Optimal Speakers for Olive Systems

Over the last year I’ve added a Cairn Fog CD player, SNAPS and NAC 72 to my NAP180, driving a pair of Tukans and a BKK 400 sub. I have yet to work out where I want to put my NAC12 and NAP120, but that’s another story…

I’ve been relatively content, but I’m beginning to look at other speakers, mainly for more detail in the sound. My tastes tend to run to acoustic and jazz with the occasional foray into some loud rock. The Neat XLS Ultimatums have caught my eye, but there are no dealers in my neck of the woods. Preference is for standmounts, due to the WAF.

So this got me thinking… Is there a point where the choice of speakers exceed the capability of the system, from a quality/capability standpoint?


That question gets you into the whole source first / mullet discussion, which has been had countless times. Take the XLS. It’s a top notch speaker and one that’s a challenge to drive. You’d want at least a 250 and ideally 135s. You’d also ideally want a 52. Which leads to a better CD player. So the speaker is driving upgrades elsewhere, and upgrades you may not really want to make. To improve things at a sensible price I’d be swapping the snaps for a Hicap and the 180 for a 250, and theTukans for a pair of SBLs, or maybe Linn Saras. The CD player is an unknown quantity. Maybe it needs improvement, or maybe not.

Cairn Fog CD player is quite good. ( I know it’s an unfortunate name )

It’s certainly an unusual name. Does it have similarly named partnering models, I wonder?

Burial Mist preamp, Sepulchral Miasma power amp? Sounds better suited to death metal than acoustic jazz :grinning:

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