Second Hand Allae - How serious is foam deterioration?

I noticed a used set of Allae for $800 US. I remember hearing them
in 1998 or 1999 at dealer. One song only but I do remember the refined
sound they delivered.

Is there a bass port to look into with a flashlight to look at the foam
for deterioration? I’m fairly sure the seller in not going to remove
the woofer for me to peak inside. How serious is this foam issue?
Can replacement foam be ordered from Naim or somewhere else?

If the foam is bad, can you tell from the sounds the speakers make
when playing music? IE: rattle, resonance, or something auditable
telling me “don’t buy these” ??

Is $800 a fair price given these speakers might be 25 years old?

Thanks
Thomas

You just need to to disconnect the top crossover cable connector at the rear of the top box and then carefully lift up the top box (be careful not to lose any of the three PIPs as you do so - they are VERY expensive to replace). You can then see inside both boxes If the foam is going bad it will be crumbling. If it looks OK then best leave well alone.

A great speaker, and as for price, just ask what other $800 speaker will give you as much?

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I am sure foam can be bought. The problem would be finding out what Naim originally used - and then finding a suitable replacement. Maybe Naim can tell you what they specified…?

IIRC there was a fairly detailed thread on this on the forum a while back.

https://forums.naimaudio.com/topic.php?oid=77314878539064545&coid=159503632588890

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I would agree Richard - the Allaes are great speakers

I traded mine in years ago and my older brother purchased them from Harry

He still has them today with a Nova and they sound terrific

Fantastic value speaker :+1:

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Great speakers, mine are from 2006.

You can date the Allaes you are being offered by asking the seller for the serial number and then using this: Serial numbers | Naim Audio

My understanding is that they were designed by Naim’s Roy George as a successor to Naim’s iconic SBL speaker.

Chris, the SL2 was the SBL successor. The Allae was originally internally referred to the Super-Credo, which tells you where it stood in the range.

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Ah, thanks Richard, got that now. Sorry about my mistake. Every day is a school day in my world of Naim.

Allaes are terrific and from what I read here, are suitable for a wide variety of systems.

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To the OP:

I upgraded my Credos to Allaes about two years ago, definitely a worthwhile step up in sound quality. Price £495 from a trader which I think was good value at the time. No problems with the foam.

I made sure to get all the pips.

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@T32803 What happened next?

C.

Thanks to everyone for all the info. According to the serial decoder these speakers were from 2001.

https://serial-number-decoder.com/naim/naim.htm

I haven’t gone to see them yet due to work and holiday and I am weighing several options. I have B&W 804s and I am pondering a ND5X2 to go with my Naim XS2 or trying out a Nova 1-Box solution.

The model was launched in 2002 according to Naim’s product history at the bottom of the forum’s front page. To the best of my knowledge Allaes have no nasty impedance dips when compared with your B&Ws.

The only constant in my 25 years with NAIM has been the Allae’s. I’ve traded up over the years to my current system, but my very honest HiFi dealer said I would have to spend a lot of money to do better than my Allae’s.

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I’m inclined to agree with you Flyfisher

I had Allaes for a number of years and traded them

My brother grabbed them from my dealer and still has them after about 10 years or so

They are a mighty speaker , I often wonder !!

And fantastic value for money these days :+1:

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This cannot be true. I heard the Allae when I lived in Seattle WA and I moved from there in May 2001.
Also I typed the serial number into the naim decoder website and it returned 2001. I am thinking I heard them in 2020.

Just trying to help you with your thread mate.

Hi there,

I agree with much of what is said above. The Allaes came on the scene in 2002 according to the “Product History” on the Naim website. Mine were made in 2007 and I bought them in 2015, for quite a bit more than $800 from one of the two Naim dealers in Seattle.

They are a fast, neutral speaker which has served me well as I have upgraded the rest of my system somewhat regularly since 2015. And while someday I may indeed upgrade my speakers that day is not now. I have had no complaints at all about these babies. And my wife loves the way they look.

I would say that if those speakers you are looking at are in good shape, and sound good, and are only $800 U.S. they would be a fantastic purchase.

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https://serial-number-decoder.com/naim/naim.htm

Naim Audio serial number decoder

Find out when your Naim Audio stuff was made

This tool decodes the serial number from any equipment made by Naim Audio to give you the year of manufacture and possible resale value. Naim Audio have been using sequential serial numbers across all ranges from 1982 to current day so finding the date of manufacture is a case of checking which year’s serial number range it falls in. Naim Audio serial numbers are numbers only and contain no letters or other characters. Results may not be returned for brand new (this year) equipment.

Results for serial number 179624

This Naim Audio equipment was made in 2001

I made the drive to hear the Allae’s today… I had such high hopes…

The first Red Flag: A week ago on the phone, the owner had said he bought them second hand about 3 years go but never really liked the way they sounded. He already bought other speakers and he seems like them better.

The second Red Flag: The current owner mentioned today that the previous owner told him that he also didn’t really care for the way the Allae sounded either. Since the NAIM serial number decoder comes back with 2001 as the manufacturing date, I suspect more people owned these Allae than 2 people since 19 years is a long time for the previous owner (not the current one) to have held on to these knowing that he didn’t care for the way they sound. And after 22 years I think one can only conclude that they were fully broken in.

Third Red Flag: The owner played them. Let me preface this by saying the current owner was nicest gentleman and was completely honest about how he and the previous owner didn’t think they sounded very good. The owner was super nice the whole time.

I think these speakers were broken somehow. There is no way a working speaker over $800 could sound this bad. I’ve never heard a set of speakers over $800 sound this bad. A $3500 speaker should never sound like this.

The bass was ok but mids and upper-mids were the harshest I’ve ever heard. Vocals were shrill and devoid of any lifelike quality. Transient peaks were harsh. No PRAT / No involvement, just WTF is wrong with these speakers… These same 2 CDs sound pretty darn good on my Nait XS2 and B&W 804s.

He was using a narrow looking Rega amp all lit up red about the size of a Uniti Qute. I looked at the pictures online and based on the remote having white chiclet-like buttons it was a Brio. He was streaming music from his laptop to a very small DAC that glowed like it had a Tube in it. He switched to his CD player and played the same tracks from my CDs and the sound was unchanged other than the CD sounded more blurred and a tad bit more harsh. I don’t think we were over driving the amp as the bass remained controlled and solid. I suspect both tweeters are somehow bad since upper woofer driver sounded fine. From my hearing, all the nastiness was coming from the tweeters. Needless to say, I had the cash ready in my wallet but didn’t buy them. My 804s are mocking me right now for cheating on them.

A bit disappointing, hopefully the drive wasn’t too far.

Must admit, was looking forward to hearing some good news, would have been a nice result.

DG…

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