Is Uniti Nova Powerful Enough?

Hi there, I’m just wondering if the Uniti Nova is powerful enough to drive a pair of B&W 702S2 Signature speakers. The Nova is about £4,200 and the speakers are around £5,000. The Nova stated output is 80 watts per channel (8 ohms) but the B&W speakers state 300 watts (8 ohms). Maybe the speakers state the maximum input so the 300W is not what it would take to make them sound their best…? I’d really like to get the best out of a very good pair of speakers. I’m definitely going with the Nova. I’m thinking about the B&W speakers but not purchased them yet. I don’t want to get the speakers and find that they need something more powerful to get the best out of them. Maybe the Nova will be perfect - or maybe it’s not powerful enough to really make these speakers sound awesome. I want big room filling sound. Does anyone have an opinion on this pairing? Thanks.

Hi, I got all excited then, I run a Nova, but with B and W CM8 S2’s and that pairing sounds superb and certainly room filling, how they compare with the models you’re after I’m afraid I can’t say, but their speakers are generally reasonably easy to drive. Can you get a dealer to arrange a demo? Sorry I’m not much help!

The specs on the B&W website state “Recommended power 30-300W into 8 Ohm”

My little Harbeths are 6 ohms and a sensitivity of 83db, the Bowers an Wilkins have a sensitivity of 90 db and 8 ohms.

I have a Nova and it drives the Harbeths quite easily, whether the Nova will drive these B&W to their maximum potential is another question

Thanks all for your replies. I will try to get a demo of these B&W speakers together with the Uniti Nova. From the replies it does seem that the Nova is pretty powerful. The B&W 702 S2 signatures are beautiful in the wood effect Datuk Gloss finish - they’d go perfectly in my large room so if they sound fantastic paired with the Nova then I’ll get them for sure. Yes I know looks are unimportant compared to sound, so I’d only get them if they sound awesome. I’ll test a few sets of speakers out and let the forum know the outcome of what I end up with. Cheers!

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Speakers have got to fit the aesthetics of the room , whilst black boxes are black boxes , turntables and speakers need to look good

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I run the 702s2 (non-signature) with a Star. No problems whatsoever.

Despite the specs, it is reported in various reviews that 702S2 Signatures require power to open up and deliver their true potential. Otherwise, they might sound lean, bright, and closed in… I would suggest you to watch A.Robinson’s review on youtube where he uses several amplifiers with 702S2s and states that the 702S2s only opened up with the Musical Fidelity M8xi which is a 550W per channel. As a Nova owner myself as well, I also presume the pairing may end up sounding thin and overly bright so try to get a dealer to arrange a demo for you before pulling the trigger.

That sounds just bizarre. Why would BW design a speaker which is available in high street hifi shops to be driven by extremely powerful amps?

BWs are usually easy to drive in my experience. A Nait - which includes the uniti range - should be sufficient.

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To me, it’s not just about power, and it’s not about specifications. Somehow the idea of spending more on speakers than on the total cost of the electronics simply seems wrong. Obviously the Nova will make the speakers go loud: it’s got a powerful amplifier on board. But will it have the necessary quality? I’d be looking at something like a NDX2, 282 and 250 as a sensible match with speakers such as these.

If you are set on the speakers and are happy that the Nova can get a noise out of them, just be aware that you won’t be hearing them at anything like their best. A pair of speakers, well driven by complementary electronics, can be captivating. A pair of speakers, with electronics short on quality, are very rarely satisfying. It’s a mistake many make in their desire for a big flash pair of speakers. It rarely works out well.

It’s at this point that people chime in to say this is all rubbish, that the Nova punches well above its weight and that it’s perfectly well balanced with speakers costing double. But that’s not what I’ve found. Proceed with care.

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I have to agree with HungryHalibut,
I’m more convinced it will struggle when I read Sterophile review & comprehensive test report.
They don’t agree the speaker should be rated at 8 ohms as it’s at or below 6 ohms for much of the audioband, at one point it’s 3.1 ohms, in addition they have a current-hungry combination of low ohms together with a difficult phase angle at one point.

Mike, you are confusing your Unitis - the OP is looking at the 80W Nova rather than the smaller Atom. You may therefore wish to agree with me a little less…

Ohhh d’oh
My bad, for some reason my few remaining brain cells cannot differentiate Nova & Atom. Maybe chrissy grape juice has something to do with it.
So yes I’ll have to agree with you slightly less, but If it’s OK with everyone, I’ve edited my post.

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Hello. I just use exactly this setup. Nova does a great job with them. I made two upgrades to improve the quality: 1. The REL subwoofer to play the full range at low volume. 2. ISOACOUSTICS stands for speakers. allowed to collect and localize low frequencies.

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Personally I think the Nova will do a fine job, though naturally better amplification will give better results.

My SBLs sound great passive with a 250, better active with 2 x olive 250, but would ultimately likely to be even better with 300DRs or above. It’s all relative - yes other amps may do better but they are unlikely to sound bad. The OP could add a NAP 250DR or better to the Nova in the future if needed. We have too many options these days really.

The other day I heard some £5000+ Sonus Faber standmounts and they sounded so open, involing and quite simply sublime - driven by the not so humble Atom. No doubt they’d be even better with better amps, but I’m less convinced by source/amps first than I was in the 80’s/90’s.

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According Whathifi review and measurements:

“ Newport Test Labs measured the sensitivity of the B&W 702 Signature as being 90dBSPL at 1m for 2.83Veq under its standard test conditions, which means this design has well above average sensitivity and also confirms B&W’s own specification of 90dBSPL for this parameter.

This is exactly the same result the lab measured for the B&W 702 S2 several years ago, about which I commented at the time: “The B&W 702 S2 also met its specification for sensitivity, which is a rare achievement for any loudspeaker.”

Overall, Newport Test Labs’ tests prove the B&W 702 Signature to be a very well-designed loudspeaker whose frequency response is extraordinarily linear and extended (in fact, surpassing its manufacturer’s specifications) whose sensitivity is admirably high and whose

My only proviso would be to recommend using an amplifier that is completely comfortable driving 4Ω loads.”

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Sorry, forgot main upgrade - powerline cable. Just a necessary thing for the Nova.

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Maybe its just me but I hardly never look at specs.

Currently running a €4K amp into €6K speakers.
I haven’t really thought important about this relation to spec/cost before.
The truth it works superb with a cheap source, as it does with an expensive.

Which remind me years back I heard some Krell amplifiers on Wilson speakers.
No doubt that setup was expensive included very expensive CD source.
TBH it could play LOUD, impressive but not really good as in “wow we need to hear another record”, at least when looking at cost.

By that time I ran a budget Rega Ela, Creek amp setup with turntable, probably Systemdek.
Needles to say I enjoyed my little setup more , much more than the Krell/Wilson.

For me cost is not a fixed factor to trust blind.

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A quick shufti at the Focal web page for the Spare stndmounts shows 8 ohms impedance and 89 db sensitivity - nearly the same as the B & W

Nominal specs from the manufacturers only tell part of the story. And even that part isn’t always correct. A speaker rated 8 Ohms can still dip to 3 Ohms at certain frequencies. Add some nasty phase angle as @Mike-B mentioned too and a speaker with easy looking brochure specs can still be a very tough load for the amp.