Nait XS to XS 3 underwhelning

This week i finally installed a new Nait XS 3 in my System with CDX2 and nSat.
Starting with the package, i don’t like at all the new one with side handle. Another surprise was the main switch which is very very soft without the usual contrast of any other kit i owned (From series 3, various CDX2s and other two Nait XS)
When i played the first cd i noticed a certain lack of stereo focus, In fact, with the Fonè Cd Test, playing the track with 1 khz tone there is clear difference of level on left/right channel, with the left ch. quite lower than right. Only for this is very annoying.
Finally summarising its sonic character, i dare say is more bland, laid back, without the typical, a little cheecky Naim character i 'm used to. It is for sure more refined less edgy and assertive probably more three-dimensional and tonally richer but definetely not my cup of tea, and before someone tells me to be patient , since it requires a certain time of run in, i can answer that pretty much every new kit i owned was great right out from the box.
The only few that required some patience in my case were the Nac 552 for the opposite reason perhaps and the Superlumina Din Din (CD 555 to 552) a little long to come on song.
To put salt in the wounds the CDX2 i have in this system, just collected from service for a mech change, absolutely refused to read the TOC of the cd above same thing (had to play it with the DVD5) Same situation with R. Lee Jones - Pop Pop Po, cd surface is absolutely perfect without scrateches. Also this afternon when doing the comparison the 2011 Nait XS (Freshly recapped as well) the Lavender interconnect died on right channel.
Tomorow i will return the lot at my local service centre but I’m seriously tempted to get rid of it, getting a Nac 202/202 instead.
On the positive side i have in the S400 system, the CDX2-2 freshly recapped with new mother board and the Nait XS mentioned above, i also tweaked a little the 400s position, opening the distance inside them of 2/3 cm and Oh boy ! this system never sang this good.


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Whatever the packaging, and from where in the world…it’s designed by Naim for their products…buy a NAP 500, you get packaging with 2 side handles, made somewhere?

Can you post a picture of the XS3 and package?

The XS range is actually double boxed so doubt it’s much cheaper. The reason I think the XS range is packed like this is because the actual weight can withstand a carry handle, the Classic range upwards is just too heavy bulky.
How many times have we walked from a dealer to a car carrying our treasured new Naim device in both hands, getting to the car and having to put our beautiful device on a wet ground in a carpark etc. Much handier to be able to trot to car proud as punch and reach into pocket with spare hand for key, without the box touching ground. If the best way to carry is possible due to weight it should be offered. As the equipment gets heavier bulkier it’s just not possible.
I doubt very much its case of poor man’s box rich man’s box.

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Package is not an issue it was only a consideration (not only mine btw) The main problem is the uneven level of channels and its sonic presentation.

I really like the side handle box :wink: it’s super convenient and looks ok so what’s not to like?

That’s convenient it’s undeniable, but let’s get to core of the topic now.

Which is rather interesting to me cause I’m buying one xs3 soon. Or something else maybe? SN2 is the same price currently new here in Poland.

Hi Roberto, I think the core of the topic is that the XS3 is the amp for new guys who want to buy into Naim at the XS series level. The XS3 is not for old guys like us who bought and loved the original Nait XS. Too much of a sideways move.

The real move is the 202/200 as you suggest. That’s what it takes to beat the Nait XS imo.



Perhaps a Supernait 2 or 3 would do what you want it to do. Try a demo and the 202 with 200 of course.

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I haven’t compared but I thought you had a no-brainer there…

Very good point Chris!
i did the mistake, going for this on the base that my original XS’s were so good and having read rave reviews about the new one, but probably as you pointed out the 3 takes a new direction aimed to different people, I never owned 202/200 but always had a sweet spot for them. plus i already have a HC DR.



Well, i found a new ex stock Nait XS at the previous Naim distributor and friend so i’ll get this insted. Meanwhile i’ will probably swap the “3” for S.Lumina din/Xlr interconnect of the 500 system which is the last link missing.

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