SN3 vs Nait XS2

I upgraded from a Nait XS2 to a SN3 a couple of months ago. Now that the SN3 sounds like it is well run in, the one big surprise is that I’d say my turntable now sounds better than my streamer whereas with the Nait XS2 it was definitely the other way around. Streamer is a ND5 XS2, turntable is a Michell Syncro with RB808 and DV20X2L and Rega Aria phone stage. Why would the turntable now sound better? Before I got the SN3 I thought the upgrade after that might be a turntable upgrade but now I’m thinking a streamer upgrade might be next, unless adding a HCDR gives the streamer a good uplift?

I’m surprised the streamer ever sounded better than your TT.

As to why:

The SN3 is a significantly better and more revealing amplifier than the XS2. And so you are hearing more of what your sources are capable of, and this higher ceiling allows the TT to strut its stuff, whereas a lot of its performance was lost with the XS2. (Which is a good amp in its own right - I don’t mean to imply otherwise.)

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Clearly there’s the price differential , has anybody compared XS3/Flatcap v SN3 (on it’s own)

Well said. Same opinion here…

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But, overall, are you satisfied with this upgrade? Do you think the evolution is significant even just talking about the rendering of your streamer ? because I am tempted to do the same upgrade but I wonder if this is relevant and makes a real difference. I’m looking for more details, openness, power … maybe it would be more relevant to be patient and save for a major upgrade (282/250)… An important precision, I have a HCDR with my XS2.


I had a SN2 + HiCap DR + ND5 XS2 this was replaced with a SN3 + NDX2.
I always found adding the HiCap to the SN2 was a meaningful addition and would have missed it without.
I’d say that’s less clear cut on the SN3 and I still don’t use one on it or have a desire to add one. Replacing the ND5 XS2 with the NDX2 to me made the most significant difference, I had the intention to add a PS to the NDX2 at some point, dabbled with the idea of a 555PS but realistically, an XPS DR is sufficient, to me at least.
I’d be inclined to get a better digital source than the ND5 XS2, I can certainly recommend the improvements gained with a move to an NDX2 at least.

I have no regrets about changing the Nait XS2 for the SN3. The SN3 has more clarity, a superior soundstage, and generally much more grip on the music. It has given an uplift to both my sources, it just seems to have given more of an uplift to the turntable than the streamer.

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That’s what I’m thinking now. With the Nait XS2 I always felt the streamer was the stronger of my sources but with the SN3 the turntable outshines the streamer. That’s a reflection on just how good a turntable the Michell Syncro really is, even at 35 years old.

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Love to see a photo of it .

It would be interesting to know what a top-end MM cartridge would do through the Aria, versus the phono pre on the SN3 (since I am spending YOUR money and time!) :grin:

There have got to be efficiencies and benefits of a high-end phono stage onboard a Naim amp — not a mere half-hearted effort, I am sure. I wonder what Naim used as a reference turntable and cartridge source?


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Original rounded corner model complete with Funk Firm Achromat. Compared with the original felt mat, this does seem to tighten things up a little especially in the lower frequencies. Differences are subtle, it doesn’t drastically alter the sound of the turntable but I like what it does.


I lusted after one the first time I saw it, one of my HiFi mistakes - not getting it, but I had at least one mortgage to support

Thank you very much for showing me, I suspect my wish to have one all those years ago translated itself into my Clearaudio Emotion years latter

best wishes

Great TT now being allowed to shine. I’m afraid I can’t advise on streaming sources.

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