Would someone be kind enough to compare/contrast these 2 integrated amps. Other than the SN3 having 80w per channel vs. 70w for XS 3, what are the main differences?
power supply headroom, grunt and more of everything with the supernait (i can only compare xs2 to SN2 but suspect the same applies)
Well so it’s only guessing we need real comparison between xs3 and SN3. You know I have xs3 and I can say it has grunt and a lot of everything
Dont be bad.
What @Hifi-dog means is that , by the great order of things, what SN2 is for XS2 ,
the SN3 is for XS3.
But I understand that what do you try to do:
The need of the real direct comparison.
I can give a similar comparison between an XS2 and a SN2. I ran the XS2 both with and without a HiCap DR and the SN2 I used almost entirely with the same HiCap DR. I was using the same speakers on both NAIT’s in that case which is PMC OB1i’s.
I’ve never owned an XS3 but do currently own a SN3, which is currently setup without a HiCap DR.
The key distinction I would make between the XS and the SN is low frequency timing and extension being more defined on the SN and the mid range on the SN has better separation and less of a sense of congestion in complex passages or fast moving music, the sound stage is also that little bit wider on the SN and I just had that sense that the SN was more in control of my PMC’s than my XS was given the differences in power supply reserves.
I certainly enjoyed both an original XS and later XS2 in my main setup a lot but in my case considering my speaker choice and room layout I’ve found the SN2 and now SN3 are more in control and have a greater sense of composure than was possible with the XS. Adding the HiCap went someway to mitigate those constraints in the XS but ultimately the move to the SN2 and later SN3 gave the more meaningful improvements.
During that time period I also moved through various sources including an ND5 XS, CD5 XS, ND5 XS2 and now an NDX2.
Hope that helps anyway!
Thanks, everyone. No doubt the SN3>XS3 here and there. I doubt I have the same discernment of sound that most on this thread have. I think next step is to take my new Harbeth 30.2s into the store to have a listen to both. If I can comfortably save $1500.00 with the XS3, more power to me.
n’est-ce que pas?
Main advantages, extra power aside, of the Supernait 3 over the Nait XS3 are:
• Full 24V DR module built-in: enjoy the purer power and performance improvement of Naim’s Discrete Regulation technology for the entire pre-amp stage
• Larger toroidal transformer in the power supply: provides greater power and speed of recovery
• Additional leaded through-hole components in the signal path: further minimises negative effects of vibration and transient thermal conditions
• Chassis-mounted input sockets hand-wired to the circuit boards: offers enhanced vibration isolation
• Full Alps Blue Velvet Balance control
And very nice it is too, Clare. A real credit to Naim. I’m delighted with mine, so much more than I expected to be. I chose it over the XS3 because the bigger meatier sound would be better with my teensy weensy speakers. Not that I tried them both but speaking to my excellent dealer told me what I needed to know.
I’ve certainly owned and lived with 5 Series, XS and Super versions of NAIT’s over the years and they all stand on their own merits, I don’t think you can go far wrong regardless of which you end up settling on. I always found a lot of enjoyment from both the original XS and later XS2 at least, in the mix of a well matched system they offer a wealth of potential and enjoyment.
Gracias, amigos y amigas.
one more on this topic: how does the XS3 rank as an amplifier vis a vis the amplifier bona fides of the Uniti Star and the Uniti Nova?
Earlier in the summer, I moved from the XS3 to the SN3 and to my ears, there was more music - someone upthread mentions more grunt and I’d have to agree with that, grunt with more finesse? I’ve also since added a HCDR and I’m event happier.
At the moment I’m busy saving up for the NDX2 (to replace my ND5XS2) which I’m hoping to have in place by next summer
I’m quite interested @Crashwilliams when upgrades are made after a relatively short period. Is it best to trade in or sell privately? And what loss would be considered acceptable?
Would welcome your views
When I went from nd5xs2 to ndx2, my dealer gave me what I paid for the nd5xs2. And I got to use it ( for free? ) for 7 months.
Is that the norm or have you got a very good dealer
Dont know. Yes, I’d like to think I have a good dealer. The cynic might say this points to generous dealer margins on the list price.
But I have been using this dealer for 22 years. They always negotiate with me.
But worth bearing this in mind when trading up within Naim, it doesn’t have to cost you money.
Yes thanks for that. The reason I asked was because I’ve recently bought a brilliant pair of speakers and while they are very good with my xs3 bought last year, I can’t help but think they deserve an sn3.
Typing this while my wife isn’t looking
Never under estimate a good ( power) amp.
To be fair, I’ve never heard any Naim amp.
But, and ill get flamed for this, they always look under powered from the specs!
My experience is that its 9ne of those devices that can’t have a big enough power supply. Yes, you rarely use it, but you can always hear it.
Run, don’t walk to get the SN3. listened to both. XS3 is a great amp, but SN3 is a beast.
Hi @igahman - I upgraded relatively quickly and IIRC, I just paid the difference between what I paid for the XS3 and the SN3 price - I was very lucky. I’ve also just traded in my ND5XS2 for the NDX2 and I also received a very good trade - it didn’t cross my mind to go for a private sale.