Hi I’ve recently jumped on the Naim train and really like the sound, but I know my system is lacking in my room of 55 sq m. Advice would be welcome on which road to go down as confusion reigns. I have 2.5k to spend in the used market on my current system of Uniti Atom, Rega P3, Epos Es11 and B&W Pv1 sub.
Options I see are:
Move up to a Nova and look to upgrade speakers in the future.
Put the cash into speakers, (Epos are lovely but ancient) I’m worried the Atom might be my problem in this room, not providing the power to get the best from say Buchardt s400 or Harbeth Cs7, Dynaudio Special 40. (Neat iota Alpha’s already didn’t cut it in the room)
Exchange the Atom for a Supernate 3, live with an old streamer and speakers and look to building up an end game separates system which I assume will outclass the Nova.
Hi Matt, the first thing I think you should do is decide what your goal is here. If you want a decent increase in sound quality, and the ability to drive more demanding speakers, a Nova may well give you what you want, all in a single box.
On the other hand, if you want to climb further up the ladder, I would forget the all-in-one boxes, good as they are. If a 2-box system appeals, get a NaitXS or Supernait, and add a separate streamer when you’ve saved a bit more cash.
If you’re thinking of a full separates system with at least 3 boxes, get a power amp (200 or 250) and run it with your Atom, but remember that a matching source and preamp at that level does not come cheap.
Thanks both for your insight. I’ve had the Atom for 6 months and love the little bugger. bhoyo you are of course right and I appreciate your sage advice but I made the mistake of having an AB session at a dealer, Atom v Nova with Vienna acoustic Mozart’s. The Nova with the Mozart’s was hugely impressive and quite distracting.
It made me kick out the Neat iotas and re introduce my old Epos 11’s which have a much more musical quality, therefore having a bit of cash for upgrade. I had originally thought to add a Nap 200 to the atom as you suggest, though my sub has only line-in and I’m a bit confused as to how to add a sub to this amp. This made me dig further and realise that the Nova or Atom w With Nap was far from endgame, hence the questions here.
Ultimately ChrisSU your advice resonates, eventually I do want to jump from ease of use Uniti to a separate system. I guess the answer is when I have enough cash to do it. Meantime I see a happy winding road ahead, full of black boxes and self flagellation.
If you add a power amp, you won’t be able to run the sub as well. The 200 will give you some more bass, and a 250 would give you even more, making the lack of a sub perhaps less of a problem. You also have the option to drive speakers with more bass extension with a more powerful amp.
If a sub is a priority then you may want to change to one with a high level input that you can run from the speaker terminals - I use a Naim N-Sub in that configuration, and it works very well.
If you have an idea of what your endgame system will be, you may find that decisions like this become easier, as otherwise it’s all too easy to throw money at solutions, only to discover that later on, they become redundant.
@ChrisSU’s advice to have a careful think about your endgame is a very sound one. Personally, if you can push the budget a bit, I would consider a s/h SN2, a s/h Naim DAC (or a different DAC that might float your boat, Chord?) and transport from, for instance, Allo or SOTM. That combo would produce some great music for the bug…
Hi Matt and welcome! The winding road of which you speak CAN be part of the fun of this hobby. I started with a basic Naim integrated, the Nait XS2, and then up through the Supernait 2, then the 252 preamp and now the 552 preamp.
If you’re up for the fun, cost and self-flagellation, my two best pieces of advice are: (1) buy gently used; there is a great secondary market for gently used Naim gear at substantial savings. (2) Don’t go through every iteration; skip stops along the product ladder.
Atom to Nova would be a good jump. But you might jump directly to a Supernait 3, or separates, if budget and inclination permit. I can absolutely state that there is a ‘Naim sound’ that persists throughout.
In some ways I think this answers your question - I bougt an Atom shortly after release, it was great but it developed a fault - by this time the Nova was available and I demoed Nova vs Atom with my Epos ES14s at the dealers. There was no contest, the Nova was immensely superior so I opted for that rather than a new Atom.
Chris’s comments are sound. My feeling is that if you want to stay with the sub woofer go with the Nova, if you are more flexible then the Atom / NAP 200 is well regarded on this forum but I think you will lose the sub woofer option.
I have a 202/200 set up (with 3 other boxes) plus Harbeth P3ESR , I needed small speakers because of room size and other issues.
In this great hobby/road to perdition it is usually about the best possible compromise of product v desire v SWMBO -Best wishes
I went from a UnitiQute 2/NAP100 to a Nova in a larger room and the Nova is a great all in one. I then moved the Nova to my second system and have gone with a SN2 and NDX2, then adding power supplies.
As Chris says, knowing where you want to end up, or at least future proofing the system is a good approach. If an all in one is what you want, the Nova is great. Otherwise building up with the “source first” approach, matched with your “end Speaker” gives a lot of flexibility.
Ian I feel the Atom / Nap200 is the most logical route too. I’m going to split my limited budget on both speakers and amp. I really love the connectivity of the Atom and am enjoying Roon so it feel like the 200 would give me what I need for the moment. I’ve a demo booked on some Dynaudio special 40’s, which I hope will be an enjoyable companion for a few iterations of the system. You made me chuckle with your product v desire comments. So true. Not sure what SWMBO means though? I assume its got something to do with my wife? She’s not at all comfortable with all this. Yesterday she was asked if we could get a side board made that could fit that thing (Atom) and the speakers inside it…Fun times