Transition to Naim

About a year ago, I sought the advice of on this forum about whether certain Naim systems could work well with my newly acquired Totem Speakers – Totem Tribe III (on the wall) in the family room with the TV and Totem Signature One Bookshelf speaks in the living room. We had moved into a new (smaller) house and all of the audio gear had to be changed. Regardless of whether it was the right sequence, the speaker decisions were made first. I tried so many options but nothing worked – until I tried the little Naim Uniti Atom. I recognized it was unpowered for the speakers I was asking it to drive, but yet it over-performed in every way.

Then I joined this forum. And the rest is history…

I had never heard of Naim before, but I was intrigued by the little Atom. The members of this forum did not realize it, but I spent countless hours reading and learning from you about all that Naim has to offer and what I should consider. After over a year, I’m now the proud owner of a Nova that drives the Totem Tribe III (with the TV) effortlessly. Despite the fact that the Tribe III speakers are not easy to drive, the Nova fills the room in a way that, at least to my ears, is far superior to any other “lifestyle” or “surround sound” system that I tried (and we have tried a lot).

I love the Nova and its an elegant “all-in-one” solution that seriously outperforms many other integrated amps. I was tempted to buy a second Nova for the main system, but I’m so glad I waited.

Based on the recommendations on this forum, I waited patiently for an opportunity to trade the little Atom and get a great deal on a SN 3 for our main system. I thought about trying the ND5 XS 2, but it seemed clear from this forum that the SN3 and NDX 2 are a perfect match. So I got a dealer demo SN 3 and NDX 2 that are in pristine condition. This system is driving the Totem Signature One bookshelf speakers in the living room. The system just fills the room, corner to corner, with such an engaging and non-fatiguing dynamic range and fulsome soundstage.

I’m running both systems without any external power supplies, using very good (but not super premium) speaker cable, and there are lots of little compromises due to room configuration, speaker placement etc. Nevertheless, nothing I’ve owned in 45+ years has ever sounded so enjoyable.

I’m in the U.S. I’d never heard of Naim until just over a year ago when I bought the little Atom. I never would have made this journey without the advice and thoughtful perspectives shared by the participants on this forum. So, I just wanted to say thank you…I’ll try to pay it forward.


If I may echo your sentiment, ever since joining a few years back I have benefited from the breadth and depth of advice, the willingness to engineer a solution and observed the challenge from those willing to champion the best interests of the poster.

Add to that the musical recommendations, jokes, photos, cod philosophy, cars (antique and modern) and ability to connect on a range of topics with like- minded individuals and this has become a go to forum for me, most days.


What a nice post. And two very fine systems. Good result.


Lovely post. Naim and Totem are a match made in heaven. I may be biased having two systems like your good self :sunglasses:


Always nice to hear a success story helped at least in part by members of the forum. The NDX2 is a brilliant piece of kit which is not out of place partnered with amplification much further up the chain esppecially with a power supply. Enjoy the music!


I’d wonder how the business case would be if Naim gives away the Atom for free. How many more SN’s and NDX’s would be sold?

Nice to hear all of this from a @JazzLover :sunglasses:

Since I swapped my atom for a nd5xs2 and sn3 it might be a good business decision

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Well done, its not so easy on the other side of the pond, lovely post👍

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Interesting… I have the naim uniti atom driving my monitor audio 100 gold at 85 db and there 4 ohm , no problem driving them to loud volume levels , I’m considering the totem sig as an upgrade, I wouldn’t want to have to upgrade the amplifier as well.

Hello , a very heart warming story. If I can just suggest a Naim Powerline (if available in the USA) it does uplift with adding another box and extra leads

best wishes


It really is amazing the extent to which the Atom outperforms. Until a few years ago I was using McIntosh kit which sounded very nice (as it should based on price and specs). But if I’m honest, I bought it because of the brand and blue VU meters. When it came time to downsize the footprint, I tried several options and was simply underwhelmed. I thought compromise was inevitable.

Then I had a chance to try an Atom. I was really skeptical – I never heard of Naim and how could this little box with 40 WPC drive difficult speakers? I was amazed at the result and began reading everything I could about Naim. But as good as the Atom is, I didn’t think I was getting everything the speakers had to offer.

I began to research a lot and eventually bought a Nova to drive the Totem Tribe III’s (mounted on the wall). It is such an elegant and powerful solution for both TV and music. While the Atom did the job, the Nova brought the Totems to life and provided a significant difference in every area.

I almost bought a 2nd Nova for the Totem Sig One bookshelf speakers, but I read this forum for almost a year debating on whether the SN3 and streamer would be worth the reach. When I found the opportunity to buy an SN3 and NDX 2 at a reduced price, I decided to take the plunge.

There was an overlap period when I had the Atom, Nova, and the SN3 & NDX 2, and I tried several side-by-side comparisons. If I only had the Atom, the music would still be very satisfying and engaging. But I found a significant improvement with the Nova and a further substantial improvement with the SN3 & NDX 2. To summarize, there was greater detail and separation, an increase in dynamic range, a broader soundstage, and clarity in the mid-range and bass. Whereas the Atom was very pleasant to listen to, the SN3 really commands the speakers and just seems to have endless clean power.

I lived with the Atom for almost 2 years and loved it. If my experience with Naim ended there I would have no regrets, because its really about enjoying the music. But I’m very appreciative for this community, which offered a lot of insightful perspectives. Those were invaluable, as it challenging to find a lot of information here in the U.S.

The Totem Signature Ones are wonderful and I think Naim and Totem pair really well. Best of luck and let us know how it all works out.


Thank you! You answered my next question. I noticed the power cord that came with my SN3 appears less substantial compared to the power cord that came with the NDX 2 and Nova. The Naim Powerline is available in the U.S. Its not cheap (about $1,350 USD), but I’ve asked Santa to put one in the stocking this year. Best, Tom

I use Totem Signature Ones with a SN1 plus Hicap and have been very pleased with the results. Great pairing!

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So glad things worked out for you and the forum has been of help.

As you have heard, as you go up the Naim hierarchy, and it is quite a slope, things get better and better. All I would advise is, if you want to keep money in the bank, don’t audition any Naim gear above what you already have. The music becomes addictive!

Enjoy your lovely Naim systems.


Since you are in the US you may want to check out the AVOptions web site. They service all Naim products and they also sell AC products. I use the TibiaPlus12 Deep-Cryo AC cables on all my Naim products. If you do an internet search you will find them and their pricing for AC cables along with their charges for servicing Naim products is listed. If you do a search for AV Options on this forum you will find 50+ threads where they are mentioned.

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If you live in the US you really ought to borrow cable’s from The Cable Company , take a look at their web site. Try them at home!

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@JazzLover have you tried your SN3 and NDX2 connected to the Totem Tribe III on wall speakers ?
I would imagine these would easily outperform the Signature One.

I have SN3 & NDX2 connected to Totem Tribe Towers and its fantastic, not trying to get you to spend your money just saying ….


So after getting the SN3/NDX 2, I thought I should keep the Nova paired with the TV systems because of the HDMI connection. But recall some wonderfully insightful posts from @HungryHalibut who uses his SN3/NDX 2 with an optical cable. So thanks to him and your suggestion and that of @ Tobyjug, I switched the setup with the SN3/NDX 2 driving the Totem Tribes and an optical cable for the TV. The Nova is now driving the bookshelf speakers.

What a great result – thank you! I was silly for sticking the previous setup just because of an HDMI connection. It really underscores the importance of speaker pairing. As impressive as the Nova is, the SN3 is much, much better at driving the Tribes, which I feel are now reaching their full potential. At the same time, the Nova is doing an outstanding job with the 8 ohm bookshelf speakers. The degree of improvement using the SN3 with the Tribes easily far exceeds the marginal reduction of sound quality when I “downgraded” to the Nova with the Sig 1s.

I’m just so impressed by the build and sound quality to the point I never miss those blue VU meters. Thanks again to everyone on this forum.