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Naim Uniti Nova or something else ?


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I am a newbie to hifi so excuse my lack of knowledge. I checked out the nova/ focal kanta 2 and also star/aria 926 both of which are being promoted as bundles. My original intention was star/aria 926 - perhaps 948 as upgrade to 926 but am tempted to now consider nova/focal kanta 2 which seemed leaps and bounds ahead.. i now seem heavily inclined to kanta 2, but am trying to figure if the naim nova is the best choice to go with focal kanta 2. I have no knowledge otherwise so wanted to understand if i could go with a possiblr streamer/amp combo instead of the nova to go with the kanta 2 and have a better solution, without spending anything extra ?

 

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:welcome:to the forum...  

 

You are certainly starting with a big budget. Have to heard the Nova & Focal combo?

 

Since you are adventurous, look at these as well.

NAD M33, just coming into the country and I think will beat the Nova.

https://www.stereophile.com/content/nad-masters-series-m33-streaming-integrated-amplifier

https://www.soundandvision.com/content/nad-masters-m33-streaming-integrated-amplifier-review

 

For a more radical one box approach, Buchardt A500 or A700.

https://audiophilestyle.com/ca/reviews/review-buchardt-audio-a500-speaker-system-r962/

 

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Thanks Snoopy8 both for your welcome and input. To your question, I did try the focal kanta 2 and nova combo and in my limited understanding and experience it sounded superb.   I will go over the NAD M33 as you advised... 

Just to clarify my original question - i was wondering if in my exuberance over the Nova am I missing out on a 2 box combo of a streamer and an integrated amp which could deliver better results with the Focal kanta 2, without spending extra. I did see Naim has a supernait 3 - would that paired with a streamer deliver better than a Nova ? 

Thanks again 

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The supernait 3 is the better amp compared to the Nova. The Nova is more for someone who’s main aim is simplification. You can easily build a better system with the money. But the question is do you want to and also deal with it the millions of variables that come with the later. Quite frankly I didn’t like the nova and the kanta combo. They are both good devices individually but in my opinion both the sound was just too forward. It can be fatiguing for longer listening. Naim pairs better with neutral to warmer sounding speakers. And a warmer amp is a better match with the focals . 
 

Do you want just a system to listen to music or do you like to be in the hobby to Change things up in the future. Based on that, you can find a strategy that works. Active speakers are even simpler as advised above. 

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9 minutes ago, Startman said:

Just to clarify my original question - i was wondering if in my exuberance over the Nova am I missing out on a 2 box combo of a streamer and an integrated amp which could deliver better results with the Focal kanta 2, without spending extra. I did see Naim has a supernait 3 - would that paired with a streamer deliver better than a Nova ? 

I am a fan of simplified systems and went through a major change.  Not familiar enough with the Naim range to tell you whether the Supernait 3 is better, but I have listened to the Atom/Nova and they perform well.  Please note that Naim will recommend using their cables, their power supplies etc.

 

Start and stay simplified if you can...

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15 hours ago, Startman said:

My original intention was star/aria 926 - perhaps 948 as upgrade to 926 but am tempted to now consider nova/focal kanta 2

I had the Aria 936 paired with a CX80 and then a peachtree nova 300. The Arias are due for a refresh. Do not consider them. If you like the Kantas, the NAD M33 will be a better match than the naim. The NAD is more relaxed than the nails and also has everything that you will need for a long long time. 

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Forgot to mention Buchardt offer a 45 day home trial. This is a no risk option for you, but you need to wait a few months for delivery. But it is a radical option!

 

The reviewer in the previous link replaced his Kii Three, with the A500.  That suggests that the sound quality is excellent (I own Kii Three).

 

 

 

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16 minutes ago, Startman said:

am I missing out on a 2 box combo of a streamer and an integrated amp which could deliver better results

Possibly yes. I would look at this streamer and find the best suited amplification you can find. Either power amp/s or a nice integrated. Something on the warmer side of neutral. I'm not sure NAD is the answer to powering those speakers, try to have an audition. These may suit as power amps. They will certainly push the Kanta's to their limits with the NAD streamer as a pre. 

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5 hours ago, Startman said:

 I did try the focal kanta 2 and nova combo and in my limited understanding and experience it sounded superb.

It sounded superb because it has been tuned together in factory. Naim and Focal is a 1 company. Kantas are end game speakers but the final SQ depends on other components and room acoustics. Naim with Kanta has well balanced performance. 

The question is do you want to try/upgrade different components in the future?

If you try and like class D amps from Nad M33 or Devialet than separates components made in AU might be of your interest. 

March Audio  P452 Purifi base amp

+ Supratek Tube Pre-amplifiers

  + Gieseler DAC 

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Thanks Irek. I have yet to start down this road so not sure where i will end up...but am inclined to try and not go down a path which is limiting to start with.. hence exploring

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10 hours ago, Startman said:

Thanks Irek. I have yet to start down this road so not sure where i will end up...but am inclined to try and not go down a path which is limiting to start with.. hence exploring

 

5 minutes ago, blakey72 said:

If you want to explore separate components may be a better option?

It is a philosophical question that is difficult to resolve for many people, let alone a newbie.  For some, looking for the next upgrade is part of the joy of the hobby and they will miss that aspect with a simple setup.  For others, with limited funds, the only way is to buy a bit at a time, and upgrade when funds permit.

 

Getting the best of a multi component system requires not only the matching of the components but also the right cables, power supplies, software etc.  And lots of time and effort.  If you enjoy the chase, then go multi component.  I did go down that path for many years, but found that many changes were dead ends at the cost of increased complexity and a huge cable mess.  I have to admit I enjoyed the chase then but frustration eventually wore me down.

 

For someone who has the funds, and with the intention of enjoying the music, a simplified setup is my suggestion.  Getting a NAD M33 is likely an end game set up for many.  The Buchardt option is another potential one.  I have settled for the Kii Three.  All are simple setups with excellent sound quality.

 

@Startman,  there is no one right answer.  Given that you are in Singapore, you have the option of auditioning a huge range.  You should take the opportunity to educate your ears, to learn the sound that you like.  It does, of course, get more confusing as you hear more opinions, here and in the shops.  But trust your ears, and decide how you want to get into this fascinating hobby.  Most of all, enjoy the music!  

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