Xs3. V Supernait 3 Upgrade plans. Thoughts}

I have been enjoying my XS3 but am beginning to feel that I want a fuller sound with a wider soundstage. I was interested in a neighbouring thread discussion about flat caps. I am thinking of moving to the SN3 and then eventually adding a hicap, however in the interim would I see an improvement by adding a flat cap until I am in sufficient funds. Alternatively, am I going down the wrong route and should be focusing on speaker upgrade s rather than amplification. When I moved from the 5si to the XS3 to my ears it was a very large leap. Al, thoughts welcome as I want to narrow my listening exercise.

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I went from an XS2 to Supernait 2 to 3. The upgrade from XS2 to SN2 was a giant leap. The SN3 added ‘hifi’ refinement, as well as features (phono output). Adding an HCDR to the SN3 added even more refinement, lower noise floor, better bass control, etc.

If I were you, I’d forget the Flatcap and save for a new/used SN3 and then a new/used HCDR.


Agree with this recommendation

Forget Flatcap ( I believe now discontinued)

In first instance go for SN3 , later on add the HicapDr


Sn3 is surprisingly good, but what is your source. Waht speakers do u have.

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I started with the NAIT XS 2 and did use a pair of ProAc D2D and then moved to a pair of Naim Ovator S-400 speakers and the XS 2 managed those speakers quite well. I eventually traded in the XS 2 for a SN 2 with my Ovator S-400 speakers. After a short time I added a HiCapDR which was a nice upgrade. Then traded in my Ovator S-400 speakers for a pair of ProAc D30RS speakers.

I am not familiar with the Focal speakers so cannot comment about how they could be approved upon. Do you have a pair of replacement speakers in mind?

I was quite happy with the upgrade from the XS 2 to the SN 2 without the HiCap and do not believe you would be disappointed with upgrading the integrated amp.

As always best to have a demo at dealer with the two units at the same time and then a home demo if you can.

If you perform a single mouse click on the users name ‘Griot’ then the users profile will appear with thier equipment listed.

Ahh yes. Ty

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Thank you all for your comments. With regard to speakers , I an thinking of Proac DT 8’s or Spendor A7 Sonus Faber’s or PMC 25’s.

IMHO, it really depends on you, your equipment, and your room.

I have heard the SN3 and XS3 in a demo room and I would say the SN3 was clearly superior. In one word, I would say the SN3 was more “controlled”.

In my listening room and equipment however, it was a different story. I only heard the improvements of the SN3 during louder volumes. Don’t get me wrong, it was really noticeable and impressive. But the question is, do I listen at that sound level most of the time? The answer is No.

Not to provide more confusion…. I tried several speakers with the XS3 in my room, and the change was even bigger. Some for the worse, some for the better. And when I say “better”, it was better than the SN3 with my existing speakers.

So given my ears, equipment and room, I decided to get the XS3. It’s the “upgrade” in speakers that I will be toying around with soon.


If you like the tonal balance and nature of the Focals and they work in your room I’d be thinking more about the amp at this stage and the SN is an excellent choice. But I note that you are thinking of upgrading with a HC in the future that being the case have you considered a 2nd hand 282/200?



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The speakers you did mention very different in sound. I would try to narrow the choice of speakers and then check how they sound in your room with current amplifier. From there should be easier to decide what is next.

Hi Griot,
Ultimately the decision needs to be yours.
The forum is great at opinion based on members views which are personal/specific.
Go with what you feel best achieves the sound you want ideally after demoing.
Synergy does exist for me and more expensive is not always better.
I’m very happy with my set up but is contrary to source first mantra that prevails here.
Good luck and enjoy journey.

I plan to get XS3 when the funds are available. I was pretty happy with my XS2 before. I heard XS3 (with no power supply), and it sounded as if it had more grunt, speed and control. Maybe it would be sideways move, yet I try to stick with “source first” principle. XS3 will be paired with my new ND5XS2 and trusty old HcDR. I will probably sell on my old CDXS and FCXS and make do with CD5si. Less count of boxes will work better for me in future.

I started out with an XS3, I liked it a lot but quickly added a HCDR which I thought elevated the whole sound a good amount. I didn’t really have any plans to move up from there, but eventually got offered a SN3 at an excellent price so I picked it up. The difference was large, but I still looked back at the XS3 with the HCDR and thought it was seriously capable and ran the SN3 with HCDR close enough for the money.

Personally I’d go for a HCDR first and then sit on that for a bit. If you know you want to stay with an integrated solution then you can spend time saving for a SN3 but if you change your mind whilst saving and decide to go separates then you already have the HCDR you’re going to need, so that makes it a little easier of a step. I guess I’d just say not to underestimate what a HCDR can do for the XS3, I was shocked at the improvement.


Until I read your post I was fairly certain that Power-Lines would be next upgrade.
May have to try out Hi-Cap DR now.
Thanks for sharing your experience.

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If this is for a Nait XS I would consider trading it in for a Supernait, which is a bit cheaper than the XS plus a Hicap at new prices.

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I think the Hi-Cap DR is a fairly flexible piece of kit that would improve Nait, Supernait or is required for NAC 282 so depending on what I decide to do it gives plenty options providing I stick with Naim. We’ll see.

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I feel like seconding this. The SuperNait (classic) is not everybody’s cup of tea but it is a very stable, solid-sounding amp with a very underrated DAC onboard. The SN3 is a very modern, ‘HiFi’ amplifier with a smooth, detailed and powerful voice, but the classic SN had a special quality to it that made it a love or hate affair. I’ve always sort of loved it…


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Yes, boogie it has in spades. I have one and I use it for music with guts. Organ music, hard rock et cetera. I love to turn up the volume and the SN seems to like it too. The higher the better, but that might also be caused by the volume pot used.

Mac Pro >> toslink >> SN1 >> hicap >> hicap >> snaxo >> nap 200 >> Ovators. The SN1 poweramp runs the LF of the Ovators.

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fine system, not excessively sophisticated and unnecessarily up-to-date… It must sound engaging and fun.


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