Standby Temperature

I have noticed recently that the casework of my Nova remains surprisingly warm whilst in standby. I would describe it as the sort of temperature you might expect it to be after a good listening session. I realise that the point of standby is to keep the electronics warmed up so that you don’t have to wait for it to come on song at the beginning of a session. I am just a little surprised at just how warm it feels. I would be very interested to hear other peoples experience of standby temperatures.

Actually being on on standby does not have anything to do with keeping the electronics warm. It is because the Nova is in server mode so the electronics running that remain on, as does the amplifier (if you get close to the tweeters you may hear a small hiss coming from them in standby mode, meaning the unit is still driving the speakers then).

If you have either a USB device attached or have the Nova set to Server mode in the Naim app settings it will remain mostly on in standby.

And the heat it generates does indeed veel like one would think would come from a listening session so that is normal.

If you remove all USB devices AND set server mode off you will head the relays click off when in standby and the device will be significantly cooler in standby mode. It can still be switched on from the network though.

Both my Atom HE units are in this mode and I cannot detect a significant difference between the sound quality with server mode on and off.


Well… I don’t have the Nova in server mode as I don’t have any other equipment with which to share data. I do have a SSD permanently attached to the USB port at the rear containing all my own music.

I can hear a very faint hiss from the tweeter when the Nova is switched on - but nothing when in standby.

Other things of note: -

  1. I have only really noticed this in the last month or so since the weather became warmer.
  2. This has also coincided with the arrival of my KEF KC62 subwoofer (with which I am extremely happy) which is attached to the pre-amp out sockets.
  3. There has recently been a firmware update to the Nova.
    I wouldn’t have thought any of the above would have the effect of making the Nova feel warm on standby. But I mention them in case anyone thinks otherwise.

If Server Mode is off then the USB attachment is keeping it awake , which is not a bad thing but the unit will run warmer in standby than it will if you unplug the USB. But there is no reason to do so. And yes you will notice it more in warmer times as then the unit cannot disperse heat as easily into the atmosphere as in cold weather.

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The USB drive will have to be re-scanned every time you switch on if you don’t keep it connected, which will result in a delay before it is available, particularly if you view it in the Server input where there is a full scan of the metadata on startup. If you can live with this, and aren’t concerned about the possible sound quality effects of keeping the main PSU warmed up, it might make sense to unplug it every time.

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On my NDX2 with the USB plugged in, removing and reinserting it does do a rescan, but it seems more like a difference scan, in that it doesn’t straight away bin what it knows and starts from scratch.

The usage is shown below for a Nova. In your case it will be using 15Watts rather than the <2W Network Standby Mode. As you don’t use “Server Mode” your other option is to go into Deep Sleep mode, which I suspect you do by holding in the power button for a few seconds. This will use <0.5W. It will take a few seconds to startup, and may suffer from SQ loss possibly until it warms up, but probably better than a power off as it doesn’t seen to rescan the USB. Try it and see

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When I’ve tried this it has done a full rescan every time. I don’t know if there’s a time delay before it deletes cached info or if this has changed with different firmware versions, but that was the case last time I tried.

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Unless the amp is Class A (and I am pretty sure Nova isn’t!) , a listening session will create more heat than standby - but at moderately low listening levels, assuming the amp has adequate heatsinking, when the average output power might be just a handful of watts, it may not be noticeable except with extremely low sensitivity speakers unless you actually monitor the temperature. But wind up the volume to ‘realistic’ levels for a while, then unless your speakers very high sensitivity I would expect the am to feel distinctly warmer

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It’s an approximation.

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Thank you GadgetMan. That explains it. 15 watts would be expected to produce a little heat - especially in warmer weather. Putting it into deep sleep removes any heat. (I obviously should have read the manual more carefully!) Having said all of which I think I will just keep it in standby when I am at home. I am comforted in the knowledge that the warmth I have noticed does not indicate a fault.

Thank you all for your knowledgeable help and support. This forum/community is a great resource.

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