Naim Ovator S-600

I have a pair of these that I’ve never got round to using. They are 2012 manufacture, Rosewood finish. They were acquired to replace some very good Ruark 3-way speakers (vintage 2001). However, a few events intervened, and I was unable to resolve in my own mind a tension between wanting to greatly reduce my box-count, and wanting to go active with the Ovators.

What views do you have of these speakers, based on experience?

Is there a major difference in how they behave passive or active?


I’m running them active using very modest amplification:

SuperNait 1, 2xHicap DR, a snaxo bmr and a nap 200. The sn amplifies the low end, the nap 200 the bmr units.

I’m also using the internal dac of the SN1.

3.5 shelf, a very enjoyable setup.

It has power, details, can go very loud. Best bass I’ve ever heared.

The system has its quirks, it does not everything well, e.g a violin can sound steely but that might also be what truly is in the recording, I’m quite sure that’s caused because it is an ‘under sourced’ setup though. One day I’ll try it with a good source.

I have a pair - also in Rosewood - which I drive with a NAP500. Would love to try them active, but even passive they are excellent. Give them a try.

I wonder if a 500 is enough to drive S-800s? Its an itch that must be scratched…

To be 100% honest they are very marmite speakers, i had active ones for a while, driven by 2 x 250, then 3 x 250, and finally 2 x 250 and 1 x 300dr, they do like an amp that can drive them, they also like space, more the better, then even if you get this all right, they can still be quirky.
They can sound lovely on certain things, but also not so lovely on other bits, probably more down the rock or heavy metal music suits them better, classical music, then no.
But some love them, but not many really, they aren’t an easy speaker to sell, and the active version is ment to be the better one.

Just to add its a shame naim never had the time to keep developing these, as they started to get to grips with them with the s800 being the best they could do at the time and obviously going down with the s600 and finally s400, but the s600 and s400 are very different to the s800

I had the loan of S800 with nap500, and it was wonderful.

I have active S-600 with 3 x NAP 300, I have demoed many different speakers as I am always looking to upgrade. I have yet to find anything that competes, bearing in mind they Ned to be within 40cm from back wall. Particularly disappointing for me were the Titan 707s for which I had high hopes, just as well because aesthetically they were not to my or my wife’s liking.

I have set driven by a SN1, which is well below the generally accepted minimum amplification. But we like them just fine. A particularly appreciated feature is the solid grills which are impervious to enthusiastically wagged whippet tails.

A friend of mine uses 800’s with a single DR’d 500 and they sound amazing. He auditioned a pair of 600’s, which his son ended up buying. We played some Pink Floyd through the 600’s very loud and I’ll still say that the bass was better than my DBL’s. I remember clearly the impression that track made. Rarely have I heard better.


Like you do :-))))

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