Faulty Naim Uniti Nova Blew Up my Kanta Nº 2 speaker, help on what to do next

This happened to me a few years ago a week after I had my Naim shoebox power/pre re-capped and serviced. My left stand mounter was emitting smoke, the woofer seal was melting in front of me! The single good fortune was that only the one woofer was stuffed, the tweeter was unharmed and the dealer concerned was able to source a new one from Epos as part of his ‘reparations’! Richard’s diagnosis is highly likely IMO. Fortunately for me, AFAIK, Epos don’t use ‘very toxic’ matter in their speakers. IMO only a Focal tech would be qualified to adjudge the entire speaker safe. I hope you get a decent resolution

I am currently helping a friend sort out an issue with his Nova. I messaged Naim over two weeks ago enquiring about the issue. Still no reply. Since this time I have sent the unit to a repair agent in Sydney and he has assessed it and deemed it faulty and also sent a message to Naim. I am starting to wonder what is going on with them. This, along with my Atom fault and HDMI issues, I am personally not witnessing the service, quality and reliability they are known for.

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I think the problem is that so many customers are bypassing the usual first port of call, which is to contact their dealer where they have a question or problem, and contacting Naim support directly with networking issues which can often be unique, complex, and take time to work through, that the handful of support staff get snowed under. When I next get to go down to the factory it’s something I intend to look in on and ask about.

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Unfortunately, on my particular situation, i still haven’t received any contact from the distributor. I have already sent 4 emails to Esotérico, which is the distributor from both Naim and Focal in Portugal, without any reply, and i also sent them messages on their facebook page, and also without any reply.

But if you bought the Nova in the UK shouldn’t you be contacting the dealer in the UK that you bought it from?

I may have mis-read but didn’t you say the Nova was bought in the UK and the Focal Speakers from France? That being the case, you may find the local distributor not so keen to get involved as they did not supply the equipment and may view these as “grey” imports. Of course they may decide to help, in which case, that would be a huge bonus, but they are likely not under any requirement to do so - otherwise you should contact the dealers who sold the items and then arrange to get the items to them for inspection and return to the respective factories, should that be necessary.

Yup, i have bought the Nova in the UK (when UK was still a part of the european union) and the Focal Kanta Nº2 from France, in both cases they were shipped to my country of origin (Portugal). In European Union, there is a common warranty, meaning that if you purchase an item from a country within the European Union, you can get the exact same support in your country of origin and not the country you bought it from. But, in this case, both items are out of warranty aswell, so, you are saying i should contact the distributors in the Uk and France and not the one in my country?

Very good question, I’m also eager to know …

I guess there could be a number of causes but I think usually it’s down to a component failing or falling out of spec. Someone more technically proficient such as @NeilS could probably explain better here, or else a quick google search might well bring up more information to help answer your question.

Naim’s warranty terms within the UK and Ireland can be found here;

I can’t really say for Focal, but for the Naim Nova you should contact your dealer as the Naim factory supplies the UK dealers directly and the dealers handle anything needing to go back to the factory for service.

Personally I would even avoid that. Sounds a bit like consulting the internet to find out what is wrong healthwise.

I bought a CDX2 + 202 + 200 in Bristol Park Street in 2004. There was nothing wrong with it but selling it on with the warranty in Germany via part exchange was not possible. The German distributor offers a 5 year warranty normally. In the end buying cheaper in another country could lose you money if you want to change or need to use the warranty. On the other hand i know other people who were happy to do this and save quite a bit of money. I suppose unlucky when/if things go wrong

Well, i have good news so far. Naim has contacted me and will be arranging a booking for the items for inspection. I’m really relieved about it, now let’s see if they come through and what will happen next.

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I would rephrase that as it’s not worth insuring anything you can afford. Insurance companies are for profit. So you’re essentially betting on something happening while knowing the the odds are against you. In my opinion only insure what you can’t otherwise afford to replace. I gather you can at least afford 4k GBP.

How high that amount is will of course differ per individual.

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Wow I did not realise speakers could have potentially dangerous materials in them. I have the aria 906 and was interested in the bookshelf kanta’s sounded like but I’ll definitely skip anything with a beryllium tweeter. Will be interested to see how your situation is handled.

Sure that works too. In my case though, I came to that figure based on the huge amount of time the insurance company insisted must be wasted during my working hours so I had to take several days off to accommodate their demands. It litetally cost me about that much in lost work hours… more than the speakers cost me.

So I guess it really depends on how much someone earns. The more you earn, the more expensive it will be to see a claim through to the end, especially if you do a time based shift job.

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Usually semiconductor failure, sometimes a domino effect occurs leading to multiple transistor failure resulting in partial (or full) DC voltage rail reaching the speaker terminals.
As you can probably imagine, there is a fair bit of current available which can obviously be devastating for unsuspecting voice coils.
Tweeter damage is fairly uncommon though.

Regards
Neil.

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Under what conditions could such failure occur

My Atom had this happen after 2-3 hours out the box with normal use. I presume just an unlucky component failure and nothing to do with the user.

Impossible to say specific to a particular product without knowing how every aspect of it’s circuit is designed but in general, your main culprits are:

  • Component level manufacturing fault
  • AC Mains surge/lightning
  • DC on line input (i.e. a fail on an upstream source - or in my case 30 years ago when I accidentally connected DC out from a HC using a SLIC to a line input on a 82. Ooops which went right through to making SBLs scream blue murder at me on the shop floor).

Naim would have to do a post mortem on the Nova to give any indication what really transpired here for the OP.

That sounds like a nightmare especially when the costly pair of speakers are fried together with the amp. Sorry to hear about this. I can still accept a faulty amp to stop working but cannot imagine it taking the speakers together when it blows up, especially when the speakers cost £7,500.