SL2

Hi Willy, just read that your renovating a pair of DBL's would love to know more about this.

Mine are in pretty good shape but any knowledge for any future repairs would be great!!

Do you have any thoughts on Evars NBL midrange cut outs, no body else responded. 

 

I have DBL's SL2's NBL's and Nsats, I obviously love naim speakers to bits but am saddened that they no longer service or supply many parts for them. My SL2s I purchased new and are pretty much perfect. The only issue with them is the foam inside the top box which is disintegrating. I got a pair of grills on naims last run but remember someone else saying that an American manufacturer who also does DBL grills is working on being able to supply SL2 grills also.

 

best regards,

 

Mario.

Hungryhalibut posted:
S3 posted:

Agree it's tricky to ascertain - from the photos on the site - the issue on one speaker that the seller mentions. Maybe he can send you a better picture.

In any event I'm sure it can be sorted. Go for it Clive! You won't regret it. They are very very special speakers....

David

Hmmm. You might regret if the mark on the front is untreatable and stares at you every time you look at the speakers. I suppose it depends on how important a pristine appearance is, but I wouldn't be too hasty. 

Yes, that sort of thing can be quite annoying and I don't really want to have begin by thinking about how to get a dinge repaired - pause for thought...

Clive

Mario posted:

Hi Willy, just read that your renovating a pair of DBL's would love to know more about this.

Mine are in pretty good shape but any knowledge for any future repairs would be great!!

Do you have any thoughts on Evars NBL midrange cut outs, no body else responded. 

 

I have DBL's SL2's NBL's and Nsats, I obviously love naim speakers to bits but am saddened that they no longer service or supply many parts for them. My SL2s I purchased new and are pretty much perfect. The only issue with them is the foam inside the top box which is disintegrating. I got a pair of grills on naims last run but remember someone else saying that an American manufacturer who also does DBL grills is working on being able to supply SL2 grills also.

 

best regards,

 

Mario.

Mario,

I picked up a pair of 1993 vintage DBLs in black. Several issues:

1) Cosmetically I'd rate them 7-8 out of 10. Not really an issue as they're in my home office and years ago I had black brics so I'm a dab hand at touching up the edges. Know a friend of a friend who does woodwork restoration so may pick his brains on best practice for "tarting" them up.

2) Bass driver surrounds are perished. One had a 3" section of the surround missing. At this precise moment in time they're in a van to be delivered to ATC for a recone. Had it not been for Jon Honeyball's recent thread on this I would have probably run a mile at seeing that.

3) Gaskets were in reasonable shape apart from where a crossover had been leaning on one due to poor packing. Thought I'd need replacements but after a few weeks the "notch" has bounced out again.

4) Aluminium pads on the bass box well used but not perforated. I've ordered replacements anyway.

5) The bottom of the HF/MF boxes are quite worn, grooves of 3+mm deep. Have procured Ronseal High Performance filler and i'll patch them.

6) Mid units were replace 3-4 years ago.  This is good as they're no longer available. 

7) HF units may have been replaced 5 years ago. Front faces are a bit gouged but they seemed to sound OK. Still available so unconcerned if I need to replace them.

8) HF mounting plates are different. One is gloss and one is a satin finish. Also they bulge a bit at the bottom. Will explore flattening, stripping and refinishing them or having new ones manufactured as they're apparently no longer available.

9) And now for the weird bit. A section has been cut out of the lower cross member of the upper box support bracket. No one seems to know why though I note that it makes it a lot easier to disconnect the cable from the back of the bass box whilst it's in situ. Maybe they were being moved a lot at some point and this would make it easier to remove the bass box without damaging the gasket/silicon seal? I don't believe it affects the structural integrity of the support (held to the L shaped cabinet by screws outboard the cuts). It can be repaired.

Needless to say item 9 allowed me to negotiate a favourable price.

I'll do some more posts with photos as I work through the repairs.

Willy.

Hi Willy,

 

thanks for taking the time to post, really enjoyed reading the details of the restoration. Pics when you are doing it would be of great interest to me. Have to say that I really like seeing these wonderful designs brought back to their former glory, they are such good speakers that communicate music so well. Not many designs today have that certain magic, they all just sound too shinny and try too hard to grab your attention.

 

So good that ATC can referbish one of the main things that can go wrong over time.

Will you staple the aluminium pads? just sticking them down probably won't do as any indentation will probably cause them to unstick. Naim usually also supply the stapples but finding the correct stapler is the trick. I have seen someone screw in some very small button head screws, 2 per pad, and that seems to work very well.

The mids seem to be quite robust if one takes care, I believe that music can be played quite loudly before they show any kind of strain, only issue is the cut out looking a little less flat as time goes on. 

I think the gouges on the scanspeak tweeter is just a foam sticker that can be removed and a new one stuck on. I need to this with an Axess  center speaker and have a spare sticker waiting. They only cost a couple of bucks each. The tweeter has to be removed form its springy mounting plate first.

 

I'm sure any metal fabricator could order the same box section, weld and grind back the repaired support bracket and have it ready for powder coating. I doubt that it would be affecting the sound, who knows, may be decoupling the box even more, at least you can get it done if you want to.

 

Best with it all.

 

Regards,

 

Mario.

Mario,

 

Hadn't realised that the foam on the front of the tweeters could be replaced. Useful to know. Must source myself a pair of "stickers".

When replacing the aluminium pads I'd look to stapling them. I have a compressor so I'd buy a suitable pneumatic upholstery stapler. Had a look and can get a reputable brand for about 50 quid. The friend who has "borrowed" my SL2s used little tacks to secure the pads on his SBLs having failed with several spring loaded staplers.

The cross members of the upper box support are a flat section mild steel. They are slightly bowed and then damping material is used behind them so they don't rattle against the cabinet. I have a "tame" car restoration guy locally who could form a bar to the correct curve, cut a section of the right size and TIG weld it into the gap. His repair would be visually indistinguishable from the original.  I don't think that the gap would have any (significant) effect on sound quality though for the sake of completeness I'll eventually get around to doing it. 

Forgot to mention that the DBLs came with nearly new USA sourced grills. Not sure how they compare to the originals (as I've never seen them up close). They're cut from a fairly soft foam and then the exposed surfaces have been spray painted black giving them a rigid surface. They look the part but I'll be interested to do the on/off comparison in the fullness of time.

Regards,

 

Willy.

well, today, a much anticipated package arrived:

with some goodies....

the old ones were really on their last legs:

i actually swept off some bits of the old foam last night -- and you can see some more gathering already...

So now the new ones are on -- and don't they look great?!

Thanks to the guys at TomTom Audio - now my SL2s have a 'new lease of life'. And no more sweeping off the bits everyday!!

enjoy...

ken

Mario posted:

Hi Willy, just sent you an email with details of who sell the foam tweeter stickers, though they probably could be found cheaper locally for you.

 

Regards

Mario.

Mario,

Got a pair in the post yesterday. Expecting reconed bass drivers back from ATC tomorrow. Still a few more bits to source but I'm getting there.

Willy.

S3 posted:

Great Ken. I assume those were one of the last original pairs TT bought up from Naim in 2009? I had one of those pairs a couple of weeks back and agree they look amazing!

Yes. Thanks for getting me on to this S3. Mine were beginning to look rather 'desperate'

enjoy...

ken

I used to gently wash my SBL grilles in the sink with very dilute fairy liquid, then a warm rinse with water. Do not hang on the washing line full of water, as they will distort. Pat dry with kitchen paper, and patiently air dry, in a horizontal position. Best of luck, mine were done from new? To keep the boss happy.

looking at one of the photos i took today, i notice that the wood is looking somewhat "washed". does anyone know how to bring the natural 'wood' cherry finish back?

not important for sound of course... (or?...)

you can see bits of the now replaced grill - hopefully i have seen the end of that now...

enjoy...

ken

trickydickie posted:

Restor-A-Finish from Just Pudding Basins is very good, I used it recently on our oak sideboard which had faded in the conservatory and it transformed it.  The seller is very helpful, it's worth a phone call and sending them some pictures.

Richard

Thanks Richard. One has to careful in 'treating' wood -- use of inappropriate substance may in fact make things worse. so it will be good to at least talk to guys @Restor-A-Finish...

enjoy...

ken

 

trickydickie posted:

Restor-A-Finish from Just Pudding Basins is very good, I used it recently on our oak sideboard which had faded in the conservatory and it transformed it.  The seller is very helpful, it's worth a phone call and sending them some pictures.

Richard

I guess you would need to know what the existing finish is, which Naim could presumably advise on. Modern synthetic finishes such as Polyurethane varnish are usually difficult to restore without a full strip down and refinishing.

S3 posted:

Ken, if you buy some of that HG product that Gazza has recommended do post some pictures if it makes a difference to the appearance of your SL2 cabinets. I'd be very interested to see if it works.

Best

David

Yes, i will. But i need to tread carefully here -- just in case i ruin my speakers. i will ask Naim Audio what they recommend. Richard Dane, i you already know, please advise. My SL2s are cherry.

enjoy

ken

As my grilles weren't crumbly, but just a bit sad and grey looking, I decided to give them a bath yesterday - something I've never plucked up sufficient courage to do previously. They were really hard to get dry, as some parts are rather thick, but they are now really black and look good as new. Hopefully that means I won't need new ones for a while. 

ken c posted:
S3 posted:

Ken, if you buy some of that HG product that Gazza has recommended do post some pictures if it makes a difference to the appearance of your SL2 cabinets. I'd be very interested to see if it works.

Best

David

Yes, i will. But i need to tread carefully here -- just in case i ruin my speakers. i will ask Naim Audio what they recommend. Richard Dane, i you already know, please advise. My SL2s are cherry.

enjoy

ken

Ken,

Hopefully you can let us know what they say.

regards,

Willy.

Willy posted:
ken c posted:
S3 posted:

Ken, if you buy some of that HG product that Gazza has recommended do post some pictures if it makes a difference to the appearance of your SL2 cabinets. I'd be very interested to see if it works.

Best

David

Yes, i will. But i need to tread carefully here -- just in case i ruin my speakers. i will ask Naim Audio what they recommend. Richard Dane, i you already know, please advise. My SL2s are cherry.

enjoy

ken

Ken,

Hopefully you can let us know what they say.

regards,

Willy.

yes, will do S3...

enjoy...

ken

Hungryhalibut posted:

As my grilles weren't crumbly, but just a bit sad and grey looking, I decided to give them a bath yesterday - something I've never plucked up sufficient courage to do previously. They were really hard to get dry, as some parts are rather thick, but they are now really black and look good as new. Hopefully that means I won't need new ones for a while. 

i like the apt description "crumbly"!

are they 'inky-black'  after the wash?

anyhow -- well done!

enjoy...

ken

 

 

I've used Restor-A-Finish to great effect on water marked & general wear & tear furniture.   It looks to be much the same as HG Meubeline,  but Restor-A-Finish is all have experience of.    It's remarkably easy to use,  available in nine colour (wood) & tone blends, (I advise to go one stop lighter if in doubt).   If you web search there are video's to give you an idea of how it works.

ken c posted:
Hungryhalibut posted:

As my grilles weren't crumbly, but just a bit sad and grey looking, I decided to give them a bath yesterday - something I've never plucked up sufficient courage to do previously. They were really hard to get dry, as some parts are rather thick, but they are now really black and look good as new. Hopefully that means I won't need new ones for a while. 

i like the apt description "crumbly"!

are they 'inky-black'  after the wash?

anyhow -- well done!

enjoy...

ken

 

 

I think they probably are inky black. They certainly look miles better than before. It took ages to get them dry though, and I had to resort to using a fan in the end. Well worth it though. 

Mike-B posted:

I've used Restor-A-Finish to great effect on water marked & general wear & tear furniture.   It looks to be much the same as HG Meubeline,  but Restor-A-Finish is all have experience of.    It's remarkably easy to use,  available in nine colour (wood) & tone blends, (I advise to go one stop lighter if in doubt).   If you web search there are video's to give you an idea of how it works.

Thanks Mike-B, i have mailed Naim Audio for advice on this, to be on the safe side. I will wait to hear what they advise.

enjoy

ken

I promised to report here the response from Naim Audio regarding SL2 wood restoration. Here is my message:

Hi,

We have been discussing on the Naim forum "SL2" thread how to restore the wood on this speaker.

The cherry wood on mine is looking quite 'tired' (as you can see from attached photo) -- Richard Dane advised that I seek advice from Naim Audio how to restore this.

In fact, it turns out there is general interest in this anyhow, so I will post your response on the forum, or you can simply reply to the thread directly anyhow if convenient.

 And here is the response from Steven Hopkins:

Hi Ken

All our loudspeakers are real wood veneer on Plywood in the case of Ovator or High Density Fibre board for other loudspeakers, they have a light polyurethane varnish and are the natural colour of the veneer. All furniture or wood cabinet suppliers will tell you it's impossible to move a heavy wood cabinet without a blemish and to this end they all employ French Polishers or joiners. When we were producing loudspeakers, our production staff could attend to such accidental blemishes but if they deemed the cabinets to have a major defect then we returned them to the cabinet manufacturer. Your loudspeakers are in need of a large amount of work and I would recommend you look for a good local Polisher to uplift your units and re finish them

 Regards

 Steven Hopkins

Many thanks to Steven. Now i need to think of a way forward --

enjoy

ken

ken c posted:

Many thanks to Steven. Now i need to think of a way forward --

 

I refer my honourable friend to my previous answer;  if the wood is just aged, tired, discoloured, faded & lost its luster,  the HG Meubeline or Restor-A-Finish treatment is all thats needed,  and truth be told its probably what a 'furniture restorer' will use anyhow.  French polishing is for solid wood,  not veneered speakers

Mike-B posted:
ken c posted:

Many thanks to Steven. Now i need to think of a way forward --

 

I refer my honourable friend to my previous answer;  if the wood is just aged, tired, discoloured, faded & lost its luster,  the HG Meubeline or Restor-A-Finish treatment is all thats needed,  and truth be told its probably what a 'furniture restorer' will use anyhow.  French polishing is for solid wood,  not veneered speakers

My honourable friend's latest and previous suggestions are noted, with thanks... 

enjoy...

ken

trickydickie posted:

Can you try some restor-a-finish or similar on the back of the speaker maybe, best not to get stuck in on a part that is highly visible!

Good suggestion ... thanks...

They are sounding fantastic right now -- so am a bit reluctant to start  this exercise -- but we'll see...

enjoy...

ken

Well, I've joined the club! I didn't get the speakers that S3 alerted me to. I hesitated because I would have needed to drive a long way to see what the mark amounted to and this coincided with my aunt having some medical problems that she needed help with so I was driving south rather than north. However, I think as a result of this thread, I was contacted by someone who wanted to sell their cherry SL2s (2007) and I picked them up on Sunday. I have got them working but I think only at about 85% correctly installed. I need to cut a slit in the carpet to get the spikes onto the solid floor and I want to check the positioning first before I do that - of course that's a bit chicken and egg, but my starting point is the same position as the SBLs. I also wanted to make sure the cross-overs were working as the previous owner was using them active. I'm assuming there might be some warm up time for the crossovers. Anyhow they sound excellent already and will no doubt improve when finally sited. Richard's advice and all the comments here are very helpful.

The cabinets are very good but could do with some minor attention in a few places. For example there's some slight fading on the tops. However, I take it from the reply that Ken got, that given the varnish finish, polishing is pointless. Did anyone try any of the suggested treatments?

Photos to come when set-up completed.

Clive

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