Uniti Nova review in HiFi News

Interesting and enthusiastic review of the Nova in the Nov issue of HFN & RR. "Outstanding Product". I expect Naim will put it on their website, which will help if you don't want to buy the magazine or stand for 5 mins in WHS reading it!

best

David

Original Post

One interesting fact that came out of the rewiew was that the analogue input is digitised first with a ADC... as a result the Nova lost out a bit in the review...  vs the Naim integrated..

Interesting move by Naim... does this allow the streaming of an analogue source connected to the Nova to other Naim streaming capable products?

 

And most people on the forum are interested in Naim and praise the products, for their  quality at the price point. I have listened to many, many, products over the years, Naim tick the box. Yes there are other great products, but it is, and should be a very personal choice.

Timo posted:

Interesting read, and I am sure the Nova is a great product. But I can't help to note that Andrew Everard seems to praise every single Naim product he reviews. Well, this might be no surprise since he uses Naim himself...

I read Andrew regularly in Gramophone and he doesn't praise everything there, although he is always impeccably polite. But maybe more to the point is that Paul Miller co-wrote the HFN article on the Nova and he does I believe always say what he really thinks, with graphs and numbers to back it up.

So for me the right conclusion is that Naim kit does all sound excellent at it's price point and that includes the Nova.

Maybe a key test is that if someone who is what my poor old mum when she was alive used to call a "right rogue" were to steal my SuperUniti from my office, would I buy a Nova to replace it or would I buy a pre-loved SU and keep the change?

I think, partly on the basis of this review, that I really would go for the Nova...

best

David

Try the ussuu app on iOS, the hifi news November edition is for free, plenty of adverts etc, but type in most mags around the world and they are there. Now need to ween my wife off these paper copies of her mags, not sure how it works financially, perhaps we are cutting our own hifi cult throats, but a quick fix to the article?

very subjective  PR Review,,it seems to indicate the days of the black box audio amplifier is over naims future is focussed in this range. which is good for most new customers. pity they didn't produce a compact speaker to go with it     every one  the planet  knew this range would be very good and fly off the shelf even without reviews . the one area that struck me is the inclusion of the ADC. I  Can see this  adc unit popping up in other manufacturer units too. my ps audio phono amp has one , and produces 96k files which are good

audio1946 posted:

very subjective  PR Review,,it seems to indicate the days of the black box audio amplifier is over naims future is focussed in this range. which is good for most new customers. pity they didn't produce a compact speaker to go with it     every one  the planet  knew this range would be very good and fly off the shelf even without reviews . the one area that struck me is the inclusion of the ADC. I  Can see this  adc unit popping up in other manufacturer units too. my ps audio phono amp has one , and produces 96k files which are good

I cannot imagine the days of black box audio amplifier being over - it will always be part of the Naim range.

Likewise BMW introduced some new models, like 4 and 6 series, but the 5 and 7 will always be part of the BMW offerings.

Hi Jon and Gazza -

I read the lab test specs as neither generous nor stretching: there was indeed 96 W @ 8 ohms, but iirc it was much closer to 160 W than 192 W @ 4 ohms ... so, from a current delivery / genuine power perspective, where you expect twice the power at half the load, 80 W seemed simply honest and indicative for the 8 ohm load. That the 2 ohm and (to a lesser, but nonetheless impressive, extent) the 1 ohm measurements also support this view. Full marks for honesty, but not necessarily "under rated": tells us more about the expected drive / grip / control for real (even "difficult") speaker loads, I think? Sounded fine and effortless driving the smallest B&W 8-series floorstanders, which I believe are known to have low resistance in the lower octaves...

Regards alan

Sloop John B posted:

to those that may know, isn't this a minimum phase filter rather than a linear one?

.sjb

Yes that's my understanding also.

Linear phase attempts to keep the group delay the same at all frequencies and thus requires pre-ringing in the time domain.

Hi SJB -

I'm no filter expert by any means, but I read the Naim white paper (for the NDAC where they first introduced this filter) and two of the references and I get the impression they mean what they say. Although FIR filters are more generally linear phase, and IIR filters more generally not, it is possible to compute the coefficients for an IIR that preserves phase and has zero (acausal) pre-ringing as shown. Since their emphasis is low-cost / -intensity compute load in the fpga, I think their design was a "best of both worlds" approach rather than a simpler tool-box designed filter (especially since they use 40 bit floating point, which pushes the arithmetic S/N below the original encoding and the analog converter noise floor. This seems to be the polar opposite of the many thousands of taps FIR approach used in Chord DACs, where much higher computing is available and taking a larger pre/post sample dataset (is a wider convolution bandwidth) drives down the noise floor and improves the interpolation precision  ... but I don't have the impression that the Naim filter isn't what it says on the tin  

Regards alan

(edit)

ps - in this context, linear means zero phase shift; I'm not clear on how this might differ from minimum phase

I also read the HiFi news review of the Nova and the ADC part. I am using my Nova exclusively as a digital centre so not likely to connect via the analogue ins... but I must admit I am a little puzzled as to why the Analogue ins are digitised. Would it not be better for SQ to amplify them as analogue signals? 

Totally agree Emre - outside of the lab test there has been more valuable information on this forum than from the HiFi news reviewer. It came across as a rather superficial piece. True he compared it with his own integrated amplifier; but nothing about the effect of adding an external power amp - or even which speakers he used. Sounds like he took the test unit home for a week, looked for something positive to say and prefixed it with a woffly description of its features. From the review the 'outstanding product' seems more of a stamp than his opinion-although he did go on about the 'powerful sound' . . . 

Emre posted:

Everything get a badge in Hifi news - 75/87 points for almost every product..... 

still it is a good read but sometimes it makes me crazy that it carefully avoids important questions and comperisons  about a product...

 

When I flick through HiFi World reviews in Smiths nearly every review ends with the summary 'Outstanding Product' or 'Excellent Product', whats the difference and is there any point in reading their reviews..?  If the magazine only chooses to review 'very good' products then I would imagine this magazine is only for the 'elite' audiophiles.

Ravenswood10 posted:
Klout10 posted:

Can someone help me getting a pdf copy of this review? I'm very interested!

You could try subscribing - it’s an excellent read. The best out there along with Hifi Critic of course

Sometimes reading HiFi reviews or listening to the results of the Eurovision Song Contest is an inardvertent study in politics involved...

Gazza, just pop into your local newsagent and buy a copy.  It's money well spent - whether a fan or not, HFNRR is something of an institution and well worth supporting.  Better yet, subscribe, then you won't miss anything.  The music features a good and the retrospective vintage kit reviews are also quite an eyeopener.

Richard, I do from time to time, and issu mainly has old copies, it seemed odd a new publication was available. I am well aware it cannot be free from new forever. I do buy them as well, mainly when I go on vacation to whet my appetite for the next plan....

Thanks to Gazza's (?) suggestion, earlier in thread I subscribed to Issu and downloaded edition - all for free - helpful when one lives abroad! I felt the Nova review to be  a bit cursory, despite the word count, and it didn't  cover some of the topics I wanted to hear about. I approached a UK dealer whom I trust and asked him what he thought about the Nova vs 272. His opinion was that the 272 is clearly better - more weight, texture, insight into recordings - I guess I will have to fly over and do an audition. 

@ Richard, are you aware if the 272 is due a refresh in the forseeable future - to take advantage of the new streaming platform and 'low noise' pre-amp components in the Nova?. 

 

I decided on your last comment to buy the Nova and a second hand 250dr as it was close to the 272/250 performance and would keep its value better when the 272 is replaced. Now the Nova has settled in I have compared to my friends 272/250 and I am not disappointed, they sound different, but not a huge difference. Dealers tend to go for the 200, not the 250, when comparing, if at all.

Richard Dane posted:

RBB, I'd imagine that a replacement for the NAC-N272 is inevitable at some point in the coming years.  As to exactly when that might be, I have no idea - and even if I did, I couldn't say.

I take it it's imminent then?

more obtuse than central bankers. 

.sjb

Naim having had an extended period when they didn't get the anticipated income from the new Unitis, I doubt they will want to risk stalling sales of the 272 which is one of their best revenue earners from the legacy ranges.

So looking into my crystal ball, I see a 372 first, but not yet I think. And at quite a price premium to the 272, so as to distance the two markets. And then after a further pause of a year or so, maybe a 272 Mk2.

Of course I could be completely wrong, which is what makes this sort of pointless speculation fun!

best

David

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