Nait3 v Nait5 si

I have an old but lovely Naim refurbed nait3 amp. Thinking of a long term improvement. Will I get much better sound with the nait5 si? Wheat do you guys think?

Whilst I had my NAIT 3 refurbished I borrowed a 5i, or si, I actually forget! It was lovely, noticeably better than the 3. When I had my 3 back after service it was definitely better than beforehand, but not as good as the 5.

I guess you might expect it would be better, but not being a particular expert, I was surprised I could tell the difference. I ran the refurbed 3 for another 3 years, happily, before eventually replacing it with a XS3.

…and welcome :slight_smile:

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Wheat do I think? Give it a listen. You may hear barley any improvement or it may sound oatily different. You don’t want to be cerealy changing things so it may be better to look at a Nait XS3.


All depends on how much dough he’s got.


I have had the Nait 5Si on my main system when I first started with Naim and now have a Nait 3 on a second study system.

The Nait 5Si is clearer and brighter sounding. I thought it was pretty good. The Nait 3 is warmer sounding (possibly needs service) and is very different in character.

I wouldn’t necessarily consider the Nait 5Si as an upgrade.

I’m using a Thorens TD160 on the Nait 3 so it’s a vintage system. When I had the Nait 5Si I had it paired with the CD5Si. It was pretty good, but moved on so much since. My memory was the Nait 5Si and CD5Si was detailed, clear and slightly bright.

If you want to upgrade on a Nait 3 maybe look higher up in the Nait range to an XS2 or XS3 or Supernait 1, 2 or 3. Separates could be a consideration as well.

My Nait 3 is in a small room and am very pleased with this classic.

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Can I just jump in here and ask if anyone knows how the amplification in the Atom compares to that in the Nait 5si?

Thanks gthack

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Thanks Dan

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If your looking at a new Nait 5 then a used XS2 would show it a clean pair of heels for similar money and give additional flexibility (such as proving phantom power for a stageline).

I ran a 3r for many years and was very a happy with it but IMHO the only reason to buy one now is budget. The newer Naits are all better. If you just want a nice sounding system (as opposed to hifi being a hobby) an XS3 is one of the finest choices for a traditional amp.

Bit left field but a Linn Majik would also make a great compact system…

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Jimbo - I’d stick with the Nait 3 if it’s just recently been serviced and you like what it does. What’s the rest of your system ?

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Thanks so much folks for all the advice. Anyone else got a view on upgrading the amp on my system to a Nait 5si. ? Here is the current system in full:

Naim Nait 3 amp (reconditioned at Naim in 2018)
Naim CD5si CD player
Naim ND5 XS streamer
Rega RX3 speakers
Pricey Naim speaker cables

I really wouldn’t bother. If you want to change something, think about improving your most used source.


I would consider a Nait XS2 or XS3 would match your streamer.

Or go for Supernait 1 or 2.

Thing is if it all works well which it does. Then why change it? A Nait 3 is a nice integrated. I don’t think a 5Si is going to give any big improvement.

If you went for Supernait then you would possibly want a better source to match it. And so the upgrades go on.

If you want all the boxes to match then a 5Si will look nice. When I had the CD5si and Nait 5si with an ND5XS it looked nicely integrated.

It won’t necessarily sound any better though. Just different and what I found was it was a little on the bright side. Like I’ve said I prefer the Nait 3 being a bit warmer and softer round the edges!


Do you have a budget in mind? Trading your 3 against a new 5, I’m assuming c. £700, ish, if I can double caveat like that :slight_smile: That’s 2nd hand XS money, I suspect even at a dealer, so worth considering a few NAIT options not just the 5si.

On the source side, for that money, I might try and get a listen to your ND5 XS through a separate DAC. I can only tell you what I’ve listened to, a 2nd hand Chord Hugo, it is quite an impressive thing.

I think that sort of change would give you the most dramatic change. But it is a new box, albeit little! And not everyone likes its user experience.

You did specify that you’re considering amplification upgrades though, so specifically I did hear a useful improvement when I ran a 5s/i temporarily in place of my 3. Particularly if you are very used to your 3 I suspect you would too. Also, upgrading your amp benefits all your sources.

The usual advice also applies, try and get a demo, ideally at home. I suspect a Naim dealer would be ok lending you a 5.

Having said all that about the amp, why are you interested in amplification upgrades in particular? You think it might be the weakest link? I have to say, looking back, I found a greater difference adding the Hugo to my XS3, than the XS3 upgrade over my NAIT 3. The NAIT 3 is a super little amp.


If funds are tight and if one can stretch things a little i’d also look at a NAIT XS 2 over the 5Si. When i ran my CD5Si into a NAITXS 2 it was a very satisfying combo indeed. Plus you gain a fairly decent headphone output stage as well.


Thanks to all you helpful chaps. Lots for me to consider. I might pause on an upgrade and shell out 240 or so to get the ND5 XS streamer serviced by Naim. What does ‘proving phantom power for a stage line’ mean KiwiMara?
Thanks again guys.
I’d leave you with an interesting speakers discovery. I road tested a few in the 1000 to 1500 range and Audio t said wait and listen to the Rega RX3s. Hi fi mags were a bit unimpressed. They are 3 way. They are usually road tested with the side speakers facing in. Quite nice but with not enough punch. Face them out and you’ve a completely different animal. Definition amazing and a very fine sound.

The aux input on the XS2 also provides a 24V feed for an attached Stageline phono stage, if you need one. Snaic 5 to the stageline carries power to it, and signal back. The Stageline phono stage has no power of its own, so you need a powered aux socket, or separate power supply (Flatcap or Hicap).

The XS3 retains the feature, also adding an onboard phono stage.


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