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Thread: Naim SBLs any good?

  1. #1
    Join Date: Nov 2017

    Location: Northern Ireland

    Posts: 73
    I'm James.

    Default Naim SBLs any good?

    I'm looking at getting a pair of Naim SBLs and id like to know people's opinions, I know they're very popular with Naim users but thought I'd come here for some different opinions outside the Naim fan base
    MY SYSTEM
    SOURCES: Marantz cd63 mk2 ki, Marantz cd6000ose
    AMPLIFICATION: Albarry m408s mono blocs with ap3 pre
    CABLES: Chord company c-line, Monster interlink 400, QED silver speaker cable, Tacima cs947 mains conditioner
    SPEAKERS: Mission 752 freedoms, AKG K550 mk2 headphones

  2. #2
    Join Date: Oct 2015

    Location: Pulborough, West Sussex, UK

    Posts: 1,212
    I'm Ian.

    Default

    I've had a couple of pairs of SBL's over the years. The first pair were new so no real issues but I bought a pair a couple of years ago and to be honest I was disappointed. Unless they have been well looked after the gaskets between the woofer and tweeter boxes will need replacing, not too difficult but at around 140 for two foam gaskets, some tiny aluminium plates and a tube of silicone sealant, not cheap. The tweeters are also pretty weak, they can sound rather tinny and scratchy but new ones can be sourced from Scanspeak. They are quite fussy about placement, as close to a rear wall as possible. They need a fair amount of driving but your Albarrys should work well. This all sounds a bit negative but if you have the patience to sort them out they can sound very nice. I hope this helps
    Turntable
    Toshiba SR-370/Mission 774/Van Damme cable with MS Starline plugs/Ortofon Quintet Black
    CD
    Cambridge CXC transport/modified Musical Fidelity X-DAC/modified Musical Fidelity X-10 V3 tube buffer
    Network Player
    Cambridge NP30
    Amplifier
    Denon HA-500 head amp/Nakamichi CA-5E pre-amp/Chinese passive RVC/Proton AA-1150 DMC power amp
    Speakers
    Mordaunt Short Signifer on original factory stands
    Cables
    Mogami with Rean Neutrik plugs/NVA LS5
    Headphones
    Sennheiser HD600/Sennheiser HD650/Koss Pro4 AA

  3. #3
    Join Date: May 2016

    Location: Notts

    Posts: 2,155
    I'm Geoff.

    Default

    i never rated them but it depends upon cnditon and price. Frankly, I would be looking at a more modern design

  4. #4
    Join Date: Apr 2012

    Location: Southall, West London

    Posts: 39,376
    I'm Geoff.

    Default

    I heard them being demonstrated by Naim at shows when they were in production and to be honest, I though they were pretty bad. My mate who was with me and a big Naim fan simply said "oh dear" after hearing them. But who knows, you might like them.

  5. #5
    Join Date: Nov 2017

    Location: Northern Ireland

    Posts: 73
    I'm James.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian7633 View Post
    I've had a couple of pairs of SBL's over the years. The first pair were new so no real issues but I bought a pair a couple of years ago and to be honest I was disappointed. Unless they have been well looked after the gaskets between the woofer and tweeter boxes will need replacing, not too difficult but at around 140 for two foam gaskets, some tiny aluminium plates and a tube of silicone sealant, not cheap. The tweeters are also pretty weak, they can sound rather tinny and scratchy but new ones can be sourced from Scanspeak. They are quite fussy about placement, as close to a rear wall as possible. They need a fair amount of driving but your Albarrys should work well. This all sounds a bit negative but if you have the patience to sort them out they can sound very nice. I hope this helps
    Cheers for the info and yes I've read about and seen these gaskets you speak of and the price for those is
    a joke and I think I could make my own with a little bit of effort and patience, I thought the Albarrys would be an interesting match but I'm also considering trying out some Naim Olive gear in the near future
    MY SYSTEM
    SOURCES: Marantz cd63 mk2 ki, Marantz cd6000ose
    AMPLIFICATION: Albarry m408s mono blocs with ap3 pre
    CABLES: Chord company c-line, Monster interlink 400, QED silver speaker cable, Tacima cs947 mains conditioner
    SPEAKERS: Mission 752 freedoms, AKG K550 mk2 headphones

  6. #6
    Join Date: May 2016

    Location: Notts

    Posts: 2,155
    I'm Geoff.

    Default

    What is your budget?

  7. #7
    Join Date: Apr 2012

    Location: Southall, West London

    Posts: 39,376
    I'm Geoff.

    Default

    If you fancy something of similar vintage, try and get a listen to Spendor S100's, they sound lovely. Decent punch too.

  8. #8
    Join Date: Nov 2017

    Location: Northern Ireland

    Posts: 73
    I'm James.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by walpurgis View Post
    If you fancy something of similar vintage, try and get a listen to Spendor S100's, they sound lovely. Decent punch too.
    Yes at three times the price of a nice pair of SBLs 😂 just being curious as I think Naim SBLs divide opinion quite alot
    MY SYSTEM
    SOURCES: Marantz cd63 mk2 ki, Marantz cd6000ose
    AMPLIFICATION: Albarry m408s mono blocs with ap3 pre
    CABLES: Chord company c-line, Monster interlink 400, QED silver speaker cable, Tacima cs947 mains conditioner
    SPEAKERS: Mission 752 freedoms, AKG K550 mk2 headphones

  9. #9
    Join Date: Jul 2009

    Location: Hampshire, UK

    Posts: 2,600
    I'm Buriedunderaloadofturntables.

    Default

    I always rather liked them, personally.
    Adam.

  10. #10
    Join Date: Sep 2014

    Location: brighton uk.

    Posts: 3,924
    I'm jamie.

    Default

    I heard Ian’s when he had them,awful no bass at all
    My System
    John Wood KT88 Amp.
    Paradise Phono Stage
    Sony TTS-8000 Turntable.
    PMAT-1010 MK6 Tonearm.
    Sony X555ES Cd Player
    Yamaha NS1000m Speakers
    Audioquest Columbia & Colorado interconnects

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