Recommendations for small bookshelf speakers to pair with Nac 42.5/Nap 110


Looking for a recommendation (ideally from experience) for smallish bookshelf loudspeakers that can work fairly comfortably near a front wall.

The rest of the system will be a digital front end and serviced Nac 42.5 / Nap 110. Room is about 3.5 x 5m.

Looking for speakers that have some warmth to them but can also boogie and are not boring !

Many thanks

The classic combo here would be a pair of restored Kans, but with a digital front end, the Proac Tablette 10 should do nicely. They’ll work well with your amps and source and are happy sitting close to the wall.


Another vote for Tab10’s. A quality item.

I’m tempted to suggest N-Sats, being the only ‘bookshelf’ speaker Naim made, and they work pretty well close to the wall. They do like a bit of power though, as do nearly all small sealed box speakers, and I admit I haven’t heard them with a 110.

Having owned Kans, nSats and ProAc Tablette 10 Signature, my choice would be the ProAcs. Kans are great but do need as really good source, while nSats can sound congested without an nSub. The Tablette is a fine all rounder with a warmth the others lack.

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Kans were Linn’s take on the classic BBC outside broadcast monitor, the LS3/5A - same cabinet, different drivers.

I prefer the rather more neutral-sounding original to the Kans, which you can find on eBay from Rogers and others. Or buy a modern one (with improved cross-over) from Falcon Acoustics.

They need to sit on decent stands, rather than being dumped on a spare bookshelf or whatever, so factor that additional cost into your budget.

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Thanks for all the replies.

I’m looking at some of ex-dem Russell K Red 50 speakers in a Matt black finish.

According to the dealer they should be a nice match !

Well the Russell Red 50’s have arrived and they seem a perfect match to the 42/110 combo !

Can’t believe how good these amps are - way more musical than my Nait 1 tbh (that could be heresy I know……:))

Couldn’t be happier.

Happy listening

I ran a 42/110 combination with MkI Kans on MkII stands for many years. I really enjoyed the combination but as one poster has already observed, it needs a top quality source.

Nothing surprising about that. I put the Nait 2 as about the same as the fc/92/90. The 62/140 is way above that even without a hicap.

Sounds superb via Audirvāna / Quboz and locally ripped lossless files !

Russel K50 are indeed a very good loudspeaker.
Should never have sold mine but you now, sometime the box swap went fast.

Same with Leema Xero, another really lovely mini monitor, often seen at bargain prices.

Above two speaker pair performed better in my room than Tablette X, but needed a bit more distance out in room.

Another point is, all Proacs is biwire, which I find completely nonsens degrading link, as there’s zero reason to put such plugs on speakers apart from marketing.

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I’ve got them about 9 inches from the front wall and they simply sing, very effortless

I listened to some Tablette 10’s very briefly and thought they were a little bright / light sounding though they timed well.

LS50 Meta…worth a listen. Q Acoustics 3020i may work well…PMC have a new slightly cheaper range that could be worth checking out… let us know how you get on…

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I’ve got the Russel K Red 50 home now and they are keepers. They musically gel with the 42.5/110’s beautifully. Very happy

Totem Mites work really well with this combination.

This seems to be a misconception that some people have. Two more different sounding speakers you could hardly imagine. The LS3/5a is all about midband tonal neutrality and imaging and is next to useless at conveying speed, dynamics and timing. It was not designed as a domestic hi-fi loudspeaker and IMO is totally unsuited to the task. Unless you only care about the midband in music and nothing else that is.

The Kan was all about speed, dynamics and timing. It was anything but neutral and uncoloured. In the wrong system, and that is anything but a system consisting of an LP12 and Naim amplification, it can sound anything between very average and bloody awful.

In the right system, set up correctly on the right stands and in the right room it is incredibly musical and addictive - like almost nothing else.

The only thing LS3/5a’s and Kans have in common is the cabinet dimensions. Only purchase LS3/5a’s if you intend to use them for listening to speech recordings. That is what they were designed for and that’s all they are good at.

Couldn’t disagree with you more about ‘modern’ LS3/5As.

But at least we’re agreed about Linn stealing the cabinet dimensions.

I had a pair of Kans long ago, which my son has ‘borrowed’ long-term, and I have a new pair of Falcon LS3/5As on the end of a new Nait 50 (previously late model NAIT 2).

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Not sure that modern LS3/5a’s should sound significantly different to how they did in the '70’s. They are all built under BBC licence to exactly the same spec. If they do sound significantly different then something is not right. Of course there are modern derivatives like Harbeth P3ESR and Spendor Classic 4/5’s which are based on the LS3/5a and they do sound different.

If you like the LS3/5a that’s fair enough - I know some people wouldn’t listen to anything else. I’ve heard them a number of times and I’ve owned the Spendor Classic 4/5’s. I’m afraid I can’t say anything good about them. To my ears they simply suck all the life from the music.

I owned Kans for a number of years and ended up with a sort of love/hate relationship with them. They are incredibly addictive but terribly coloured and very unforgiving of poorly recorded material. Half my record collection was rendered unlistenable by them.

But they are probably the most musically addictive speakers I’ve ever heard.

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We’re forming an orderly queue :wink:

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