Supernait 3 versus CB

I thought it might help someone in a similar situation if I recounted my recent experiences with trying to update my system. I have had CB 42,5, Hicap, 140 for 35 years from new and had them regularly serviced. I recently acquired a NDX2 streamer and am very pleased with it, as it is a fantastic piece of equipment. I thought I would try the Supernait 3 as it pairs nicely with the NDX2 and would bring my system into the 21st century. I have given the SN3 a good audition and have tried it with my CB Hicap.
It is an excellent amplifier, but I have found that I prefer the sound of my CB kit. Perhaps this is because I am so used to the sound, but what I do find is that the CB amps have more attack to the sound, which makes it more interesting to listen to. The SN3 is more hifi and I can see why it would appeal to a wider market. This is highly subjective and I suppose it depends what you like. Anyway, I will be sticking with my CB amps and I certainly can’t complain about 35 years of use without any faults, as there are not many products you can say that about. I certainly don’t want to set off a CB versus black box argument again. I am open to suggestions for improvements. The rest of the system is LP12, Kore, Ekos (mark 2), Lingo 4, Krystal, Neat SX1 speakers.


How was the SN3 without the hicap? Adding an Cb hicap effectively disables the DR which is a step back for the SN3.

Supposedly the SN2 has more attack and the SN3 more hifi as well. My SN2 has plenty of attack for rock music.

Hi RJC52- and a warm welcome to this forum.
Really interesting post- thank you. I have a similar spec LP12 and the same speakers as you. My amp is an xs2- did you audition an xs2/3 before getting the SN3 and if so what were your thoughts? As an avid reader of this forum I am always wondering about “next steps”!

Thanks for the replies. I tried the SN3 with and without my CB Hicap. I take the point, but I found that adding the CB Hicap focused the sound more and improved the imaging. I haven’t heard a XS2 or 3, so I am not able to compare. I am sure I would be happy living with a SN3 if I wasn’t used to my CB amps.

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After living with the CB gear for 35 years, you may be experiencing “familiarity bias”. I’ve owned LS3/5As for over 40 years and just can’t come to grips with any other speakers (believe me, I’ve tried). The LS3/5As differ from every other speaker I’ve tried and the new sound just never seems “right”.


Yes, you lose the DR from the SN2/3 built in PSU, but you gain a twin rail supply that’s decoupled by being in a separate box. I suspect most people would find it worthwhile, with or without the benefits of DR.

Agreed. I had the same problem with Linn Kans, which I had for 30 years. It took me 18 months and lots of listening to different speakers. Eventually I found that I could live with the Neat SX1, but I still miss aspects of the Kans. Have you tried the Harbeth P3ESR, as I have heard them sounding very impressive?


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