Naim Nova - Teething problems et al

Hi all,

I’m new to these forums and to Naim Hi-Fi, this is my debut post.

Apologies in advance, as some of the things I’m asking and or referring to are no doubt covered elsewhere. I’ve scrolled through for several days at previous posts and threads, but thought I’d roll a few queries up into one!

I’ve had a Nova less than a week (most recent system prior to this consisted of:
Roksan Caspian M1 pre,
two Audiolab 8300 MBlocks
Chord Qutest, taking a USB connection from Zen Mini 3/LPSU)
in an attempt to have less boxes and retain or enhance sound quality for served files (1TB of FLAC on the 2TB Innuos) and streamed music (I currently use both Qobuz and Tidal). Speakers are B&W 805 Signatures.

So far, I’ve had a mixed experience, and as said above, it seems most of what I’m experiencing is common to some others too.

  1. Initially Qobuz wouldn’t stream using Roon or Naim App or from Qobuz app via either Chromecast or AirPlay. It’s intermittent at best with Qobuz and marginally more reliable with Tidal, but neither are ideal.

What’s the latest on any possible fixes to such issues?

I’m using a wired Ethernet connection, and an Eng Electric Switch, to link router to both Innuos Zen and Nova)

  1. What’s the best connection for sound & reliability between the Innuos and the Nova? The Ethernet via switch I’m using or ?

  2. Am I imagining there’s a significant variability in SQ between listening sessions? One day all seems quite incredible and “superior” to my previous boxes (more depth of field, wider and more realistic sound staging, superb rounded bass and more) then the next session a few hours later it’s all slumped south and things seem quite ordinary. Not terrible but not exactly scintillating.

Thanks in advance for any thoughts out there.

I’ve read that the Nova can take a long time to give of its best. Give it at least a few months before rushing in to fixes. Someone suggested a year to reach peak performance.


For NW connection, a switch between router, server, and Nova should be just fine. If you have problems streaming, either you internet is too slow (unlikely, since you streamed already before getting the Nova, and without issue, I understand?) or something is not “as it should”. (From a broken cable, issues to interworking with the router, …)
Hard to diagnose from afar.

I would remove the switch from your setup and connnedt direct to router to rule out if that is causing issues with streaming. Naim kit does take a while to settle in, my Atom did and is still a little temperamenta l but currently I am thinking this is my speakers and room interacting or maybe just my mood.

Thanks all for replies and suggestions.

Last night before going to sleep I unplugged all relevant kit (switch, router and the Nova itself), relaunched/reconnected it and then went to sleep.

Today, it’s all up and running as it should be. I’ve done this several times, but usually to no avail, yet this time things all seem good: excellent SQ from Nova, all streaming up and running and Innuos via Roon good too.

Even the temperamental (at least for me), Naim app, is playing nicely. That said I prefer Roon for all round interface and control.

Unfortunately, my router is too far from my Hi-Fi for a direct connection, otherwise, I’d do that. I rely on “mini connectors” for ethernet from wall to EElectric switch to Naim.

Tempting fate maybe but so far, so good.

Another two Naim newbie questions : in both my previous set up and current Nova/Innuos centred one, I’ve accessed my FLAC files via Roon.
(Using Zen Mini as Roon Core (in experimental mode) and now Nova as an endpoint).

  1. That’s all good and as expected, but how would I access the FLAC music stored on the Zen from the Naim app if I don’t use Roon? I don’t need to do this but thought it would be useful to know for if and when Roon isn’t part of my ecosystem.
    I’m guessing I’d disengage Roon integration in Innuos set up and engage it in Naim app - is it that simple or am I missing something?

  2. Which unit is doing the streaming - Naim or Innuos?
    As said above, Innuos is set up as Roon Core and Nova as endpoint, and I can play Tidal & Qobuz from both Roon & Naim apps, as well as from Tidal and Qobuz apps via AirPlay or Chromecast to the Naim. But from where is the streaming generated?

Thanks and apologies again for asking what seem FAQ.

Enjoying the forums.

And am I connecting things correctly still? I’ve got an ethernet going directly from switch to Zen (into LAN port) then another from Zen (streamer port) to Nova ethernet port.

Also when I set up the new system last week I connected the Zen to the Nova with an optical cable thinking this was needed to match my previous Zen to Chord DAC endpoint (via USB in this instance). Is this optical actually doing anything?

The Zen mini can be the server and Roon streamer when connected via USB or Spdif. Or you use the Nova as the Roon Ready streamer over ethernet and just have the Innuos as the server. The latter is Roons recommended way of having endpoint and server seperate. However you might prefer the output via spdif from the Innuos. Only you can make that call. In Roon itself you would enable the Nova as an endpoint and choose that and it’s taking care of streaming from the Innuos. If your enable the Zen mini in Roon and choose that as the endpoint then its doing it all

You can’t have Roon and the inbuilt UPnP server active at the same time. Naim app is upnp only but you cant use the Innuos to serve Qobuz or Tidal via UPnP you would use the Naim app for that and the Novas inbuilt Tidal and Qobuz.

Thanks for the info’ and help.

I am currently (mostly) using the Nova as an endpoint when Roon is in play.

However, if I switch to the Naim app to stream Qobuz/Tidal is the stream actually coming from the Nova?

And secondly, how do I simply test the spdif connection for SQ? What do I need to enable etc? And is that for files on the Zen and streaming services from it too? Just curious to compare it to what I think I am listening to when using Nova as endpoint (which is via ethernet, yes?).

Sorry for requiring even more clarification, I’m trying to get my head and ears around possible differences/benefits of each connection route.

@obsydian use Nova and Innuos. He should help you. He tried all the connections possible, different apps…

1 Like

If you use the Naim app then the Nova is streaming not touching the Zen mini. Just plug the spdif out of the mini into the spdif on the Nova and then use iPeng or Orange squeeze apps to control the Innuos native streaming and Qobuz or Tidal. Or you can use Roon just choose the Innuos as the endpoint and enable the Innuos for Roon server and Roon endpoint.

Hi @frenchrooster, @Charles64

  1. When I used Roon, everything on my Zenith would display on the Roon home screen. I recall it is possible to navigate ripped content on the Innuos using the Naim app, or the Innuos web page (just type into your browser.

  2. Within Roon you can select the output. Oddly Innuos don’t mention USB connection in the user manual setup, just ethernet if I recall correctly.

Anyway to test the Innuos USB to Naim SPDIF you need a converter, MuTech, Schiit and Audiophilleo oh and M2 tech offer options, the Schiit Etir or M2TECH the cheapest.

So your setup would be Innuos USB A to USB to SPDIF direct into the Naim, in the Innuos web settings select the Experimental Roon mode, in Roon select the converter is should display, not the Naim.

I like Roon but SQ is priority so i gave up on Roon and paid £10 for iPeng as the controller.

Hopefully the Innuos app will string it altogether when it arrives.

Lastly this may sound all a mission but it’s worth it, but if Roon Experimental mode via ethernet is good for you them just stop there and enjoy it

Thanks for that CG, that’s perfectly clear even for my oft befuddled brain.

Thanks Obsydian, that’s intriguing.
Yes, ultimately I want the best SQ I can muster from the kit I have.

My most recent set up prior to the Nova had a Chord Qutest as endpoint via USB from Zen to DAC. Just need to choose a converter now.

Roon experimental mode does not work over ethernet. It’s only when Innuos itself is used as the streamer and usb or Spdif are used for the output from the Innuos… Using Innuos with ipeng or orange squeeze will also use the same playback chain. Over the network it’s Roons RAAT transport which does not support memory playback or UPnP. The OP has a Zen mini which comes with Spdif already so no need for a converter so he can use that direct to the Nova if he prefers and use the experimental mode or not.

If you cannot get a home demo then the M2Tech hiface, Schiit Etir (yep thats the name) or the Gustard I recall @Richard.Dane recommended this a long while back.

He doesn’t need one it has Spdif already it’s a Zen mini.

I’m not sure I understand you here?

Doh didn’t know that

Thanks CG & Obsidian.

I’m performing a neat trick of becoming simultaneously clearer then more confused!

So, I don’t need a converter, as my ZM3 has a spdif out, which I have connected to the Nova - yes?
But to ascertain the possible SQ between Roon app & iPeng (which I bought ages ago but have never used! Seems to be too much for my Roon accustomed brain to cope with - and “looks” woeful compared to Roon app or even Naim’s own BUT if SQ improvements can be had I’ll give it a go) I can configure as CG outlines in his explanation.

Thanks all.