Active with non-Naim speakers

Curious, any special considerations to be made for going Active with non-Naim speakers?

The main consideration here is the active crossover, and in the context of going active with Naim amps that means either IXO, NAXO or SNAXO, and whether their crossover points work for the speakers you are using.

Next consideration is whether the speakers you want to use can be “activated”. In most cases both considerations narrow the choice to either Naim or Linn speakers with one or two others a possibility.

Have a read through the Active thread in the forum FAQ. Lots of extra info in there for you.

Or do you mean getting active speakers, so the power amps effectively part of the speakers?

Going thru the FAQ now…

I am interested in learning how to use two amps to drive my two speakers instead of one amp… That was what I meant with “active”.


Which speakers do you have?

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Sonus Faber Amati Futura

I have seen a pic of those speakers showing they have two pairs of terminals, high and low, so one option is to remove the links and feed that way, known as passive bi-amping. But that is not active driving, and doesn’t have tha same potential benefits.

Driving those speakers active, i.e. the power amps directly controlling the cones with no crossover between, an active crossover between pre and power amps, will not be straightfirward - for a start they are 3-way, so for full active you need to tri-amp, though with 2 amps you could still drive the bass direct, and just have a crossover splitting mid and treble. And added complexity is that I understand one of the bass drivers rolls off differently from the other, so if you want to retain that characteristic then there would still be some element of filtering in line with at least one driver.

If in awareness of that you are still interested in pursuing active driving, perhaps the first thing to do is find out if the internal crossover can be removed: you could try unscrewing the plate that the terminals are on: the crossover might be attached to the back of it, or accessible through the hole.

Finding a good active crossover is paramount. A Naim one won’t be available for most speakers. Though this isn’t a deal breaker. Bryston make both analog and digital crossovers and you would insert one between power supply and NAP. In the case of 3-way speakers, you’d need two of that brand’s crossovers each used in mono mode.

As any analog active crossover, Naim or otherwise, acts on a signal already normalised by a Naim preamp, it won’t fundamentally change the input signal to the NAP away from expected Naim parameters. The same should be true of a high quality digital one too but I don’t know how far I’d trust a redundant ADC/DAC conversion to not introduce noise outside of the range a NAP expects.

Years ago I had the Extremas. They improved massively with passively biamping using 4xNAP135s.
Just for fun (because, I could…although I knew it would be a failure)…I split the signal actively using a Snaxo2-4 and then sent that divided signal to the appropriate drivers via the built in passive crossover…basically putting two crossovers in series with each other. Needless to say it gave a bizarre sucked out sound, and was disconnected in short order.

Correct, the speakers are fitted with two pairs of binding posts (terminals), I read that Naim is not in favor of “bi-wiring” and I personally doubt the usefulness of that approach… I guess best option is to leave things as they are… Thanks for all the feedback… this forum is great…

I will research more about the passive biamping benefits versus cost… With my NAP500 it is clearly not going to offer that much improvement to justify the cost of adding another amp…


Biwiring makes a small positive difference in my experience.

It’s more bi amping than active. How to drive two amps on the speakers.

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