Active SL2 system: Which speaker for better NAP power


I’m sure this has been raised before but can’t seem to find the relevant thread.

I’m running active SL2s powered by two 250.2 through a new version SNAXO.

I’d like to upgrade the power amps but perhaps one at a time to e.g. 300s.

If so, which makes more sense to use the 300 on and which should remain with the 250.2 for the time being?

I realise it’s relatively easy to swap them over and have a listen either way, but I just thought a bit of others’ experience might be useful.

Thanks in advance.


Seems like the consistent advice over the years is to use the higher end amps on the tweeters

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The argument for the better amp on the top end is because that is where their clarity is most audible. However it depends also on what is the limiting factor at present. If it is bass control, then having the more capable amp on the bass unit would likely make the most effective improvement. That is also appropriate from the pure power handling point of view because more electrical energy is needed to move the lower frequency speaker drivers to create the same SPL.

With the likes of ATC and PMC active speakers the more powerful amps go on bass (and 3-way speakers it is progressively more powerful from treble to mid to bass. But they tend to be more powerful amps of the same character and quality, whereas in the Naim range the amps are also better across the frequency range - and my guess is that the SL doesn’t suffer bass control with the 250, so in that example the better amp on the top end is probably what would give the most evident improvement, as indeed I believe is the official Naim advice.

Hi Ewen.

What’s the rest of your system? ATB Peter

:small_blue_diamond:@ewencummins,…Hi,.I have been using active-systems since the early 1990s,both Naim and Linn.
As well as installed many active-systems to others,.also on behalf of Naim and Linn retailers.

• And as Naim and Linn recommend,.always have the best amp on the treble…ALWAYS.!!!

Because if you prioritize Musicality instead of Sound,.you should connect your Nac as above.

Also keep in mind,.that no electronics of the same model sound EXACTLY the same.
It’s always a difference,.usually very,very,very small,but still a difference.
So try which of your two Nac 250.2 that sounds best,.and put it on the treble.

:small_orange_diamond:When you test this,.then be sure to change the order of your powercables in your powerstrip.
If you don’t,.you’re going to get the wrong test-results.
I took a photo,.so you can easily see how your powercables should sit in your powerstrip,for best musical results…see below…

This result applies on our electricity-grid in Sweden.
If you are from the UK,.you have a slightly different electricity-system there.
But this in the picture above,.is the best way to connect its music-system in Sweden.

If you look at the picture above,.and as an example use three power-amps.
If you let the midrange powercable remain,.and change the order of the treble and bass powercable in your powerstrip.
Yes then your system will sound worse,.there will be more Sound and less Musicality.

Hope you understand some of my explanation😎.


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I do believe it’s working, good…

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Upgrade to SBLs for a start.


Ouch! That hurt…


Partly sarcasm sir, but i doooo still love our SBLs :sunglasses: and yes i know SL2s also


In fact, just love Naim really!

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Unlike @Xanthe, power amp design is not an area in which I have particularly specialist knowledge, however it strikes me that if the amps are identical apart from, say, additional parallel output transistors in the higher power versions, then the sound character will be very similar, and, if I understand Naim’s explanation correctly, the paralleled transistors is actually likely to have a negative effect on sound quality, just while they add the extra drive power and possibly greater driver control.

I have no idea whether the amps used by the likes of ATC and PMC are as simply different as that, but that way round is what those two specialist manufacturers do - and certainly in my experience with active tri-amping of my own speakers the bass drivers do benefit noticeably from the extra power reserve, and I would not want the lesser amps on the bass.

But as I said in my earlier post, which way round is most beneficial will depend on where lies the limiting factor to sound quality, which will depend on the speakers as well as the amps, and for the SLs I think the Naim recommended way with Naim amps is indeed likely to be the appropriate way.

Hi Guys,

Thanks for the replies. I’ll probably have a play about but then leave it as recommended for a while with the better NAP on the treble.

And I love my SL2s - very fetching in Rosewood - so I won’t be regressing to SBLs, or progressing to DBLs come to that.



It’s so easy to swap thing around, so best to try for yourself, but if you don’t find the better amp works best on the tweeters I’ll eat my DBLs.

Or just get a 500DR & go passive.

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Going passive with a single 500 DR was also, what I was going to suggest Tony. Skip all the interim expensive permutations, just make sure that the passive Xovers are up to spec. ATB Peter

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Apart from the socket outlet types in the power strip (in your picture they are Type F as used in Mainland Europe & Russia) it will be the same in UK, Sweden, the same everywhere in fact.
The picture is a typical low cost power strip with the sockets connected with internal links (sometimes called a daisy chain, but in the electrical world its a buss bar) And per your post its assumed the ‘first’ socket in the link chain has the ‘best’ power & is less affected by the influence of the other outlets
… OK, not arguing over that, but YMMV

The audio & AV market has some higher quality power outlet boards that connect each of the individual outlet sockets in radial, frequently called star, this in theory will not give any one of the outlets a positional advantage over the others. There are a lot of different brands & I can’t list them all, but MusicWorks is rated highly on the forum.
Power Socket Connections

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Upgrade to SBLs from SL2s? What an odd suggestion. The SL2s were designed to be a considerable improvement on the SBLs and from experience, I know that they are.

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:small_blue_diamond:Mike-B,…Hi,.thanks for the explanation how the electrical-grid looks like in other countries,you know much more about that.

But what I meant by the difference between UK and Sweden is…
And as usual,.it may not mean anything in theory,but can have a impact in practice.

• You in the UK have fuses in your plugs on your powercables,.we don’t.

• You in the UK often have one phase in your homes,.except in larger houses where you have three phases.
This I have read in another thread,.hope that I perceived it right.

• Since we have three phases in our homes,.so when we install dedicated mains,we do so from the phase that is least burdened.

• With three phases,.we can then choose the phase where we do not have our fridge and freezer-cabinet.
The electric circulation-pump to the heating system etc,etc.

This is,.among other things,what I mean when I wrote that our electrical-grids look a little different.

:small_blue_diamond:Of course,.I just took an empty simple powerstrip that I had lying,to easily be able to illustrate what I mean.
A picture says more than a thousand words :wink:

:small_blue_diamond:Mike-B,…I agree with this,.but despite this,we have in practice in Sweden,.in our electrical-grids.
Get that effect I write about,.and illustrates with an image in my first post in this thread.
At least in the systems I have installed.

:small_blue_diamond:Mike_B,…I agree with this too,and the powerstrip that you recommend is a good and relatively cheap solution.
Then,.both you and I have manufactured our own powerstrip,if you have that opportunity,.so you can get a very good powerstrip relatively cheaply.

Therefore,.interesting and good,that you put in an electrical-drawing of how different solutions might look.

Here in the picture above,.you see the Furutech sockets I use in my powerstrip.
Because I manufacture it myself,.so I can use Furutech’s best sockets,and still get a relatively “cheap” powerstrip.
Now I use their NCF-model,.it’s not sure that this NCF-model fits in all systems.

As usual,.it’s…Try it…Better or Worse,or just different who still applies.


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I know I am in a significant minority but I prefer SBLs. I did the dem having cleared the finances but left without them. They are what I would buy though if SBLs were suddenly extinct…

I suppose another query for the future is (having the gubbins for going active) whether, having bought a 500dr, this would be better passively powering sl2s completely or better on the tweeters in an active system with nap??? on the bass: what the minimum nap??? on the bass would need to be for active to be better than a single passive 500dr and if the gains are marginal or enormous. Assume el lotto and 552dr pre…

Anyone any experience?

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Hi evencummins.
I was running 2x300s ( before DR) into SL2s for 8 years. Got an itch and then ran a 500 on the tweeters and a 300 on the bass/mis driver. There was at the time a lot of chatter in this god forsaken place on the subject of ‘ wonky active’ and great fun it was too.
In the end after a good chat with Frank Abela ( very sadly not with us anymore, a lovely man he was), I decided to simplify my system and go passive 500 ( now DR and recently serviced). From what I have learned from this is, that I would have a 500 serviced/ DRed, go passive with maybe some new SL 2 Xovers and spend your money that way. I haven’t looked back TBH. Good luck Peter

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