Naim Nait XS2 and Atom HE Upgrade path


Going to pop into my dealer in a few weeks to demo prospective upgrade paths.

I love my set up today (in addition to above a Shinola TT and Buchardt s400 ) but am ready for the next step up. Not sure whether to

  1. Swap integrated out for a SN3
  2. Swap Atom HE out for an NSC 222

I know I could swap integrated for a power amp however I don’t like the way TT sounds through the Atom HE (I believe the analogue signal is digitised)

Only have budget for 1 or 2 - probably aspire to having both classics in 3 or 4 years.

Views welcome.

How do you use them both at the moment? I wonder if a NSC222 would be the best bet. Run through your XS2 as a power amp in the short term.

Should give you more or less HE equivalent headphone listening, would add an analogue phono stage you can run your TT through. You could sell your HE to part fund it, and stick with the XS2 as a power amp in the short term, or buy any of the multitude of Naim power amps according to budget.

I use them pretty much as you’ve suggested. I run the HE as my digital pre-amp into the AV bypass on XS2 and my TT into the XS2 pre-amp.

What you suggest is therefore very tempting - only (potential) drawback is I might not get a such immediate improvement in sound.

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Possible! I only suggested it as it was something I’ve also considered :slight_smile: I run a XS3, with a separate streamer and DAC. I thought about the NSC222 for the convenience/simplification of streaming with the additional bonus of the improvement in the pre amp over the XS. When I really thought about it though I suspect it wouldn’t be all that much more money to PX my XS3 at the same time and go something like an olive 250/NSC222 system. I reckon improving the pre on the XS amps probably gives more than improving the power, particularly if your speakers are easy to drive. But it would need a demo, if possible of course, to know for sure. Are you able to demo?

NSC222 now means only one more change to add the NC250 if that’s where you think you’ll end up with anyway.

If you went SN3 now you’d have to do NSC222&250 still in future if the NC 200 system is where you want to be.

On reflection, if I upgrade my XS3, it’s likely to be any future NC Supernait, I don’t think I’m in NC 200 territory.

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