The Naim audio Supernait 3 is the latest creation from Naim audio. And, I had an opportunity to listen in great detail whilst visiting my friend’s showroom. The showroom is ‘Garso Namai’, located Kauno g 31, Vilnius, Lithuania, and owned by Lucas Svedas. I have visited Lucas on several occasions and always enjoyed his company as he has excellent experience working with new components.
In the six years since the last NAIT integrated amplifiers were released, the Naim research and development team have worked on a range of amplifier improvements. The result is upgraded power amplifier sections for SUPERNAIT 3, delivering greater peace and intimacy to their musical delivery – whether it’s driving a pair of loudspeakers or your favourite pair of headphones.
The SUPERNAIT 3 has received significant performance upgrades, including a built-in phono stage, making it a perfect partner for turntables, as well as for streamers, CD players, or any other music source people want to enjoy with the signature Naim sound. And, also includes a Class A preamp output stage which doubles as a headphone amplifier and ceramic heatsink technology that minimises capacitive coupling between the chassis and output transistors for optimum sound quality.
The amplifier inputs are each individually decoupled and hand-wired to minimise noise and interference. At the same time, internal switching employs ultra-low-noise, constant current sources which are derived directly from the electronic design of the flagship NAC 552 preamplifier. The SUPERNAIT 3 can be upgraded with the external power supplies, power amplifiers and even cabling upgrades to get the best from all sources.
We decided to test the Naim audio Supernait 3 amplifier but, we had a selection of loudspeakers. And, used a Marantz PM700n to choose the best speaker, because the Marantz has excellent neutral characteristics. During the testing, we used six pairs of loudspeaker cables. Which gave the amplifier a fair chance to show what it was capable of under different loads.
The first steps were to find the best sounding loudspeakers and the cables to go with them. And, took about two hours of listening to different loudspeakers and making side by side and AB comparisons. The speakers we finally selected were the Dali Rubicon 8, Harbeth M30.1 and Elac Corina. And, priced from 2-5K Euros, so a good range providing excellent performance. The music used for the testing was from the latest album from Yello called POINT, delivered via Blue sound note 2, 550 network system with Audio note DAC 0 which gave an excellent and musical presentation.
The cabling used for the interconnects and power supplies were a mixture supplied by Taga and chord, and speaker cables were from different companies ranging from 100 – 2,000 Euros. I wish to state that when we listened to the music from the Marantz PM700n amplifier, we could easily hear the difference that every speaker cable made. And, it showed that as the price got more significant, the sound got better. In some cases not by much, but in other instances a clear difference heard.
The best sounding speaker was the Habeth M30.1, which gave a beautiful smooth sound. The soundstage was excellent with good dynamics and detail. The speaker had an incredible range, and the price was in the middle at about 3,500 Euros, which represented outstanding value. And, this was the speaker we would use to test the Naim audio Supernait 3.
The first track played through the Marantz with the basic loudspeaker cable, which enabled us to get a good bass line. And, then we simply switched over to the Naim audio Supernait 3. The first thing I said was “what happened to the music, is this the same track? Because the difference in sound was immense! I was simply shocked to hear what had happened. It was like the content had been doubled up, and everything became so vibrant.
This is something I had never experienced before and was impressed. The sound had expanded dramatically, and we were both taken by surprise. And, remember, this was with the basic speaker cables. We played another track, and then it was time to change to the next speaker cable. We played the same track to compare but did not hear any difference. And, so we changed to the next loudspeaker cable. This time there was indeed a change but only small. It seems like the amplifier was somehow giving its own addition to the music to make the sound richer and fuller!
It is very hard to explain, but the sound heard was incredible so full, rich and inviting. And, in many ways, a dream come true with a cable costing less than 500 euros! the next step was to fit the better cable and to hear the difference which we did, but again only a small improvement. The last speaker cable changed, and the music played with the hope of further sound improvements. And, the best was saved till last, because this time the sound became everything that a person could wish!
The Naim audio Supernait 3 is an amazing-sounding amplifier. And, has everything to bring the music to you. The bass reveals excellent depth, the soundstage is perfect, and details are everywhere they should be. Image positioning and focus are razor-sharp and spot on with real life-like quality. The music is around but at the same time exhibits purpose with a real sense of realism!
And, I would say that the Naim audio Supernait 3 amplifier, together with the Perkune Reference loudspeaker cable are a match made in heaven. And highly recommended!
Author: Paul.Goodwin (Perkune audiophile cables)
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