Atom HE & Nap 250DR vs Nova

Hello I currently have a 2017 Nova which I use both with Focal headphones and with ATC SCM 11s. I also have a Nap 250DR power amp and I wonder if this would pair well with an Atom HE as a replacement for the Nova. I think headphone listening would be better with the Atom HE but I wonder how the Atom HE/Nap 250 would compare with the Nova playing through my SCM 11s. The power amp side should be better than the Nova but would the Atom’s pre-amp lose out compared to the Nova’s pre-amp? All thoughts and knowledge welcome.

1 Like

@leatherneck should enlighten you .

I have to play Uniti Star now and i have concern as you mention. I hope we will have a lot sharing from Audiophile as Naim’ expert.

I bought a NAP 250 DR and had Chord create a cable to connect it to my Atom HE. I’m using Harbeth 30.2 speakers. My goal was to see if I could replace my 7 box Naim 500 system with these 2 boxes.
I was satisfied enough that I spoke to my Naim dealer about selling my 500 system on Consignment.
Let me caution you that this is in my small apartment, playing music that I like at levels I like.
I made a conscious effort not to compare it to the 500 system.
Well, I did recently go back and listen to the big system and there is a clear difference in many ways. Enough that I’ve had second thoughts about giving up the big system right now.
That’s not to say that the 2 box system isn’t good enough to satisfy me,
I’ve owned a Nova. The HE/250 is better in every way. Headphone amp, power amp and preamp.
My headphones are Focal Utopias.


Have you considered active ATC speakers to go with Atom HE instead of a 250?

Thanks for the replies so far. Leatherneck,s experience is very useful and I also listen in a small room - 3.5m x 3.2m. I may consider active speakers but smallest ATC -the 19s would be too big so maybe AE1s

Not sure if you do already but I’d connect your Nova with your 250 and enjoy that until the inevitable higher up the ladder streaming DAC arrives .
I used to have a 250 DR with passive 19s which was excellent.

After going back and listening to my 500 system, I decided to back out of the HE to 250 DR trial.
Instead, I’ve ordered Aavik U280/S280. This is the Danish equivalent of an SN3 and NDX-2 on Steroids.
I’ve got my 2 box system, lower cost and (according to a trusted friend) terrific performance.
I could certainly have lived happily with the HE/250 DR system. It’s a user friendly, toe tapping system that worked great in my environment.

1 Like

The Aavik is probably on another level , I guess.

Well it is, in price and performance.
I was so taken with the Atom HE I thought I could get something for nothing. I’m old enough to know better.
The Atom HE is a terrific device and can do more than should be expected. I just went too far.
I’ll continue to use it as a HP amp.


Thanks for sharing your insight and openness, @leatherneck , guess I’ll have to wait then dor the 272.2 :wink:

You aren’t the only one.

This topic was automatically closed 60 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.