Nova ….. what speakers can it handle?

I would like to upgrade my speakers in the near future so I’m hoping to call on the wisdom and actual experience of the forum members.
Currently as the title says I have a Nova driving Kudos X2’s which are great little speakers.
I’m drawn to PMC as my first foray into hifi was with a Nait3 and Rega Ela’s a lot of years ago, was a great match and I feel the transmission line design is worth pursuing again.
I will discount ported designs as they will be positioned reasonably close to a rear wall and one towards a corner which will lead to poor bass response.
It’s also worth saying that, in common with a few other members, my hearing is slightly impaired in my left ear meaning I use a hearing aid for optimum listening although this is not essential. I know HH has found synergy with his PMC 21i’s and possibly the more forward presentation helps with detail, but this is just thinking out loud.
How good a pair of speakers can the Nova cope with? I know there is a huge variety with some quite esoteric and expensive speakers used and also some more modest options.
Nova owners past and present…. Let me know your thoughts and experience.
For reference my room is 26’ x 13’ and speakers fire across the narrow width. Cable is old NAC A5 but am considering a change to Kudos KS-1.
I prefer floorstanders but am not averse to standmounts. I’m likely to buy used and my current thoughts are for PMC 25.23 with or without an ‘i’ or 25.24 if theses are not ‘too big’ for my room.
Thanks in advance.

I’ve tried a number of different speakers with my Nova. Rather that quality/cost I think synergy is important. This is going to vary depending on your room and preference so it just has to be tried.

Hi @Arnsider as recommended above, it would be very helpful to audition a few speakers at home. PMC 25.21 and 22 (with or without the i), Neat Iota Alpha and ATC SCM11 would be my recommendations.

I’m using my Nova with either Naits Motive SX3 or Spendors A2 and I have to say I do prefer smaller, cheaper option…

1 Like

I ran my Nova into Naim’s S400s and I always thought they were a bit of a challenge for the Ovators.
The Nova has been moved and now drives Spendor SA1s very well.
IMHO avoid being too ambitious with speakers, as others have said, unless you can have a home demo.
Nova is a great all in one - adding a NAP IME, just unbalances things.
Consider adding a Spendor model to your list of possibles. Great speakers and work well with Naim, stocked by several Naim dealers.

i use ATC scm11 with mine

1 Like

I’d suggest it’s not about what it can ‘handle’ but more about finding a good match, for the Nova, the room and your tastes. While the snobs could clearly drive ProAc Tablette 10 Signatures, the sound had so little bass that I couldn’t live with it, whereas they were fine with a Supernait 3.

As you have realised, I’m very happy with my little PMCs, and get a good room filling sound. My room is 12’ wide and 15’ long, with the speakers on the longer wall. As your room is about 50% larger, the 23 or 24 may be a better match. The room has such an influence, so a good home dem is really important. Make sure the dem pair are well run in, as new speakers can sound quite different.


Depends on your budget and room. I’ve heard the Nova driving the Titan 505s and 606s and it was truly excellent. Indeed at the 2019 Bristol show the Nova/505 was said to be one of the best of the show. Equally the Sopra 1s. The world is your oyster.

Thanks everyone for the initial replies and, as expected, a good number of suggestions already.

Also maybe the title was not worded the best, synergy in my room is of course the goal not ‘how big or expensive’!

Anyone heard the new PMC prodigy 5’s?
I’m not totally fixed on PMC’s but they do appeal. I suppose I’ve only heard a limited number of brands so suggestions are all welcome. Please bear in mind I prefer to buy used so am not totally sure on how much auditioning will be possible…

Also another thread mentioned a the difference in sensitivities of the PMC 23 being quite low in comparison to the 22 and 24 models. I’m not sure how much difference this would make in the real world however.

I have successfully used a Nova with PMC Twenty5 23/23i and Twenty5 26/26i speakers. It is just a personal choice of preference and how much money you wish to spend. :blush:

Ran mine with 804D3s before upgrading to a SN3 with them. The SN3 did more with them but the Nova drove them just fine. I’ve kept the Nova and have LS50s which is a nice setup for my office. Upgraditis struck for the main system in the meantime.

Hi i’m running my nova with Kudos X3’s, very happy with my setup

Different tastes, ears and rooms…

I have 804D3s. To me, a 250 was enough to power them, but neither Atom nor Nova (from different systems/ houses) was really ideal. A 300DR does an audibly better job than the 250 with my 804s

To me, those B&W speakers need a good deal more grip than Shahinian Compasses, Neat iota Alphas, Linn Keilidhs or even Neat Xplorers (all of which we still use on one system or another).

Of those excellent speakers, the Neats are the easiest to accommodate in some ways, but they do want 20cm+ free behind them for the iota Alphas and a bit more for the Xplorers.

1 Like

Indeed Nick. I demoed the 804s at the time I bought the Nova with a 250 and a 300 too. I also demoed 805s and a variety of other speakers. I bought the 804s because I really didn’t care for the stand mount look and because of the upgrade path. I moved to SN3 because it was a very clear step and the changes to 300 were smaller. The mistake I made was to demo 552/500 and 800D3s. It took me a while to rationalise it but that delta made me skip a few steps and go to there when a combination of second hand and an ex demo pair of 801D4s came up. Still love the Nova and am happy with the LS50s with it too. I just try not to go too directly between it and the 500 system!


I love my Nova and the Dynaudio Special Forty, I suggest not to use speakers more expensive than the Nova itself.


Thanks for all the replies and suggestions, it gives me lots of food for thought.
Obviously there is a sensible limit for a simple Nova including budget

1 Like

Special Forty are great because they live their lives a bit. They sound noble, but they are not very detailed, so they do not expose Nova’s weaknesses so much. All that remains is the pleasure of listening to music. I found an interesting comparison of Special Forty vs Heritage Special (link), which reflects the nature of their sound. If you like the sound of the S40, I recommend trying them with Nova. At the same time, I recommend cables that will darken and thicken the presentation a bit - I use mine with TQ Black 2 (speaker/power). It sounds so good that I resisted the dealer’s demo on the NDX2/282/250 with HS. After watching the above video, I think I know why…

1 Like

Not quite the same I know but I use a pair of PMC 20.23’s with a SuperUniti for music and AV, sound pretty good to me.

1 Like

Every 3dB less, makes for a doubling in power requirements.
25.21 are almost twice as hard to drive than 25.22. Same goes for 25.23 vs 25.24.

Having had the 25.23, I went from 250DR (meh) to 300DR (better but still…) to Cyrus X300 Sigs (300W in 8ohms) to make them sing. If 500DR (Cyrus and PMC don’t gel that well) is required for 25.21/25.23 to reach their full potential, I think we’d be better served by changing the speakers. So I went for the Dynaudio Heritage, sold the 300DR and kept the Cyrus monos.

Back to the OP’s original question, Nova is a sensational system in its own right, provided it’s paired with sensitive speakers, say 8ohms, 90dB. Lots of Proac, Spendor and Focals fit the bill.

1 Like

It’s interesting to read that, as I find the Nova superb with my PMC twenty5.21i. With the much easier ProAc Tablette 10 Signatures there was a thin sound that was simply too bass light, and I’m far from a basshead. Speaker matching with the Nova is important, but it’s not just about efficiency and other specs.