Ovator S400 - optimize performance?

Greetings. Excited to have recently acquired my first set of Naim speakers. I’ve always admired the Ovator design, and look forward to getting to know the Naim speaker character.

My question relates to optimizing setup of this particular speaker. (Not necessarily positioning of the speakers.)

There are a lot of moving parts with suspended components, leaf springs etc… I imagine re-torquing of fasteners occasionally?

Ovator plugs? Amp power? What should I know?? Educate me wise ones…

(Fraim Lite on order, don’t hassle me)

At 36yo, it’s taken me 15 years of trading up to get here. It all started by accident with a Rega P1.

Thanks in advance


I think that looks better than a fraim


Yours S400 looks refreshingly great in that finish.
Mine are Zebrano which is more dark.

Maybe you should get rack and direct stacking boxes sorted first ?

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Nice balanced system. I don’t have experience of your speakers so cannot comment on positioning or tweaking/maintenance. They have a bit of a marmite reputation, but some people clearly ‘get’ them.

The obvious thing for me once the Fraim arrives if you still want to upgrade would be a 250DR. Plenty around at decent s/h value, and a definite step up from the 200. The other area I’d consider would be the pre-amp, either 282 or 252, although the latter would need a different P/S too. Demo needed as to which area would be better value, my money would be on the 250.

Nice idea, but the 250 isn’t a good idea with a 202. You’d need to upgrade both pre and power, and that would open up the need for a better source. I suspect swapping to a NC 222/250 might give a better and neater option, if a change was really wanted. In the meantime, getting the speakers further apart would be a good idea. Start them pointing straight ahead and then toe in just enough to get a stable central image on vocals.

The torque settings are available but not published. If you want them, @Richard.Dane will happily send them to you.


Very fair point. That is of course why what you have is nicely balanced. I’ll get my coat…


Indeed, and why it’s best to get the Fraim Lite and sort out positioning, just as you suggest. Hopefully no further changes will be needed.

Nice system. The Ovator manual gives placement guidelines. If I had a pair of S400s, I would definitely consult it to optimise the system.

Yes, @AltaMarshall , just let me know.

Nice speakers - know them well!

Optimising performance; S400s will really start to give of their best with good source and pre/power.
You will seriously have to consider box upgrades to achieve their best.

Two options, HH has suggested NC; one pair of mine are driven by NSC222 + NC250, in a very difficult room they really give of their best. Check carefully recent bargains abound.
The other option would be NDX2/252/SCDR/NAP250DR - lots of bargains also around and this may be a tad better vfm.
What age are your S400s?

So set up of Ovators. Care is an absolute. There are no spares afaik, of absolutely anything.

RD will have the Ovator spec sheet. Take time, the grills must be eased off very carefully, not rotated and replaced in the same position. Use a pair of fine x-head screwdriver or hex key and remove squarely. If they haven’t been off before, they will need patience.
Use a quality torque screwdriver - it’s important. If you don’t know, it doesn’t measure current torque, only when tightening. So give each bolt a slight loosen using the correct hex key, then retighten. Two views, diagonal or clockwise;If you only slightly loosen, then personal choice.
The best starting point for torque is to do the bases first. Look at the diagram first and until you have the base off, it is tricky to understand how the drawing works. Tip - do one bolt at a time or things may move. The base contains the crossover, so if it hasn’t been off previously, it will be tight. The speaker wires are connected and seem to be of differeny lengths, so allow plenty of room around you. Loosen and retighten each in turn. Return the base and then do each of the drive units. Any q’s, do ask.

Placement and positioning, is personal choice. I have one pair on NC kit - stuffed into a shallow alcove - no other options and they perform. Looks like you have a tad of toe-in - experiment and ditto with distance from rear wall, but imho they are not mega difficult to position; ymmv.
If you do upgrade boxes at any stage, then be open to change their position.



Prepare for amp upgrade suggestions.

Somebody mention 250DR poweramp.
Then your preamp is the weak link.
Soon 282 is suggested.
No doubt Supercap comes up.
New classic stuff next.
Oil snake cables.
Source first.

It has no end really, people love to spend others money.


This is great stuff Hound. Thank you for the detail and care here.
@Richard.Dane - Yes please, I would like to track down torque specs and other documentation. What’s the next step to getting those?

I have messaged you.

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Hi Richard, can I get these as well when you have a moment? I think you sent them previously but the document is on an old computer I no longer have. Thanks.

I thought only torque settings for the 600s are available?

Clearly not; I have a copy of both S400s and S600s.

It is available on request, but it has not been published on this or Naim’s own website.

edit - original post amended; with apologies

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Love this forum lol
The obvious go to answer is you need to upgrade everything, the famous journey starts.

I have the S600 document but AFAIK the torque settings are the same for the S400.

Richard looking at the spec sheets for each, the only difference is that there is no torque setting shown for the S400 BMR. I have sent by email a copy of the S400 sheet.
Apologies for suggesting that I thought you had previously had a copy from me.

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Well, in that case, @Richard.Dane , I would love to have a copy for my 400 if you could send me one. Much appreciated!

Edit: and received thanks to Richard. This will come in handy after the next house move, the fourth one since purchasing the s400’s.

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