Supernait 3 upgrade path

I have the Supernait 3 with Hicap DR, what is a next stage Supernait 3 upgrade, when stop with Supernait 3 upgrades and what Naim amplification is next decent step increase from Supernait3? Struggling with understanding Naim amplification stepping stones! Thanks.

I added a 250DR to a bare SN2 before and that to my ears was a significant upgrade.

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To get significantly better you are looking at a 282 and a 250DR. Before doing that, you may be better upgrading your source/sources, whatever it/they is/are.


To follow up Nigel’s post, there are 2 tracks to follow from sn. Either 282 first, so 282 with your hicap to power it, using sn as power amp before swapping sn for 250. Or 250 first with your sn plus hicap as preamp before swapping sn for 282. Both give you an interim stage so you don’t have to get to 282/250 in a single step. And each has their pros and cons.
The better preamp first ie 282 before 250 might be the more sensible/performant route.

There are cables and hifi furniture to consider as well, perhaps these are best looking at first. Plus the obvious question of your sources.


This could prove useful for upgrading the Supernait 3 and the cheap and cheerful paths that lie ahead !


Why do you feel the need to upgrade, are you missing something in the end result?
What is your source?
As previously suggested -
Upgrading the source and pre, before amplification.
Depends on your budget.
In terms of high value for money, I would look for a set of 52 / s.c/ 135.


I added a 282 recently, using a SN2 as the poweramp. Have to say I’m blown away by the improvement. The plan is to replace the SN2 with a 250DR, but it sounds so good to me as it is that I’m in no rush

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I keep hearing very good things about the 282 as a significant step up from a SN3.

Curious to know how you were “blown away”. How was it improved?

I think the classic 282/hicap/ 250 is a sensible end stop for SN3 users.

How does the SN3 in power amp mode connect to the hicap?

The word that describes it best for me I think is engaging - I try and read whilst listening for example, and I get distracted by the music and have to put the book down. Or I sit down to listen properly and just smile :-). What is it that makes it engaging ? It’s the extra detail - listening to tracks that I know really well and I’m hearing complexity in the music that I hadn’t realised was there. And realism too, instruments just sound well, more like the real things!

This started with a hicap actually. I was very satisfied with just the SN2 but picked up a second hand hicap I saw at a good price and was amazed at the improvement it made. That, and advice here, led to adding the 282.

The hicap routes the pre out to the SN2 using a DIN connector (4pin to 4pin I think - as described in the SN2 manual for adding just a hicap. I assume it’s the same for a SN3 but I haven’t looked).


Thanks for taking the time to write that up.

I think you’ve described that really well. I’m sold! I’m sure you’ll get the 250dr eventually but no rush at all and make the most of how the 282 has transformed your set up.

I had a 282 many years ago, its a long story. I like it when you can really start to peer into a complex mix with an open spacious soundstage and a weighty, yet fleet of foot , rhythmic sound. Hearing all the layers of a production hitherto unheard.

I think the Ndx2/Xpsdr/282/hi dr/250 dr is a desirable level to reach and a good taste of the higher end kit before significant upgrades start getting ever more expensive.

Very helpful and thank you to all, I am much clearer now.

Thanks, glad it was usefull. Good luck, I hope it works as well for you as it has for me.

282/250 is an incredible setup. I was using a Supernait2 prior and I think you will be equally blown away if and when you swap out the Supernait for a 250DR


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That’s good to hear. After reading that even the DR and non DR versions can be considered as different amps I am a litttle bit wary TBH. ‘If it aint broke…’. But the more time I spend on this forum (and in lockdown) the likelier it becomes I think!

If you are using PM1’s I reckon you would notice a serious improvement actually, they are not the easiest of speakers to drive I believe.

Looking at your profile, I think I’d be looking at an NDX2 first, then a XPS DR… before changing amps.


Interesting. I’ve not come across any mention of them on this forum, and sometimes wonder. Choosing them was such hard work though, and I love the sound so much, that it’s not top of the list

Yes, I can’t decide what to do with the source. The ND5XS2 is pretty new so I don’t want to sell it for a while. Also the way the room is setup I can only see two black boxes (the 282 and the ND5XS2) and the Qutest, the others are below sofa level and out of sight; I like that. And of course the ££. I’m intrigued by the Mscaler, but I’d need to find one to hear, which is a bit difficult at the moment.

TT2 would probably be more logical if you like the Chord and what it does.

Probably need to decide what end system you are aiming for?