Saying HI - and help requested for Allea loudspeaker upgrade


By way of introduction I was a member 10 plus years ago but haven’t posted for a long time, although I do drop in occasionally.

I wonder if I could receive advice on my system please ?

NAC 202
NAP 200
Naim cables + interconnects
Good stand (but not Naim)

Although its some 15 years old I love the upfront Naim sound, well until recently when one of the Allae speakers has blown.

Instead of getting it repaired again , I thought I’d research getting new speakers and as Naim no longer make speakers the choice is rather confusing !

Whist I use to listen to predominately dance music , since buying a second hand NDSX5 a few years ago, I’ve become more educated and now hardly play CD’s at all and enjoy the internet radio - particularly Radio Paradise (Naim’s choice).

My living room is circa 250 sq.ft with an average height ceiling and a couple of leather sofas.

Ideally I’m looking for speakers a bit more powerful than my Allaes, as sometimes I have a need for LOUD and could never turn the amp past 9.0 o’clock with distortion, although this may be the amp rather than the speaker capacity ?

So, I was wondering if any member who has a similar type set up may be able to point me in the right direction and your advice will be very much appreciated !

Hi @Musky and welcome,

If you want to play (a lot) louder with the same NAP 200 amplifier, then you will likely need speakers with a higher sensitivity. Horn speakers are one option you could consider in this regard, some speakers from Klipsch for instance reach towards 99dB or higher, which means they will play a lot louder than the Allaes (89dB) with the same amount of power. Think around 4 o’ clock where you would currently dial to 9 o’ clock.

Horn speakers are not everyone’s taste though, they can sound more forward and ‘in your face’, so if you prefer a more laid back sound they might be a bit aggressive. If you have the opportunity then you could look in your area if there are places where you could demo a few options!

Another option for playing louder could be actively powered speakers, and connecting those directly to the NAC 202 instead of via the NAP 200.

While yeah horns can be very loud, it will also hiss a lot :wink:

Even though the wants LOUD (whatever this means), I wouldn’t jump to horns so quickly, something feels off. Certainly a NAP200 should be able to play normal speakers at 9 o’clock without distortion. 89 dB is not so low a sensitivity, it’s the same as my MA, pretty middle-of-the-road. Either something was wrong with the Allaes or is with the NAP or elsewhere in the system, would be my guess


With 9 o’clock i assumed 21:00 (75%), which would be quite loud and wouldn’t surprise me if it caused some distortion in the electronics. But yes it could very well be that something else is off, so it’s a good idea to check the whole chain before upgrading the speakers.

At 75% I would not be surprised either, but I’m quite sure he means the LED is straight left on a 12 hour clock. I.e. with 0% volume at ~7 o’clock, 50% at ~12, and 100% at ~5

I realise this is not answering your question, but as you have moved to streaming I really think you have a lot to gain from a source upgrade. The 1st gen. ND5XS is already a little out of it’s depth with your amp and speakers - an NDX would be a better match, and on a tight budget might be worth considering. On the other hand, as you listen to Radio Paradise, the current range of Naim streamers can play it in lossless FLAC which sounds loads better that the old 320 lossy streams, as well as being an overall sound quality improvement on the older models.

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Thanks for your responses.
I may get the Alleas repaired again, but I thought I’d audition a couple of alternatives on my system - particularly interested in listening to ACT SCM40’s , does anyone have these on a naim system ?

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It’s not so much about sensitivity but about cone surface area. The larger the surface area the easier to reproduce sound at a higher spl without distortion.

Your system is pretty well balanced. There are a lots of speakers that will work well but it really depends on your budget and what works well in your room. Having Alleas I assume you have your speakers close to the wall? Is that still a requirement. I don’t know ATCs but I know they work well with Naim. I would suggest that you talk to a couple of Naim dealers, demo a few brands and then try in your room.

Good luck.

I believe @bruss has a pair of them, not sure if he has the active or passive variant.

Nah, not me. AT cart I tried but no speakers. Spendor fan boy here.

Ah right! Then who was it… :thinking:

Dunno, but searching for ACT SCM40 gives lots of posts the OP might find interesting

@Musky I recently demo’d SCM40s on a SN3 and very nearly went for them. In the end I decided to go with the active versions. Happy to try and answer any questions you have regarding them.

Hi Musky,
My system is almost the same as yours and I changed from Allaes to Neat Momentum 3sx a few years ago. Really good upgrade and no regrets.
The sound is more engaging and dynamic and doesn’t lack in power. My listening room is 4m by 4m with a high ceiling and there’s more than enough power in the 200. I don’t go much above 10 o/c and get a full sound stage.
The Neats like to have space to sound at their best.
Hope that helps.

I was playing allaes for six weeks a couple of weeks ago fed from a Rega combo and a DVD5 and once I acclimatised to the reflex loaded (by the gap) bass compared to my normal NBLs they were quite addictive. For dance music they’ll be hard to beat.

The Rega Maia I was using is 80W but with a smaller transformer compliment than a 200 and I’ve had it run out of current reserve with a pair of Thiels that drop to 3Ω @5kHz, I replaced it with a 250-2 and that never had that problem but the Maia was coping handsomely with the allaes even though getting a trifle warm. You say you have Naim cables, how long is your NACA5? If you’re blowing drivers something is amiss somewhere.

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