New to the NAIM brand - £4k budget

Small update on this thread.

Went to my local dealer this week, didn’t demo an SN3 but I did listen to the NEAT Iota Alpha speakers.

I currently have them at home on demo for 4-days and my god what a difference vs. the B&Ws I currently have.The clarity on these things is incredible and it feels like I’ve had a dust-sheet over my B&Ws all this time.

Hopefully should have an SN3 within the next couple of weeks.


Welcome to the slippery slope! :sunglasses:


Good choice of dealer as well as kit. Enjoy.

Returned the NEAT’s today and asked about a package deal with an SN3, hopefully getting a demo machine in before the weekend.

Question please - I’ve been going down loads of rabbit-holes in the last few weeks but have a question about speaker cables.

Will I hear ‘that much’ of a difference moving to something like the WH N2 or Phantom please?

I have QED Silver Anniversary XT currently running under the floor (9m L channel + 7m R channel) to the opposite side of the room. Phantom is going to cost a few quid plus I’d need to pull the wooden floor up to replace.

Another option is to place the SN3 between the speakers and have a much shorter length of WH Phantom. If I do this what do I do with all the speaker cable ‘slack’ if I go down the 3.5m route?

I have QED XT anniversary… thought I was the only one!
Never used WH speaker cable so cannot comment
. But why rip your flooring up? Cannot you attach the end of the new cable to the old and gently pull it through?

I have the Witch Hat N2 connecting my Nait XS2 to a pair of PMC twenty5.22 speakers and that was a big improvement over the cables I had prior to that, can’t remember exactly what they were but they were a sort of generic installation cable. The N2 is designed to have the same sonic qualities as NACA5 and my gut feel is that I’d have to go a lot further up the Naim amp chain than a XS2 or SN3 to really get the best out of the WH Phantoms. The good thing is that they do a 30 day money back guarantee so there is no risk to trying the N2 to see how you get on with it.

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I have run the same pair of Naim NAC A5 with a Nait XS 2 and currently with my SuperNait 2 and do not believe you have to look any further. If you are working with a Naim dealer I would ask for a demo pair. They may even have a used pair available which may help with your budget…


As you are Warwickshire, it would be worth having a chat with Peter Swain at Cymbiosis in Leicestershire.

They have the full range of Naim, new and some pre-loved. He will work with you to sort out your needs.

Just picked up a demo SN3 that I have to test for a week along with some NEAT IOTA Alphas.

Just played ‘Enzo Bellomo - Serenity’. OMG I have never heard like it before in my life.

Flicking through lots of different genres and I now know what PRaT means after listening to ‘ZZ Top - LA Grange’.

The intro to ‘Interpol - Evil’ sounds like the bass-player is sat in front of me playing it.

Still a little sharp on some TIDAL streams but that may be speaker cable (QED Silver Anniversary XT) or the recording.


In my opinion, yes. I have the WH Phantom and despite their company being loathed by Naim and its dealers, it actually did make a difference over my previous cable WH N2 which I favoured over NACA5 for flex reasons, as sound was similar, mybe WH slightly better.

To guage just how good the WH Phantom is, my wife is in complete agreement.

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Am I reading that right that you have different length speaker cables left to right ?

After a period the capacitors begin to need replacement , this is every brand.

Some are more open about it than others, Ten year old pre- power will need servicing, Darren at Class A gets lots of votes and the people on this forum are strict about standards of workmanship

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Correct. However yesterday I installed the demo SN3 on a rack closer to my speakers so have equal lengths of 1m now.

When I purchase it I’ll get the correct 3.4m lengths of appropriate cable, most likely WH.

To confirm, current system is: Cambridge CXN -> QED Reference Coaxial -> Arcam rDAC -> QED Performance Graphite RCA -> SN3 -> QED XT Silver Anniversary -> NEAT IOTA Alpha

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Just to add another potential option for speaker cable I’m using Linn K200 on my SN3/NDX2 system to good effect.

Found it knocked off a bit of the shrill top end brightness without losing any detail. Seems to have good synergy with Naim and isn’t crazy expensive.

Also the silver colour is rather fetching!


Update time…

Had the SN3 for a long weekend now and very impressed with it. Even the other-half was hearing bits in familiar tracks she hadn’t heard before. I’ve tested stuff I know really well and also stuff to show off the quality of the equipment.

Some tracks are lacking a bit of ‘meat’ but that may be down to my source. I will definitely look to upgrade my speaker cable after a few months of the unit settling in and me getting used to the sound.
Demo material included:

  • Depeche Mode
  • TOOL
  • Jethro
  • RATM
  • Interpol
  • Floyd
  • Adele
  • Public Service Broadcasting
  • Lots of different live albums e.g. Nirvana MTV, The Rifles, Steven Wilson

I think the NAIM world will suit me as I like to try new equipment every few years and the upgrade paths are well defined…even though some of them (XPS) are crazily priced.

Am really pleased with the Iota Alpha’s so these will be used solely for HiFi duties going forward. Am getting these ex-demo and have wrapped-up what I believe to be a really good deal for those and the SN3.

Longer-term I will look to introduce an ND5 SX 2.


Yes those Iota Alpha does a trick or two.
they are amazing really, something you’d never expect by the look.
BIG sound from such small boxes.
One of the few choices to better the Motives 2sx.

For those that care, I’ve ordered the SN3 and it should be here in 6-weeks.

Would people recommend starting with decent speaker cable from the off or to introduce it after the amp has been run in and I’m used to my existing cable?


You can do whichever. It depends whether you want to try various cables with your new amp. If you do it needs to be run in a bit first so you can make an informed decision. I use Tellurium Q Black II with mine and they work well.

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Thanks, I’ve looked at these and found somewhere that offers a 60-day return policy so easy to test.

Will likely leave the amp for a couple of hundred hours and then get some ordered. Hopefully that’ll only be month or so.

Hopefully the SN3 is only six weeks away and not more.

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Enjoy the ride… :slight_smile:

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