Supernait 3 with Supercap DR Upgrade

@james_n I’m still waiting for my SNAIC 5 to be delivered, hope I’ll get it by tomorrow. BTW, are these SNAIC’s directional?

Yes - have a look at the diagram below. Although it shows a Hicap, the directionality of the SNAIC4 and 5 are the same (marked by the band on the cable) for your Supercap.

SN3 with Proac D2R’s


SN3 with Brigadier MU2. Great little speakers and excellent with the SN3

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@james_n thank you, in fact it is the same diagram that got me confused!

If the band denotes the point of exit for signal or power (as there are no other direction markers), I’d expect both the bands to be shown nearer to the SN3 as the power travels from the power supply to the pre-amp. But for the SNAIC 4 it is shown nearer to the power supply. Also the SNAIC 5 connection has arrows on both ends. Why do a HiCap or SuperCap need an audio signal and what do they do with them?!

The band is just marking source end of the signal. The Supercap (or Hicap in the picture) power supply provides two 24v power rails via the SNAIC5 to the SN3 Preamp stages. In addition, the SNAIC5 carries the L&R audio signal via the power supply and back to the SN3 power amp input via the SNAIC4.

Why Naim do this is covered here -

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@james_n Thank you for enlightening me on this :slight_smile:

It all makes sense to me, at least for now!

Hopefully your SNAIC5 won’t be too long arriving and then you can get it all connected up !

It hasn’t turned up yet :frowning:

SN3 user here with a Supercap DR and NAP250 DR.

Running with what I hope to be “end game” Kudos Titan 606 speakers.

Plan is to introduce a Kudos crossover when they are released and then swap the SN3 for a 252 next year.


It sounds like you’re enjoying your 606s, Gav.

Good aren’t they :grinning:

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How are you getting on madhana?

I just purchased a second hand NAP200 DR at a good price to go with my Nd5,SN3/HiCap combo. I cannot wait to plug it all in and have a listen to the difference it makes…

I’m not sure that a 200 will be a huge step up from your Supernait, although that may depend in part on your speakers. Also you have the option to biamp if you need more power to drive the well.

The real gains will come when you trade your Supernait for a 282 :wink:
Remember, though, that your ND5 will be getting out of its depth with a greatly improved amp.

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Thanks for the advice Chris, I got it at a pretty decent price so I can always sell it on if I don’t see much improvement.

I have a pair of the new KEF R5 Meta speakers and so far I have been very impressed with them.

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Maybe a better source such as the excellent NDX 2 would be a better way forward…and yield more bang for buck.

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@What_Are_You_To_Me and all, sorry for the long pause as I was busy working and travelling.

I managed to connect the SC DR to my SN3 but it didn’t make a big difference though the overall clarity seems to have slightly improved. So I was kind of pressed to go for the NAC 252 + SC DR and use the SN3 as a power amp. As my savings don’t stretch that far I’ve returned the SC DR, rather reluctantly, thinking of a speaker upgrade.

Many of you seem to run decent floorstanders with SN3 and was thinking of upgrading my Harbeth P3ESRs with a Neat Orkestra Focal Kanta No 2 or PMC Twenty5 24i. This way, I can be sure that I’ve got my speakers right. Unfortunately I haven’t listened to any of these which I should do.

Good luck with your upgrade :slight_smile:

It’s been said already by others with direct experience but to echo that, look at a more capable source, the NDX2 is an obvious choice, which can also be refined further with the addition of an XPS DR external power supply.
If you’re budget constrained (I’m assuming you are as you mention it) then living with a transitory system with a mind to something more capable can be frustrating, and potentially mean you living with a sub optimal system for a long time.
A source like the NDX2, either with or without a separate power supply will sit comfortably in to much of what is possible further up the Naim ranges, and certainly those options that sit within your budget and system evolution timing expectations.

For what it’s worth my supernait 3 (with hi cap dr) had no trouble whatsoever pushing sweet sounds through focal kanta 3’s so 2’s would be well within its capability range. True to say that having upgraded to 282/300 I’m getting more of everything but I was very happy with the sound I had. I haven’t tried anything else with my system so my perspective is duly limited. I’ve read lots about the berillium tweeter factor and some finding it unappealing which recommends a good listen first. I’ve been trying to troubleshoot the problem I’ve had with my 300 over the last 24th which has involved using some naca5 in place of the usual chord epic x. Now whether I’m hearing a typical representation of the naca5 I’ve no idea as I don’t know how much it’s been used previously to (deep breath) burn-in. What I’ve recognised is that the chord cable has a darker tone to it by comparison to the naim cable which gives a different treble character to music. I think what I’m saying is that if you like the look of the focal and it’s general sonic character it might also be worth trying a few different speaker cables to tune the treble response if you find the upper registers a little harsh. I do find myself in a quandary now as the naim cable appears a little quicker and seems to suit voices + pianos really well, provides additional clarity to boot. It’s just a bit less weighty than the epic. Good luck with your quest.

I also agree that upgrading your source into your SN3 would give you the best sound quality improvement for the available money you have.
My first streamer into my SN3 was a NAD C658 which was good but upgrading the streamer to a Lumin P1 made a huge improvement to the sound quality of my system with the SN3 driving very large floorstanding Focal Electra 1038Be speakers.
The SN3 is a very good integrated amplifier and will give more and more with better sources and speakers connected to it in my experience.


@Mr.M, @Devilinthedetail, @MoonDrifter & @Stephen_Tate - thank you for your comments (advice?). My current signal path Tidal Hi-Res → Bluesound Node 2 → Denafrips Aries II → SN3 is mainly decided on the then rav reviews on MQA which is now in administration. I even tried a Chord Qutest in the chain without any significant improvement in the sound quality.

After reading your responses, I’m convinced to go down the NDX2 route :slight_smile: Will keep you posted …