Newbie preamp question - Nova

I am getting a La Figaro 339i tomorrow and i want to use it with my naim nova.

I have done dac >pre>amp many times but for this i was thinking for going nova > Figaro > nova > speakers. This isnt a bad thing right? its basically a loop and my gut says it would be fine. Pretty new to the nova and dont wanna damage anything.

Thanks for the help, sorry if this question is a bit trivial.

Hi, I’m afraid that isn’t going to work. You cannot take a line out from the Nova, using it as a source, and feed it to a separate preamp, then feed it back into the Nova power amp. To do this you would need a separate source and amp.


ok gotcha, is that because the nova is in dac / pre amp out mode?

If you swap inputs to get the feed from the external preamp, you lose the input that is feeding the preamp. The Nova is a great all in one and trying to add a preamp to it seems pointless.

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Well the intent in that situation would be using it as a dac/streamer which is still is very very powerful at.

Ideally you would want a separate streamer and amp to do this. Something like an ND5XS2 + NaitXS would work well at a similar price to the Nova, or if you had deeper pockets, NDX2 + Supernait.

well crap. for a 1,000 more. I really dont have a ton of experience with Naim, are those products compared to the nova a bit better or alot a bit better. to be honest the naim naming convention confuses the hell out of me. Thanks for the replies

I was a bit confused as to why you are getting a pre-amp to run through the Nova. Anyway, as you go up the range, the sound quality improves (subject to system balance, room, speakers etc), but it’s dismissing returns. Ideally, you would decide based on budget and simplicity versus further boxes and cables as you go up the range. There are a number of typical “sweet spots” for price, the Nova, an SN2/NDX2 etc.

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One thing i liked about the nova was it was a all in one that i can line in or line out and play around with other devices. I am not a huge fan of spending a bunch of money when if i spent a little more there would be a massive improvement.

Adding a tube amp to the line of audio is just the fun of audio. I have a Legacy A/AB amp. looks like i will have to preamp out > tube> amp> speakers.

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…except that it has, as you now know, no line out, just a pre out.

If you just want it as a source you are better off with a dedicated streamer; ND5XS2 or NDX2.

Correct, sorry i was speaking generally. meant the line from dac to speakers.

hello, i dont just want to use it as a source. Maybe from time to time to play with it but other than that it will be solo. the fun of audio gear!

for the ND5xs2, why would that be a better source than the nova?


Hello i just wanted to follow up on this question. Thanks!

We have an ND5xs2, god Naim sort out your model names, into a medium/ high end olive system and it’s sublime.

yes i have heard they are great devices. A user stated above if i want to use it as a source i would be better off with the ND5xs2 over nova, i am just curious why that would be.


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I suppose for the same reasons as in every step up the Naim ladder: Separation between components, better parts, additional effort everywhere.

Ah ok, thats fair. thanks.

As long as you don’t ask why the Statement is supposed to be better than the Nova :wink:
In case of the ND5xs2, the big difference vs the Nova is that it does not have to house a whole amp and can focus on streaming. So even if the streaming platform is the same (which is the case up to the ND555), the sensitive preamp is away from the streamer and the streamer is away from the power amp

ok interesting. I have heard the ND5xs2 sounds alot better but they seem to have the same dacs. Must be more to it than that. I have and like the Nova, still on my 60 day return period. And im KINDA thinking of returning and getting the nd5xs2 and the nait or Snait. Im in the FOMO of, what am i missing out on for a little bit more.

Sorry again im all very new to this and Naim.