An XS3 phono stage question or two

Is anybody here using a SUT or headamp with the XS3/Supernait3 phono stage?

I ask because I’m getting just okay results using an MM cartridge (an Audio Technica VM95ML via a Rega P6), which I suspect is down to the inexplicable 470pf capacitance (I’m sure there’s a reason for it, just would be good to know what it is). I have an OC9ML to hand but before splashing out on a headamp, I thought I ought canvas other people’s experiences on whether they heard any improvement (MCs being largely impervious to capacitance). I’m quite keen to stick with the XS3 onboard stage one way or the other.

And does anybody know what cartridges were used to voice the phono stage or what Naim recommend as a good match?


Knowing the character of the P6 (and its predecessors) well, this may be more a question of the AT cart’s match with the P6 than only the interaction with the phono stage. The latter could very well provide a satisfactorily outcome on a totally different deck with this cart, you’d have to try. It’s always in the combination (and your ears).

Here, the VM95 especially the ML wouldn’t be my obvious choice for the P6, neutral/lean upon neutral/lean. In my experience the Rega Exact cartridge works just fine with both the Nait XS3 and the Planar 6. There are several other combinations that I tried that had the same good mutual pairing, but Exact simply makes the most sense in your situation.

Myself I now use an 80s classic the Ortofon MC-3 Turbo which is HOMC not MM. Same price and compatibility as Exact, but a different flavour of sound. Out of production but still available at Thakker and other places. Another known combination is the Nagaoka MP series which is MI not MM. All these require a min. 2mm spacer.

IMO the Nait XS3 is a cracking amp with a great phono stage and a likeable headphone output.

(as to how Naim designed and voiced the phono stages of the XS3/SN3, that was covered in another or even several other threads recently. There was even a link to an interview with the designer(s) if I remember correctly, the search should bring them up)

Hi I can highly recommend the audio - technica VM540ML MicroLine MM Cartridge for the Rega P6 and the Supernait 3 internal phono. a very musical combination. (Do not worry about the cartridge specs, it works just fine on the Supernait 3 phono. And if you are thinking of upgrading your turntable at some point to a Rega P8 I would also recommend the audio - technica VM760SLC dual moving magnet. To utilise the fantastic Supernait 3 mm phono.

Good luck


P6, audio - technica VM540ML MicroLine MM Cartridge


P8, audio - technica VM760SLC dual moving magnet

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