Slightly romantic speakers for Naim Nova

Thank You Mike_S! Currently, my perception is that Nova produces really dry music, it’s energetic, has proper balance, but it’s a sad and almost bitter sound to me. Takes all the magic out and leaves the barebones on some tracks.

It is the first time I have heard of the Nova in these terms. everything you say seems very strange to me. I can tell you from experience that the nova must always be left on, 24 hours a day. This results in a real and dramatic improvement in the sound, trust me. Plus try making some tweaks to the cables or speaker placement.
But I think it’s a speaker problem. Focal loudspeakers are very good in some parametres but for my tastes sound a little too bright and not very articulated in the low frequencies. I discarded them at first listen. Too analytical for my tastes and I turned to Neat Acoustics, more natural and musical.

I’d expect/hope, that burn-in would address that - it certainly did with mine. I found adding a Powerline added quite a bit more solidity in the lower end, so that might be another consideration.

Also, what speaker cable are you using?

I made a small drawing. My Nova played for some time already, and indeed did smooth a bit, but I still did not find my match. I auditioned it with Dynaudio Evoke 50 in a listening room - (it did sound correct with closed bass reflex ports not terribly bassy, super spacious and deep, almost great, lagged reverb sounds a bit, kind of lost subtleties and air, was not exactly exciting too), Spender D7.2 (it did have more of those missing informations and air but did sound super harsh, metalic and grainy in the upper parts, while lower parts were recessed). Those both speakers just showed what I do consider weak spots of Nova, lack of subtleties in the air, and a hardness, graininess in upper mids lower treble and not super precise bass. Sonus Faber are out of the question for my wife unfortunately… due to the looks.

I start to wonder if I am not expecting too much from all in one,… but its an expensive box. This is my room.

I did listen to Focal’s K2 with QED - rather cheep model , and Dynaudio Evoke 50 / Spendor D7.2 with something at the store - no clue what it was. Also , I read that power cable might ( ? odd to me still ) change the sound a bit, but no clue what was the power cable. You think its possible to bring reverbs to the fore with just cable?

Have a Nova - and I would suggest you do nothing until it has been playing for a few months,

I have Harbeth P3ESR, Witch Hat Phantom plus a Powerline and it sounds good to me , incredibly delicate - though I think it is the combo of speakers, amp etc but especially Powerline that achieves this

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Ian2001 thank You!

…the power line, what do You mean? A cable from Naim? A power Cable? or some electric stabiliser that should be used along the way? Or say, IFI supernova power cable ? Does it smooth the sound? how does it work really? The thing is currently I have no speakers to use apart from SUPER poor Tanoy, and need to buy some speakers. The decision is somehow related to the Amp decision…

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Clearly the Nova sounded right when you auditioned it, so the question is what is different - if thecsame speakers as the audition then it’s the room, if not then speakers and/or the room. Personally I wouldn’t get into tweakery with cables, or hoping that I’d get used to it and like it with time aka burn-in), but instead look to those differences from when you auditioned.

With speakers you really have to audition, with the same system, and really that means at home unless you have speakers you know well that you can take for comparison, at home can be the final confirmation rather than trying to audition all options at home. That means going and listening to a variety of speakers, taking your Nova if the dealer/seller doesn’t stock it, and spending the time - suggestions on here can help direct options, but speakers all have very different characters and what one person loves another could find unlistenable. To maximise buying power you can buy secondhand or ex-dem speakers, but auditioning may not be so easy.

Then the room- your room is a decent size, however layout is not optimal. It is much better to have left and right as symmetrical as possible. Do you have carpets, curtains and lots of soft furnishings, or all hard surfaces - they can make a huge difference, as can different speaker and listening positions. Have a play with different layouts - it costs nothing other than time. (And you can use software to assist assessing - if interested search the forum for REW.)

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Hi qba3d, firstly you have bought a very good product (and expensive)

I suspect that you are not resident in the UK ? The Powerline is a high performance power cord that improves the quality/ and quantity of electric current reaching the Nova, it isn’t available in all markets. It will improve the overall sound quality for all aspects

If it isn’t available where you live don’t worry.

There is something seriously wrong if it sounds “sad and almost bitter” some speaker cable reacts “badly” to Naim others very well , so while my first bit of advice is the same as before, let the machine bed in. Hifi like the Nova takes a few months to sound at it’s best -( so please don’t worry.)

I am a little concerned that you have speaker cables that maybe impeding the performance of the Nova .

I ran Chord Shawline with my Nova and they were very good , what cables are you using ?

best wishes



My wife loves the look of my SF Nova 2s.
She wasnt over keen on the price mind you.
I had the 1s on demo as well.
Compared to PMC and Focal, they are certainly ‘smoother’. I am very happy with them.


If you got the Nova a little more than a month ago as the first post suggests, it’ll will probably need more time to fully come ‘on song’. Do you leave it on 24/7?

As mentioned by IB, the position of the speakers is very asymmetrical. The speaker-room response from the right speaker, close in the corner, will be very different from the left. It’s very difficult - I’m inclined to say impossible - to achieve a balanced sound this way.

I would not add a fancy power cord or speaker cables at his stage. I’d suggest to get the basics right first, before adding more variables. The positioning and finding speakers to your liking. Better cables can be the icing on the cake. Too bad Sonus Fabers are out of the question as they would be my first suggestion too.

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You guys are amazing, thank You so much for all the input!! I think I will try to get a Sinus Faber Sonetto V ( within the budget range ) home to see how that works. If not, I will have Spender A7 ( I am afraid of sharpness that is tiering, as some users on this forum mentioned when used with Nova ) , or Dynaudio Evoke - not bad - but will have to find a cable to make them slightly brighter and maybe - if possible - bring some reverb air forward just a tiny bit - maybe some cable with a hint of silver? Do You know any Naim “compatibile” cable that could do that and would not cost a fortune? I need to buy some cable anyway…

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The standard Naim speaker cable is called NACA5 and should be a min8mum of 3.5m in length each side.

All Naim dealers will have this cable and it is recommended with Naim amplifiers.

Biggest uplift I made when I had my Nova was upgrading some average Chord cables to Tellurium Black 2.
I was shocked.

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Welcome to the Nova club!

I have mine paired with Kanta 3 however, the Kanta 1s sound awesome!

That’s an awful lot of speaker for the Nova and they are very close together. Are you able to get them 2M apart and away from the walls?

I tried to look through the posts but can’t see if you mentioned which speaker cable you are using?

With whole honesty I only used some QED cheap cables so far, so regardless of the decision I need to buy a proper cable to start with. My current situation is that I need to find speakers and cables anyway.

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If you are going to have Naim equipment you should definitely purchase some NAC A5 just to have around as a reference for what it is intended to sound like. It is possible that it could solve your issues. Then again it might not.

Currently I have some qed cables on my atom and everything sounds good to me but I’m replacing them with 4m witch hat phantom cables partially because I’ve found I need longer cables but also I want the reassurance of cables I know meet naims spec. Will be interesting to see if I hear a noticeable difference.