Wanting to replace active ovator 600,6

Hi I am a frequent lurker on this forum but rarely post. My system has been put together over many years with much of it second hand. Currently none of my gear is DR. But I have NDX2, 552, snaxo 632 + hicap and 3 x 250-2 and ovator 600,s. The system sounds ok but there is a soft or muted kind of quality to the sound. I am a sound recordist for tv and also record classical music. I recently played some recordings I have made on different systems with Focal Sopra 3, B&W 802 d4 and Kudos Cadera? and was shocked by how much more I could hear into the recordings. To the extent that I would have made quite different mix decisions than I had using the Ovators. So my question is what speakers to get?

The perhaps obvious choice would be kudos T808 and replace the snaxo. BUT I live in Sydney and the closest Kudos supplier is over 800 km away and only has 600’s. I would have to buy them based solely on recommendations on this forum of which there are many .

The Hi-Fi shop I’ve gone to for 30 years sells neat XL 10 which sound great but are too tall for domestic harmony - plus they tend to make a classical guitar sound like it’s the size of a fridge. Otherwise they are beautiful and full range which I really need.

The Sopra 3 were great but I found them a bit shrill on strings. Great on vocals and jazz but I didn’t like what I heard on orchestral stuff so much.

A speaker that I did like was the B&W 802d4. But I did not get to hear it with Naim amps. could a single 250 drive these? Is bi amping of any use ?

My room is 6x6.4 m

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated


Well I had active s600 using 3 x 250’s and at the end a 300dr and 2 x 250’s.
I got fed up with the s600 and all the amps, snaxo, supercap and wires and found a much better sound from a far simpler set up, the 300dr into pmc fact 12 speaker’s was way better than what I was running before.
The fact 12 speaker’s work very well with naim gear and now i run it with a 500dr and 552dr and it is certainly much better in every way

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I know someone with 802d3 and he thought a 300 wasn’t enough so he got a 500. Which of course may not say anything about 802d4…

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Thanks I feel abut the same about the crazy box count. I’ll put some PMC’s on the list.

G’day, I’m guessing your usual dealer is Audio Genesis, as I know they stock Neat. Harry & Norman are great people and a pleasure to deal with.
I run active NBL’s on my main system in the UK and having heard the 600’s, would not personally be happy with them.
I have heard Kudos 808’s and they are probably the only speaker I would swap my NBL’s for.
I would be surprised if you’re not happy with them, assuming the price is within your budget.
808’s really shine with the best possible front end and I had the privilege of hearing them with Statement which really was quite something!
On the end of an NDX2 / 552 with active 250’s they sounded terrific too.
For the cost of the Kudos Titan 808 speakers, I’d book the relatively cheap flight to Melbourne for a demo.
It could save you a small fortune in the long run.
EDIT: I just noticed you said that the Kudos dealer only has 600’s.

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Your ndx2 is likely not good enough for 552/ active 250s
Would add 555dr power supply to ndx2 or if funds allow nd555.
I’m not saying that new speakers wouldn’t help but with 552 pre, u need better source


Yes my dealer is Audio genesis. Lovely guys. I was a teenager when I bought my first Naim gear from them. I feel terrible looking elsewhere but I’m just not sure the XL10’s will work in my space. My guy says go Kudos……

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Yes my system is a bit back heavy - but the 552 came up second hand and sounded so much better than the 252 I had I couldn’t pass it up. I think what I’m missing will come from a speaker change -though I know there are benefits from improving the front end but funds won’t allow both sadly.

Former S600 owner and you are right, the Ovator’s are lacking in the high frequencies. I’d encourage you to listen to the ProAc K series. The ribbon tweeter is detailed and sublime without ever sounding mechanical or bright like other designs. The perfect pairing for your Naim system. Pictured below are my K6 Signatures in Walnut.


Another plus 1 for the PMC Fact 12s. They can also be tri-amped which is a plus for your current configuration if you wish to change you system in stages. In the long run you will have to move up to a 300 DR to get great sound from the Fact 12s

They are indeed great guys at Audio Genesis.
I bought a Nait3 and CD3 with Royd Minstrels from them nearly 25 years ago.
After upgrading to a SuperUniti and Neat speakers, more recently I bought my NDX2, SN3 and Neat Momentum SX5i’s from them.
Much as it pains me to suggest, is there anything which might interest you at the other Naim dealer at Lane Cove?
(I had a poor experience with them years ago, so I avoid them, therefore I have no knowledge of what they stock these days)

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Have you tried the Neat XL6’s ? One down from XL10

I ran them with full 500 series CD based

A great combination from Harry at Audio Genesis

Only sold it on as moved into a smaller home but still a customer ( Harry was at my place yesterday)



I had Neat xl6’s for about 4 months I loved them but they lacked bass - my previous speakers were Isobariks. I record a lot of piano music and the lowest note of a piano is 27.5hz so ideally I want something that will to go 20hz comfortably and sit 50cm is so from the rear wall

I did listen to 801 D4 there but not through Naim gear. Also they had no 802’s in stock. So I probably will once they get stock

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What a beautiful space ! I’ll add ProAc k to the list thanks

The idea of tri-amping does appeal as I won’t loose money selling the 250’s. Not exactly sure how to do that though. Can I get three separate stereo outputs from the 552 power supply?

Can you get active ATC speakers where you are? SCM50aslt come to mind here.

I would suggest DR ing the 552, chop the s-naxo/hicap/amps/speakers and get some unbalanced to balanced transformers/xlr leads etc. 2boxes and 2 speakers…

Just a thought. Best, Al.

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Hi you mention the b&w 802d4 with a 250. I asked my dealer if a 250 was compatible with the 802d3 as I had read that it would be underpowered. I had a demo and it was superb and is even better with my new 300. With their 90 dbl sensitivity they work well with the high current of Naim’s amps. Jason Kennedy in his review of the 300 and 802d3 said it “worked like a dream”. Yes bigger amps would have more slam but the subtle control the 300 had was superb. Of course the 300 is a better amp than the 250 but I found the 250 worked very well with the 802 as well. For me one important consideration was playing music at low levels and the 802 passed this test with flying colours. Although the 802d4 is going to be better dealer demos of the d3 will be about half the d4 price so might be an option?

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Sorry for the off-topic comment, but out of curiosity, is your name based on the boat or the 16ft pipes of an organ?

I have active S600s and as I do from time to time had a demo at a dealer last week with my wife in attendance. The demo was with:

  • Sonus Faber Nova V
  • Kudos titan 707
  • Fyne Audio 704
  • Harbeth SHL5plus XD

The Sonus speakers were ruled out after 2 tracks too shrill for me. I was willing the Fyne Audio speakers to be superior, as the cabinets are wonderful, however the bass came across as blurred. It was close between the Harbeths and the Kudos Titans, however for
both of us the Ovators were better, in my case significantly so.
Once again for me (in my room) the Ovators remain. I will however return to the dealer soon for a demo of Magnepan hybrids.

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