Best starting Amp £1400 budget

I know I’m opening a can of worms here guys so apologies in advance .
As a music fan of 40 plus years I’ve dabbled with hifi but always wanted but could never afford the naim . I have been entranced by its sound since I heard a 282/250 combo driving some spendor s9s I bought , but kids and divorce have left me dreaming of this .
I’m now starting a system and wanted to ask what you guys think would be a god starting amp
Budget as above , this will be mostly streaming from a Nd5 Xs which I’m in th process of buying .
No interest in vinyl so phono stage not important . Oh btw love the last gen design before focal get involved ( not that I could afford that :grin:)

My options as I see it are :
Nait xs 2 or 3
Supernait 1/2
155/150 with power supply
202/200 at a push

Room is fairly small so don’t need oodles of oomph , current speakers are AE2 classics but these will be next to be upgraded
Music taste is mainly electronic ( underworld/ orbital / black dog )but also the likes of massive attack , portishead with some prefab sprout and talk talk , Bjork on the side
Lower to medium volume levels only
Thanks guys

From your list, without doubt the supernait 2 would be my choice.

On the other hand the budget could get you a hicap/62/140 from the Olive shoebox size range.


Hello and welcome….
If it were my money and knowing what I know now it would be the 202/200 a pairing I had for quite a while - it really is the start of the Naim chain for seperates!
But if you want to keep the box count down to just an integrated then yes a Super Nait!


XS2 all the way. Medium sized room, ND5XS, moderate speakers, medium volume. You don’t need much more than that - and could save a little £££.


Looks like you may have solved the NAP155XS ‘problem’ :wink:.

(And now back to the thread).

I’m with you on Maury. I currently have a SN3 but knowing what I now know, I kind of wish I would have kept my XS2 which works well for a smaller room. Of course the SN3 is better but the XS2 was my “first” love so to speak.

Thank you guys , I am aware that sometimes you can have too much of a good thing in a small ish room


In a small room, I would go with minimal boxes to reduce clutter so integrated would be my choice. Either Supernait or XS2 would be fine. All will work well. Since there is no end to this game, just pick one and live with it for good.

1 Like

I demoed the original supernait against the 202/200 back in the day with dynaudio stand mounts and the supernait didn’t come off well having a glare underlaying the sound, the sort of thing that’s only in the subconscious until it stops, OK with Rega RS5s though so maybe not all speakers show it up. I had a similar thing with a Nait 5 into mission 700s so suspect it’s having the pre amp in with the power. I’d go 202/200 and add a PSC when you can. Also consider 282/150 if you can find them within budget. with the new classics coming out the price of used old classics may be expected to drop a bit.

The original SN was one of my favorite pieces of Naim kit I ever had. I have been thinking about a move to a SN3 someday when the time/situation is right and calling that my final solution. :pray:

You could do worse than have a listen to a brand new Nait 5si. It’s an excellent integrated amp and very underrated. If you just want it for a small room and modest listening levels rather than starting on the upgrade band wagon I would highly recommend it. My tastes include Massive Attack and the Chemical Brothers plus Prefab Sprout and oodles of others.

1 Like

Given what you say I think I’d go for a used XS2 and Chord Hugo. I strongly suspect you’d achieve both for your budget.

I run a XS3, it sounds great. My streaming setup uses a Chord Hugo MK1, and it sounds very very good. It might a complication you don’t want to add, but I would try and have a listen before you decide.

1 Like

Does it have to be a Naim amp?

If you’re going for a SN, a quick look at some auction sites suggests an SN2 may be more than £1400. So it’s probably a SN1. This is one of Naim’s more controversial boxes. I’m with @DrMark on this and found it preferable to 200/202 for my listening, but that was with an HiCap and for me it really benefits from the power supply. I’d not have bought mine without a HC and that also blows the £1400 budget.

So I concur with those suggesting an XS2. To my ears the XS amps are significantly better than the 5si. It’s what I’d go for in the Naim range.



And there you have it. One loves the supernait and another wouldn’t give it house room. How to decide?

Yes please :grin:

1 Like

Hey, guess what, the Nait5XS is better than the 5si and a Supernait is better than the XS but hold the front page, the Supernait is even better with a Hicap and wait for it……the 202/200 is where you really need to be because…….it’s better than all of them. :joy:.

I have no idea how you are going to make any decisions but my advice is get what you really want (and want to spend) especially if you already have an idea. It doesn’t really matter what sounds better because you might actually be really happy with any of them because guess what, they all actually sound great for what they are.

Good luck with this one :grin:


I suggested the sn2 from your list because of I think it is the best at the price point you suggest, if you can find one. If you go to the 200/202, my experience of having one is that it really needs the Hicap (extra cost) to perform at its best, otherwise stick with the SN2.
Its good advice to listen to the xs2 vs the sn2 though. It could give you what you want with your current speakers.

My alternative of the older 3 Olive shoeboxes probably stems from my liking for them, but I do think together they sound better than the SN2.

Personal preferences mean you need to find some to listen to.

1 Like

Whatever pleases one’s own ears. If we all liked the same stuff, the forum wouldn’t be too interesting!

1 Like