The Nait3 sounds like…

I am still looking for a new integrated for my system. After listening to several contenders over the last couple of years, I am beginning to realize that the perfect one for me might simply not exist.

As the olive era is visually my favorite among the Naim lineups, I have been thinking about the Nait3r.

It does have everything I’m looking for featurewise, which is

  • (very) good phono MM input
  • at least one line level input
  • 50 W output or at least not much less
  • remote control for volume

Has anyone experience with both the Nait3 and any of the current Naits (XS3, SN3, 50)? Which similarities and or differences in sound did you notice?

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I went from Nait 3 to SN3. Nait 3 is a nice amp, I think. About 30W. Needs to be matched to speakers fairly carefully. I had nait 3 and epos es11, it would go loud but seemed like it needed more grip and grunt for those speakers. MM phono stage was optional. servicing would now be essential.

SN3 is much more powerful, heavier, clearer, less edgy, grippier. It’s what I would expect given the price difference and the passage of time.


CD3.5/FC/Nait 3 was my first Naim system (1999) and it was a magical little set up. I was truly hooked on Naim from that point on. My favorite of all the Naits still. 30wpc never sounded so good.


You can beat a Nait 3, good though it is, with a s/h Supernait of course. In olive, it takes 72//HC/140 (or even 250) to do a much better job.


I ran a NAIT3 for 25+ years, had it serviced after 20 ish, then ran it for another couple of years before changing it for a XS3. My NAIT 3 had the MM boards.

Even though I love my XS3, I wouldn’t feel short changed in any way if I had to revert to my NAIT3. I couldn’t really characterise the differences as you request I’m afraid. They both make great music. For the money a NAIT3 costs these days it’s a great value for money option.

To throw the cat amongst the pigeons, maybe going NAIT 3 and upgrading to an external phono stage might be an option? Good though the internal stage is, many stages these days are configurable to the loading requirements of your cartridge.

Best of luck deciding anyway.

Plus here’s a picture of my old NAIT, any excuse :wink:

And its “replacement”


Thanks for sharing your thoughts and posting a picture of your Nail3. I simply love the olive look, especially with the rectangular buttons.
Regarding the phono input: my plan is to use the MM with a step-up transformer. I have had very good, sometimes even excellent, results so far.

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Some years ago TomTom reviewed the early Naits and they considered the 3 the best. I have a Nait 3R that still punches above its weight especially with Prefix as phono.


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I’ve just googled that review, it’s definitely worth a read!

If you read carefully, you’ll notice that the original Nait 5 wasn’t part of the listening test.

Would the Nait 5 have been part of the test, it would have certainly won from the others :slight_smile:


Great spot!

As much as I like the Nait3, of the choices listed I’d be getting some time with the Nait 50. Hearing lots of positive feedback about it.

I spend some time listening to my cousin’s Nait 3 hook-up to a pair of Paradigm Titans in the 90’s. Compared to the SN3, it seems quicker and more forward and open in the mid-range/highs.

The SN3 had more bass weight/heft, the mids had more inner detail and the overall sound although less open sounding is more organic and textured.

However, having said that, I have different speakers and sources with the SN3 so that has to be taken into account.


I was able to compare from a Nait 1 through Nait5i in succession. Out of that I loved the Nait 3R the most. Believe it or not this little amp replaced my Nagra MPA/PLL in my office system.
It also gave me the reason for me to get a very basic Sondek since it came with the MM phono.

To my surprised, Nait 3 and 3 R sounded very different. the latter being much more dynamic and robust. Internally they look very different aside from an addition of a remote. Mine is split Nait where I can add an optional power supply. In the begining.

Nait 3R internal
Nait 3 Internal

I used it with HC, and then with Supercap which resulted in unbelievable performance boost. I lived with the pair till a nice used Olive 52 replaced it.

I see that 3R is not the most popular Nait but for me it belongs anibgst the best integrated I have owned.


I had the split too I think, is that where your FC can power both the CD player and Pre at the same time. Vague memory on this but I think that’s why it sounded so special.

Yep. External PSU gives a significant boost.

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Was this the split cable for the Nait 3 too?

Mine broke this week. Snif!

IIRC the reviewer who wrote the Naitology piece was Channa Vithana and he found it difficult to choose a favourite between the NAIT 2 and NAIT 3.

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I bought a very nice looking NAIT 3R online a couple of years back. I was really looking forward to giving it ago. Unfortunately it had a bit of an accident on its way to me and arrived with a case and chassis that were doing their best impression of a banana, so I sadly never got to even listen to it.


I’ve just had a few listening sessions of the Nait 50, and to me that would be the only choice. If the system has to have vinyl as source, the 50, period. It’s a really amazing amp with a deep, controlled, tuneful bass never heard (by me) in a Naim integrated before.