Should I upgrade my naim star to a naim nova

I am no sure whether I should upgrade my Star to a Nova? I have a fairly small room with the Star running some Spendor speakers. I love the sound from it but would I enjoy the Nova more or save up and get Naim separates instead.

Where I live its not easy to demo anything any suggestions on a company lending out players to try at home?

Thank you in advance

That’s an impossible question, like saying I’m wearing red socks and would I be happier with blue. On paper the Nova is better. On paper separates are better. But would you enjoy them more? Only you can know that. More power may be useful, depending on which speakers you have.

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I certainly realise it wasn’t an easy question. I have Spendor d7s. Would they be better with that extra drive?

That’s useful to know. I’d say that with those speakers an NDX2 with Supernait 3 would be a good match, with an NDX2, 282 and 250 being better. Whether a Nova is enough of a leap I’m not sure.

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Thank you hungryhalibut that was my gut feeling too.

I guess what you do depends on your budget. Have you considered pairing the star with a naim power amp?

I have thought about the NAP200DR or the NAP250DR although wouldn’t connecting the star to these need a specially made cable?

Ultimately if you replace your Star with either a NAIT + ND or Pre/Power + ND the performance level of the system overall will be higher but then you should also factor for not just the cost of that approach but the space, rack requirements, cabling and room layout overheads vs a Uniti type setup.
If you have the appetite to expand your system options your main constaints are budget and space.

With the D7’s I’d forget the Nova, it won’t be a significant enough step up from the Star, the D7’s don’t take any prisoners. The idea of adding a 250dr to the Star is an interesting one as it could also provide a stepping stone to further separates but give you a lot more drive and control in the meantime, you might even stay there. When I got my SN3 first whilst waiting on the NDX2 I drove it with my Nova and it was impressive and I often wondered what it would have been like with a 250. You could also hide the amp away and still have the Star centre stage on its own

Very interesting thanks

I understand that but using the star and the nap250dr would that give a similar result to the ndx2 and supernait3?

I think it depends on what your longer term plans are. The nice thing with the Naim product ladder is you can evolve a system incrementally but whilst you can add things like power amps to certain products such as Uniti and NAIT’s, ultimately what you end up with isn’t neccessarily an optimal setup, if however you want an intermediate step towards a pre/power system then this can mean you keep your system functional whilst you evolve it.
I’d be inclined to say that if you want to evolve to a more capable and higher performance system then choose one of two routes, either a 2 to 4 box NAIT based system or a pre/power based setup, ideally with an entry point of a 202/200 or if budget allows a 282/250 both will give you the basis to fine tune towards a very capable system.
I’ve evolved and owned both NAIT based systems as well as a 202/200 system and enjoyed all that I found but in different ways and with different results, ultimately I’ve settled on a Supernait 3 based setup, currently at 2 boxes with an NDX2 and with the aim of ending up with a 4 box system when I add back in a HiCap DR (recently sold mine as part of a trade in to get the NDX2) and a XPS for the NDX2.
I found it helps to work out not just what you want to do next but where you anticipate your system going over say the next 5 years and as budget/space permit.

Very informative thank you. I think id like to go down your route. I will look into it. Perhaps I will get the 250 to go with star for now then upgrade the star later?

Nothing wrong with adding a NAP to a Star
but bare in mind that this should be a step towards you adding a suitable NAC preamp to marry with the NAP, ideally if you’re going towards a multiple box pre/power based system then consider the overall cost of adding a NAC282 + HiCap DR at least in addition to well matched cabling like Powerline and Hi-Line as well as a decent rack, a Fraim is an obvious choice here.
It’s definately worth considering the system as a whole including cabling and racking, from mains to speakers essentially.
I’ve gone through all the steps from a basic NAIT on an Ikea cupboard with cheap speakers to a more refined and optimised system. I have a full Fraim rack, powerline mains cables and a Hi-Line interconnect between the NDX2 and the Supernait 3. All of these things can and will make a differencw to your system and your level of enjoyment from it.
Do also consider that the more refined your system becomes the more particular you’ll need to be with setup and cabling. I’d say the Uniti and NAIT’s are quite tollerant of setup and placement including cabling and speakers to an extent. Once you get to a system at 282/250 and above you’ll need a more critical approach to setup and system balance especially concerning cable dressing and racking for example. All things to reflect upon as you plan ahead for a move away from the relative ease and simplicity of a Uniti based setup.
I think in part it’s why I ended up with a focus on the SN3 + NDX2 as I felt it gave a good 80/85% of the potential of a pre/power based system without the faff or fussiness of setup or law of diminishing returns taking effect.
The risk also you face once you get a taste of the performance further up the ladder is to push it further and that quickly gets very expensive if overwhelmingly rewarding :slight_smile:

I think having the Star already you’d find the Nova to be a small upgrade for modern music but a big upgrade on older recordings. Adding a 250DR though (don’t bother with a 200) will give you a similar grip on older recordings and a better upgrade path later on. You would need a custom cable, i made my own from a pair of Chord Chameleon XLR cables as I actually did something similar, i started with a Nova and added a 300DR.

There’s no way i will go down a pre-amp + stand alone streamer route as i just don’t need any more inputs, a pre amp is a box I don’t want or need. I am awaiting whatever replaces the 272, i just need a modern streamer with a built in pre-amp output. Or is that a Nova-2 with no integrated amp and maybe an off-board power supply capability. Whatever they call it i will get one if its ever made.

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Hi Pipdan

So have you still got the nova and the 300dr? What speakers are you driving with that setup?

Kind regards


Yes still have the Nova/300DR. Got 2 actually. One is driving Dynaudio Special 40s, these were a bit bright before the 300DR but now really shine. The other had some PMC 24s on it but recently moved to Fact 12s. Both the 24s and Fact 12s work really well, I think a lot of it is to do with the extra power and transient capability of the 300DR.

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