I have been trying to come to a decision for weeks. I am looking for an all-in-one device - streaming and amplifier.
I stumbled across a second-hand Linn Majik DSM/3 late last year. The clarity, detail and stage imaging were great. Unfortunately, I found it lacked a bit of depth (previously Hegel Röst) and some “worse” recorded pieces were somehow already reproduced harshly. That’s why I used a Uniti Atom for a direct comparison. The bass was better but the stage was narrower, more compact and less transparent. My decision tended more towards the Majik DSM/3. In a fit of Croesus, I wanted to go straight for the Linn Selekt DSM incl. amplifier. But the price was too high for me in relation. So I went back to smaller buns: The new DSM/4 was supposed to have more depth and be better overall. So I decided to order a new DSM/4. Delivery time: 6 weeks! With so much time, you have to look further, especially as the look of the new Linn’s doesn’t really appeal to me. Good sound is the most important thing, but as we all know, the eye eats too. The Selekt can still keep up, but the new Majik looks like a cheap set-top box. That’s why, when looking for alternatives, I ended up with Naim again. The Atom already had a great feel and the Nova will be similarly good. The Nova is supposed to be superior to the Atom after all. Clearer and better resolution, performance twice as high and I grew up in Class A(/B) times. A good amplifier must weigh, hello toroidal transformer. Additionally, I stumbled across the Linn promotional video. But that didn’t really work out for Linn. After listening several times, yes I know, not really comparable due to the quality, I did rather see myself with the Nova. Here the differences were no longer so great and the somewhat better fullness of the Nova appealed to me here, as missed above.
That’s why I’ve now ordered a Nova, which will hopefully arrive at the dealer this week. A certain uncertainty remains and that’s why I wanted to hear your opinions, experiences, objections, … and so on.
Thank you in advance.
I don’t think you will go wrong with the Nova - I have one and I think it is just brilliant. I have had Linn amplification in the past and I have never really got on with the whole SMPS amplification - too grey and not enough weight. In the end I switched to a good old-fashioned toroidal A/B in the form of a Klout and was much, much happier. Enjoy your Nova!
Good choice! I too, have a Nova and love its sound, looks and ease of use.
I tried the new Majik DSM (Selekt wasn’t available) against a Star and then a Nova.
I like the Majik, it does things differently to the Star and Nova, but for me the Naim sound won out. Then between the Star and Nova, for me the Nova sounded more complete.
I listen to my brand new Nova for the first time right now. It’s sounds fantastic. The Nova replaced an Atom which also was superb. But the Nova is so much better. Before I bought my Atom I did a test against a Linn Majik DSM/4. The Atom outperform the Linn player!
Just my general view but Linn focus on the tune and sometimes this comes at the expense of rhythm and overall timing between musicians. Naim seem to do the opposite. Linn can end up being a bit boring, analytical and harder to follow the music as a whole and Naim can be a bit out of tune and harder to appreciate individual musicianship - by comparison, not saying either is actually boring or out of tune! So, it just comes down to personal preference - i.e. what the listener is more sensitive to. For example, I find Linn amps harder work to make sense of the music as a whole (vintage or Klimax) but other people experience the complete opposite.
I reckon whether you are an overtone or base tone listener (i.e. use more of left or right side of brain) could explain why people experience music differently. Not sure that helps really other than to emphasis that we each need to decide for ourselves
Anyone interested can find out by completing an online test - you listen to two notes and have to say if you hear it as hi-low or low-hi.
This is a Naim forum after all, so don’t expect too much recommendations for the Linn
I have a complete Linn system too. A Linn Sondek, Ekos SE, Radikal, Uphorik, Akurate CD, Akurate Kontrol, Akurate 4200 and Akurate 212 which I like very much. I’ve been a Linn owner for over 30 years. But on older days I’ve begin to prefer the Naim sound😉
Thank you very much for your opinions. I’m going to pick up the Uniti Nova this week and I’m looking forward to it. I’m still thinking about getting the NAC A5 in at least 3.5m length per side, as recommended by Naim. I currently have a high-quality self-assembled cable here from my HiFi dealer. Your opinion?
Thank you and greetings
Unfortunately that last question cannot be answered. ‘High quality self assembled cable’ could mean anything, and it may or may not be suitable for Naim. You really can’t go wrong with NACA5. That’s not to say you won’t prefer something else but at least the A5 will match the Nova perfectly.
I know a couple of dealers think 5m sounds better than shorter lengths. That might seem daft but it’s a useful length too because it usually enables you to place the system off to one side, if required in future - i.e. not limited to placing it between or nearby the speakers.
My Nova was ordered a while ago, and just was told it’ll be shipped May 5th. Sheesh…well…at least it’ll be the newest whatever…lol
I have now ended up with the combination ND5XS2/XS3. Thanks for your support.
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