Nova or Supernait

My thoughts entirely (NDX2 first), I’m looking for one in stock which I’ll run with existing amp (s) then decide on either SN3 or pre/power.

Fantastic entry. You’ve totally answered my nagging question or worry. I have an Atom with a Nova supposed shipped this week. But in the wait here I’ve been mulling this exact question. And I will never get a turntable. I doubt I get a Cd player, my entire library was lost in a hurricane. So streaming, and no desire to board the upgrade carousel, I’m going to ride with your evaluation. Thank you for taking the time to write such a through essay.

Yes a sound choice and it’ll work quite nicey with a NAIT XS, the nice thing being you can then do a trade in on the XS and replace it with a Supernait or something more fancy as your appetite and wallet allows.
It’ll sit comfortably upto a 252/300 level and and with an external PS like an XPS DR can be refined further still with steps up in amplification capability.
As a footnote I tried a Super lumina DIN IC on the current SN3 + NDX2 setup and ended up back with a HiLine IC in the end. Factoring for powerlines for AC input and a suitable rack (Fraim an obvious choice) also help add polish and refinement as you go.


Sure, the speaker and power cables were Synergistic Research Atmosphere X. Witch Hat interconnects.

Doesn’t the Selekt also have Linn’s room correction software as well? I demo’d one when they first came out and can’t quite remember.

Yes it does, you enter in room dimensions and speaker type and it figures out the rest.
If it’s something complex you can get Linn involved as well.

I evaluated 3 specific products to replace my Arcam AVR (still have this and in use)

  • Uniti Nova
  • Anthem AVR
  • Selekt DSM

Nova was good in terms of space/power but lacked the AV features (I wanted to support 5.1 and Dolby decode)

Anthem was feature stacked but was big and ugly and had none of the 2 channel features I needed like Roon, Qobuz and so forth

Selekt DSM is compact and has a good display (monochrome OLED you can actually read from a distance) it can be configured in multiple ways from a preamp with XLR/RCA outputs to 5 channel integrated amp with HDMI switch and a multichannel processor daughter board, you can even seperately upgrade the DAC if you want to.

I took a bit of a chance on the DSM as often things that “do it all” tend to do some things well, other things not so good and occasionally a few things badly.
I’ve had it a while now, it started as a a 2 channel integrated and grew from there, I currently have it setup in my office and I’ve configured it as a 2 channel system temporarily, later it’ll go to the lounge and resume 5.1 duties but remain as a Roon endpoint also.
I’m happy with the choice of the 3 above, I recall at the time doing an A-B demo of it against both a Nova and a SN3 + NDX2 as I own that system and know what it can do. I demoed them all side by side and we switched speaker outputs to a pair of Kanta 2’s. The Nova does have a somewhat meatier and driven sound presentation, the DSM is very musical and fast and has an open wide soundstage, purely on 2 channel they’re close and both good but many may lean towards the Nova for it’s punch and drive.
I’m happy with the choice of the DSM having now owned it a while, the only negative overall is the cost to fully load it as I have, to set it up for 5.1 with integrated amps brings the cost past £10k but I’m happy with what it does without the setup mess of other options and the software and app experience, including Roon, is very good overall. Linnhave been helpful guiding me and answering questions along the way.
I use Linn K20 speaker cables for reference. Cheap and flexible and work well, used them on the Arcam also.


I had a Nova for a few months and thought it was very nice. I now have an SN3/ND5XS2 and can simply say the difference was astounding!


Thanks M, for the detailed capabilities of the Selekt DSM. I was pretty sure when I heard it that I would have enjoyed living with it easily. It was at a Linn dealer, and he piped it thru an Adcom amp for some reason, so it could have sounded even better. I still had my Linn Unidisk 1.1 Dynamik, at the time, and I was trying to figure out if streaming could sound as good.
A good deal came along on an SU, and it was quite good, but was certainly no Selekt DSM. But I stuck with Naim at that point, and the my NDS sounds wonderful.

So far, nothing has ever sounded as good as the Linn 1.1 tho, but it’s all close enough. Unfortunately the Linn was a doorstop waiting to happen, as they pulled the support for all their CDPs, so it had to go while I could still get something for it.
Considering what the Selekt can do, the amount of funds you have into it is a fairly good value.



I enjoy it alongside the SN3 + NDX2 which is 2 channel only and in a dedicated room.
It won’t be for everyone and you can almost certainly achieve a similar endgame for less cash once a Selekt is fully loaded, but in my case I wanted a high spec integrated that could also cope with 5.1 as well as all the usual streaming stuff and handle vinyl as required.
Given it can do all that in a single small box it won me over and I’ve enjoyed settling it in and using it in multiple configurations.


I auditioned the single box solutions but was disappointed. I then tried streamers with the SN3 and found the NDX2 gave a much superior performance than the other streamer even with modest speakers.


SN3 + NDX2 pair very favourably, can easily add vinyl to the mix as well as I have. I ponder tinkering with it inevitably on a fairly regular basis, then sit and listen to it for a few hours and realise it’s pretty damn good as it is!


Good findings indeed, I went to my local Naim dealer to discuss SN3 and NDX and he had on Demo a Luxman L509X which was (IMO) rather good, I shouldn’t ask this on a Naim forum but does anyone think a Naim pre/power combo (or indeed a SN3) would be comparable to the Lux?

Can’t comment on the Luxman from personal experience, trust your ears and be kind to your wallet whatever you choose!
For the same price as the Luxman you can get a new SN3 + NDX2 looking at the retail prices.


I’ve only heard the Luxman briefly, but it’s more of a Sugden A21/SE competitor than a SN3 competitor.

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So far, nothing has ever sounded as good as the Linn 1.1 tho, but it’s all close enough. Unfortunately the Linn was a doorstop waiting to happen, as they pulled the support for all their CDPs, so it had to go while I could still get something for it.
Considering what the Selekt can do, the amount of funds you have into it is a fairly good value.


Years ago, I read an article about Naim and their reliability, the upgrade path and the way they could service anything they had made (early nineties) shortly afterward I was burgled and my Arcam disappeared , I then listened to Linn and Naim as replacements.

Linn won the audition in sound terms but I preferred Naim as an ownership proposition - and Linn’s dropping of support for CDP is an example of why I still think I made the right choice.

Oh and back to original theme, I have had three generations of Naim products from Olive to Uniti Nova . The Nova drives my Harbeth P3ESR* well, but not loudly and I am happy with it.

I wanted to downsize the box count and via a circuitous route ended up with a Nova .

I would certainly expect a ND5XS2 plus SN to be better than a Nova but for it not to be night and day


  • not the easiest drive
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Good points, it was exactly this Niam combo I was comaring and to add a streamer to the Luxman I’d be at £13k minimum but I heard it with a chord DAC and a mac book and it did sound rather special but I haven’t actually heard the Naim combo with my speakers

If the Luxman is in your budget you could also look at a used or ex-dem 282/HCDR/250DR. That, with the NDX2, would be great with your speakers. But remember, you can spend more and more and get better and better. It has to stop somewhere so make sure you are comfortable with whatever to decide.


This is entering seriously tasty kit territory! and again a very good point, the main reasons for my interest in the luxman was just that really, a non upgadable one stop amp at a reasonable price that I couldn’t be tempted to add to or upgrade, also wanted a half decent phone stage as I listen to a lot of records

One of the hardest parts of these journeys is to know when to stop, listen and enjoy what you have at that particular point in time.
Whatever you have, there’s a comment in the making to tell you that you’ll need to spend an extra £10-20K to get to where you want to be. The nice side effect of the Naim portfolio is that it it is designed to be evolved over an extended period of time and has a product that performs very well at a very wide range of price points and system complexity levels.
Always think about the system as a whole when making individual product purchase decisions, that extends to the cabling, power supply from the mains and of course the room itself. There’s a lot of variables inevitably and sometimes, you find you prefer something that others may not enjoy with their ears in their systems.
The good thing about this community is that a lot of the members have been up and down the Naim portfolio ladder and can share views on what works well based on similar system conditions.
My personal view on this is to work on the basis of time, budget, space to work out what will suit you. Most of the ranges from XS through Classic and 500 are designed to be modular and allow adaption and evolution over time whether that’s by adding additional levels of separation by adding external power supplies or other optimisations to be found with cabling and rack.
There are accepted sweet spots in the portfolio, NAC 282 + NAP 250 + HiCap DR +NDX2 + XPS DR as a good example, or a Supernait 3 + NDX2 as another.


Very well put! These is the reasons I wanted originally to replace my other kit with Naim components, the Lux was just there when I went into my dealer (and I liked the VU meters lol)

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