Naim adds to Ovator range with S-400

16 September 2010. Top Audio Show – Milan. Naim today launched the Ovator S-400 loudspeaker the smaller sibling to the first in the Ovator series, the S-600. The opportunity and the timing were perfect said Paul Stephenson Naim’s managing director. “Milano’s reputation as the style capital of Europe gives us an ideal opportunity to show that good industrial design can combine form-follows-function engineering with a great looking and stylish loudspeaker.”

The design brief of the S-400 was simple: To take all the elements of the S-600 loudspeaker and to produce a smaller model more suited to smaller rooms but which would not compromise the essential musical communication of the S-600.

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The Neats have been moved and moved

Now that the MF9s have run in and stabilised it was time to spend some time moving them a few centimeters at a time to find a more ideal position.

As they ran in they had become a bit bloated in the mid-bass, reducing clarity and general intelligibility as well as reducing the speed that they are normally so good at.

My room has a tendency to thickness rather than leanness so careful positioning is always needed, but the Neats have required more effort than most. They are a true full-range loudspeaker so are capable of exciting most room modes and resonances.

The effort has been rewarded with a far better insight into music, the recordings and, most importantly, the performances.

I think there is still more to come with even more fine tuning but that will come with time and patience.

Interestingly, as the performance has improved from CD, Hard Disc and Vinyl, it has exposed the shortcomings on internet radio.  It’s not going to stop me listening to Radio Paradise as their choice of music is so good, but if only they had a 320k AAC feed…

The Neats have arrived

After much heavy breathing, carrying the Neat Acoustics MF9s up two flights of stairs, they are now in place and running in.
They seem to work pretty well in roughly the same position as the ES30s, which is about 15cm closer to the back wall and about 20cm closer to the side walls than the MF7s.
The bass in this spot is really detailed and surprisingly dry: when the music doesn’t deliver bass there isn’t any. I must have hit just the right spot in the room.
It’s probably going to take a couple of weeks for everything to truly settle before I can do the final moving around but so far very pleased.

I’m really enjoying listening to music on these and that’s only after a few hours of running in.

Just sold my Epos ES30s

Sort of sad to see a pair of loudspeakers go that I have been listening to and enjoying for around 10 years. Strangely, looking back, it seems I change speakers around every decade.
The Epos’ have a wonderful way of communicating music but having recently had the Neat MF7s here for a month or so the ES30s just had to go.

Next week, hopefully, a pair of MF9s will be arriving – In fact Bob Surgeoner the man behind Neat Acoustics is bringing them and maybe I can persuade him to help carry then up the two flights of stairs. I’ll report on the Neats as soon as they have had a few days to run in.

At the moment I’m using a pair of stand-mounting ALR Note 3s on Slate stands. Rather missing the scale and weight of the Neat MF7s but the ALRs aren’t too shabby as they say.
The Note’s have mass adjustable Auxilliary Bass Radiators (ABRs) and setting the right tuning point for the bass has given me a speaker with a good bass entension but far more importantly excellent timing.