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Nait 2 and horns? Anyone tried?

Discussion in 'audio' started by JTC, May 23, 2021.

  1. JTC

    JTC PFM Villager...

    Thinking about trying Frugelhorns but currently only have two amps - the big Lux with the Tannoys, and a CB Nait 2. Not against eventually buying or building a small amp for a second system, but in the short/medium term, might have the (unholy?) alliance of Naim and horns. Bad idea?
  2. tuga

    tuga Legal Alien

    Frugal-horns are not "real" horns (only the bass is horn-loaded, the rest of the range is direct-radiation), there's no reason why it would not "work".
    Would it sound good to you?

    My guess is that it will sound "raspy" and "bright" but it depends on the wide-band driver you use.
    Wide-bands are generally reasonably sensitive, they beam a lot from the upper-mids upwards, if no EQ filter is used the response is tilting the wrong way upwards towards the treble and the treble is usually the driver breaking up.

    If you want meaninful answers to your question you should be asking:

    Nait 2 and single-drivers? Anyone tried?
    JTC likes this.
  3. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    I’d personally describe Frugal Horns as more of a short transmission-line or long flared port than a horn. In fact I really struggle with the whole term as to my mind they aren’t horns at all. Same goes with Lowthers etc. Horns are Klipschorns, La Scalas, Avant Garde etc!

    Regardless they are interesting little speakers, but to my ears are vastly more at home on valve amps, including SETs, than any solid state I’ve heard. I’ve only heard them a few times, but certainly enough to form that opinion pretty firmly. Obviously there are many types too; lots of different drivers, and a couple of different cabinet sizes, so hard to generalise (I’ve heard several variants, but can’t recall which!). The problem to my ears is in the wrong context or location they can sound thin and mid-forward, as small single-driver speakers tend to, and I suspect a Nait may work against that rather than help ameliorate it. When working well in a synergistic system they can be very good indeed.
    JTC likes this.
  4. Nigel

    Nigel pfm Member

    Not sure if this relevant or helpful information but I currently use Heco Direkt Einklang loudspeakers. A single driver with a whizzer cone.

    Anyway, with my Audio Innovations Series 500 everything sounds fine, I substuted my Exposure X, to try out of curiosity. Oh dear! Thin sounding and it was if part of frequency range was missing. A graphic equaliser had been installed and someone had left it on some weird settings.
  5. mr sneff

    mr sneff pfm Member

    I used a Nait 2 with a pair of JohnBlue JB3s for a time and they sounded great together!
  6. JonR

    JonR Brainwashed Bloke

    Horns no but mine was tried on a huge pair of Tannoy Kensingtons and it worked a treat.
  7. JTC

    JTC PFM Villager...

    Not *quite* what I was looking for but interesting nonetheless…
  8. PerF

    PerF Scandinavian Member

    I'd love to hear Frugals with a Rega IO amp
  9. Cato

    Cato pfm Member

    sure will sound very good ! The IO really is quite special
  10. Charlie_1

    Charlie_1 pfm Member

    I tried the XL version with a Nait and LP12. Very nice clear seamless sound but wasn't very tuneful or musically coherent compared to my various Linn speakers. I would still encourage you to try a pair though. Everyone is different and you may love them.
  11. tomek

    tomek pfm Member

    The problem with older Naim amplifier is, that they are rather noisy. I was using phantastic "L'audiophile le petite" with Fostex 103 Sigma and C/L/R midrange correction ~22 years ago. I tried different Naim amplifiers (92/90, 72/140, Nait 2) and there was always audible noise at very low level. Listening loud music was phantastic, but low level for the late evening was not good. Highly efficient speakers are IMHO not a very good match for older Naim amplifiers.
  12. Fergus

    Fergus pfm Member

    I also experienced noise when I tried my Nait 3 with a pair of 96db Loth X loudspeakers. It was a bit thin sounding too.
    tuga likes this.
  13. RJohan

    RJohan pfm Member

    I have used a NAIT2 with my JBL 4331's (94 dB, mid-treble is a horn). A NAIT2 does NOT have the noise issue of separate older NAIM pre's as the NAIT2 does not have the noisy output buffer stages of the stand alone pre's. Yes, I have used the JBL's with a 82/Hi/135's combination, it WAS noisy. On the other hand, the NAIT2 possibly didn't have as much of the steel in the 'steel fisted velvet glove' NAIM sound as the larger gear.
    TLS likes this.
  14. sideshowbob

    sideshowbob 47 Lab Rat

    You'll struggle to get much movement out of the volume control before it's too loud unless you use attenuation elsewhere in the system, I suspect. Naim's gain structure isn't really designed for very high efficiency speakers.
    tuga and RJohan like this.
  15. DaveMc64

    DaveMc64 pfm Member

    Or for modern high output DACs.

    Are you referring to the gain stage after the volume control? In which case, yes it is a bit noisy but the Nait 2 also has a similar gain stage after the volume control with the same gain as the standalones.

    The Nait2 gain stage does have a couple of differences from the standard stage though so if it really is less noisy that would be interesting and might influence how well it works with the Frugelhorns.
    RJohan likes this.
  16. omers

    omers pfm Member

    Take into account also most Nait2's are inflicted with the "Unequal channels at low volumes" syndrome.
    RJohan likes this.
  17. TLS

    TLS pfm Member

    My Nait 2 works perfectly with the Chord Qutest at 1v. output.
  18. Fergus

    Fergus pfm Member

    My nephew had to use 10db attenuation with his Nait 2 to tame the 2v output from his DAC.
  19. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Within the context of this thread Frugal Horns aren’t that efficient, somewhere in the mid to late 80dbs, not 90s IIRC.
  20. martin clark

    martin clark pinko bodger

    I used a Nait 2 with my Impulse H2s at times over the last 15yrs. It's enjoyable pairing, but the higher sensitivity (c 95dB/2.8v) does show up the balance/control range issues already raised, and leaves the Nait's presentation a bit exposed overall

    The same Nait2 with the smaller Impulse H6s prior - which are c88dB and not that different from frugal horns in main driver size and loading approach- that was a splendid match, worked really well.

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