Supernait 2 & Qutest or RME DAC vs Nova

I bought a Nova during the summer and at the time I was very much taken by it’s multiplicity of functions, ease of use and superb SQ.
Fast forward a few months and I am still very impressed by the sound quality but I’m wondering, as I’m only using its amp function, whether to return from whence I came and get an integrated amp and separate external DAC. Possibly one of the combos in the title above.

I’m streaming from an Innuos Zenith MK3, and connecting this to the Nova using an Audiophilleo 2/Pure Power SPDIF converter, hence I’m not utilising the Nova’s full range of functions.

So in terms of sound quality alone is it worth going for a SN2 plus DAC over the Nova? A SN2 or similarly priced amp is my max budget, likewise the Qutest or slightly cheaper RME.

…I have been using a SN 2 for a few years and love it! If you can get a home demo you will know for sure and perhaps do a side by side with your Nova.

With your Innuous and usb to bnc converter you might consider a second hand Naim nDac into a SN2. The nDac is a fantastic deal at current used prices.

I have an Innuous Zenith mk 2 and love it.

I feel the question is: is SN2 as integrated amp better than Nova. If not, Charles can keep his Nova, used only as integrated, and connect to it the Innuos/ Qtest or RME.
There is also an existing thread on Qtest vs RME.

I have been contemplating ditching my Atom and getting just a Naim amp and use some other solution for streaming. The issues currently with latest firmware have really started to put me off Naims streaming platform. Having an RME fed by my Roon server via USB in my 2nd system It sounds superb and in no way an inferior streaming solution to what the Atom does and is trouble free.

I have both a SN2 and a Superuniti (not a Nova).
Good as they are, the Supernait is clearly a winner

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Thank you to all for their replies and views, so far.

Some options seem to be readily apparent:

  1. demo a SN2
  2. try a Naim DAC between my Zenith and the Nova
  3. try other DAC in same configuration as 2)
  4. or DAC into a SN2

As I’m definitely keeping my Zenith, it’s down to what connection works best and to which DAC and amp: the Nova’s or other.

I wonder whether trying a external DAC - this would naturally lead to a comparison of DACs when used in this set up config - in my current set up would offer anything above or beyond my Audiophilleo SPDIF converter?

I’ll only know by trying one, I suppose.

Thanks again folks.

Any further thoughts would be appreciated.

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Given your long running battle with the Atom, have you not considered asking for a replacement? I dare say Naim would oblige, and if nothing else it may help to diagnose the issue, as there are clearly others (myself included) who don’t have the problems you do.
(Then again, a Supernait would be a nice upgrade!)

Steve said they will look at into my unit in the new year, but long term I am looking at this if it gets sorted anyway. I do miss not having enough inputs as I have to use a phono switch to switch between the TT and surround sound as it handles the front two channels and keep switching AV fixed volume off and on, and I want the freedom to choose my source. I love the Atoms form and it’s less boxes but it has no redundancy when things go wrong. Might change my mind though as when it works it’s great.

I can only tell you what I’ve experienced and that is I’ve had a Supernait2 since they came out (downsized from hicapped 82/250) and love it, I doubt I’ll change it. I also have the RME which in my set up is fed by an Auralic streamer, again I really like the RME.

I did try a Chord qutest and it was very good but I wouldn’t say better than the RME and with the added functionality of the RME for me it was a clear winner.


Thanks for that, it’s always interesting to hear user reviews.


I’ve a Zenith 3. Demoed the Qutest into that using an NDX2 and then Zenith and Supernait 3. Whole family developed headaches very quickly. The Qutest is terrific but it’s very much in your face when paired with SN even with a Zenith as the source. Of the two choices you e suggested I’d certainly listen to the RME. It’s different rather than better but I suspect it would be a far far better match for the Supernait.

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Thanks for your findings. Useful to take into consideration.

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