Supernait 3

Hi all,

I recently pick up a SN3 for a great price after a chap got bored waiting for it and bought at 282.

Having home demoed the 282 for a couple of weeks and enjoying it to a degree, I’ve found something interesting in the SN3 that I didn’t sense or feel in the 282.

I feel that Naim will surely be updating the pre/power combos soon. Whilst very good I feel like something is missing.

Whilst the 282/250DR is clearly a level of performance, scale and balance greater, there is something about the bass control, midrange openess and immediacy of the music with the SN3 that makes it feel more tangible.

What’s interesting is that the system sounds closer to what other active speaker systems I have experienced sound like. That immediacy, presence and control of the music.

I really think this is a great amp for the price. And I strongly disagree that it’s not a significant improvement over the SN2 which at times could sound a little too grey and grissly. The SN2 and the 282 sound like they are cut from the same cloth in terms of voicing.

The SN3 feels a wee bit different to other Naim amps such as XS2, SN2 and 282/250.

I wonder does this signal a slight change in sound for Naim. More refined, more open, tighter bass. And as a result musically richer.

4 Likes

I sure love mine! I agree I think the pre-amps are due for a small refresh IMHO. Of course there is talk of a 272 refresh, but I’d like to see the 282 refreshed as well. Personally (guess I’m young) I think they need to get rid of the second row of buttons. Replace “tape” with “streamer” at the very least.

Naim has a solid hit on their hands with the SN3. IMHO

3 Likes

Well speculation with regard to the pre amps has gone on for years now. Who knows?!

1 Like

An interesting thread, thanks @Circles.
All I can contribute is that I love(d) my SN3, but while it is away being serviced (right channel fault) I bought a used 282 (great price, couldn’t resist) and hooked it up to my previous amp, the XS2. I was pretty much blown away by the 282. Just seemed to bring so much more out of my music.
The SN3 is certainly no slouch, and I’d recommend it heartily for an integrated solution, but I’m keeping the 282 and will be moving to a 250DR to partner it, p/xing the SN3 when it comes back.

1 Like

Agreed, can’t comment on the Supernait3 but my Supernait2, the 282, combined with the 250DR is genuinely In a different league.
And so it should be for the price.

1 Like

Tend to agree. I auditioned the 282 /250. It did all the “Hi-Fi “ tricks really well but ended up leaving with a SN3. Just more analog and musical sounding to me.

4 Likes

I would imagine that a 282/250 DR would quite easily show a clean pair of heels to a SN3, but only once the XPS DR is added to, let’s say, a NDX 2 beforehand. Otherwise i can quite clearly hear why a SN3 maybe preferred in that instance. Adding a XPS DR to my NDX 2 has been by far the biggest upgrade i have ever done on my Naim journey. It’s colossal. My system has completely transformed and i’m guessing by now that my SN3 is the weak link. Only now would it make sense to swap in a 282/250 DR over my SN3.

3 Likes

Interesting, as I read a 202/200 owner who previously attempted to upgrade to the Supernait 3 was left disappointed and went with a Rega Aethos instead.

I have never read any poster on any of the forums here that has lauded the attributes of the SN3 as much as the OP has. So sorry, I have to take the info with a grain of salt.
I can actually appreciate your personal enthusiasm, but it is a tad misleading to those that haven’t logged as many post reads on the comparisons.
Many, many owners of all the items you mention would sincerely differ in opinion.

I would never move from a SN2 to an SN3, there’s just not enough of a difference. My next step will be a 252/250 combo at the least, or hopefully 252/300.

But I’m very happy to hear that you’re enjoying the SN3 so much. It’s a superb piece of equipment, and responds wonderfully to a PS addition, from what other members have reported.

I’ve also read posters who are disappointed with the lift from a SN2 to a 282/250 and others who says it’s night and day. System balance, speakers, rooms and preferences all come to play. But a SN2 is a wonderful amp and I’m sure the SN3 is too.

6 Likes

Yep and then there is me and my opinion also! :rofl:

3 Likes

Makes me wish I waited a bit to find a good deal on a used SN3 instead of jumping on an SN2 to upgrade my SN1! Just reading that sentence is making me realise I’m becoming a Naim enthusiast.

1 Like

@nichomoff Don’t worry about it, the SN2 is a classic!

3 Likes

Nichomoff
Maybe. Maybe not.
Both are great amps but sound different.
SN2 sounds a bit warmer. A bit beefier.
SN3 sounds a bit cleaner and better soundstage. It has a more refined sound.
I think it’s about personal taste and matching this with the rest of your set up.

3 Likes

If you can be bothered to move from the sofa the Nait 2 maybe all you need :wink:

Haven’t heard SN3 yet, but I would prefer warmer, so your opinion is encouraging. I wouldn’t describe the SN2 as particularly warm, either.

Warmth is probably a bit misleading.
Having heard them both compared side by side at my dealers, I thought the SN3 sounded more refined, more hifi. I think this might be because it’s more agile and this showed in the quicker bass. The SN2 sounded thicker, heftier and to my taste, some music sounded better on the SN2 as a result. We aren’t talking big differences here. I just wasn’t convinced that it was great vfm upgrading from the SN2 to the SN3 though.

1 Like

Let me premise this by saying I’m absolutely not a blind testing ABX kind of listener. But if one is not matching levels when doing most any kind of direct comparison, the louder one will always sound better. It’s pretty easy to do there are numerous DB Meter apps to aid one in getting levels equal. PS: Old audio sales trick is to play the unit one wants to sell just a tiny bit louder.

2 Likes

The SN2 being described as warmer is interesting.

‘Warmer’ maybe because it has fatter, less controlled bass. However that fatter, less controlled bass to me comes across as distortion that masks the natural sound of the instruments and voices. Which definitely makes the midrange and treble more distorted sounding to my ears. Leading to something I would describe as colder and more digital sounding. Less cohesive and less together. And harder to listen to.

The SN3 sounds more even, together, natural, and less tense. Not a game changer but completely discernable to my ears.

The SN2 sounds more frenzied and a bit tense. But it’s still a great amp.

As the sound improves and as you spend more money the sound will inevitably get more balanced, even, more neutral and more natural sounding. When I domoed the 282/250DR it was more even, more natural but I perceived it as flatter. When returning to the SN2 I found it a little more hyped and exciting (whilst also being a little more shut in on some levels) but voices and highs were noticeably more distorted and sharp.

I nearly bought some Dutch 8c. As I crave low distortion/low noise that gives me voices and sound without grain. However they are 1) Expensive 2) Locked in and 3) Flatter sounding and less exciting sounding than Naim equipment. Would have to spend 252 money to get close.

So I’m sticking at SN3 + HiCapDR level until Naim update the Pre/Power levels. At which point I’ll either finay go to 252/300 (if it’s sensational) or buy the 8c.

I just didn’t think the 282/250DR was sensational.
So the SN3 is a great filler for the time being with it’s advances in sound quality.

Active speakers will win out eventually for me. With passives you have the problem of distortion from speaker cables, passive crossovers etc etc.

3 Likes

Completely agree, and the perfect way to sum up that combination. If finances are taken into consideration, a SN2 or 3 and HCDR is phenomenal value in comparison. I have recently moved from a 282/250DR/SC to a SN2/HCDR with an NDX2/XPSDR as a source and am so thoroughly pleased I did.

4 Likes