I currently own an XS system, though I am crystal balling to a potential upgrade in 12 months. If I replace my Nait XS 2 amplifier with an SN3, keep the Linn 12 and CD5 XS and add an NDX 2 as the SN3 and NDX 2 appears to be a system match.
Would the Focal Kanta speakers be a good match? I am in rural Australia and resources are limited and I only use one NAIM dealer. I am curious if the SN3 can handle a Kanta 2 at low frequencies/impedances? Or should I be looking at a NAP 250 DR? Though I do not wish to go the way of separates as I wish to keep the headphone output on the SN3.
Or forget the idea entirely and just purchase an ND5 XS 2 and be done with it.
I am trying to validate some lower bass responsive speakers and going the long way around to it.
The short answer is yes, but the 250 would be better. Ideally you should hear the Focal’s first though, as they have an analytical presentation that is not everyone’s cup of tea.
I think an NDX2, SN3 and Kanta 2’s would be lovely!
Sure, you’ll be told get an XPS or PS555 for the streamer, a HiCap for the SN3 and maybe ditch the idea of the Focals.
All reasonable advice but what you propose is a great system. Don’t get too hung up on auditions.
Whilst I am not in the bush, (sunny Perth is very urban), I know where you are coming from regarding dealers. You have to buy blind, (or deaf), and hope for the best. And actually it should be fine. Naim rarely dissapoints, ( in fact for me never), and the Focals are fine too.
Hi @Gigantor - I currently run the Kanta 2s with an NDX 2 (with XPS DR) and a Supernait 2, so very similar to your proposed set up. In my room and with my ears it is a great combination. Of course a 250 would be better - maybe some day. Or maybe not. Some days I am just too engaged in the music they are making to think much about that.
The presentation of the Focals is different to other speakers often mentioned on the forum. I auditioned many before settling on the Kantas. All were excellent in their own way, just very different presentations. In the end I found the Kantas just did so many things right for me. I do like their forward presentation. They are very fast. The soundstage is huge and they image really well. The bass is full but very tight. The mid range is beautiful. And the beryllium tweeter is a star - very detailed and forward but not fatiguing. Moreover, I found the sound to be very integrated from top to bottom.
Plus: they are really beautiful. They suit my lounge well and many (non hi-fi) people who come come over love their looks - although I know not everyone feels that way.
I hope this helps a bit, but as @Mike_S says, audition if you can. Good luck in your journey!
@Naim.Marketing has the Kanta.
I feel an SN3 is fine, but a minimum.
Another great example for how speakers are such a personal thing I recently experienced the polar opposite with Kantas and Sopras, I found it terribly disconnected, nearly as if the bass came from another track. Terrible to my ears. Yes, setup was fine.
Which I realize makes it so much harder for the OP
It does make things harder. This is always such a personal thing. It is funny about the integration of the sound - my dealer and I both felt the same way and had had that impression independently of one another. Go figure. In any case, this just reinforces how important it is for the OP to demo if he can, preferably at home like I was able to.
Naim n-SATs - absolutely sensational with a SN3. Serious. Like the real, real deal!
If you are not set on the idea of Focals, I have an SN3/ND5X2 (soon to be NDX2) and I use Totem Tribe Tower speakers, they are a great match for the SN3. I like them much more than my old Focal Cobalts
The Kantas are superb - sound fabulous on Supernait 3 (we used them with NDX2 and SN3 for launch demos), but also great on Uniti Nova in smaller rooms. They are not hard to drive.
They are indeed superb, @Naim.Marketing. I am so impressed with the Kanta 2s and find more to enjoy in them every day. Listening to the Temptations through them right now. What a great way to spend an evening.
Dear Clare and Forum friends,
I did toy with the idea of keeping the XS 2 amplifier and going with a pair of Kanta No. 1 speakers. Though when you add in the price of stands it all comes to $13k AUD. Where another $3k AUD will purchase a pair of Kanta No. 2 speakers.
I wonder what forum members think of this idea? Then purchase an ND 5 XS 2 and tie the ribbons on that.
My listening position is a setup at the apex of a three-sided equilateral triangle of 3 metres on each side.
Option 1: Kanta No. 1 + Kanta Stands + ND5 XS 2 = $17,850
Option 2: SN3 + Kanta No 2 + NDX 2 + HiCap. = $37,800 AUD
Option 3: Option 2 minus the NDX 2 and be happy with my Linn LP 12 = $27,300
I think with the original post I was getting carried away with an SN3 and NDX 2 purchase.
Mitch, getting cold feet about spending money.
I’d go with a NDX 2 & SN3 and look for much cheaper speakers than the Focals. I picked up a pair of mint n-SATs with stands for a little under £600. Even the Ovators go for much less than a new pair of Focals. On the used market they’re hideously expensive and tend to hang around forever, for that reason I guess.
I’ve got Focal Kanta 1’s on my SN3 + NDX2, rock solid and no complaints.
They took a bit of patience to bed in much as any new speaker does but they are open and agile and have a lot of bottom end punch, the Kanta 2’s give you more of that but if your room is modest in size don’t bypass giving the 1’s a look.
It depends a lot on the budget, but I’d tend to agree with what Stephen said:
You hit the nail on the head, it does mostly come down to budget, system synergy and optimising system to environment also follow.
Refering to @Gigantor opening post, I’ve had similar systems myself in the past including a NAIT XS2 and CD5 XS.
It can be tempting to keep things with a mind to reuse them in a new system or build a new system for another space, I’d be inclined to resell everything apart from the LP12 and prioritise the NDX2 first followed by the Supernait and new speakers.
If the budget split allows I’d also consider a SN2 as you’ll get a similar amp to the SN3 for less and can then spend a bit more on some nicer/newer speakers.
You’ll get a dozen opinions here on what’s best/right, most if not all of them likely solid choices. Your location is important here as well, you can’t just pop down to your high street dealer and try out a handful of choices.
I’ve also used PMC’s with NAIT’s with good results and Neat or Spendor often pop up as being favourable.
I’d be inclined to consider the room a little more as well and find folks here with similar space and system to help you narrow things down further. AU and NZ members will have a better feel of what brands tend to be available more readily, you’ll probably find a good match at a decent price that’s easy to source locally that isn’t Naim or Focal.
My post wasn’t a dig at Focal but merely pointing out that it would be better (with a limited budget) to invest into the electronics first rather than the other way around. Then save for the Focals. The Kanta 1 or 2 will slot in lovely with a NDX 2 & SN3, but with a ND5 & XS? I’m not so sure…just saying…
I don’t expect anyone read it as such!
Funnily enough I had n-Sats on a NAIT XS and enjoyed the pairing very much.
Availability in rural Australia may impact on sensible choices as well, we’re fortunate being in the UK that New, ex-demo and used options are wide and varied.
Room size and layout as well as a budget guide from @Gigantor will help narrow things down hopefully.
I had an ND5 XS2 (seem to recall you did same/similar) for about a year on a SN2 and briefly SN3. It was good but when the NDX2 arrived to replace it everything made a lot more sense and it remains as such till this day.
Speakers I’ve changed the least as a component over the years, the rest apart from the NAC A5 has been entirely replaced multiple times!
If you have cold feet about spending money, don’t spend it. Why not just get an ND5XS2 to match your Nait?
I’m not sure where this apparent fixation on Focal Kantas has come from. There are loads of speakers out there, just find some that you like and which match your Nait. I certainly wouldn’t be putting something as expensive as the Kanta 1 on an ND5XS2 and Nait XS2. For what it’s worth, I use £1,500 speakers with an NDX2 and Supernait 3 and it works really well and I feel gives a better balance than would ND5XS2, Nait XS2 and expensive speakers.
The real issue here over and above whether the Kantas will work with whatever electronics, will they work in your room and appeal to your taste, only one way to find out.