Active Isobarik vs Active Ovator S600

Does anyone have experience of this move? DB I believe went this route. I’m considering it and would appreciate any insights regarding relative strengths and weaknesses of the two options. Currently using Active Isobariks with Snaxo 362/SCDR and 3 x NAP 250DR. Floor is solid with laminate. One concern I have is regarding placement against the rear wall. The fact that Isobariks work best when close to the back wall has always been an advantage on the domestic front. I could probably get away with having S600s a bit further into the room but anything over 300mm would definitely not go down well.

Never choose a speaker on the basis that it is available in active form. I know yoy are coming from active so this ud your furst reaction but honestly, you have to prefer a speajer passive first and then active (if available) is a cherry on top.

If you prefer Ovator S600 over other options you heard passive, then fantastic. But if you filtered out passive only options you are self limiting.

I’ve heard modern passives that sound better than top end triamped active systens from the 90s. I would go active if I could, but the speakers I like these days are passive only.

Fair point @feeling_zen. Two thoughts though; firstly, if I heard Isobariks passive for the first time today they certainly would not be on my wish list, far too slow and ponderous. Active, they are very different, retaining the scale and sound they are famous for whilst adding speed and clarity in abundance and are totally transformed. Secondly, speakers are horrendously expensive and divisive items that react differently in different rooms and require long home demonstration to ensure the right decision is made. For a speaker that is now out of production that’s not really an option. If a good deal comes up on the pre loved market then it can be a relatively inexpensive option to purchase, use, and then either keep or sell on as long as your original speakers are retained. That’s what i’m looking at.

Why not get some DBLs. While large, they sit against the wall.

Would love to have DBLs. But they’re not exactly common, at least not in good condition. And they have a domestic veto in place.

How about SL2s and lose a power amp?

If I could find a pair I’d definitely consider that. Lovely looking speakers. Would definitely pass the domestic test.

:small_blue_diamond:@marksnaim,…Without being rude,.but I have written about this to you earlier.

Remove the large piece of furniture that you have between your Isobarik.
Everything can be solved if you are a bit creative.
Put in a half so large and more open furniture instead,.if you have to have something between your Isobarik.

Then you give your Isobarik the opportunity,.to play together in the room in a different way.
As they are placed now,.you have not heard how they can play in your room.
And then also put your TV on the wall instead,.then you increase the ability of your Isobarik to take support of the back wall,…that they are supposed to do.

Another thing…
What first gets worse on a pair of speakers is the treble.
I don’t know why you want to replace these amazing speakers,.but they age like everything else.
Therefore,.it can be an idea to give them a service,.and then the treble is the first thing you should look at.
There are firms in the UK specializing in Isobarik,.and new tweeters make a huge difference.

After so many years,.if you have not already done so…So it is probably time to give your Snaxo 362/SCDR a service,recapp.
It will be an incredibly big difference in soundquality after a service on your Snaxo 362/SCDR.

This above is just a suggestion for a way to go,.I personally would never replace my Isobarik,and certainly not against a couple of 600.
And in your case,.you have not had a completely optimal installation for your Isobarik.
So besides the other things I have written about,.you can take out more soundquality even with optimizing the installation.

Good luck,.Whichever way you take.


Now, you know I’m on the sideline soaking up information! Why on the sideline.

Because, the only Active Systems I heard been Linn systems and my own!

Ok, I will shut up, an enjoy the thread!

Thanks Marksnaim, I was bored!

:small_blue_diamond:@Allante93,…If I remember correctly,.sure you had active Isobarik with Linn-electronics.?

There is no fundamental difference in installation on a pair of Isobarik,.whether you use Linn or Naim-amps.
But Linns active filters and Dirak to Isobarik need to get a service,.they are very old.

I do not know whether Class A,.or any other firm in England is doing it.
We have such luck in Sweden,.that a friend of mine is Sweden’s best expert in service and recapp at Linn-electronics.

It’s unbelievable to hear a Linn Klout-amp before and after a total service,.not to mention a Linn Kairn.
So Allante93,.do you have a Linn active filter with Dirak,.so you have to give it a service.

Back to topic…

I’ve long given up on my ex Linn System, when my Linn Crossover with bingo card went out!

LP 12/Ghenki> Kairn>Linn XO>Dirack> 3 x LK 280s>Briks

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I’m not sure if I was clear enough previously so I’ll try again, and likewise I do not take any offence nor wish to cause any.

The furniture stays, it is non negotiable and was chosen by my wife as she does not like TV’s hung on the wall. If the room, furniture or any other domestic constraint compromises the sound quality then that is something I am more than content to live with. Our house is first and foremost our home, obtaining optimum sound quality cannot take precedence over that.

The Mid range and treble units of my Isobariks were replaced by modern equivalent units by a well respected refurbisher of Isobariks and they are performing well. In fact I have no complaints at all with the sound they produce. However the cabinets are not in great condition and have been resprayed black. This is one reason for considering a change, purely for cosmetic reasons.

The Snaxo is less than 3 years old and the SCDR is less than 7 years old, so no need for servicing on either item. Again, I do not feel there is a sound quality issue.

As I stated, I am interested in the relative merits of the two systems, I wouldn’t sell my Isobariks unless I were absolutely convinced a replacement was enhancing my musical enjoyment. Buying second hand and using them at home can be a reasonably inexpensive way of exploring different equipment. Especially important with speakers I feel. All that being said, I do have a longstanding attachment to Isobariks, this is my third pair in over 30 years of on/off ownership. The other option is swapping these Briks for a refurbished pair with upgraded drivers in as new condition. I have spoke to the person who refurbished this pair and have a range of price options which I am also considering.

I hope that clarifies my position. Thank you for your interest.


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This is Now! Waiting on SCDR & Snaxo 362!

No hurry Passive Tri-Amps Briks ain’t Bad, notice how I elected to keep the same Nac A4/Linn K 20 consistent throughout my system:

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After selling my LP 12 about 3 years ago, I’m focusing on my Family-Room (FR) and the French Rooster! Streaming Audio has been very helpful. I now the difference between routers and switches.

And to my surprise, my Airport Extreme is actually an router combined with 3 switches that can be hard wired directly to my FR.

I miss not being able to utilize my SACDs. Thinking about an Arcam CDS20!

MM>Airport Extreme>Airport Express>Emotiva DAC>Audioquest XLR>Primare Pre 30>XLR>
Arcam P1 Mono Blocks>Vienna Acoustic Baby Grands.


Just out of interest, how does this help the OP or add to the debate?

I have some experience of the particular group of speakers being discussed and maybe able to offer some comments?

I know that the Ovator S600 can generate some controversy but I’ve heard them twice. First on a full statement system in a domestic setting, which I thought blew my DBL’s clean away.

Then recently a friend purchased a lovely pair of lightly used passive S600 while he was having some problems with his Quad electrostatics. The were run on a full CD555/552/500 system and produced some astonishing results. In fact we played some Pink Floyd tracks that were simply magical - and I’ve heard them hundreds of times on my system but never this good.

On the flip-side my friend could not live without his electrostatics, and subsequently passed them onto his son who’s now enjoying what the 600’s bring to his system. Interestingly, when auditioning the S600’s against the Quads I found myself divided on what was best. I’d say it was pretty much a 50% split depending on what type of music was played.

I should also add that I’ve owned passive and active Isobariks for around 25 years before moving to a passive DBL/500 system.

I hope this helps?


Thanks Geko. Very interesting and to the point.

I’ve had many active Isobarik systems , passive I simply could not live with them . I also had Ovator S600 for about a year but only passive unfortunately. Let’s be clear Ovator does Bass that an Isobarik could never dream of. Whether the rest of the range would be to your liking is debatable . But I think the potential active with S600 could be superb .

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Some things are unpredictable!

That’s why I’m on the sidelines!

But as anyone can plainly see, I was responding to a member who reached out: @ allante!

And sharing some pictures that support my experience with Active Linn Briks!

But on tbe sidelines, because I can’t compare that which I haven’t heard:

Active Ovators!

PS. English isn’t my strong suit!
Please forgive my grammar and spelling!

Hope I didn’t offend anyone!

Not at all Allante :slight_smile:

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