Naim Audio announces NAIT XS3 and SUPERNAIT 3 amps with phono stages
Vinyl lovers welcomed to the fold.
Naim has been designing, building and releasing versions of their NAIT (Naim Audio IntegraTed) amps for over 30 years. The previous versions, the NAIT XS2 and SUPERNAIT XS2, were released in 2013, so what has the intervening time allowed the Naim engineers to come up with for the third generation iterations?The headline upgrade is that both the NAIT XS3 and the SUPERNAIT 3 are now proud owners of built-in phono stages, instantly making them appealing to vinyl lovers as well as those who want an integrated amp for their CD or streaming setups.
The phono stages are constructed from superior, batch tested components and use circuitry that is comprised of three stages: gain, passive equalisation, and final gain/active equalisation. The result of this arrangement is improved noise performance and overload headroom plus extended RIAA equalisation beyond the audio band.
The RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) specification is designed to improve sound quality, allow greater recording times and reduce groove damage. All the included RIAA equalisation capacitors demonstrate good transient performance and have low microphony and since moving magnet phono stages are more sensitive than other inputs, this benefits the sound quality.
Additionally, the RIAA low frequency response protects the mid-band frequencies from rumble by using a custom EQ curve which lies between the traditional and IEC curves.
Other performance improvements come courtesy of amplifier section enhancements. Here, the second stage transistors can now handle greater power such that the protective cascode stage transistor can be removed. This means less amplifier stabilisation is needed, leading to an improvement in sound quality, greater pace and retained musicality.
The NAIT XS3 is a simpler, slimmed down version of the SUPERNAIT 3 and the previous iteration dropped the power from 80W to 70W too, but the additional functionality for both the NAIT XS3 and SUPERNAIT 3 doesn’t just begin and end with the phono stages. both the latest models feature the following:
The step up from the NAIT XS3 to the SUPERNAIT 3 provides the following additional range of superior features designed to improve sound quality even further:
- Class A headphone amplification
- Alps Blue Velvet volume control
- Reed relay input selection
- Ceramic insulators for the power transistors
- Galvanically isolated microprocessor control section
- Microphony-isolating PCB mounts
- Naim’s 24V Discrete Regulator (DR) module powering the pre-amp
- Larger toroidal transformer in the power supply: provides greater power and speed of recovery
- Additional leaded through-hole components in the signal path: further minimises negative effects of vibration and transient thermal conditions
- Chassis-mounted input sockets hand-wired to the circuit boards: offers enhanced vibration isolation
- Full Balance control
Charlie Henderson, Naim Audio MD explained, “These are the best-sounding integrated amplifiers Naim has produced, now with added love for vinyl”. He added, “Major performance upgrades mean you’ll hear more from your music – whatever format you’re listening to.”
Both models will be available from the 31st July. The NAIT XS3 will have an SRP of £2199/€2699/$2699 and the SUPERNAIT 3 one of £3499/€4299/$4299.
Are you a Naim fan? Have you got a NAIT XS2 or SUPERNAIT 2? Will these new features tempt an upgrade? Let us know in the discussion thread.
Source: Press release, www.wikipedia.com
Image Source: Naim
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