I have a Nait 5i integrated amp and am looking to upgrade on the used market. Checking to see if the upgrade path to one of the following is worth it: Nait XS-2 or separates – Nap 152 preamp with the NAC 155 amp. Rest of kit consists of Totem Sky speakers, Rega P3/Mofi phono preamp, Innous Zen Mk3 server fed through NAD Master Series M51 DAC. Any recommendation between the XS and the preamp/amp combo I’m looking at?
I think @Christopher_M has gone from a NAIT xs to the NAC152xs and NAP155xs so could give you an idea of what difference you may expect to hear between them.
That will be a help. This gear used is a lot of product for the $$. I don’t think you could wrong with either set-up, but still want to make an informed purchase. Thanks, DP
Yes I have had a Nait XS (twice), now a 152XS/155XS.
The Nait is a very complete, fun amplifier. It could be all you ever want. It does not do anything badly. Sincerely, I do not mean to damn it with faint praise.
So why commit to the 152XS/155XS? It sort of depends on what sort of Naim guy you want to be. Naim have built their reputation on the separation of the delicate bits of an amplifier from the ‘chunky’ bits. Herein lies the finesse, refinement and power of the Naim sound. Hence my choice.
I hesitate to introduce a motoring analogy, especially one from the 1980s. Some petrolhead know-all will always pull you up! But here goes. Think of the Nait XS as a Mk2 Golf GTi, practical and heaps of fun. The NAC152XS/ NAP155XS is a BMW 318i. The power is essentially the same but a longitudinally mounted engine and rear wheel drive ensures the balance is perfect.
Hope that helps.
NB. For these purposes the Nait XS-2 is considered the same as the Nait XS that I once owned. The XS-2 just has the later brushed anodised fascia.
I currently have both in two different systems in my house. I would agree with the above post that refinement is probably what you get with the 152 over the XS2. Plus the 152 overs better upgrade route if that is something that you are looking to do.
Which ever you chose both benefit from the addition of flatcap XS, and to be honest when I used the nait I never felt it had enough authority to the sound without it.
By-the-way, there is a ‘proper’ XS2 which isn’t just a brushed aluminium front, It has more output. I think you can spot them if they have a 6.5mm headphone socket on the front. Probably best doing some research on this.
Thanks for your reply – the analogy is a good one…I can relate to cars.
The XS-2 I’m looking at has 10 more watts than the standard XS. Both set-ups are good values on the used market…
That sounds like a full fat XS2 so that’s a good start.
I’ve been keeping an eye on the used market myself recently, seems earlier XS2s go for a fair bit less than later ones, but fairly similar to original XSes. How does service pricing factor into your decision making?
I can’t afford either right now (so no competition X) ) but I think I’d either go early and pay the service, or late and pay the premium. In between I know I’d have doubts. But then I wonder how much I’ve normalised expecting to pay service fees to get the best out of an older amp!?
Potential buyers need to be aware that there was a Nait XS, and XS-2 and an XS2.
So much easier to avoid any pitfalls and buy a NAC152XS, NAP155XS. But then I would say that!
Yes. A NAIT XS-2 is basically just a NAIT XS with a brushed alloy fascia rather than the painted cast magnesium zinc one. Beyond that they are the same. The real changes came with the NAIT XS2.
Oh, that’s really great to know, thanks, and likely explains the price differences I was seeing!
[just read the thread back and several folks said the same, cheers for listing the model designations out explicitly, that finally hammered it into my head X) ]
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