I have a SuperNait 1, a TEAC VRDS-9, a Thorens TD145 and no speakers.

In this space


sofa, glass tables and lamps will eventually go. I’ll be left with a 3.85 x 3.60 space to be used for music listening. The sideboard hasn’t to stay or stay there perforce. The Scandinavian shelf will go along with its twin, now in the cellar.

The space opposite the French windows opens onto an 11 sq. mt. dining alcove:


So the room is asymmetric as far as reflecting surfaces are concerned.

In this room only damped speakers with controlled bass and detailed presentation have really worked. Naim SBLs and s-Sats were the best, but Sats were unpredictable and variable in voicing, plus they are fun but ultimately not the last word in refinement. Klipsch Heresy were ok but never optimally working in my space. S-400s did fine, but were a bit veiled and bass-y. Harbeth were the worst sounding (here). I kept all speakers along the wallpapered wall, at the sides of the sideboard, 10 to 40 cm. from the wall.

I like the size and proportions of stand mounts, such as Sats, Kans, LS5/9s and the like. But I don’t like speaker stands.
I do not like floor standing speakers a lot, but the two I liked most here - SBLs and Heresy IIIs - were de facto sitting on the floor.

What’s worse, over the years I have grown a deep, subtle distrust for many audio brands, convinced as I am that for the largest part they are improvisers trying to take advance of market’s trends and fashions. Pro’ brands offering speakers for the consumer market are of little interest to me - audiophiles do not really want pro gear, they want fancy gear with a serious look. It’s all about sound. When I want to hear music, I go to concerts or play myself some guitar or piano.

I cannot live without a stereo but I cannot make up my mind about the final part, speakers. SuperNait was an obvious choice - I’ve had three before, it’s powerful, sounds good, has a good DAC onboard. The TEAC is a fine mechanism, it’s ok. Thorens is reliable and a no-surprise TT.

But the damn speakers?

Compensations for Naim’s departure from speakers manufacturing, such as Focal, Kudos, Neat, PMC, no thanks. ATCs are unknown to my ears. Never liked ProAcs.

I am a fussy PITA, I know. But does a fussy PITA have a right to play music at home?

Thanks for reading,


Get a listen to a pair of Atc scm11 …


Hi Max, Do the speakers have to be where they have always been?, ie. with the wallpapered wall behind them.

If not, the piano could go into the space between the existing sofa and sideboard, and you could maybe get an outside wall (albeit with windows) behind the speakers.

I confess this may not help because you are asking about speakers and I’m talking about room layouts. My point being that an improved layout may free you up, speaker wise. Working in a bigger space you may be less inclined to bother with tiddlers.

But it seems worth establishing early on what the fixed points are.


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You probably want small floorstanders that won’t take up much physical space, and work well with Naim:

Neat - even the xplorer could work really well.
They’d disappear in your room, they are very unobtrusive.

Or the new pmc prodigy 5
I know you’ve written “no thanks” but these are all good choices.
Spendor a7 (or a4)
I hesitate to say it because I own them, but the proac d20r are very good. Again you say “never liked proac”.


I didn’t spot any Scandinavian names in the exclusions.
What about Dynaudio Evokes or Dali Rubicon’s.
Both ranges offer Floor and Standmount options and are terrific products.


Shahinian? I haven’t had them but I believe their unique design means they can be much more flexible with placement and difficult spaces. Very different, and have very enthusiastic fans. Would have to be a smaller model to be driven by the SN as I think they can be generally hard to drive. A truly original ethos and definitely not marketing-led. They are on castors too so you can fiddle them about or hide them when not being used! A scratch I must itch sometime in one of my systems.

I also looked at your room and thought it has a lot of hard surfaces. Curtains, rugs etc needed?


Yes 100% agree, everything is very reflective, plus speaker positioning is close to side walls.
Reflections cause time domain problems that affect the sound quality as heard in the room.
The room begs for acoustic treatment, rugs & curtains as suggested, also consider acoustic panels in the wall corners to absorb sound waves.
Stand mounted speakers would help in some respects over floor standers, maybe consider a pair of very small speakers that are augmented with a subwoofer.


That’s what my friend Chris has long suggested to me…
I know of no audio store at a reasonable distance having them in stock. I’d gladly have a listen.


Hi Chris,

no, they don’t. I have sometimes thought of the rearrangement you suggest, but hadn’t done anything so far because you know we were two living here…
You are right of course about the room, I may wait to have a freer space (although we know it may take long), and then consider more options.


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I demoed a pair of Dynaudio Contour 20 here, they had an astonishing upper midrange and treble, rich and lushly detailed. I had forgotten them, a sure proof of their quality… Not joking! I seem to remember mostly the bad sounding ones.



Can I ask, are those all brands you are considering, or have discounted?

If I had the budget, and a lovely looking space like yours, I might try and audition the Boenicke W5 - if only because they look amazing, and seem to be put together by an interesting bunch.


@BruceW, @Mike-B,

the room is actually not too reflecting, not in any detectable way. The speakers, when positioned on the ‘brown’ wall, fire across 6.5 mt. and find a large sofa, a baby grand and a full bookshelf on the opposite wall.
The French windows’ glasses are screened by thin tents and a thick rug was laid (then removed) on the floor between the coffee table and the speakers. The sound is surely never too bright.

While I acknowledge the relevant effects of room treatment I am not very in favor of it because I think that a living room is not a listening room. A stereo should be chosen to blend with the rest without asking for bespoke adjustments that would alter the visual balance of the room.

I know that my living room is not the product of a designer, but it’s cozy enough and I am not very interested in panels or tube traps.


Thanks for the appreciation of this space… I really love it and have accepted a lot of compromises with the placement of the stereo for the sake of shared life…
Now I am here alone but I want to preserve this loveliness. I’ll check the speakers you mention.



Hi Max, have you ever considered small Magnepan panels? They come with a few different material colors that could fit your decor and the SN1 should easily drive them.

Really beautiful space. I would be cautious to let the stereo dominate this amazing space.

I played 13 years on a SL2 and couldn t imagine to pair with them. Their speed and presentation is just something special - as we all know the real naim magic. But the bass and treble let open for wishes.

Last year I finally jumped into the cold water and got a used Boenicke W 11 SE. Unheard :0 Those are cnc milled from real wood. Sven is acctually going many unconventional ways and is not really «just» a speaker manufacturer.

Against the expectation of how my space is constructed. Bit similar to yours, they integrated much better then I have expected. Listen to a piano and acoustic instruments per se is just a jawdropping experience. You simply feel the whole body of the instrument. Something I also thought to feel with the SL2, but sorry after this experience I now know, what was missing.

W5 is tiny, but mighty - and unfortunatelly expensive. A W8 would work as well. Beautiful manufactured and would suite your space optically very well.

Big fan of Dynaudios as well. Maybe the Heritage would suite?

Good luck anyway!


I just thought it would be a shame if we get to post #1037 on your thread in, say, March 2025, and some bloke says, ‘Max, have you ever thought about moving the piano?’



Obviously a rug would help in your room.

Not sure what kind of sound signature you’re after or what kind of music you listen to but these Qualio speakers from Poland sounded really good on the end of a Supernait.

These Kerr Acoustics stand mount speakers sounded good at the Bristol show.

Audio Physic bookshelf (Spark, Step, or Classic 3). Unfortunately hard to demo outside of the EU, but my Compact Classics (since discontinued) absolutely disappear no matter where I stick them and are really unfussy about the room. I think this goes for most of their line.

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