Adding a poweramp to the Nova

Hi Folks.
What poweramp would you consider to add to a Nova that seems short to drive some Sopra 2 at mid/high volume?
I notice several time the nova heating high and clipping on protection mode.

I guess you may suggest some naim power amp. However, what do you think in combining the wide range of features of the nova, but supplying another integrated like a Hegel H390 integrated?
Would this make sense? Or just adding some powerblocks?
I am a bit confused here.
Thanks everyone and happy Halloween!

I can’t see any point in buying an integrated amp to run off a Nova. That’s even more redundancy than just a power amp. The obvious choice is a 250, or if you get an integrated, trade the Nova for a separate streamer. NDX2/Supernait perhaps.

Soueric, I recall an old thread where you asked about using your European 230V Nova in the US. Which prompts the question, are you using a set-up transformer?

Yes, this is what I thought. However, I can see the Nova telling a lot about being hot and clipping. I am then looking at all options, keeping and getting 250 or changing to separate elements or…

Hi Richard, yes I am using a huge 3000W Transformer and have the nova untouched, plugged to it.

I reckon this may be part or perhaps all of the problem, unless you’re using speaker cabling that’s contributing to the amp being in distress.

Step up transformers will seriously limit performance, particularly for a power amp.

My only experience with the Nova and the Sopras at anything other than modest levels was with a Nova and Sopra 1s. Certainly this could play to very high levels indeed without any apparent distress, clipping or thermal shutdown. I’d imagine that the Sopra 2s would be similar here but at the levels I played them at (fairly low), I couldn’t say for definite. However, they are pretty efficient and present a benign load from what i can see. Perhaps @Naim.Marketing has experience and can add some comment.

I agree that things don’t seem right here.

Naim Uniti Nova can drive Sopra 2 to decent volumes in an average room. (Yes, you’ll hear way more from these magnificent speakers with more power behind them, but it’s certainly a fine system as is - both Naim and Focal have used that set-up for show demos in smaller spaces.)

I’d look to either that transformer and/or speaker cables issues as to the overheating.

What volume levels are you playing at? What speaker cables are you using?

Hi Clare, Sopra 2 are at the back of the Nova, and on q good 70 of volume. But maybe that was to high already for the Nova? At low volume it’s perfect but reckon that the Sopra 2 are high current demanding.

70! Blimey, I rarely get our Nova above 55, and that sounds LOUD.

Think you’re asking too much of it, especially into speakers that thrive with more power.

Adding a power amp would certainly help.

Well the room is big. However, I think the Sopra are too demanding for that amp.
I however regret, that it cannot be used at full capacity, or should come with a note: Do not exceed NN% of volume on demanding speakers…

The step up transformer will probably be leaving the amp hamstrung. You should have it properly converted to 115V

1 Like

I’m sure things can be improved, as RIchard has noted.

Also, again, what speaker cables are you using - brand and length? Worth ruling out any chance of them being part of the problem.

Hi Clare, the cables are some Focal cables, that I guess are good quality. The length is about between 1.5 et 2 m long each. Do you think that could be an issue?

Back on the transfo note, I had some similar issues back in France, with the amp directly on the (recent) House power plug, and notice some similar concerns when pushing it up a bit.

I don’t think a Nap 250 would help you much. When I had one it would frequently overheat and cut out - going to 135s solved it.
I now have a Nova into N-Sats and a sub and have never had a single instance of that and I still play it loud. When I demmed the Nova the dealer said it was the loudest dem he’d ever had and it was loud in the main shop 2 floors down from the dem room.
The Nova is not short of power - I agree that there is something wrong with your set up.

1 Like

I didn’t find specifications for Focal speaker cable (and it seems there are many different ones), but in any case 1.5-2 meters is very short, even though the Uniti products are more tolerant than classic amps (for which a minimum of 3.5m NACA5 cable is specified).

If the Focal cable has less than the inductance of NACA5, I think you can easily land in critical territory with just 1.5-2 meters. The forum has seen several cases of Novas overheating due to problematic speaker cables.

I would very much recommend to try with 3 meters of NACA5.

By the way, here is the FAQ about speaker cables and the specifications of NACA5:

You really cannot run a £4,000 all in one into large £12,000 speakers, in a large room at high volume, and expect great results. It’s just not going to happen. The Nova is good but cannot work miracles. For those speakers and a large room you are looking at an NDX2, XPSDR, 282, Hicap DR and 300DR as a reasonable starting point.

1 Like

Hi all, so I checked my cables, they are Focal Performance, 13 Gauges (2.5mm carre) Hyper Twist.

You’re using the word “reasonable” in your reply HH. I do not think it means what you think it means! The equipment you listed comes to more than £24,000 and you would need to add plenty of rack and cable to that figure! :wink:

I know exactly what it costs, and to get a well balanced system with the OP’s speakers you are looking at that sort of money.

Yes, but the Nova and the speakers are 16K. By distributing the funds differently, the result may have been more satisfying, if the budget doesn’t allow a suitable frontend for 12K speakers.

With this caveat, I’d still try with 3 meters of NACA5

1 Like