Naim IBL

I’ve always been intrigued by the classic Naim speakers and how little money they go for.

A pair of IBL has come up local to me and from looking at the pics they look cared for and in good order, albeit I’d want to see them first hand.

For the relatively modest outlay I’m tempted to give them a go. All being well, could I expect an uplift in SQ from my current SCM11? They would be placed up against an external dot and dab type wall.

It was the SBL that pricked my interest and I’ve been keeping one eye out for a pair.

PS as posted on another thread I intend to source a classic Naim CB kit so maybe these would be a good match after I’ve had some fun with them on the main system?

Personally, I’d prefer the SCM11.


I agree with @Beachcomber having owned a couple of pairs, and now a pair of ATC SCM7s.

Your wall will be sub optimal as I’m sure many will be pointing out.

But as you say, they tend to go for very little, and what are we if not enthusiasts for our hobby and our brand?!

Hope it turns out. My money is on them being in the boot of your car this afternoon :slight_smile:


The IBLs are ruthlessly revealing and I wouldn’t want to use them on anything less than an 82/250, with a really good source. If you don’t envisage that in a second system, I’d pass. I had some with a CDS2, 82 and 250 and they were excellent, but on a 102/180 they were nothing like as good.

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Thanks all.

Second system would most likely be some way down the food chain so that’s good info thanks HH.

And so if they won’t out-perform the SCM11’s then it’s probably a pointless exercise at the time.

I wouldn’t be put off so easily. Owning a pair of IBLs or SBLs at some point in every Naim owners life is no bad thing. At the very least it would enable you to experience where Naim are coming from, their quintessence if you will.

And they could turn out to be the audio bargain of the century. Stranger things have happened.


Both are great speakers, with the right partnering equipment and in the right room. I’ve owned three pairs of SBLs and two pairs of IBLs, all in a room with concrete floors and solid brick walls. The SBL is more forgiving and easier to get sounding good. Without adequate amplification the IBL can sound thin and relentless. But properly driven they are brilliant and probably better than the SBL. They weren’t known as a mini DBL for nothing.

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I have the ibls. Your current loudspeakers might well be better also given your wall. However, if you have pocket money burning like I had, and they come up for sale, I’d go for it. Just for fun and as Christopher_M writes:

If you still have the amps you list in your profile, you have proper source and amplification already!

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Agree with the sentiments above, fabulous speakers is if the source and amps are first rate, which yours are, so I’d give them a whirl - why not, you can always sell them on for little / no loss.

One of the best systems I heard was owned by Chris Thomas (HiFi+ writer), and he had IBLs placed hard up against the front wall, fed by his LP12, 52 & 135s (which I bought off him), the listening position only about 3 metres (if that) away and they sounded very good indeed in that compact space - one of those systems that sounded ‘just right’ in the room, and the memory stuck with me.


The only issue is that the speakers are ultimately bound for a far less illustrious second system, where they wouldn’t work anything like as well.

Ah yes, missed that, good point. My mistake. The OP could still take a punt and try them in the main system - that could be an interesting comparison.

True but if they make the main system sing then then who knows they could become a permanent feature?

Floor is concrete but the rear wall obviously isn’t ideal.

I might just give them a go at the price. If I do I’ll be sure to report back…

Hmm - I had IBLs for a while - not as my main system - and SBLs (active, admittedly). When I sold my piano black IBLs I checked that they were working well using my 52/500, and they were good, but not as good as the SBLs, in my opinion. What was there was good, but they definitely lacked somewhat in the bass.

If it’s the pair on eBay, I’d be put off unless you can add Velcro and get some new grilles. They look a bit manky as they are. But sure, they could become a permanent fixture in the main system, but not looking as they do.

Indeed they are! New foam would be a must and I see a few places sell them.

I thought the cabinets looked OK other than the missing grilles and remaining glue, close enough to view at first hand anyway. If anything looks off let me know though please as I’m not familiar with these speakers.

Please google Naim IBL TNT if you haven’t already done so. Read the top reply. Then buy them.

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Ha ha yes did read and the itch got stronger.

I guess most importantly it comes down to whether they’re a good pair (the eBay ones) and can still perform anywhere near their best. I can check them over visually but otherwise it’s a punt…

There were two versions of the IBL. The Mk2 is better and has different bass units. The pair I had were a very late model and had an all over veneered cabinet and the later drivers and were in fantastic condition. I suspect the ebay pair are mk1.

If you are ultimately thinking of getting better speakers than the ATCs for the main system, and relegating them to a more modest system, I’d be inclined to stick with the ATCs. They will be more flexible than IBLs, though still need decent power of course. You may find that something like a 140 isn’t really enough in a second system. A 250 (or something of equal power such as a Supernait) is really what’s needed for the ATCs, just as the IBLs.

I suspect that while £300 seems cheap, if you didn’t like them you’d struggle to sell them on for that price.

Great advice as always and food for thought.