Adding a power amp to Nova Uniti

Hello All,

I’m Picking up my Naim Nova and Kanta 2 speakers. Was wondering if anyone had added a power amp to the Nova for extra music quality ? . I’m bring in a sub soon so the extra power will come in handy for that .

Cheers
Bunta

If you are already wanting to add a power amplifier to your Nova even before you get it, then you are buying the wrong unit. You should think about an NDX2 and a SuperNait 3 instead of a Nova plus a power amplifier not yet chosen.

Best

David

11 Likes

I agree with David, build a system that drives the speakers you have chosen properly rather than making the Nova power amp redundant by adding a 250, which I would suggest is the minimum you would need to get the extra power you’re looking for. NDX2/Supernait would be the obvious choice.

The extra power will have no effect on the performance of a sub, as this will be self powered from a feed taken from the Nova preamp.

1 Like

The Kanta is a large speaker, so how do you know a sub is needed? As subs are nearly all self powered, adding a power amplifier will make no difference to it.

The Nova is a very fine all in one and, as David says, if you are already thinking of adding a power amp then you are buying the wrong thing.

3 Likes

Exactly, by going redundant ( amp section)

I am beginning to think there needs to be something pinned to the top of the site that says something like ‘ if you want an upgrade path then don’t buy an all in one’ or something similar.

For me adding a power amp to a Uniti makes no sense given the various components within the unit should be complementary.

3 Likes

And what’s more, while I am on a roll and to be controversial, if you think you need a sub in your system then maybe you have bought or are considering the wrong speakers

1 Like

Atom HE and NAP250, just to put a spanner in the works?

3 Likes

I have added a power amp to my SuperUniti 3 years after buying it, but if I was thinking of adding a power amp to a Nova before I had received it, I would be questioning my Nova purchase.

If you have auditioned your chosen system and are happy then I would give it a chance as it is, but if you are having second thoughts based on a real nagging doubt I would re think your purchase.

If you want a good full-range presentation from 15hz - 20khz you would need very big and expensive speakers, as well as a big and expensive amplifier to drive them well.

A subwoofer is a great and affordable alternative for many people, where they don’t need either of those but can simply extend a pair of speakers that are easier to drive and require less engineering to make them go really low.

6 Likes

The Nova is an excellent machine but I agree with earlier comments that if you want to add a power amp from the start you may want to consider other combinations.

I got an early Nova and had planned to use it as a secondary system - my older Naim kit was in storage and the Nova was meant to be a temporary main system with a pair of speakers.

As I had an old NAP 250 in storage it was simple to add it to the Nova, and it added more control to the speakers, though the Nova was perfectly usable without a connected NAP.

We are currently lacking a NAC-N 272 replacement using the new streaming technology in the Uniti series and newer standalone streamers (it’s no longer made).

Consider that a fair part of your Nova’s cost will be for its power amp section - unlike older all in ones the Nova’s power section cannot be turned off and presumably still active with an external NAP plugged in. So from the off you’d be paying for a power out you might not use.

That in itself is not the whole story however.

When you consider Nova upgradability there are few options. A Powerline vs supplied Powerline Lite made a significant difference for me, and though expensive for a mains lead it seemed worthwhile. You can add a NAP and you have several options though I would not go below a NAP 250 DR, just pause and consider the extra cost to have the Nova’s power section unused. You cannot add an external power supply which is a shame in my view. The Nova also has no digital out say you ever wanted to use it with an external DAC. You can tweak interconnects/speaker cables but that goes for any other devices.

Nova’s analogue inputs are digitised (very well) to allow multiroom playback I believe.

So here’s the real question, the Nova has a plethora of inputs - what other sources will you use? If none then again you have a well-specced all in one with many inputs you might not use.

If your interest is in having it all controlled easily by apps then other combinations will be less flexible as having an NDX 2 and a Supernait 3 would allow app control of the NDX 2 but not the Supernait 3 (as far as I know, I may be wrong).

Are you in UK? If so I think any respectable dealer would allow you to pause the order and consider other options, especially if you’d end up with a more balanced system overall .

Equally, why the rush to add a NAP? You might find the Nova to be a sterling performer for a year or so and could then if and when you want to upgrade trade it in for a different combination.

Good luck with the decisions.

4 Likes

You could link the two with a cable and use system automation which gives you volume control and (I think) input switching from the NDX2.

2 Likes

I’d wondered about that, if so problem solved.

More interestingly have I missed an option with system automation for my Nova to control the NAC 282?

It does give you an official option, though not one I’d choose at the outset.

1 Like

I’m pretty sure not, the system automation model is that a cable is connected between the streamer and the pre-amp, and the appropriate remote control signals are sent from the streamer via this cable rather than wirelessly from a remote control. I haven’t seen a remote out socket on the Nova, which would make sense as it’s an all in one with its own preamp.

No one has actually replied to the OP question. I don’t find your reasoning strange at all. You wanted well-designed one-box solution with the latest streaming capabilities, but you wonder if some extra power would help if needed. You are not going to sell Nova in order to go to for NDX2/SN3 route and lose money on the way.
Adding sub is a good decision as well-integrated sub will help any system. Once you get it, you may realise that you don’t need extra power amp at all.

Suspect you are correct, I struggle to visualise the connections on the back of the Nova without seraching for an online pic!

I guess the responses so far probably assume the Nova is ordered but unopened - I don’t know where the OP resides, if in UK, it ought not to be a huge issue to change your mind if the product has not even arrived or been opened, and many companies used to have a returns policy if you were unhappy with a purchase for one reason or other.

Yes, exactly. The Nova will drive the Kantas fine, adding a sub is a far better option than another power amp in my view, I used one with similar speakers.

2 Likes

I have a Uniti Nova and borrowed a NAP250DR for a couple of months at the same time, found a big improvement and bought it. I also have a Powerline, which I would suggest would be the first upgrade for the Nova. I will trial the replacement 272 if as and when it appears and if the difference justifies the cost I will upgrade.

I dont buy into this forget Nova if you have upgrade tendencies. Yes it is an all-in-one but it does have an upgrade path (im on it). I dont worry about the fact that there is an unused transformer in the Nova when a power amp is added, the only criteria for me is whether the addition of a power amp gives a justifiable increase in sound quality vs. the additional cost, a fact only you can judge.

I also liked the Nova aesthetics as a focal point on my fraim over other choices so that may well have been a factor too…

5 Likes