An interesting read between XS 2, SN3, and cascoding amplifier outputs

First the link to the review.

Secondly a link to Wikipedia on Cascoding BJTs or Mosfets.

I never had a good handle on Cascoding and this articles clears things up for me.

It is interesting to read that an increase in secondary harmonics with the implementation of the cascode output increased the audio bandwidth which came at a sacrifice of increased 2nd harmonics.

This leaves me wondering which is better. XS2 or XS3; or SN2 or SN3. The article defends the move saying that the cascode design has made the XS3 more like an SN2.

I would what members on this forum hear in reality. Please. open mindsets.

Kind regards,


Meant to reply earlier. I have not managed to hear my XS3 vs anything other than its predecessor in my system, a NAIT3. But happy to read/be reminded that the XS3 improvements took it close/r to its Supernait bigger siblings! At the time I was considering what to replace my NAIT3 with I was debating SN2 or XS3. I went with the XS3 for a few reasons, but the power amp stage improvements were one of them. Perhaps best I didn’t audition any other candidates at the time X)

Anyway, I’m happy with my XS3 - I think it sounds great, and have said several times recently how much I’ve appreciated what it can do in various dealer demo rooms recently when audition a stack of source improvements. I’m sure your XS2 & Flatcap sounds cracking too. Don’t go getting itchy hifi feet now :slight_smile:

Any reason for looking into all this? Are you considering a change of amplification?

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Dear gyhack,

I have had many intentions of going down the rabbit hole as Naim enthusiasts call it or is it the ladder of never-ending upgrades? My interest lies purely in electronic theory and practice. I will have to go over my own links that have been posted as what I learned has now been relegated to the box ticked and down.

I believe from memory which is far from reliable that Naim introduces this modification to overcome cross-over distortion from a push-pull output transistor setup for speaker output. Though I can not remember the source or where I read this.

In my younger years, I was a Radio Technician Air with the Royal Australian Airforce and then later a metrologist (the science of measurement), not to be confused with a meteorologist.

It is purely a curiosity in cascoding that I wished to understand better. Not to be confused with cascading transistor amplification outputs.

If I had my time again I would have gone the road of an SN2 for the more headroom amplification into 4 ohms. The output watts match better with the capability of my low-efficiency speakers presenting 84dB SPL.

Though I must say maths aside, I am very happy with my XS 2 and my dear wife has closed the wallet on further HIFI equipment. The ND5XS is tinkering in the background though I am hesitant because of our internet connection bandwidths in regional Australia and of course my beautiful wife’s hold on my purse strings. I must say after selling my Harley due to monetary income issues when the sun shone again she allowed me to replace the Harley and I will be picking up my new 2022 Harley Davidson Softail Heritage in about four weeks or so in the colour I wished for.

I hope this pic is allowed as there is a Brand Name in the background. This is the photo of the actual bike.

No my dear friend, no more upgrades and thank you for replying to my post. I am glad someone found it interesting and worth commenting on. I was feeling all alone there until your reply.

Warm regards,


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Nice bike mister! I need to get my Honda ('99 CBR1100xx) back on the road over this winter!

I do find audio engineering interesting, particularly that there are well understood areas, based on strict disciplines, and then there are listening tests and subjective preferences! And companies like Naim, and Neat (and others I’m sure) who use both approaches when creating their products.

Go steady on the new bike 8)

Dear gthack,

Thank you for your comment to “Go steady on the new bike”. My military mates whom I ride with have given me the AKA (Also Known As) Slowdog. It is amusing to me as after a ride, the next day we may go visit a bush pub and the boys will blast away and I who calmly enter the pub’s address into my GPS arrive there before them. I am having my first beer and have found a table and considering what to order for lunch.

I have received two boasting comments from two of my motorcycle mates riding at excessive speeds on their Harleys’. One at 168 klm/hr and the other at 263 klm/hr. Lunacy when riding on country roads with wheat fields and roos everywhere. The latter was noted for not saying what Screaming Eagle Stage Kit was installed on his Street Glide.

CBR1100, a very converted bike in its time. Possibly still is, stay safe on that rocket.

Warm regards,


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