Maximizing/Tweaking the Uniti Nova

Hey folks - I am so happy with my Uniti Nova I have two of them, one in my office and one in my main listening room. I have been through many separates, tubes, solid state, pretty high up the Chord ladder (M Scaler/TT2), but I have not found anything that pairs with my speakers and has the musicality and timing of the Nova - which ended up replacing nearly $30,000 of high end amp, preamp, and Chord stack.

Now I have been prone to upgrade-itis and that is part of the reasons why I initially looked at the Uniti series. So I am extremely happy with the Nova in my main listening room (I still listen in amazement several hours per day) but it really piques my curiosity that it sounds SO GOOD but there are other higher levels that could offer even better performance. It’s honestly hard to believe.

The catch is that there’s no way I want to get into Naim separates, even though I am in love with the Naim sound now. I think it’s far more expensive even to go to an NDX 2/SN 3 is more than twice the cost of the Nova for what I can’t imagine is more than a 10% gain in performance. There’s just no way I can get caught up in the upgrade pattern of XPS DR, HiCaps, etc let alone 250DR, 300DR, etc. I’m sure it is jaw-dropping but I am really not in a position to get back on that merry go round.

So my question is - WHAT tweaks exist for improving sound quality on the all-in-one Nova? For starters I do have a Transparent power cable, it does an excellent job and has noticeable effect. I am very happy with my speaker cables and IC cables as well. I have auditioned the Nordost QPoints with the Nova and they do have an audible effect on the Nova, but to my ears not in a good way.

My Nova is being fed through ethernet via an Innuos Zenith MK III. So I am thinking maybe something in that area could reap benefits. There are certainly higher models from Innuos but again the top of the line Statement is 3x the cost of the Nova and I’m not sure that’s a smart way to invest in the system. There are things such as the UpTone etherRegen I have thought about as well.

But what are your experiences, Nova owners - what are the tweaks and upgrades that have really made an improvement to your ears?

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That’s high praise. I really need to check out a Nova.

People on here talk about a Cisco switch being a good and cost effective upgrade. Other than that and cables… I’m not sure there a other upgrade options at your disposal.

Thanks and yes, it is in my opinion one of the best values in hifi, hard to believe really you get all that (streamer, DAC, integrated) in one box at such a high level of performance for such a relatively down to earth price.

I will say synergy with speakers goes a long way to making the Nova perform its best. In my main listening room I have a very large pair of American-made speakers called Volti Rivals, which are 6 ohm horns at 100dB efficiency. The Nova matches those speakers better than anything I have ever heard, which powers through some of the impedance drops of these speakers around 2-3kHz.

To contrast, I rotate speakers in my other system with the Nova, between Harbeth C7s, Klipsch Heresy IIIs, and Monitor Audio Gold 200s, and while all of them perform great with the Nova it is no match for the disappearing act in my main system.

I will do some more reading on the Cisco switch for sure, thanks!

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@obsydian is the king of tweaking his Nova. Be prepare to empty your bank account :laughing:

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I have a Naim Powerline mains lead on my Nova and it made a very worthwhile difference. Plenty available ex-dem or secondhand.

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Naim Powerline and the EE8 switch would be my pick, also a power board with filter if you have mains noise (use a metre to measure).

You do not mention your system support (hifi stand), the Naim fraim is pricey but does provide a worthwhile upgrade imo.

If you don’t have an isolated hifi stand like the Fraim, you could demo some Isoacoustics Orea isolation pucks under the Nova. They are weight rated, 4 “Bronze” would support the Nova weight, but to be sure I would suggest the next size up, “Indigo”. I find them very good. I use 4 Indigo pucks under my Supernait 2.

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As my friend @frenchrooster has pointed out i have a penchant for squandering ÂŁ1,000 on maximizing my Nova :sunglasses:

I downgraded from an Olive Active 4 pack system about 15 yrs ago, came back to a Muso MK1 (Urghh), quickly and Atom, even quicker the Nova and stopped - i have demo’d the 272/250 and the NDX2/SN3 at a dealer only though, but for me they offered very little over my setup.

Your using the Innuos Zenith MK3 (i have the MK2), if you are not using an SPDIF converter then it is NOT maximizing it’s full potential by using the Innuos RAM caching. I would recommend goign all out and sourcing an Audiophilleo with Pure Power - Google it a certain Elite company are superb and may allow a home demo.

Power leads and fuses, i have stayed with Synergistic Research another bold company offering a 30 day money back guarantee, but of late i am tempted to go back to a plain full fat Powerline (sometimes the rabbit hole gets so deep you forget the Naim sound).

I would have said ethernet cables, but i feel point the Audiophilleo negates all that.

FRAIM i would say a waste of money offered very little but looks nice, I add Synergistic Research MIG 2.0 to the Nova and Zenith was a great improvement all round.

Stay with the NACA5 around a 7 meter pair vs my 3.5m it just sounded right

Cisco switch - yep worth a punt but nothing to write home about, on par with a Fraim, so good VFM.

Lastly i still regret not going for the Innuos Zenith MK2 SE, now hoping to pick up a preloved Innuos Statement, sounds crazy but i have posted before that it makes sense as a streaming source first approach.

Oh no need for the Innuos Phoenix if you get the Audiophilleo as it does all that and more.

Oh my next upgrade is to get a Pure Power for the Audiophilleo (so i get battery powered playback during listening) and some Fraim chips for my speakers.

I still have zero Naim box inclination which is amazing (for me).

Most of all enjoy it, there is no right or wrong answer, what worked for me you may like or dislike, but the Nova punches well above it’s weight.

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I really enjoy the added the Powerline (EU version with Furutech plug) power cable that I have added a few weeks back, 100% worth it. I use my Nova in wireless mode, no idea if wired mode with additional switch would improve the sound.

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This is all extremely helpful and interesting, thanks!

Regarding the Audiophilleo - so this is taking the USB out in experimental mode (buffered) from the Innuos and converting to SPDIF into the Nova, correct?

Have you tried this chain versus something like an ethernet switch or etherRegen product with a high end power supply and found the USB/SPDIF converter was superior? I’m assuming I lose the cover art, etc on the SPDIF input - not an issue if it results in a significant bump in SQ.

In the Orea Isoacoustics it is crucial to adjust the weight to the working thresholds of each model; so bad is the excess weight, as, worse, to fall too short. As each Orea Indigo is optimized for 7’2 Kgs. and the SN2 weighs 12.8 Kgs., 4 Orea Indigo (28.8 Kgs.) under SN2 are too many; are totally out of their default weight work threshold, and are barely compressed and worked. Three would suffice, and they would still be outside their working thresholds (21.6 kg); and the optimal would be 4 Orea Bronze (4x3’6=14.4 Kgs.). I had it with 3 Orea Indigo, but with a 3.8 Kgs (12.8+3.8=16.6 Kgs.) overmass of an Artesania Audio damper. I would try it with only 3 Indigo, or even with 4 Bronze as an optimun.

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I forgot to mention - I am a huge proponent of Oreas! I have Indigos and Bronze on most of my gear. I have 4 Orea Bronze on both of my Novas.

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Innuos USB into the Audiophilleo USB, the Audiophilleo then plugs directly into the Nova BNC.

You then select the Nova digital input and that is it if you are using IPeng or Orange Squeeze control apps.

The experimental mode was purely for Roon as a work around the achieve the same USB buffering, it doesn’t give the same SQ as Roon disagree with the approach.

Yes covert art you loose.

To me it is more analogue and emotional.

Not tried the ether Regen as the Audiophilleo does that job anyway.

Switches I still have the Cisco but again the Audiophilleo takes care of the clean and re clock.

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Thanks for your input. If you look at the performance curve you will see that 4 indigos max weight is 16 lbs per. From what I can see looking at the chart, 8 lbs per is still about the same in isolation on the curve. So the SN at 31 lbs should be quite happy with four Indigos. Do you agree? Am I missing something there? I think 4 Bronze is near max for the SN2 but should work fine as you mentioned. Looks like peak performance for 4 Indigos would be a device that weighs from 30 lbs to 60 lbs

I repeat what I said, in the Isoacoustics Orea it is crucial to adjust the weight to the working thresholds of each model; so bad is the excess weight as the defect weight.

Beyond the manufacturer’s performance curves, you can check out the different tests and reviews that have been done on them; overloading them damages their performance, as well as underloading them.

I’ve checked it, and I tell you that the SN2 goes better with 3 Indigos than with 4; have you taken the test…? In addition, the SN2 does not weigh 31 lbs but 28.2 lbs, which is no longer the same:

You can see it however you want, but if I were in your shoes I would try it; you don’t have anything to lose, do you?

Of course I have nothing to lose, and am trying it now. I just read it as having a bigger range. All fun and games…

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It would be great if you told us your impressions after the tests…

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I tend to want to believe the manufacturer’s own tested results. No matter, my SN2 is on 3 indigo pucks now and nothing has blown up yet…

The Director of Sales for IsoAcoustic was very helpful a while back when I asked him about weight thresholds on the Oreas:

We generally tell people that you want to be at least 10% under the weight limit to get the full benefit from the product.

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