Unity star upgrade for Sonus Faber Olympica Nova 2s

Hello, new to the forum and certainly a novice Naim user. Currently have a Unity star and Unity core for my cd collection, and recently upgraded to Sonus Faber Olympica Nova 2s, absolutely love the clarity and base.
Looking for the best upgrade path which after speaking with a very helpful dealer sounds like endless options, from 1. Add a simple Nap 200Dr power amp or 2. Trade for a new two box Classic 200 series or 3. A supernait 3 and Ndx2 or 4. A 282 preamp and nap200dr and so on and so on.
Looking at the price reductions of some of the Green light boxes they look like great value vs the new classic.
Would appreciate any help or recommendations. Budget is around £8k more at a push if it helps avoid more costly swapping out further down the line,
Many thanks.

Wow, those Sonus Faber speakers would benefit from something better than a Uniti Star! I suggest that you spend some time with your friendly dealer to listen to the alternatives you mention above … only you can decide.

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Yes many thanks, I am amazed by the speakers, I did listen with the 200 classic series but for £10k plus was not wowed by the difference and read on this forum that the green light boxes may offer a different clarity, and possibly a better deal.

For 8K I’m gonna mention that I found an Atom HE paired with a NAP250DR to be an enormous upgrade over the Star. Plus your headphone experience will be equally bumped up.

You should be able to find the NAP250DR on the second hand market at the moment.

Thanking you, yes it seems that a nap 250DR is a jump up on any scenario, from just adding to the star or a 282 or Supernait 3, a kind of fix for all seasons including the new 200 series if you don’t mind mixing old and new boxes.
I guess my question is more about which should I aim to match it with from the above or have I missed an option ? Before asking to listen to the set up at the dealer.

Make your dealer earn his money. Ask him to set up a demo of some systems that fit your needs and budget. If he won’t, then find another dealer. Naim traditionally expected their authorised dealers to do this, and to install your chosen system in your home and make sure it sounds as it should.
Some dealers are very good at this. Others are just box shifters who should be avoided.
This forum is never a good substitute for a knowledgeable dealer.

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I meant the exact combination of Atom HE / NAP250DR for that budget. That is what I paid new for them and you should be able to find them a bit cheaper on the pre-loved market. You keep the operation feel of the Star but gain a huge upgrade everywhere else.

Yes, it is a mullet, and surely someone will point out that the source does not match the power amp but the result is very good. Considering that the 222 will cost almost that entire budget by itself.

But, our course, as said above, it always has to be demoed before.

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Very true.

We have baby SFs and they were good with a 250DR and now excel with a 300DR. Bass really tight and controlled, beautiful midrange, pin sharp treble.

We did demo Nova II on the end of a 300DR (excellent) and recently had the opportunity to hear both Novas and Serafinos on the end of the 350s - both absolutely stunning speakers with those amps.

Moral of the story is SF speakers at all levels reward you as you throw better power amps at them.

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How would this combination compare with the Unitistar and a NAP250DR? Is there something about the Atom HE that makes it a better pre-amp than the Star? I don’t own either - just curious!

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The HE is, aside from a headphones amplifier, designed as a pre-amp. It does not have a power amp built in that will be needlessly on like the Star. You can’t switch off the power amp of a Star.

Aside from that it is in a different league ito headphone performance to the Star.

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In your budget I would go for ND5XS2/nDAC/282/HCDR/250DR ex-dem/2nd hand or NDX2/SN3 new, as a bare minimum.

I’m verry happy with ND5XS2/nDAC/282/HCDR/250DR and SF Sonetto V.

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This will be way over that budget new, but if it can be stretched certainly top contenders.

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Thank you and to be fair the dealer has been helpful to date, although the odd item like the 250dr for example is not available so will look at alternative options.

Thank you, after decades of moderate Hifi and speakers the SFs have renewed my interest (and lightened my pocket accordingly) and agree entirely with your moral story.

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Thank you certainly worth a demo.

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Will look at these suggestions on the secondhand market , thanks for sharing the setup.

… your point about operational ease “ like The Unity Star” hit me later and although not as important as sound quality naturally , is a good point.
I have seen secondhand NDX2 and 282 at reasonable prices on line so am guessing that the NDX2 would still give that operational feel by way of the Focal/Naim app however the 282 via traditional remotes.

Lovely speakers! There’s something special about the sound from the upper end of the Sonus Faber range, and the looks…straight art.

I recently went from a Uniti Star to a Supernait3 + ND5XS2 and the difference was not subtle. Better coherence, better bass, more space, blah blah. In short, I felt the upgrade was easily worth the money when compared to a Nait XS3 with the same streamer. For my tastes ( and my budget ) the SN3 / ND5XS2 combo was the best bang for the $, and retains that classic Naim PRaT and drive while adding a nice serving of detail, air, etc that lends life to music.

FWIW, the SN3 reminds me of the Nait 3 I had years ago, just with a bunch more refinement. Similar energy and enthusiasm, but without the raw edges -plus a lot more power and drive. I’ve owned a lot of Naim gear over the past 20+ years, and this combo hits a sweet spot to my ears. I think you’d have to spend quite a lot more for a significant improvement.

If your space is large, and If funds allow, I’d look at the 222 and the new 250, the current streamer tech is genuinely incredible ( assuming you want to keep that option from the Star), and the added power will definitely help drive the SF’s.

For context, my room is around 300 ft2 and I’m using a pair of Totem fire V1 monitors, and the SN3 has no trouble filling the space.

Having owned an Atom and a Star, the jump to the ND5XS2 was really significant. Keeping the ‘source first’ ethos in mind, and based on my experience , I’d have to recommend upgrading the streamer along side the pre/power upgrade to get the most out of the change vs money spent.

NDXS2/SN3 indeed falls in the OP’s budget. As a heavy headphone user that made the HE option a no brainer for me. Therefore as further upgrade I’d always opt for NSC222 instead myself.

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