What sounds like a NAIT 3 ?!?

My late model Nait 3 sounds more live and real than any other integrated I own (Nait 1, Nait 5, Rega Brio 3), and is on par with a high-gain tube preamp I have which is fantastic but too hot for my room most of the year (4m X 4m room). To compete with the tube pre is no easy feat!

It took me a while to get to this point. I was using the tube pre (with nice vintage tubes) for months and loved it until the weather changed then I put in the Nait 3 and was very surprised I was getting almost identical sound, although the Nait became tiring very quickly, it had a hardness and was harsh after extended listening. This little amp has a ton of energy.

Problem solved by using Naca5 with professionally terminated plugs. I was using Linn K20 with screwed on connectors. Harshness/hardness gone, fatigue gone.

I am very happy I can use one simple little box to get the results I am getting, it stays on 24/7 and is trouble free. I find it hard to believe. SO, I have now started to look into Olive pre/powers thinking I can maybe get more, and have passed for the time being, will I lose what I am getting?

The point of this thread - I have read all the threads re Nait 3 vs pre/powers, but none are convincing. What I fear missing is the energy and open-ness of the Nait 3. I mainly listen to pop/rock and guitars/vocals/drums are fantastic and sound energetic, real, live and have real presence. What else in the Naim range sounds like this amplifier?!?

Original Post

The NAIT 3R had some revisions that improved performance over the non-remote 3. Next step up from there would be something like a NAC92R + NAP90/3. You can then add a Flatcap PSU on the NAC92, and even consider adding an IXO active crossover and additional NAP90/3, if your speakers can be made active. 

Aside from that, I'm a big fan of the NAC42.5 + NAP110, the Olive equivalent being a NAC62 with a NAP140.

p.s. Don't forget the source; one of my favourite 3 series components was the wonderful CD3 CD player. It has the ability to engage in spades.

NAC52-PS-NAP250 ;-) 

Joking apart: I also love my Nait3! It has this imho Naim-specific clarity and granularity, iaw PRaT. With an adequate speaker nobody would guess its relatively low wattage. In a certain way I prefer it over my 102 (either with NAP90/3 or NAP250 which of course offer more power), well now as I am so happy to have the above mentioned state-of-the-art (at the time) equipment I am in another league. But some characteristics are already present with the Nait, therefore this contribution. 

-dgh

OK i don't know how to quote, so sorry abut that.

Mike, What am i missing? I listen to standmount speakers at low volume. I use small standmounts because I find anything larger (even though technically better) has either too much bass or misses the fun factor in a small room. I do not find I am missing much at all at the moment. I have not listened to so much music for a long long time, without listening to equipment unsatisfied (I have been unhappy/frustrated for well over 12 months on a daily basis). If anything, the bass could do with a tad less energy and more texture (Nait 5 style) but it also depends on recordings so it's only a nitpick. I played and recorded in a rock band for years, and I am getting memories coming back when listening to music now if that makes sense. Sounds my ears have not have not heard for years but are familiar with, the sound of instruments being played live and real. So something right is happening.

Richard, I have passed on some olive and chrome bumper combos lately, and am still not convinced I will get that 'all windows opened', 'all veils lifted' type energy/forwardness I have now. That is my concern hence my question 'what else sounds like this'. I have a Nait 1 1986 red light, and even though it should get a service, it does not do what the 3 does in my room. It is a bit grey and does not have the forward energy. I have thought of 92/90 seperates I would for sure consider because I can add PS, but it is still more or less a Nait 3. Would like a CD3 but already have too many CDP's. My favourite has the same dac chip as a CD3 I think this is part of the great tone and instrument timbre i am getting.

DGH, I have had nice/expensive/big solid state pre/power amps (still have some nice pre's), but they still sound technically better (more hi-fi and boring) in comparison (apart from my awesome tube pre), in a small room with low volume.

Well, I think I may have just found the right setup for the right room, finally. Just did not expect it to be a cheap Nait 3 that I bought because nobody wanted it. It did take some time and matching though, to get it right. Will be happy to get some more answers if anyone is interested in the topic.

 

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roydman posted:

...Richard, I have passed on some olive and chrome bumper combos lately, and am still not convinced I will get that 'all windows opened', 'all veils lifted' type energy/forwardness I have now. That is my concern hence my question 'what else sounds like this'. I have a Nait 1 1986 red light, and even though it should get a service, it does not do what the 3 does in my room. It is a bit grey and does not have the forward energy. I have thought of 92/90 seperates I would for sure consider because I can add PS, but it is still more or less a Nait 3. Would like a CD3 but already have too many CDP's. My favourite has the same dac chip as a CD3 I think this is part of the great tone and instrument timbre i am getting.



A 1986 NAIT that has not been serviced will be sounding nothing like what it should - certainly lacking "forward energy".  However, the earlier NAITs are now collectible and costly, so..

Good serviced examples of the NAC92R and NAP90/3 will certainly be more rather than less than a NAIT 3.

I have and have had a number of TDA1541A chip CD players - some with crown chips like the CD3 - and let me just say that when it comes to engagement, short of a CDI or CDS, the CD3 is in a class of its own. Yes, there are probably similar aspects that are clearly traits of the Philips DAC chipset, but there are considerable differences in the overall players. What is your favourite player here?

roydman posted:

What else in the Naim range sounds like this amplifier?!?

Your best bet is try to find a minty *split* Nait 3R and power it with either Hicap or Supercap. ( latter is just stupendous )

I did a similar move from Nagra pre/power to Nait 3R/Supercap. The latter combo served me well.

btw, what are you using for your front end?

The Nait3 was one of my favourite integrated amps. If you want the same but better, Richard took the words out of my mouth. 92/90/FlatCap

Find all for next to nothing second hand but cosmetically mint condition and then just ship the whole lot to Naim for TLC and recapping and enjoy. Depending on what speakers you are driving, if they could benefit from a bit more current, 2 90 power amps would better. While it is completely true that all things being equal, biamping offers no sonic benefits, the exception is when the speakers are quality-wise a good match but need more current to shine.

You've not said what they are and I am assuming one NAP90 is enough.

Christopher_M posted:
feeling_zen posted:

You've not said what [your speakers] are and I am assuming one NAP90 is enough.

For some reason I'm guessing at Royd Sintras!  :-)

Haha not at the moment, I have 4 sets of royds (coniston, topaz, eden, doublett) but I am using Spendor S3/5r on Kan stands right now.

I am busy right now but will return in the coming day/s to quote some points made here and what direction I may go, and perhaps close the conversation up. Great forum + info : )

it took a 282/250.2 to make a significant improvement upon my Nait 5 (OG version). looking back, i wish i'd kept the Nait 5 around -- they don't take up too much space.

apart from that, Kuma is on the money: find a 3R to which you can attach a Hicap -- or add a 'cap to your Nait 5 and see if you like it.

I like the Nait 3 but like Joe just mentioned above, i'm partial to the original Nait 5 which i've had serviced by Naim. I'd say it has much of the DNA of the'3' but without the aggressiveness that it could exhibit. I did own the latest 5si, which i used in my office system, and laterly to see how it performed against the '5'..... alas no contest, the Si was moved on to new pastures. The original '5' is for me a hidden gem, but i can understand your love for the'3 right enough. 

I have tried powering the Nait 5 by a hicap dr and it did all the good things one would expect from a hicap dr.

I have moved the hicap dr on since it was causing fatigue after 4 hours intensive listening. Something in the high was not as smooth as it should be. Once I hit that fatigue ceiling, I have become more sensitive too it.  I'm sure Richard is right that the flatcap is just right for the Nait 5.

This is still a dream for me: a nDac (with usb stick for music), Nait 5 into ESL57's. Maybe it is all one needs ... ever.

Richard Dane posted:

I too like the 5 very much, and indeed I have one, but I feel it really becomes something special with a flatcap2 powering the pre-amp section.

Is the Nait 5/Flatcap enough to drive s400 Ovators I wondered ? thank you

I ran Ovators with a NaitXS/Flatcap2X and a CDS3 for 3 years and it was magnificent. The Nait 5 has a little less grunt, but i can imagine it having no problems with the Ovator. To Richard.... i haven't had the pleasure of the Flatcap with the '5' as i sold the cap with the XS a few years back. I have however tried adding a 150X, worse! a Hicap2, and a SupercapDR. Both of those caps took it into a territory that although impressive, was far less pleasurable musically speaking. I have no doubt the the Flatcap is the one, as it was for my XS, and i still have a spare Fraim shelf for one when i get the chance.

My NAC202/HiCapDR/NAPSC/NAP200 sounds energetic, forward, exciting, somewhat like my original Nait 1, NAC72/NAP140 and NAC152XS/NAP155XS did. It really rocks, but I also have Kudos C2 speakers having returned Focal 926 which I found too laid back. So there are plenty of Naim amps which have that sound.

Ok so I have something to think about now.

-lookout for 92r/90 + cap

-nait 3R + cap

-CD3 CDP

-possibly a Olive pre-power (I need would need to hear it to decide)

I own a handful of TDA based CDP's and understand that there are differences between them. I use a modded CD94. A CD3 would be great, but I worry about replacement lasers, and this is only a bedroom system (though it has become my go to system lately I really enjoy it) and I am running out of room to store CDP's, but I can imagine the extra drive it would bring. I also have a Valhalla LP12 that I rarely use.

My Nait 1 will never be sold, and serviced in the future, and my Nait 5 works very well with Royds in my room when I feel like a speaker change (a bit distant with Spendor). My Nait 3 works wonders with my Spendor's much more than the others, that is my preferred setup right now, they come alive with the nait 3 with no roughness at all, totally engaging, but nice enough to relax with as well, almost perfect for my taste!

Thanks for all the help, I enjoyed the conversation.

 

 

 

roydman posted:

No mention of Nait5i or 5i2 in this thread. Any reason for this? Could the sound be that far apart?

You would be able to hear it's contemporary successor, a Nait 5si, at a dealer and form an opinion.

Personally I found the Nait 5i good with the matching CD5i cd player.

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