XS(3) user, and ‘yes they run cool’!
Was a large factor when shifting to Naim (from a range of class A/hybrid and tube mono blocks etc).
As a consumer who hasn’t leaned heavy on Class A/B - the Naim way of tuning has really got me - I would happily choose a Naim Nait (Super or otherwise) as the sound is spot on where it should be.
Crazily, I have always favoured soundstage/depth and ‘metrics’ the XS / ’ Naits’ are not known for having as their strong suit.
I did find after 600 hours of ‘burn in’ that the staging changed significantly, and the steering of the amplifier, in terms of building a soundstage, is completely different after some break in.
ElvinJones post above succinctly observed some of the differences between a nice class A and Naim using a clever A/B bias.
Normally I’d go the ‘class A’ everytime route,… but being summer time over here, and having enjoyed leaving my Nait on, nonstop, for the entire length of summer… is not an option ANY other amp in my house would be given.
Amazingly the running costs on the Nait are so small that the advanatages that a switched on and already running amplifier has, is the Naits’ blessing -EVERY DAY!
Even texture/tonality and sustain… aspects that A/B might not win out with over pure Class A, hold really well…
for me the difference would be choosing the Supernait vs Nait XS(3) based on preferred stage size.
The last amp I was using (easily worth much much more than the Naim low price point offering) had a vastly larger soundstage to work from, and I grew to know/like that stage… even if it was overly large on a few recordings,… I accepted it and grew to like it.
It took me two months to adjust to the more intimate staging of the Nait XS3
When I am in any room around the Den,… I don’t hear staging (size) differences and the music just sounds ‘the best’ ever listened too…
When in room, the recordings that used to push past the rear walls now land neatly AT the rear walls, the stuff where imaging went past the boundaries of my 10 metre wide room, now just gets close to the walls… I actually prefer the voicing of the Nait, but with the caveat that it took 600hours to own the space it uses. (out of the box I’d have returned it based on being way to ‘in my face’ and really enclosed soundfield)
Some talk about the Supernait being everything the XS is but ‘bigger’ and that infers soundstage, to me…
So I am not sure… I LIKE the XS. In quite a few ways I feel that anything ‘more’ would be overkill… (I do not feel a Supernait would be well matched for me, even though the Naits traits that they are the weakest; “stage size” is something I typically seek to have ‘huge’).
What the Nait has done for me is allow me to experience Naim housesound.
I love their tuning; believe that at least one in four of every song I play is improved so much by the Naim playback experience (some instruments’ notes and many vocals just seem better than much other kit tried); that I am a convert.
If I had a nice Class A amp, would I sidegrade?
Naim sound is truly ‘a thing’.
Would I buy the XS3 and keep funds towards having TWO systems; yes- that would be my path forward!