Standmounts for Uniti Nova

Hi all,
I’ve been the happy owner of 2 sets of Atom for the last 2 years. App’s and software’s glitches aside, im pretty happy with both.
Life being what it is, I’m resigning from my job for other professional adventures elsewhere, hence I’ll be leaving my current job with decent termination allowances and my future position will also allow me earning more salary-wise.
So in October, I plan to keep both of my Atoms that would play in other rooms but I’m seriously planning to buy a Uniti Nova, that’d be the gift I’ll do to myself (no child, no longer a pet, no other half to live with at home and life’s too short to get bored). So Christmas will be early this year.
Hence the question: I’m just wondering what will be the perfect partenering kit for my future Nova among the following contenders:

  1. Kef LS50 (know these, owned them, long gone now. As far as I can remember the synergy was absolutely perfect with my previous system which consisted of a NAP 100, DAC-V1 and a Qute2, but back then the Atom released and upgrade bug bite me again and I sold the whole kit at a fair good price and bought my double Atom system (The NAP 100 stayed with me though). I remember the midrange and imaging of the LS50 got me hooked. Loved them but sometimes they could feel a little bass shy. However, they also fitted the bill regarding the cuteness factor when set up in my 20 square meters lounge.

  2. Dynaudio Special 40: I’ve never heard any Dynaudio of my entire life, except when passing by during audio shows and I won’t easily find the time to run a proper listening (and in Paris, most dealers have the wrong habit to run listening sessions really fast, at a point where you don’t really have the time to assess and make up an informed decision, nor do they lend speakers for home listening, very rarely at least).
    I’m just wondering how they’ll sound and compare versus the other 2 speakers of my short list.

  3. B&W 805 D3: budget is not unlimited and this would probably be at the very edge of the stretching abilities of my wallet. However, being the current happy owners of 2 pairs of B&W PM1s, I came to love the B&W sound; and the bottom end I was lacking with the LS50 was definitely back again, even though not reaching pants-flapping deep octaves. However, they could not achieve the imaging abilities and the vivid midrange of the LS50. So it was a compromise I had to make. I still love my PM1s but I’d gladly pair the Nova with something new.
    Aesthetically (and that’s a key point to me, audio kit has to look good if not gorgeous), I find the latest incarnation of the 805. Had the opportunity to have a short listening session of these and I was literally blown away. They had everything the PM1s have but took it all to a whole other level.
    I did not have the opportunity to listen for long and it was not through a Nova but on an eye-watering McIntosh amp (yeah those that breaks your back if trying to move them alone, can’t recall the reference of it)

So to make it short, I’m just wondering if any of the above list would be more recommended than the others for building my adult toy around the future Nova and make the most of it.
I don’t consider buying floorstanders no matter the size, any of them just won’t fit the bill on my cuteness factor (with the exception of the Leema Xone but those were not really a match made in heaven with the Atom) nor do I want something obtrusive in my lounge.
I know many of you here on the forum love PMC or Neat stuff but not at all a fan of the slanted design.
Were to listen to a pair of 25.21 with an Atom and I was really underwhelmed by the pairing. I’m sure these are great speakers with the right kit, just not my taste.

Most of the time, I’m listening to fairly loud levels, not that i’m deaf but I just . I have no doubt the Nova will be up to the task but I’m wondering whether one or the other speakers from the list would be particularly more recommended.

Thanks for your thoughts

I haven’t heard the Kef but I have had both the Dynaudio S40s and B&W 805D3 on demo at home with my Nova. My take is that it very much depends on what sort of music you normally listen to as well as, inevitably, personal preference. My listening is predominantly classical with some 70s and Jazz.

I found the Dynaudio very impressive but tiring in the long term. My wife described them as bombastic which I felt was a little harsh but I know what she meant.

The B&Ws were fantastic (and a cracking offer for an ex demo pair). I very nearly pressed the button. But my hearing is not what it was and there was something about the treble which on occasion really hurt my ears. So I didn’t go ahead although I still sometimes wonder whether I made the right decision.
Great imaging (with a bit of positioning), good bass and all round I was very impressed with them. And they look good!

I also heard the Kef Reference Ones. On offer at the same price as the B&W 805 was offered to me. I thought these sounded even better but, unlike the others, I didn’t hear them at home and they were quite a bit biggerso not for me but might be worth investigating.

Do you mean that the Dynaudio might be bass heavy or leaning towards brightness?
I’ve never had an opportunity to listen any Dyns and I’m very curious about how others will describe the “typical” Dynaudio’s sound. Based on what I’ve read the words that come to my mind would be “organic”. That’d be pretty surprising from something so small. I wish I could have them at home for trial when I get the Nova. Not easy to make up an opinion based solely on others thoughts but any honest insight is more then welcome.

Regarding the 805 D3 you pretty much confirmed the first impress I get when I listened to them : a perfect all-rounder pretty much at ease with any musical material you may throw at them.

I listened to many different kind of genres : depending on my mood, it goes from Prodigy, Lady Gaga to Robert Glasper or Jean Marc Charpentier “Messe des Morts”, chamber orchestral music, opera…
So I need something highly versatile. When it comes to Music, I have no preconceived preferences, my listenings really depends on my mood when pressing the play button.

Plus, my Nova will be hooked to the TV, so the speakers will also serve for when watching movies and shows as well.

I find the Reference 1 too big, too large, never listened to them and I’m sure they could show a fine pair of heels to many speakers but just too large for my taste.

one interesting thing is that the 805D3 can be grabbed at fair prices (fair vs. the public retail price when new) in or near Paris.

It’s difficult to put my finger on why I didn’t like the S40. But bass heavy rather than bright. Maybe they just didn’t suit me or my room or the sort of music I listen to… I was talking to my dealer the other day and he felt that the new Evoke 20 was a better bet (and cheaper too).

The 805 was a much better all genre speaker I felt. If you liked the 805, I really feel you can’t go wrong with them.

I now have the ATC SCM19s. Very pelased with them. Sound excellent with a good source but an ordinary source is rather shown up for what it is and sounds, well, ordinary.

But one man’s meat is another man’s poison and all that.

thank you for sharing your thoughts.
I think I read somewhere that all ATC speakers needs bags of power to really shine. Is that true ? They look rather pretty in their cherry finish.
The Evoke on the other hand is aesthetically less appealing to me: very scandinavian finish, not really a fan of that blond wood.

Hi @Bouba, sounds like you are about to go through a fun stage in life, Nova is a lovely peace of engineering. I was moments from getting one but in the end SN 2 and NDX 2 got the better of me.

I would say that for me Dynaudio sound would not be bright but heavier on bass, sort of rolling presentation. I can also understand what @PW42 wife means when she said they can sound “bombastic”. Very nicely made, I like the design (as you say Danish, very simple and clean) and quality but their sound is not for me.

ATC are lovely looking, sort of like Harbeth (check them out also, olive and eucalyptus finishes are sensational), ATC SCM 7, 11, 19 recommended power amp rating is 75W or higher, Nova is 80W. Sensitivity is also in 85dB range, so on paper not the easiest speaker to drive. But, I am sure Nova would do a good job. You need to consider the ATC sound in a demo. Kudos is another nice speaker.

I would say that personally I prefer brighter presentation like KEF LS50 or R3, Focal 900 series (906, 927, 948), Focal Kanta 2, PMC Twenty5.23 and in recent times I discovered Totem Acoustics speakers. I especially liked the Tribe Towers, compact floorstanders.

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I use my Nova with PMC Twenty5.23s and I think it’s a classy combination, so I’d suggest having a listen to the Twenty5.22, I think they’d work well.

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I’d go back to the shop to take a listen to these with a Nova but really had the feeling the 21s were overpriced for what they offered, found them really bass-shy when paired with the Atom.

I’m sure with a better/more powerful amp they would sound even better but I find the Nova drives them just fine.

Yes, the 25.23 are a fine pair of speakers — detailed but not fatiguing. Very easy to place, and they look elegant in my opinion.

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That’s might be due to the Atom, but they 25.21 are no floor-standers… The 25.23 have a great, tight bass, but possibly not the strongest bass to everybody’s taste. Personally I think the 25.23 are well balanced.

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I’d rather avoid floorstanders.
The speakers i’ve listed above are the ones I’m familiar with (with the exception of the Dyns that I absolutely don’t know but added to the list as they’re highly rated).
I’m looking to replace the PM1s I have. in the B&W lines I did not see anything equivalent without stretching the budget considerably and go for the 805D3 which is fine, but I’m just wondering if apart from those others brands and models will give me everything the PM1 offers plus even more.

Went to listen a pair of 705 S2 along with the Atom as I did not plan to go the Nova route before having some recent good news. But then the sound was anything but balanced: bloating/heavy bass without any definition at all and very boomy, literally a disaster. That may be due to the Atom being underpowered to strongly hold the midrange/bass driver. But then I thought that my PM1s were sounding way way better to my ears, perfectly balanced.
If i’m sounding that I find the PM1s are perfect then that’s not it. Since I’m planning to buy a NOVA I’m just trying to keep the all system cohesive and also upgrade the speakers

I’ve been using the LS50 for 2 years with the Nova and they always seems to amaze me that these small speakers sound so good.
Until last month while my brother was moving, I got to borrow his KEF R3. That made a significant improvement. Bigger soundstage, more detailed and tightened low end. I sold my LS50 and bought R3’s myself.

Thanks for the suggestion, I’ll add these to the listening short-list.
But I see they also dip down to 3.2 ohms, like the LS50 I think.
As mentioned earlier, I listen to many different genres of music, and most of the time relatively loud.
I know this is subjective and depend on the listener, but off the 3 speakers I listed here can anybody tell me one will have the ability to play much louder than the others ?
As far as I recall it, when using the LS50 with my previous UQ2/DAC-V1/NAP 100 system, the speakers could play really loud for my listening room but could also sound a bit shouty (upper midrange much more upfront).
Not that I intend to make my neighbors hate me or damage my hearing but I’d like speakers versatile enough to not distort or sound shouty when pushed hard.
I’d really like to listen to the Special Forty, and among other things, judge whether they’ll be able to cope with mid to high volume. I know some might argue that i’d be better going for a full range floortanders but again not my cup of tea.

The S40’s like juice so the more welly you give them the better they’ll be

Had a pair of Royd Atoms connected to my Naim Atom. Perfect combination. You can pick them up relatively cheaply on the usual sites as I think the new owner of Royd is reducing production. Fab little speakers that will show improvements if you upgrade.

I use scm11 with my nova… great combo


If playing really loud at neighbour-annoying levels is important to you, I wonder if a Nova is appropriate. For the price of a Nova + Kantas + decent speaker cables you could likely pick up a used 272 and pair it with active ATCs. I guess ruling out floorstanders prevents the obvious choice: active 19s. So how about SCM20ASLs? These are effectively 19s in a less pretty box with 250 watts of active amplification strapped to the back and like all active ATCs have massive headroom. I can’t imagine you’d get anywhere near their limit without permanently ruining your hearing.


You may find this thread useful: Naim and Dynaudio Thread

Dynaudio Contour 20s may be a better option than the S40, and provide sweeter treble than the 805D3s

Well, a bit of an update here.
Went to audition for the very 1st time of my Hi-Fi journey a pair of Dynaudio, it’s a first for me, because apart from when attending shows, never had a chance to listen to any.
listening was through Star and Atom, the dealer at the time had no Nova in store.
Well, I don’t know what to think because the listening session was short (1H30 or so) because my homegirl and I had to catch a train. So the dealer offered to lend me the demo pair for a home-trial.
I don’t have ordered the Nova yet, so these will be used with an Atom.

However, during my listening session at the shop, I did not have any WOW/Jaw-droping moments.
I found the Special Forty to be well balanced, very cohesive and well put together and with a sublime medium. But given all the raves and high praise in the various review, I expected I guess maybe just a tad more bass. Not that the speakers lacked bass, they did not, but I expected it to be even more impressive.
I should specify here that the Fortys were more than a meter from the rear walls and that listening rooms was reallyfairly large with very high ceiling. So I thought that all the reviews that are saying that these would fill even a large rooms, exagereted a bit, it defintely won’t.
But they did fill in at least the half space we were sitting in for the listening session.
I did not think to ask to put them closer to that rear panel and experiments with placement.

Despite that, the speakers made really good music, I mean without sounding too analytic but staying really natural and at the same time, quite revealing of ancillaries as well.

The pairing with the Atom was just good enough to my ears. Then once played through the Star, things get much better, that low-end that seemed to me a little bit shy to me started “showing” itself.
The difference was obvious.
My girlfriend - she’s not into this hobby at all, to say the least, but she got ears and her immediate reaction was “you can hear and sense every nuance and every little sound”, by that I think she meant that the level of detail, imaging and soundstage were way, way better and she nailed it !!

This confirmed pretty much what some in this thread told me earlier: the juicier the amp, the better these speakers sound. Confirmed once more when the dealer offered to hook the Dyns to a really bulky Luxman amp (with large white vu-meters) that sits there (don’t recall its reference but somewhere 5 to 6 times the price of the speakers) just to hear what they were capable of. He used the preamp output of the Star to the Amp and God I wish I never heard it !!!
The dealer told me that he just wanted me to get a vague idea of what the speakers might potenitally sound like when paired with a good amp, like the Nova, even if less powerful than that beast.

So for a start, he generously offered to hand me the speakers this week for a listening session in my own environment to get a better idea of whether they suit my taste or not (that seems common to you in the UK but no so in France) and I should get them by Friday evening.
Even if for the time being I’d be able to play through the Atom only, that should give more insight of what they sound like on a longer period.

@Carlstone: I absolutely love their glossed veneer finish but definitely out of question to have something as huge as these Contour 20 in my apartment. They’re almost twice as large as the Special Forty. I bet they sound good and the dealer had 2 pairs sitting there but I even did not dare to hear them. Just too large for my taste. If going that large, I’d rather go straight for a pair floorstanders, which for now at least I don’t want either.

In terms of size, I just rule out anything larger than the Special Forty (which to me are already pretty large compared versus my current B&W PM1s), for now at least, because if I ever move to another place, that may change as it happened 6 years ago (I used to own some Leema Xone at that time)