Sbl purist?

Oh yeah, they Are nice, and very capable speaker, I doubt I will have to do much to them,
Oh and I have a high cap, CB style

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I remain committed to my SBLs. I started simpler, and over the intervening 26 years I’ve gone active, gone with Supercaps/burndies, upgraded the CD player with external power, spent money on cabling, and most recently added a single sub.

At all stages the SBLs let the upgrades through, so have never been a limiting factor.

Moving them away from their design environment of solid floors/walls emphasised the potential for thin-ness of bass (source and recording dependent) and this is what led me to reluctantly introduce the sub. It is turned right down and its impact has been to complement the SBLs, give that 3D soundstage and enhance the treble performance. The sound does come across as if it produced by the SBLs.

I’ve bought the replacement grilles from TomTom, and I have a spare pair of tweeters just in case, but I’m in no hurry to change.


This is exactly how it has been for me with my iBLs.


And my sbls as well :smiling_face:
So astonishing how this old boys show the slightest detail in change with equipment.
Someday I will think about the sub again. Tested the sizmik years ago with SBL and 72/hc/250, but thought the sub was too slow and always a bit behind the naim electronic.
Now with nd555/52/sc/135 I think it is not really slower than before :rofl:


While a matter of personal taste, I think the SBLs are a fantastic piece of furniture to look at and I suppose part of that is that their form follows their function. I don’t look at another speaker and think ‘I want that’ in quite the same way. The thought that went into them and the care in their assembly still bring me joy. They were not a cheap speaker in their day and it shows.

I could make a sacrifice and go for the DBL but with so few available and even then at great cost, possibly requiring an extensive refurb, part of my journey to the sub was to think about what’s missing, so to speak, when comparing the SBL and DBL and really it came down to that big bass driver.

I’d thought about whether getting two further 135s and a SNAXO 3-6 and having enclosures built for 15” or comparable drivers would get me a pair of DBLs by the back door so to speak. As I sketched out the enclosure it occurred what I was drawing looked like a forward facing sub.

All non-sub routes forward at that point involved a lot more cost, more shelves and more cables. Not that I’d be deterred if that was the sonic solution, but with so many recommendations from forum members based on their experiences and having spoken to one of the former naim engineers who support the wider community I decided to give it a go and for reasons of space, visual matching and flexibility I followed one recommendation to get a BK Double Gem rather than anything wider.

Having it turned almost right down in terms of gain and crossover complements the SBLs. Having it ‘barely on, just gently supporting the main speakers’ is where I was recommended to go and having tried more gain and a higher crossover point (points in fact) I eventually concluded that those prior recommendations were right. Had I followed them immediately I’d have got to the end point in an afternoon. I also spoke to the maker who was less fussed about positioning and connecting his creation and his advice also proved to be good.

You could have a sub set to turn the system into a Saturday night in Ibiza but sitting here I’m listening to choral music recorded in a church setting and the SBLs and the sub between them are delivering the sense of the space used for the performance and the wonderful connection with the human voice that for me are a characteristic of the SBL.

I had worried that adding a sub would corrupt the purity of my naim experience but all that’s happened is that I’m enjoying music even more. By having my SBLs away from their optimum setting my naim experience was already compromised. This perhaps redresses the balance.

I can turn the sub off (but never have) and I can also disconnect it and sell it on (I don’t think I ever will).


Which sub do you use?

BK Double Gem.


I added a picture. It’s available in a range of finishes so I went with Cherry to match my SBLs. It’s just a bit taller than the bottom box of the SBL, about the same width and deeper front to back. Behind the grille it has 2x10” drivers.

If you google BK electronics you should find all the details. Other subwoofers and internet browsers are available!


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