NAIM Audio’s reinforcement of its loudspeaker range continues with the new Ovator S-800, the flagship model built on the design template of its smaller and less costly stablemates, the S-400 and S-600.
The S-800 sports two finely-tuned and specially developed 280mm flat-panel bass drivers to handle the low extremes, which go down to 20Hz. These are mated to a custom-engineered and refined Balanced Mode Radiator (BMR) unit, housed in a 40-litre enclosure within the cabinet, which is 1.4m tall.
The BMR is an all-new 82mm unit fitted with a neodymium ring magnet that reduces obstruction of the rear-directed sound from the diaphragm – it has an edge-wound single-layer voice coil to maximise sensitivity.
The cabinet format is similar to the smaller models, but larger and with improved construction. The cabinet sits on an aluminum die-cast plinth, under which are hardened stainless steel spikes. A compliant mounting system ensures effective decoupling of the plinth above 12Hz. The braced, multi-ply construction and internal damping result in an acoustically inert box.
Naim has allowed fuss-free setting up – castor trolleys are supplied to enable the loudspeaker to be moved into position and fine-tuned before being lowered onto pre-fitted spikes once its ideal position has been found. The sweet spot of the S-800 is significantly wider than that of most conventional speakers, thus letting more than one listener at a time experience its enthralling sound.
No detail has been skimped on, right down to the bespoke, silver-plated terminals which are designed to avoid galvanic corrosion, and carefully decoupled to eliminate microphonic effects.
There is a price to pay for this fine bit of technology, of course, which is not for the faint-hearted. There are two versions of the S-800. The passive one, to begin shipping in January 2013, will cost £30,000 a pair. We’re also informed that an active version was launched at the Hong Kong High-End Audio Visual Show recently.
Check out the Naim website for the technical nitty-gritty in awesome piece of work.