Speaker recommendations for NAP300DR

with apologies for yet another thread requesting speaker recommendations… I know it is subjective but there are so many people who have trodden this path before, and without the ability to home audition I seek their wisdom and experience :slight_smile:

Small room, with polished floorboards, so quite bright
speakers need to be fairly close to the wall
standmount preferred becuase I do not want them to dominate the room
Listening close to the speakers at low volumes
type of music, think Dire straits, natalie merchant, Vienna Teng
budget not a criteria

Front end is Hugo2+2Go (pending arrival of 272 successor) amp is 300DR
Streaming only

Shortlist based on research on this forum and others

  1. Dynaudio special 40
  2. dynaudio contour 20i
  3. Neat ministra
  4. Neat ultimatum XLS
  5. ATC SCM11
  6. Harbeth M30.1/.2
  7. Marten Duke 2

Edited to add these from people’s replies…
8. Magico A1
9. ProAc Tablette 10
10. ProAc D2R
11. Kudos Titan 505

The Harbeth seem to have the best reviews with Naim, and are good at low volume so are top of the list. The Marten Duke are my preference from an aesthetic point of view but I can’t find many comments apart from @ryder and @bongoman … would you guys still recomment the Marten Dukes?

Kudos Titan 505 …since budget not an issue :wink:


My experience with Harbeth M30.1 and M30.2 is solely at the dealer’s showroom although I have had Harbeth SHL5s for more than 10 years now (currently SHL5+). I’ll try to keep this short.

All speakers have their own sound no matter what you say about them ie. neutral, uncoloured etc. The Harbeth are less fussy with partnering equipment. They will sound good with most amps and excellent with select amps. In other words, it imparts more of its sound than the equipment and is a more forgiving speaker. Chances are it won’t sound terribly bad when driven by a cheap budget amp. It will still sound fairly good if not good or great. Not so much with the Marten Duke 2 as it’s much more revealing and will tell you how the equipment sound, particularly amplifiers. The Marten will sound poor if you use lesser equipment on the them. Use a bright sounding amp and it will expose the brightness. Use a less transparent amp and the they will sound smeared with reduced clarity and detail. To me, the Marten is a more revealing and higher calibre speaker that demands more attention to tweaking and partnering equipment to shine.

Harbeth 30.1 and 30.2 sound less airier in the treble and midrange with a more closed-in sound. You get more of a small studio sound, a feeling of small ensemble playing in a small studio with the 30.1 or 30.2. The Duke 2 sounds airier with longer decays and therefore sounds larger.

Both speakers have beautiful tone and timbre but currently I’m finding the Marten Duke 2 to impress a lot when optimised. I’m still optimising other areas to get more from the speakers. They keep revealing improvements with changes you make in the system. Improvements include better clarity with reduced smearing in the notes and the notes whether pian, violin or percussion sound more like the real thing rather than just a sound reproduced from the speaker.

Listening preference and taste will be a factor as usual. Personally I didn’t really warm up to the sound of the M30.1 or 30.2 throughout the years and that’s partly the reason I stuck with the SHL5s. Although I did consider getting the 30.2 several years ago(even though I don’t really dig the presentation) , I am glad I didn’t end up with another Harbeth as the Marten Duke 2 is really good. A winner in my book. Although I still love the Harbeth SHL5+, I’m not sure when I will listen to them again.


What’s the front end of your system - source /preamp etc?

Can highly recommend the Neat Ministra’s in second system (close to wall, sound excellent)

However depending on the front end with the 300dr the Neat XLS’s will sound sublime. After 30 plus years of a few different speakers, these are my favourites, beautifully made, get the dedicated stands and can be used close to back wall. Mine in the figured birch finish but can also get in premium finishes. With Naim equipment they are the best

Happy hunting

A caveat with both Harbeth 30.1 / 30.2 and Marten Duke 2 is they need some space from wall boundaries to sound good. I think they need at least 1 feet from the wall behind, 2 feet better.

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Any Shahinians…My Obelisks were perfectly matched to my NAP300…and are now perfectly matched to my 250DR…

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As an edit, I noticed you are using Naim NAP 300DR. Presuming you are using 282, 252 or 552, my advice is to drop Marten Duke 2 from the list. Experiences show that the Duke 2 sounds poor driven by 282 and 552.

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Thanks @davidf did not actually know the titans had standmount in the range. Will add it to the list. Damn… this list is supposed to get shorter not longer

Thanks @ryder for such a rapid and detailed response. Front end is Hugo2+2Go while I wait for the 272 replacement (have edited original post to clarify) Might drop the Marten’s down the list then. Re the placement near the wall, I though being front ported the Harbeth’s might tolerate close placement

Too large I am afraid…

Thanks @Bevo front end is Hugo2+2Go pending arrival of 272 replacement . Love my 300 but don’t want to end up with too many boxes.

I had heard the Neats were ok with close placement to a wall. So good to get confirmation of this.

I second the Kudos Titan 505s. Great synergy with Naim.

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If the speakers need to be close to the back wall scratch the Dynaudio’s, they need room to breathe since they are rear ported. Cost not important: Wilson Audio Tunetots, Magico A1 and of course ProAc D2R or Tabletts


Cheers thanks. They are now on the list!

I am also sitting with a 300DR waiting for Godot (or a replacement 272).

The DeVore 3XL dont like being near walls and the stands make them a bit visible (like a floorstander). Otherwise very nice for extended music listening sessions.

A speaker I prefer to the Harbeths is the Grahams BBC LS5/9. This is close to the original BBC model on which the Harbeth M30 is based. More dynamic presentation , fantastic midrange.

Some I was enthusiastic in the beginning but quickly faded were the Marten Duke2, Audio-Note AN-K. Both probably more happy with valve amps.

I have some I would like to listen more to. Proac D2R, Grahams LS6 (a bigger LS3/5a), B&W 805D3.

And then we have the swedish speaker with the ridiculous name - the Klångedang T1 (like naming it bingbong). It is a modern design in the old Linn/Naim tradition, placement close to back-wall, tunedems very good, solid wood, alu stands and a very interesting x-over “direct synchronous serial filter” rather than the normal parallel filters where each element has its own filter. The claim is much less information loss.

Cheers Opus, have modified the list to include the magicos and proac.

@jan it has been over 18 month, how long do you think we should keep waiting? Thanks for the comments on the Marten Dukes, sadly despite their looks it would seem there are better options for pairing with Naim which I guess I suspected given their infrequent mention in this forum.

I’ll add ProAcD2R to the list but the others including the bingbong (I had to look them up) aren’t available in Australia, so that rules them out (never been a fan of B&W for reasons that I am unable to adequately articulate)

…well I had to remove one constraint :slight_smile:

Edited to add I dont think these are available in Australia (geography is another immoveable constraint)

Where do you live in Aussie mrp.


…I just read your list of equipment. You are serious when you recommend NEAT aren’t you!

…is there no way on this forum to PM an individual?