Ovator 400

Hi. Just wondered, in the past had, Sara’s, gale, isobariks, now s400, can’t understand why they are not still made, with cds3 252 dr 300 absolutely brilliant, or I am tone deaf.


Glad you like them Steve.

I would have liked to have heard a pair myself but neither of my two dealers didn’t ever stock them.

Naim have a track record of stopping production when items are no longer profitable.

Enjoy your music and a warm welcome here.


I think you are going to be told they are (were) very Marmite!

I have the 600’s. Yes, they are quite marmite - they do 60% of the music very well and the rest just falls apart - it gets too analytical. If the 60% of what they do well is your music they are a steal.

Build quality is also top notch.

I do listen to organ music quite a lot and this is simply the best speaker I have heard for it. Transparency, power, control, details but without getting harsh.

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The reasons have been discussed previously. Speakers occupied 25% of the Naim factory yet delivered only about 3% of profit. The space has been repurposed to enable much more lucrative Uniti production at the factory. There is also the the small fact that Naim are now partnered with a speaker manufacturer.

I have Naim speakers which to me are better than any of the three Ovators. Production of those was stopped because hardly anyone was buying them and it’s been said that they were actually losing money, so costly were they to build. The decision to stop the Ovators was made on factors other than their sound quality.


I had both S600 & (later) S400 with a CDS3 252 300 set-up. Just couldn’t get the S600 to sing at all so sold them on. I took a gamble on S400 and was glad I did as they worked a treat.

This was all in a larger room than I have now, but room synergy is the only thing I could put it down to. I get subjectively more bass from the tiny Tab 10 Signature now than I ever got from the S600 in the old house.


Graeme having Naim gear for at least 30 yrs, hi fi is only as good as setup is everything, including detailed dressing all cables the rewards of setup is well worth the effort

Had s600 running active, with 2 and finally 3, 250 amps. In all honesty probably the worst speakers i have had, probably due to the room i was trying to use them in, but i just couldn’t get them to sound great at all, and when i finally got rid off them, it was such a uplift with the new speakers, it hammered it home how bad the s600’s were in my room.
I just think the ovator range need the right room to work and if not they just sound bad, thats why many didnt like them.

Hard speaker to get right maybe?


What do you think it was about your room that made them not work? (I have S600s and love them - though would have loved S800 even more, having heard them in the same room).

I had Ovator 400’s and thought they were dreadful, they were flat, lifeless, bland etc. I appreciate they were in my room and with my ears but couldn’t get them to work so I moved them on.
Like all speakers they are subjective and vary from system and room differences.

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I know you love your Allaes (as I do mine) but were your S400s placed as per Naim’s placement guide?

I have S400s and love them. I do remember that set up was more critical than I have found with other speakers (even if that experience is limited). The toe in angle was particularly important, with adjustments of a half degree or so being needed for the sound to snap into focus. I can readily believe that in some rooms there is no positioning that works well for S400s, possibly in part explaining why they work for some but not all.


Loved my 600s and often wondereD what the 800s sounded like. A certain well respected manager at Audio-t is said to have one of the last pairs!

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The 800s were essentially like the 600s, only more so. Deeper bass, of course - I think that was the main difference. I heard them in the same room, but not at the same sort of time.

I owned S400 for 3 years when they first came out. In many respects they are an incredible speaker with an electrostatic type hear through qualty. To this day i’ve not heard some of my favourite Radiohead tracks sound as good since i sold them. On the other hand, they never really got to grips with rhythm and timing quite like the SL2 i had at the same time, but left the SL2 dead with what they did well. In the end i let them go and moved back to another favourite of mine, Shahinian Compass. I do however have fond memories of my time with S400, but overall they weren’t an allrounder.

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I love my S400, they pair perfectly with the SU. This duo punch way above their weight.

I must say that your thoughts echo mine exactly. I found them nasal-sounding and veiled. I just couldn’t quite get the point of them to be perfectly honest.

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or (maybe) potentially do cannibalism to Focal speakers ?

Yes, I followed all advice from the forum, tried various distances from the wall, corner, toe in, toe out etc. couldn’t get them to perform which was a shame as I really wanted to like them. I bought them for a really good price and was so excited but soon disappointed.
You’re right, I love my Allaes and it did no harm trying different speakers, but the Allaes really suit my room/ears but we always want more.

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