I’m sure 3.5m will be fine and it was when i used to it at that length for many years, albeit on older Naim kit. Some say 5m is a sweet spot. I now use 8m but to be honest and i can’t say if it’s that much different, perhaps a little smoother and at ease. The main thing is to have the cables made up correctly by someone who has good experience with NA5 A5. Really good soldering and termination skills so the cable can be plugged in without any stress on the sockets and with a good surface to pin connection. With minimum insertion loss on both pins in the plug.
Thanks Stephen, I’ve seen your comments (on one of the other threads) re soldering, it’s good to know this.
One concern I have, is around the cable being very stiff and fitting SA8 right angled plugs on to the cable - having looked, I’m not sure there’s enough room, as in the gap between the speaker outputs to the shelf my amp sits on, its about an inch and given the stiffness, I’m worried about putting undue pressure on the amp terminals?
I owe you a glass of wine or two for these questions of mine!
I wouldn’t worry too much as the sockets are very robust and as long as the cable hangs down freely without it being twisted in any way then all will be fine. You want to try and make sure that the plugs/pins fit in straight and smooth so they are not digging in at an angle in the sockets from undue stress applied on the plug itself. This is one of the reasons why they need to be terminated properly. The pins themselves should have a little play in them and not touching the cap that is screwed onto the plug itself. Hope that helps.
How big is your room ?
The Vienna Bach are little floorstanders and relatively easy to drive. So if your room is less than 16 m2, the xs2 is enough for them.
Adding a Naim dac on your nd5xs2 would uplift your source very clearly, for less than 1k. Two members did it recently.
If your room is big enough, more than 20 m2, the SN3 would be a good choice too.
Good choice and sure to be an enjoyable process. Assuming it’s a new one allow a little time for it to settle in and allow yourself time to adjust to its sound presentation. You’ll likely find that the volume is somewhat keener than on the XS and up beyond 09:00 and towards 10:00 it’ll get loud easily, beyond that unless you have a big listening room you’ll find it probably too much for any length of time. Just go easy on the volume initially anyway, I listen to mine down around 08:00 on average.
Over an extended period of time you may well find your ND5 XS2 feeling a little more strained on the mids and upper mids than it was with the XS, they work well together overall but you may find the SN3 exposes the source constraints somewhat more than your XS ever could.
I’d certainly say give it time, let it settle and work out where you can or want to take it later down the line. If you wanted an evolution plan I’d focus on the source personally before adding any refinements that adding a PSU may offer. I ran an ND5 XS2 for about a year and then replaced it with an NDX2 and I’ve found that was a more cohesive and balanced pairing. I’m running that as a 2 box system with a SN3 and I’m finding it very capable whilst still allowing for refinements later on, likely with a further focus on optimising the source first with a 555PS on the NDX2.
I owned an XS and XS2 and enjoyed them a lot but you’re in for a treat moving to the SN3 which will give you a lot more composure and control and a solid foundation for later source improvements.
Thanks @Mr.M some great comments and observations. I rarely go about ‘9 o’Clock’ on the sound, my room is a little too small. I must say the step up in sound is just incredible, the XS3 was a massive step from what I’ve had previously and the SN3 is more than I’ve ever had - even my wife noticed the difference. At the moment, everything is standard - I’m gong to sit back and enjoy!
I’ve owned all the Supernaits and loved the SN2 and ran it for some time. I’d say the SN3 brings everything I’d grown to like about the SN2 and makes it better without making the SN3 sound presentation deviate too far from what made the SN2 such a good integrated amplifier.
As you settle in to your new system you’ll begin to appreciate the improved refinements, control and grip especially on the bottom end and with improved seperation and dimensionality.
It’s not the last word in refinement but it does give you a taste of the abilities of the NAC/NAP range and an entry point to that sort of system.
Having said that I’m feeling now that it has potential to be a low complexity end game system when balanced with the right source.
I’d say it’s the first NAIT I’ve owned (there’s been quite a few) that hadn’t left me needing to add a Preamp PSU like a HiCap DR to make it feel complete. Naim have done a great job in my opinion of really taking a lesson learned approach and adding refinements to the SN3 as a revision to the SN2 that make it a truly great one box integrated that continues to impress and excite and is capable of truly magical music reproduction that doesn’t fall far short of what comes above it in the range 282/200 or 250 at least, beyond that greater things await but at a significant uplift in cost and setup complexity.
I’d like to think a truly great end game system could be had from a SN3 + NDX2 + 555PS, which I’m hoping will keep me happy for a while anyway!
Do update as you settle it in and welcome to the SN3 gang officially
The NAC282 would be the better preamp vs either a SN2 or SN3 but then you’ll get yourself into a spiralling debate over what is the right/optimal/best/end game system to build around it. If that was me that would probably end up with a NAP250 DR + Supercap DR + SL IC and speaker pair.
An NDX2 as is or with either an XPS DR or 555PS would be a more than adequate source for that level of system and certainly with a SL IC vs a Hi-Line would be getting you well beyond what a SN based system could deliver and it opens up credible options for more exotic or listening preference speaker matching where again a SN is good to a point but will always struggle with a more demanding speaker to drive that a NAP250/300 would enjoy pushing.
In my case I could support that from a financial investment perspective but factoring for space and setup complexity and the simple fact of finite listening time it puts me off going that route to spend money where I’d enjoy it more elsewhere like a new bike or a nice 4K projector, I could spend that amount and have half a dozen things I could enjoy either alone, with family or with friends.
I enjoy listening to music and value enormously what a well put together system can offer but with 2 preschool age kids and a more than full time job it’s a big investment against return.
I think its why I wanted to experiment with the approach of a maxed out 3 box system with an emphasis on taking the source as far as possible. I had considered an ND555 but overall felt whilst it’s a very capable source it’s not going to be giving all it can through a NAIT whereas the NDX2 feels well matched and balanced and certainly goes some way beyond what the ND5 XS2 ever delivered to me in my system.
I wasn’t expecting the move from a SN2 to a SN3 to be a massive difference and at that time did spin up a thread specific to the relative merits of the HiCap DR on a SN3 vs a SN2. I was willing to let mine go and run the new SN3 without if it was a means to an end to a better source (trade in value) and wasn’t going to be something I’d be forever missing.
I have to say that with the improvements made to the SN3 that the gap is closer against a SN2 + HiCap DR than I imagined. If I added one to the system I’d expect to enjoy it and keep it there but in terms of budget and priority, I’m happy to live without it and instead wait longer to improve the source first.
I could as easily add an XPS DR and leave it there but my reasoning is by instead focusing on adding a 555PS I’ll be so blown away when I add it that’ll I’ll have all I ever need in 3 boxes and not need or want to add more.
I’d like to think I can get a 10 year cycle from this current system and ideally loop it through maintenance cycles for another 5-10 beyond that ideally.
I would like to factor in better speakers at some point but I’m still happy with my PMC’s and to my ears always found the mix of Naim and PMC favourable. I’ve done some basic assessment of speaker options including Focal, ATC, Kudos and Harbeth but at this stage it’s more curiosity than anything else and I always find narrowing down speaker options to an actual purchase more challenging than other aspects of a system, it’s more personal a choice than most other parts of a system ultimately.