Speakers or amp.?

Hi all ,
I currently have a nova with bowers 805 d3s .
Finding lack warmth and bass at lower volumes . Any ideas welcome . Have tried positioning . I’m thinking may be the front port or is Nova not powerful enough. Although I found the 706 to be ok in this area .

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At the beginning of the year I was looking for new speakers for my Nova and decided I wanted a pair that would last subsequent upgrades when I was ready to move the Nova on. I listened the the 805 D3’s at the time and felt the same as you, everything was a bit too forward for my liking, despite being a B&W man for over 20 years. I am now throughly enjoying the Nova and I think that you will be able to get a high level of performance more attuned to what you are after by changing speakers.

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I’m not sure of the answer , but I would say that changing speakers is (usually) the easiest way to get a very different sound. One of the most difficult things to do when demoing speakers is to really listen to them at the volume that you mostly use. Dealers like to turn up the sound- just as tv’s are demoed with color turned way up. Just as no speaker is ideal and can do everything - some speakers work better than others at low volumes ,others loud is best. Most of my listening is done at low levels 8 to 9 o’clock on 282/250 and the harbeth 30.1 works well.

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I have a nova pushing contour 30s have amazing bass, just an incredible pairing. And nova pushes them with ease!

b&w aren’t exactly warm sounding in my experience so entirely possible there’s nothing wrong other than they aren’t your cup of tea.

The other side is that the 805 d3 is a fairly capable speaker. Price-wise, it seems a good match for a Nova but I suspect it is often paired with higher end sources and amps.

Can you get your dealer to listen and see if there is a setup problem? If they think it sounds like it should, that tells you, you aren’t a B&W person.

I’ve driven supposedly inefficient speakers with on paper low powered Naim amps like the Unitiqute 2 and Uniti Mk 1 both with excellent results.
I’d go for a speaker change that suit both your ears and your room and will improve each time you upgrade.

I have the CM5 S2’s at my TV, they are the predecessor of the 706s. Beware they are rear ported which can cause positioning issues. Yes, they do loads of bass, but the quality of it is a different thing.

Maybe an odd idea, but have you thought about the non-diamond 805’s?

Hi thanks for your reply, can I ask what speakers you moved too please

Hi, I ended up with Marten Duke 2, more than I had planned to spend, but used ‘man maths’ to convince my self it was a good deal. Now any upgrade path will be on the source/amp side, but right now I enjoy the combination immensely. (More info on the Marten speaker thread)

How long have you had your Nova? I read somewhere that they take up to a year to come on song.


Oh my days , a year ?

Mine didn’t take a year, but it definitely takes time to settle down. Today it’s sounding better than ever, but I’ve carried out other tweaks along the way and the cumulative effect is very satisfying. Also I found that it was cyclic, sounding amazing at times and less good at others, so if it hasn’t fully settled, you should get some time when it is on song to let you know just what it can do. That settles down as well…

Thank you this is extremely helpful. I have been advised to leave unit switched on permanently, not standby but on, seems odd but anyway that’s what I’m doing at mo . Have a demo booked 12 tomorrow. Will try bigger amps, if that doesn’t work ,I guess it’s out with the speakers .

Source first is the golden rule. Meaning a decent pair of speakers such as yours should be last on your list to upgrade

My Nova probably took about a month to be at its peak, Imran it at low volume while I was at home working/sleeping, bit higher volume while listening to music downstairs, and higher again while out. It started as very listenable but a bit closed and undynamic in the mid-bass and a slightly unsubtle top end. The PMCs were new as well so I went for continual playing as I suspected that the speakers were the bigger influence and exercising 5he pm would make a big difference.

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