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?!?