Pairing Speakers “The Always Question”

Roger, thank you for your thoughts. But yes, your speakers alone exceed my budget by +50%, at around $15,000 for the pair. I’m confident I can find the right speakers for my needs.

Not much in the way of higher end audio in my area but I will certainly drive to get to a few places to experience unique soundstage of potential pairs. Customer service seems harder and harder to achieve these days. But yes, I can tell quickly whether I love the sound or not; reviewers may have more sophisticated ears, but they are not my ears.


Your careful and nuanced responses help me to understand I much I don’t know. Setting aside the very real prominence of confirmation bias in any response — which rises as the price paid rises, usually — I have been looking at a series of speaker pairs that hover around $5,000-6,000 USD (for the pair). And then to bring them into a simple system with the Naim Atom or Nova, and add in a decent CD player.

What price glory? Always the question yes? My space is a rectangular living room that has a dining table, carpet, openings to a hallway. One end would be the listening end. Two tower or floor standing speakers preferably with a wood finish mated to an integrated amp capable of driving the speaker pair. Looking for detail and clarity not loud volume. Classical, vocals, jazz.

I too many other addictions (none chemical) so I am trying to be intentional and limiting in this purchase decision. Thank you again, sincerely.


Mark, I am trying to understand impedance and frequency response. I am not asking you to explain these concepts but to assess whether I am in the ballpark. If I were to pair the Naim Nova with a pair of McIntosh XR!00 speakers, would that work? I’m not wed to the McIntosh pair but open; other speakers might work just as well. I’m trying to get the concept here.

The McIntosh speakers nominal impedance is 8 ohms. I can’t find in the specs a note for minimum impedance. The McIntosh sound pressure is noted at 87db. The McIntosh frequency response is noted at 30-45 KHz. The McIntosh power rating is noted as 75-600 Watts.

The Nova amplifier output is 80W per channel into 8 ohms. Is it correct to assume, based on specs, that this is sufficient power to drive the pair of McIntosh speakers?

The previous notion of using Focal speakers was related primarily to the reality that Naim and Focal merged circa 2011. The price point for the Focal Kanta No 2 is the same as the McIntosh (for a pair).

The Kanta 2 speakers note a nominal impedance of 8 ohms but also note a minimum impedance of 3.1 ohms. The frequency response is 35-40 KHz (+/- 3db) with sensitivity at 91 db. The recommended power amplification is 40-300 Watts. Would the Naim Nova pair well with these Kanta No 2’s?

In either case, my plan is to find a retailer that carries the kit of interest and listen in person. At this point, Mark, I’m just trying to understand the concepts so as not to be a noob.


Better with Kanta , for sure.

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