Supernait 3, strange overheat

Hello to everyone.
Yesterday i was listening music with a friend of mine. After 1,5 hours of listening sn3 stopped playing for about 20 seconds & the cd knob was blinking.
Once it stopped blinking i stopped playing music for about 10 minutes.
When i started playing music again everything was back to normal.
I read the manual & figured out that it happened due to excess temperature. Yes the case of the sn3 was a bit warm but i wouldn’t say it was extremely hot.
Strange thing is that volume knob was all of the time between 9 to 10 o’clock max.
Is it normal to overheat playing at this volume?
I have the amp 4 years now & never again had this issue, even when playing at 11 o’clock on hot days in summer.

Edit: my system is sn3, hicap dr, ovator s-600, goldnote ph-10 & clearaudio performance dc tt.

It doesn’t seem normal. The Ovators aren’t super hard to drive. It doesn’t sound like you were going crazy with the volume and the setup doesn’t have unusual components or cables in it.

Was it a piece of music you had played before?

I’d wait and see if it was a one off or if it is the start of a pattern. If the latter, may be worth asking the dealer to check it out.

You mentioned listening with a friend. This reminds me of discs my mates would being over in the 90s. Fringe heavy metal and house groups were always issuing discs designed to break hifi (on purpose) by doing truly unnatural things. Like high amplitude sustained bass frequencies at 40Hz or CDs that had 99 tracks and the TOC put the tracks in non linear order to strain the mech.

1 Like

That does seem a bit strange, i quite often have my SN3 at 9 to 10 o’clock driving n-SATs for long periods without it even breaking a sweat, even in a very warm environment. Are all connections properly home & NAC A5 properly terminated with SA8s? Tread carefully, see if it happens again. Maybe the best advice here is to have it checked over at the dealership.

First of all thank you for your responses.
We were listening to some heavy drum & bass / tech-step records.
Yes i use the nacA5 cable.
Don’t forget to mention that this was the first time i did an extended listening with this style of music.
Maybe this type of music is too demanding for the sn3?? I don’t know.
As i mentioned earlier i tend to listen to higher volumes without any issues. I am bit surprised.
Anyway i will see if it happens again & in this case i will contact my dealer.

1 Like

Hi @Vaggoz
I’d say your SN3 has a fault. The SN3 is more than capable of playing any music and indeed excels at deep bass and rhythm. Dub step, Reggae, Trip Hop, D&B all sound fantastic on my SN3. I’ve played music at loudish levels non-stop for 10 hours without a break and the amp is barely warm.

As long as your cables and connections are all solid and the amp has plenty of air to breathe (no stacking of kit on top etc) it should be fine. I’d be straight on the phone to my dealer in your position.

Hope you are able to get it sorted.


I don’t think it was the type of music unless it was one of those novelty break a hifi albums (music for and by morons). Drum n bass, just like any musical style, is perfectly at home on a SN, or in fact nearly any Naim amp assuming the speakers are a good match (which they are).

1 Like

Were you playing vinyl?

There can be a lot subsonic energy put out (one reason why a subsonic filter to remove the very lowest inaudible frequencies is often a good idea with vinyl) that can get bass drivers flapping, while not seeming to make any sound, but making the amp work super-hard.


I have an SN3 with Kudos KS1 cable and Kudos X3 speakers and must confess I’ve never really apart from a jolly blast passed the boundaries of 9.00 but my box never gets even warm to the touch.
It might be worthwhile checking connections especially the soldering quality on the Nac A5 speaker cable. :thinking:


Something else doesn’t perhaps line up here vis at 9-30 thru 10 o/c on an SN3 with a ‘standard’ low output vinyl source, the music would unlikely to be ‘loud’ (as the OP has mentioned). Which could mean the level of input signal is very high in relative terms?

@Vaggoz – what gain setting are you using on the PH-10?

1 Like

Absolutely :+1:


I am using the nacA5 cable for about 10 months now & never had issues. So i believe it has nothing to do with the cable.
The gain on ph-10 is set in 62db on mc mode.
To be clear: amp sounds phenomenal with no distortion or difficulties to drive the speakers in any volume-this is the first i am dealing with this issue.

Obviously struggling if getting too hot.
Degradation of poor solder joints always show up when current gets pushed they can trickle no problem but when current is demanded the resistance is obvious.
No messing with Cart loadings will cause or cure an overheating power amp.
Good luck.
Post a few pictures of the solder joints in the plugs. :wink:

Hi Vaggoz. I have a SN2 and what you are describing does not sound right. I would get it checked out just to be sure.
I was recently at my dealers. A friend of mine was auditioning the SN3 with very hard to drive Magico speakers. The SN3 was at 10 o’clock and drove them perfectly; without breaking a sweat.
I do have a question. Is your SN3 in a cabinet? Or, does it have space to breathe?

1 Like

It has plenty of space to breathe both sideways & upwards.


Just read the manual of both the clearaudio basic & balance v2 phono pre & both use fixed gain of 66db for the mc load.
I use 62db on my goldnote ph-10.
Maybe that’s the problem???
Maybe i use too little gain so the sn3 has to put more effort.
I turned the gain to 65db on my ph-10 to see how it goes.
I am listening half an hour now & it plays really loud at 9 o’ clock without distortion.
Also, unfortunately ph-10 hasn’t a subsonic filter.

1 Like

With vinyl in to a Naim amp (like the SN3) via a standard line-level input, I’ve found to get things loud I would need to go to >11am on the dial, as vinyl outputs are often still ‘lower level’ even if via a phono amp. So a question - what input on the SN3 are you using?

It seems to me that the phono signal input is perhaps too high, in that it’s OK to let the SN3 do the amplification rather than the phono amp.

If you input a high level signal and play loud, the SN3 will be ‘working hard’ (in its performance envelope), hence the heat, as it will only produce a certain level of output in to the 'speakers. Add some unfiltered stuff (as Richard describes) and this makes the SN3 work even harder still.

Too low a gain on the MC will only make it quiet too high and might sound rough but power amps only get trip out hot if met with high resistance at the outward path.

Yes, there is a balance to be struck with matching the inputs optimally for the amp. Is it not the case though that low resistance is the enemy of power amps vis the sharp fall-aways in impedance? And in many 'speakers, this arises when the woofers are asked to work overtime?

I am using the din cd input in my sn3 for the phono preamp (ph-10).
Also i turned back the 62db, i don’t know it sounds better, the 65db was too loud.

Over heating power amps are usually caused by excessive driving loads or resistance on the output.
But a low input will not generate enough signal power to allow the driving side to have enough power to heat unless encountering resistance.
If the input signal is too low it’s not really much different to your system sitting not playing with the volume still up.