SN1 vs. MF A308 vs. EC PI-2

I had an SN1 at one time and MF amps some time before that, but not A308. Mine were Class A monoblocks which gave a very different sound from the SN: less forceful, more delicate. For your musical preferences the SN would have seemed more appropriate.

But, I think the SN really needed a HiCap to show what it was really capable of.


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Hi Roger,

Thanks for the info. If I got the SN1, it would be a while before I would be able to get a hicap. Are you familiar with the XS’s?

I did have an original XS once and really liked. I later added a flatcap2 and it changed it quiet a bit. Bass was deeper and more defined, imaging and soundstage seemed a lot better and more separated. Overall the sound was more refined. With that being said, it also seemed to lose some of the earthy/organic sound the original XS displayed.

I’m curious since the SN1 was the next level up the line, where it lies in sound characteristics when compared to a stock XS and an XS with a flatcap? Or, beyond both?

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I have a Supernait with a HC.
The HC does take the amp up a notch or two, but believe me its no slouch on its own.
They will drive almost any speaker & I’ve had some tough ones on my Supernait.
I’m not familiar with your speakers, but looking at the spec & the Stereophile graphs, apart from quirky, they look to be an easy load, benign slow steady ohm changes & nothing reactive.

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This is an important aspect of the SN1. It actually likes to be pushed hard in my experience. The SN1 is very good for rock etc.

I slightly prefer my 72/140 but for partytime the SN1 is the one!

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I moved to SN1 from Nait XS (original) + FlatCap. It was either SN1/HC or 202/200 and after a long period of home audition I opted for SN1. Front end was a CD5XS/nDAC, so I used the SN purely as an amplifier and did not use the internal DAC. Comparing them, the Supernait had more weight and solidity. The musicians sounded more real and presence, bass had more force and slam. That’s my view of course and some prefer the Nait XS, but I needed to go to 272/250DR to improve it.


Hi @jsbach1685, there’s one other thing to bear in mind if you decide to go shopping for a SN1. To sound at their best, Naim black boxes need recapping after 12-15 years or so (When to recap). The SN1 was introduced in 2007 (I think) so it would be worth seeking out a more recent model (discontinued 2013) if you can find one and want to avoid that additional cost in the short term.


Serial begins with “292” so it’s a 2010. The seller reports little use as he picked it up to compare to his XS. He preferred the XS so the SN1 has been sitting since. No way to verify this, but this is what he is reporting. Comes with all original boxes and paperwork. Asked too about logo-bleed. Had to describe it and provide a pic… He said logo is perfect.

Sounds good, you should be OK for a few years yet. Enjoy!


Hi Mike,
Actually, I had a 72/140 for a brief time. It sounded very good, but sold it because I really needed an integrated with a remote. Is the SN1 similar to the 72/140 in sound characteristics?

Nope! I can’t part from either. They are quite the opposite actually. I use the 72/140 into sbls and this is a fed by a chord mojo. A smooth sounding system which does most things right. The SuperNait into the Ovators has ‘balls’ or ‘bravoure’. Our Max previously on this site described it as a Teutonic amplifier and I do understand that.

The Xs is more like the 72/140 than the SuperNait.

It all depends on the room, source and type of music you like.

If I had to make a choice I would choose the 72/140.

$1800 USD a good price for an SN1?

Be sure to use a good source, CDX2 etc.

That’ll be the next upgrade… I’m using a theta miles cd player right now.

That seems like a decent price. There don’t seem to be too many for sale in the US at the moment!

I had a Supernait and would recommend making use of its onboard DAC if you don’t already have a streaming source. I hooked a Sonos Connect into mine and it really opened up a whole new world of music: internet radio stations and streaming services alike.

I would not choose an SN1 over an original XS.

So my SN1 arrived today. Haven’t hooked it up yet as it is still cold from shipping. However, this is the Naim cable that was included. What Naim product did this originally come with? Number on the back is 13-005-0139 and it has a box in the line. Luckily, I have a naim-spec 14awg x3 power cord that is 3m in length. It’s a TongYuan, not a WellShin. Is that ok?

That appears to be a Unitiserve power lead. The box contains a ferrite ring that reduces electrical interference, but is otherwise the exact same cable as the standard one supplied with Naim boxes, so it should be fine.
Maybe worth checking inside the box to make sure it’s in good order.

1800 is way too much, they cost that, or !ess, in Canada. In the US, it should be $1k.
You should be able to bet an SN2 for $1800, and it’s a solid step up. The SN2 has a!so been discontinued so it can be had cheap.
I run an NDS thru a SN2, and it’s excellent.

Oh … Sorry, I just noticed you already bought it.
I would always research gear that I have my eye on for a few weeks/months first, to get a feel for the going price. There’s never any rush when buying pre-owned gear. Another, better one, always shows up in a bit.

These prices are surely too optimistic. One might be lucky 1.8k (usd) for a SN2 is not what I’ve seen here.