posted on Tuesday, 7th August 2012 by Steve May
UK hi-fi specialist Naim Audio will unveil it's long-awaited flagship loudspeaker, the Ovator S-800, this Friday at the Hong Kong High-End Audio Visual Show. The new model is the culmination of five years research into the brand's proprietary Balanced Mode Radiator (Naim BMR) technology and introduces a radical flat-panel bass unit, designed to partner the Naim BMR.
Priced at £27,500 a pair, and finished into Gloss Rosewood, the S-800 is not for the faint-hearted. The company says the speaker, which tips the scales at a not inconsiderable 93.5kg and stands 1,393mm tall, has been designed "for the owner with a larger than average room and one who appreciates music played with a natural sense of scale and dynamics." That's not to say it's all about playing at high-volume, it's more about delivering a naturalistic dynamic range, says Naim. "If an owner wishes to play Wagner's Ring at front row of the concert hall levels or ZZ Top at live rock levels the S-800 will simply sing and deliver every nuance, every note, from the quietest to the loudest, without effort."
The S-800 features a new 8mm Naim BMR, able to reach from 380Hz up to over 30kHz. Conventional speakers require two drivers to do the same job. This is allied to two flat-panel bass units designed to deliver, clean deep bass.
The S-800 sits on a rigid aluminium die-cast plinth and uses an unusual leaf spring system to decouple the speaker from the floor. The loudspeaker walls themselves are comprised of nine constrained layer damped layers of MDF bonded under heat and pressure and formed into a curve that reportedly contributes significantly to the speakers overall structural performance.
The Ovator S-800 will be available in an active configuration from December (active is when each drive unit is connected to a different amplifier and the crossover is electronic). A passive iteration, which has a crossover built into the die-cast aluminium plinth, and can be used with a single amplifier, will follow in January. According to Naim, "customers often start with the passive version and then upgrade to an active system later."
Steve is a veteran of the UK consumer electronics
industry, having covered it for
various media outlets for more than 20 years.
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