Naim Nova and power at 6ohm


Writing here as I need some advices. I own a Naim Nova and two pair of speakers Harbeth 30.1 and JBL 4429. I purchased Nova after auditioning different type of integrated and at the end I tought was a good match, at that time I only had the Harbeth. Now, after two years, I purchased JBL 4429 and I find that the integrated is not able to drive these speakers with proper authority, is not that they are not playing loud but soundstage is small and they don’t get a proper kick, I am wondering if they need more watt. I tried the Harbeth with a Mcintosh 200w per channel and to be honest the speaker get better with more watt. Do you think Nova has limit to play with confidence speakers like Harbeth or JBL synthesis, I feel they both lack of kick with the 80w of Nova.

This matching stuff is generally quite difficult as wattage is not a good indicator. On paper, the JBL’s should go much louder with the Nova than the Harbeth due to their efficiency. They’re both rated at 6 ohms but that doesn’t mean much. The impedance curve and phase are extremely important when matching with an amp. Interestingly, JBL recommends 200W (I think) which might suggest a nasty load as the speakers are rated at 91dB. Best way is to try alternative amps and if you feel the Nova lacks kick, change it :slight_smile:

Fwiw, my Nova is driving a pair of Magico A3s quite well. I am sure they would sound better driven by muscle mono blocks, but in view of the current system/room requirements, the Nova is more than enough.

I don’t know the JBL 4429s, but the older JBLs don’t need huge amounts of power to sound great. I’ve heard JBL’s legendary 4343s being driven by a NAIT 5i and it gave me goose bumps. I’ve also driven my own 4311s with an original NAIT to uncomfortably loud levels with no problems.

Could it be speaker placement? You are using totally different speakers. Maybe you just need to dial in the placement.


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