Naim Nova Delays - alternatives streamers/ amp combination?

Dear all,

I have Just seen the latest forum delays on the Naim Nova at https://forums.naimaudio.com.    I feel Naim's pain on the ongoing certification issues and really appreciate their honesty in the latest message but as no end in sight I now need to look at alternatives.    I originally placed deposit on 2016 price in November.

I was not considering secondhand and had budget about £4000 on unit(s) to go with my PMC twenty-five 23s.  

Thoughts please??  Naim two box solutions/ alternatives e.g Cyrus?  Naim any deals to be done via my dealer to overcome my disappointment?

Or something I am misreading in latest announcement that DOES NOT push this out to September onwards?   Every code/ certification changes takes minimum of 3 - 4 weeks turnaround and you no longer saying you nearly there!

Thanks

John

Original Post

If you have something to listen to in the meantime then I would hang on in there and get the Nova.

If you are one of those who sold something at the time you placed your order and is without music, you could look for a used Superuniti, which will probably cost less than £2K for a newish one and sell it on once the Nova has fully landed (if you can afford to, you could leave your deposit in place and get the Nova at the  pre-rise price.)

best

David

I bet you could get a good deal on a SuperUniti if you looked around. But the Nova promises to be a significant step up in SQ so why would you seek an alternative, other than impatience. Surely the prime reason we play with Naim gear is on SQ grounds.

The Nova is due to be launched soon after the Atom, and after that the Star. I assume all the certification issues will be dealt with when the Atom is launched so I do not uderstand why there would be a significant delay between the Atom and Nova.

If you can find some good pre loved examples, a NDX and SuperNait might be worth considering. But again who can be sure a two box solution will sound better than a Nova?

Yes got a 2016 pre-price rise one and sold my old Cyrus separates to help create necessary budget.

Luckily my local Naim dealer been fantastic and leant me some Naim demo equipment to get me by (Nait XS2 & CD5 XS).  I suspect Superuniti from memory not a big step up on sound against my demo kit (assuming CD V streaming file quality is similar) for hassle of buying and selling again right?

I am not sure how a SuperUniti would compare to Nait XS2/CD5XS but I am pretty sure that the Nova would better both assuming you are serving it from a decent NAS and quality ripped files or decent quality downloads.

As you have music at the moment from the kindness of your dealer why not repay him with a little patience and wait for the Nova?

Yes its impatience and based on previous communication (with dealer/ Naim direct/ this forum via Phil) Nova will only come out after Atom certification.  The Atom certification been further delayed based on today's update and I note a Naim tone from Trevor that is far less optimistic, even pessimistic than ever before.  Hence my flip to look at alternatives which may actually serve me better.... 

Hungryhalibut posted:

With a bit of discount or an exdem model, you could get a 272 and a used non DR 200 for £4,000. Miles better than a SuperUniti and doubtless better than a Nova as well. 

You either do this or wait for the Nova, there's no real in between options.

Personally I'd be looking into a 272 and power amp as Hungryhalibut suggests as you mention two boxes. 

If you really can't wait, I would consider looking at a 272/200 or NDX/Supernait as alternatives. My preference would be for the latter, but both are good. Alternatively you could get a used Superuniti for under £2k and sell it for little loss when the Nova arrives. 

I've heard a Nova and was very impressed, and I wonder if it will run close to a 272? There's also good reason to hope that the added functionality and stability of the Nova will be worth waiting for.

If budget was not an issue and forget Nova completely  - any thoughts on which is a better option with PMC 25-23s:

272/ 200DR or Supernait/ NDX??

Also anyone listened to Cyrus 200 power amp and XP prestreamer with q module upgrade in comparison to Superuniti??

Big John posted:

If budget was not an issue and forget Nova completely  - any thoughts on which is a better option with PMC 25-23s:

272/ 200DR or Supernait/ NDX??

Also anyone listened to Cyrus 200 power amp and XP prestreamer with q module upgrade in comparison to Superuniti??

These are all current products, so you should be able to listen for yourself before committing. As stated above, I definitely preferred NDX/Supernait to NDX/200, but you may disagree. 272 has a small advantage of a better volume control - nothing to do with sound quality, it just has better control.

Sorry, can't comment on the Cyrus stuff as I've never heard it.

NDX/SN2 works well in my room (in my opinion!) with 25.23's. I can't offer you a comparison on the other options though as I haven't heard them.

As others have said, NDX/SN2 or 272/200 or 250 are the two box options for you to consider, but bear in mind this will undoubtedly lead one day to a third box!

All depends if you want one box or two to three. How about sticking with your loan equipment for now and then demo the 2 box solutions to narrow it down to one of them.

And finally when the Nova arrives, demo that back to back with your chosen 2 box solution. That way you will be sure you get the absolute best option. It will require a bit of patience though until then.

Probably isn't what you wanted to hear though I guess.....

 

I would also look at SN2 plus Hugo 2. I haven't heard the new Hugo but "early birds" seem very happy. The Hugo divides the Forum, but I think it would be worthwhile to establish your side on this divide... 

Obviously you would also need a renderer, but a quick forum search will provide several options at different price points.

Big John posted:

If budget was not an issue and forget Nova completely  - any thoughts on which is a better option with PMC 25-23s:

272/ 200DR or Supernait/ NDX??

Also anyone listened to Cyrus 200 power amp and XP prestreamer with q module upgrade in comparison to Superuniti??

As a direct comparison pricewise, the 272/250DR is more appropriate. Both are good I'm sure. 

If one box is no longer a requirement (but max two boxes is) then NDX/Supernait or 272/200 would be great combos to try. I have actually owned NDX/200 (with initially a 202 and later a 282 pre amp) and very impressive they were. Budget wise, these combos can be had preloved for your £4k. You will need to invest in a NAS and other bits and bobs like a switch and some ethernet cabling but these are not that expensive. PMC and Naim generally work well together so I see no issue with your 25-23s.

As has already been mentioned, as these are all current models, no reason not to try a few combos out. Narrow your options down at the dealer an then home demo a shortlist.

It would still be a good idea IMV to wait for the Nova to see if it is so good it outperforms the two-box solutions. I am sure your dealer would have a queue for your Nova should you choose another direction.

All I would say is that if you go the separates route, be prepared for the signs of upgraditis as the options to relieve you of further cash are many and there is no known cure!

Hungryhalibut posted:
ssmith posted:

Apologies if this is such a stupid question thar I deserve a torrent of abuse. As a stepping stone before a later amplifier upgrade could a 272 and Nap100 work to a reasonable standard?

Absolutely. It would be super. 

Great thanks, tempting as I already have a 100.

The a 272 + 100 would be an excellent starting point, and with the possibility of upgrading to a 250DR at some point in the future.

Both are seriously good systems, for the money at their respective price points; and to start you only need the 272, which is a lot less than the Nova.

The new uniti architecture is based on a (bespoke?) Linux system. 

All the other products are (in this fast moving streaming world) legacy products already - based (as I understand it) on Win XP. 

Naim will fight or fall on the success of the new uniti series. I'd wait if I were you. And before you consider an ND or 272 have a look at the way their software is updated. Really this is Win 3.1 compared to what Roon, BlueOS etc. do- over air upgrades, which is what the uniti series will have. 

 

(And I didnt even mention Roon compatibly !)

.sjb

Reflecting on everyone's comments I actually wonder if the best solution is a Naim pre being fed by another manufacturer for the streaming duties that offers access to Tidal Qobuz and other fancy stuff. Airplay, Roon even, but is future proof but adaptable.

In a way I get the best if both worlds. Naim seem to struggle with anything to do with software development. Aside from the never appearing Uniti range we are still waiting on the firmware that was meant to fix Tidal dropouts(not that I had any) that was due Christmas 2015. In a way I can't really see any reason why this will change so perhaps this area needs to go.

Is there a way I can achieve this?

Sloop John B posted:

The new uniti architecture is based on a (bespoke?) Linux system. 

All the other products are (in this fast moving streaming world) legacy products already - based (as I understand it) on Win XP. 

Naim will fight or fall on the success of the new uniti series. I'd wait if I were you. And before you consider an ND or 272 have a look at the way their software is updated. Really this is Win 3.1 compared to what Roon, BlueOS etc. do- over air upgrades, which is what the uniti series will have. 

 

(And I didnt even mention Roon compatibly !)

.sjb

The older products are embedded systems based on the AD SHARC processor not on XP.

Big John posted:

Good points, wonder actually how vulnerable Win XP code is on those older units considering wannacry virus issues in news??  Anyone know more??

They can't be infected by Wanacrypt.

In fact I know of no viruses written for the SHARC.  Even if there were, a power cycle will clear the RAM and eliminate the virus.

Big John posted:

Good points, wonder actually how vulnerable Win XP code is on those older units considering wannacry virus issues in news??  Anyone know more??

Don't worry about it,  we've have a brand new aircraft carrier that has Win XP,  so I guess the whole damn fleet has the same.   

Big John posted:

Dear all,

I have Just seen the latest forum delays on the Naim Nova at https://forums.naimaudio.com.    I feel Naim's pain on the ongoing certification issues and really appreciate their honesty in the latest message but as no end in sight I now need to look at alternatives.    I originally placed deposit on 2016 price in November.

I was not considering secondhand and had budget about £4000 on unit(s) to go with my PMC twenty-five 23s.  

Thoughts please??  Naim two box solutions/ alternatives e.g Cyrus?  Naim any deals to be done via my dealer to overcome my disappointment?

Or something I am misreading in latest announcement that DOES NOT push this out to September onwards?   Every code/ certification changes takes minimum of 3 - 4 weeks turnaround and you no longer saying you nearly there!

Thanks

John

musical fidelity m6 encore, moon neo ace, devialet 130, technics su-g30, micromega m one...there is a lot of integrated / dac/ streamer in one box.  all these between 2000/3500 GBP.

It's only the servers HDX, US, NS0* that run embedded XP. So no need to worry about that in considering any of the other products mentioned in the thread (also I suspect that if your Baim server gets a successful ransom ware attack, then that is going to be the least of your problems as it will have come from something already infected in your home network.

best

David

Big John posted:

Dear all,

I have Just seen the latest forum delays on the Naim Nova at https://forums.naimaudio.com.    I feel Naim's pain on the ongoing certification issues and really appreciate their honesty in the latest message but as no end in sight I now need to look at alternatives.    I originally placed deposit on 2016 price in November.

I was not considering secondhand and had budget about £4000 on unit(s) to go with my PMC twenty-five 23s.  

Thoughts please??  Naim two box solutions/ alternatives e.g Cyrus?  Naim any deals to be done via my dealer to overcome my disappointment?

Or something I am misreading in latest announcement that DOES NOT push this out to September onwards?   Every code/ certification changes takes minimum of 3 - 4 weeks turnaround and you no longer saying you nearly there!

Thanks

John

I am extremely pleased with SN2 + Naim DAC. It might be hard to find a second hand SN2 but a pre-loved Naim DAC should not be too difficult to spot. It is a two box solution that needs to be driven by a SPDIF feed. This could be a Raspberry Pi 3 with a HifiBerry Digi+ Pro (with BNC connector) running MinimServer and upmpdcli or a mac-mini running Audirvana or a Windows based solution. If you do not use a HifiBerry Digi+ Pro you will need a USB->SPDIF interface, though. Best, nbpf

Big John posted:

...

Luckily my local Naim dealer been fantastic and leant me some Naim demo equipment to get me by (Nait XS2 & CD5 XS).

...

In this case what speaks against waiting for the Nova? You can then demo it against possible alternatives and come up with a sound decision. No need to commit yourself to a device that you have not demoed nor to pick up an alternative without having listened to the Nova, seems to me. Best, nbpf

audio1946 posted:

no of the units are aimed at old naim school, the muso started the new direction and unitis take over,  black box days are over  

No I believe you are wrong about that. Naim can't develop everything at the same time because it's a small company, but black boxes is where they hope customers who start with muso and then progress to Uniti will end up. Once the Unitis are all out and sorted, we could well expect to see some trickle through of the technology into a refresh of the black boxes. But having said that I would expect a good couple of years before that happens.

best

David

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