N-Cent speaker

I have just been looking on a well known auction site and noticed a seller, selling a pair of N-Cent. They are using them as a pair of stereo speakers.
Has anyone heard of using centre speakers this way or actually heard a pair in the flesh?

They were never designed to be used as a stereo pair but I see no particular reason why you couldn’t do so. I’ve never tried myself, so couldn’t say how well they work (or otherwise).

I do recall visiting one particular dealer in the south of France who adored the big Naim Axent centre speaker and used a pair for music replay…

As a matter of interest, what is the signal input to the n-Cent? In other words, does each n-Cent receive both a Left and a Right signal feed, effectively creating a single matched mono (ie summed L+R) input. Or is there a Left channel n-Cent and a Right channel n-Cent?

(I may have got my terminology wrong here, but I hope that the question that I’m groping for is at least tolerably clear.)

And did these systems sell well for Naim, or were they quietly dropped following a change of direction after Focal’s acquisition of Naim?

The N-Cent was designed to take a centre channel in an AV system, so would only have a single speaker cable from a mono amp, or equivalent channel on an AV amp. If you were to use a pair for stereo you would just connect them like any other speakers.

They were discontinued shortly before Focal turned up.

I use the n-Cent in my AV system between a pair of Ariva speakers.


My n-Cent is powered directly by a Yamaha AV processor, which sends the main front (left and right) signals to the Arivas via my main system amps. The n-Cent appears to be optimised primarily for voice reproduction and although it displays Naim’s usual talent for timing and dynamics, it doesn’t have the sense of substance or ‘heft’ I would want from a pair of stereo speakers (although this could be due to the Yamaha). It blends superbly with the Arivas, as you would expect, but they obviously have to do all the grunt work when it comes to handling the low frequency stuff.

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Thanks for that.

Had a pair from totem used that way, ‘totem mite t’. When I wasn’t sure that a small bookshelf speaker was enough, but still wanted something on the smaller side. These were similar to the mite, but with some added grunt. For me, they worked and was fun.
While it may not be the case here, some center speakers has a high-pass filter to emphasize the voices. These would of course be a bother if used alone.