Atom / Nova home testing… hints?

:joy::joy::joy::joy: unless you/me have money to burn… :fire:

1 Like

Just a thought, what about an Atom/ NAP 200 combo - they are often well thought of on these pages

Plenty of whoompf with a NAP 200 and cheaper than a Nova

Thanks for the reminder. There was actually an offer for a somehow reduced NAP 200 at the shop autumn 2019. I started to think about it (and what I’d do with existing sub on pre-out, if putting the NAP 200 in that place) - it was gone. :man_shrugging:

For today/tomorrow, I’ll let the Nova try to convince me.

If it does, I’ll check to “financial feasibility” next; if something goes wrong there, I’ll give other options another look.

I don’t want to speak for someone else, but whenever I read this specific proposition, I always wonder why I should follow this redundant path.(?)

Is it not better be efficient on the number of boxes? Better spend a little more on the beginning… then chase another solution later…

I can understand this as an upgrade option - instead of trying to swap Atom to Star/Nova; you put an “add-on” in place. And if going to further upgrade later, you’ve done the first step in splitting the system for individual upgrades.

If there’s no intention on going that route, and finding benefit in 1-box: there’s still the other option available.

I started with a Nait 3, then a Flatcap then a NAP 90. Ended up with a Naim Classic series five boxes which became two too many .

By going down the NAP 200 route , it could open up other doors such a 272 (very reasonable at the moment)

Other than the fancy screen I would say a 272/NAP 200 would be better sounding than a Nova for at the moment the same amount of money

Clearly the replacement for the 272 keeps me awake deep into the night.

I think adding a 200 would be more cost effective than switching to a Nova

Only if OP opted for a source, other then Atom. What I try to say is: the buyer should consciously define what route should go. All in one vs separates. Of course he could do a step fwd by buying a nap200 in pursuit of a separate source later. But if going this route, I would switch immediately to an all new system, instead of a redundant solution .
(Even if temporary solution)

This is how I feel: just “more” of all the good bits. My sense is that it’s not just an amp upgrade (cf adding the 200), but all the various individual improvements in moving up the scale from A to N…

For this reason, I emphatically second the suggestion of @ChrisSU: listen for the next few days to the Nova and soak it all in as a whole experience. When you switch back, and you are going back to a lovely Atom, then you’ll know if what you would lose is worth the spend. Good you’ve done the mini back-to-back, but leave that aside for the rest of your trial period and see how you get on.

Have fun, this should be fun!! Good luck with your journey.

Regards alan


I advise not setting a Max volume limit. Especially for critical listening. It has a seriously negative effect on sound quality.

That’s interesting - why does that happen?

Not sure, someone else maybe able to explain but try it. It saps the life and dynamics out of the music.

I advise setting allways exept for short critical listening, it is dangerous on 100%, I nottice 2 time :frowning:
Question- Nova is better, it is obioviusly, but have Atom any advantage? Somebody sad that Atom is maybe most musical of these three.

Not sure what you mean by dangerous. For most using Classic series products, the volume pots are only used between a 8 o’clock and maximum 10 o’clock post.

Sure, on a big physical volume knob, it’s not very dangerous.

When you use tiny phone screen with small sliders; especially for apps, which believe that max volume is a reasonable thing (on a phone speaker, for example), this can go very fast to 100.
Or when “beaming” music via Airplay, Chromecast, UPnP, …

I will see, if I hear a difference say between 20/100 or 40/50.

To know what’s happening, one would need to know, how the down-adjustment is handled; also in relation to the general (digital?) volume control on the new Unitis. Ideally, 50/100 should be very easy to handle digitally. :wink:


I am interesting in difference between 20/100 and 40/50, please informe as…

1 Like

The issue with the Nova is when changing inputs, particularly going from a music server to a blu ray player for example, where the volume outputs can be quite different.

Naim have previously advised that the Max Volume limit should have no effect on Sound Quality. I assumed it would myself, but when the default from memory is 85/100 why would they compromise default audio quality?

The range recalibrates from 0 to 100 whatever the Max setting - if the aim is simply to avoid accidentally changing to very high volume it would be more intuitive perhaps if we could max out at a particular volume, say 50-60/100.

Originally had an Atom prior to release of Nova/Star.

My Atom developed a display fault and was RMA’d - by the time a replacement was available the Nova was out.

I compared Atom vs Nova at the dealer and there was a significant difference.

The Atom is fantastic, the Nova adds layers of detail and somehow makes complex musical segments clearer, bass lines in particular.

Try to find some music where certain parts sound a bit muddled and compare Atom to Nova, the Nova ought to be better.

If not and you’re happy with the Atom stick with it.


It’s dangerous as the software in these systems that controls the volume has on a occasion malfunctioned. It’s done it for me 3 x where volume on my Atom continued to rise to full volume without any interaction after tapping up volume once. I know others have had this too directly after a firmware update. I have mine now set at 75%. Cant say I noitced any drop in sq it is only a level limiter it’s not DSP volume. I

1 Like

Buy the Nova, or an Atom enjoy it, when the itch starts demo an Innuos Zen Mini.

I went Muso, then a few months later the Atom launched, i bought it without a demo, got it home loved it, itch started and within a week ordered the Nova, it was somewhat a disappointment over the Atom, but as Mr Dane said at the time the Nova was special, he is right, it is not something an A B A demo picks up, more low end control, more emotion.

Oh i have had 6 or 7 (sorry lost count) RMA Nova units, one signed off by Roy, so for someone picky like me to stay firm on the Nova after such a dire product quality experience means to me it was a keeper.

Oh sadly during that journey i realised there is allot of unit to unit variability and then the firmware …