SL-2 tweeter question, buyer tips requested

I have a lead on a good looking pair of SL-2s. Original owner. Boxed with grills. Passive crossovers included.

Problem is, one of the tweeters looks slightly misaligned, and the foam around it is corroding in a couple spots. The foam doesn’t look damaged. It just looks like it’s ageing.

Are the alignment or foam a problem?

Also, what else should I be watching out for when buying SL-2s? My recollection is this speaker has some complexities.

The tweeter mounting assembly is independent of the upper box. This allows it to move freely (it is attached to the base and ‘suspended’). Correct assembly means the tweeter is located centrally in the aperture and flush with the face. If the tweeter frame and driver have not been installed properly and needs adjustment it may look misaligned, but it does not necessarily mean it is faulty probably more likely that the owner has not set it up precisely. Easier to photograph than describe.

Can you get a good picture to share? I can take some of mine later if it helps.

New foam grilles are available, I think from Tom Tom.

One thing to check is if they have all the original packaging (not just the box but all the spacers and elements inside) as they are a bit complex to move. Installing them is not that difficult but does require care and knowledge. See the thread in the FAQs. Lots of experience on here.

Not a huge amount else to check apart from the obvious condition of cabinets and drivers. Make sure the owner sends the pips that separate the cabinets. Perhaps also check the allen key bolts that fasten the tweeter frame to the base are not gnarled or messed up. Nothing beats talking to the owner see if they understand how they work and go together so they take them apart carefully.

Great speakers, in my view anyway.

Bruce

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Pages 4-7 may help

The scanspeak tweeters can be replaced. Give your dealer a call and ask them to enquire as to whether Naim have any replacement SL2 tweeters left in stock. If so the replacement work is a dealer job not DIY unless you know exactly what you are doing. If Naim has run out of spares (they were running low 18 months ago when I bought a pair) then you can source replacements elsewhere but they won’t be “Naim matched” pairs.

That said, the tweeters on the SL2s you are looking at may be absolutely fine. The foam on them does degrade over time but it doesn’t necessarily impact performance so it may be as well to check stock availability but not let that drive the purchasing decision.

Good luck with it. They are wonderful speakers when set up correctly.

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Foam can break down and either crumble or go sticky. The foam around the Scanspeak tweeters tends to go soft then sticky. When it reaches that stage, it’s fine so long as you don’t touch it, but once you do, it’s had it. Luckily, you can buy replacement foams for them. If the tweeters are past their best, you can also buy replacements, although I think the Naim selected and matched pairs may be all gone now, so if they’re still good then probably best stick with them.

Replacement foam grilles are well worthwhile. I just replaced my own grilles as they were crumbling quite badly around the periphery, and had started to go soft and a bit sticky above the area of the tweeters. Tom Tom Audio sell exact replacements that will not only sound just as good as the originals, but also look perfect and really do look the part.

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Oh, that foam. The grey layer around the tweeter. I wonder how old they are or if left in the sunshine with the grilles off? Mine look perfect.

Grilles just starting to crumble though.

Bruce

Bruce, they will look perfect even when they start to go soft and a bit sticky. Only way to know is to touch, and then it’s too late, so leave lone I suggest…

As for the grilles, definitely worth replacing before they go really ragged.

Thanks. I shall resist any temptation to investigate further.

Out of interest providing the tweeters are able to move freely and are also flush with the cabinet face how important do you think it is for them to be absolutely central in the aperture? One of mine seems to have slumped a bit but (as per above) I am loathe to fiddle

Bruce

If it has moved, then that’s not a good sign and may indicate that the arm bases need re-seating and then re-tightening.

OK. I think it might have always been like that but I will check the fixing later. We are talking 1-2mm here.

Bike ride first.

Bruce

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I can’t see 1-2mm making a difference so long as the tweeter is moving freely in the gap. Might be easier to loosen the Allen bolts on the surrounding plate than mess around with the tweeter arm and base.

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I have SL2s that I set up a few months ago, with advice from Richard.

Mine are on a wooden floor which is not wholly flat and I have found that I can easily adjust the tweeter to be central in the aperture by tweaking one or other feet/spike adjustment by a turn or two. The change in verticality of the speaker is totally not noticeable, so this is an easy way to get things right. Trying to do it just by loosening and tightening the tweeter frame bolts would be a whole world of pain to be avoided I suggest.

Best

David

Thanks for all the replies everyone.

I asked the seller if I could audition them for a few minutes just to make sure they are functioning properly. Told him I could bring a Nait 2/Mojo/NAC A5. He said yes, but also said they are packed up due to a home remodel and that if I want to hear them I would have to assemble them myself.

Is assembly a relatively straightforward task like Allaes, or would this potentially be a quagmire?

Unpacking and repacking them is quite a challenge on its own. These are quite heavy as well. I reckon even having done it once, it would take me an hour to unpack and assemble them and then the best part of half an hour to pack them up again.

Honestly if it were me, I would decide whether I trusted the seller and if I did then I would just give him the money and take them away. If you don’t trust the seller, then maybe give this pair a miss.

Best

David

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Yes I agree with David. Going to his house and attempting to set them up (having never done it before) with the seller watching will not end well.

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As above! You are unlikely to learn much other than that the drivers work until you get them in your home correctly installed with your own system. I would not want to pack and unpack any more than necessary.

If i was selling them I’d give you a refund option if they were faulty in any way.

Bruce

The SL2s are actually not difficult to set up, if the instructions (manual on Naim site) are followed carefully, and there is plenty of help on here as well. Tom Tom’s replacement grilles are great, but not cheap. They sell the pips etc, that separate the boxes too, as they are easily lost. The grilles do eventually crumble. Replacing the tweeters is not difficult. Mine began to go ‘sticky’ so I bought and fitted a pair from Willy’s HiFi, and obviously they weren’t matched like Naim used to do but I certainly can’t tell that when listening. Thy are a stunning loudspeaker and a delight to listen to.

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On the foam around the tweeters, I bought replacements from Willys hi-fi. I haven’t needed to fit them yet, but it’s good to know that they are there should I need them

I picked up some from Naim, they have be spec’d think the cost was about £152 each. I haven’t mounted them yet. You SHOULD research it before doing it. Or even better get somebody who knows what they are doing to do it!
I personally wouldn’t buy Willy ones even though they are about £50 each, I don’t think I need to explain why. You may need to replace spacers too.
Naim Sl2 speakers are MAGICAL when setup correctly and just good speakers when not.

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If only I’d read this post first… :cry: