Naim Supernait 3 review

An interesting review of the SN3, for those interested, by Part time audiophile.
The site is full of pop ups and advertising, so I couldn’t put the link here.
You can find it easily with google.

The reviewer has an experience with Naim integrated, from Nait 2 to Nait XS.
He even uses a step up transformer by Koetsu, connected to the MM stage of the SN3, to listen to his Koetsu MC cart.
The speakers are ATC SC7 among others.


The reviewer says : « . What that meant, at least back in the ‘90s, was that Naim amplification focused on playing the notes right, which meant a certain tonality that focused on the timing of the music. It was an excellent sound to me when I first heard it, although I’ve always felt that PRaT came at the expense of imaging and soundstaging. Music sounded beefy, powerful, chunky, emotionally direct.
The Supernait 3 , however, has a different and more contemporary sound «

Is it true ?


Don’t know but i prefer the later Naim sound. I thought a lot of the kit, not just Naim, in the 90s was all a bit rough around the edges, even a little relentless maybe. I find the kit today is more refined and less fatiguing, but without being boring. Each to his or her own.

I much prefer my SN3 to my old slimline active system for instance. It’s far more grown up but not to the point of being dull, quite the opposite in fact. Far more listener-able and for far longer periods with the volume up high.


I have a Supernait 2 which is quite similar . I believe it was quite a long winded review with not very much about the amp in hand but anyway I’m very, very happy with mine.

As some of you will know I spent a few excellent but ultimately frustrating years with different Naim separates until I moved away from Naim completely for a few years.

A year or so ago I decided to try a Supernait 2 very competitively priced because of the release of the SN3 and I couldn’t be happier all of that Naim good stuff but without the idiosyncrasies and enough power to keep my Dynaudios happy.




I could have more asked « what do you think ? »

Due to copyright would members not just cut and paste an entire review and post here. Paraphrase, by all means…

It is not a technical review - (e.g. no mention of adding a HiCap) - Its more a reminiscence of Naim gear he once owned

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What is interesting is that the reviewer finds that Naim has now a kind of new sound signature, more refined, with better soundstaging. The new 283, 253, and 553 ( or 282/2…) will probably follow the new sound signature.

I think that’s one of the things that DR brings to the party. At least that was my experience with DR upgrades on my power supplies. Similar conclusion comparing 250DR with non DR version.


Difficult to say. It would be interesting to compare SN2 / Hicap dr vs SN3.


Are you suggesting that due to DR differences between the SN2 and SN3? I think the only SN without DR preamp is the original SN.

The SN2 has a DR supply for the preamp section, the same as the SN3. There was some confusion about this on the forum, but Clare cleared it up. Plus, if you look at interior images of the SN2, you can see the DR module.



I don’t need hi fi sound.

I’m after music, and being emotionally connected to the sound when I listen.

If Naim’s gradual refinement of their sonics adds to the emotive way we connect to our music when listening to Naim equipment, all’s good.

Once they deviate to become more “hi-fi”… and they lose their “soul” in the sound, that deviation from their original roots will not sit well with most. I’m grateful that hasn’t been the case in general so far from what I have heard. It’s a really fine tightrope. Fingers crossed.

I think the SNs are wonderful for what they offer in Naim sound, at their pricing points. Tempting proposition to simplify, and just get back to the music with loads of enjoyment and fun.

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Since 2002 the sound, which we loved at OLIVE, has disappeared .


It hasn’t disappeared… just buy Olives as many have stuck to with love, over decades.
I was browsing and salivating over the Olive thread - amazing love there… I love Olive sound. But I also embrace its evolution to the black boxes. Still boogies and is more refined sounding now with greater detail.

Something would be amiss if Naim sound stayed status quo over five decades. If anything, they have addressed feedback on the Olives and wrought improvements to where they are today. A good thing for us all as the fabric is still from the same sonic cloth. Naim CB and Olive systems are timeless classics. Win-win-win for all whatever we pick.



I believe it’s the case that the DR implementation is ‘more extensive’ on the Supernait 3, whatever that means in practice. This stuff about a new sound simply comes from the reviewer’s need to say something - it doesn’t have a new sound at all, it’s simply that Naim has refined its products over the years. Whether it’s from 1982 or 2022 it’s still got the Naimyness that puts musical communication at the forefront, with the newer stuff doing it in a more sophisticated way.

The key conclusion seems to be that they thought the SN3 was jolly good and that it would be hard to beat under $10,000. And as a happy owner of one, I’d have to agree.


On the nail.

I need to spend some serious time listening to it as I have read much that is good about the formidable SN3. We tend to get too carried away sometimes with the pre-powers - and why not - but a good well designed Naim integrated will always still be as musical - and enjoyable as they come, depending on the speakers, partnering components and the set up. A Nait 2 is still a musical baby beast.


Apparently, according to other reviewers, that’s mostly on par with each other. But; a HiCap DR, pushes things even further on here with SN3, compared with the bare unit itself >this is not cognitive dissonance< :smiley:


No it isn’t. It’s the same implementation as in the SN2. Either way, it doesn’t compare with a HiCap DR fronting the pre-amp section on a SUPERNAIT.