Naim speakers

Naim made a fair few speaker’s in there time I only know off the sbl, and ovators I’m not in the market for those models but might be in for some others
Close to the wall placement around 6 to 12 inch out maybe
Go on name some others and how you have found them in sound and are they fussy over placement

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What’s your budget?
Different brand? I’m still in love with Linn Keilidhs and their ilk, kith and kin.


If you head over to the Tablette 10 thread you will see a couple of posts from me about Naim SL2 speakers that I squirrelled out of another member’s sitting room while he was distracted by some Pro-Acs. Personally I think the SL2 might be the best ever Naim speaker, but not everyone would agree. Anyway you put them as close to the wall behind them as you can without anything touching. And they are quite handsome.




Ibl,s look a interesting little speaker I’ve only read one article about them
Has anyone got or had any credo speaker’s how do or did you feel about them are they fussy over things like placement

I tried Allaes once, but totally raucous and unmusical by comparison, despite strong expectations.

Used to love SBLs in the 90s on the back of a six pack.

Love Ovators 400 and 600 even with a single stereo amp.

DBLs are something else entirely, but huge and ugly.

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In my experience the Credo’s are fantastic, but are better away from the wall. Mine are at 8 inches, but 12 is the preferred


I own NBLs and allaes. The NBLs are my main speakers, bought used from a Naim dealer who set them up initially. Distance to the wall behind them optimised at 5.5cm. Solid wall with floor of Axminster carpet and underlay over wood on concrete. The room was 4.1m front to back, the side walls had a chimney breast projecting 1/2m on one side and a window bay falling back 1m on the other from the 3.8m width there would have been without them. I upgraded from 282/hi/250 to 552/500 during the time they were there.
I now have them in a 6m by 7m room if you ignore the 1m lost to the width at the speaker end for a couple of metres to a loggia/balcony. There is a marble tiled floor and again a solid wall this time 6cm behind them. They have Herbie’s small gliders under the spikes to protect the floor (and to try and spare the neighbours in the flat below) so it was easy to try mm increments.

The alleas were bought for the spare room in my old house, directly above the first room described, and ran with Rega Cursa/Maia amps when I wanted to escape the telly in the living room. They needed around 21cm behind them and there was about 5mm difference between an even and a one note bass in the 3.3m square room, not raucous at all but they were lively enough to warm up some Wishbone Ash (which is disgusting cold).

Yeti thank you for that info very informative

I’ve got a set of SL2s. Hard up against the back wall, firing down the length of the room. 5x8.5m. the wall behind them is half gib and half double glazed window, which apparently isn’t perfect for them, bit they sound really good.

With my 250dr they run really nicely at a good listening volume, but too high and they are a bit bright and harsh. My room will be contributing to this, but it’s our lounge so there’s minimal opportunity to think about things like room treatment

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I have Allaes and can’t recommend them highly enough, maybe they work with my room/hearing.
I tried Ovator 400’s and they were the worst speakers I’ve ever heard and SBLs which had potential but I think they need more than my Nova can give to get good results.
I had Arivas before the Allaes and they are a good “fun” speaker, again all these opinions are with my ears and in my room.
Naim do make great underrated speakers.


I have NBLs active with 3 Nap 250-2s, Nac 52 and CDS3, PS555. Sounds wonderful and is my endgame system. Around 3 inches from the wall but not an ideal set-up. I have heard Arrivas, Allaes,Credos, IBLs and N stats. All were good but over-priced in the US compared to US and Canadian competition. Naim speakers are fairly rare in the US so DBLs, SLs, and SBLs were never heard. The Ovators sound completely different IMO. Hard to beat an all-Naim system but many forum members do not care for Naim speakers.


just perfect for me. Especially matched to 135s’

Ariva might be one I never manage to hear, probably not many around.
IBL’s up against rear wall, in a small room, fronted with LP12 was glorious.
Intro/Credo was fun
SBL much better
Allae more universal
nSats, one of the few bookshelf to challenge the old Royds
Ovators are scarce.

Guess not many spares available

Naim did some innovative loudspeakers, many people don’t like them, difficult to setup, perhaps a reason they weren’t that loved outside the sheep farm.

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…I ran a pair of Ovator S-400 with my SN2 and it was a very enjoyable experience. They were placed about 20 inches from the rear wall.


SL2s have already been mentioned but worth a repeat - just sold mine but it’s taken a pair of kudos Titans to move me on. Very happy close to a wall. Need reasonable careful setup but sound wxcellent (have had with single 300 and a 52, then pair of 300s active then 552 in place of 52 and the 300s dr’d and very happily showed improvement - oh and went from nds with 555 to nd555 with 555dr and also showed the improvements clearly). I preferred them to a friend’s B&W 802d3s

Heard allaes once at a dealer and really liked them - far more than some mahoosive dynaudios at the same event - I know someone who has allaes who says they are very room dependent

Never heard ovators that I liked - but that may be down to the rooms they were in / setup, or maybe my preference

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What music do you listen to, Archie?

SBL are classic and wonderful.
SL2 are even better.
NBL’s are what I run in my main active 250 system with an NDX2 streamer and 252 preamp (plus power supplies for all)
I also own some n-Sats which are terrific little things on their dedicated stands.
I used to own some Intro II speakers which were good but not anywhere near the SBL’s.
All work close to the wall.
DBL’s are wonderful but, I personally couldn’t live with their appearance.


Don’t forget Naim’s lower level speakers; the Intros could bite but got plenty right and were surprisingly successful in Germany, IIRC. Credos cleaned things up a fair bit, while Allaes were just great, and could really impress if the conditions are right.

N-Sats were just great little speakers - On a digital source I preferred these to both Kans and IBLs. However, with an LP12 up front, the preference flipped. So, a modern day Kan for the digital age, perhaps?

Arivas were great fun, not too revealing, and so long as you could live with the fairly full bottom end, you could live with a pair blissfully for a long time. I had great fun demonstrating with these on the end of a CD5i and Nait 5i. Main strength was the ability to play old rock albums in way where the music overcame any deficiencies in production; You could play anything on them. Oh, and they were brilliant in a 5.1 n-System, replacing the front left and right n-Sats. Perfect for filling a larger space.


When I was introduced to Naim amplification in the nineties, I moved from Celestion speakers to Naim. Started with the IBLs, having had an impressive dem at the dealers. Incredible clarity but after living with them for a while, found there wasn’t really a great deal of bass. Moved on to SBLs, which were excellent, then active SBLs… even better… had them for years… then SL2 active, which I love to bits and won’t be changing. They are really superb with my ND555 and CD555.
In my second much smaller system (Naim 72/140, CD 3.5) I use Credos and have been mightily impressed with them. Extremely enjoyable to listen to.


Funny you should say that, I was never particularly blown away by my N-Sats when I still had an LP12. Then when I wanted to set up a second system I dragged them back out of the loft and bought an Atom. At first they just sounded OK, but once I had set them up carefully on their stands and replaced some non-Naim speaker cable with NACA5 they were completely transformed into a fun, engaging system.