Nait 5Si or XS-2

Hi all, this is my first post in the forum.
I currently have an Arcam SA20 driving a pair of Proac Tablette 10s. The sound is very generous with very good bass, slightly recessed mids and pretty neutral treble. However, I would like a bit more pace and clarity to the sound, more holographic I guess, so I thought of Naim.
I can get an ex demo (3 years old) 5Si or an immaculate XS-2 (not XS2) for about the same price (£669 vs £699), and was hoping for a bit of help choosing which way to go.
Any advice gratefully received.

I still own XS with Flatcap XS.
Comparing to 5i, not 5SI I would say XS hands down. Definitely more holographic sound from the first notes. Better bass, clarity, soundstage etc. Adding a Flatcap was quite a revelation for me. Far from subtle changes. But…it all depends on your source and speakers.

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Thank you. My other option is an XS2 for £900. I’m trying to decide if it’s worth the extra money. Also, will it be better than my Arcam??? Hifi is so tricky, especially if you’re buying second hand.


I used to run a 5Si amplifier for six years and thought it was a great amplifier, all the usual Naim qualities such as good pace, rhythm and timing. I then upgraded to a XS 2 amplifier around 9 months ago and think it is a worth while improvement over the baby NAIT. I find the XS 2 is more effortless and sophisticated by comparison and the headphone stage is also a step up. It’s also upgradable should one want to add a PSU.

I would go for the XS 2 if you can stretch to it. I’m not familiar with that particular Arcam model so daren’t comment on that, sorry.

Totally, especially if the used models have been discontinued, as here.

I have heard a Nait 5i. (I know you are asking about the 5si) I’ve not compared a Nait5i with a Nait XS. But have owned the Nait XS and find it a very complete amplifier. This will sound like faint praise but there is nothing that it does wrong imo.

I would go with the best Nait XS or variant you can afford.

Please let us know how it goes…

I’ve just had a random offer of £950 for a Supernait accepted on Ebay. I hope I’ve done the right thing!

Congratulations — I doubt you regret it. And for this price you should be able to move it on with little or no loss if you don’t like it.

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I have the same speakers as you, I want your review with the Supernait :wink:

my ProAc are driven by a Qute for now, but really soon I hope, a 72/HC/140 combo (fu…ing Coronavirus)

Sure thing! I had a Qute 2 to begin with, then I changed to a Creek Destiny 2 in the expectation that more power would mean more bass, which it did to some extent, but not enough. I luckily sold it on at a small profit. I’ve currently got an Arcam SA20 which delivers all the bass in the world, but at the expense of a degree of clarity and pace. I can return that for a refund during the next couple of weeks, and now, very unexpectedly, I’m in for a Supernait! I’m hoping that it delivers the pace, clarity and bass weight that I’m after.

I’m sure it can !!!

Which source(s) do you have now?

I’m streaming via Tidal and Qobuz. Tidal via a Pioneer MQA enabled streamer, and Qobuz through a Chromecast audio through the SA20 internal dac. I’m also going to be using a CD transport through the internal dac of the amp

Didn’t get the Supernait🙁 The seller tried to charge me 80 quid for the remote, so I told him to get lost! Alarm bells started to ring and I lost confidence in him as a seller.

Ah is that the one listed today at 1200? I noticed no remote…it’s a mk1 with serial number beginning 99 with a sticker saying seconds. I was tempted by that also

Yeah, that’s the one. He said the sticker because it was a Naim staff purchase. I asked about the remote and he quoted me 80 quid. I said it should have been included as the amplifier comes complete with the remote, so either include it or cancel the sale. So he cancelled the sale.

Hmm I’ll stay away then!

It may be a perfectly OK amp that you can get for £950. I guess worst case scenario is that it needs a full service, don’t know how much one of those costs for a Supernait. Oh, plus the cost of a remote control!

I wouldn’t worry too much. IMHO the SN1 really needs a HiCap, preferably DR, to sing. That was my experience anyway. Also, the SN1 is getting long in the tooth and the SN2 was a very different beast, much more so than XS2 vs XS. I also found the DAC section pretty weak, so never used it. I’d go for an XS or XS2 and enjoy your system for a while. Once you’ve got used to it you can enjoy yourself working out where in the Naim hierarchy you want to get to and how to get there. Have fun



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