NBL: Perhaps not an Audio Icon, but…

Since launching the Audio Icons hi-fi print project I’ve had a few requests from Naim enthusiasts to include an illustration of the NBL, a speaker I conceived and co-developed at Naim during the last years of the 20th Century. On the grounds however that implying a speaker I designed is “iconic” might seem a little, well, self reverential, I’d always resisted the temptation to illustrate it. But one more request for an NBL illustration a few weeks ago finally broke my resolve, so thanks to the rapid delivery of a set of manufacturing drawings from Naim, a Sketchup 3D model of the NBL is now well and truly underway.

NBL WIPI’d rather forgotten what an odd shape is the NBL. The front to back narrowing, combined with the slope and compound radius of the top surface, proved quite a challenge for Sketchup, or at least for my abilities in Sketchup. A brilliant little Sketchup extension that I wasn’t previously aware of called Soap Skin and Bubble proved invaluable for creating the top surface. As illustrated though, the basic shape is now complete and it’s “just” the detail of drivers, fixings, grilles and the panel veneers to go.

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