Superb Upgrade

A few weeks ago my cats mullered my Focal 1008be, now given to a friend who intends to resurrect them in a slightly different form. In the meanwhile a friend lent me his OLD SBLs, the remains of an active system he had a few decades ago, all the electronics were nicked.

Now I have always had a yen to try the SBLs, but having left the flat earth society long since I had consigned the desire to the dustbin of desires, but now I had the option to try with NO risk.

One concern I had was the tonal consistency between my Audio Physic centre and the SBLs, having been happy with the serendipitous match with the Focals.

So, how did the SBLs do? SPECTACULARLY well, and a better match with the centre. Last night we were watching Ladyhawke, and favourite regular with my wife an I, and she LOVES the Alan Parsons soundtrack. Now I have always been doubtful about the match 'twixt soundtrack and film, while enjoying the music. Well, I enjoyed the music even more, and noticed sound effects that before had passed me by.

The attack of soundtracks through the SBLs consistently brings a smile to my face, so an all round blessing? No. Last night I tried streaming the 1973 ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ from Amazon. Initially I enjoyed it, but as the opening song was sung ‘Judas’ had a good voice, but the way the resolution had been squeezed was all too obvious.

In fairness, I hear this comparing local files to Qobuz, but it is FARRR less of an issue; noticeable but easily set aside.

Damn, I am LOVING these speakers; oh, and I bought them the day after setting them up, thanks to me friend.



I still miss my active SBLs …

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I find them remarkably transparent and fast. Voices are superb. In terms of soundtracks that speed is wonderful. It reminds me of when I first got the AV2, I kept being distracted by the backing music and so it is now.

Before I bought my Living Voice speakers I borrows a pair Allaes and just couldn’t get along with them; wish I had tried the SBLs then!

Another SBL Praise topic, very good! There must be something special with them!

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In fairness one of those was mine so this is two bites of the cherry, BUT, in a different context …at least that is what I am going to tell myself.

I live in a 3 bed Victorian semi, so perhaps these speakers were almost bespoke for my listening room?

My wife loves how discrete they are. I was very keen to get Cherry MkII, but I suspect their physically retiring demeanor is aided by the black; and, if MkIIs came up now I would just ignore them, these just sing.

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Interesting. I have trying to work out what to do with my sbls - replaced in main system by sl2s. I also have a cinema system with full n system and in my study have a unitiqute. I have a spare pair of nSats (and ae1s!). I am torn between using the sbls with a suitable something or other to go with tv (or getting a muso for that), or keep in loft with uq - not that I have the money to do anything. But using the sbls with the cinema system in place of front nSats might work quite well. Those nSats could then go with tv and keep the spare nSats in the loft… decisions!

@TimOopNorth I used my SBLs with my TV. Made watching it all the more enjoyable.

Thanks. It’s made all the more attractive by the solid floor with the tv, but wood floor in loft (whereas I have wall brackets for the nSats in the loft)

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@TimOopNorth - good point about attic space. I converted my attic space into two mezzanine bathrooms for the bedrooms. At the time my dealer said don’t bother with top notch speakers, because they distract you from other things going on. They are the weals points in my secondary systems. In the guest bedroom, I have speakers mounted in the ceiling, but in the master bedroom, the speakers are 2nd hand Linn Kans resting on the bathroom floor directed through the balustrade; both running of Unitiqutes.

Definitely run your SBLs up front with your n-Sats at the rears. I’m using n-Sats rears, Axent Centre and n-Sub with SL2s and it sounds great. Don’t neglect decent rears and power to them as they knit the front & rear soundstage together really well.

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I will try it out and see what it sounds like - not going to add rears for the tv - that’s sorted in the cinema room :blush:

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Look forward to your thoughts.

Could be a long wait - just discovered central heating boiler needs replacing!

Tim think positive its the summer will the rest if the house notice😬

With two teenage daughters and my wife each each taking a shower every day it would all be very noticeable. The current boiler is living on borrowed time and if it fails life will be rather difficult for me. Not to say smelly :grin:

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I resemble that comment!

Real life trumps HiFi, but not by much.

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Right, that’s it, the Epos speakers days are numbered :smiling_imp:

The SBLs are coming out of storage tomorrow!

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A few days late, but plucked up the courage to get them today.

Completely different to the Epos. More forward in many ways*, but instruments and vocals seemed to have ‘fleshed out’ considerably with rich timbres, and my previous thoughts that they don’t go as low as the Epos speakers may well be due to considerably less colouration overall - the SBLs sound far more accurate so far, and that’s running passive with ancient PAXOs. Next job will be to locate the old chrome bumper NAXO, though I do quite fancy a new SNAXO 242.

  • as for the forward character - a trait I disliked about firmware compared to the older 2.3.8574.

I posted my extended thoughts on the SBLs here:

I agree with you that the bass IS there, but without smear. It is fast and allows you to hear what is going on. I think they are remarkably transparent speakers and I love their handling of vocals.