Naim Atom vs Star vs Nova

Hello, Friends! I have already seen such a topic, but it is impossible to write there anymore. Therefore, I would like to describe my question in a separate topic. I have speakers elac vela bs 403 with a requirement of 40 watts per channel minimum. And I have a naim atom, but I categorically do not like the bass, it hums and crumbles, there is no clarity and tenacity. The hum is actually quite strong. I prepared the room, put carpet everywhere, it helped, but I still don’t like the bass. Do you think Star or Nova will solve the problem in my case? And which would be better - Star or Nova?

Those Elacs look very nice but I suspect they need something with a bit more grip in the bass. I’ve got some Dynaudio Focus 110’s which, I suspect, will have a similar bass profile in their sound because the frequency roll-off at the bottom end is similar and they are both rear ported. I have “bunged” my ports because they are right up against the wall and, for the most part, I’m happy when partnered with my Nova. I’m not sure whether you can easily “bung” your Elacs because that may be worth a try - it does reduce the bass significantly and I recover the bass with a REL sub. You will always get some room nodes that cause bass problems and every now and then I get one on some CD’s - hard to avoid without room corrections and acoustic treatments. Plenty of furnishings helps.
Onto your point though, I was looking at the Atom for its compact size before I plumped for the Nova, but thought I might need more grunt and it would save me the, what would it have sounded like if … issues. I’m glad I did because the Nova is exceptionally good. The other option would be to add a power app from the Naim range, although you would lose the one-box appeal and form factor of the Atom(unless you hide the power amp). I guess that borrowing one from a dealer would be the way to go.
Good luck!

Without knowing your speakers / the combination I think it’s hard to say to what extent your specific issue will be solved. Can’t you audition them anywhere? If not with your speakers, perhaps at least against each other.

As to which is best, the Nova is definitely the better of the two, no contest. But the Star does come very close and is already a significant step up from the Atom. Only you can decide whether the difference is worth the extra cash. (And loss of CD player?)

Thank you! And if you make a decision between Star and Nova will there be a big difference between them in your opinion?

I think you problem is not Atom. Check first cables, position, maybe to tray with sub.

Yes,there will be a big diffrence between the two, not only regarding sound quality. The Star has a built-in CD player which the Nova doesn’t have.

Hi Daniel,

I don’t think I will be of much help to you but, for what it’s worth, here goes: -

I have never heard your speakers so I can’t comment on them.

Your bass, no matter what amp, should not hum so there is clearly something wrong somewhere so I think you should investigate this before spending any more money on new equipment.

I purchased a new Nova in May last year to replace a Hi-Cap/32.5/140 system purchased new in 1987 & had obviously been very happy with. The Nova sounded OK at first but the sound quality improved very noticeably after 6 weeks or so of use to what I would describe as very good. Some people claimed that firmware updates changed the sound quality, mostly for the better, but I can’t say I noticed any change at all.

At the start of this year I became a Beta tester for Naim & am currently using the latest Beta firmware. Much as I have not believed the firmware changes the sound I have to say that the sound with the current version is absolutely superb. This may be the firmware or simply that my Nova has now had a lot of use. Whatever, I am delighted with it. I use it with ProAc DB1 speakers & bass, mid range & treble are all excellent. The Nova has plenty of power to drive them with ease & I have heard a demo Nova driving much more expensive speakers than mine just as easily.

If you sort out your base issue & still wish to upgrade, & don’t require the Star’s ripping capability, I can strongly recommend the Nova to you & would suggest you try to demo one, preferably with your speakers.

So, after all this, sorry I can’t answer all your questions but hope you have found some of the above to be of assistance.

Hi, If you’re getting loud hum through your speakers something is definitely wrong and it would make sense to diagnose the problem before throwing more money at your system. Once that’s sorted, a Nova should improve SQ significantly as it ought to at twice the price but at that level you might want to compare with ND5XS2 + Nait XS3.


This topic was automatically closed 60 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.