Kef Reference 3 + Uniti Nova

I recently pulled the trigger on the Kef Reference 3’s and they should be arriving sometime next week. Before this splurge, I recently upgraded from the Uniti Atom to the Uniti Nova with my Kef R3 bookshelves (not to be confused with the floorstanding Reference 3). I know that using the Nova to drive the Reference 3’s would be a great disservice to the speakers as the Nova’s 80 WPC stands on the lower spectrum of Kef’s recommended amplifier requirements of 50-300W. This is a stop gap solution as I plan to thoroughly audition amplifiers (hopefully in-home) before making another substantial purchase. I have read on many occasions that it is much more dangerous for a speaker to be underpowered instead of overpowered as it “may produce hard clipping (distortion) which ultimately causes the voice coil windings to overheat, resulting in a dead speaker.”

Finally, my question is: will using the Nova with the Reference 3 pose a non-negligible threat to the lifespan of the speakers?

Here are a few of the speakers specs:

Amplifier requirements 50-300W
Sensitivity (2.83V/ 1m) 87.5dB
Harmonic distortion
2nd & 3rd harmonics (90dB, 1m) <0.5% 40Hz – 100kHz
<0.2% 200Hz – 10kHz
Maximum output
(peak sound pressure level at 1m with pink noise) 113.5 dB
Impedance 8Ω (min. 3.2Ω)
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No, not unless you open volume to ridiculous levels and ignore distortion.

And welcome to the forum, enjoy


It looks fairly comfortable , but with those speakers I fear you won’t get the best with a Nova.

I have a Nova so am not casting nasturtiums against it, it’s a fine product , but those are even better speakers. As Suedkiez says, welcome to forum

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Your Nova should easily cope and deliver a great sound. I am a rare Kef user in the Naim world. I have had Reference 1’s on a 250DR for about 5 years. Stated power is the same as the Nova and it drives my speakers, which are slightly less sensitive than yours, with ease.


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I don’t know the Kefs but as we said elsewhere the Nova does great with Titan 505 and 606s.



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