More power needed for movies?

Hi there,

I have a Naim Nova with the 80 watts per channel integrated amp matched with Monitor Audio PL200, which are fairly efficient at 90db.

I never had any issues with music and found the amp is more than enough to play louder than I (or my neighbours) can handle without hearing any strain.

As I start to watch more and more movies or TV, I feel I need to really turn the volume up to reach ‘enjoyable’ level but even though it’s loud, I feel it sounds somewhat thin… Like, it has difficulty filling the room, despite having no such issues with music.

Am I right in thinking more power is needed, and would give more scale? Anyone else had this issue before with having plenty for music but somewhat lacking for TV & movies?

Thanks in advance for any advicej

I suspect the signal you’re feeding with may be lacking. What is your source (TV, projector, receiver etc), and what outputs from it are you using? I’m not an expert in feeding such signals to a stereo system, but with that info others may be able to comment.

Having to turn the volume control higher may simply be because the source output level is lower than your music source, and in itself is not an indication of insufficient power available.

My reply was going to be the same as above, if it works fine for music it should work the same for tv viewing, as said I’d be looking at input levels, or a setting somewhere not configured correctly, etc

Not an uncommon problem.

To overcome it, I had to get a small DAC / amp for the TV so that the signal level was the same as the streamer into the amp.

They are not that expensive on Amazon, etc.


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The Nova has input trim, which can be used to balance levels between sources. The optimum way to connect is probably via optical from the TV, with trim used on the Nova digital input.

Make sure the TV is properly configured to downmix to stereo PCM and not looking for a Blutooth sub.

Some modern TVs actually can process surround so rather than send out Dolby or DTS over HDMI (which the Nova wouldn’t understand and stay silent) they send out multi channel PCM which a stereo endpoint would understand the keft and right channels and it it would sound very quiet when people are talking but very loud when music is playing like opening credits.

I really don’t think power is the issue at all. Most AV amps are less powerful than the Nova.

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I never really found that TV sounded right through a regular 2 channel stereo system. Better in many respects than crappy built in speakers on a TV, of course, but not balanced.
If you really want better AV sound I think you need a centre channel, and possibly also a sub and some sats, which of course means an AV amp, so loads of extra stuff in the room.


I agree. The centre channel to lock dialogue for everyone in the room is a must in my experience.

For TV, my Bose soundbar and sub beats 6 Naim boxes and PMC floorstanders.

As @Innocent_Bystander has already asked the info required to answer the OP.

@HungryHalibut suggestion for optic is one I have used with my Nova.
@ChrisSU and @feeling_zen may be valid in their observations. However Stereo tv is perfectly possible.
The question, IIUC is not about multi channel. Using a centre channel is only possible in a 3.0, 5.0 or 5.1+ set up, which usually requires dedicated processor. @DiggyGun has one alternative option.

I have recently started a AV thread, regarding a separate av system well more than a decade old, to which only one person has contributed. It’s not a simple subject and its seems only a few of us attempt. A simple Nova system, while perfectly feasible, will be restricted by what should or is likely to be a stereo feed. The Nova is capable, but grunt for “pseudo” cinema sound, perhaps is ambitious; it’s not power IMHO it is processing capability.

This is so far from my experience I always find it interesting when people bring those examples up.

I have heard plenty of surround systems (and have had a couple in the past) as well as soundbars and much prefer the main stereo with the audio folded down to 2.0 as well.

Then again, we sit on a couch in front of a TV that is centered with the speakers for this.

How are you feeding audio to the Nova?

HDMI ARC from the TV?

Analogue or optical out from TV?

Maybe not from the TV but a set top box or DVD/BluRay player audio out direct to Nova?

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