Nait XS to Supernait 3

I have had eleven years happy listening with a Nait XS but I am giving serious thought to upgrading. I am conscious of time passing, having retired from work a few years ago, and want to find out what I am missing while I still can. The rest of my system consists of a ND5 XS2, Flatcap XS (bought pre-owned), LP 12, Naim stageline, Headline and NAPSC, Velodyne micro-vee X subwoofer, and a pre-owned Naim HDX bought last year. My dealer advises that an upgrade to a Supernait 3 would be the logical next step. That is certainly within budget although I had hoped to get a Hicap power supply at the same time and they Naim no longer do them. Will I still benefit from the upgrade without changing my power supply?

It depends where you want to go - keeping to an integrated amp and PSU or going down the pre-power route. If the former, then the SN3 would be a good step. You could try it with your Flatcap XS, but you’d lose out on the DR’d internal SN3 supply. There are plenty of pre-loved Hicap DRs around so no need for a new one from Naim.

If the latter, then look at something like the 282. It can be powered from the Flatcap XS to start with and you can use the Nait XS in power amp mode. Power supply and power amp upgrades can follow later.

Saying all that, the Nait XS / FC XS is a great combination so another route would just to look at getting these two components serviced and back to peak performance and just enjoy what you’ve got.

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Hi James. I made the move from XS to SN3 back in 2021. Got a good trade in deal.
Definitely a step up, felt like a lot more control over the speakers ( PMC 25.23) and very much improved listening at low volume. I added the HiCap a year later, I demoed at my dealer first and felt it was a definite upgrade in terms of detail.
XS was due a service, so buying the SN3 saved cash and inconvenience too.
Hope this helps


Thanks James, Mikee for the helpful response. I have a feeling this may be my last major upgrade although I have thought that before!

With this in mind I’d wait for the SN3 successor or go separates.
1.5 or 2 boxes, does it matter ?
You can surely find a s/h SN2/HCDR at cheapskate, great amp combo.

To be honest I find it strange they discontinued Hicap while still have other items such as XS and SN in their Classic range - why ?

To some degree it depends on your speakers.
Some speakers are an easy enough load not to reveal much of a difference with an upgrade with the power amplification.

I currently have a Supernait 1, but some time ago I had a NAC72/NAP140/HiCap. I borrowed a NAP250 for a week and could not hear any difference (with my PMC LB1 speakers) over the NAP140. I added a NAC82 to replave the NAC72. I gained a bit more detail, but I lost some of the musicality.

That being said, more recently I went from a Nait XS2 to a Supernait 1, and the improvement in soundstage (broader), upper bass punch and midrange swagger was impressive (Tannoy Autograph Mini speakers).

Some upgrades add more balance to the system, others may not.

I would guess that it’s simply because the projected numbers dealers reckon they will sell just don’t make it sensible to keep it current. There are so many HICAPs of all kinds out there, from early CB, through Olive, Classic, and then most recently DR, and units hitting the SH market will no doubt increase as existing owners upgrade to the New Classics.

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My speakers are Totem Sky bookshelf and which sound great.

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Instead of a new sn3, you could buy sn2 plus hicap on the “pre loved” market; doesn’t need to be ebay, there are plenty of Naim dealers out there who could hook you up.

FWIW I also was in your position about 3 years ago. I went from a XS2 to SN3 and for me it was a great upgrade. I know there is better but it would cost me huge amounts of money to “better” it.

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Just buy a SN3… then look for a nice used HiCapDR


Almost nothing.

Proceed with caution!

I found my Nait XS to be very complete and have taken it to it’s logical conclusion now, see profile. I don’t know the SN3 but the original SN seemed ponderous in comparison with the lithe Nait XS.

Just an opinion, you might think differently.

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