Supernait 3 + ND5XS2 Sounds "slow"

I had a XS3 + ND5XS2 which was punchy energetic and fast paced. I recently got a SN3 and I am not overly impressed with it to be honest.
The treble is much clearer and sparkly-er, there is a bigger soundstage and individual instruments are easier to hear separately as if there is more space around each instrument.
However, the XS3 sounded more as a whole musical piece and much more fun/punchy and energetic. With the SN3 it sounds like the music has taken a step back and has lot some drive and energy. Bass seems to punch less hard (or less obvious) as on the XS3 as well.
I have it playing full time for over a month now, 24 hours a day.

Is this just the character of the SN3 and is this considered as more insight / resolution but at the cost of fun and energy?

I seem to smile and tap along more with the XS3 than with the SN3 somehow. I love the speed and drive it gives to my music.


What speakers do you have? Maybe there’s just better synergy with the XS amp versus the SN?
Just read proacs in your profile. Have you tried with the SN and without the gaia feet?

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Not yet, I am also not sure to be honest if I am fully liking what the Gaia III’s do.
But I never bothered to take them off as it is such a pain in the ass.

I have Proac DT8 speakers.

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Speaker cables? Interconnect?. I have a SN3/ND5xs2 and don’t find it “slow” at all. I did take some time for the SN3 to sound fantastic.

I tried Chord Epic X, Tellurium Black II and Canare 4S11 speaker cables. To be honest I like the Canare the most so far and they are by far the cheapest of them all. Most punchy and most PRAT with good amount of sparkle.
I also have WitchHat Phantoms here but they delivered them with the wrong speaker ends. So I am using them in my second system until the revised cable arrives.

Interconnect is the standard lavender cable.

Slow is maybe the wrong word but it misses the energy and drive of the XS3

I had the SN2 with the ND5 XS2 for a while and it sounded very good. I was using a HiLine and Tellurium Q Silver II with PMC 25.22 speakers. The HiLine and TQ Silver made a big difference to the system. Tightened bass, provided pace and detail in the mids… lifted it to a large degree. When I reversed back to TQ Black, the original, and the lavender cable it sounded more sluggish in comparison.

Maybe if you could pickup a pre-loved HiLine and a demo of the TQ Silver II it may bring back some additional energy… especially to the mids.

FWIW – there have been comments previously regarding the Nait XS 2 vs the SN 2 where members perferred the XS 2 over the SN 2. So I do not think you are alone.

I had the XS 2 as my first Naim product and enjoyed it quite lot. I could easily have stayed with it. I did move up to the SN 2 and enjoy the music as well.

I had a pair of ProAc D2’s with the XS 2 and currently a pair of D30RS speakers with the SN 2 and find ProAc work well with Naim. (my ears, my room, my system).

I would give it a little more time to acclimate to the SN 3 and if you find you still enjoyed the XS you can always move back.

BTW - did anything else change besides the integrated amp?

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Nope, nothing. Just moved in one black box for another. Same power cable even. Only played around with speaker position later on when I thought it all sounded too sluggish. Didn’t solve the problem.

What would your SN3 be like with a NDX2?

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With louder volume is seems to be better but I thought the SN would better the XS also at low volumes

If I go for another upgrade it will be the Naim nDac and not the NDX2 as the VFM for adding the nDac seems much better to me.


Smart move :slight_smile: I’m more than happy with the combo.

@Hifi_Naim_CNNL you don’t say how old your Supernait3 is?

About 2 months old now

I’m somehow enjoying the conversation cause I’m considering xs3 with nd5xs2 to replace my uniti star. To make it even more fun I also happen to own proacs (but studio 148). If xs is really such an exciting amp I’m in :wink:
I hope that you also get your boogie back.


Ok, I don’t know ho much music you have put through it but this could well be your problem. The Supernait will be up and down over quite a period running in. At only two months, I personally wouldn’t be making any hasty decisions.


Listen to popeye (I’d say the same thing but I’d be repeating what he says).

@Groove_system either way you can’t go wrong. BTW I own Proacs as well.

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How many hours should it take to break in?

I felt there was improvement with low volume when I added the HiCap DR. Then again when I switched from the the Ovator S-400 speakers to the ProAc D30RS speakers the music improved when playing music at low volumes.

As far as break in period, it did take awhile then one day the right album played and the system sound was where I wanted to be. I would give it some more time, sit back and relax and enjoy what you have. There is always time to change down the road…


I’m running an NDS thru an SN2, connected with a Hi-line, and it sounds great. I would think that an SN3 would only get better.
How is you power source. The reason I ask is because I just fished a new 3-wire cable from the electrical box, directly to the wall plugs I use. 2 individual cuircuts with new breakers.

I already had some excellent 10 awg, OFC copper tip to tip, power cables, and I just installed a proper heavy duty audio grade socket that has been properly Cryo treated.
BIG difference! Highly recommended, and it didn’t cost much. Best improvement for the cost, ever.

I will be adding better PSs to both units at some point, but it sounds very good already.


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