Naim NAIT XS 3 – Major performance upgrades and now with added love for vinyl
In the six years since the last NAIT integrated amplifiers were released, Naim’s research and development team have worked on a range of amplifier improvements.
The result is upgraded power amplifier sections for the NAIT XS 3, delivering greater pace and intimacy to the musical delivery of the NAIT XS 3 – whether it’s driving a pair of loudspeakers or your favourite pair of headphones.
The NAIT XS 3 has received significant performance upgrades, including a built-in phono stage, making the NAIT XS 3 a perfect partner for turntables, as well as for streamers, CD players, or any other music source you want to enjoy with the signature Naim sound.
The NAIT XS 3 offers much of the performance of the reference quality SUPERNAIT 3 in a simpler, slimmer package combining a 70W power amplifier with five analogue inputs plus a phono stage. The high-performance preamplifier stage of the NAIT XS 3 is as transparent as you would expect from a Naim Audio amplifier, and it also shares the single-ended class-A headphone output of its larger sibling, the SUPERNAIT 3.
The NAIT XS 3 can be upgraded with Naim’s external power supplies, power amplifiers, and even cabling upgrades to get the best from all sources.
Naim’s typical obsessive attention to detail, all in service of achieving the most authentic musical performance, ensures that the NAIT XS 3 benefits from the following features:
- Class A headphone amplification
- Alps Blue Velvet volume control
- Reed relay input selection
- Ceramic insulators for the power transistors
- Galvanically isolated microprocessor control section
- Microphonic-isolating PCB mounts
Technology & Craft
The upgrades to the NAIT XS 3 in more detail include:
- Naim’s R&D team has significantly enhanced the voltage gain stage’s speed, more than doubling it. This improvement allows the speaker output stage to react twice as fast.
- The optimization of the second gain stage transistors eliminates the need for shielding by a cascode stage transistor. With the cascode removed, less amplifier stabilization is needed, doubling the slew rate and further uplifting sound quality.
- The phono circuit topology of the NAIT XS 3 consists of three stages: the gain stage, passive equalization, and final gain with active equalization. This design facilitates excellent noise performance, extends RIAA equalization beyond the audio band, and provides great overload headroom.
- All RIAA equalization capacitors in the NAIT XS 3 are ‘through-hole’ mounted film designs, characterized by low microphonic pickup and exceptional transient performance. Given that phono stages are 1000 times more sensitive than other inputs, this significantly enhances the sound quality.
- The input impedance of the NAIT XS 3 is set at 47kΩ in parallel with 470F capacitive loading, offering optimal gain for 5mV moving magnet cartridges.