Can a one box set-up compete with a multi box system

Aurender have a new streaming integrated amp out that has an analogue pass through if you have a TT. It’s not cheap but could be worth a listen

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[quote=“Oxfordian, post:15, topic:33653”].



So the SQ was more than comparable between Linn/Naim and your multi-box set-up, if you were setting out to buy now for the first time which way would you

Who knows? By “starting out now”do we mean no vinyl and CD collection, not being committed to R3 FM?

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Oxfordian, I’m reading of a rather confused dilemma. This may or may not help. Best not to be impressed by what others do, you will have unique preferences.

First - decide sources.
Second - decide budget.
Third - if you are contemplating multi box, to get the best results, a decent stand, maybe Fraim is a pre-requisite - can your domestic / living environment accommodate that - if not one box is the only answer, placed on a piece of furniture to your liking?
Fourth - determine preference for speakers - not the make, simply size based on room and other factors - book shelf versions may be ill suited in a decent size room; oversize can compromise the sound.
Fifth - if you don’t already have a brief list of favourite tracks, curate one. This is almost a must when audditioing different systems.

On the one box issue, while the Nova is good, it is well surpassed by NC2* range - back to budget.
None of us have yet heard Nova PE, but it my not represent vfm.
For a second system, I replaced Nova with NSC222 + NC250 - significant improvement, despite the fact that I would have preferred a single box - adding an NPX is a matter of preference / budget; not a prerequisite!
No experience of Linn Selekt. Linn is a very different sound from Naim. I long ago stepped away from Linn as a result of their unwillingness to service their products, once discontinued; ymmv…
Apple music is not a feature of Naim streamers (not sure about other makes), due to Apple’s unwillingness to interact with manufacturers; search the forum for more info.


We went from a Linn Klimax DS/3 Katalyst and a nine box Naim system to a one box Linn Selekt DSM: Edition Hub into Kudos Titan 606 (Active).

Best upgrade we’ve done in a long time. Plenty of detail, grunt and very engaging.



Thanks for the feedback.

I am very much aware that the decision to go left or right is mine and mine alone, it was really trying to get views from people who have gone on this journey and either completed it or decided it was not for them.

Having a two box Naim set-up is appealing as is going to a one box set-up, whatever I end up with it has to be my last purchase which may give a Naim set-up the edge as they seem to be more customer focused in the long term.

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This will come down to personal choice, as you know, and in various ways lots of us have been there.

We were deciding about hifi for the holiday cottage.

We compared a Nova with ND5XS2 (we tried NDX2 with and without XPSDR too) plus 82 plus Hicap plus 250. We used B&W 804D3, Neat Xplorer and Shahinian Compass speakers.

We all agreed that the multi-box option played music fractionally better. For me, that was enough, given that I already had 82/HC/250 lying around after an upgrade to the main system, so we shipped the individual boxes.

My girlfriend has better hearing (and is vastly more musical) than me, and she heard what I heard.

However, she had picked the Nova and is still very happy with it. To her, given her living room and how she usually listens to music, 1 box and 1 socket convenience, far fewer wires and visual appeal together add up to more than an extra 1% airy treble or crisp and controlled bass when playing loud or the extra 1% ease at picking out lyrics.

There is now a turntable attached to her Nova. Purists can sulk about the A-D-A conversion and we remember the 82 with a turntable from years of use and I am pretty sure it was better than playing a Rega Fono into the Nova. However, the Nova worked well, and a Rega P6 and Exact cartridge was a very appropriate match.

Does that help at all?


One-box is the future :wink:


Switching to one box feels like swapping the push bike for an electric bike. Probably inevitable but to be avoided for as long as possible.


It helps a lot, thanks.

I agree that often we are chasing the 1%, sometimes it’s real and sometimes not.

The Linn Selekt is very hard to ignore, it will create space within the home, kick the cable monster into touch, it looks the business and most importantly appears to work well with a range of speakers.

But I am concerned over longterm reliability and Linn’s commitment to look after the products long term, indications are not overly promising both from comments on this forum and surprisingly from a dealer I spoke to who was disappointed with Linn refusing to service a discontinued item. On the other side of the coin there are a lot of very happy Linn devotees out there with nothing to offer other than praise.

I do like the idea of a Naim set-up, it has been something I have wanted for years so a two box Naim outfit plus TT plus CDT wouldn’t be too imposing.

I’ll get there in the end, not sure which way though.

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One person here compared at dealer place the Nova vs Nova PE, on some BW speakers I don’t remember. He found the differences minimal.

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I love this, two replies one after the other with opposing views

Thanks guys


I’m probably one of the worst Naim owners ever for constantly changing things, upgrading, downgrading, upsizing, downsizing, sidesizing, resizing and generally buggering about. I’ve been up as far as 552/300 and down as far as a Nait 5i. I’ve had multibox systems on Fraim with fancy wires and everything optimised to within an inch of its life.

I’ve had a Nova with some small speakers for over a year now and have been more content than I’ve ever been with my stereo and haven’t thought about changing it at all. No CDs, no vinyl, just my 4,000+ albums sitting on a NAS in the dining room out of sight. It sounds great and is dead easy to use. It’s not a big complex system that gets forum members going ‘wow, that’s fantastic’. It doesn’t have a fancy pants stand, and instead lives on the bottom shelf of a side table virtually out of sight.

Some people seem to want their room to look like a hifi shop and I guess I did once. But not these days. There is no right answer. Just get what’s right for you and to hell with what anyone else thinks.


You would need to fact check some of this.

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when i chose my new system (replacing muso2) i really wanted to stay one box - but i demoed nova vrs linn - just didn’t find linn engaging (and then the concern over long term support -this is my final system). demoed nova vrs 222/250 and the improvement was very substantial. demoed adding 300 vrs switching 350 for 250 found 350 gave more bang for the buck than adding 300 so ended up with 3 boxes. put it on isoblue rather than the rather glitzy fraim - it almost disappears in my room dealer installed and i haven’t given a moments thought to cables


Do you have a pair of speakers as well @indexical ?

I see / know where you’re coming from Nigel, have been reading your adventures with great interest for years, and I’m very happy that you’re happy with your Nova.

That said, for @Oxfordian, one can’t possibly say a NSC222/NAP250 combo will make the room look like a hifi-shop. It’s two boxes only and stylish ones to boot.

Rather more pricey than a Nova though, yet not that much more expensive than the four-box systems (NDX2 & XPS-DR with SN3 & HC-DR seems quite popular) that several members have.

Finally for @NickofWimbledon I totally understand, when not in this hobby and still wanting high-quality within reason, anything in the Uniti range is fabulous, probably why they make them.


Absolutely. A 222/250 would be great, but of course it’s three times the cost of a Nova. The Linn Selekt Efition Hub is a lovely alternative, but sounds different.

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My 3rd system is a Selekt (Classic - there was no edition anything back in 2020) into NSats. It doesn’t do hifi anywhere near as well as the other, bigger ones, but it is absolutely a delight to use and listen to. I don’t actually need any more than it.

I like more than it, though. :slight_smile:


Confused, can you elaborate please. Thanks.

Whichever direction I go I am going to end up with some kind of rack because I want to retain vinyl, I have an Atacama rack now, with a one box, e.g. Linn, the end result could simply be the two items on top of a purpose built vinyl storage unit, and minimal wires.

A Naim set up 222/250 would be a three box set up, more cabling and probably on the Atacama rack.

Ultimately I have some listening to do before making the right decision, that minimal one box look of either Linn or Naim is tempting, but would I miss out on anything going that route or simply adjust and adapt to the new set-up.

Thanks for chipping in.