Ive had a Naim system of some form for 20+ years and have enjoyed it. We were in Asia until this Covid situation hit and the system was used a lot, now we are back home in the UK. Currently the system is:
CDS/PS (currently in storage), 72, Hicap, 250, Allaes. Streaming duties (from Tidal) and local ripped CDs are stored/played on my MacBook Pro running Audirvana fed to a DAC-V1 and then the 72. Most of the listening is via streaming at the moment until I can get the CDS out of storage - I didn’t want to take it to Asia for fear of damaging it.
The Amps were serviced in 2017.
I think the Allaes have a problem, the sound from one side is ok, the other side sounds compressed, particularly in the treble. They were damaged slightly on the tweeter some years ago by a toddler plus I think all the house moves from Asia haven’t helped. Having tested the 72/hi/dac, I know this is working fine, I will be checking the 250 works properly today. Assuming the 250 is fine, I am going to need to look at new speakers, ideally with a slightly more laid back presentation than the Allaes as they have always sounded a little bit fatiguing.
I’ve been out of the hi fi game for years, mainly to listen to the system rather than tweak it. So I really don’t know what’s considered a good match for the electronics.
Local dealers have Dali Rubicons, Focals, Audionote, Audiovector and Shahinians (which may be over budget). Is there anything else which would be well suited, and recommended for a demo? budget is under 3k.
Hi, As an Allae owner, I’d say they are probably fixable but it sounds like you may not want to. Neat and Kudos seem to be popular with Naim. Also Spendor for an allegedly more relaxed listen.
Your comment about the ‘fatiguing’ sound of the Allaes makes me ask when were the amps and HC last serviced? and by whom?
Good luck and please report back on your findings.
The electronics were serviced in 2017 by class A, so should be fine. Having now tried them with other speakers they seem to be in good condition. Yes, I do believe the Allae could be fixed, but its not an economic fix and I am worried I’d end up spending quite a lot of cash on chasing a problem I may never resolve.
I think my tastes have changed, probably not helped by some tinitus in my left ear. Its permanently there at low level, but gets worse from time to time if I have had a migraine (Ive been checked out, and there isn’t anything to worry about, its just anoying). I think harsh systems seem to draw attention to the problem.
Dali Rubicon 5 were quite similar to how I remember the Allae sounding, 6’s were considerably nicer with greater lower range - as would be expected. But they are very forward with my electronics and whilst an exciting listen in short bursts, I wonder if they are going to be too much for me over time.
Audionotes were sublime, I didn’t try them with my electronics (the demo used a supernait) and they were not setup properly in the listening room. But I think they have real potential. I also liked the Russel K 120.
More demos are setup over the next few weeks.
You could try swapping crossovers and then top boxes, just to see if it’s definitely the tweeter of one box that’s the issue.
Good idea. I’ll have a look into this.
Are you looking to reinstall the CDS soon? I ask because that should surely take away hardness and fatigue.
Amp-wise, my Linn dealer is a big fan of Shahinian Arcs with his NAP250.
I just swapped the heads over - no change.
I then swapped the cross overs - no change.
I think the RHS tweeter is fubar.
I’m getting the CDS out of storage in about a 10 days. Yes the Shaninians are great, but their presentation is quite different to anything else out there, may take some getting used to them. I listened to them with lesser naim amplification and they were muddled, suspect I will need to try them with more oomph to get them working.
OK, good. At least the tweeters are fairly straightforward for a dealer to replace. Well worth doing as Allaes are great speakers for the money.
Not new, but under £3k and there are quite a few fans on here (including me) - what about SL2s?
Richard, are the tweeters still available? A number of dealers suggested parts for the Allae may not be available (of course they wanted me to splash some cash on something new).
Tim, Ive not heard an SL2 and not seen any for sale in a while. If I could find some I’d definately try a demo.
I’m going to need some home demos as the shop dems just are not working for me, I think it will need to wait until the CDS comes home so I have a proper source to aid the comparison. I’ve done three demos now and listened to quite a few speakers, and it’s not easy to make a decision.
I’ve no idea I’m afraid. You should ask your dealer or email Naim. If Naim don’t have any more then you can at least still get replacement Scanspeaks from other sources, although they won’t have not been selected (probably not a deal breaker in Allaes anyway). Just be sure to re-use the brass damper that Naim fit to it (i.e. don’t throw that away!) - n.b. I’m fairly sure Naim did fit a damper to the Allae tweeter, but if not, then that’s at one more thing not to worry about.
Might want to consider ProAc’s I think the DT-8 might do the trick
I spoke to naim today, seems they don’t have tweeters or drivers, but they are looking up the spec for me so I can hopefully get replacements elsewhere.
They did. I’ve just had a look.
Thats right Allaes do have a damper.
When I replaced the tweeters on my first pair of Allaes I removed the damper then used a hot melt glue gun to adhear.
Memory serves its the SCANSPEAK D2008/851100 TWEETER but a quick call to Falcon Acoustics will confirm.
Thanks for the model number. I have found it on falcon acoustics at just under £70 each, so not very expensive. The one you quoted doesn’t have ferrofluid (whatever that is), there is a second version which has ferrofluid. Do you know if this is important?
Yes, you need the one without Ferrofluid.
The D2008/851100 I posted is the one without the fluid and as Richard posted is the one you need.
Good luck but get a decent soldering iron and good old fashioned Crystal 505 60/40 tin/lead solder.
Allaes are repaired. Because this was covered by insurance, the repair was done by a dealer. CDS/PS back, all my CDs back (yay).
We plugged it all in yesterday and it sounded horrible (not a surprise) very shouty and fatiguing to listen to. Today it’s much better and improving hourly (I’m running everything in on a mix of drum and bass, Tool and Daft Punk). The CDS is a revelation, we have missed it. My dealer thinks the Melco D100/Dac-V1 should be able to give the CDS a run for its money - so I am trying it out, but for my ears its not there at the moment.
Im going to give the Allaes a bit longer, and make a decision on whether to replace them in a few days.
Thanks all for the advice