Considering new speakers for my Nait2 CB and wondering if I can consider 4-ohm models or if that’s too demanding. No fancy electrostatics that dip to 1 ohm, just standard box speakers with 4-ohm nominal.
I’ve always thought/read that the Nait2 needs sensitive speakers with “benign” impedance (which I assumed to mean 8-ohm nominal and fairly flat), but I’ve seen several 6-ohm recommendations and I notice the old Stereophile review tested the power into 4 ohms. However, I’ve never seen any discussion or review of a Nait2 with 4-ohm speakers; perhaps I should take the hint but I figured I’d ask explicitly.
I’m in a small-medium room and I rarely turn my Nait past 10 or 11 o’clock, which is generally loud enough for me and too loud for the rest of my family.
PS. I have read several speaker recommendation threads and I appreciate the advice, but many of the recommendations are obscure, 30-year-old speakers that are nearly impossible to find in decent condition and/or on this side of the Atlantic.
The NAIT2 (if in good health) is surprisingly load tolerant, despite its small power output. A lot of modern speakers trade impedance for sensitivity. So long as you have no nasty dips below 2 ohms, the impedance isn’t too reactive, and the sensitivity is reasonable, I see no reason why it shouldn’t work, especially if not expecting head-banging volume levels. However, do stick rigidly with Naim’s speaker cable recommendations (see FAQ).
The so called speaker impedance is nominal and goes up and down around this approx nominal value as I am sure you realise, and this can also be affected by room coupling… ie your room can affect your impedance response slightly, especially in the lower end.
The thing to look out for is no very high impedance peaks (voltage starve) or impedance drops (current starve)… but remember these are complex and not real values… ie it’s AC not DC.
Most speakers these days are well behaved here, but be careful with more esoteric ones. A speakers impedance will often be inductive in the lower frequencies and become capacitive in the higher frequencies.
Assuming your speaker doesn’t use a ribbon tweeter, and you follow the Naim speaker cable length guide I doubt you will have issues… albeit if the amp speaker coupling is moving out of balance you may find shy bass, treble shy or hot spots in the audio response.
In my experience with Naim amps (and many other amps), when you start to push them out of their comfort zone, the sound hardens and is really not so enjoyable… I am sure you will notice this, and therefore operate the amp in its best spot.
Thank you for the replies. I will now add in my own reply.
My question was prompted by my general consideration of new speakers, and then specifically by a pair of Acoustic Zen Adagios that popped up for sale near me.
The Adagios are 89dB sensitivity and rated 6-ohm nominal, but actually spend almost the entire frequency range at 5 ohms, with a couple very brief detours to 4 ohms near the frequency extremes and a couple equally brief detours to 7 or 8 ohms. They never drop below 4 ohms.
Bottom line: the Adagios sounded terrific through the Nait, which has not seemed to struggle with them at all so far at moderate volume (perfectly adequate between about 8 and 9 o’clock, depending on the source).
PS. Here’s a link to the story of my Adagio purchase: Good day for my Nait
Those speakers sound rather benign, should work well. However they have a ribbon tweeter… just ensure you observe minimum NACA5 cable length, or even up it a bit, to stop any instability / ringing creeping in with strong treble content.
Although in the blurb, the designer says their particular tweeter has purely real impedance ie purely resistive… which is curious… I would like to see how before I took that as gospel.
Every Naim amp, is well happy to drive 4ohm nominal impedance loudspeakers. Also the nominal power output data is L+R channel (Nap 110 55+55 4ohm, 40+40 8ohm)
You can’t say that… it’s the minimum (and max) impedance across the pass band that is relevant… not the ‘nominal’ value… which means nothing specifically other than average or even the median.
Of course, assuming that the impedance has not too much phase rotation with extremly low dips, a modern Nait is pretty comfortable with loudspeakers like S400. I can’t speak for early Nait 1 e 2 that were tuned with period loudspeakers like Kans, Heybrooks etc.
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