When to change speakers?

I’ve read quite some «250 vs 300» or, «272 vs 282» or other box-concideration. Out of curiousity - what makes one concider change of speakers?

When I reach the «next level balance»?
«My amp can handle bigger speakers»?
«New room»

For me, at the time I really love the sound I am a bit tired of the design. Just want some visual change. Nervous to try anything though, for fear of loosing the sonic charachter I like.

(Yes, I am bored with covid)

Interesting though, as naim models are quite hierarchical - more obvious when and what to upgrade. Speakers from different makes, maybe not so much - so when to change?

Spendor A7 will sound sonically close to your Contour 60 :blush:

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When you want something better, or realise what you have is limiting… Rather like changing anything else really!

Personally I think it is vital to get speakers having a character that satisfies you as early in the game as possible, and as good as affordable subject to the amp being able to control them. That doesn’t mean blowing everything on the speakers - it is still valid to have to upgrade them at some point - but not treating speakers as an afterthought or poor relation: after all the speakers make the single biggest contribution to the character of the sound. That’s what I did, and regardless of changes in amp and source as they caught up I never had a moment’s tiring listening, unlike I so often read of people having with lesser speakers.

Unfortunately if you are a person for whom the full bass content of music is important, then decent speakers are inherently a lot more expensive than if you don’t care about, or even don’t like, low bass, or if the type of music you listen to has little or no low bass component.


Thats a good point! I must admit I like the low bass and do play a lot of hip hip.
But still, I’ve had some really good fun with my standmounts.

And it is unfortunate in some ways, I think «big and good» sound is conciderable more expensive than «good» sound, in my terms.

Yes! Heard them, fantastic speakers. Not my design though :confused:

you can change your speakers in 2 ways IMO

firstly upgrade your source/pre/amp combination which should in turn deliver more detail and focus with out changing your speakers

or if you feel your source/pre/amp conbination is belng limited by your current speakers and then actually change them

in my years of ownership only owned 3 pairs inc the new ones which are 3 weeks old and my final pair

I had Dynaudio Contour S3.4 on a 250DR and they sounded great. I always loved the Dynaudio Confidence Platinum C2 my dealer had, so when they went out of production I asked my dealer if there were any specials on close out. I wasn’t unhappy with tge S3.4, but they offered me a smoking good deal on a new pair (over 35% off) so I got them. Huge upgrade! A year later I got a 300DR. That was another huge speaker upgrade. Now I’m standing pat with a worthy end game.

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I’d be loathe to change speakers I really like because of how they looked maybe see about giving the a professional visual overhaul?

You change speakers when you miss the demo pair you had at home for a week and you have the money to buy them.
If you don’t miss the demo pair you have saved youself some money.


I bought a pair of Thiels back in 08 after trying several different speakers at home. The motivation that time was the driver surround on my 28 year old mission 700s had perished for the second time. When I bought the Thiels I was using Rega amps. They were replaced over the next few years with 282/hi/250, which still suited the Thiels quite well but putting a supercap into the mix excited a room mode, particularly noticable on Led Zep’s Hangman, where there is low bass lurking I was previously unaware of. I couldn’t eliminate it by adjusting the speaker positions and I walked into the dealership one day and they were playing a pair of NBLs they’d taken in part ex on some S800s. They’d acquired Naim’s last passive NBL crossover to go with them and I loved the sound on first listen. I had my doubts as to whether they’d work in my room but Simon was very happy to bring them round to try and even spent a couple of hours setting them up, he never had to collect them.
The work even better in their new home now I’ve moved to a bigger room, though the move cost me a pair of tweeters.
I have another move before a I’m done and I keep an eye out for interesting replacements but if they work as well after the move as they do now it will take a lot of curiosity and a convincing home dem to displace them.
I’ve noticed a few NBL owners moving to Kudos 808s, including a Naim staff member as was, so they’re high on my list but there’s no Kudos dealer in France as far as I can see, they may be safe until there is.

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I’d say the most important aspect about speakers is how they interact with the room they are playing in. Any equipment upgrades may potentially change this negatively, particular in the bass department.

For this reason, I’d never invest in new speakers without a home demo first, irrespective of what other components they may supposedly work well with, either in theory or even in a dealer demo room.


I believe this is about to happen to me. As for when to change, after 32 years it’s probably time to think about retiring the B & W Matrix 802 S2s. So maybe that’s the answer to the question posed in the thread title: 32 years.


Interestingly I have never had a home demo of speakers, but have been very happy with the speakers I’ve bought - and in multiple rooms over time.

The first (ignoring home brew predecessors) I auditioned against a dozen other speakers, loved themmat the dealers’, took them home and was absolutely satisfied with my choice. They sounded good in that house, the next, the next, the next, and the next, and then in the home of the person I passed them on to. I replaced them with their bigger brother, simply unaffordable at the original time, but the same character and overall design - and they sounded good in that room, the next, the next, but then NOT the next: it was a problem room, the first non-rectangular. Eventually I got them sounding right, with a complete room rearrangement assisted by REW.

I then inherited some money and decided to get some new speakers (not because there was anything wrong with the old, but with replacement drivers only available secondhand and less commonly available I thought a newer model may be better to last me the next hopefully 30+ years. I took my speakers, huge though they were, together with amp and trundled off to audition 5 other speakers, in each case setting up mine to compare directly in the other rooms, giving we a baseline for comparison. When I got them home the speakers I bought worked well without problem, sounding a bit better than the ones they replaced.

In all that, three different speakers Worked well in a variety of rooms, the only problem being a problem room - and I don’t think any speakers would have worked there without that same major rearrangement. So I am not worried about auditioning at home, though I wouldn’t buy any without hearing first, and accustomed to or satisfied with some other speakers, taking and playing those in thr audition room can give a reference point for assessment.

Whether it is significant that all three of these speakers were transmission lines I have no idea - some people say TLs are less fussy than many in terms of placement, but I havent compared enough to comment.

The first of the above (equivalent new cost today £2.5-£3k) lasted me 15 years, and only changed because their top of the range sibling became available secondhand at a ridiculously low price (but the originals are now back in my house, still sounding good, owned by my son). The second (equivalent new value today about £5-£6k) lasted me about 25 years, only moved on because I came into some money and could.

When you discover you have too much money in your bank account …

Ultimately if you fancy a change it’s your money and you should do what pleases you. Personally I have used the same speaker since 1988 and they have grown with the system. I occasionally wonder about a change but then I put a record on and…

I’ve only ever bought speakers based on how they sound, not how they look. I might avoid buying speakers if they look really horrible, and I have seen some examples.

You rang?



exactly…plenty of other examples too

Not seeing that photo, @litemotiv.

I see it just fine.