Planning my next move from Spendor D7 and Uniti Nova

Hi everyone,

I would love some opinions on what to do next and how to achieve the type of sound im after. This is my first post, so i’m new to all this!

I’ve owned my Uniti Nova and Spendor D7’s (not 7.2) for about 2.5 years now. I think i sort of jumped into the system without really analysing what i wanted. I’ve come to the realisation that i like the sound, but don’t love it and actually find the sound after awhile hard work – almost too sharp, however i really like the bass! So my questions are:

– Are Spendor D7 and Uniti Nova just not a good pairing?
– Would changing speakers be the way to go – is it just the character of the speakers i’m finding hard to live with?
– Would Spendor Classic line be more relaxed? (and on that note would the Nova drive Classic 100’s?)
– Is it the Nova that’s the issue ? Ive read it can be quite a ‘dry’ sound?
– Or is it my room, and in fact the pairing is a complementary match.

I know ultimealty its my ear, but what im feeling is that i’m just not that absorbed by what in hearing and it can get a bit fatiguing.

Any help or steer would be greatly appreciated

You probably need a better source and amplifier thank the Nova, D7s can be a bit revealing. This could get expensive though :astonished:

If you have a dealer nearby it might be better to listen to a more balanced system and see where you go from there.

I had the D7.2 and never could get along with them in my room. Extremely detailed, but they never grabbed me. This was with Accuphase and Line Magnetic amplification and Lumin/rega sources. I’ve heard the D7 can be a bit brighter still than the D7.2.

That said, those speakers would do better with a SN3 I’d imagine. Not a bad place to look first. See if you can do an at home demo.

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I used D7s for several years when I upgraded my Olive system in 2015 and preferring them over PMC speakers.

The system was NDX/xpsdr,252,Supercap dr and 250dr in my room and set up they were excellent. I upgraded the 250dr to a 300dr and then a ND555 and 555ps replaced the NDX the D7s were absolutely superb with these upgrades.

I had to spend an awful lot of money to significantly better them.

I would try them with some better electronics.

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I have Spendor D7.2 with a higher level system and am a big fan.

One thing to consider before you give up or make other changes is speaker positioning. I found that less toe-in (so listening is off axis for treble) helpful in achieving a more balanced and to my taste balanced sound.

Excellent point. :slightly_smiling_face:

I think you probably have a classic case of poor synergy. I had a Nova paired with Spendor A7’s and it did my head in after a few months, I upgraded the Nova to a SN3 & NDX2 and this improved things quite a bit. I never really got on with the Nova but I suspect that was largely due to the speaker synergy. After a good while with that combo I was still unhappy and changed the A7’s to Classic 3.1’s and thats where I am now. I much prefer the presentation and although still very detailed the Classics are an easy listen and I’m enjoying them a lot. I found the Nova a bit harsh and this was accentuated by the A7’s. I think your options are to keep the Nova and select speakers that work well with it (not too revealing) and give you the sound you like or sell the Nova and do a serious upgrade to separates which should be a minimum of SN3 and NDX2 but with the D7’s I suspect a 250 and 282 would be more appropriate. The original D7’s had a reputation for being a tad hot in the upper registers so this is probably contributing to your woes. I think the Classic 100’s would be overstepping the mark - lovely speakers but again would benefit from a better source. Dont under estimate the 3.1’s, although a smaller bookshelf model they are remarkably good and took me by surprise.

Thanks everyone – I was actually thinking in demoing the SN3 – i just became so attached to the convenience of the Nova!

So the Nova isn’t as ‘warm’ or whatever the terminology is, as the SN3? Is the Nova just not up to it? I was in all fairness more considering changing the speakers, so it is interesting that it could be the amp.

Great point about the positioning, ill experiment.

Not sure what i getting myself into with all this!

Amazing thanks so much – its interesting my observations and concerns are indeed shared, thought i might just be going crazy. All is becoming clear.

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Unless you want to go down the inevitable expensive rabbit hole (and it will be expensive especially the way prices are going) you might be better off keeping the Nova and home auditioning a range of appropriate speakers.

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FWIW - after reading through the thread, my question for you is what was your goal when you bought the Nova and D7’s a couple of years ago. A good system within a budget or something to build on? .Was the goal to keep it tidy all-in-one with speakers?

I ask because when I started it was with a ND5XS Streamer and Nait XS 2 and ProAc D2’s and was quite happy. Then I wanted improve the sound and over time upgraded the streamer twice and then added a PowerSupply. I upgraded the integrated amp to a SN 2. Then added a power supply for the integrated amp. Then a couple of speaker upgrades. Eventually added a 282 preamp to the SN 2 and then traded the SN2 for the 250 DR. …and for the moment I am quite happy! (…and since I am retired I am pretty darn sure my final upgrade has occurred! …ha ha…)

Lots of directions you can head in but the first decision might be is what do you want the final configuration to look like if you head down an upgrade path.

If it is to keep the Nova and swap out speakers than that should be fairly easy. Go to some dealers and hear demo’s with Nova. Find something(s) you like and then home demo to see if it meets your expectations.

If it is to swap out the Nova then you looking at adding a lot of pieces to the equation which then include additional rack requirements, cables, etc. This adds up to a much higher price then a lovely all-in-one and set of speakers.

Not really an answer just some free thoughts flowing through my head…

Good luck with your journey, discoveries and final decision!

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I had the D7 for a while, run with 252/250DR. I wouldn’t say they were too bright, exactly, but the tweeter stuck out like a sore thumb–not well integrated with the other drivers. Evidently the 7.2 has a different tweeter implementation, but I’ve no experience there.

Hi Raddy

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with either the Nova (it’s not harsh) or the D7s. (Amazingly revealing speakers when matched with a suitable amp).

You could switch out either the speakers or the Nova and find yourself with a much, much better sounding and enjoyable system.

IMHO the D7s are underpowered with a Nova and have too much going on in the treble. I’d swap them for something less demanding and warmer. I’m sure people here could suggest some better suited floor standing speakers for a Nova.

I don’t know how you came to choosing this combination but when you’re spending this sort of money you really need to listen to a few options at a dealers and then try the combination that you most enjoyed at home.
It’s so useful listening to a few different speakers so you can hear how they differ in character.

Talk to your local dealer - or find a different one if you feel they were too quick to take your money over making sure you are 100% happy.

I remember buying my first hifi system 30 years ago. Arcam amp & CD player and Mission speakers. It looked gorgeous but after months of trying to get used to it, it was ultimately an unsatisfying listen. I then tried to ‘fix it’ throwing money at it by buying higher spec amps and CD players chasing a sound neither were ever capable of producing. Life’s too short to be listening to a system that induces a niggling feeling that the sound just isn’t doing it for you.

Balance and synergy.

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I think if I were in your shoes and getting many comments about the speakers being better suited to an upgraded frontend, then whatever the logic (as sound as that may be), I would not be downgrading the speakers. Yes I will probably get told that the suggestions are not downgrading, but a better match, however in “my mind” I’d be saying downgraded. So, I think you next move has to be to try and demo a better suited frontend and see what your speakers really can do. Even if you can’t afford that upgrade now, you have a plan for the future.

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Hi Raddy
I’ve had the D7s matched to the classic series and they were very good. I also have a Nova which I found quite unrewarding initially - same problem in matching speakers. I found the Nova a more ‘digital’ sound which when matched with the D7’s level of transparency… it just threw warmth astray. The solution ( much cheaper than a system change ) was changing my speaker cables and putting in a power line - neither from Naim but it worked after trial and error. Worth a go as the cables and a power line can be trialled from a decent dealer. I suggest you explain your experience to the dealer and see if they can recommend a blend - or better still, consider taking the D7’s to the dealer and link it to a Nova then play around with options.
Good luck.

Could I ask what power cable and speakers cable You settled with?

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I swapped higher end separates (Audio Research, Naim CD player) for the simplicity of a Nova and Core. I finally decided to sell my Quad 63’s and listened to a lot of speakers. Finally, I chose Harbeth HL5 XD for my musical tastes (jazz, chamber music,

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Sure - assuming the rules allow it to be commented on.
For unbiased feedback… I use the Super Lumina (full loom) with my main system but I found the cost unworthy for the Nova so I used a pair of older Nordost power cables - the Blue Heaven and the Red Dawn. Although the latter was the more revealing I preferred the punch of the Blue and settled with that as a more cost effective solution. I then linked up with Inakustic Referenz ( use the z version) LS1604 speaker cables which also seem to settle things down and are described as neutral but retain a good bass.

There is a dilemnma with Nova’s for some of us though. I remain a bit disappointed with it’s warmth and delivery but I think matching it is the key. I’m now of a view a better decision is to buy the Supernait and NDX2 because they match a greater variety of speakers and offer a superior sound. My own Nova set up is currently with a pair of outstanding KEF Ref1 bookshelves ( hardly that size mind you ) and I’m juggling the same issue as Raddy in the first post. I’m going to take the Kefs to me dealer and trial them with the above to see if the issue is resolved.
Plan (B) is a less detailed speaker/ perhaps B&W 805D4’s …wonder whether anyone has a view on B&W with Naim?

A lot of us found years ago that B&W and Naim was not a good mix for our rooms ( too beaming on axis, too tiring when turned up) and so avoided the combination for a long time. This was probably a bit unfair, as long as the pairing and cables were sensible but others worked better.

I don’t know when that changed exactly, but my 804 D3s out-auditioned Neat and PMC on my room and works wonderfully with olive-era amplification. Others swear by the 805s on stands, as long as they have space - the whole series seem to need at least 60cm (preferably 80cm) sideways and behind.

As always, if you fancy them, try them in your own home and see what your own ears think.

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I have a Nova and P3ESR _ which are sometimes reputed to be the hardest Harbeths to drive .

I embarked on a programme of downsizing and ended up with a Nova , to be blunt it was good - but it reached superb levels of clarity and sweetness when I added a Powerline and about six weeks ago Witch Hat Phantom speaker chord - and now I am very, very happy

I do read the odd comment about the Nova and I have trouble equating it with the machine I’ve got (and I’ve been from stand alone Nait 2 to a five box system and down) - this is a very good combo.

The KEF reference may not been an ideal match for a Nova and I suspect a SN3 may be a more comfortable companion for these speakers

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