Supernait 3 + ND5XS2 Sounds "slow"

But how many hours run in? It needs at minimum 300 hours to really open.

try Naim original NACA5 speaker cable with properly terminated (the Naim plugs at the amplifier)

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Out of the question. I simply despise the inflexibility of the NACA5 so that’s a no go.

I have been playing it non-stop for 500 hours I or more now.
I’ll give it some more time but I feel like 500 hours of burn in time should be quite enough to open it up no?

the suggestion was to see if it will improve the issues you are facing.

maybe it is or isn’t the speaker cable

otherwise I would look at the mains carefully.

Is everything plugged in direct into the wall?
do you have any mains surge protector devices ? (remove them)
is the ND5XS2 using wi-fi or ethernet?
Is the ND5XS2 ground switch on Chassis?

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There has been quite a few comments along these lines comparing the SN3 to the SN2. It may simply be that the SN3 has a different presentation that does not engage with you. I’d describe the SN2 as very much in the dynamic, fun and energetic/visceral side of things, and very much like it. Maybe the SN3 is more refined but with less slam and engagement to what you are looking for.


Thanks for the suggestions.

  • Unfortunately I can’t switch it directly into the wall :frowning: as I have only one power socket in the wall there so I am using a cheap standard power block.
  • No just standard cheap power block
  • Ethernet
  • Haven’t checked. I never changed it so it probably is on standard setting

I have never heard the SN2 so I can’t tell if the SN3 if too refined for me and whether the SN2 would be a better choice. Can other members who done the comparison maybe elaborate on the differences?

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I’d change to a proper good hi-fi block for starters, as this alone could result in a slow presentation.

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Any particular brand I should be looking at that works well with Naim? Within a reasonable price range (€200-€300).
I heard Naim doesn’t work so well with power blocks

I have always advised people on here to not blindly assume the next one up in the ladder will automatically be better in the system. A point in case is the current thread where someone is asking about going from a 112/150X/FC2 to a SN2 with lower end scale sources. Most people have said ‘go for it’… i said it may not be suitable or too his liking. I have heard time and time again, changes of amplification for the ‘better’ where it either did not gel or was simply less good in areas i have valued. Not all ‘upgrades’ are upgrades, trust your own ears.


I use Isotek power boards.

Funny thing, i am also thinking about the same upgrade path although i am quite sure it is not worth it :slight_smile:

are you after some listening tests? Or just guessing? For me there is also a convenience issue. Uniti star has a screen which is useful and some buttons which are used by my family when they listen to radio or want to use tv - they just select inputs and voila! With ND5 they would need some mobile device. And my kids do not have their own devices. Other than this functionality should be the same.

I home demo’d an XS3 alongside SN3 and found the XS3 to be far brighter, with more slam and a generally more aggressive and engaging sound. If all you listened to was pop/rock/dance and had neutral/warm speakers (KEF/MA etc) I think you’d get on well with it.

For me with Spendor A7s the SN3 was all round a more refined sound. Not laid back, just more detail and balance at the expense of that immediately engaging energy of the XS3. I bought the SN3!

The comparison for me was like watching a good 4K TV in a shop on dynamic setting. It has that immediate “wow” factor but you can’t watch that for more than a few minutes. As soon as you get the TV set up at home you recalibrate it for long term use and a more balanced picture quality.

These two amps have a big difference in sound signature IMHO and it’s personal opinion which you’ll like best. I would try different speaker cable (silver perhaps?) to liven things up, but it sounds like you’d be best returning to what you liked better - the XS3!


Just guessing for the time beeing. I may have a demo tomorrow to chase that thought out of my mind.
The XS3 / ND5XS2 have similar specs as the Uniti Star (Power amp, DAC) so i suspect that the improvements would be minimal. Unless the sound signature is different and you would prefer the XS3 as an amp of course.
I think the new uniti and mu-so range is superb value and probably is sold cheaper / with less margin than other Naim components - just think about the built quality of the first Mu-so which was around 800€ when it was released. Going into separates from the Uniti Star will probably give you diminished returns as soon as you start to upgrade.

This is incorrect. The pre-amp of the Star is of lesser quality than that of the Star. Also they might both have 70W but there is more to that that just the numbers. The amplification of the XS3 is def. better than that of the Star. The XS3 even bettered the Star in combination with a BS Node 2i.
I compared my XS3 with ND5XS2 extensively at home to a Nova and the XS3 combo wins it hands down every time. Better grip on the bass and more detail than the Nova.
So to compare the Star to the XS3 is definitely a wrong comparison. Same as you can’t compare the SN2 or 3 not to the Nova just because they both have 80W.


Thanks for the correction. Let’s see what my ears will tell me tomorrow.

good to know :wink: what IC was used for the separates? the standard one?

On another forum somebody once described the XS3 as a Mazda MX5 and the SN2 as a BMW 3/4 series, the former all fun and bravado, the latter more refined etc.