Adding supernait to Nova?

I have a Nova as a second system and it’s an annoying drop in soundstage and punch compared to my main - ( factor of cost and content I know ). Thought I could live with it …but there’s no going back as we know. This may have been discussed before, but I’m thinking of adding a supernait 3 recognising it has the same 80w output. I gather the improvement is remarkable due to the electronics in the Supernait and that it acts like an upgrade albeit a series of ungainly financial steps.
It would leave the Nova as my streamer and dac - but that’s cheaper than sourcing an ndx and preamp - Any wise words of wisdom and experience with trialling this most welcome. Thanks.

The Nova isn’t ideal as just a source due to the fact that it’s an all-in-one and only offers a pre-amp level output (i.e. signal goes through the volume control) rather than a line out. Have you considered trading it for an ND5xs2 or NDX2 and Supernait?


Thanks Richard - yes I thought about a trade and restart - but the net out cost to have an NDX2 and Supernait is much more than just bolting on the Supernait to the Nova. I take your point however …I want the sounds of the NDX2 with the Supernait and there’s a cost. The Nova has attributes though including ability to have an optical cable from my tv - can that be done with the other combo?

You should also consider the ND5XS2 as that would likely outperform the Nova as just a source. Or else listen to the NDX2 and NAIT XS2 or 3 - you may be pleasantly surprised.

The Network players are really streaming DACs so have full DAC functionality. On the ND5XS2 and NDX2 there are four digital s/pdif inputs - two coaxial (BNC and RCA), and two optical TOSLINK.

An integrated amp is an inefficient way to upgrade a Nova as you will have a second preamp in the signal path. You can add a power amp only, such as a 250, which is the purpose of the pre out on the Nova.
I do think it’s better to go for a separate streamer and amp though.


What about getting a 200 or better a 250 and using the Nova into them? Some here are doing that and are happy with this combination.

Yes funny you should say that, I trialled a 250dr with it when I bought it but found it very boomy and a bit missing in action. I gather the integrated sounds more coherent with it but goodness knows why this would be. Perhaps less overpowering or perhaps the speakers response. Certainly a dedicated amp has more logic though.

Thanks ChrisSU all makes logic this end. In another response I mentioned I trialled a 250dr with it but the sound became boomy - room, speaker or whatever it didn’t make sense. Can’t fathom why a supernait would be different but some say it is….

Looking at your substantial main system, I wonder how much of the performance gap you aim to close?


You haven’t mentioned the speakers, which could be a factor in the imaging. I find my Nova pretty good with the right speakers.

Otherwise, if you want a decent improvement over the Nova you ideally need the SN2/3 matched with the NDX2 ideally. Off course, that’s double the price for the improvement.

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The Nova is a very capable piece of kit , if you want the best out of it - I would suggest a Powerline .

You don’t say what speaker cable or how big your room is .

I have just installed Witch Hat Phantom speaker cable and I am very impressed (I have run a five box Classic system ) . The only discernible short coming with my system is that I have small stand mount speakers (P3ESR) and sometimes they can be a little anaemic when faced with rich orchestral .


I also have a Nova in my 2:nd system which I’m very satisfied with. It’s a awesome all in one player. I really can’t understand how some people on the forum is’nt satisfied with it. I really love my 1 years old Nova :blush::+1::notes::blue_heart:


Have read some of your posts and appreciate your insight RvL.
The gap isn’t trying to replicate the main system but rather to remove some of the digital effect of the Nova - which few talk about but it’s there. I think this is all about balance in the room that I have to be honest so it’s not a criticism of Nova. I had a full ( junior) set up with the components for years and it was more engaging than the Nova - I find it a bit clinical to be honest. I think the answer is an NdX2 with the supernait and trade back the Nova …slightly more expensive than adding the supernait but enough of a gap closure on the main system and happiness prevails😇

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Thanks Mike I think you may be right after much reflection on my part. The speakers are pretty serious - Kef ref 1 bookshelves on stands - absurd price but without question exquisite. Cables are Inakustic and neutral so no issues there. Room is a bit dodgy which makes for a boomy sound with the wrong amplification / I tried a 250dr but it wasn’t the answer. I’m mulling your suggestion because it’s spot on the only issue is whether the diff really is worth the changeover.

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If your speakers are KEF Reference (lovely by the way) please remember that the Nova is an all in , I do wonder how sympathetic using such quality speakers are with the Nova ?

Are you expecting a little too much?

A NDX2 and SN3 would perhaps be a better combo with your speakers than the 'umble Nova

Our wonderful little hobby is often visited by the law of diminishing returns

Depending on the speaker, the addition of nap 250 (no dr required) can be very useful. The Nap 250 controls the speakers far better than the Unite Nova, which then serves as a preamp, streamer and dac. For me, the difference is very big Nova-Spendor d7.2 in favor of Nova-Nap 250.2-Spendor 7.2

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Yes thanks Ian - I think the move to an all in one had lots of sense given I wanted the aesthetics and it’s not my main room for music. The problem only arose when I started expecting what I know the separates produce. Silly expectation on my part but I think it’s worth trialling the ndx2 and supernait to see whether I feel there’s a closing of the gap to extent I’m happy. Trade the nova against the purchase and be content. Power chords make more of an impact with separates in my mind as well.

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Ah, it’s getting the balance right , we’ve all been there.

A suggestion, why not get a Powerline and then wait for the much lauded and anticipated 272 replacement ?

I’d try a full fat Powerline with your Nova before deciding on that - many people have found it to be a significant upgrade.

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I trialled the superlumina power cord for a spell but the cost and difference was not justifiable so I ran with another brand that opens the soundstage a bit more. Managed to find a cord in their offerings that did it for me at reasonable cost. Also had Tellurium ultra black cables which I thought were great on my main but switched to inakustik and was happier. My wife thinks I’m nuts as one would expect and perhaps she’s right :innocent:
Just read your January post / well done on the health front :+1: