I am about to replace my loudspeakers and although I have read several threads that discuss this I am looking for some guidance as where to start since the speakers I have at the moment were purchased almost 20 years ago.
My current system in the NSC222 with the matching 250. I stream and also have a large vinyl collection and an LP12. My current speakers are a two decades old pair of Avalon Avatars.
What I am looking for is best described by what the Avatars do well and, in my opinion, do not. What initially attracted me to the Avatars was their beautiful detail and transparency in the midrange. The tweeter is really good although it can get slightly harsh on some material. Where I have never been satisfied in the handling of low frequencies which is quite restricted with falls off at a relatively high frequency (which is actually the design). To give you a better idea than talking about frequency response: I am a drummer and the Avalons can capture the initial fast transient of a snare drum but there is no body. This is particularly pronounced on the bass/kick drum which is reduced to “clicking”. This is just an extreme example but the lack of bass extension clearly impacts a lot of music.
What I would like to replace them with is something that has similar (or better) treble and midrange clarity (albeit without the slight harshness) but has sufficient well-behaved bass extension to capture well, for example, the overall sound of a drum properly. I have been out of the market so long that everything I was familiar with no longer exists so some guidance of where to start looking would really help. If it helps I would prefer floor standers my listening room is 14’x13’ with 7’ 8in ceilings so about 1400 cuft. I have some acoustic adsorption panels on the side walls but it would probably be improved with bass traps. Budget is probably $15-16k max although if I could get reasonable performance from something less expensive I would be perfectly happy!
Thanks so much for your help.
Have you considered adding a sub and keeping your main speakers?
ATC SCM40 - legendary mid-range driver, fantastic dynamics and whilst not the weightiest bass for a floor stander; it’s very tight and very high quality. Easy to position also (notwithstanding the 31kg apiece mass).
A NC250 drives them very well.
Thanks so much: adding a subwoofer is something I had thought might be a possibility but I know very little about what might integrate best with Naim. It is of interest because of the potential cost of entry. But I went that route I would want something that is designed with music in mind rather than movies’ “big bangs” Very interested in your experiences.
I had a REL a few years ago, but with different main speakers at that time, Castle Harlechs. Positioning the sub in the room was as hard as positioning the main speakers, so as to avoid excessive bass. The sub required carefully tuning with the volume knob and cut off filter settings to get a good result. It was effective when set to give a very subtle additional bass weight.
However, limitations in my main speakers caused me to want a change. The treble could be harsh at times. So, I replaced the sub and main speakers with a bigger pair of floor standing speakers - Spendor A9. That was an improvement in all departments. This Spendor model is no longer made, but the bigger PMC transmission line floor standers are mighty impressive.
Seconded, though I’ve not heard them driven by a NC 250 (I run the active versions). Not too sure about US prices, but I think they’d be well within the proposed budget. Perhaps even enough left over for a NPX300 — they’ll show up any source improvements.
Give the Audiovector QR-7s a listen if you can. About $6500. It’s what I am using and they sound great with enough bass for me.
i’d second pmc - i have been demoing a 222/350 system and pmc speakers - everything just sounds ‘right’ - bass is there but well controlled, not bloated. i guess twenty5-23 would suit your room. there is a current thread on subwuffers - very mixed views
Another vote for Audiovector speakers from me. R3 or used/ex-dem R6s may be in budget. Wonderfully engaging sound with Naim gear.
I’d agree that PMC should be on your list. Also, given that you will no doubt want to hear a good high hat and other high frequencies clearly, I’d recommend speakers using a beryllium tweeter. Marten and Focal use them. May I suggest listening to the Focal Kanta range, it’s a sweet spot in terms of price and the design, IMO is the nicest of all their ranges.
Harsh treble and no bass.
Maybe first check that the problem is not the room? ( bass in the corners not in the middle of the room ?)I had same problem and tried different speakers without luck. Only fixing room problems helped. My room is almoust square 4.35x4.56
Looking for some recommendations myself folks at present even though it’s not a naim system currently thorens turntable, marantz pm 6007 integrated amplifier and Dali zensor 3 speakers was pondering between the opticon 2 or possibly along the lines of focal or bowers and Wilkins, music is predominantly New wave, after a fast precise bass and extremely good on midrange
From what you said, I heavily recommend Wolf von Langa → WvL SON
Thats one of the best speakers I ever heard.
Relatively small floorstander with unbelievable speed and punch, using AMT and fieldcoil (built by WvL!)
Might be hard to demo in UK, but it is so f€&@ing good you should try.
I would also suggest ATCSCM40 speakers. For the money, they are very difficult to better and the dome midrange is considered by many to be exceptional. I am pleased with mine.
After checking room, etc I would audition Kudos Cardea Super 20A. I have them attached to my system (see profile) and am very pleased with how they perform. I had the PMC Twenty5.3 before but felt the treble was a bit harsh at times, this has been resolved by moving to Kudos. They just seem to work with Naim amplification. Price is about the same as the PMC Twenty5.3i. If you have the cash and want a bit more try the Titan 606.
Those Avatars have a titanium dome tweeter which are notorious in aspects you have noted in a wide range of speakers that used them. I’m sure the quality of titanium tweeters have moved up since.
Having said that your Avalons were highly regarded and could still be a hard act to follow in some areas.
My first thoughts would be the Kudos 606 or the bigger 707 if you can stretch a bit more.
It would be helpful to know what loudspeakers are available for you to listen to and preferably have a home audition for. Otherwise everyone is understandably going to recommend what they know ( btw I use PMC’s which are brilliant )
If you do audition the ATC SCM40, I would suggest that you also consider the SCM19. That’s not to take anything from the SCM40 which is an excellent speaker but given our listening levels and room dynamics, we prefer the SCM19.
Take a look at the new Yamaha NS2000 floor stander…that would be interesting to at least have a listen too…it appears to have fabulous build quality…