Atom or Nova - how much power to drive Dynaudio Evoke 50's?

Hello everyone,

I’m not new to audio but have mostly been using active nearfield monitors for music production. I’m moving into a new place though and have just bought some Dynaudio Evoke 50’s (4 ohm floorstanders, two woofers, one midrange driver, and a tweeter, 87dB sensitivity, max power 260W). These are big speakers, bigger than I’ve ever had. I’m about to buy an all-in-one, because I’ve done the research and decided that Naim’s Uniti series is exactly what I want.

The problem is the Uniti Atom is 40wpc. Apparently Naim is conservative in their claims, and the 40 W is into 8 ohms. Dynaudio recommends as a rule of thumb to get an amp that can deliver at minimum 20% of the stated max power that can be handled by the speaker, which is 260W, so that = 52W. My question is, does that mean I need an amp that can deliver 50-60 W into 4 ohms? Which the Naim Uniti Atom can probably do, since it’s 40W into 8 ohms?

I’m a bit out of my depth here. There are others who say that the Evoke 50’s are big speakers and very revealing, so I would be wasting them with an underpowered amp. The issue is that the Uniti Nova (80 wpc into 8 ohms) is more than double the price, and we’re talking a difference of about $4000 Canadian.

Can anyone advise me on this? Anyone who’s used the Uniti Atom? I hear the DAC and lots of other things on the Nova are better, not just the amp portion. But I would prefer the form factor and price of the Atom. Anything to consider here? Is 87dB a really inefficient speaker? Anyone owned the Dynaudio Evoke 50’s (I think they’re pretty new).

I’m new to the concept that amplifiers can change the characteristics of the sound so significantly. I thought initially that the worst case would be the dB SPL I get out of the speakers – that I’d just have to turn them up a bit more, or live with a slightly quieter output. But it seems like distortion, bass definition, etc. may be affected by the power amp characteristics.

Any advice is greatly appreciated!

I would be of the opinion that you won’t have much success with an Atom, it’ll work and sound not bad but you really won’t be exploiting those speakers to anywhere near their potential. I would also go as far to say that a Nova may well fall short too but it’ll certainly be an improvement on the Atom.

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Very much agreed.

I’d say not by far the Atom, and not even the Nova is going to be able to drive those speakers properly.

Note that its 4 Ohms mean that in the most dynamic passages will fall frequently even up to the 2 Ohms, and there Naim does not feel comfortable.

My experience with the ProAC K6, also 4 Ohms nominal but even a better sensitivity than the Dynaudio, has been that neither the SN2 nor the SN3, both 80W in 8 Ohms, have been able to drive them satisfactorily, and in the end I ended up with a Musical Fidelity Nu-Vista 600, which is another story both for synergy with the boxes and by technical specifications, starting with the 200W at 8 Ohms and 400W in 4 Ohms.

In short, the Atom not by far, and the Nova, well, will work reasonably as long as the room is not too big, do not ask too much volume and/or do not ask for super dynamic compositions (EDM, symphony, reggae…).

Really? But the Nova is the top of this line and there is nothing available with more power. What would you suggest?

I could go Class D and get the NAD M10, which is rated to do 100W into 4 or 8 ohms. Would that be enough?

It doesn’t have chromecast built in nor a home theatre bypass feature, like the Uniti series, but would it be an acceptable solution in terms of driving the speakers?

The Atom is a really attractive component, however there are a number of threads on here regarding it’s power amplification.

If you really like the Atom, then consider pairing it with a neutral sounding, quality, power amp, possibly secondhand…

This doesn’t have to be a Naim power-amp as you wouldn’t need one of the Naim dedicated pre—amps to go with it. I use (serviced/re-capped) TAGMcLaren power amps (250x2R Main system, 100p second system). A lot of people are also happy with older Naim power amps.

Unfortunately I would continue to say no…

Look at the thread I’ve pointed to you, and you’ll see in a video towards the end what happens to dynamic music and the speakers, similar to ours, demands, the headroom amount they need and impose!

The speakers you want to drive are very good, and very demanding; and if it were me, and trying to avoid a tortuous journey of time, cost, expense, dissatisfaction and disappointment like the one I’ve already made, I would prepare the wallet and go to safety: quality, high current and power, min 200-250 W in 4 Ohms, that’s about 150-175, at the very least, in 8 Ohms, and in some quality electronics. This, in Naim, is 300 or 500 series, and a real fortune. The rest, with those boxes, wasting time, money and walking the path of dissatisfaction. From my experience, honestly, and look that I was warned…

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That’s a big speaker. Maybe the Nova can drive it.

But :

Why not try the smaller Dynaudio ones with a nova ?

I find my Dynaudio excite 16 to be a very good speaker.

I would pair the nova with a Dynaudio excite 34. An amazing speaker.

And true 8 ohms which nova can easily drive

This is good advice! :point_up_2:

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I understand it’s a starter point situation similar to mine: “These speakers work well for me and I love them, and once, by h or by b, I’ve gotten into the adventure with them, I’m no longer going to backtrack on investment , because I would lose a lot of money and because I like them a lot, so easier to try to find an electronics according to the columns…”.

Although maybe I’m being too presumptuous and the OP can actually have reversed with the speakers…

Anyway since you bought the Evoke 50 already yes the Nova would be the minimum to drive this speaker and sound better than the atom

It isn’t just Watts, there are other gains such as a bigger power supply which benefits the streamer Dac and preamp…, along with the power amp

I’ve heard the SN3 driving the Evoke 50 and the sound was so good I’ve ordered both. There’s more to driving speakers than just the W rating.
Naim 500 does not have a huge W value but drives most speakers very well.

Yes, sure, but without W is quite difficult to get to properly control depending on which speakers…

Well, I hope you’re not mistaken. The same thing I thought from my experience, until I went into joy and, in a large room, I wanted to enjoy more music at a higher volume, and then, power cutting, power cutting, power cutting…, especially with the SN3. If the room isn’t too big and you don’t go up to 80-85 dB, you probably don’t have any bigger problems, although you’ll never get to squeeze the potential of the speakers.

I also hope that, in case you realize that it is not an optimal combination and decide to start the rise through the universe of upgraditis, you will honestly comment on the forum.

I’ve already passed by, and if the intention is something definitive, that’s not the way, simply; and what you buy to pay cheaply usually ends up being expensive.

Good luck anycase.

Well I have to say this is quite disappointing to hear. When I bought my Evokes I was told that any amp that can do 80W and above should be plenty to drive them, but obviously people say things to make a sale.

Would it make sense to get a Uniti Atom and use the pre-outs into a SuperNait3? On paper I’m not sure how different it would be – the SN3 is a better amplifier but still only delivers 80W into 8, and the Atom / SN3 combo would run me a couple thousand more than just a Nova on its own.

It sounds like the recommendation I’m getting would be: Uniti Atom + NAP 300DR. Unfortunately that is a 20K combination. :frowning:

One other question, which is fairly important – I’m not likely to completely blast the music, reason being I’m in a condo. Granted it’s a corner unit, with concrete construction and the speakers are up against a wall that has a bathroom and our bedroom behind it, so the sound is not going to bleed an unusually bad amount into neighbouring units. But I’m still not trying to rattle the windows. Would the Nova be adequate at low to medium volumes?

Or is a better amp just better throughout the range.

Does anyone have any other suggestions for me? The reason I went with the Evoke 50’s was because I’m sick of anemic bookshelf bass, and I don’t want to involve a sub. I don’t care what people say about low frequencies not being directional, I can always tell that the low end signal is disjointed and not focused, when part of it comes from a sub.

Is getting the Uniti Atom and using its pre-outs into another amp a complete waste? I just don’t see Naim or NAD making streaming DACs with the same full features and attractive industrial design as their all-in-ones, or I would consider that route with a dedicated power amp.

I would try a Nova - it has a very capable power amp and an SN3 wouldn’t be that much more powerful. Either borrow a Nova for a home dem or take your speakers to a dealer and hear the combo there.

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I don’t think Dynaudio dealers just say things to make a sale.

Fact is, Naim make very capable amplifiers, certainly much more powerful in terms of current than many of the AV receivers that many people who would pair them with an Evoke 50.

Dynaudio specs says the lowest impedance is 3 Ohm at 100 HZ, which isn’t as bad as some other speakers… the 80 W Nova should be able to handle the 3 Ohms…

It is a big speaker, no doubt, Nova should be able drive them well. But maybe not to rock concert deafening levels… but as you don’t need this, it should be ok.

Dynaudio have always been aware of the need to keep constant impedance levels to ensure dynamics from the partnering amplifier. The latest speakers do not have the impedance correction circuits, as amplifiers have grown more powerful nowadays.

Why not just contact Dynaudio who are very familiar with Naim.

I am quite positive the answer will be the Nova will be ok.

Which is to answer your question, Nova or Atom… Definitely the Nova.

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I’ve listened to the SN3 Evoke 50 in a fairly large room with no problem at decent volume levels.
I’m sure my dealer would not be selling me the SN3 if he didn’t think it was capable of driving the speakers as I’m a returning customer.
There must be fault somewhere in your system causing the cut out.

If you’re going to get a Supernait, pair it with an ND5XS2, which costs about the same as an Atom, otherwise you are buying two amps when you only need one.


Okay, I just checked the specs of my Totem Forest Signatures and they are the same impedance with a similar recommended W range. I ran a Nova on them with great results. The Nova is a fine all in one, probably the best available.

I’ve since upgraded to a SN2 which I run with a NDX2 and power supplies, which is quite a step up in overall performance, as you would hope for the investment.

If you are set on the all in the one, certainly the Nova, the Atom will struggle. Otherwise a SN3 with the ND5XS3 or NDX2 will give you more. Maybe demo both if you can.

Beyond that, the sky’s your limit, but you have a speaker that can always deliver more of you ever want to advance.

Good luck.

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That’s what I thought of my dealer, my dealers better said, and you know what…, nope, sale made, money in their pocket… But he had to eat the two returns, the SN2 and the SN3…

Nope, neither, signal circuit reviewed in detail, and tested with several different configs, look at the thread I have provided please. In my configuration, 45 m2 and 150 m3 room, ProAc K6, the Naim integrateds do not fit, and are unable to keep the type above 85 dB, which are the minimum necessary to enjoy the music in the room with an acceptable presence.

Finally, I’m not trying to convince anyone of anything, just to bring my experience in case it can help someone make better decisions. Probably in your configuration it may be different; I have already said that if the room is not too big or, above all, too high, the combination can work well, as long as you do not require a high volume with complex and dynamic compositions, with acoustics, camera, light pop and such, well, with EDM, symphonic, reggae and such …, mmmmmmh…