as a relatively amateur Naim user/owner I have been following this forum for a while and I am always impressed by the breadth of knowledge and opinion. So with this in mind I am turning to you for your thoughts on am impending speaker upgrade.
I am currently running a CD5 XS through a Nait XS2 with a Flatcap XS. This is powering a much loved pair of EPOS ES11’s.
I am not unhappy with the sound but I think that it could be better and a change of speaker would be beneficial.
So my questions are:
What speaker would be an ideal(!) match for the amplifier? I am aware that the addition of the Flatcap into the mix makes a difference.
As above but what if I were to upgrade to a SuperNait at some point, which speakers if bought now would match both?
Does anyone have a view on the suitability (or otherwise) of the ES11’s
I have a budget of around £2-3K, but it is about balancing the system.
I realise that this is all subjective and I am currently leaning towards either PROAC or Focal and am trying to narrow down a short list before getting down to auditioning contenders.
All views and opinions welcome.
Info on room size, furnishings and available space would be helpful so members here can assist you.
You have no idea how many people do not get this!
When I had very nearly exactly your system (but I had a NAIT XS), I had Naim Allaes on the recommendation of a forum friend. Made a beautiful system.
Allaes are now only available secondhand and you may be looking for new…
Edit: Neat Motive SX range as recommended by others (below) are also very highly thought of with the Naim’s XS range of electronics.
Hi @Harleyandy and welcome to the forum I have a similar set up to you although with the CD5 XS being used as a transport via an NDac and an LP12 serving the vinyl side of things and I think the XS2 is a great little amp.
I think you will find that any speaker recommendations are a little subjective and will be dependant on specific room layouts so get a demo at home if you can.
The above being said I’ve been running my set up with a modest pair of Neat Motive SX2 which for a relatively compact floor standing loudspeaker sound absolutely fantastic, the Neat and Naim combination do seem to have a certain synergy together probably due to the fact that it’s rumoured that Mr Neat Bob Surgeoner uses Naim amps to test his speaker designs in fact even if I did upgrade the XS2 to a SN2/3 I would probably stay with Neat and audition something like their Ekstra’s in the first instance.
Best of luck on your journey and let us all know how you get on.
Second that - re your comments Hanumike on compatibility naim with neat speakers , in my view a classic combination
And quite a few neat speakers in their range would fit in with the naim combination here
Highly recommended - check out a naim/neat dealer
I third @Hanumike 's suggestion. XS3 and Neat Motive SX3’s here, sound great together. Well worth auditioning something from Neat’s range.
Your Epos ES11s are really nice speakers. You may find better results improving from the front end of your system, either a better CD player or a good streamer if you want to go that way. If you improve the speakers, then move to a Supernait, you will expose the source and may get worse results.
I use ProAc Tablette 10 Signatures and really like them. They are more than good enough to show what an NDX2 and Supernait 3 is capable of. They’d be fine with your existing kit, with room to show the benefits of better electronics. There are lots of good speakers out there, so beware of posts where people push their own choices too hard - what one person loves, someone else may not like at all.
rumoured that Mr Neat Bob Surgeoner uses Naim amps…
And Doug Graham left Naim and went to Neat as head of export sales.
It’s all very incestuous in the hifi world.
Ref speakers, you can’t really go wrong with one of the classic Naim/xxxx partnerships. Eg neat, proac, spendor……. But you have to listen for yourself ideally. I’ve tried spendor a7, neat Ekstra and proac d20r recently and currently favouring the proacs. I thought I’d prefer the neats. And the more expensive kudos didn’t seem to do it for me.
Neilb1906, thanks for that. Good point. The current room is around 6m square with hard walls and floors and a comfy sofa. Current positioning of speakers is around 18 inches in front of glass windows which make up around 50% of the wall area. Not ideal, but we have to work with it. Or move home…
Thanks Chris. Interesting what you say about the Naim Allaes. I have traditionally shied away from speakers and electronics from the same manufacturer. Clearly though, there are exceptions to this rule. Also interesting to note the appearance of Neat.
Hi, Hanumike. Thanks for that. As I commented earlier, the Neat speakers seem to have quite a bit of traction in this corner. I need to research these further.
As above, noted. Thank you.
I liked the look of the Tablettes, but wondered if they were enough of a significant step up from the ES11s. As you say, all very subjective, but in some ways that is what makes this a bit more fun; there is no right answer. It would be very dull if that were the case.
Robert, thanks for that. As you say, there do seem to be favoured combinations, but doubtless, the differences will make themselves heard at audition time. Spendor crop up quite a lot, but I get the impression that they are a little conservative. Not necessarily a bad thing.
Now you have revealed the speaker position and the size of your room, which is twice that of mine, I certainly wouldn’t recommend the little Tablettes. I suspect the D2R would work well, but you are really looking at NDX2 and Supernait 3 as a minimum to accompany them. The whole electronics/speaker/room match needs to be thought through carefully.
I found a dense rug, plus felt slip stopper thing underneath it, tamed a few of the worst effects of a hard floor. A few threads around that mention it too.
Hi, I used ProAc for many years with Naim XS but recently had to downsize the speakers, her indoors, so bought pair of Neat Iota’s, and after I got used to the diminutive size, really did prefer them to the ProAc, I use them for the TV , and speech is so natural and music so “musical”, and I must now agree with the wife, they do fit in better in the lounge.
I don’t know your speakers but if they work in your room and you like the tonal balance then I’d be inclined to leave well alone. You could without risk upgrade to a SN3, the CD5XS (a mini CDS3) is a smooth operator and punches well above its price point. If on the other hand you still think a speaker change is where you want to go then the world is your oyster, all down to synergy and room matching. Demo including at home essential I’d start with Kudos or Neat.
I’m relatively new to Naim so don’t necessarily put too much weight in my opinion! However I think my room is not dissimilar to yours. Ours is a new build and I tried quite a few different speakers including some large floorstanders all of which gave real problems with bass. I ended up with Kudos C10 which seem to be very flexible with positioning and sound fantastic (to my ears at least). I’m using with a Supernait3. Slightly above budget but can occasionally be had for less e.g. end of line finish or used from some of the Naim dealers. May be worth adding to your list to try…
Dynaudio evoke 30 or maybe used excite 34s I ran excite 38s with an XS2 and sounded awesome.