Naim Uniti Atom (newbie)

Thank you Mike.

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Couldn’t agree more

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+1 Couldn’t agree more!

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Just to clarify, according to you is it better to invest in priority in a better amp (The Nova) that can drive many “good” speakers now and offering me the opportunity to keep if I decide to change speakers later or buying today speakers for my actual setup (Atom) and sell the two if I want to upgrade in the futur (even if the Atom is a very capable amp, it doesn’t provide enough power to drive some speakers if I want to upgrade them later) ?

Depends on your budget. You can get Atom, Sonnettos and cable for the same price as a Nova. The Sonnettos look fab and it sounds like they are great sounding with either. You’re bound to have fewer compatibility issues with the Nova , I’d imagine, so if you intend to upgrade your speakers in the near future then that’s got to be the way to go. You pays your money and makes your choice.

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It’s possible to over think things and end up totally confused. It seems to me that you have only just bought the Atom and you are really pleased with it. You have now heard the Sonus Fabers and like them with your Atom. So the easiest thing is just to buy them.

Later on you could swap the Atom for something else and get a better sound from your existing speakers. After that you could get better speakers if you wanted. If you choose speakers that work well with your Atom you should find that you are happy with the system for a long time. Do try to borrow the speakers for a few days to make sure they work well in your home: they can sound totally different to how they sound in the shop.

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Just to prefix this reply -I’ve gone from an Atom to a 552/500/Dynaudios in a couple of years - so the upgrade route can be expensive…

To be clear - the cheapest way to build a very good system is to listen to a lot, take home some to home demo, and then buy the best setup you like. This is because you always lose something when you trade up and up and up…

However, most people cannot afford to do this, and miss out on the fun of developing systems on the way. Getting a balanced system is important, so it’s almost always better to spend money across the elements of your system, rather than, say, fantastic speakers with a mediocre amp. Generally, the source should get slightly more financial love than the rest, though maybe less so in these streaming days (if you feed it like that).

You seem to be slightly between two positions. If you like the Atom and the Sonos Fabers, get them, let them run in for a few months and enjoy the music. If you still feel the need to upgrade, look again then.

Alternatively, if you really do want to upgrade now, then I would possibly skip the Nova and go for (sort of) separates, with a 272 and suitable amp, and some speakers. You can then add a power supply, and potentially upgrade the amp, then maybe move to a separate streamer and pre-amp after that. The Nova will be better than the Atom, but in my view it doesn’t match the separates and is then impossible to upgrade. It’s a great if that’s where you want to end up, don’t get me wrong - it’s a lovely sounding system - but if you expect to keep going, I’d get something sa little more flexible.

However, the good thing is that Naim kit tends to hold its value on the used market, so it’s reasonable to move things on, and pick up the next thing for not overmuch, especially if you are happy buying used or ex-demo too.

In terms of which speakers, it’s a decision I’ve just grappled with - the best advice is to listen in your own home, but to come up with a shortlist, you need to work out how far you can get them from the rear walls, and the side walls, as that will rule some in and some out, then decide if you want standmount or freestanding, and what your budget range is. With those decisions, you’ll be down to about four or five brands and a couple of options within those, and can then read comments on here, reviews online, and so on.

For shops that don’t do home demos, see if they do sale or return - i.e. you pay full whack for them but win the clear understanding you can return them if not what you want. Or find some friends that have those systems and see how they sound…

Good luck. And remember, whilst choosing hifi is fun, have enough funds to afford the music to play, and don’t overstretch yourself else you’ll not be happy when listening to it. But a decent system will give many hours of please a day, every day, for many years…

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In my opinion, if the Sonus Fabers work in your room (depends on room size and layout etc.) then it is down to which system you preferred the sound of, assuming it fits your budget. I have not heard them but think they are lovely looking speakers.

Regarding the 4 ohm load. I think that pretty much all Sonus Fabers are a 4 ohm load yet the company claim that they use a special design in the crossover to minimise amplifier load/strain - I think it is mentioned on their website somewhere if you want to check. I don’t know for certain but I would be surprised if the Atom couldn’t cope with the Sonus Fabers. Indeed, I would question the price/value for money of the Atom if it couldn’t! I use a generation 1 Arcam Solo Movie 2.1 (50 WPC 8ohm/70 WPC 4ohm) to drive some 4ohm/87dB Piega speakers in a medium-sized master bedroom and have no problems producing a room filling sound or with the Arcam straining.

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I am running my Star with a set of 20 year old Sonus Faber Concertino’s. In all the time their sound has remained special so I am very big fan of the brand. So what I am about to say now is based on them, I have no idea if it relates to the modern speakers they produce.

My speakers have a very warm sound and in combination with the sparkly sound that comes out the Star (and cannot imagine that the Atom is different) it really balances extremely well.

The one thing I do remember and perhaps that is worthwhile to check is that back in the day Sonus Fabers were notoriously hard to drive well. So going for a higher notch in the power rating band resulted in better results. But the Atom pushes 40 Watts into 8 ohms so with these speakers it should be more like 80 Watts. Considering the range is 40-200 Watts on the speakers it sounds reasonable, but perhaps worthwhile to have them demo’d first.

But I have not regretted buying Sonus Faber for a second.

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I finally made the move and upgraded from the Atom to the Nova. I had both at home for few days, so the conclusion (for me) :

1- The Atom is a very capable and enjoyable amp. In some situations, it’s perhaps more suitable then the Nova (in my small room with my Quad 11L, the Nova brings sometimes to much bass).

2- The Atom brings very crisp highs, very clear and nervous sounds while the Nova is more relaxing, more balanced, and more “organic”. It doesn’t showing the same “violence”, it’s more emotional.

I would have been more than happy with the Atom but I listened to the Nova and the difference is noticeable with some speakers. It’s releasing to don’t have to overthink about the ability of an amp to properly drives a specific pair of speakers.

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Sounds like I need to try the Nova as well sometime in my setup. :wink:

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Don’t…You’ll love it :wink:

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I’m a bit late to the party on this thread and it’s my first post so here’s my two cents. I had a superuniti with non dr nap 250 and system audio mantra 50 speakers for a few years and loved it. Recently I swapped the superuniti for an atom to get the extra connectivity. I used the atom for a few weeks as a one box player until I got hold of a cable to connect the 250. The atom had no problem driving the speakers and sounded great but once I connected the 250 the difference to me was night and day far better than the superuniti. The atom is a fantastic one box solution but really comes alive when a power amp is added.
I had expressed interest to my local Naim dealer about swapping the su and 250 for the nova but he suggested I keep the 250 and replace the su since I had a 250. I haven’t listened to a nova but I’ve shopped with them for 20 plus years and have never been disappointed with their advice. My LP12 sounds pretty sweet with the atom/250 also.

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The big difference between Atom and Nova is the power supply from the little I know. 250 has the same power as the Nova - 80w at 8ohm and comes with DR circuit I don’t know / don’t believe Nova has. So I tend to agree with what your dealer told you.

With earlier version of Atom, it didn’t come with HDMI but now it does anyway. Other than that, Nova has more inputs and a SD card reader.

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