Boring Speaker Question

I am in the market for a pair of speakers to replace my Focal 1008Be now sold which initially loved then became tiresome due to brightness and glare,

Looking for a speaker around £3000 for all music types. dealer leaning me towards Neat Ekstra or Spendor A7 (Bit on the high price side). Looking for musicality and natural sound over clinical.

They need to be positioned within 200mm from a rear wall. Room 22 feet by 11 feet firing across the narrow side. Perfect listening triangle achievable if required.

I have a demo booked for Wednesday followed by a home dem for the speaker I prefer. Any heads up with either of these I need to be aware of.

System is:-
|Naim|CDX 2|CD Player|

|Naim|XPS2|Power Supply|


|Naim|Nap200|Power Amp|

|Naim|Napsc|Power Supply|

|Naim|Hi Line|Interconnect|

|Naim|Hicap 2|Power Supply|

|Naim|Flatcap|Power Supply|

|Naim|Stage Line|Power Supply|

|Naim|PowerLine|Mains Cable|


|Linn |Akito|Arm|


|Chord|Signature|Speaker Cable 10 meters|

I can’t answer your question, however assuming you listened and liked them in the dealer’s demo room then you’re trying to see which works best with your room. Is your listening position right up against the wall? If so you’ll find it sounds better if you can pull forward 2 or 3 feet, or otherwise fit a good absorbent panel across the wall behind you. The effect of proximity of speakers to the wall varies in part according to the specific speaker, and partly the room - you just need to be prepared to play.

I liked the Ekstra when I heard them briefly at my local hifi dealer. I’d be a little cautious though, given they are rear ported and you want them close to the wall. The new Ministra standmount is specifically designed for near wall placement and may be a better bet. I have some of the tiny Iotas and they are lovely musical speakers.

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Having had a very similar set up to yours with 200/202 and CDX2 and a room about 18 x 11 perhaps PMCs would be good to audition ?

Very neutral because of their pro-heritage and I think musical .

Neats are always get well received on these pages- so too the Dynaudio Special Editions

You are not saying what sort of music you like, I switched to Harbeths because of my taste for acoustic , which led me on a very convoluted path .

I have spoken with Neat and they are tuned to be close to a wall 100mm.

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Which one? The Ekstra or the Minima?

Thanks might take a listen. I think there brighter than Neats and Spendor so I am told

What is it with Neat and Naim that makes them work together in the opinion of the forum

I had PMC twenty.23 with a SuperUniti for about three years and they were great. I’ve heard it said that the twenty5 series had grainy treble, which I believe has been addressed in the latest update. They need quite a bit of driving though, and were much happier with a 250DR.

They are just very musical. Not bright and screamy like some ‘impressive’ sounding speakers. Neat use Naim when they design their speakers. You need to watch the bass though - I tried Motive 1s once and they were way too bassy. That said, no ported speaker has ever worked in my room.

Deleted by D41


You need a pair of Naim alleas given your system and the approximate 8” wall distance requirement. For a fraction of the budget too.

In terms of sound you may be right but I need a smaller speaker

Would also be interested in your opinion of the Ekstra demo. Bob S. also told me that rear wall proximity would work fine.

Hi David

Evidently the port on the back works differently as the cones point towards the floor.

I will update after the demo


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Yes, Bob indicated the rear port is low Q tuned and does not cause a close boundary problem. Also, would be interesting to know if they’re supplying speaker grills. Never saw a photo of Ministra or Ekstra with grills…Brgds.

I have your exact CD replay system. Used to have Epos ES11s but the system exposed the top end as rolled off. I found Totem et all very smooth but safe. PMC are neutral but a little clinical for me. There is really much to love about Neats but musicality or “fun” is a term often used pejoratively by audiophiles. I’ve always thought it was the whole point.

I ended up with Zu speakers. High efficiency. Mine are ideal for valves but sing at volume when the rest of my system is working. I’d seriously recommend a 60 to 90 day demo on the Omen or the Omen Def. Musical and fun and they pull all the timbral stuff out of a CDX2 that perhaps others bar the Neats don’t.

As Hungry Halibut says, Neat use Naim when they tune their speakers, I think Kudos does as well.

PMC have a “pro audio” background which means that professionals use their speakers when making recordings. Which means that you are more likely to get speakers which don’t try to impose a “house sound” rather an accurate reflection of what went on to the recording.

Others also have similar backgrounds, like Amphion, Harbeth , Spendor and of course the L3/5SE variants from the likes of Falcon.

I ended up with Harbeth P3ESR and they proved clods of earth (other words are available) in terms of matching but with a wonderful sound.

You have a great system just needing speakers you like to get the best from

You would need to decide what sounds musical through audition, but I recently heard Spendor A7 and would recommend them unreservedly. They are easy to drive and have a very natural sound. I use Spendor D9s with different electronics from you, but Spendor speakers seem to perform admirably with various electronics. I also very much liked the Harbeth P3ESR when I heard them.

It is always hard to recommend loudspeakers for somebody else. There are a couple of often recommended brands that are not for me, but those suggesting them like them.

I’d give the Spendors a home demo if you have the opportunity, I’ll be amazed if you do not prefer them to your 1008Be as they have neither of the challenging characteristics you describe.

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