Downsizing to Nova/LP12/S400

I know there was a thread on Nova/S600 - closed now - and I’m wondering it there is anyone running Nova/S400 as I’m seriously considering downsizing my current 282/250/SC/LP12/ S400.
I Will keep LP12 for now but will eventually let it go along with my vinyl.
Any thoughts much appreciated.

Hi Tony

Done that last year
From : 282/250.2/RP10/Powerline/Superline/Supercap/Harbeth)

To : Nova/Powerline/Rega Aura/RP10/Proac 10s

Of course different sound but as soon as no comparison available anymore got a very good sound too…very easy to use and lot less boxes…so ending with WAF improvement too :joy:

Was initially thinking about letting my turntable go….but decided to keep it, so as I got a good offer a Rega Aura joined the game for a three boxes final setup…and happy since

Nova (or Dsm Selekt from Linn) are so easy to leave as one box solution that make it difficult to go back to “complex multi box” setup


Could you sell off the expensive LP12 bits and keep a few favourite LPs? Items like the Majik PSU are cheap as chips and still sound good. ANY Sondek sounds good if serviced and setup right and connected to a budget second system.

I recently bought my daughter an Arcam Delta 60 for 90 quid complete with phono stage and it’s a great little setup with some K20 and £150 Linn Tukans.

Or does it need to be a clean break?


The key thing with the Nova is getting speakers that go well with it. I just couldn’t get on with ProAc Tab 10 Signatures with it, but with my PMCs it’s great. However, Hififan is happy with the 10s, so it’s very much personal choice and probably the room as well.

The only way you will know is to borrow a Nova to try with your Ovators. The LP12 is a separate issue really. Some are happy to live without vinyl, others aren’t. It depends how you feel and what best fits into your life.


I agree, the one box solution is very good and, we did sell on the LP12.

I got my Linn Selekt DSM; Edition Hub who advised that a number of their clients are changing from a multi-box system to a single box solution.



Thank you @Murmur @DiggyGun @HungryHalibut @DiggyGun for the replies.
I do have an RP3/24 on another system so I can listen to some of the vinyl I may keep but mainly keeping the LP12 for sentimental reasons. I was hoping someone had that combination in place but, as Nigel said, I might have to see if I can audition/ borrow the Nova/S400 with my local dealer.


Do you already have the S400s? It’s much easier when people have public profiles!

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Yes, system as per above. There’s also a Revox B77, Uniti 1, 12/120/Sorcerer/Arcam DV77/Naka2, Sen HD700 and other bits…

Thanks Tony. It was your saying you’d borrow both Nova and S400s that confused me. A Nova would be easy to borrow. Some dealers are selling them for only £3,500 so it may be a good time to strike if you want a new one.

You have a lot of hifi stuff for sure. My only hifi is the Nova, a pair of speakers and three Qbs. The less hifi the better.


My fault, Nigel. Time for serious declutterring! I do get attached to these thibgs. Time to let go. Sentimental me!

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A difficult question, even if an entirely logical one.
Since I am fortunate to have two Novas and two Ovator S400s, I can maybe offer a few thoughts,
The response is based on my thoughts, rather than matching your expectations, which are to you, very personal. In no particular order, consider the following.

  • You already have S400s - excellent imho, if you enjoy them, then do you assume they are a keeper?

  • Consider whether one box or best sound is the most important criteria? How do S400s sound in your room?

  • Imho the S400s need some driving - not difficult, simply to maximise their enjoyment. Some like Nova + a NAP - I don’t find that combo in any way worthwhile, since it exposes the Nova’s shortcomings, rather than providing more drive.

  • You make no mention of budget, so I assume it is minimising box count. At the start of the year, I swapped out, in my second system, Nova for NSC222 + NC250. Why? Two reasons. Difficult kitchen / diner environment. Second and most important, the S400s perform a great deal more effectively and I am (originally without demo), really pleased with my hunch that the combo was a winner. I would have gone 272 route, but I decided to bide my time, knowing a replacement would eventually emerge.

  • As @HungryHalibut has commented, important to demo, having posed the question, you may wish to consider my experience. Will I one day add NPX - I really wanted one box with that system, but NC has won, so prepared to accept ‘2’ and very good it is. V v difficult call, but perhaps NSC22 + your existing NAP250 (assuming it is DR) would be a fair compromise. Depending on your vinyl kit, the NSC has a MM inout stage.

I can only respond to your request for thoughts…but I know what I have done. The Nova is a superb piece of kit (I was a great fan of its predecessor, SU). However S400s are capable of great things, which may, just may be compromised imho, by a Nova, particularly in downsizing or depending on room. Oh and my bedroom system is Nova + S400s. Only an extended demo will answer your question satisfactorily. Good luck.
The NAP250 is a good amp, but if you are considering NSC222, you should consider NC250, they work well together + S400 and will last a long time!


Thank you for your extremely helpful, @sound-hound.
I do I intend to keep the S400s - bought in 2013, very happy with them - and also keep the box count to a minimal by adding just the Nova to them and selling 282/250/SC in the near future.
As good as the new Naim gear is, I have no intention of going back to stacking up boxes again.
Thanks again for the advice.

Perhaps this is of help:

I had a Nova and its owner here over Christmas. The Nova is a beautiful box and its controls very intuitive and modern (my household members loved that).

It only has a small plug and not too fancy headphone amp, which would be a deal breaker to start with here but that’s likely not relevant for you.

In any case, comparing it to my modest set-up of slimline black boxes had two results: I was entirely cured of my interest in the Nova and the owner is now looking into how to upgrade. Likely outcome is an Atom HE with NAP250.2 DR combo, both found discounted these months.

As has been mentioned, coming from the level you are at, my first idea would be for you to audition both that and the NSC222/NAP250, keeping an open mind about two (very stylish!) boxes.


Thank you. I’m quite aware that the Nova is not on a par with what my 282/250/SC bring in terms performance. I rather keep them than replace them with the 222/250. It does not make sense to me. The whole exercise is to drastically cut down on the number of boxes but still enjoy that Naim “signature” sound. From what I heard and read the Nova might just do that.

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(well not even on par with the XS level of boxes was my point, so that’s really downgrading)

It would perhaps do no harm to hear an Atom HE with your NAP250 to see what that brings?

If successful that’s some boxes less and the 250 can be hidden in a cupboard (like JV did).

Otherwise it would indeed involve a clean sheet approach, demos are key.


An afterthought:

Note that there is also an interesting range of active speakers available nowadays.

I was quite taken by a little set of an Atom HE with active silver small Piega towers, stylish and enjoyable. On the other end of the range you’d then have the NSC222 with active higher-end speakers.

This won’t free up any funds but it will get you at the desired one-box solution.

Just some thoughts in my two posts, good luck with finding your way forward!


I’ve found speaker matching critical with the Nova. I wasn’t happy with it with ProAc 10s but it’s great with my PMCs. I can see that it might not be ideal with the very small Royds. With well matched speakers it can be incredibly good, so don’t be too quick to dismiss it. How it will work with the Ovators is anyone’s guess, and perhaps Tony should keep more of an open mind there.


Some interesting suggestions there but I’m keeping the Ovators and hopefully they will get along well with the Nova in my room. Thanks again.

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You never know!:sunglasses:

Another option is to part exchange the old Naim kit for the Nova.


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