First post on the ‘new’ community - a few on the old one…
I currently have some Ruark Crusaders on the front of my 272 etc Naim system. I’m looking to upgrade the speakers, but could do with some advice as to what sort of ballpark, price-wise, the equivalent to the Ruarks would be nowadays. Speaker technology has moved, cabinet making has moved (sometimes for the better, sometimes not).
Yes, I know it’s all about how it sounds, and yes, I will spend as much as I can - but still a guide price of what an equivalent quality speaker would cost me nowadays (new) would be helpful.
Currently looking at Q acoustics concept 500 - only quick demo so far
Focal 948’s - thin sound, I found (shop demo, same setup)
B&W 700 floor standers - 704, 702 cannot recall which - treble too bright, not too musical (shop demo not home)
Spendor A7 - no demo
PMC Twenty* ?? - nowhere around to demo yet…
I used to have the Ruark Prelude 2 floorstanders. The baby brother at the time and your Crusaders would have been a big upgrade over them. Still the Preludes were fine speakers that although a bit rolled off at the very top and bottom ends, could image well and for me passed that “Absolute Sound” test of believability in tones. They also had quite a large comfort zone that took some pushing to get them out of. I paid I think £500 for them ex demo.
The upgrade for me was Ref3A Veena mk1s that would have been some £3/4K brand new but I got a good deal for them at just over £1K - so for me it was double what I spent to get make it worthwhile - but a few times more in quality.
Finding an up to date equivalent - in quality of sound, looks, compatibility etc of the Crusaders could be fraught with more possibilities than you may wish for, and could have a wide price range. You might be better in looking at improving further what it is you like about them
Hope that helps.
If they’re in your budget, I don’t think there’s many speakers which can match the q acoustics at the price point, and they have a rare balance which does not render poorer recordings unlistenable like so many hi-fi speakers these days. This is important for long term liveability, especially if you prefer a system with no tone controls. You do need to be careful with room matching as the bass from the large rear ports can be overpowering in the wrong room. Quad S5 get very close at a much lower price which is why I went for them, and they are capable of sounding very natural too.
I’m happy to go second-hand too, so the budget gets wider. It could be that the Crusaders are enough, but given I’ve upgraded the Naim kit to a 272/250DR/xps dr I thought I should look to the speakers…
either that or an NDX2 and 252 or 282…
Pre loved SBLs would make for an interesting project at little cost. Otherwise there is plenty of advice here on the ‘usual suspects’. If buying new I would find a good dealer and see what floats your boat.
When I swapped from a SuperUniti to a 272/250DR almost four years ago, I bought some SL2s. They cost me £2,100 and I’ve not heard a better speaker under £10,000. I’ve heard £30,000 speakers that I wouldn’t give houseroom to.
SBL and SL2’s I hadn’t considered, and will look at. Wondered if there was too much NAIMNAIMNAIM fandom about them but some reviews seem excellent…
Will look into the ‘usual suspects’ - what would be on your list? (especially given the possible upgrades?)
Naim speakers can divide opinion. I have used them for over 30 years with no plans to change. The point is that SBL/SL2s can be sold on if they are not your thing with little or no loss. They also reward effort in set up.
Personally I prefer my old SBLs to the modern designs I have heard. Others here disagree which is fine and to be expected. Hence my point of listening to a few brands at dealers to get a feel for what is available and to your taste. Kudos, ATC, PMC and Neat are popular with Naim owners as are some others.
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