Upgrade advice please

Current system: ND5XS (NOT XS2)
Nait 5i
Totem Arro speakers

I was at a dealer demo the other evening of the New Naim 200 and 300 series gear. This has left me rather underwhelmed with my current setup.
Realistically my end point will be the NCS222 streamer/preamp and NAP 250 power amp, and new speakers, but not in the current budget. I’m hoping to have a budget for the 222/250 in a year is so ……

Meanwhile…… my dealer has offered me a 1 yr old Uniti Nova for £3k (one box streamer/amp) with a full credit of it’s value towards a 222/250 in a years time, but I’m wondering if a ND5 XS2 running thru my Nait would be better as a temp till I can afford the 222/250 setup.
I only stream music, and currently use Tidal. The ND5 XS I currently own is not upgradable to best resolution Tidal I’m told.

I’d appreciate any comments on my upgrade path.


I haven’t heard the Uniti Nova but if you wanted on the normal auction sites are listing one for 1679.00 pounds sterling.

That seems incredibly cheap …. MSP for the Nova is £4.7k with street price £4.4k.

Save up for what you really want…

If you’re going to get a full credit on the Nova I would go for it - the current price you pay then becomes irrelevant so there is no benefit in buying a cheaper used one. You could always trade the Nova for a 222 when you have saved enough for it, and trade the Nait for a 250 later.


IMO the Nova is a lovely piece of equipment and a logical stepping stone to the 222/250. Though I have no experience with Naim integrated amps newer than the NAIT2, Id be quite surprised if the Nova wasn’t a nice step up from your NAIT5i.

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Thanks for the reply…
Ive just realised that my ND5 XS cannot read Tidal MQA files, so I have been paying for the top level of Tidal, and not been able to play the files ! Evidently the ND5 XS also cannot be upgraded (in January '24 for other Naim units) to read the MQA files as newer ND5 XS2 units can, it also has no support to run Qobuz. So an upgrade is urgent!!

The Nova will avoid these issues. Tidal are in the process of replacing their MQA library with lossless FLAC, in 24 bit where avaliable, which is what Qobuz have been offering for some time now. You will have the choice of either of these with the Nova.

I think the Nova is a great deal and will be quite an improvement over your current set up. It will also match very nicely with the Arro’s - I have a Nova in our lounge as a second system with Totem Hawks and that’s a very nice setup.

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No Naim streamers - new or old - are capable of decoding MQA files.

Upgrade advice? Don’t attend dealer demos… :wink:


I’d replace the speakers first, assuming the 5i can drive your desired pair

To me, the speakers make the greatest overall impact on the system.

I got some Kanta 2’s a few years ago and the step up from my B&W CM9s was something else… you can get 2 year old kantas for around 4k



If hes giving you a full credit upgade down the road id not think twice. The nova rocks.


The Nova deal is a very good one. It will sound better than what you have now and will drive your speakers a lot better. You may find that the Nova is all you need anyway.

As others have said, no Naim will decide MQA. Once Tidal introduce high res FLAC I believe a firmware upgrade will be required before it can be played, but may be wrong on that. As an alternative, the Nova would give you access to Qobuz, which already has high res.


I am very happy with my Kanta 2s as well. What source and amplification are you using, @mctaff ?

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My source is an ND5 XS into a Nait 5i integrated amp. My issue is that the ND5 XS cannot read Hi Res MDA/Flac files from Tidal, and has no support for Qobuz. Hence an upgrade is required to listen to 24/192, but I cant afford an NCS222/NAP 250 at present.

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Getting the Nova sounds like a no brainer to me. Especially as you basically take no risk if you upgrade in a year. Next would be the speakers. I have tried to like Totem, as they are from Canada like me, but any time I listen I am underwhelmed. It is not hard to find much better speakers at a reasonable price.


Your system appears to me well balanced. Better speakers with a Nait 5i is perhaps not a good idea.
I would improve your source or amp first. Or start saving for a 222/250.
It also depends on where you think to finish.
For example: Nd5xs2 / Nait 5i. >. Nd5xs2/ SN3. >. Nd5xs2/ Ndac/ SN3. Then better speakers.
Or 222 into Nait 5i used as amp ( if that is possible, ?). Then 250 NC.

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My question is: should I upgrade to an ND5XS2 or Nova while saving for a 222/250 final solution.