It’s been quite a while since I was last on the forum, so I hope that everyone is doing well. My system was, up until recently an LP12 (Klimax level bar having a Kandid rather than the new fancy Linn cartridge), 552DR, SNAXO, Supercap, 2x 250.2s (non DR) into SL2s. I recently moved house and can no longer use the SL2s, so I moved them on and am now looking for new speakers. The original plan was to buy Titans (505s probably) and run them active using the existing amps, but after several slightly confusing conversations, its transpired that:
The SNAXO for Kudos speakers is totally different to the one for Naim, so my existing SNAXO can’t be adjusted to work with the Titans
Naim stopped shipping SNAXOs overseas a while ago - I live in the NE USA (this is from the horses mouth - i.e. the Naim factory) so I can’t get a SNAXO for Kudos, even if I wanted one.
Furthermore, the SNAXO is effectively a discontinued product at Naim. They’re no longer making them - again, sourced from the factory
So, armed with all that info, I am selling my 250.2s and my Supercap, have bought a 300DR and will return to passive (a great shame, but I think I have no choice). All this seems a little unfortunate from a company that prides itself on the longevity of its product line btw, but it is what it is.
And so, to my question. I can’t audition the 505s, even at a dealer here (Kudos US distribution is in really poor shape), but I’m tempted to order/buy without audition, which I appreciate is breaking the cardinal rule of speaker purchase. Do you guys have a take on how they would work in my setup? I’ve been out of touch for a while now, so could you maybe suggest one or two other speaker brands/products that you would consider in the same price bracket? My room is around 16ft (w) x 20ft (L) x 11ft (H) with an open archway at the 20ft end. The speakers will be firing down the length.
Thank you kindly.
I’m running Titan 707’s with the same amplification as you in a very similar size room albeit with a streaming from end and they sound fantastic. They take an age to fully run in and did sound pretty ropey straight out of the box so if you’re buying blind having not heard a fully run in pair it’s worth being a little patient and not judging them on first impressions.
It may also be worth considering buying some of the Kudos KS-1 speaker cable if you go down this route. It’s not expensive and sounds great. Perhaps not surprisingly there seems to be a real synergy between this cable, Naim amps and the Kudos speakers.
When I was at the factory last week I’m sure I saw a SNAXO (IIRC it was for a Kudos) being built. When I remarked on it I was informed that the SNAXO is officially discontinued. If no longer being imported to the US then as there are no voltage issues maybe you could source one from a suitable UK dealer if they have one in stock? I think there are a few who come to mind who sell Naim as well as Kudos.
Why buy Kudos when you can’t hear them at home. I know they are forum favourites and that in some eyes every other speaker is junk in comparison, but there are plenty of excellent speakers out there. Your system, with the 552/300 is fantastic and will work with lots of speakers. Try before you buy!
I have to second Farthings cat here - buying loudspeakers on reputation alone would be madness! ATC, PMC and many other speaker brands have solid USA distribution so I would certainly look there first. For the record I too am a big ATC fan and use passive 40’s with NAP250.
If you want to stay with active Naim amplification you might consider Exposure VXN active crossovers, which are comparable to the Snaxo and are in production, although I don’t know if they are available outside the UK.
Having said that, the 300DR is an excellent amp, and apart from simplifying your system you may find that it is enough to tempt you away from active, especially if your 250.2s are getting on a bit.
It cannot be risk free, as Gary’s preceding post shows perfectly. Just because the owners of speaker X are happy with them in their own homes can in no way mean it’s risk free for anyone else. Kudos are just like any other speaker, they don’t come with a satisfaction guarantee, and anyone buying without audition is taking a heck of a risk. Even if they work, how do they know that something else wouldn’t work even better? We all know that speakers need to be tried at home, and Kudos are no exception.
Nigel I said if a demo is not possible, we all know a (home) demo is the first option. If not the number of satisfied Naim/Kudos users might just say something. In the next life I’m sure Proac will be mandated
ProAc owners aren’t so evangelical. Perhaps interestingly, @ChrisBell moved on from Kudos to ProAc. He may be able to bring something useful to the table, especially given that he lives in the US. I’ve not heard a ProAc other than my little Tablettes so cannot make any suggestions based on experience. The K1 might fit the bill, being a stand mounter, though it does look a bit weird.
I run active using a digital AXO, which allows any crossover frequencies you want, a choice of crossover rates (6,12,18 or 24 dB/Oct IIRC), which need not all be the same, similarly a choice of crossover ‘curves’ (Butterworth, Linkwitz-Riley and others), and of course phase angles and levels.
That sounds encouraging, my old house was made like that and most speakers just worked. When I moved to a house that was 100 years old and made from rammed earth method the walls had been plastered over but with large gaps and it sucked the life (bass) out of the room. Took loads of effort, money and time to resolve but that’s a story for another day.
I listened to Kudos at my dealers as well as at home and wasn’t wowed but plenty are and if close to the wall placement is important may be the way to go.