Naim Nova : the sound coming out of one speaker is louder than the other


I bought a Naim Nova amplifier as a replacement for an Atom. It was an exhibition model (2 years warranty) and a pair of new speakers, and I have encountered various problems since its acquisition. Unfortunately, I bought it in a shop which must, I hope for the profession, have the worst after-sales service in Paris.
The most annoying problem is that of an imbalance between the right side / left side output volume.
I first questioned my hearing, but approaching the speakers with the same ear, the observation was the same.
It cannot be a source problem, because I have tried dozens of Qobuz albums / my albums which do not present this imbalance on other systems.
The room cannot be the cause, because I did not have this problem with other amplifiers (Cambridge & Naim Atom).

The seller who had agreed to return my equipment to Naim, in fact kept it in his store for 15 days claiming that he had tested it himself without finding any particular problem.

Has anyone come across this problem before ?

Have you checked balance setting in the app? Also try reversing speakers at rear of unit to check if it’s the unit or speaker/cables at fault

1 Like


The balance on the App is set to “0”.
I’ll reverse the speakers cable at rear to check this point tomorrow.
Thank you.

While moving the cables double check the + and - phase of both. It is obviously a different layout on the back of the Nova to your Atom.

1 Like

Hi @anon56814208 ,

My Nova, 18 months old, appeared louder on the left channel than the right when listening half way between the speakers. Most vocalists/news readers etc. were right next to the left hand speaker & not centred between the two.

I wondered if my hearing was starting to deteriorate, due to age, & had my ears checked. There is the beginnings of ‘treble roll off’ which is worse in one ear than the other but not enough at the moment to make a lot of difference between each ear.

I therefore wondered if the Nova’s zero channel balance control had been factory set incorrectly & found that, in my case, an adjustment to +2 on the right channel centred the image on my test LP & CD, & that there was, unsurprisingly, a very noticeable improvement in sound quality.

Whether the Nova wasn’t calibrated properly or it is my ears does not really matter. The balance adjustment has done the trick & it is not worth the unit going back to Salisbury for investigation of a possible issue.

I assume it was the Nova as, using headphones, for which no balance control is available, the stereo image is dead centre. It therefore wasn’t my ears, reduced treble or not.

I assume there is no balance control for headphones as, obviously, sitting on your head, they are always in the same position relative to your ears whereas you can move in relation to speakers & may need to adjust the speaker balance to allow for a non-optimal listening position.

Hope this gives you some food for thought.


Thank you very much for your kind propositions.
In my case, the power issue was due to the cable not tightly plugged into the speaker.

As @Canaryfan, the image is not centred, some instruments come from the right speaker and other from the left while the center is « empty » or very lightly occupied. Is this a recurrent mastering issue ?


If you have access to test tones (left, right & centre) try giving them a go to see if you are getting a proper, centred image.

If you don’t have the tones try tuning to a radio news broadcast as, even if broadcast in stereo, the announcers voice should be coming from the centre.

If it is not, then move the balance control until it is, as I advised in my first post.

I do seem to recall several posts on this forum a few months ago about SN3 amps that needed the balance control set either to the right or left of zero to obtain a central image. Several posters said that this was a problem due to the balance control component that Naim used. Being similar level products on the amplifier side, perhaps the Nova uses the same component?

It’s important to use a true mono piece of music or test tone. It should then be easy to tell. Swap the speakers around as well as the cables just to be sure (move the speakers as room effect can sometimes give an impression of imblance).

AFAIK, the Nova volume and balance is totally different to the ALPS Blue pots in the Classic pre-amps and Integrateds.

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