Happy New Year. Long time lurker - first post.
I recently inherited some money and decided to spend it on a new sound system.
I used to have a nice system (Naim CD3, Sugden A21A, Proac floorstanders in lovely Yew veneer) but when I emigrated to NZ from the UK, the system got sold and never replaced once I settled. Now is the time.
My wife does not want the system taking over the lounge so having spoken with the Naim dealer (about 50 miles away from home!) he has suggested he bring to the house for demo:
Naim Uniti Nova
Naim ND5 XS2 and Rega Aethos
(note - the Aethos seems to be often compared with the Supernait 3 which in the UK is £500 more. Here in NZ the SN3 is the equivalent of £1,500 more for no reason I have been able to ascertain)
Speaker wise he has suggested Focal Sopra 1 on the dedicated stands or Fyne Audio 501 SP.
The room is about 6m by 6m with 3m high stud. Carpeted over solid concrete.
I only stream now - physical media has gone; I think we might have 20 CDs in a box somewhere in the loft! So Tidal and Spotify, sometimes Apple Music, internet radio etc. No NAS. No Qobuz as it is not available in New Zealand.
I would be interested in anyone’s views who has heard any of those combinations. Here in NZ it is not easy (outside Auckland, anyway) to get round to hear a huge variety of stuff and it is very common that the dealer that stocks (say) Naim, does not stock (say) Dynaudio so hearing them in combination before buying one or other of them can be extremely difficult. Thus the opinions of others, reviews etc must be relied on in shortlisting a bit more than I would prefer.
I would be looking at an NDX2, Supernait 3/Rega Aethos and a suitable pair of speakers.
My view is that the Sopra’s are not a suitable pair of speakers in a system of the level suggested by the dealer, the classic mullet. I would be looking at something much more modest that that and putting the money into the source.
The Proac Tablette 10 are popular on this form and would pair well with the NDX2/SN, can you audition Proacs where you are? I don’t know the Fyne speakers but they seem well reviewed and more of the level to match the electronics.
Hi and happy new year,
If you want to reduce box count and just stream then no doubt the Nova is a great solution. At the Bristol Hi-Fi show in UK a couple of years back the Nova was demonstrated with the Kudos 505 (pricewise broadly equivalent to the Sopra 1 but different sound sig) and the widely held view was exceptionally positive.
This mullet idea is a complete misnomer. Sure everything else being equal a NDX/SN is going to outperform a Nova but if reducing box count is the intent then it makes sense to exploit a one box solution with the best speakers possible.
The OP seems willing to have 2 boxes so I believe that focussing on a better source with one of the amps suggested by the dealer and spend less on the speakers.
I’ve heard the Sopra 1’s with a variety of sources and amps and I feel they need more than a Nova.
There are always exceptions to the rule and the Nova/505’s combination has been praised by several forum members.
ProAc dealers are common in Auckland it seems - but not in Wellington! (In case anyone is not familiar with the geography, they are about 800km apart)
You may find that these room dimensions make for very difficult room acoustics. Square rooms tent to make bass control very difficult, and the height being an exact multiple of the width further compounds the problem.
It’s hard to say just how much of a problem this will be until you have a decent system running in it, but I would strongly recommend that you begin to address this now rather than buying an expensive system and trying to tweak it afterwards, which is so often unsuccessful.
If you’re prepared to tackle this yourself, you can try running some free software called REW with a USB mic to measure the room acoustics. If the results are hard to interpret, there are professionals who can do it for you.
If this room is your only option, and bass turns out to be problematic, it may even be better to use a high quality pair of smaller standmount speakers, with less extended, but tighter bass.
There are systems that can address the issue digitally, such as Linn’s Space Optimisation, or Kii Three speakers, but this is not Naim’s thing.
Blimey Kiwimac, as an ex Hifiaholic, not sure this is the best place for you. Bit like an ex alcoholic walking into a pub!
Give the Shahinian Compass a listen if you can, you can probably find a dealer in Christchurch with used stock if you try.
I’ve heard some at my usual UK dealership with Naim and it was a very good match. They can be quite unobtrusive in a domestic setting.
Just noticed you’re on the wrong island for these so scratch that.
I recently tried using a Nova with Naim SL2 speakers and felt that the Nova was way out of its depth. While I don’t doubt the excellence of the Nova / Kudos system that Lindsay refers, in general a system that is well balanced or with a source-first emphasis is more likely to lead to long term satisfaction and not have you constantly feeling that you need to upgrade source and/or amps to do justice to the speakers. I suggest that if you liked Focal speakers, the more modest Kanta 1 with NDX2 and SN3 might be a better balanced setup. When I heard the Sopra 1 it was mercilessly bright and as I understand it the Kanta range is easier to I’ve with. One of our other NZ members, @Mike_S, has two systems, one is a Nova and the other NDX2, both with Totem speakers and I’m sure he’d be a source of useful advice. A lot depends on what is available locally as, I’m sure you are aware, a hone demonstration is really important if at all possible.
I’d agree on the Sopra’s brightness, and Fyne is good but better is found out there.
As Proacs tablet are too small for 6x6 M room, I’d look out for a dealer hopefully also with Kudos and/or Neat, maybe PMC loudspeakers.
An outsider could be Rega RX5 which obviously would pair well with Aethos (lovely amp) and pleasing wife with placement close to wall.
If a one or two box system is desired, you might look at a streamer/preamp and active speakers. I have active ATC SCM 40s with one box, an Auralic Vega G2 as front end. If it had appeared in time, this would probably have been a 272 replacement + power supply. The cost is around the same as your proposed setup and I love the sound, but I don’t know what’s available in NZ, so apologies if it’s of no use to you.
Hi @Kiwimac, welcome to the forum. What a nice use of an inheritance.
Where abouts are you? For 50 miles, I’d think about travelling to the dealer to look and listen to a few of the options to narrow them down for a home demo. I’m in Whangarei and try to see my dealer occasionally in Auckland.
I think both options are good at their price point. If having the screen and remote for interacting with the streamer is important for use in the lounge, then that points towards the Nova, unless you can stretch to the NDX2 over the ND5 XS2.
As it happens, I recently heard both the Nova and the Rega with the 700 series Fyne speakers. The Rega was with the Aurelic Vega G2.1 as a source, the Nova was on it’s on. Firstly, I found the integrated better over the Nova, as the Nova loses a bit of coherence when driven hard with more complex pieces of music. Having said that, if you want an all-in-one, the Nova is very good and would be a very nice solution. But, I also tried the Heed Lagrange integrated, which Real Music stock, and preferred that over the Rega Aethos by some margin - its is very clear and cohesive. I suspect that the Heed would beat the SN3, but there aren’t any SN3’s in NZ to try! The Real Music web site shows SN2 as in stock at a price similar to the Rega and Heed, so it would be worth seeing if the SN2 is actually available. I’d then look at demoing the Lagrange versus the SN2, both with the ND5 XS2 or NDX2, and the Nova.
For the speakers, that’s going to come down to preference I think, and what works aesthetically in your lounge. I’d probably listen to a few options at the dealers and take it from there. Real Music have great options with Totem, Focal and more recently Fyne and I think you will find you have a better range of options than with the electronics.
I recently upgraded from a naim all-in-one to the Supernait 3 + ND5 XS2 combo and am absolutely loving it. It’s a huge upgrade in sound quality and I’m just thrilled with it. Moreover, my wife likes the sound – and the relatively small footprint. I can’t speak to the Rega, I’ve never heard it.
Welcome to the forum Kiwimac!
Lots of advise already but my 2 cents would be to choose the NDX 2 as the source if you can stretch for it. Mike gave some great advice on the integrated amp piece. I am partial to the SN 2 myself but also realize the scarcity of Naim gear in NZ. I am a fan of ProAc speakers personally and have had D2’s and currently D30RS speakers.
The search function on the forum is your friend and lost of threads on streamers and integrated amps. It certainly gave me a lot of food for thought on looking at others comments and checking members profiles for system configurations.
When I started I was going for something simple, a two box system, so started with a ND5 XS with a Nait XS 2 feeding ProAc D2’s. A few years down the road and the system ended up being four boxes with a XPS DR > NDX 2 > HI Cap DR > SN 2 feeding ProAc D30RS speakers.
As others have said visit dealers, listen in the demo rooms and then home demo before purchase if you can. Take your time and get it right! …good luck with your decision.
I’d add that having a SN2, I’d certainly recommend it with a Naim streamer. If there is no old SN2 stock available in NZ, you would be able to get one on order, though with a long wait. I’d expect that you would be able to get a SN3 on a try at home and return basis if you wanted to.
I am in the Wairarapa, so would be heading to Wellington. The Scottish Company has a dealer just down the road (covers the lower N Island from his house!) and I might have a listen just because it is (unusually!) close, but the last time I heard their systems I found the sound a bit dry and clinical.
I may well head over the hill - although I had no idea that there were no SN3’s in NZ. Mind you at the price of about 66% higher than the UK (including 20% tax as opposed to our 15% tax!) maybe nobody will pay!
Focal just changed their distributor here I believe and the inevitable price hike has occurred: there are still a few units around at the ‘old’ price but usually in colours that wives are not approving of. That was one of the reasons Sopra squeaked onto the list, in fact.
Sounds interesting; what speakers do you have hooked up?
I have the ND5XS (first version) Supernait 2 and Spendor A4’s. Its a match made in Hi Fi heaven to my ears. I really love the fact that the ND5XS came with its own Snaic DIN interconnect so I’m not dishing out more $ on interconnects. I’m thinking the Supernait stocks may be very low here in NZ at the moment. I’d take the dealer up on the home demo. Your listening environment and your own ears will soon deliver an answer regarding the items he is offering. Depending on your expectations/budget/thoughts maybe another Naim Nait could be worth an audition too?
I suggest a system like @crispyduck haves
Nova+pmc 25.21 or 25.22
Although I have a sweat spot for ProAcs.
…eventually it will a question of taste , being Nova the element in common