I’m back in the Hi-Fi game after a 17 year sabbatical. My last system was a Cyrus/Mission set up consisting of Cyrus 3i, PSX power supply, DAD7 CD and Mission 752 speakers. When the wife moved in the Hi-Fi moved out and I’ve been putting up with various Bose Acoustimas systems since then.
As the kids are getting older and my eldest son has just moved all of his Xbox gear out of the “playroom”, I though the time was about right to stake my claim on the now partially vacant space…
As these things go I set about ebay looking for a fairly modest setup with an initial budget of around £1200 in mind. I’d envisage an Arcam/Kef type set up. I quickly secured a pair of mint condition Kef Q500 speakers and had expected these to be the strongest part of the system. However I’ve always coveted a Naim system and couldn’t help searching for well priced Naim components…
Less than a week later my system was complete and my budget blown. I’d picked up a mint condition Nait XS and CD5X both at a very good price, but more than what I’d wanted to initially spend. But at least I’ve got that Naim system I always wanted.
The problem I now have is the speakers are the obvious weak link and I’m finding that they can be a little tiring to listen to with the treble sounding harsh at times. I heard a pair of Proac D15’s on a Naim system which sounded amazing, but they seem quite rare and may be out of my budget. I’m looking at options from Spendor (A6 and S5e), PMC Twenty 23, Focal Aria (906 and 926).
My listening room is around 4.75x3m and ceilings are standard. Walls are solid as opposed to stud. I listen to a wide variety of music, but would like something with decent base. I am a fan of floorstanding speakers, but I’m not closed to the idea of standmounts if I can get decent base response. I’ve recently heard a set of Dynaudio standmounds driven by a nait XS and they seemed a little thin and unengaging. I’d also like to keep the spend as low as possible (hopefully under £1000).
Any thoughts or advice would be greatly received.
Andy, Congrats on new set. Do you still have the 752s? If so I would try them first.
Ostherwise I would try both the Focal models you mention. Naim recommend their Naca5 speaker wires and I’ve never had any cause to doubt them.
Some sort of shelving unit so that one box is not standing atop the other is also a good idea…
Unfortunatly the 752’s were sold with the rest of the kit back in 2002. As you suggest I am looking to buy a rack to put my new equipment on. Current favourite is the Custom Designs Reference 10 in walnut and black.
I admit to having knowledge of neither your previous system, nor your new Kef speakers, but I do remember that when I first dipped my toe into a Naim set up I was quite disappointed by the apparent harsh treble and generally tiring Naim presentation.
A couple of weeks later, and I finally “got it”, as the music was driving along with a realism never experienced with my previous top end, but comfortably mellow, Japanese system.
So before spending any further funds, why not persevere and hopefully, that breakthrough will arrive.
If you do continue looking at fresh speakers, then don’t overlook any of the offerings from Neat Acoustics, whose kit seems to have a natural affinity with Naim gear.
Oh, and welcome to the madhouse which is this forum!
Thanks for the feedback. After spending a few more days with the system it was very clear that this was a setup that just wasn’t working for me. The dealer that I’d purchased my Cyrus system from all of those years ago is also a Naim dealer so I decided to go over there today to get their view and listen to some alternative speaker options. Luckily they had an offer on Neat speakers and after listening to a set of SX2’s I walked out of the shops with a box fresh set in black for what I though was a n amazing price of £885. Fresh from the box these speakers sound infinitely better than the Kef’s, can’t wait until they are fully run in.
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