That’s a very nice write up, clear and concise. I have the NDX2 and Supernait 3, having downsized from a bigger setup and I think it’s great. I tried the Nova but didn’t really take to it in either form or sound. I have a power supply on my NDX2, which is a nice option to have, even if you never actually get one.
Based on my experience, and your listening session, I’d save and get the NDX2/SN3. It is a really nice system.
Extremely helpful, I think I will do just that and lookout for a deal on the SN3 NDX2, really believe in you get what you pay for and for me it should be a great combo for my Neat SX7’s as I want to keep them, to throw a spanner in the works doea anyone know how different a SN2 will be to a 3? The reason I ask is I won’t be uising the phono stage in the 3 as I have MC cartridges.
Appreciate your thoughts and efforts to share with us.
Much like HH, I have a SN3 + NDX2 and can’t argue with your findings on this occasion.
I’d be inclined to ride your time and aim for the SN3 + NDX2, not to diminish the capability of the other options you outline but as you’ve found, that source and NAIT together deliver a whole lot of the Classic range with a manageable footprint and within arms reach purchase price.
Factor in for cabling and setting also in your planning, in my case I’m using a HiLine DIN IC, Powerline AC cords and full Fraim rack to sit it all on, those system tuning items do bring a balance in to the system as a whole and over time will add further refinements as your system develops.
I’ve owned all of the Supernait versions, having most recently moved from a SN2 + HiCap DR to a bare SN3. They are similar but the main distinction I would make between the SN2 and SN3 is that the SN3 has more midrange cohesion and the bottom end has a bit more grip. These are things which were improved on the SN2 by adding a HiCap DR in my case.
I traded in multiple Naim kit to get my NDX2 to replace an ND5 XS2, I felt the jump up to the NDX2 warranted the loss of the HiCap DR and I’ve not added one to my SN3, I’m more likely to add a PS to the NDX2.
There’s a recent discussion on this very question which you may find helpful.
I think you are wise to seriously consider the SN3 + NDX2.
No surprises - it my system and I run it with PMC 25.23s and it sounds glorious. I think you are asking a good question to also then consider whether the SN2 might get you close to this for less money.
(Apologies if I’ve not managed to link to the relevant thread above)
Nice write up! If you go for the separate route you might still consider the ND5XS2 with a used nDAC for the time beeing. It should be around 2000 pounds less than the NDX2, which does not seem to pop up second hand as often as it did a year ago. I missed buying one from a dealer at around 3500 last year
For me this would the way to go if 1) you want to connect another source (maybe a cd player) 2) do not need a screen 3) don t want to get tempted by a PS upgrade.
Can you write what speaker / power cables were connected to the set? The right cables can completely change the perception of a set and let it sound the way it can. For me, the change of cables was comparable to the change of Atom-> Nova, and maybe even bigger (both with the Atom and the Nova).
For me, the Nova started to sound nice after a few weeks of warming up with better power cables.
Only a matter of time before someone pips in that the nDAC only really “shines” with a 555PS hanging off the back of it, but yes, options are available!
What I would say is that I’ve used Supernait’s with lots of different DAC’s over the years, there’s something very synergistic between the SN3 + NDX2, they do indeed pair very well, and whilst there’s more to be had leaping beyond that to a Pre/Power setup, you get a lot of bang for not so much cash and a lot less power and space.
I was determined to run it as a 2 box system for at least a year to get to know what it could get to properly. I’d admit that the NDX2 is probably happiest with an XPS DR driving it and for added indulgence a PS555 takes that somewhat further, but it does a very good job with neither of them much as the SN3 does without a HiCap DR. I think the SN2 benefits from a HiCap and I certainly used one on mine all the time I had it, I also used one on a NAIT XS and XS 2, more variable results to be had there in my case but then the XS won’t keep up with a Supernait in many aspects of presentation.
I would also add that if budget is constrained, get the NDX2 first and worry about the amplification as a secondary step.
I sort of wish I’d done this with hindsight, I faffed about with a few options from Chord and an ND5 XS2, ultimately the NDX2 did the best job for me and is a definite keeper.
Fantastic entry. You’ve totally answered my nagging question or worry. I have an Atom with a Nova supposed shipped this week. But in the wait here I’ve been mulling this exact question. And I will never get a turntable. I doubt I get a Cd player, my entire library was lost in a hurricane. So streaming, and no desire to board the upgrade carousel, I’m going to ride with your evaluation. Thank you for taking the time to write such a through essay.
Yes a sound choice and it’ll work quite nicey with a NAIT XS, the nice thing being you can then do a trade in on the XS and replace it with a Supernait or something more fancy as your appetite and wallet allows.
It’ll sit comfortably upto a 252/300 level and and with an external PS like an XPS DR can be refined further still with steps up in amplification capability.
As a footnote I tried a Super lumina DIN IC on the current SN3 + NDX2 setup and ended up back with a HiLine IC in the end. Factoring for powerlines for AC input and a suitable rack (Fraim an obvious choice) also help add polish and refinement as you go.
Yes it does, you enter in room dimensions and speaker type and it figures out the rest.
If it’s something complex you can get Linn involved as well.
I evaluated 3 specific products to replace my Arcam AVR (still have this and in use)
Nova was good in terms of space/power but lacked the AV features (I wanted to support 5.1 and Dolby decode)
Anthem was feature stacked but was big and ugly and had none of the 2 channel features I needed like Roon, Qobuz and so forth
Selekt DSM is compact and has a good display (monochrome OLED you can actually read from a distance) it can be configured in multiple ways from a preamp with XLR/RCA outputs to 5 channel integrated amp with HDMI switch and a multichannel processor daughter board, you can even seperately upgrade the DAC if you want to.
I took a bit of a chance on the DSM as often things that “do it all” tend to do some things well, other things not so good and occasionally a few things badly.
I’ve had it a while now, it started as a a 2 channel integrated and grew from there, I currently have it setup in my office and I’ve configured it as a 2 channel system temporarily, later it’ll go to the lounge and resume 5.1 duties but remain as a Roon endpoint also.
I’m happy with the choice of the 3 above, I recall at the time doing an A-B demo of it against both a Nova and a SN3 + NDX2 as I own that system and know what it can do. I demoed them all side by side and we switched speaker outputs to a pair of Kanta 2’s. The Nova does have a somewhat meatier and driven sound presentation, the DSM is very musical and fast and has an open wide soundstage, purely on 2 channel they’re close and both good but many may lean towards the Nova for it’s punch and drive.
I’m happy with the choice of the DSM having now owned it a while, the only negative overall is the cost to fully load it as I have, to set it up for 5.1 with integrated amps brings the cost past £10k but I’m happy with what it does without the setup mess of other options and the software and app experience, including Roon, is very good overall. Linnhave been helpful guiding me and answering questions along the way.
I use Linn K20 speaker cables for reference. Cheap and flexible and work well, used them on the Arcam also.
Thanks M, for the detailed capabilities of the Selekt DSM. I was pretty sure when I heard it that I would have enjoyed living with it easily. It was at a Linn dealer, and he piped it thru an Adcom amp for some reason, so it could have sounded even better. I still had my Linn Unidisk 1.1 Dynamik, at the time, and I was trying to figure out if streaming could sound as good.
A good deal came along on an SU, and it was quite good, but was certainly no Selekt DSM. But I stuck with Naim at that point, and the my NDS sounds wonderful.
So far, nothing has ever sounded as good as the Linn 1.1 tho, but it’s all close enough. Unfortunately the Linn was a doorstop waiting to happen, as they pulled the support for all their CDPs, so it had to go while I could still get something for it.
Considering what the Selekt can do, the amount of funds you have into it is a fairly good value.
I enjoy it alongside the SN3 + NDX2 which is 2 channel only and in a dedicated room.
It won’t be for everyone and you can almost certainly achieve a similar endgame for less cash once a Selekt is fully loaded, but in my case I wanted a high spec integrated that could also cope with 5.1 as well as all the usual streaming stuff and handle vinyl as required.
Given it can do all that in a single small box it won me over and I’ve enjoyed settling it in and using it in multiple configurations.
SN3 + NDX2 pair very favourably, can easily add vinyl to the mix as well as I have. I ponder tinkering with it inevitably on a fairly regular basis, then sit and listen to it for a few hours and realise it’s pretty damn good as it is!