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Sony SS-NA2ES tower speakers
The SS-NA2ES—”NA” stands for “Natural Acoustics”—appears very similar to the SS-AR2: a beautifully finished three-way tower, approximately 3′ tall, with drive-units custom-made by Scan-Speak in Denmark and designed in collaboration with Sony: twin 6.5″ aluminum-cone woofers and a 5″ midrange unit with what looks like the same spiral radial cuts in its paper cone. (These cuts control the cone’s out-of-band behavior to give a smooth low-pass rolloff above the crossover frequency.) The ‘NA2 is actually a little more than 2″ shorter than the ‘AR2, however, and while those spiral cuts in the ‘AR2’s midrange were real, and subsequently filled with sealant in a time-consuming and expensive manual process, pressed into the new speaker’s midrange cone are spiral radial grooves. (The drive-unit is exclusive to Sony.) The biggest external difference concerns the tweeter. Or tweeters. The ‘AR2 had a conventional if high-quality, 1″ silk-dome tweeter with a motor that featured a circular array of six neodymium magnets that left the rear of its diaphragm unobstructed. The ‘NA2ES also uses a 1″ silk-dome tweeter sourced from Scan-Speak, but mounts it vertically between two 0.75” fabric-dome “assist” tweeters. All three tweeters share the same faceplate and cover the same frequency range.
From Stereophile’s review, “Summing Up“:
“With a footprint no larger than that of a bookshelf speaker on its stand, Sony’s SS-NA2ES is beautifully finished, and offers low coloration, high sensitivity, accurate and stable stereo imaging, and enough low frequencies to be musically satisfying.
To get the bad news out of the way, the SS-NA2ES doesn’t sound quite as superb, overall, as Sony’s SS-AR2. The good news is that, at $10,000 rather than $20,000/pair, the SS-NA2ES offers its owner 90% of the performance of the SS-AR2 for 50% of its price.”
Description: Three-way, reflex-loaded, floorstanding loudspeaker. Drive-units: 1″ (25mm) soft-dome tweeter, two 3/4″ (19mm) soft-dome tweeters, 5″ (130mm) paper-cone midrange, two 6.5″ (165mm) aluminum-cone woofers. Crossover frequencies: 400Hz, 4kHz, with multiple slopes. Frequency response: 45Hz–45kHz, –10dB. Sensitivity: 90dB/2.83V/m. Nominal impedance: 4 ohms. Power handling: 100W maximum (non-clipping).
Dimensions: 35.4″ (900mm) H by 10″ (254mm) W by 16.3″ (415mm) D. Weight: 70.5 lbs (32kg) each.
Finish: Wood Grain Piano.
Serial numbers of units reviewed: 800013 & 14.