New SBLs

OK, not quiet true. Having bought and fallen in love with a pair of MkI SBLs I have jut had a full set of new drivers fitted, which wasn’t cheap …but my thought is that Naim have stored these for a loooong time, and if I was buying the SBLs new today they wwould cost substantially more than I paid.

The MkI drivers are now stored as a backup and I am playing at lower volumes while things settle down, including the MkII mid/bass drivers.


It makes complete sense to install new drivers especially when stocks are running low and an upgrade to the MK2, so another 20 to 25 years of enjoyment happy days.

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My thoughts precisely.


MrUnderhill, what is the source / amplification you use them with?

LP12/Aro/Geddon/DV20 or Linn Klimax DS/1 renew >>
Townshend Allegri or EAR868PL >>

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So naim still stock the mid/bass driver??

Amazingly - yes, and the tweeters. They are NOT cheap, but if you consider that the SBL today would probably be circa £4-£5k, and I love what they do, then this is an investment in a pair of speakers that will hopefully last me for the rest of my life.


What did the tweeters set you back? I take it they are the spec ones from naim with the brass damper on the back of them. Like this.

The drivers were sent be Naim to my dealer who then fitted them, but I would be very surprised if they didn’t have the brass damper.

The new tweeters were £401.76 for the pair.

Would I recommend this as a Mk I > Mk II upgrade?

Well, they are slightly more detailed and give a better image …but, I loved the Mk I and could very easily have just lived with them; BUT, I want to keep these until I drop and the driver were old. By doing this I hope I have forestalled any issues, and I still have the old drivers as a backup.

I believe the quantities of the SBL drivers they still have are whittling away, and so decided to move now rather than await an issue.


Congrats, Mr Underhill

I hope your refurbished SBLs give you many years of enjoyment.

All we need is pictures of them now ; )





I’ll sort some out later, honest!

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Not the greatest quality. Please note the cat repellent devices atop the speakers!


Hi Debs,

Do you still have your SBLs?

Yes, mine are 1991 vintage in rather nice dark oak veneer.
In 2010 i had them refitted with new naim paired tweeters @Cymbiosis, Peter did a fine job :+1:
The bass cabinets went to naim Salisbury HQ for a new mid/bass driver refit :speaker::speaker:
Purchased new pair of x-overs too : )


I was under the impression that naim no longer stocked SBL mid/woofers, as this has been mention by other members of the forum. Im probably wrong again🥴 sorry I’m not trying to sew doubt but would like to get to the bottom (no pun intended🤢) of it. They definitely look like the correct ones.
Interesting the sbl tweeters cost a little more than the sl2 tweeters not by much (£16 each) :call_me_hand:.
Anyway, bloody awesome your my kool cat of the forum this week,
Kudos to you and yours!

What a lovely pic Debs. First time I’ve seen them in brown.
Your 552 would make them sing like the Angels and raw like a lion. An astonishing speaker they just keep giving no matter what you put into them, wow.

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It’s true they do sound very good with a 552/500, but a couple of honest thoughts:

Firstly, SBLs certainly don’t need a 500 to sound enthralling, SBLs were designed primarily for the NAP250 or 135s, either of which would be my preferred recommendation.

It isn’t a problem using a 500, except it does tend to out-class the SBLs, the dilemma in my case is to either replace my SBLs for a better speaker [ something i’m reluctant to do because i have a fondness for my sibbles and i don’t want to spend big bucks money on ‘better’ speakers] or perhaps to swop out my 500 for 4 x 135s active [ something i’m reluctant to do because i don’t want to increase the box count ] :thinking:


Lol, well I have sl2 and would love a nap 500 but have 135. They do a great job imo. But I would love to have 4x 135 active system, more boxes for me the better, as I have a spare room where I can base the boxes and go under my house to the speakers. As you can imagine my wife is all for moving the mana out he he.
Oh first world problems :grin:


They look very nice. Mine came with two pairs of xovers, one pair being new and are the ones I am using.

I had wanted to buy a pair of Cherry, but I am now very glad I have black - somehow they just seem to melt far more into the background. My wife is pleased, I am starting to wonder whether she trained the cats to attack the Focals :wink:

For the money I have now spent on the SBLs I could have bought a pair of SL2s, but I am not at all bothered. These are excellent speakers and work well in my room, and they are now set up for the future.

One Happy Bunny!