I have pair of immaculate SBLs mk1
Sound amazing but do need a service,
Passive crossovers aswell, and rebuild
(Had to get that in, so I’m not told what else to do)
But Do I upgrade to the mk2 drivers,
Or keep them as they are for the purists out there?
Because 1 day they will passed on,
I have pair of immaculate SBLs mk1
Surely you should do whatever makes you most happy now, while you have them to enjoy.
We’re all a long time in the grave!
(I know nothing about SBLs.)
I’m not sure whether Naim have any Mk2 (in-house) driver update sets left.
Otherwise the only alternative is either to scavenge from a pair of Credos, although they then won’t be perfectly within spec or matched, but after so many years that’s probably not too great a concern! Or else keep them as-is.
Thought that might be the case on drivers
Simples then, I’m keeping keeps has is
strip, service, get case’s refurbished and then rebuild,
They do sound awesome with the 42.5 and CBHC
Which veneer flavour do they have?
I would say it’s a case of if the mid-bass drivers ain’t broke don’t fix 'em
The original SBLs sound really fine as they are, although there’s no denying the modest improvements the new mid/bass drivers bring, it isn’t the be all and end all, and even if still possible with brand new retrofit upgrade it would cost a heck of a lot, money probably better spent elsewhere; front end, or a hicap…
Also if the intention is to enjoy with 42.5 / 180 then imo would be more sensible to maintain the tweeters and cross-overs in good working order, make sure the cabinets are sealed properly, and enjoy the Sibbles for the vintage classic MK1 originality.
I have nd555 / 52 / 135 in front of SBL mk1.
Just curious, how do you know they need doing?
I really didnt like crossover servicing of Kans using Solen caps but perhaps alcaps are ok.
Thank you, my plan is now to keep them as they are,
Going to take them apart have the cabinets refurbished (black ash)
Years of polish on them😭
Have crossovers and all components looked at,
New set of grills
Nice winter project
I love my sbls so much … but… never tested a new speaker …
My sbls have shown the slightest change in any components or cable.
So they must be a capable speaker!
With speakers it is so much about what you like to listen to. SBLs will not give you holographic 3D soundstages. They won’t give you limitless bass extension. They are not cuddly in the way that Harbeth and others might be.
What they are is a fast, involving, discreet and revealing loudspeaker. They are fun. If these are your priorities there is little to challenge them. After 35 years of use nothing has tempted me to move on.
Personally I think you are right to keep them original at this point and just to enjoy them. They’re still one of the most attractive loudspeakers ever made I think - the proportions and angles are just right.
My MK2’s are still doing a sterling job as rear surrounds in the main system and for speed and articulation they are still excellent even by the standards of today.
I agree that the SBLs are great looking speakers. I always preferred how they look to the SL2s
I must admit that whenever I heard SBL’s I always thought that my IBL’s sounded way better. They lacked the scale and bass weight of the SBL’s for sure, but they also sounded much faster and more obviously dynamic to me.
I’ve read that out of the family of three classic Naim speakers, the IBL, SBL and DBL, the SBL was the odd man out, being voiced differently to the IBL’s and DBL’s. The DBL’s apparently just sounded like very big IBL’s! I’ve no idea how true any of that is.
I did just once hear the SBL’s sounding absolutely superb. They were driven actively with CB 250’s (or maybe 135’s - can’t remember) and an LP12 with Arro and Troika I believe. Not that I ever thought they sounded bad, it’s just that they didn’t normally tempt me away from my IBL’s.
A great classic Naim speaker though, and very little to match its strengths from today’s line up of speakers. One to hold on to for sure.
Mine are very holographic in my setup
Bass Extension is for sure a topic.
And they tend to be a bit rough sometimes - far from silky. But this is what I like very much - also since 35 years
By IBL Standards they must sound slow. IBL is a rocket - if ever one pops up!
But I think that SBL is one of the most popular bnaim speakers - think it is the most popular naim speaker.
Soundwise I remember IBL, SBL and DBL to be in line.
Yes I think the SBL was certainly more popular than the DBL or IBL. The DBL was just too expensive for most people - and too big, the IBL was just too thin and bass light for most people to stomach. They are marmite speakers for sure, and this is both their weakness but also their great strength.
In those days manufacturers were not afraid to break the rules and to market something that was very different to just about everything else. These days everyone plays it safe. It’s boring boring boring!
I know that the old ones must have some wear of ( tweeters and woofers).
But as there is no optical sign (look like first day) I say to myself, that there is no wear - only perfectly run in.
And another point is, that they are a perfect match with my olive 52/135. sound is far from modern , but that is how I like it.
Like Bovril, but not as nice.
Noo… Marmite Fan here…