Retirement Planning

When I was looking for a possible replacement for my Naim DBLs I listened to quite a few speakers up to the £35k mark. The best I heard were Vimberg speakers which is the “cheaper” brand of Tidal Audio.

I didn’t find Focal or Rockport speakers worked particularly well with 552/500 combo. Maybe the Statement amps work better with those brands.

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Off topic slightly, hifi prices in Australia are a total rip off. My advice is buy your gear before you go.


We extended our ‘holiday’ house in 2013 exactly with this in mind and I would say the place and garden are all finished now. The dimensions of the cuboid were luckily a great success from an acoustic point of view. I have just installed a budget system with chrome bumper amps from my student days recently serviced, where my Auralic Altair G1 that contains a 2TB SSD can travel on holiday with us. Very pleased with the way the room sounds, beating hands down the room at home that houses the big system

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I use Kharma DB7’s with Nagra electronics, but in your situation,I would definitely look at DB9’s. A guy in Florida who owns an audio store runs DB9’s with 500 series Naim…and loves the combo.
I have been through many speakers from Dynaudio,Focal,Neat to name a few.
Kharma are my end game speakers,they are finished to perfection. It’s like a 911 Porche sitting in my living room looks wise. The sound is also the best I have heard.

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they are certainly more expensive than the UK on a simple exchange rate comparison
most items are more expensive in Australia than the UK- but then again salaries and wages are higher here
certainly if you can I would buy before you travel

Hi Joe… my first post on the Forum after a long hiatus of 20 years from Hifi. Was in the old Forum then, nice to be back in the Naim fraternity. :stuck_out_tongue:

I understand your sentiments about planning for retirement and it’s good to do this early… when we have a little time and aren’t rushed, we make better informed decisions after nosing around… Have fun!

Your Statement will drive anything today. So getting your speaker, as some members here have so succinctly pointed out, is really about what you like - personal preference. So many to choose from. If it’s vocals, staging, then bass as your speaker requisites - in your future room, I think the present generation Wilsons will be a good match, at least a Daw for what you might be looking for, or if it’s a final retirement speaker without having to do the overkill into the Chronsonic XVX or WAMM, the Alexx V seems a promising candidate. I was not convinced with the Alexia 2s for nearly double the outlay - a Daw would be more than enough to fill your room with enough qualitative volume.

The “challenge” with Wilson speakers seems to be their ‘frequent’ upgrade changes every 5 years - but I think I would be shot for sharing this as it would seem ubiquitous for most speaker manufacturers to constantly innovate and rejuvenate… - if you buy them, don’t look anymore at hardware and just get back to the music… I loved the Naim SBL and DBL speakers - Roy George’s classics which stood the test of time for many years while they were still manufactured by Naim.

A very experienced dealer here in Singapore shared good succinct advice recently - the first thing he said immediately when I was asking him for feedback - fit your speaker choice into your room first, with the right matching amps as the basis, then work on adding the rest, with “the-best-source-you-can-afford” rule quickly coming into effect to match the rest of the set-up. Old news generally not to squeeze a full range speaker into the confines of a smaller room… [the “sealed box, non-ported” likes of the Titan 808s, SBLs and DBLs being a few accommodating exceptions to this] - or to place a small speaker to try and fill a huge cavernous room. But anyone of us can do anything… from personal choice - whatever makes each of us happiest when listening.

I couldn’t agree more with Peter R’s feedback on room acoustics - I have enjoyed his careful set-up for his system - if we pay our money for hi-end hi fi, then don’t just “plug and play” - wring every ounce from the set-up - where all the fun really is!? FR’s Sonus Faber Aida recommendation will certainly be interesting for warmer vocal mid-ranges… beautiful speakers. If looks don’t matter to you, the very boxy but commanding ATC 150s are hard to fault with their driver selection and build quality, another excellent recommendation by Innocent_Bystander. Try the SE versions? I couldn’t live with the looks of the ATC 150s - matter of taste.

I’m personally not a fan of sublimely huge speakers but will share my sordid love affair with the Naim DBLs which I sadly never owned. Heard them just recently again at a friend’s place - after 20 years, they still sounded every bit the true monsters they are. Hard to beat them at their best. They are just wonderful for my kinda sound. Heard the Kudos 808s - no one can say they’re not a great match with the bigger Naims. For what they do, they’re quite ‘compact’ by large speaker standards.

Have fun, Joe! Enjoy your auditions and please post when you can your exploration escapades.



Well Phil, I’m humbled being dragged up re system/ room set-up so a big thank you :relieved:
I couldn’t agree more with your insightful and in fact lovely post.
You enjoy where you are and all the best Peter

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Thks Peter, I have enjoyed most of your posts and your obvious passion for Naim.

Of the many I have chanced, your system set-up is as careful, and logical, and so neatly set-up, as should be for an S1-based system … lovely room with your Fact 12s on the Townsend Podiums… I’m quite certain you’re having sonic nirvana and daily escapades - enjoy, Sir!

Cheers with my warm rgds

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Thanks naimniac for the your insights. This last couple of months I have been caught up with working with the builder on the house plan. Need to get it started hopefully by the middle of the year. By the time the house is completed, my eldest would have completed his second degree while number 2 would be in her final year. Taking this into consideration, we now have a space of a HT room separate from the hifi room. Decisions decisions decisions.

I am getting a local audio establishment to provide some consultancy on room acoustics, power supply considerations and general advice. I want to get it right. Do not want to make the same mistake likes the current room which was costly to rectify. The new room & old room size is the same with the exception of raking ceiling so all the expensive school fees paid still applicable. Fingers crossed.

Enjoy the journey Joe….!

Wish you a smooth set up and lovely music.

My rgds

Thanks Phil. Really hope that this pandemic becomes endemic then can pass by Singapore again on the way back to Perth. Happy CNY !

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Gong Xi Fa Cai!

Catch up when you pass through. Anytime.


Another speaker to consider is the Kudos Titan 808.

They work very well with Naim gear and would certainly fill that size of room.

I would get Naim DBL - one of the best speakers ever made. These new speakers are (a) overpriced (b) not as good (c) do not have the speed and excitement and full range of DBLs. They must be active - 3 x 250DR (minimum) fronted by 552 or Statement Pre would be my choice, with a good record player, tuner and CD player. I have not heard a ND555 so can’t comment on that.

Once active, hard to go back to passive :slight_smile:

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one cannot plan. i worked till 65. aged 77. i was hit buy a motorist on a crossing.
i have life changing injuries. but i survived. so i do not complain. when i go to formula 1
at silverstone i have disabled seating. which is one of the best seats at the circuit. a
perk with the job.


Hi Joe. Are you/wife originally from Perth ?

I regularly visit the two local Naim dealers here, So whilst their websites advertise many Brands, often they only have a filtered selection of stock.

Case-in-point, I recently wanted to buy a Naim Core and being distracted by family ongoings I didn’t get around to doing until, knowing the current price, one free day I decided to do it.

I am a firm believer in supporting local shops, so that they remain local.

Unfortunately that very day was the Naim Australia-wide price rise +$500, and both Naim dealers had no stock and would happy order from Melbourne at the new price. Reluctantly I went online and secured one at the old price from a Melbourne Naim dealer with free delivery.

Whilst local dealers have “the brands” one cannot be sure of getting to listen to what your heart is set on.

I took another friend who likes my Naim system to the dealers, she liked the sound of the Naims with PMC Twenty5 22 combo as it met her bookshelf requirement. But I convinced her hubby to step up PMC Twenty5 23 for better bass. There was an Australia wide sale on PMC, but the local Perth dealer didn’t have the PMC Twenty5 23 in stock, and would only bring it in for them at the non-sale price. My friends went online and immediately bought the discounted Naims/Twenty5 23 combo from Melbourne.

You probably already know, do all your speaker auditions before settling here, so that you get to hear them. Fortunately I travel (pre covid) and listen to my target speakers in USA/UK/HK and Sg.

Were you here for the Statement launch, when the dealer had the Focal Grand Utopia setup for auditions ?

I agree with you that the new speakers require a huge investment and if somebody is used to play active he doesn’t switch to passive mode.
I replaced my beloved NBL with Titan 808. Both driven in active mode with 3 x NAP 250 DR. The 808 improved the sound in all aspects, speed, details, soundstage, …. DBL are in all aspects I mentioned before better than NBL, but I doubt that they outperform the 808. That’s just my assumption.


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