Hi Naim People…
Who is still enjoying their NBL’s ?
How are you feeding them ?
Have you had any issues with them as they’ve aged and what else have you auditioned and decided to keep your Nibbles after ?
If you’ve replaced them… what with and why ?
Hopefully we can get some good discussion going regarding these ‘Towers of Power’
System pics ofcourse are a must !!
I have active NBLs fed by 3 Nap 250-2s, Nac 52, Snaxo 362/Epona PS, CDS3, PS555,Stageline, Headline, Napsc, Nak DR1, B&O TT, with Hiline and powerlines on Naim components. Easily surpassing the performance of PSB T-6, PSB Gold Stratus i, and Klipsch Cornwalls. Sound is superb and I would have to spend 15K to surpass them. Not easy to set up and many moving parts but I am content. Huge improvement active vs passive.
I bought mine used 7 years ago. They were a trade in at my local dealership in the UK and had been sold by them in the first place, so one owner. They came without boxes but the dealer delivered them and set them up for a home demo, they never went back. I had a 282/hi/250-2 at the time with a CDX2/555ps and a Townshend/Aro/DV17D2/superline as my primary source. Now its a 552/500/ND555 with an Artemis SA-1/Schröder Reference/SPU Royal N/superline/supercap as primary source, DR all round.
During a recent move, for which the transit screws and card/metal driver covers were used and the speakers wrapped in padding, one of the tweeters stopped working and tested open circuit. I enquired with Naim by email about replacements and was told there were none left of the matched sets. I’d also enquired of the Naim dealership here in Montpellier who gad contacted Focal/Naim in France and after a similar delay was quoted €750 for a pair. By this time I’d already ordered a couple from Scanspeak via a French DIY speaker supplier for €180. When I came to fit them I discovered one had been replaced by the previous owner, not the one that had failed, so I’ve never had matched tweeters anyway.
Here’s why I won’t be trying superlumina with them.
I’ve no plans to replace them.
I owned NBLs from 2004 till 2020. I replaced them with Kudos Titan 808. I run an active system since 1998 and I wouldn’t swap to a passive system.
I’ve had mine for ~10-15 years, replacing a pair of Linn Saras which had bitten the dust. I had to replace tweeters back when matched pairs were still available. I had to do it myself, as there has never been any Naim expertise in the DC area. That was traumatic.
As there is no dealer, I don’t have opportunities to hear different or better stuff. I have no desire to replace them anyway. My grieving heirs can deal with that. I hope they know about transit screws.
I bought mine new in 2006, after they where discontinued so probably one of the last pairs made. I’ve been very happy with them. They replaced a pair of SBLs that where struggling to fill my fairly large room at times and they proved better in every way. I have never had any issues and they have responded well to source and amplifier upgrades. The only speakers I have heard that I would consider replacing them with would be YG Acoustics or Magico M-series.
Have active NBLs being driven by 3XNAP300DR/SNAXO3-6/SC. Replaced active SBLs driven by 2XNAP300DR/NAXO2-4/SC. No plan on moving on from the NBL’s.
Another happy NBL user here since 2003.
LP12/NDX2/XPS2/252/Supercap/SNAXO-362/3x 250 Olive/NACA-5
I believe I’d have spend many £1000’s to better them significantly.
I’m 100% sure my mismatched ears wouldn’t notice the difference of unmatched tweeters!
I have a pair of nibbles which now reside in a spare room in semi-retirement! I think that my listening room is simply the wrong shape to allow the nibbles to perform anywhere near their best. They can sound magnificent at times but more often than not in my room they struggled to generate proportionate bass levels. A function of my square room unfortunately. I did notice a considerable improvement when I changed my power amp from 300 to 500. This may again have in part been due to a poor listening room or more simply that they like a bit of power flowing through the cables. Perhaps when I move home I’ll give them another go!
Most users seem to be firing them up actively ! For passive use I’d imagine the PAXO’s would benefit from a Naim service, not sure if they still service crossovers ??
We have a pair of passive cherry veneer NBLs in the family, driven by an olive NAT02 tuner, CDX/XPS cd player and 82/SC/250 amplifier, all bought together new to replace an old Thorens/Quad/B&W system.
The whole Naim system, including passive crossovers, was serviced by Naim about 3 years ago.
It’s a lovely set up. Calm, effortless, smooth, enjoyable.
Best regards, BF
I still have my NBLs from 2001 (driven passively by 552/500) and enjoy them immensely (paired with a NSub). Have listened to many, many other speakers by always kept them. They have a sound of their own, big and bold but a bit different than DBLs (which would be the only speaker I would trade them for). Toying with the idea of building new crossovers with better components .
Just had my SNAXO3-6 rebuilt by the Naim North American distributor for the NBLs a few months ago. They do still rebuild but it seems that most of the docs related to the NBLs are not readily available anymore.
Just curious, do any of you have the original Naim NBL Manual? The doc on preparing the NBLs for shipping seems to be the only doc out there. Would like to obtain a copy of the original NBL manual if it ever existed.
I am referring to the elusive Owner’s Guide, not the NBL packing, service and maintenance guide (that you can find on HiFi Engine etc.)
I seem to recall that it was more of a general manual, covering several models.
I have the original boxes and might have the manuals somewhere.
However, I am currently overseas and unable to check for several months.
That is the Owner’s Guide that I am looking for a copy of. Haven’t much luck with the Wayback Machine in trying to find it. Seems to be more scarce than the NBLs themselves
By proportionate bass do you mean room much or too little ?
I imagine you must have a large room to need a sub with NBL’s driven from a 500 ?
Unfortunately, the manual (if I do indeed have it) is in the UK. I’m in Australia for the foreseeable future but, please feel free to periodically remind me to look for it.
Hopefully, I’ll be able to visit the UK before the end of the year!
I was thinking the same. My room is pretty large (OK, huge) and my NBL’s produce plenty of bass, firing across the room.
I should add, this picture was taken before the furniture arrived!