Thinking of changing speakers

Forum team I’m considering a speaker change powered by a nova - has anyone linked the Kef RI reference speakers to a Nova ? I gather the speakers are demanding and hope the Nova will have sufficient grunt to make a perfect match. Feedback on the speakers would be very useful too. Many thanks.

In my view, running £6,500 speakers, plus matching stands for £1,000, with a £4,000 all in one is simply not sensible. Why not get some speakers that actually match. I tried a Nova with the Naim SL2 and it was hopelessly out of its depth. Matching is key here.


Can you have a home demo? I don’t think the cost of the speakers relevant to the Nova is the issue here it’s whether the speakers match sonically but just as important that includes whether the speakers match the room.

I don’t know the Kefs at all but can say I’ve heard the Kudos 505 (£8k) with the Linn Selekt one box system and it worked very well. Equally the Nova with the Kudos 505s when paired at the Bristol Show it was very warmly praised although I wasn’t there.




Hello, I use the uniti star with T + A Criterion S 2100 CTL for € 7k and I think it’s great harmonized. I had also heard the KEF R7. For me, T + A harmonises very well with the Naim sound. Clemens

Speaker choice is so personal, and so critical to system character, that you really have to hear for yourself. Ideally at home. Doing that will tell you both if you like the character and if the Nova controls them well enough to sound good to your ears.

If you can’t hear them at home, then wherever you listen, a dealer or a private seller, make sure you hear driven by Nova , even if that means taking yours to the audition. And also, if not in your own home take your present speakers, and listen to those first for a bit to give you a baseline for how different it sounds in the demo room, which can help in assessing the new speakers. Anyone selling speakers at that sort of price should be happy to accommodate you doing that.

As above! Speakers really have to be tried in situ and with the amplifier intended. Home demo essential, especially at this level.

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Thank you to all responding, my dilemma is I already have a main system which I really love. It is high quality Naim separate components with well matched speakers. The idea behind the Nova and smaller Kefs is to have a high quality replacement in a large study area and one that links to the main system with the Naim app and my HDX library. I don’t want to spend a fortune on components and rebuild a mini version of what I already have with the main - but I trialled smaller Kef LS50’s which have great reviews and to be honest I was a bit underwhelmed even with a Rel sub. I’m hoping the higher spec ref 1 will overcome the experience and the Nova being a great match. Has anyone in the forum heard the two together and if so was the Nova able to drive them properly to get the best out of them? I’m not talking blow the windows off loud here btw its in a medium size room. Thanks again for views to date.

I run my Nova with SBLs I have had from new and I can highly recommend. Get a good second hand mk2 pair and that should sort it as long as you can site them against a solid wall.

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I think the LS50 are great speakers, but very inefficient and difficult to drive. Then again, I think people here do drive them with Nova, so perhaps it’s simply a matter of taste.

I’ve only heard them with a powerful NAD amp myself.

I would suggest trying transmission line speakers, the leading manufacturer today being PMC, but I have no idea how well the Nova would be at controlling them, nor whether you’d like them - you’d have to try for yourself.

Incidentally, unless you have near limitless funds I suggest looking secondhand or at least ex-dem to maximise buying power…

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Nova and PMC Twenty5.21 for instance seems a tried and tested combo, and the 23 are a pretty easy drive too. :slight_smile:

… and that’s the key to that generations Naim loudspeaker happiness. Fling them against the wall, reasonabily well setup. Some people bother about the pxo or running active, but even very standard passive SBLs driven by modest source and amp outclass many modern offerings.


If you’re yet to purchase either new speakers or a Nova, you might look at the current bundle offers on Uniti hardware with Focal speakers, I had a chat to my dealer about an Atom based system and he did allude to there being a degree of flexibility in terms of what the bundle could be made up of. I’ve been suitably impressed with a pairing of a Nova with Kanta 1’s or 2’s as an example and there could be a deal to be done giving a system with known good synergy at a favourable price.

Have to say I was surprised to see the Nova/Kanta 2’s being demo’d and advertised as the Focals come out at £7k.

I’m sure it works well but is an interesting combo.

As always, speakers tend to be quite a personal choice, if you were to consider them on specs alone and to an extent looks you could end up making an expensive mistake. I don’t own a Nova or Focal speakers but have heard the two together a number of times and found it worked well and was enjoyable to listen to.
The room they’ll live in, your musical tastes, the listening volume and other factors all play a part here in what ends up being a good choice.
Given there’s an offer on that gives meaningful savings it’s worth taking a look at the Focal options. PMC, Dynaudio and B&W would be on my listening list as well.

I have a nova in the study like you and I do like the sounds from KEF. I tried a couple of different speakers ( from other manufacturers) and ended up with R3’s (picture in the system pics thread if you care) and I must say I really like them. They might be quite bright for some, but the study system I have on most of the day while working I like that as I play faster music to keep my awake !


Thanks biddler66 this is encouraging - There aren’t many reports of KEF with Naim for some reason and think it may be the brightness effect you’ve mentioned. Out of interest Focals been suggested but I’ve had Focals in the past well before they came into the same stable as Naim va the private equity play. It was apparent that they were too harsh/bright for my Naim set up and when I linked in a Spendor the change was remarkably better - for my ears anyway.
15 years later and focals are today being discounted with Naim or vice versa whichever way you want to look at it …and I read some members feel its good value partly because its an integrated discount offering - would this be the case at full pricing I wonder.
Incidentally the R3’s are very good and better value for money overall than the R1 reference. The reference is remarkable and disclosing but extraordinary with certain genre. Thanks again for your feedback

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I use Twenty5.23s (previous generation, not the recent i series) in my Nova system, the Nova controls them really well, it’s a really musical system.

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I also use KEF R3 with my Nova and I’m very happy with the sound. I confess that I have a bias for the KEF style and selected them based on a HiFi store’s pairing and price offer without shopping around.


They seem to have gone up a quite a bit. I had an offer of £3.5k last year for new Kef Ref 1s from a London dealer last year. I have to say I was very impressed with the demo with a Nova although it was not at home; I thought the Nova drove them fine but it was not an extensive listen. But ultimately they were going to be just too big for the room as they are quite deep so I didn’t take it any further.