Active system

Thinking to add nap 300dr(500 cannot afford) supercup,naxo to my Nd555/2x555/552/500dr Sl2s going for active…I need your experience from those who did the same step,need your impression

Interesting question.

The current SNAXOS I believe allow a pair of different power amps whereas my old SBL NAXO for example needs the same pair of amps. (edit not PAXO!)

Counterintuitively perhaps I seem to recall previous discussions suggested that the better power amp should power the high-end drivers rather than mid/bass.

Where r the big system guys to describe me their first impression upgrading from passive v.s active …thank you?

Maybe they went straight for active, I did.

I went active as soon as I could afford it, which was when I bought SBLs and 135s.
I saved up for it over 10 years, but once I heard an active Naim system I was hooked (this was back in the old Sound Organisation days in the 1980’s). Have things changed in the thirty subsequent years? I don’t know but I still like the active sound.


I also had active system in the past cds3/52/2x250 sbl for many years but now it`s completely changed, i remember the sound was much better upgrading from passive to active

I’ve have an active system. Changed from passive last year. 2 x 250DR / SNAXO 242 / Kudos Titan 606. The SNAXO was specifically designed for the 606s and cost a little bit extra.

Big difference in sound, basically opened up the soundstage and controlled the bass better.

All I can say, is go for it.

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@PeterR had an active system with SL2s and 300/500 for a while. If he sees this he might be able to share his experience.

Aktiv Isobariks
Active SBLs
Active Meridian M2, M3, M20, DSP5000

all sound pretty damn fine…

I assume you mean “SBL NAXO”. If so then you are correct, olive NAXO and SNAXO are split left-right into a pair of, say 250s. Black SNAXO are split high-low into that same pair of 250s.

Of course, if you have 135s then all bets are off… :smiley:


Soundstage and controlled the bass better that`s exactly what i remember was in my system before 8 years ago

I`ll wait for PeterR reaction


I’ve been active for over 16 years in varying combinations
To your original post, I’ve no experience of the 300 but have done a degree of wonky active as I progressed from 135’s to 3 500’s and in my experience your ears are very much drawn to the driver served by the better amp
Also from reading the pages here I’m led to believe the 300 has quite a different character to the 500 and 135’s
In your shoes I’d be looking at a S/H 500 the 300 wouldn’t be on my radar


I’ve done wonky on my SBLs - Nap250 on the trebles and Meridian 103D on the mid-basses. I also tried them the other way round but it did sound “better” with the amps as noted above.

Then I bought another 250 :smiley:

Although not obvious the 500 may be better on the tweeter, need to swap around…and listen for your own ears.


The best amp on the treble is the conventional wisdom
I went the other way round, first with cables then amps
At one point I swapped 500DR from the mid to tweeter with 500, all that did was to expose just how much detail I was missing on the tweeter had the f*%k has the mid gone
I would advise against that and bear in mind this was 500 DR against 500, it will be a much much bigger difference to a 300



Thank you Nigel, I’ll reluctantly pick up the poisoned challis :woozy_face:

Hi Meni.
The photo above is from our previous home, and my system as you see it was ‘ Wonky active’ a phrase I actually think got invented during discussions on this Forum probably now 8 years ago from memory.
I think looking at the stacks on show, the first question you need to ask yourself is: “ Do I really ( I mean REALLY) want this??..“
This goes back to the days before DR and maybe now the 300DR/500DR are a better sonic match than in those days. Can’t help much judging the match of sound now, as I have never had a chance to listen to a 300 DR.
I was running the 500 on the tweeters and the 300 ( at the time a leaner sonic character in comparison) on the mid/bass driver. Bear in mind that my journey was coming from already running 2x300s active and adding a 500 ie replacing a 300. TBH at the time I found it an uplift, but unfortunately my audio memory has faded and hence not enabling me to describe differences in detail. What I do remember is the banter we had on the Forum at the time though :partying_face:.
The best witness of my system was Frank Abela, a man whose opinion I had the utmost respect for and I’m sure many people here still remember his knowledge sharing on the Forum always sprinkled with warmth and gentle humour. I liked Frank a lot…life is bloody unfair!
Anyhow, he was of the stern opinion, that a single 500 passive could ONLY be bettered by 2x500s active ie not ‘wonky’.
In the end I got fed up with the box count and the forever fretting over cable dressing, but even more so variable mains voltage, which would very easily negatively affect an active system. Quite frankly I found it such a faff, that I would never go back to ‘active’ again. In other words I look upon it as a part of life’s rich Hifi tapestry and in my case learned my lesson.
I happily went back to passive 500 into my SL2s, which I then later sold as asking them to fire into the long way of the room after a move around simply became too big an ask for them. They are fabulous speakers in the right environment.
So asking me in hindsight, would I do it again I’m afraid it would be a NO from me. Lots of people here are running active systems and enjoy them, maybe I am simply too OCD about system performance in general, cable dressing etc.
I suspect if you are living in the Middle East mains quality could easily be your biggest challenge.
Above may not be what you want to hear, but hey my 2 Pence worth nevertheless :+1:t3: All the best Peter


Thanks Peter. I remember your system looking like that very well. Meni has mentioned a few times unhappiness with the sound of his system. Various pieces of advice have been given but to my knowledge none have been followed. I’m not convinced that going active in order to fix dissatisfaction with a passive setup is a good idea. In my opinion the passive setup should be working fantastically first, then active could be the icing on the cake. But if the cake doesn’t already taste good, that should be fixed first. Throwing boxes and money at the problem is rarely a good idea. But, given that Meni rarely takes notice of any advice, it probably doesn’t matter what any of us say anyway.



:small_blue_diamond:Meni…I share opinion with Lyndon,.always try to have the same power-amplifiers.

2x300,2x500 etc,.this to achieve the best musical results.
If you don’t have that option,.you should have your best power-amp on the treble.