Nait XS upgrade

Hi everyone

Since a few months I am the happy owner of a naim nait XS amplifier. First time Naim, love at first sight with my KEF LS50’s. Recently I found Visonik concept 7 speakers (4ohm), I used to know the concept 9 speakers from my uncle, although they’re not very famous, I always liked them. They’re really good.
Unfortunately I don’t like 'em with my naim nait XS amp… No, I like them a lot! But there’s one thing I hate. My bass gets boomy… No I want to know what might get things better…
Would a HICAP help me? Speaker cables? Other amp (with higher DF?)…
I would really like a solution because it’s all good (highs, mids, stereo image, dynamics, …) except the bass, it’s just too much and it’s boomy…
If I connect my denon pma 2000 mk IV, the bass is okay, it’s not boomy at all. But all other magic is gone too!

Need details of your room really.

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As Paul is suggesting, it might not be the amp. Boomy bass is an interaction between your speakers and the room; bass traps might help but start with moving the speakers, get good stands etc.
Ultimately they might not be the right speakers. A better amp with more grip wouldn’t necessarily introduce the control needed.


Hi Paul & Robert

Thanks for your feedback. I still need to experiment with speaker position but I don’t have much margin to move around. The one, is quite in a corner, but I made a bass trap behind it, didn’t help much. The speaker are floorstanders and the woofers are downfiring, the bass port is in front (tried with foam plugs too). It’s not getting tighter.
Room size is approx: 5 x 10 meters. Never had problems before with bass that’s out of control. Again: with denon and other amps, no problem. But no magic either. It’s mostly with bass guitar for instance, some other bass migth be tight, but there’s also that hint of boominess.

Maybe it’s not boominess, maybe its lack of control, less tighter bass…

Much depends on your budget, but a supernait 2 could be all the amp you’ll ever need.

For reference here’s the op’s speakers:

Quite tall and heavy!

  • Dimensions: 235 x 1200 x 420 mm (W x H x D)
  • Weight: 42 kg


Hi Will and welcome to the forum. I also wondered if the problem is lack of control rather than, or in addition to, interaction with the room, which is quite large, at least by UK standards. My understanding is that your speakers have a bottom-firing woofer and when I had speakers with a bottom-firing port and a Nait XS, I encountered symptoms similar to what you’ve described. Putting one speaker in a corner won’t help either.

Personally, I wouldn’t look to a HiCap or cables to solve your problem. It’s probably going to need a change of amp or speaker. A SuperNait would be my suggestion on the amp side, but ideally I’d want to try it in situ first.


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@will3 What is the minimum impedance of your Concept 7s ?

Hi Robert

Thanks for the reply. Yup, that’s them. Great speakers imo. If I could ony tame the bass with my naim.

Some specs on the visoniks:

I’ve been looking for the SN2, not many for sale. I would also be disappointed to sell my nait XS. Coz I really love that amp.

So I may assume that a HICAP might not do enough in terms of bass control?
Maybe a NAP200 will? I’ll come back with feedback after I moved my speakers further from the wall.
In the meantime, if anyone has more tips for me, please feel free to give me your opinion.

Hi PeakMan

Thanks! What you understand is correct.

  • Downfiring floorstanding speaker, with no bass issues with other amps.
  • Moving them out of corner: to try, but WAF = no go.

Thanks for advising me not to go towards Hicap, would have been waste of €500 here on 2ndhand market.

  • Supernait might be in the scope if I sell some other stuff, but will it be better?
  • I know Naim doesn’t after high DF rates, but has super nait 2 a bigger DF than Nait XS?


Hi Christopher

That I don’t know, the Impedance of the speakers is 4ohm, so i suppose it goes a lot lower than that in certain cases.

Don’t confuse power and control; The power amp will provide the power but the control of that power is mostly down to the source and the pre-amp.

I remember having this amply demonstrated to me some years back while trying to get a Naim system to ‘behave’ itself in a particularly tricky room at an overseas hifi show. For the most part everything sounded great, but try and we might we couldn’t fix a nasty bass boom that would appear from time to time, without messing up the rest of it. The cure was to swap out the CD5x source and replace with a CDX2. We not only had improved sound across the board but much tighter and better defined bass with greater control, and… no more tendency to tip over into a bass boom!


The hicap on an integrated powers the preamp stage, freeing up the internal psu for the poweramp stage. That’s where you’ll hear the most benefit/improvement. It all starts with the source and goes from there.
Shoving a 200 on a nait xs won’t give you what you are after ……. Unless it’s a stepping stone towards 202/200! (Where the 202 is powered by the 200. If you are not going to use the 200 to power a preamp don’t bother getting a 200 DR; the DR bit will only be realised when powering a preamp).

I had real trouble with bass control in the past, which was largely caused by the acoustics of the room I was using. That was with a Superuniti, which is a Naim all-in-one player I had at the time.
First I added an external power amp to it, a NAP200, but this had very little effect on bass control. Then I upgraded the source to an NDX. Again, very little improvement. Finally I added a 282, a separate Naim preamp, and sold the Superuniti. This final upgrade almost completely resolved the bass boom problem, which I previously thought could only be fixed by using a different room. So don’t underestimate the importance of the preamp in a Naim system.
With your NaitXS a Hicap would, in effect, be a preamp upgrade. Whether it would help with your particular problem is hard to say, you would just have to try it and see what happens, like any upgrade.

Following @Richard.Dane 's post, above, what is your main source, Will?


Put a sock in the bass reflex port. Job done.

I’ve just saved you $$$$ :slight_smile:

Hi Christopher

I am using apple music connected to an arcam dac d33. Has a filter (fast/slow/neutral roll off) fast roll off is the best now… but not good enough.

Foam plugs aint helping, tried it. Bass ports are in front. Its just like the bass woofer is just a little too loose

Might be better. But I have dificulties believing a psu can improve this issue. On the other hand I want to believe it.

So where now, Will?


Hi, welcome to the forum. I had an XS for several years. It is a great amp. I used to drive PMC TB2i, which were terribly boomy around 80 and 160Hz. Those speakers are now in my small office room and are fine. Sometimes, certain speakers just don’t work in certain rooms. I am on PMC twenty 23 now.

I briefly powered the XS with a Hicap-DR, which lifts a veil off the sound - things are just clearer. I can’t say it did much in the bass department though other than detracting a little from the weight of the bass (psychological maybe as the mids were more focussed), so I added a NAP200. Ultimately, a few months later I have ended up with a NAC202 too. That made the most difference in terms of clarity and presentation and more bass weight (which with a boomy bass may be not a good thing!)

Occasionally for old times sake I plumb back in the XS and it always surprises me how capable it was, but I have made my bed with NAC202 etc so must use those.

I did try a HiCap on my Nait XS. It certainly changed the sound, not for the better IMO, though others seem to like it. I certainly didn’t find it particularly helpful in tightening up the bass. I really would recommend audition first if that’s bat all possible.

I eventually swapped the XS for a SuperNait 1 where the HiCap really came into its own — I wouldn’t have used the SN without the HC.