Sbl sealing query

After reading the forums, I took the plunge and bought a pair of 1988 SBLs in Walnut for £350 and they are in great condition.

They will need resealing during assembly and the silicone bead is on top of the foam gasket.
I assume this is the way it’s done?

I also bought a pair of Scanspeak D2008/851100 tweeters assuming the originals will be past their best.
I guess I need to transfer over the damping blocks.

Plenty of info here - but you’ve probably read this already.

I followed this thread for my SBLs, google “SBL Gasket Dimensions”

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Thanks, that will be a big help.

Prepare to be stunned, set up correctly is straight forward, a true peak Naim product.


I am stunned by the sheer design and construction. The lower unit has a damping weight attached to each side, probably not all at the same height - could not see without removing the wool.

The metal work is also a costly design and any other manufacturer would have undoubtedly used a simpler design.

Such attention to detail ought to give a superb result (otherwise it would be a waste of time).

Now I am just waiting for the silicon to cure. It was obvious that the speakers have been reassembled a few times judging by the number of dimples in the aluminium pads. I was going to replace these but couldn’t find any sheet thin enough lying about.

I cleaned all the electrical contacts with switch cleaner and gave the boxes and metal work a light waxing.

Replacement grill foams are on order.

I’d like to have replaced the woofers but used ones are unlikely to be in a better condition.


Well I am so far quite impressed with the SBLs but they do sound a little bass light in comparison to my drastically altered ML Aeons*. I have them about 5cm from a stone wall. The woofer to lower unit seal seems good

However one tweeter needs to be removed to fix a loose connection at the sockets but I can’t budge it. Are they glued in with sealant?

*Sorry ML, the electrostatic panels had deteriorated and were removed and replaced with a solid baffle and a GSR dipole mid-tweeter with a 12db HP 500Hz filter. To be honest the results were better than I expected at least at low-medium volume.

The drivers are sealed to the cabinets with blue Hylomar. Be careful as it can tear the veneer.

Thanks. After 35years I expect the Hylomar has become an excellent adhesive!

I have new tweeters if I break or damage the originals.

You’ll probably want to change the tweeters anyway, but it’s the (irreplaceable) cabinets and their veneer that you need to be most careful about.

I was able to remove the tweeter using an oversize screw to pull it out which was easily done.

But, I cannot see the rear of the sockets - the thick cables disappear into the mdf. Are they glued in?

Thanks for your help.

The Walnut finish cabinets are in really excellent condition so I was pleased that the tweeter came loose without damaging the veneer.

I will replace both.

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Yes, Naim used hot melt glue and also to seal the cables in as they ran through the different chambers - each chamber had to be properly sealed.

You might trigger an avalanche of comments on that bass point. I think it is fair to say they can sound bass light and do perform better on a solid floor/solid wall boundary, but they don’t always sound bass light. The response I get seems dependent on source and on recording. The most bass I’ve ever heard from them was from an FM live broadcast, which took me by surprise for a speaker I thought I knew, but I find MM phono is bassier than some CDs, and streaming can be pretty bassy too. Sometimes I think I need a subwoofer to support that bottom octave and sometimes I think it’s the last thing I need.

Evertime I am reading about rebuilding SBL, I am so tempted - but I do not know people who can help. I don’t want to try it myself - even with the great tutorials. Maybe sometime I will do.
Mine are from 88 or 89 too and I have owned them from the beginning (except that I bought them as demo pair).
And they sound sooo GOOD. But I do know, that MK2, new sealing and new tweeters (have a pair) might bring some real steps forward. If someone from northern Germany is a SBL specialist :slight_smile:

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I’m sure that you will be able to find a dealer to help with any rebuild/upgrade of the SBLs. The problem, as ever, will be paying for the time of getting someone suitably qualified to help you. But they were lovely speakers, and they deserve a little TLC now to get them up and running again.

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The costs are no problem - I really think that it is worth it. Also I am still looking for a shiny MKII pair… :slight_smile:

SBLs to my mind are an absolute bargain once setup correctly very hard to beat

Yes, that’s what I assume and kept myself from buying new speakers… other than SBL :slight_smile:

My newly acquired 1988 model are certainly a bargain at £350 + £140 for a pair of new tweeters.
Just have to find out what is causing the intermittent connection on one tweeter - sockets, plug or cable.

When the tweeters are replaced, is there a chance of „mismatch“ - even when both are replaced, as the original ones are matched by naim.
Think replacement is more improvement because of aging old ones and replacement with new ones, than loss because no matched pairs of new ones.