Supernait 2 not doing it for me

Hi all, I’m new to the forum but have been a naim user for over 20 years, I have recently upgraded from a Nait xs2 to a supernait 2 and I’m really not enjoying the sound, I’ve tried a hicap dr and still no joy, I am missing the xs2 and think I’ve made a mistake, has anybody else felt the same about the s/n 2 sound, just doesn’t seem to have that naim prat that I’ve always loved,
The amp is fully run in and left on permanently.

I have to say that I am well happy with the sound of mine.
I used to have the Meridian 500 series amp/tuner/24bit CD
First time user of NAIM brand, so far so good.
The xs2 looks very similar in spec, yet the SN2 is more powerful …just
Suprised, but as I said I am new to this and decided to get the SN2 as my first starting point.
B

Maybe if it had been my first naim amp I would have loved it but I feel that the xs2 is a much more involving sound.

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Hi

What is your source? Changing from Nait XS to SN2 should be a significant upgrade, so it is possible that the new amp is showing up a weakness in your source. A few other details might help: is the amp new or second hand, did you audition first and if so did it sound good then? Of course, you might just prefer the sound of the XS; you wouldn’t be the first.

Roger

Hi Roger, I’m using a lp12 and a nd5xs, speakers are dynaudio contour 1.3 mk2, the xs2 and supernait2 were both ex demo from the same dealer, I just feel the xs2 had a better control over the speakers.

A different amp can change the way your speakers interact with the room. Others have reported the need to adjust speaker positions accordingly.

Worth a try.

Nick

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Thanks Nick, will give it a go.

Source is often critical when upgrading the amplifier chain - go too far with too much amp on the source and while the resulting sound may gain appreciable bandwidth and sophistication, without a source upgrade you lose something, usually the snap, speed and rhythm you had before, and the impression is that everything sounds a bit slow and not as exciting. It usually takes a source upgrade to bring things back into a better balance.

Also, as others have said, you’ll find that a better amp will sometimes give the speakers a subjective boost to certain parts of the frequency spectrum and may have to be taken into account with a readjustment to their positioning.

Hi Richard, I think my lp12 is worthy of a better amp than the supernait, I seem to have lost projection from the speakers and it feels like the s/n2 is more laid back.

Your thoughts are not unusual as, as Richard articulates, better amps give a wider presentation of the musical spectrum, whereas lesser amps are often more orientated to mid-range and can be more exciting to the ear. Similarly, lesser sources often marry to these traits - hence why a source improvement is often a solution/what’s needed.

Think of a letterbox gradually opening up (vertically), such that the vocals recess slightly in the overall mix but you get a much bigger picture. This can make the new musical picture duller/more laid back by comparison. What was exciting bass, is now more refined and bass affects the wider piece more than you might think. Everything is a bit more orderly – and that may not be the way you like it (fair play if so). I found this when evaluating an Olive range 250 against a pre-DR NAP300. The latter was by far the better amp but something got lost - the excitement!

I’ve always found Dyn’s to benefit from better amps, as they like to be fed more current.

You may just like the presentational traits of the XS2?

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I’m now thinking it’s faulty unless more orderly means muffled and dull, I’ve heard my lp12 through a 52/250 (with my speakers)and it sounded awesome so the source isn’t the issue, sadly the 52/250 was out of my budget.

It’s a possibility. As you say, with your LP12 source it should be good. Best to contact your dealer and see what they think, and see if there’s some sort of problem with your particular Supernait 2.

Maybe try NAC202, NAPSC and NAP200DR instead.

I have a SN2 + HiCap DR system, main source is a ND5 XS 2 and the speakers are PMC OB1i.

I previously had a NAIT XS (-2 Original fascia updated version) also with the HiCap DR and prior to that running as a bare NAIT. I can’t say i’ve found the SN2 lacking in any respect. I did move the speakers around a little and the room setup has changed a bit including new furniture. I’d certainly experiment with the room setup if you can as others suggest. The SN2 is no slouch and a very capable integrated in my experience using it on a daily basis.

Hope you find the solution!

Hi murphy1

Welcome to the forum.
I had an integrated with power amp combination (not Naim) before I bought the SN2 because I wanted to cut down on the box count. I figured the SN2 would outperform my previous amps which cost a lot less. However when I first plugged the SN2 in it sounded poor in comparison and I was disappointed for several weeks.

A few thoughts looking back on this would be:

  1. Even though the SN2 was an ex-demo model it still needed to be properly run in and took months.
  2. I ditched my old CD player and paired it with a CDX2 (and HiLine) which is a well balanced source for an SN2. I agree with Peakman that the transparency of the SN2 may be showing up your source depending on what it is.
  3. I think over time I adjusted to what I was wanting from my hifi system - going from an analytical, hifi sound with huge soundstage to something more involving, musical, that makes me want to sing or dance about the living room.

I know some prefer the Nait XS2 and at the end of the day you might well be in that camp.

For me the SN2 (with CDX2 + Hiline and PMC 25.23s) now feels like I have the best of both worlds and my theory is because its a balanced system. I’ve stopped analysing the music and instead just enjoy it. Any spare time I get (precious little) I want to sit and listen and enjoy whatever I’m playing and wonder why anyone would need more. To me, it has punch, while doing subtle, a big enough soundstage, separation that allows you to follow any instrument AND its musical so you can just let it all wash over you. So yes, I’m a big SN2 fan but this hifi lark is so subjective you may feel as passionately about the XS2 as I do about the SN2.

1GL

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To address by a process of elimination: How is the LP fed in to the SN2? What phono amp are you using? If it’s muffled it could be an impedance issue (assuming the SN2 isn’t unwell).

I was an early SN2 adopter some years back. ‘Constrained’ and ‘like driving with the handbrake on’ is how it sounded for the first six weeks or so. After that it sounded very good indeed - that was coming from a 252 300.

I didn’t like it with the HCDR on it though. Lost its ‘immediacy’. I tried a couple of times with two different HCDR’s but both times settled back to the ‘bare’ SN2.

G

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Try to plug it directly to the wall power socket if you haven’t already. Others have said everything but this. And the cables which are assumed.

Thanks everyone for your comments they’re all much appreciated, the amp has been plugged directly to the wall socket using a power line light, it’s been constantly running for 3 months, my phono stage is a pair of heavily modified naim 323 cards powered from a power supply and sounds great through every other amp I’ve owned and tried, i contacted my dealer and talked about an upgrade to 202/200 or a downgrade to Xs2, I was just hoping I could gel with the supernait, I’ve owned the Nait 3, 5i, xs2 and loved them all I’ve also heard most of the others I’m just at a loss with this one.

Just a question as I have a SN2 and NDX2 along with a REGA 3 with Elys2 all brand new.
Speakers, I was looking for the PMC 25 23’s like you.
They sounded amazing through a nova at the demo, but wondered what they sound like through the SN2 ??
Cheers
Barry