Naim Ovator S600 vs. S400

in my main system a pair of Ovator S600 sounds beautifully.
I would like to set up a second system and I thought of a pair of S400s.
I would like to keep the same tone and SQ in the second system as in the main hall. Can you tell me what tonal differences there are between the two bmr models (in S400 I see that it is smaller).
Thanks in advance for your answers

I have only heard the 400’s, which turned me onto a Naim, but I suspect the difference will be very heavily influenced by the room size/shape with these two…as a start.

I’ve owned S600 & S400. The S600 didn’t do it for me on the end of a CDS3/252/300 system and I found the S400 much better.

I put it down to the room…


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To this day, I can kick myself not buying a pair S400 offered locally, at a very good price.


Thanks for the replies, what i would like to understand is how much the answer and SQ of the mbr unit is different between S600 and S400. The project is unique but the different dimensions of the two mbr drivers are to better match the woofers or is there another reason?

What other options do you have? 800’s?

Listening to kraftwerk through my 400s is completely holographic. I’d love a pair of 600s but can’t import them to my iceberg.

Hi ric236
Hi have both, S600 in a 500 system and s400 with a much simpler one with CDX2/Nait XS one.
If you buy a used the latter is really good value today,
Assuming my rooms are totally different from one to ot the other. 600s are into a smallish 3.60x 4.50m 2.90 high room, while 400s in a irregulary shaped attic room 40/45sqm. about. Sonically 600s have a much richer mid/high range while 400s are a little “grey” and apparently less extended on the highs. Of course as you see in my profile there is a huge difference with the rest of systems. On the other hand i probably prefer the midrange of the nSat in my basement system, very open and luminous, which is very similar to the 400s one. But again, rooms can play the part since in this case loudspeakers are placed along a very wide and solid wall with no windows. I’d like to try 400s here but since they are not exactly featherlight i’m not really inclined to try.
Hope this helps

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Thanks @rsch for your contribution. Certainly the characteristics of the room affect the acoustic result.
One of my options in the future concerns the possibility of creating a multi-channel system for live concerts in bluray and sacd using the S400 in pairs as the center channel (and two other pairs as surround channels), also for this reason I was asking about the possible tonal differences of the two BMR transducers. It would be a dream but never say never …

Having had the s600 active, I found them a hard speaker to position and so for to like, didn’t have them long and didn’t like much what they did in my room, space and more space I feel is what they need, I believe the s400 also like space, but both speakers are marmite speakers and didn’t go down that well with the naim guys.
I much preferred my active sbl’s over the active s600, much faster sound, obviously the s600 had much more bass and weight but that was also its biggest problem

About bass control generally no problems at all bar few cds but even so it doesn’t affect the upper bands. Generally i prefer S600 compared to my previous SL2.(Even if to be fair, i have upgraded from 250 to 500 DR and S.Lumina Loom since then, plus a few furniture tweaks) The only desire would be a wider wall to let them breath better, for a wider and expansive soundstage as the nSat room.

I’m a Naim guy and quite like my S400s.


IMO S600 are nice, S400 are not. Demo before you buy. Like they say marmite.

I was in the ‘marmite’ camp too - my 600’s sounded marmite but highly preferable in certain music. The timbre was a bit steely which was great with rock / organ music - music with power, but the delicacy of a violin was hard to reproduce properly.

I’ve retorqued my drivers recently and now I disagree to the ‘marmite’ label. Just perfectly fine for any kind of music. Mind you, these are active 600’s not 400’s. Cannot really speak for them, but I might not be surprised that the same applies there.

I couldnt believe it actually. I’ve not even used a very fine torque driver. Just loosend up a bit and fixed than again.

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And yet, I couldn’t quite get on with S600s but really liked the 400s. Funny old game…


Rest of the system ?

Its a bit special. There was a kudos demo having them active with a Supernait 3. Since I have a SN1, I did the following:

Mac Pro >> toslink >> SN1’s dac >> SN1’s pre >> Hicap DR >> Hicap DR >> Snaxo BMR Hi: Nap 200, Snaxo BMR Low: SN1 power amp in.

So the BMR is powered by the Nap 200, the Bass units by the SN.

I’m running this for about 2 years now, the retorquing was the only difference.

Indeed, probably a bit like Vinyl Versus Digital :grin:

I found the S400 to be a bit soft and dull you could say maybe very polite, transparent yes but unfortunately they didn’t float my warship, where the S600 had more sparkle and authority, little bit more angry, maybe it’s a pRat factor??
Both had Naim digital playing.

I am not keen on labelling anything ‘Marmite’ as it doesn’t really say anything, all speakers are generally Marmite, as in some like them some don’t.

I found the S400s had no apparent shortage of PRAT and seemed to work well in a variety of rooms fronted by a CDX2 and Supernait. I used this system for a number of Naim for Bentley demos back in the day.

The S600s I had problems with what I felt was a certain lumpiness and unevenness, particularly in the bass. However, important to note that most of my listening to S600s was during pre-production and early production and only ever in the same space, which may have been to blame. Although I did much prefer SL2s playing in the same space.

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Thank you!

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