Upgrade to Nova?

I currently have a Superuniti and Unitiserve and am considering replacing these with a Nova DAB and Core.

However, having spent some time reading through various posts regarding the various Nova hardware and/or software issues in the ‘Streaming Audio’ and ‘Hi-Fi Corner’ forums, I am currently inclined to at least wait until the current software issues which appear to be adversely affecting the Nova are resolved.

Can any recent Nova purchasers offer any guidance/opinions on the reliability of a new Nova from a ‘hardware’ perspective? As the dealer I am considering is some 500 km away (there is no longer a local dealer), I don’t want to be in a situation where I have to return/exchange a defective unit.

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I replaced my Superuniti with a Naim separates system, and then bought an Atom for another room. The Atom runs essentially the same software, and the same streaming hardware as the Nova, and I find it to be very stable and reliable, so I don’t think a Nova is a risky purchase.

Personally, with your budget, I would not buy a Core. The price of a Core + Nova is over £6000. For that, if you keep the Unitiserve, you could get an ND5XS2 and a Supernait with cash to spare.

I had a Nova and Core from their launch. The only issue with Nova was the odd screen freeze which has a firmware resolution. Its a great amp, and streamer. I still have the Core, simple to use and sounds great.

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I’d second Gazza, having both to.

How about sound changes with every software update reported by many? Is there a resolution for screen freezes yet?

I upgraded from Superuniti to Nova when the Nova first came out and have had no issues or problems with reliability or screen freezes etc. I also don’t experience the sound quality changes reported by some in spite of being a beta tester and thus have had more firmware changes than most.
The Nova is a big improvement on the SU in every way and I haven’t ever regretted the move. My dealer is over 100 miles away but I’ve never had a problem so that’s not an issue for me,

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Hi GTE - welcome!

I upgraded from SU to Nova, and from UQ1 to Atom at launch; both new units offer noticeable performance improvements, and substantially improved network capabilities (especially if wifi is required) than their worthy predecessors for me and I’m very pleased with my decision.

There were definitely early reports of quality concerns. My Atom went into a DOA failure mode on first power up and was replaced immediately. Like you, I am far from my dealer and it was my first ever shipping experience… but it was totally fine. I had no such bad luck with the Nova, but other folks also had RMA replacements. That concern - of distance and hassle - was real for me too, but I’m more than okay with the possibility of interaction with dealer or distributor via FedEx or whatever. I would not let that be an obstacle now.

I’ve been in the firmware Beta program for several years, starting with addressing a series of faults in the original UnitiQute / original streaming platform. It is an extremely useful community to join, since you learn things and can stay abreast of updates. I would definitely recommend that you join, share your experience, and get the comfort of knowing how serious Naim are about their products (not always visible, or quick, outside). It is low risk, you can always revert to production code, and the real experts listen and respond to all issues raised by the participants.

I cannot really comment on the big sound changes introduced via updated firmware, as for me (even in the Beta program, where code under development and not yet optimized for sound is evaluated) there has never been a difference large enough to worry about. Can you sometimes hear differences? Yes. Are they life altering? For some people, yes; for others not at all. If you feel, for example, that transcoding from flac to wav on your server is a night and day, rather than a subtle, change on your SU, then you may be someone for whom a future performance or reliability firmware update brings a different and hence poorer listening experience. But if that has not happened yet with your Superuniti, I wouldn’t worry or let it distract me from moving to the Nova. The model-to-model improvements going from SU to Nova were far more apparent to me than the firmware changes.

I hope this shared experience is useful as you come to your decision. Best wishes for continued happiness whichever system you land on!

Regards alan

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Many thanks to all for your input, advice and reassurances!

I have considered going from my SU to a Nova to take advantage of the improved networking and platform but I’m worried about losing the sound quality I have.

I went from a Superuniti to a Nova, it is a massive improvement in sound quality haven’t regretted it for one moment.

Nick

Seems a few members have made the same move, I’d add that I personally dont see the 272/250 and even the NDX2/SN2 offering allot more than a Nova.

Do a demo, of these 3 options it then puts your mind at rest over the “should have gone separates”, but you may feel the separates do and skip the Nova.

Sorry to answer your specific question I am on my 4th or 5th now, I really forget which.

I’ve read posts where former SU owners didn’t like the sonics of the Nova and their characterization of the difference resonated with my own experiences. Not sure what I’m going to do aside from stay put for now.

The other thing you need to consider is that SU is much more flexible when it comes to user expierence. There are many more things you can adjust in SU. These new Uniti players are very rigid and less functional, in my opinion. Only recently we were allowed to switch the display off! You cannot use remote to select music or choose what do you want (or for how long) displayed on the unit’s screen. I know that the sound is the most important thing but these lttle thing may be quite annoying.
For some functionality you can use remote as well as the app, for some app only.
Obviously you will learn all this quickly any you will be fine but if you have other people using Uniti at home infrequently it may become quite confusing.

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I had 3 Novas then went to a NDX/Supernait2 not really out of choice but the later is certainly sonically superior and is obvious if listened to back to back.

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Thanks WOJ! I have only used the the Superuniti remote to set up the unit and make the occasional ‘Settings’ adjustments-otherwise it sits in a drawer. I find the Naim and Unitiserve Apps on both an ipad and iphone more than adequate for general listening.

Hi GTE.
I had a Nova for 11 months and had many problems, Nova playing the first track then jumping ahead missing out several tracks, display freezing, but the most annoying was random SQ changes. Three weeks ago i received a replacement Nova, so far it has not put a foot wrong and the sound quality is superb, and importantly there has been no random SQ changes. very happy with my new Nova.

Edward

Thanks ted_p! Hopefully my Nova will provide the same positive experience!

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