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Naim adds Ovator S-400 to loudspeaker range

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.

Click on an image to open a 300dpi variant

The S-400 is a room-friendly, set-up-friendly floor-standing loudspeaker with two 6.5 inch Bass units and one 46mm Balanced Mode Radiator.

The design includes all the traditional Naim techniques: The high-pressure cast plinth is isolated from the cabinet by a leaf spring decoupling the cabinet from the floor. The crossover mounts to the already isolated plinth with a compliant mounting mechanism.

The BMR drive unit includes an integral elastomeric rim to facilitate decoupling from the cabinet to minimise cross coupling.

The bass units operate in separate 15 litre sealed volumes with engineered and controlled low-hysteresis air pressure equalisers. A true sealed box is virtually impossible in the world of loudspeaker design. Air leaks are usually non-symmetrical, introducing non-linearity in drive unit performance reducing the gains so hard fought for in the lab.

The Ovator S-400 will be available in November.

Features

Cabinet

• Hardened 8mm Stainless Steel spikes

• Leaf spring mechanism decouples cabinet from plinth and crossover above 12Hz.

• Controlled density MDF, multi-laminated to give constrained layer damping

• Curved sides and sloping top to reduce standing waves

Crossover

• Computer-modelled, fine-tuned by ear, crossover isolated in the high-pressure die-cast plinth

• Primary inductors are audio-grade laminated core with low DC resistance

• Audio-grade polypropylene film Clarity caps in critical areas

• Crossover is 4th order acoustic at 700Hz

• Easy amplifier load – lowest impedance point is 4.0 Ohms.

BMR

• New 46mm flat panel Balanced Mode Radiator (BMR) drive unit for mid and high frequencies

• Pressure die-cast chassis for maximum rigidity

• Motor System – FEA modelled for optimum linearity

• Nomex diaphragm – honeycomb core with paper skins –light, stiff with good damping

• Precision surround which acts as the balancing mass

• Flux Density Linearity optimised with Finite Element Analysis (FEA) modelling

• Unique suspension system for BMR driver to reduce cross coupling

Bass Units

• Two 6.5 inch bass units

• Bass units with computer-optimised motor systems for low-distortion and high linearity

• Pressure die-cast chassis for maximum rigidity and openness

• Motor System – FEA modelled for optimum linearity

• Long fibre paper cone chosen for ideal relationship between weight and stiffness

• Flux Density optimised with Finite Element Analysis (FEA) modelling magnet

• Voice Coil 38mm to reduce thermal dynamic compression

Specifications

Frequency response (in room): 36 – 35000Hz

Sensitivity: 88dB for 2.83Vrms i/p

Nominal impedance: 4 Ohm (Minimum impedance 4.0 Ohm)

Suggested power amplifier rating: 25 – 130W (8 Ohm rating)

Weight: 31Kg

Dimensions (including spikes and grilles): 1060 x 330 x 345mm (H x W x D)

Naim Balanced Mode Radiator

The use of a technology like BMR until the Ovator S-600 had only been seen in low-end AV speakers, even though technically it delivers two huge advantages. There is no crossover point in the middle of the frequencies where the ear is most sensitive. The Naim BMR covers six octaves from the mid bass to beyond the hearing of even a young child. The directivity, or dispersion as it is perhaps better known, is far more even with frequency, thus ‘driving’ a room more naturally and giving a far wider ‘sweet-spot’. Conventional loudspeaker designs deliver a very unnatural power response compared to live voices or instruments.

Development of a Naim BMR drive unit to deliver this level of performance is not a trivial undertaking as perhaps the four years of development time indicates. The combination of mathematical analysis, computer simulations and empirical analysis, combined with countless iterations of the drive unit with minute changes are hugely resource consuming as well as requiring a massive investment in personnel, advanced measurement, and modelling equipment.

The Naim BMR driver comprises a honeycomb diaphragm driven by a voice-coil immersed in a twin-neodymium magnet system optimised for linearity through finite-element analysis. The pressure die-cast chassis provides the rigidity necessary to ensure that every note of musical detail is accurately reproduced.

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