XS3 vs Nait 50 comparison?

Was just thinking (always dangerous…) Has anyone done a comparison, sonically, between the XS3 and Nait 50? At the same price point, do people consider them both, or is the form factor / upgrade path so different that the use cases are unique?

Yes, the 50 is a niche (limited edition) product but has the same functionality as the XS3 so I’m surprised that with all the fanfare around the 50, there’s no discussion on the alternative…


I didn’t consider the XS3 at all, didn’t even know its price. Just read some articles and forums posts about the NAIT 50, got one on home demo and decided to go for it. A bit rash? It’s a lovely amp and I’m enjoying it, so no regrets.


This doesn’t directly answer your question, but since several members have commented on the similarities between the Nait 50 and Nait 2….

I did an A:B comparison between the Nait 2 and Nait XS3, and felt the Nait 2 was superior except for the Nait XS3’s power. The Nait 2 easily had more prat and musicality to my ears.


This post mentions a What Hifi review of the NAIT 50, the review includes comparison to the XS3


It sounds like the Nait 50 offers more instant enthusiasm and instant punch. The XS3 is desribed as more mature, textured and laidback. The Nait 50 seems to be more impressive to listen to at first.

Seems like they are both excellent but have a different signature style.


I believe the Nait50 has a better phono and headphone amp. Designs taken from the new Classic 200 series.
I didn’t consider the XS3 when I purchased the Nait50.


It says that in the quick read of the review. How are you getting on with it?

I’m no audiophile but I will say this.

When I upgraded from a Unitilite AIO streaming Tidal to my Nait50/Emerson Analog/Qobuz setup, the sound quality jumped up significantly.

The Nait50 is a keeper amp for me. I’ll hand the amp down to my kids when I’m unable to get up and adjust the volume. (-;


thanks for that - stopped following WHF years ago so missed it.

if I read between the lines on the comparison section, it seems to infer that the XS3 may be a better amp for the long haul and the Nait 50 is is all about immediacy. not a million miles off what people have been saying.

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No problem. Been having existential thoughts about my own XS3, that review made me feel much better :wink:

I joke slightly, the NAIT 50 has one less input than I need. I think it’s great news that the new NAIT sounds so good, bodes well for any new classic NAITs released.

Are you thinking of a new purchase?

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We’re all thinking of a new purchase - some actively and some passively!! :grinning:

But yes, I’m slowly repurposing gear around the house and think I may give up my UQ1 for something else to put in the lounge, where it will get occasional moderate-volume listening. A 50 fits the bill sound-wise as well as aesthetically. But the space is pretty active and there’s not much I can do about it - which is why I was looking at the XS3 (originally was thinking about a SN3 but then realised that was total overkill.) That’s when I noticed the lack of direct XS3 / N50 comparison.

There’s a dealer near me selling a traded in 50 for 2k, so hard not to jump on that opportunity…If only there was a shoebox sized source to go with it…

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Could also be interesting to watch Alpha Audio on youtube when they listen to and compare Nait 1, Nait XS2 and Nait 50. They enjoyed themselves for some fifty minutes. :blush:


ooo - I need to check that out!

@Maury_Finkle I can’t keep up, what happened to the NAP155XS idea?

Or is this thread totally separate?

Ah - of course! Completely forgot. I finally found one in the Netherlands right before Christmas, should be here later this week. Going in the office with the NAC 172 - that’s why the UQ1 has to move…Will have to update you once it’s in place!


The only way to know what pleases your ears most is to both demo them and you can easily tell them apart! Some replies to the points of view above:

Yes that’s the one that sealed it for me NOT to go with the Nait 50. I really have no love at all for the XS2, yet preferred it to the 50 in that demo, with Nait 1 first place. Must be something with my ears or their room. A full demo later confirmed my preference for the Nait XS3 that I bought instead.

Put the CB Nait 2 back in the system over Christmas just to be sure. I’m afraid that to my ears I have to disagree. We lived with Nait 2s for almost 20 years (good serviced ones, first Olive then CB). The Nait XS3 is the first Nait we’re happy to replace it with and enjoy even more.

Good summary, except for the word laidback, that it is not, lightning quick actually. And it sings, like a Nait 2 but without the fairy dust. I found the 2023 What Hifi review of the Nait XS3 very accurate.


I would imagine matching NAITs with the right speaker is crucial. Different combos may or may not work!

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If you don’t mind an even smaller source, have a look at Chord’s Hugo 2 cum 2go. With that combo, you even get a remote for volume control. :smiley:

As for smallest sources, I’m intrigued by this, have seen it mentioned before but not often.


Another small source to consider - I use the Lindemann Limetree Network player (and Roon) with my NAIT 50.