Nova upgrade

I am thinking of upgrading my nova with a 250dr. Would that be feasible or would I need to a 300dr for a noticeable difference.

Adding a 250 to a Nova makes complete sense as a staged upgrade to say a 272/250 or 222/250, but not as a long term system. The Nova is outclassed by the 250. I sold a 250 a few years back and the buyer, who added it to a Nova, told me it made little difference. They later moved from Nova to NDX2 and 282, giving a nicely balanced system. The Nova is very good, the important thing is to match it with the right speakers.


My speakers are Sonus Faber Sonetti viii

@Progman you have now opened two threads on the same subject - perhaps time to ask our moderator @Richard.Dane to merge the two and then assign it to the appropriate room perhaps?

1 Like

This is also similar as my thread Atom HE + which power amp, so I suggest that it should be only one straight thread with Naim unity devices connected to power output, amplifiers….

In the meantime, can I echo HH’s summary?

The Atom and Nova are well- balanced systems, with the latter a good deal better than the former.

ND5XS2 plus SN3 is a well balanced system, and a good deal better than a Nova.

ND5XS2 also works with 82 (or 282) plus Hicap plus 250 to make an appreciably better system, and using NDX2 instead of ND5XS2 makes it even better.

Adding amplification from those latter systems to a Nova or an Atom makes good sense as a temporary stop on the upgrade path, but as a permanent choice it won’t represent good VFM.

And is there one audiofile in the world that has ever said that pursuit has stopped or that ‘value for money’ has been achieved?

I am thinking of adding a power amp to my nova. Would a 250dr be beneficial or would I need to go for a 300dr?

Probably best to ask this in the hifi section, but guess it depends on your speakers but I suspect the 300 would show the nova’s shortcomings

@Progman your question will get mixed opinions.
IMHO long time owner of Nova and recently tried a spare 250DR, as @Hifi-dog has already commented a separate NAP will (and does) show up the weakness of the Nova. Nova as a stand alone is excellent at what it does, but imho adding a NAP moves away from source first. The addition adds not a lot, for a lot of cost!
Best idea is to work with a dealer for a demo - like all these things listening rather than “thinking” is the best way forward, ymmv.


If you are only adding a power amp and not intending to upgrade the streamer pre-part of the Nova a 250DR will be more than adequate. In fact the Nova pre/streamer will be the limiting aspect.

1 Like

So what would you suggest for the pre amp

NDX2/Supernait would be a great upgrade from a Nova, and would give you a source good enough to hold its own if you choose to upgrade your amp further in future.

1 Like

I think that depends on one whether you want a multi-box system or just a two or three-box system. I currently have a 250DR fronted by a Star currently. I got the 250DR as part of an upgrade plan, taking advantage of good Covid lockdown ex-dem bargains. I have a 222 with an NPX300 power supply on order so end up with 3 box system, hoping the kit arrives next week. For this money, I probably could possibly have got a 282 and NDX2 with a power supply for the pre but I do not want so many boxes.

I have a Nova and I recently upgraded it with a NC250. I also listened to a Nova with a 250DR.

I think both represent a good upgrade path. Some comments above suggest it’s maybe not a great destination (balancing of components etc.) but maybe that’s the nature of a path - you’re on your way somewhere else - but to my ears the Nova plus 250 (either variant great, but very different) is a really great place along the way and an instant and sizeable upgrade.

Incidentally, I bought the Nova in the first place because it was a complete and great system with no obvious upgrade routes (ie. to stop me falling down this rabbit hole). Oh well.

1 Like

I found adding a 250 dr to a Nova did benefit my PMC 25.26 speakers giving better grip and control. I then added a 300 dr which was even better, then fell down the hifi rabbit burrow…….beware you have been warned.

1 Like

When my NDX2 was away for a relay fix, I ran my Star into a 252/250 and it sounded pretty good, and quite a bit better than the Star on it’s own. Off course, the NDX2/555/252/250 was well ahead again. So, I think a Nova/250 is fine, but I’d tend to add a 250 as a stepping stone to a pre/streamer set up. A good option though for power hungry speakers, as @Gazza alluded to above.


Especially if your rabbit is a pooka called Harvey.

You can get a pre loved :smiley: 250DR at a good price now. Another option is to go for an NC250 which will give a future proofed (well ten plus years) beautiful amp with upgrade options such as NSC222 or whatever comes later.


I find these arguments/suggestions quite confusing. In my thread about upgrading Naim uniti device, many people have augumented that I should replace my Naim uniti with better preamp/ and not waste time to upgrade beacause at one point in life I will not be satisfied. Then here again with NAP XYZ amps. And then again comments that these Uniti devices do not have enough purity for NAP amps.