Ovator s-400 BMR repair


I am a new member to this forum but used it now and again the past couple of years and found it to be very useful sometimes. First naim i heard was the Nait 3 in the late nineties and fell in love with the way it delivered the music. Since then have build my system to were it is now and love it.

About a month ago I bought the Ovators s400 secondhand, not a dealer, and it took me a few weeks to find out the BMR has a fault. In an earlier post someone used the word muffled and that describes it pretty good. Maybe somewhat stupid i didn’t hear that when i bought it but can’t help that now.
It seems that the membrane or diaphragm, however it is called, is pushed outwards. I can push it in from the center but with a lot of resistance that seems to have a magnetic source because there is no sound that comes with it. I have no clue how this is possible.

I contacted the company that imports Naim in Holland and they informed me that Naim doesn’t have any BMR’s available anymore. That was a bit of a shock, does that mean i can throw the Ovators away?

I am not ready for that yet, so I am wondering if there is a possibility to repair them. Best chance for any experience with the Ovators is in this forum i guess, so my question is if there is someone here that has any experiences with this or knows if a repair is possible.

Many thanks in advance.

I think you need to have a word with whoever sold you the S400s, assuming they were faulty before you bought them. If it was a dealer then you should have some straightforward recourse. However, if private then it may not be so straightforward.

Hello Richard,

Thanks for the reply.

It was private. And it may sound naive but I don’t think even the seller knew they were faulty. I listened at his place and also I couldn’t here a fault. Maybe because 1 speaker was closer to a wall then the other and the reflections masked it. I had to turn the balance fully to the one speaker to hear the fault. And even then I thought it was something else like cables or the balance pot of the 202.
It is a very strange fault and never seen this before.

I’m very surprised to hear Naim no longer have spares as I’m sure they were making S400’s less than 7 years ago. Which I thought they have to carry spares for as a minimum.
I would be interested to hear Naim’s official response to what they think you should do with the speakers now.
Surely there not land fill for a £3k speaker

I think you are buggered then, unless you can find someone that can fix it?

You have to be so careful with secondhand speakers. You have no idea what may have occurred during their life. Driver faults in older speakers are not uncommon - usually it can be either a failed HF unit or maybe a coil issue in a mid or bass driver. The usual culprits are either overdriving (i.e. too loud), or under driving (playing with an amp that’s incapable of driving the speakers properly), or else suffering after some kind of mains spike or fault condition in the system. You can easily tell a blown tweeter as they usually won’t work at all. As for a mid or bass driver, if they haven’t failed then usually there’s a sort crunchiness and distortion that creeps in. You also often get a stiffness and crunchiness if you try to gently push on the cone. A BMR would be probably be similar (I’m guessing here as I’ve never seen or felt a faulty BMR) except it’s driven around the periphery rather than from the middle like with a regular driver.

Probably best to speak to the seller and tell them what you have found then try to work something out.

As for repair, I don’t know. There are driver repair specialists around. Perhaps ask what they think?

FWIW, I’ve bought and sold many speakers, and a few have turned out to have faulty drivers that I’ve needed to replace. Often there are no spares available from the manufacturer so it’s a case of looking out for secondhand or NOS spares on the secondhand market, eBay etc… I’ve even bought other pairs with faults just so I could scavenge the parts I needed to make one good pair (anyone with Royds will know what I’m saying here).

RS in the uk have something very similar to the S400 bmr which maybe worth checking out in case it could be made to fit.

Try Falcon Acoustics or Wilmslow Audio - in the UK - ??

Thanks for all the comments and suggestions, I appreciate it.

I have emailed the seller, but honestly don’t expect much from that.

The problem with the repair i’m affraid, is that de BMR is a special developed product by and for Naim.
That will probably mean that there a little standard parts used. So I don’t know if a repairshop will be able to get parts for it.

There is a repairshop not to far from where I live which has some 25 years experience they claim. So I sent them a email with foto’s to ask if they can do something. They wanted me te send it but called the BMR a woofer. It maybe little but it didn’t help in my confidence to trust them with the driver.

So I really appreciate the suggestions and will look into it.

With all do respect, but there is a difference with other manufacturers and Naim. And that is that Naim claims they can service there equipment for many years after production. Not all manufacturers claim that. So I have to say that I kind off relied on that claim when buying Naim equipment.

That doesn’t mean there is no responsibility on my account when buying speakers. But when you do a claim like that, it also creates expectations and responsibilities. That is were my shock came from.

Yes, they were unique drivers…….what a shame.

They certainly try their best but once the stock of spares are exhausted it becomes very difficult. Naim can’t just build more drivers as their speaker manufacturing facilities, including jigs etc… went many years ago to make room for Powerline and Statement production.

I suspect the dread hand of Focal is at play. The decision to kill off the Ovators was total it seems.

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I have seen a brand new spare (matching pair) BMR units throw up on a well known auction site from a dealer not so long ago. Whether they sold them or not is anyone’s guess. Maybe be worth lurking around in their Completed Listings, following a search?

Wait a minute here.
I bought the s-600 used two years ago,so the warranty my dealer offered has expired.
So in case something goes wrong,since naim hasn’t any parts anymore, this means i have to buy new speakers & throw away 6.000€ i bought them???
Are we serious???

Yes all will be land fill.
It’s shocking, I’m sure there’s a 7 year rule in the uk.


I did a search. I guess they are sold. But will keep an eye on it.

Vaggoz: The BMR’s from the 400 and 600 are different. I can’t tell if that ones are also unavailable.

I am hoping someone who knows something about speakers can tell what the technical problem is with the BMR. I am placing a picture of the front. I hope this may help looking for someone with the right experience and tools in the hope they can be fixed.

Like I said in my first post I can push at the front in the center. There is a magnetic like resistance because I here no sound (scratching from windings to the magnet). The voice coil shouldn’t be magnetic and if the coil is charged then it would loose that charge when I unplug the speaker eventually. The speaker has been unplugged for 2 days with no difference to the resistance.

Would love to here some ideas.

You may want to reach out to Karl Heinz Fink, he is the designer of the Ovator series. You may be lucky and get a response / suggestion.

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Blimey… hope it gets resolved soon