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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“ 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.”
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.
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.
In the UK the list price of the 702 s2 would appear to be around £3.8k rather than £5k, so cheaper than the Nova, and they seem to be widely available for considerably less, so on money grounds alone I don’t see why they’d be a bad match. Having said that, I have found speakers the most surprising items to audition. Very well reviewed speakers have sounded poor to me, whereas less highly praised ones have performed really well. Personal tastes and individual hearing come into the picture too. So if it’s possible to audition a range of candidates I really think this is the best approach. And it’s worth taking time over the choice too.
Kantas are sometimes available at sale prices (unlike new Naim) nearer to your original speaker budget. Also, if you haven’t bought the Nova yet, some British dealers do that set up as a bundle complete with A5 cable for for not much over your Nova +5K budget.
Only just beginning my audio ‘voyage’, I recently had the Nova on loan for a long weekend early to test with the 702 Signature (which I received about a week earlier), that I purchased. On the louder volumes (where you would expect neighbours to start complaining when you live in an average Dutch appartement) I thought the sound was too bright with certain material (Miles Davis - Sketches of Spain, both on cd and on Qobuz, and with older U2 songs).
In the normal average listening volumes, it sounded pretty well, up to great, depending on what I was listening too. But with the harsh trebels, I’m not sure if the Nova is for me.
I now have an old Cambridge Azur 640R on loan, which I find easier to listen to in those volumes.
Depending on your view on this, you might consider the speakers were not fully played in yet (although the manual says this should only take a few hours, not 100s of hours). Also, the speakers were not yet placed on spikes, but on the round rubber feet. I have now put them om spikes (and the stability plate), since listening to the Cambridge, but does that affect treble…?
So, all in all, for the way it operates and looks, I love the Nova, it checks all my needs, but I’m not convinced it’s the right pairing - for me - with the 702 Signatures.
I would argue that the speakers set the tone here. If you find the sound bright, I would say that the B&W’s lean in that direction and that depending on your room acoustics, furnishings and listening position, this will be exacerbated irrespective of amplifier used. I certainly wouldn’t describe the Nova as bright but I would expect it to be more resolving and dynamic than your Cambridge 640R, which albeit a fine AV amp, not to the same level of music audio playback as your Nova.
In a topic about a Nova being powerful enough for a 702 S2 signature, you replied that you have no issues running your 702 S2. I self have a Nova and 702 S2 and what I find that there is no base. Mid and high is really nice but the low isn’t there. Not even on 50% volume.
The sound still is coming from the speakers and it doesn’t come lose projecting it in the room like you are in a concert.
I run them on QED Signature Revelation 3,0 m. cables.
The Unitis being less critical and all, at least 3m of NACA5 still seem to be recommended, and you have half the inductance and twice the capacitance of that. And if we assume that 2m NACA5 may still be marginally ok, this would be 2 µH and you are still below that.
you should ensure that the cable is low capacitance and of moderate inductance. High capacitance &/or very low inductance cables are to be avoided at all costs
I would at least try a more suitable cable (or a longer length of the QED to get close to the same inductance as 2-3 m NACA5. You’d have several times the capacitance, but that’s less critical and 10 m of NACA5 have more).
No bass and the sound coming from the speakers seems more likely a setup / room isssue