Supernait 1 : is that bad or still good?

About Supernait 1 / Supernait
Many opinions say that this Supernait 1 sound quality is below other Naim products because it is designed to be integrated with the DAC, which is believed to reduce the sound quality.
What do you think here?

The SN1 is as any amp a compromise in order to create a product for the money.

The internal dac circuit is entirely switched off when there is no digital input.

The SN1 is less refined than the original Nait 5,xs(1,2) but has loads of power instead. If one has difficult loudspeakers the SN1 can be a safe way out. It also functions well if used with bad or mediocre digital sources like game consoles or tv’s since the dac circuit does reclocking.

Oh and it responds very very well on addition of a Hicap either olive, hicap 2 or hicap dr.

1 Like

Agree much as Ardbeg10y says, the rumours about its SQ are very misguided, I still have my Supernait, it’s survived a few SN2 comparisons, & it will be staying for a while longer.


I ran SN1 as an analogue amp for several years, but it definitely needs a HiCap to give of its best. I moved from Nait XS and it was a substantial improvement in SQ. Indeed, I made an extensive home comparison with 200/202/HC/NAPSC and found them very much on a par. In the end I chose the SN/HC and was not the only one who did so. Incidentally the DR upgrade on the HC gave another major jump in SQ.



thank you, have you ever compared SN1 with XS1/2 ?

Good, accurate replies, IMO. I have compared them and felt the XS (1 & 2), which I owned, to be a lot more ‘fun’ sounding (both powered equally as well) by comparison. It cannot be overstated enough that this is me with a completely different system than I have now. So take it with a grain of salt. The SN2 and now SN3 really improved upon the original in a myriad of ways. I ditched the XS once I heard the SN2. I would’ve gone the ‘3’ route but I purchased a new ‘2’ just before the ‘3’ was announced.


I compared the SN1 to the XS1 and much preferred the SN1. The XS sounded weedy in comparison to my ears - the SN1 sounding much fuller and closer to the 202/200 that I also tried.

Later I compared the SN1 to SN2 and preferred the SN1. To my ears the SN2 was smoother but lost some of the boogie factor.

Just goes to illustrate that only your ears can decide. The used price of the SN1 has been around £1k for a while now so if you bought one to try you would likely be able to sell it without much loss if you didn’t like it.

SN1 is good at its price but its DAC is just so so. If you have demanding speakers it will also struggle with control.

As you can see…horses for courses. There will always be folks who prefer the SN1 over XSs and vise-versa. Lots of reasons why, but I always felt the original SN, regardless of the few pairs of speakers I tried it on, generally exhibited ‘wooly’ bass and was more laid-back and somewhat ‘smeared’ during complex passages comparatively speaking. This I remember quite well. A HiCap aided in this, but I just could never get on with it. Today might be a different story given my setup. Who knows? Audition, audition, audition…

Agree on SN’s DAC. I only used SN1 as an analogue amp as I already had a nDAC. And to repeat it really needs the HC to show what it’s capable of, but then it’s far more capable than the Nait XSs at controlling more demanding speakers.


1 Like

In the eyes of Naim users, SN1 is less attractive in terms of overall sound quality so that SN2 and so on all the way to SN3?

This topic was automatically closed 60 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.