What are the main differences in sound of SN2 vs SN3

I heard the Sn2 and really like it, I got it for a weekend at my house with my own speakers, to get the Sn3 for a weekend isn’t a option, the one thing that catch me on the Sn2 is the full sound that it can be deliver also at low level volume, is the sn3 the same? Is his presentation is the same, is there is someone here which make the move sn2 to sn3 and can share cons and pros in the sound that he noticed

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I’ve had both and to me it sounds like you would prefer SN2 over SN3.


I can not comment on the sound of the SN3. Having owned the SN2 for a few years now and I can tell you that it is a fine integrated amp. As you mentioned it works well at low volume as well as when you turn up the volume.

Others will be along to comment but it may help if you mention the sources you will be using, streamer, CD player, turn table as well as the speakers you are using.

Good luck with your decision.

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I had a demo of SN2 for 2 weeks & really loved.
Then auditioned the SN3 & preferred the SN3.
You will get reach & fat sound from both.
From my experience the SN3 is slightly better in terms of “cleaner” sound.
If money is an issue go for a used SN2,if not go for the SN3.


I went from a 2 to a 3 and the 3 is more open, clean and expressive but still has the bass of the 2. The 3 is like a 2 with a hicap dr… then if you add a hicap dr to the 3 then another lift. Both work well at low vols with my Dynaudio’s


Second hand Supernait 2 can be a superb purchase, sometime as low as half price.

Much improved vs the original SN1, not sure the SN3 differ that much vs SN2.

SN2 doesn’t have phonostage like SN3 but many use external solution anyway.

Outside Naim hiearchy, a Supernait will leave many pre/power combinations in the dust.

As for buying new SN3, few contenders I would listen to, before final decision, such as Rega Aethos, PMC Core, Heed Lagrange, Exposure amo…


I can’t speak for the SN2 but i can for the SN3 in which case i can assure you that it sounds taut and remains marvellously open and detailed, regardless of any volume position.


I’ve owned all 3 in various system configurations. The 2 and 3 are similar, if you have the budget the 3 is a refinement over the 2 with more agility in the midrange and a little more grip in the bottom end vs a 2.
I’d not hesitate recommending a SN2 and with the addition of a HiCap DR gives a very capable integrated that works well with a good range of sources and speakers.


As you can see the SN3 reads out as more clean, more tight bass, refined, more balanced. That means less warmth and full sound. The SN2 and SN3 are very different in terms of full/warm sound IMO. They have different focus on presentation and I believe you will enjoy SN2 more if that is most important in the presentation to you.

Yes it seems that the new SN3 is more stirille then the SN2 , and this kind of amp less attractive to me, although I don’t believe this is a cold amp.

I wouldn’t read too much into comments by one poster. The SN3 is not sterile in any way. I’d suggest that if you csn afford the SN3 then that’s the one to get, but if you can’t afford it you should get the SN2. The SN3 has a number of technical improvements over the SN2, including improvements in the power amp and more extensive use of DR tech in the preamp. The most important thing, of course, is that it sounds superb.


Hi Vaksil

I have a SN3 on order having owned a SN2 for 6 years and have listened to it on a daily basis with
NDX2 and PMC 25.23 speakers.
I know and love the sound of the SN2 intimately. Having borrowed a SN3 for an extended home demo I could easily hear the difference in presentation. The SN2 is a belting amp. The SN3 loses nothing of the SN2 punch and also manages to present a wider soundstage so music seems more coherent and clearer, It is easier to follow more complex arrangements. It is easier to hear and track bass notes and occasionally I noticed a lower bass presence with the SN3 that the SN2 could not produce. The differences are not startlingly obvious but they are there to be heard. The SN3 is able to do subtly and punch. BUT . . . more than anything I just didn’t want to stop listening to music played through it - its infectious so I was listening to the groove rather than analysing the sound.

So this all boils down to are you willing to pay what is a hefty bit more for the subtle but audible improvement in the way the SN3 presents music. You can now pick up a second hand SN2 for £1,500 - £1,800 making them an astonishing bargain. I feel I have a balanced system that lets me hear the differences - which I really appreciate - and the extra money is worth every penny in my opinion.

Ultimately, you’re choosing between two really great amps and cannot go wrong.
SN2 - terrific VFM
SN3 - glorious integrated which will become a Naim classic and which IMHO is good enough to eschew multiple box amps. ENJOY!


Thank youso much for your detail response
As a former owner of SN2, and Owner of SN3, you consider them both on the warm side? Because I don’t have the option to hear the SN3 with mine other system and music I don’t know how to define the sound of the SN3, is it the same as the SN2 but less “fat”

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I have an SN2 and love it, and I paid well under half price for it. My next move will be to separates, and I’m in no rush, because it sounds so good to me.
However, if I wasn’t planning on separates and I had the price difference between the SN2 and SN3 lying around (about $5k cad tax in), then I would replace the SN2 with the SN3 immediately, as I am quite certain it is a superior amp from the many posts here and info elsewhere. And it also has a phono stage,

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For mine opinion you need to hear the sn3 first before you rush to replace the sn2


I don’t think I would describe either as warm necessarily. I think both amps have slightly rolled off top frequencies - maybe someone far more knowledgable than me could chip in here - which maybe suggests some warmth.

What I will say is that the SN3 (when paired with an NDX2) sounds right’, it’s balanced, infectious to listen to, it makes you want to stop and listen (not analyse). It does detail and subtlety but is not clinical. None of the bass, mid or treble frequencies stand out from the others - they are all in harmony. The damn thing just makes me smile a lot!! *

(* that’s about the best I can manage - trying and failing to avoid the usual cliches here)


I wouldn’t even bother. At least 80% of the members here have heard it and feel it’s a better amp. Unless they are gits, and I don’t feel they are, then that’s good enough for me.
I’ve never been able to listen to something before I buy it, I live in Canada. So, I go by these recommendations and research, and after many years I haven’t bought a bad thing yet.
When it’s a 50/50 thing, I don’t buy it. And listening at the dealer, only gives you a vague idea.

Hi jm. Actually, the thing that I find is the most important when putting a good audio system together, is patience. You know, like taking the time to thoroughly research all of the possibilities (usually suggested by members here), but also some other online research and reviews, and Naim’s info.

Without the ability to in-home test, these are the the only resources many of us have, and the info and opinions that we receive from all of you is absolutely priceless, and I know that we all greatly appreciate your combined time on this. I have an excellent sounding system, solely because of this.
A sincere thank you.


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