Help me choose a new amp

Hello guys, i am new here and i want to choose my first naim unit. I decided which speakers i want to buy after listening to them and its some floor speakers from Dynaudio, between Emit m50 or Evoke 50, i ll go and listen to them one more time. Nevertheless both speakers are not easy to drive i think since they are into 4ohm with 85-86db.

Now comes the difficult part since i dont know which amp should i choose. I fell in love with Naim Atom after i saw it, but i dont have the option to demo listen it together with Dynaudio. Do you think it could run those speakers? Another option is the Naim XS3 since its around same budget, but then i need a streamer as well.

What would u guys choose?

As the old joke goes, if I wanted to get to there I wouldn’t start from here.

Unless you listened to your choice of speakers in a room similar to your own, with your intended source material, source, amps, cables etc you’re effectively buying blind.

A good dealer will help you source the best system for your budget, not an individual components.

Personally I wouldn’t pair 4.5k speakers with 2.5k electronics…


I hold a similar view to @Svetty. For your budget, I would suggest you swap your budget allocation around, buy a Nova and spend the rest of the budget on speakers, you get a much more balanced system in my view and one that is likely to sound better.

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Possibly the other way round? The source first principle works well in my experience…

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What amp did you use when you auditioned and liked your Dyns?

Why don’t you want that one?

Any other amp than that one will impart a totally different sonic signature on your speakers.


Problem is, I don’t have any dealers close to me, that implies driving at least 5h so I can listen to them, which wouldn’t matter anyway since I would listen only in their store and not in my home.

it was a Nova, which honestly i cant afford it. If i would buy that amp then i would need to look at cheaper speakers as well.

That’s what we are (subtly) hinting at…


Rather go Mullet than Monkfish personally.

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It is a classic beginners’ mistake to choose speakers and then choose the electronics. So many people have bought hard to drive speakers and then been shocked at how much they need to spend to get the electronics to match. If you were to get the Evokes you’d really be looking at an NDX2, 282 and 250, which is the best part of £18,000.

The Emits are less of a challenge, but consider this: a great big speaker with loads of drive units for £1,750. What’s the quality going to be like.

Decide your budget, choose either Atom or Nova, and then get some modest speakers to match. There are dozens of threads on speakers to match either of these excellent all in ones.


Well, i listened to Emits as well, and they sound pretty damn good. Evokes are obviously better but so is more than double the price as well. I would choose Atom to be honest but i dont think there are many speaker options for its 40w, especially floorstanding speakers. I had before bookshelves speakers and its just not for me.

You need to hear the Emits with the Atom and Nova. If the Atom/Evoke was in budget, the Nova/Emit will be too. Remember that while an underpowered amp will get noise out of speakers, it will never be truly dynamic and controlled.

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Modest speakers with an Atom. I concur.

Because I live in the Spanish boondocks, I had to be satisfied with a speaker demo using an Atom and choose between a pair of Harbeths (sounded airy but detailed) and a pair of ATC SCM19’s, which sounded rubbish.

As my system at home is much more powerful - pre and power amps, extra PSU’s and so on, after reading reviews and getting opinions (on here), I took a bit of a gamble and assumed that attached to my system, the ATC’s would be the correct choice, and so it proved.


As the speakers have the greatest effect of any component on the sound character of a system, and hence potentially on the listener’s pleasure, finding speakers you like is a key factor (unlike mamy, I do not accept the “source first” dogma). If you think you’ve found the speakers for you, relevant questions include: What amplification were they demoed with? Can you try them with the Nova if that is your initial inclination? And can you then try the setup at home?


Perhaps look at Nova eBay prices, as cost Used is close to a new Atom

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Hi @norcriss and welcome. You’ll already have gathered that we don’t all agree here on budget allocation between electronics and speakers. I tend to agree with those who would suggest spending more on electronics and less on speakers, but I do have one other suggestion.

For only slightly more than the Evoke 50s, you could get a pair of active ATC 19s and use these with the HE version of the Atom, which you’d be using as preamp/streamer. I suspect you’d find that combination more satisfying than a standard Atom into the Evokes and I say that as an Atom owner and user of active ATC speakers in my main system.

Whatever you do, you’re spending a lot of money so take your time and enjoy the process.



Rega Elicit MK5

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You might like cheaper speakers with the nova….did you test any? Id guess the atom CAN drive those speakers, But id rather get a nova as all in one and buy some used speakers and upgrade those later. In one of my systems i have atom he with an nap100 driving some bowers 705s2 quite nicely. Its not full nova power wise but its better than atom, much better preamp than atom which is one of the big keys that i quite frankly did not understand when i got involved in this a year ago. If you look at it this way- the nova is a very capable all in one- streamer pre and amp which in the us is 6700 or so. If you think speakers should be 20-40% that means 1700-3k. I listened to 10k speakers with the nova and 2k speakers. That is a nice piece that covers a lot of ground.

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Hi @norcriss , I have an Atom and a Nova. The Atom pairs well with bookshelf speakers but take a look at Neat Iota Alphas, they could be what you are looking for. The Nova is very capable of driving efficient floorstanders, just don’t go crazy (posts above echo this), so you really can look at reducing your speaker budget and buying a Nova, new or second hand. And/or look at second hand speakers - I bought some second hand Focal Kanta 2 to go with my Nova, very very pleased with them. Depends what sound signature you like but check out PMC Twenty5 23 as well.


May I recommend a humble 5italic? After a couple of years with it powering Monitor Audio SE20 minitowers ( last of the UK- built MA ) I doubt I’ll need anything else.

You have flexibility of source choices, they run cool & quiet….plenty to enjoy. Only missing a headphone Jack, but easy to add a dedicated headphone amp .