Upgrade: Naim Nait XS 2 > Naim Supernait 2 w/ B&W 805 D2

Hi there,

would be happy to receive some advices, opinions, experiences, etc. regarding my upgrade path idea.

My follow setup is:

Nait XS 2
ND5 XS 2
B&W 805 D2
B&W ASW 10 (sub)
solid room acoustics adjustment already in place

Currently I am missing details, width & depth graduation in the soundstage especially till 830 o’clock (volume). When playing “at 9” entire different experience.

Hence, I am planning to…

(A) change my Nait XS 2 > Supernait 2


(B) bring a Hi-Cap DR into my system to power-up the amp.

What’s your opinion regarding my speakers + sub setup (no future change here)?

Looking forward to your responses.


Perhaps look for a more sensitive bookshelf speaker to make the most of your XS2. Its a great amp with plenty of muscle at this sort of level of system.
Do you actually need more power or just more detail and soundstage etc at low volumes?
Its not uncommon for amps to open up tonally as volume increases.
Perhaps consider a more studio monitor type of speaker if you listen at very low volumes.
ATC is a good starting place.

A review of your speakers I’ve found online points to the issues you are having, i.e. dull and lifeless at low volume so a better amp may help to mitigate some of this but is unlikely to resolve things completely as it seems to be a characteristic of the model you have.

Are you able to try a Supernait in your system first to see if it helps or not? Otherwise I might be tempted to look for a more suitable speaker as has been sugegsted already. PMC is a good place to start.


I owned B&W 805s for good many years and they do need a bit of volume to spark into life, so in agreement with others here that it is a bit more of a speaker characteristic.

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I ran a pair of ProAC D2D and Naim Ovator - S400 speakers with my XS 2 and they both sounded superb. I also moved up to a SN 2 over time and that was a very nice uplift in performance.

Home demo if you can, and if not find a dealer that can assist.

Good luck and enjoy the journey!


Think your post is directed at the OP, not me.

I’d be inclined to try other speakers as others have suggested. I’d not expect a HiCap added to the mix to suddenly transform your setup, I ran a HiCap on my NAIT XS2, they do pair well, I had PMC’s on the end of it all at the time, probably GB1 or maybe FB1?
If you tend to listen at low volume anyway the SN2 won’t behave a whole lot different either, they use the same ALPS based volume control and tend to all be a bit iffy below 8 O’Clock, as in channel balance and stability. Once you’re up past 9 and in to 10, unless you’ve got a larger listening space you’ll probably be finding it too loud for any length of time.
Another wildcard thought might be a Uniti Atom or even Star/Nova?
I’ve got an Atom on main TV and that’s more friendly and better controlled at lower volume.

What does OP stands for?

Unfortunately, it will be quite difficult to loan an amp from a local dealer around my home town.

I have found and identified the same points you mentioned reg lifeless at low volume. That’s the reason why I am think of a SN2 + Hi-Cap enlargement.


Have found the following comment “Are you actually using the “fixed” volume mode in the app for the ND5 XS2? I’d first try using either “variable” or “system automation” by connecting it to the SN using the 2.5mm jack connections on the back of each unit”

in this thread: [Sound levels in ‘fixed’ volume mode]

fixed + system automation using 3.5mm cable between NAIT and ND

What cables are you using ?

Power, I/C and speaker.

Chord Epic is popular with 805 users, but needed some wick to come on song I recall reading.
Nordost cables are excellent at drawing more from XS kit at low volume levels I had found.

Original Post, or Original Poster/ee - the person who originally posted, or the original post itself


Very early morning + old man = anything may happen! Thanks for the heads up… :smiley:


The B&W 800 series has always been their high end range, and they are not really an ideal match for a Nait XS2. Adding a Hicap would improve the Nait but remember that it powers only the preamp part, so you won’t get more drive. The Supernait is a better amplifier, but possibly won’t help with low volume listening. If you cannot try it at home, it’s a big risk.

I tend to agree with previous posters that you should be looking at your speakers. Find something that’s a better match for your two Naim boxes. It would be a shame to spend money on the system and not get the results you are looking for.


It’s not the amps. B&w needs oomph to wake them up. At low volume, regardless of the amp, to me they sound a bit lifeless. Going with a supernait won’t change things significantly.

I replaced my 805s (original versions) with Guru QM10’s, and at the time had an Xs2 and Hicap dr.

They were a great match but importantly sounded amazingly the same at low levels as well as higher.

However their ultimate volume capability would have been lower than the 805s. Biggest thing was you didn’t mostly ever feel the need to crack the volume.

805s of any vintage are hugely capable, but like a bit of clockwise on the volume control to start to captivate.

Nait XS 2 > Powerline
Hicap DR > Snaic 4
B&W’s > Audioquest Rocket 44 (Single-Bi-Wiring)
ND5 XS 2 > DIN or Chord Clearway RCA (standard Power)

Agree with others’ posts: it took the 300DR to make my 805 D3’s sound better at low volumes (compared to my previous SN3 and 250DR), but they really shine when given volume. They “wake up”, as said. I love em to bits, but…matching is key.

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If Naim (besides the 300DR) can not wake them up at low volumes, which amp can do that better?