In Salisbury, a town in the south of England, amplifiers have been made under the Naim brand name since 1973 and those who visit a hi-fi fair will recognise a Naim amplifier from afar. The black boxes with their typical green lighting have become a regular fixture and are known by many enthusiasts. Naim, however, links this tradition to innovation with, among others, the Uniti and Muso series. Today we are looking at a real classic from the range: The Naim Nait XS 3 integrated amplifier!
The ‘oldskool’ look of this NAIM Nait XS 3 not only provides instant recognition but also evokes a nostalgic atmosphere. This is a product that radiates quality and will not disappoint, you just feel that. As the name indicates, this is now the third version of this integrated amplifier. The first version already came out in 1983! And although he may not be as legendary as the SuperNait, we would like to know how well the ‘little brother’ will perform. On the one hand because this is an interesting price range and on the other hand because a number of more expensive applications have ended up in the Nait XS 3.
Construction and appearance
A black box with green lights so with the volume knob on the left, or what would you have thought. On the right we see the inputs and the new Class A headphone amplifier, the same as on the SuperNait. The names at the inputs are not easy to read from a distance but after a while we know where everything is. Inputs that are not used are simply switched off. This amplifier has a sleek, tidy front and with a height of only 7 cm this is quite a slim unit. Yet inside there is an enormous power supply that produces 70 watts of class A/B power. Enough to drive most speakers properly
At the back we see the typical DIN connections with the standard RCA inputs underneath. Although the DIN connections have certain advantages, we stick to the normal connections to go to our dac and turntable. That turntable can now for the first time directly connected to the Nait XS 3 because Naim has a fine MM-phono stage provided. That was a while ago. Furthermore we see a pre-out and power-in connection via DIN and a sub-output via RCA. There are no digital inputs and that is a conscious choice with the Nait and SuperNait
The downside is the speaker connections that only accept banana plugs and we don’t have a real XLR connection, but that’s just the way it is when you choose Naim. As always, a separate power supply can be connected, but we didn’t miss it at all. A remote control is included that is easy to hold and does not have too many buttons. The whole is clear and the volume can be adjusted in small steps. The importance of a solid remote control is often underestimated but it is a pleasure to use. Adjusting the volume with an app is not the same.