Supernait 3

Hi. In Canada these days, an SN2 can easily be had for about one third retail. Incredible deal.
I paid 2600 cad, which is about 15-1600 gbp, right in line with the one HH mentioned. The people list them for 3300, but no one pays that. and even 3300 is well under half, with no taxes.

I went from XS3/ND5XS2, to SN3/ND5XS2 to SN3/HCDR/ND5XS2 to SN3/HCDR/NDX2 and been very impressed by each addition. I’m now looking to add a XPSDR, though not until later in the year and then that’s me - I’ve assured my better half that the journey will end!

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They are indeed very different, old Nap 250 is more powerfull than XS range.
A Supernait preamp section may be better than Nac 62 but again a Hicap is a plus.

Old Naim amps can be excellent purchases when serviced, the CB era are 3+ decades old.

By “better” its a matter of many things, price, condition and so on, so hard to say exactly.

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…has Naim stated that the issue with the balance control is resolved.

The discussion regarding the problem continues to appear on the forum and was wondering if this just hit and miss or a component that has problems and needs to be replaced?

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my question is: apart from the integrated phono stage, would be the SN3 a significant upgrade from SN2?

regards,
Stefano

It would be an upgrade, for sure, but from what other members have said on this forum I don’t believe it would be a ‘significant’ upgrade. I’m not positive, of course, because I haven’t heard both; but some members have actually said they preferred the SN2, I’m not sure why tho.
And apparently, the phono stage in the SN3 is really quite good.
Best of luck with your decision.

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I have never heard a SN3 as of this moment in time. The dealer in the US did not have them in stock prior to Covid restrictions. They are now available but will wait to Covid restrictions are lifted prior to heading to the dealer for a listen.

I can tell you the SN2 is a fantastic integrated amp and is part my four box NAIM system, NAS > XPS DR > NDX 2 > Hi-Line > HiCap DR > SuperNait 2 > NAC A5 > ProAc D30RS. At some point I will demo the SN 3 and if the improvement blows me away I will consider upgrading. I am not interested in a adding a turntable to the system so the sound, and some say the bass has improved, would have to surpass the SN 2 before I would move forward. Depending on your needs and possibly financial considerations the SN 2 may meet your needs.

Only a demo will tell for sure…

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Apologies if I missed your posts on other threads. So you own the Supernait 3 now? What happened to the 272/300? If you have moved on from it, it’s good to note that more people have moved(upgraded) from big separates to a high quality integrated and still able to find musical bliss.

Enjoy ~

yes yes yes

I’ve just moved from a sn2 to a 3. The three is more open, more control and gives better insight and detail. The bass is a tad tighter and faster too.

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I had a bit of a swap around at the end of last year, in order to get something smaller and simpler, yet still good. Out went the 272 and 300, as well as the large speakers, and in came an NDX2, the Supernait 3 and some ProAc Tablette 10 Signatures. It’s very much source first, in an 80s stylee, and works very well.

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Here’s the technical differences and additions for the Supernait 3 over the SN2; the latter ones are around the phono stage, but there’s a significant range of upgrades that improve all-round performance:

• Full 24V DR module built-in: enjoy the purer power and performance improvement of Naim’s Discrete Regulation technology for the entire pre-amp stage
• Larger toroidal transformer in the power supply: provides greater power and speed of recovery
• Additional leaded through-hole components in the signal path: further minimises negative effects of vibration and transient thermal conditions
• Chassis-mounted input sockets hand-wired to the circuit boards: offers enhanced vibration isolation
• The Naim R&D team has found a way to more than double the speed of the
voltage gain stage, which in turn doubles the rate at which the speaker
output stage can react.
• The second gain stage transistors have been optimised, so they no longer need
to be shielded by a cascode stage transistor. Removing the cascode means less amplifier stabilisation is required: that doubles the slew rate and delivers an uplift in sound quality.
• The phono circuit topology comprises 3 stages: the gain stage, passive equalisation and final gain and active equalisation. This enables excellent noise performance, extended RIAA equalisation beyond the audio band and great overload headroom.
• All RIAA equalisation capacitors are ‘through-hole’ mounted film designs, with low microphonic pickup and excellent transient performance. As phono stages are 1000x more sensitive than other inputs, this greatly benefits the sound quality.

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Hi Clare. Didn’t the first and perhaps most significant item on your list, the DR supply, applied equally to the SN2. Or is there significance to ‘full’?

along with the blue velvet balance pot?

Yes, SN2 had DR, but I am reliably informed that SN3 takes it further - in combination with the other upgrades included in this model. (Rarely to any of these things sit in isolation - well, except the ACTUAL isolated elements, obviously!) If we can make things better, we will.

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Fair point - i’ll edit that!

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Thanks Clare. That’s interesting and perhaps something not really promoted by Naim. It’s the phono stage and the better bass control that’s usually majored on. Of course, you entirely missed the most important changes on the SN3 - the ‘stream’ and ‘phono’ buttons! Joking aside, it’s a bloody brilliant amplifier, and I say that having swapped a 272/555 and 300 for one. Naim have done a good job.

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The key thing is we don’t launch a full new edition of something unless is offers a significant performance upgrade. If we’d just wanted to add a phono stage, it could have been Supernait 2 Phono or somesuch. A full generational release has to mean more. This Andrew Everard for HiFi Critic interview with Steve Sells has even more tech insight, for those interested!

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thank you very much, Clare, for you detailed exposition.

anyway, returning to point one, DR module, since I’m currently running HiCap DR on my SN2, and since the HCDR is supposed to power the pre-amp stage of SN2, I’m wondering if, considering such an improvement on the built-in DR module of SN3, the HCDR is still “necessary”!

hope I was clear …

regards,
Stefano

this is good news! :wink: