ND5 + NAC 202 + NAIT XS3 + NAP 200?


I’ve been fortunate enough to have been given a NAC 202 from a very kind friend who’s moved abroad. Since I already have a lovely ND5 + Nait XS3 + Nap 200 combo, I was wondering whether they’d be any benefit (or possibility) in making the Nait a power amp with the Nap and using the Nac 202 as the pre-amp, with the ND5 as the source. Any thoughts very welcome.

Thank you

Basically the Nait has no purpose if you have a 202 and a 200. You are best selling it and getting a Napsc and Hicap for the 202. The fact that you have just bought the Nait is a separate issue.

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Get an extra pair of speakers and create a bedroom / study system!

Source: raspberry pi & dac hat or spdif out to a chord mojo dac or so.

Such is life eh.

Out of interest, have you heard of anyone using a NAP200 with an NAIT XS2/3? I can’t find any comment. Sounds good to my ears, though.

People have done it and I’m sure it’s super. But the 202 is simply a better preamp than that in the Nait, so it makes sense to use it. Get a napsc and then follow with a Hicap DR if you can afford it.

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Thanks. The reason I ask is you can’t actually go direct to the 200 from the XS using the DIN, so thought that would put people off. You have to either go from the RCA (sub out) on the Nait to the 4 pin on the 200, or get a Flatcap. I’m using the RCA route. I think this is because the Nait isn’t man enough to power the 200.

IIRC I had a Nait XS once that I used happily with a NAP200. They were connected by a Snaic4.

Maybe the layout has changed on the Nait XS3.

(Nice present).

If you want to use the XS as a preamp you’d normally power it with a power supply, and then take a signal from power supply to power amp. It’s nothing to do with being ‘man enough’. Whether taking a signal from the sub out is ideal I’m not sure.

That’s interesting. I’ve no idea whether the layout has changed, but it definitely won’t work straight with 4 pin. I did ring Naim to ask when I got the XS3 and they suggested the RCA from the sub out.

Yeah, good mate!

Connection of NAP200 to Nait XS3 is probably one for @NeilS

Naim are not keen on passive bi-amping. In which case, the Nait XS3 would be superfluous as HH says.

I don’t know how good your ND5XS would be into a NAC202/NAP200.

OK, I’d be interested to see what @NeilS says. Certainly the 4 pin connection doesn’t work and the RCA Sub Out to the 200 works nicely; given this I’m not sure how earlier models were able to connect using Snaic4. If the Flatcap would improve things (over the RCA) then it’d be worth the relatively small outlay I feel.

If you remove the link plug the preamp won’t work, hence the need for a power supply. It’s as simple as that. If you have a 202 and a 200 you just don’t need the XS. One or the other.

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I think HH has got it. It was a long time ago but I now think I must have had my FC2 between my XS and NAP200.

Hi All,

The NAP200 can’t be used with a SNAIC straight from a NaitXS 2 or 3, simply because of a socket mismatch, it needs to go via a power supply (FC HC etc.)

The sub out sockets are full range, so can be used for this purpose.

@anon22951169 what is it that you want to do? Bi-amping?

If so, the best way would be to get a Flatcap/Hicap etc. and simply use the three available 4 pin DINs to connect to the 200 and the amp section of the XS, when you power up the XS press & hold the flashing mute button on the front panel to disable the XS preamp stage.


This is the bit I don’t quite get.

Thanks Neil,

That’s exactly what I’m wanting to know if possible, yes. I’m being let down by my jargonistic knowledge. Heard a Naim system a long time ago and have wanted one since, now have the means but am playing catchup. Apologies.

In regards to connecting the XS3 to the 200 (out of interest), when you say

Is the implication of this that a Flatcap or similar would potentially add an increase in sound quality but that it’s ‘fine’ to use the sub-outs? (I suppose I’m asking what you mean by ‘full range’)


Full range as in frequency - i.e. not filtered for a subwoofer. If used with a sub, the sub would filter out the high frequencies.

If you add a Flatcap etc, the advantage is a better power supply for the preamp, when used in that configuration, the earthing is kept correct by connecting the power amp(s) to that power supply.

A direct RCA connection from the 200 to the XS is fine because the “star earth” is still within the XS preamp stage.


The disadvantage of doing it this way is that the signal will still be being fed into the (still powered) power amp stage, albeit without speaker loading.

I am not sure what disadvantage you are referring to. My setup is similar, but with an Atom linked to a NAP 200. This works like a breeze and it sounds very good. I have never noticed any negative side effects of not using the internal Atom power amp.

I suppose you’re using an RCA from the ‘Preamp Out’ of the Atom to the NAP 200 - is this, then, the equivalent of the Sub Out on the XS3?

Well, almost. I use a RCA-DIN cable from futureshop.co.uk and that works perfect. You would not need that as the XS3 has a DIN pre-amp output, so I assume you would use that to connect to the NAP 200. Don’t think you should use the sub-outputs for this.

You cannot power the 200 directly from the XS3. As NeilS said, it’s because of a socket mismatch. And what I’m wanting to know is why this is possible from the Atom but not the Nait XS3. I don’t get it.