I have a Nova and like many things about it, but have started to stray into upgrade territory
I like the sound both with my turntable input (an old AR EB101) and my CD player (a Pro-Ject CD Box DS2 T). But the streaming (Qobuz) seems a bit lacking. There is less clarity than from the CD player or turntable and the sound seems to have less dynamic range. With everything in one box I find it difficult to know the best way to improve things. Is it likely to be the streamer inside the Nova, or maybe the cable from the router to the Nova (I just use a standard ethernet cable into an ASUS router) that could be affecting the sound? I assume it isn’t a question of the DAC as the CD player uses the Nova’s DAC. Given the amount that people are prepared to spend on streamers I assume it isn’t that the streaming service is a limiting factor.
Anyone else had similar thoughts?
Hi, you are correct that the DAC will not be the culprit here, as all inputs, even your turntable, are routed through it.
I suppose it’s possible that you simply prefer the sound presentation of your other sources and there isn’t a huge amount you can do about that other than upgading to maybe a separate streamer and amp. If you do, now might be a good time to move to something like NDX2/Supernait as people will be selling them and dealers clearing out their stock as New Classic models come in. This, of course, should benefit all of your sources, not just Qobuz.
A couple of things you could try:
Check that Qobuz is on the Hi-Res setting and that you are receiving a lossless, preferably 24 bit stream. (You should check that you have the right subscription level for this, and also that the Nova’s Qobuz input settings are on the highest level).
Do you have some downloads or CD rips? If so, put them on a USB drive and connect that directly to the Nova. This still routes the signal through the streamer, and will give you an idea of whether it’s Qobuz in particular, or streaming generally, that is lacking in your system.
I found a decent switch close to the nova and decent but not exotic Ethernet cables (chord c stream or blue jeans ) lift it nicely.
I would expect Qobuz to sound similar to your other sources, certainly not lacking clarity.
As has already been suggested here, I would carefully check the quality level you are receiving from your Qobuz subscription & check that the Qobuz input level in the Naim app is set to the highest level & not mistakenly to a lower level, such as MP3.
Agree with this.
Put a decent network switch between the router and Nova.
Router—>Ethernet cable—>Network Switch—>Ethernet cable—>Nova.
Personally, I use the Chord Co EE8 Network switch, which works well, along with the EE1 Network Noise Isolator.
Can I ask why that arrangement would be better than just one continuous length of Ethernet cable from Router to Nova? Thanks
There are many threads on the benefits of using a network switch on the Forum. Do a search on them and you’ll find plenty of info.
However, using a network switch close to the Nova (streamer) can reduce the electrical noise going into the Nova.
Hope that helps.