SN3 v old seperates

Will a Supernait 3 be an improvement on a 32/140 from 1982 serviced in 2010?

It’s a good question. I’m thinking of replacing a hc/62/140 with an sn2 or 3.
My thoughts are the newer electronics and the dr in the sn3 should give a better account of itself. I haven’t heard an sn3 at all though.

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A 32/140 serviced 14 years old is due another recap round about now, so may not be giving its best. That aside, although I’ve never heard a NAC32, my preference with Naim systems is always for separates over a Supernait whenever I’ve compared them.
That does depend on speaker matching, though. The greater power of a Supernait may well mean that it’s a better match for some speakers.

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I have a SN3/HICAPDR plus just sold on my CB 32.5/HiCap/250

From my extensive listening the SN3/HICAPDR blows away the old CB combo by a good few miles


Im sure SN3 will be very different and better in some ways.
More powerfull to control the PMCs.
Not that an old combo is bad, they certainly had their charm.
A home demo would maybe clear things up.

I would service the 32 & 140.

But… ymmv…


If olive 82/hc/250 is considered old separates, then any SN does not stand a chance, as much as I loved my SN2, the olive separates are miles ahead basically in any regard. The thread subject is way broad IMHO, but still might provoke interesting comments…


I think the question was the 32/140?

you are right, but title remains broad…

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A service would presumably be beneficial at this point.

But it’s an interesting question. The 32 was once Naim’s top of the range pre-amp, and the 140 was considered well on the way to the top of the range 250. It’s a formidable combination.

The CB kit certainly has a different sound to the new stuff. It majors on dynamics, drive and PRAT at the expense of all else. It can sound a little hard, relentless and unrefined. But it is incredibly musical and involving.

The newer stuff has greater refinement and finesse. It’s perhaps better balanced and more ‘hi-fi’. But this comes at the expense of some of the sheer ‘go for it no matter what’ quality of the CB kit. All just IMO of course.

I’ve never actually heard a Supernait 3. But I’d be willing to bet it will sound pretty much as I’ve described above in comparison to the CB kit.

As to which is better I think depends on exactly what you want. FWIW I would guess that with digital sources the SN3 would be preferable. The 32/140 was designed very much in the analogue era and with the LP12 specifically in mind. This was when Linn and Naim were in bed together. If that’s your source then a 32/140 would really be in its element. So which you would prefer - well only you can answer that.


On another thread I asked if a 72/140 was considered better than the new nait 50. Not sure we got an answer there.


I borrowed a dem SN3 a few years ago to compare against 32.5/160 and 42.5/110. With vintage Linn speakers and LP12s the old Naim amps were more enjoyable by far and really boogied.

However, if I had used an NDX2 and modern speakers then it could have been a very different story.

Can you borrow one from your dealer to try?


Interesting thread! Purely for “fun” I recently bought a 42.5/110. Used in place of my XS3 temporarily, before I was going to move them to different duties, I would say they are certainly more enjoyable than the modern integrated. I’m pretty shocked to be honest. The CB combination is faster, more natural sounding and images at least as well, if I was forced to describe the differences. I can’t make my mind up about the bass. I’m seriously thinking if I should sell the XS3 as a result, and I can’t even use the 42.5 for all my sources. Source capacity is the only thing holding me back at the moment.

That doesn’t answer the OP’s question, but certainly supports the idea that an older pre/power could well be preferable to a modern integrated.


I think with a lot of these comparisons, there will be many differing answers depending on what characteristics/traits one may value, and of course, the rest of the system and how it comes together. I guess that is what makes it all so exciting and personal.

I started a topic called SN3 v old separates and it seems to have disappeared.
I have now done some comparisons on a demoed SN3 using a SUT from my MC Linn.
So it’s SN3 v 32/140 circa 1982 serviced 2010.
The vinyl to me was preferable on the 32/140 although the sound stage was better on the SN3
Streaming was preferable on the SN3 in every department.
Is the MM phono stage on the SN3 a token gesture catering for the millennials of the vinyl resurgence who have bought a budget turntable?
How much does the SUT effect the sound? The SUT i borrowed is an old Music First Audio Classic which apparently costs more than the SN3. Much more than I was planning to pay!

Do bear in mind that when the NAC32 was Naim’s top preamp, vinyl would have been the main source for most users.

I imagine that the MM phono stage on the Supernait 3 is probably a bit of an afterthought.

That said, I am using a (Japanese-built) Ortofon ST-7 MC step-up transformer into the MM

phono input of my Nait 50, and it is sensationally good!

That was an interesting thread, I suspect it turned “hot” for some reason, and has been quarantined whilst any “offending” posts are removed. I hope so anyway! *As in, I hope it is soon reinstated!

I don’t think it’s a token gesture. I ran a Stageline N alongside the built in stage of my XS3 for a while. They were both good, I ended up running the Stageline longer, but not for any clear reasons of sound quality. They were both significantly out performed by my current Graham Slee Accession, which is superb.

Just to paraphrase what I think I wrote in the missing thread, I bought a NAC42.5 NAP110 on a bit of a whim last week, they sound incredibly good and I’m totally torn now about what to do with my XS3!

A while back I watched a YT video which featured a man from Naim (Jason?) discussing the new 200 and 300 series, when discussing the NSC222 he was at pains to pint out that whilst Naim had a very good and very capable MM phono stage in the SN3 the one in the 222 was even better as Naim recognised that there were some excellent and expensive MM carts out there along with a widening range of high output MC cartridges.

Whether this helps you OP I don’t know.