut posted:
ken c posted:
Timmo1341 posted:

I confess up front to never having heard any Naim speakers other than Ovators (which don't float my boat at all). What I fail to understand is why, if speakers such as the SL2s are so brilliant, they were ever discontinued? I appreciate why the link up with Focal signalled the death knell for Ovators, but that doesnt explain the demise of all the earlier Naim speakers which, if the aficionados are to be believed, represent the zenith of Naim sound. 

you hit the nail on the head in your very first line.

Personal preferences. One man's 'zenith' etc etc...

enjoy

ken

The speakers were discontinued because sales were insufficient. A lot of dealers couldn't be bothered with the hassle of setting up the speakers in the dem room - it's not simply a matter of taking them in and plonking them down. I have heard it said that Naim lost money on the SL2. It's a complex design with expensive parts, such as the curved cabinets made by Hornslet, and the flat interface plates that sit between the boxes. Even the little spacers, which define the gap between the interface plates, are pricey. The SL2 was Naim's exercise in extracting as much as possible from a two driver speaker, building on the SBL and with no expense spared. The fact that they are entirely appropriate with an active 500 system, such as Ken's, shows how extraordinarily capable they are. They may have only two drivers and look like penguins, but they can show a modern £10,000 speaker a thing or two, if sheer musical enjoyment is what you are after. 

couldn't have out it better.... and yes, driven by active 500DR, they keep me listening to music till wee hours -- which is of course disastrous for work the following 'day'... :-)    time to retire?

enjoy

ken

S3 posted:

Could you explain what is meant by the leaf spring as I am hearing how critical it is but can not work out exactly what or where it is?

 

Looking at that image I would think this IS  the leaf spring. Two bolts at the front with slots machined front and back will give some torsional movement and the bar at the back with three screw points in the middle would give some bounce. 

Interesting Toby. I wondered that too. I'm waiting to hear back from Naim as to whether that back bar should be screwed - and if so to what extent - or free and to understand what the correct factory settings are for the attachment of the tweeter to its arm.

Currently mine are set up as follows:

If anyone has any pictures of the set up of their tweeter attachments to the arm it would be inter to see them.

TOBYJUG posted:
S3 posted:

Could you explain what is meant by the leaf spring as I am hearing how critical it is but can not work out exactly what or where it is?

 

Looking at that image I would think this IS  the leaf spring. Two bolts at the front with slots machined front and back will give some torsional movement and the bar at the back with three screw points in the middle would give some bounce. 

My understanding as well.

Willy.

S3 posted:

Interesting Toby. I wondered that too. I'm waiting to hear back from Naim as to whether that back bar should be screwed - and if so to what extent - or free and to understand what the correct factory settings are for the attachment of the tweeter to its arm.

Currently mine are set up as follows:

If anyone has any pictures of the set up of their tweeter attachments to the arm it would be inter to see them.

Mine are as far back as possible, rather than as far forward. 

Thanks. Interesting. It appears to be slightly raised from flush. Last night mine were flush which could account for the need to raise the arm slightly out of the mounting brackets. By having the bracket slightly higher than flush with the top of the arm that should enable the arm to remain fully seated and for the tweeter to be at the correct height.

Hungryhalibut posted:

Quite so. You really don't want to be raising the arms out of the mounting brackets. 

The top of my arms looked pretty much the same as yours, but the bottoms weren't fully down on the bolts. The dealer who installed them lifted them up very slightly as far as I recall and explained this helped achieve a good "bounce" amongst other things (not his term). I wouldn't however go as far as to say this involved "raising them out of the brackets" - it was much less than this, but he did comment that it was necessary. Sounds like Richard never did it though....

To update on this - my SL2s are perfectly set up and sound absolutely stunning.

The reason for this is down to Jason Gould at Naim who, incredibly kindly, offered to come to my home and set them up for me. Luckily for me Jason lives nearby and, rather than have the SL2s sent back to Salisbury, he offered to check them over on site and set them up optimally.

What a simply fantastic thing to offer. With all he has on - being UK director of sales - to spare some of his precious time to help me out with this is certainly going the extra mile in my opinion and it was an absolute privilege to spend time with Jason - watching him work his magic on these fabulous speakers and teaching me so much about them and the Naim business. Absolutely fascinating.

Jason spent time initially checking each cabinet over to ensure that both plinths were correctly attached. Interestingly one of the leaf springs was fitted the wrong way round. This was nothing to do with the dealer I bought them from and it may have been like this since it left the factory originally. 

All screws were adjusted to the correct 3.6nm torque settings. The bass drivers were some way out - too loose. 

Another thing I observed was that Jason attached the tweeter assembly arms with the lower cabinets on their tummies rather than when standing on the spikes. He explained that this was only possible if fitting on a carpeted floor as otherwise the cabinet could be damaged but that this was the easier way to ensure the arms were correctly seated in the mounting brackets.

The cross overs solder points were checked and were all fine. An interesting thing was attaching the cross overs to the cabinets. Really only light contact is needed. 

Jason sited the speakers one at a time close up to the masonry wall with a fraction of toe in and spikes through the carpet. Before Jason came I decided to completely rearrange my office to ensure that this wall was available rather than the stud wall where my X2s stood. I also managed to set up the electronics well away from the SL2s utilising the 5m of NACA5.

Here is a picture of Jason's superb tweeter alignment

And to our previous discussion the tweeter set up which is identical to yours HH and others who kindly shared pictures of theirs

 

Here they are in final position

We fired up the system and listened to a couple of tracks. It's not often that I'm lost for words but I was. With a cold NAP250DR new NACA5 and the speakers having just been sited in their new home the system sounded like it never has before. The mid range and high frequency is sublime and the bass tight and controlled. Jason seemed really pleased to hear them sounding so good and in the hours since they are just getting better and better.

What Jason did here has cemented my loyalty to this fabulous brand. You very rarely get service like this these days. I knew that Naim was special but this goes above and beyond. They are certainly very lucky to have Jason in their organisation and I shall be forever grateful for his care and attention.

Kind regards to all.

That's brilliant, S3. And Jason is such a knowledgeable and friendly bloke. Naim are lucky to have him. I'm sure the fact that you and I both have our systems in a loft, with irregular walls etc, helps the SL2s to really give of their best. When my dealer visited to hear mine, he said he'd never heard SL2s sound so good before. They really are very special speakers.

Now just wait till you eventually go active. Then you'll be really amazed! Enjoy all the wonderful evenings of music ahead.

That's great news S3, and knowing where you were located I did rather hope that Jason might volunteer to sort your SL2s out - he's kept so busy but it's just the kind of helpful act above and beyond the call of duty for which he's well known. Jason's a fellow SL2 fan and there's nobody better to set them up.

Indeed Richard. Many thanks. I do feel incredibly privileged to have these wonderful speakers and to have had Jason set them up. I'm still pinching myself.

Thanks for all your and fellow forum members guidance and support with this. Quite an experience and certainly a fascinating one.

 

Well Jason certainly is! I hope Naim recognises that and appreciate what that kind of thing is worth in the long run. As a company it's been a strong point of theirs in the past but times change and it would be good for them to keep in mind the value this kind of thing brings to the brand.

This is not meant as a covert criticism. I really enjoyed a recent factory visit so keep it up Naim.

That's wonderful, and how handy that Jason lives nearby. He's a great guy - many years ago he changed the bass drivers on my SBLs in my living room and set up the speakers beautifully. 

I'm so pleased that you are now happy with the speakers. As you know, my system is exactly the same as yours, so I have a good idea what your setup will now sound like. I'm sure you are going to love it. 

Thanks Tony. Going active is certainly an option longer term; for now I'm just loving what the SL2s can do.

For the first time I found myself - at 1am - saying "ok one more track then you must go to bed".... about ten times!

One of the most fascinating things I leaned from Jason is that only 350 pairs were manufactured.

DBLs  - 149

SBLs - nearer 1000 I think he said which makes sense given their longer production run.

Hello,

How much are your SL2 s apart each other ? the right one also seems very close to the wall. When i owned these, now replaced by S600, were about 2,10m apart and 55/60 cm from adjacent walls but my impression was and still is, that are begging for more space to breath.

I recently placed my nSat on a wall 9m+ wide firing through a room depth of 4,5m and nver sounded this good 

Regards

Roberto

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