How good are these, would they suitable for use as a main speaker pair in place of something more substantial? Reason I ask is I have been considering some smaller stand mount speakers in place of the Shahinians / SBL’s. I’d be powering them with either 135’s or a 250 so plenty of grunt. I found that Linn Kans worked really well with the 135’s, clearly not a lot of bass but a deeply satisfying sound nonetheless. That’s what i’m hoping to acheive or at least replicate. Opinions welcome, thanks.
I had an interesting afternoon at a friend’s house comparing Linn Kans, IBLs and n-Sats; I liked the n-Sats best when using a digital source, Kans best with a vinyl front end. The IBLs I felt needed more amp than a NAIT 2 could offer.
But to answer your question, n-Sats are very good indeed. In fact I was at one particular show in Milan and the original idea was to have a fully 500 series system (CD555, NAC552, NAP500, Superline with Supercap) with Klimo turntable playing into SL2s. Unfortunately the SL2s were damaged by the courier company so we had to substitute a pair of n-Sats on n-Stands (these are essential, IMHO). We were unsure whether it would make any sense, but they rose to the occasion and worked superbly well.
I like my N-Sats, which I use in a second system with an Atom. Hooking them up to the 250 in my main system shows that they have plenty more to give if you can live without deep bass (or an N-Sub).
My system lives in my study, as SWMBO commandeered the living room for her daily diet of soaps and reality TV when I retired. My study is small (13ft x 8ft) and I have my LP12, NDS, 552/300 etc in that room, driving nSats. Because of the window placement the nSats sit on n-brackets (?) in the corners. There’s nowhere else they could realistically be placed! They have responded well to every upgrade in source etc I have thrown at them. Highly recommended, and should they fail, I despair thinking about what I would replace them with.
I am another very happy user of N-Sats. They are excellent speakers and have suprisingly good bass for their size. Having said that, I do love very deep bass and so use them with a sub woofer - works exceedingly well.
Mine are wall mounted and being unable to source the Naim brackets I used some cheap ones from Ebay. As they are decoupled it was a very easy diy job to adapt them using the redundant floor stands as a template.
nSats are excellent speakers. I tried them on the end of my then 552/300 and they were incredible. That said, I was never truly happy with them without an nSub. Moving to them from SBLs would be an odd choice. They take up no less space when on their stands, and SBLs are simply much, much better.
Sorry, should have said that my nSats are part of my n-System and are used with my Arcam AVR850, integrated into the Naim gear as per my own FAQ (part of the Forum FAQs) I have the nSub connected to the Arcam in the usual fashion, and also connected to the Naim gear. P1 on the nSub is AV, and P2 is the music setting. Took a lot of playing around with crossover frequencies etc to get the balance right.
Alas there was no way that I could fit my SBLs into my study, so I gave them to one of my sons-in-law.
I feel somehow forced to add my 2 pennies. I have owned N-Sats 5 (five) times, one pair in piano black, one pair in maple, three in cherry finish. I have heard them always in the same room, always in the same optimal (in my room) position - 2/2.20 mt. from each other center to center, no toe-in, 25 cm. from the rear wall - with a long series of Naim amp systems, from a Nait 5 to a Supernait 1, from a 42.5/140 CB to a fully serviced 282/SC/250. There were, and still are, the Naim speaker I loved most and I feel associated with ideally. I have had them with and without the N-Sub and in the end it was obvious to me that a proper and powerful amp was way better than adding a sub.
The relatively steep decay of bass below 60/70 Hz wasn’t an issue at all; the last configuration I had (CDX2/282/SC/250) made them sound gloriously.
They have an addictive voice that it’s very hard to forget and replace, and in spite of their obvious little flaws, have a quality that I have NEVER heard in ANY other Naim speaker (including SBLs, which I owned two or three times, or S-400s): the ability to project the sound outside the boxes, disappearing from the scene.
They don’t, in my opinion, work ideally with CB or Olive gear, whilst they do lovely lovely music with the latest and most powerful amp one can afford.
Other than absence of much of the bottom couple of octavess, what flaws?
Well, first of all it’s not a couple of octaves, otherwise they would reach 15Hz or so… And I have never missed that half octave they lack, because being a sealed box the rolloff is relatively steep but sweet; you would be surprised that in my opinion (but in this case, I am sorry, it is a solid opinion, supported by forty years of personal experience) they reproduce the voice of the double bass with a sincerity very very few speakers can afford. Their minor flaw is a not exceptional finesse in the top end, but in this respect they still are much better than the S-400s. I have been molested by worshippers of every possible ‘monitor’ speaker in existence, from the LS3/5A to the HPS3, I have had both Kan Is and Kan IIs in the 80s, I have endured the endless arguments of small speakers’ devotes: I still think that the Sats are, all in all, the most smart and clever choice one could do if space is an issue, and would gladly spend 15 times as much in electronics to drive them.
But were you being ironic, weren’t you? I am sorry I don’t always catch the tone of the post…
A good digital front end like CD5X or CDX2 Nait XS and nSat is pure heaven, period.
Yesterday came here a hi fi enthusiast to collect one of my Nait XS i had for sale (i have a new XS -3 due for September) and like any other came here, was astounded with the performance of these little beasts. Here i have the support of a very wide and solid concrete wall that really helps with bass estension and control giving a very nice expansive soundstage as well.
Rest of the system is CDX2/DVD5 on a Fraim stack.
I do like n-Sats and agree with Richard that n-Stands are essential and they seem best suited to a digital source over vinyl playback.
Without a sub they also need to be within an inch or so from a wall (solid block/brick in my case)
I decided to measure with a dB meter in my room, the level at which they came alive for me.
I decided 106-110 dB was not going to be good for the long term hearing health. It is just to do with the Fletcher-Munson curves or equal loudness contour.
Oh! echoing Massimo’s lines who knows my systems very well, all the above is putting into the equation a full 500 system with S600 and a similar CDX2-2/XS system with S400.
Like Massimo pointed out the midrange is not perhaps the very best, on par with something like Focal Sopra 3 or a Magico i demoed, but it’s got a fresh and open presentation even better than S400’s perhaps
how are my Sats in the unused room? Take care of them…
Well, my choice of words “much of the bottom couple of octaves” was deliberate, simply easier than saying the bottom 1.x octaves based on your indication that they roll off from somewhere around 60-70Hz (if flat down to 60 before rolling off then only a bit over an octave and maybe the last bit not so critical, but more so if rolling off from 70 and quite a bit down by 60).
It was your reference to “obvious flaws”, in the plural, that caught my eye, and indeed may be of interest to the OP and anyone else unfamiliar with these speakers. But I perhaps wrongly assumed you weren’t referring to the lack of proper bass because they were of course designed to be used with n-Sub), however as you expanded on just one flaw, perhaps you did mean the bass as well - which indeed is an obvious limitation, if perhaps not a flaw.
Erm, Sorry Massimo, they have a new home now in Austria. I aborted the project of a further system. May be that the other one i have, one day will be replaced by something other else.
actually, I specified that the only minor flaw was not an ‘exceptional finesse’ in the upper treble, adding that in this respect they were anyway better than the S-400s. Contrary to many here, I never felt the need for an N-Sub (although I bought and resold one), being - with some support - convinced that a bigger and better Naim amp could extract more from them than adding a Sub.
P.S. I realize now that I never wanted deep bass in my replay systems. I only need clarity, rhythm and coherence.
better so. I would have ended up like a country fair freak.