Naim Nova only as a streamer

I have a question can be used Naim Nova only as a streamer and pass on to a separate preamp, (nova as a source)?
if it goes … HOW?

Yes, I use it as a streamer currently.

You just use the analogue out into your pre-amp - it does not offer a fixed output however and volume control of the Nova adjusts the output volume.

Using as a streamer only does not power off the power amp circuitry however.

Do you have one? What do you want to connect it to?

I am very happy with my nova and will keep it. My friend bought an ndx … so we wanted to compare novan how it performs vs ndx. Everything is connected to 202/200 / napsc

You’d either use the Nova’s RCA or DIN analogue out into one of the 202’s inputs.

Ny Nova goes into a 282 currently. Was going to replace with an NDX 2 but unlike over a year ago when I compared them, a more recent comparison with the NDX 2 did not show a massive difference to me, and I felt the NDX 2 really needed an extra PSU to shine.

I am aware that ndx2 is a better product than novan at a much higher price … but it is super fun to test what happens under the same conditions. Some people write novan as a fantastic streamer

Not suggesting you try an NDX 2, simply that for some reason my Nova is a lot closer in sound quality to the NDX 2 these days than it was when I compared them a while back.

You would normally connect the Nova to the power amp, not the preamp, as it has a pre out. So if you connect it to your 202, it will work, but you are passing the signal through two preamps and volume controls, which is not ideal.
Probably best to use the 4 pin DIN output, but there is also an RCA.

In theory straight to the NAP would be best but I think here the OP is wanting to A/B the Nova vs friend’s NDX, and this would probbaly be achieved most simply via the separate pre-amp, rather than repeatedly swapping cables to the NAP 200.

I seem to recall some threads whereby streamers have been connected directly to various Naim NAPs to simplify the signal path and potentially have a cheaper single source solution, though I believe people found that the sound in this situation was actually better with the NAC controlling things.

I originally had my Nova hooked up directly to a NAP 250 when most of my kit was in storage. Having resurrected my LP12 and a few other things they all now go via the 282 to active SBLs.

If the OP has time, aside from the NDX comparison, it would be interesting to know how Nova > 202 > 200 sounds vs Nova > 200 direct - in theory a little better, in practice I’m not certain it would be leaps and bounds ahead, perhaps due to my Nova > 282 being pretty impressive using it as a variable output source.

You’ve got me thinking now - would I be able to connect the Nova directly to the active setup via the 4 pin DIN oput - suspect not, or at least not without some custom cabling.

If you wanted to compare the streamer/DAC in the Nova to the NDX, a fairer comparison would be using the NDX into an analogue input on the Nova, so that they are both using the same preamp, and only one preamp.

Nova will convert the signal to digital and then to analog again. It will certainly sound different but I do not think it is the best set to compare the two units

That’s the difficulty, and similarly if you used NDX digital out to Nova you’d then also be using the Nova’s DAC and the NDX just as a transport.

Lots of different permutaions it might be fun to test if you have time, the reality is that the Nova is not designed to perform as a source alone hence no option for a fixed level pre-out or separate line out, though in practice I still think it sounds very good into my NAC.

It does indeed, and that seems to irritate some people. You can always use the NDX2 digital output and just compare the performance streaming boards, but it depends what you are trying to achieve by this comparison.
I think what this conversation shows is that, good though the Nova is, if you want a system which puts sound quality above convenience, separates are the way forward in the Naim world.

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