Comparison naim nait xs3 rega Elicit mk5

FraD

Well-known member
Jun 30, 2022
42
9
45
Good morning everyone
I'm Francesco from Milan
I have just signed up to the site and as it has been suggested to me I introduce myself.
I don't want to go off topic.
I have now been retired for 2 years and since then I have started listening to my hi-fi system, now a bit dated and nothing special.
Thorens TD105 turntable
Maranz CD 50 CD player
Teac V5000 cassette deck
Nad 3100 amplifier
Advent Loudspeaker speakers.
And I felt like working on it to start improving it.
So after a short research I decided to take the Naim Nait XS3 instead of the amp.
I couldn't listen to it well because I left for vacation right after that and in the meantime I continued to be interested in news and new reviews on hifi sites.
So I came across a review of the new Rega Elicit mk5 amplifier, where it is talked about very well and when compared to the Naim Xs3 it is judged better.
Can you give me more information and what you think when comparing these two amps.
Thank you
 
Are you able to listen to both? Ideally you'd have a home loan and try them with your gear in your listening room, but that isn't always possible. If not, are you able to take your gear to a dealer who stocks both and would allow you to try them back to back?
 
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nopiano

Well-known member
Welcome!

As already suggested, there’s nothing like hearing them, but both amps will probably give you more than you imagine from your existing system. However, you hopefully realise you’ll be embarking on an upgrade of sources and and speakers too!
 

FraD

Well-known member
Jun 30, 2022
42
9
45
Are you able to listen to both? Ideally you'd have a home loan and try them with your gear in your listening room, but that isn't always possible. If not, are you able to take your gear to a dealer who stocks both and would allow you to try them back to back?
I agree on comparing them directly, I have already contacted the dealer where I got the nait xs3 who is also a rega dealer, but the elicit mk5 has not yet arrived to him as it is a very new product.
But in the meantime I'd like to have your opinion on the two amps, if you've listened to them or if you have any news about them.
Thank you
 

FraD

Well-known member
Jun 30, 2022
42
9
45
Welcome!

As already suggested, there’s nothing like hearing them, but both amps will probably give you more than you imagine from your existing system. However, you hopefully realise you’ll be embarking on an upgrade of sources and and speakers too!
I agree on the direct comparison and I agree that I have to think about replacing the other components in the plant chain as well.
In this regard, what would you suggest to me as a change, especially for the speakers, taking into account that I already have the xs3 and could have the helicit mk5 in the near future, this will depend on the direct comparison.
Thank you
Welcome!

As already suggested, there’s nothing like hearing them, but both amps will probably give you more than you imagine from your existing system. However, you hopefully realise you’ll be embarking on an upgrade of sources and and speakers too!
I agree on the direct comparison and I agree that I have to think about replacing the other components in the plant chain as well.
In this regard, what would you suggest to me as a change, especially for the speakers, taking into account that I already have the xs3 and could have the helicit mk5 in the near future, this will depend on the direct comparison.
Thank you
 

nopiano

Well-known member
In this regard, what would you suggest to me as a change, especially for the speakers, taking into account that I already have the xs3 and could have the helicit mk5 in the near future, this will depend on the direct comparison.
I’m not sure where you are located, but if I had a Naim amp in the UK I’d be listening to Neat speakers. I like the Iota Alpha which is regularly available used for £800 or thereabouts.
Practical matters like what you can see, hear and borrow, alongside the size of your room are actually far more relevant than what I like.
 

FraD

Well-known member
Jun 30, 2022
42
9
45
Thank you all for the suggestions you have given me.
In the meantime I am waiting for the new Elicit mk5 to arrive from the supplier to compare it with the naim xs3 that I had already taken and that in the meantime I have begun to listen.
I've only been listening for 4 days, it sounds good to me but comparing it to my old Nad 3100 PE I noticed that the nad in the bass is more precise, more detailed, defined.
This surprised me a lot, I didn't expect it.
The bass range is fundamental in a musical composition, the bass must not be intrusive but must be precise well articulated detailed defined, as expressed in the recording.
I must say that all of this disappointed me.
All the reviews and comments on the naim xs3 speak highly of it, even placing it at the top in terms of sound in its price range.
Or ....... the nad 3100 is a very high level amplifier despite being from 1990, it is part of those nad amplifiers when nad was still English that adopted the PE circuit capable of very high dynamic capabilities with very high instantaneous powers and with ability to deliver a lot of current even on very low loads, 2ohm.
However, I was expecting more of the naim xs3
Now the only hope that the judgment will change is that the manufacturer's claim that the amp needs a run-in period of at least a month used regularly to fully express its sonic qualities will be confirmed.
So far I have only used it for 4 days.
It is the last hope before making a final judgment.
 

FraD

Well-known member
Jun 30, 2022
42
9
45
I doubt it's sound will change dramatically - I can understand why speakers will loosen-up a little, but not electronics.
The loudspeakers, as I indicated in my first presentation, are the Advent Loudspeakers of the same period, certainly now giant steps have been made in loudspeakers especially for the use of more advanced technological materials, but at the time they were considered unpretentious.
good, I don't know how we can judge them as efficiency and hardness, but they have always been theirs for 30 years, so they can't be softer than that.
What I expressed in the judgment of the amp remains, especially considering the cost of €. 2700 a little less in pounds.
I am perplexed.
 
Not sure why you are perplexed.
That's the very nature of hifi, just because it is expensive it does not mean it is going to sound better to you.
Many people cannot get on with the "house sound" of amplifier manufacturers especially Naim, and whether amps have the right synergy with your existing kit is not about money.....
 

rainsoothe

Well-known member
Apr 30, 2012
848
389
19,270
Thank you all for the suggestions you have given me.
In the meantime I am waiting for the new Elicit mk5 to arrive from the supplier to compare it with the naim xs3 that I had already taken and that in the meantime I have begun to listen.
I've only been listening for 4 days, it sounds good to me but comparing it to my old Nad 3100 PE I noticed that the nad in the bass is more precise, more detailed, defined.
This surprised me a lot, I didn't expect it.
The bass range is fundamental in a musical composition, the bass must not be intrusive but must be precise well articulated detailed defined, as expressed in the recording.
I must say that all of this disappointed me.
All the reviews and comments on the naim xs3 speak highly of it, even placing it at the top in terms of sound in its price range.
Or ....... the nad 3100 is a very high level amplifier despite being from 1990, it is part of those nad amplifiers when nad was still English that adopted the PE circuit capable of very high dynamic capabilities with very high instantaneous powers and with ability to deliver a lot of current even on very low loads, 2ohm.
However, I was expecting more of the naim xs3
Now the only hope that the judgment will change is that the manufacturer's claim that the amp needs a run-in period of at least a month used regularly to fully express its sonic qualities will be confirmed.
So far I have only used it for 4 days.
It is the last hope before making a final judgment.
I really doubt the Nad does more precise bass than the Naim. My suspicion is that the Naim goes lower and louder, so it highlights some mismatch in either speaker/amp/source combo, or speaker position or speaker/room interaction.

Which is not to take away from the Nad necessarily, but it might only be that the previous synergy is better than the current one - not taking into account your tastes and what your hearing is used to.

I'd also let the Naim keep running on low volume for a while.

P.S.: What speaker cable are you using?
 

FraD

Well-known member
Jun 30, 2022
42
9
45
Not sure why you are perplexed.
That's the very nature of hifi, just because it is expensive it does not mean it is going to sound better to you.
Many people cannot get on with the "house sound" of amplifier manufacturers especially Naim, and whether amps have the right synergy with your existing kit is not about money.....
I agree with you the cost has nothing to do with the judgment of the acoustic performance of an amp, only that I was a little disappointed, listening to it more will probably be able to fully appreciate its capabilities, on the other hand it is only 4 days of I listen and not even full time.
 

FraD

Well-known member
Jun 30, 2022
42
9
45
I really doubt the Nad does more precise bass than the Naim. My suspicion is that the Naim goes lower and louder, so it highlights some mismatch in either speaker/amp/source combo, or speaker position or speaker/room interaction.

Which is not to take away from the Nad necessarily, but it might only be that the previous synergy is better than the current one - not taking into account your tastes and what your hearing is used to.

I'd also let the Naim keep running on low volume for a while.

P.S.: What speaker cable are you using?
I think you may be right, I will continue to listen to it to better recognize and appreciate its characteristics.
For the moment I am using simple standard audio cables, but I have already decided to replace them with the cables proposed by the retailer, Supra Classic 4.
 

painter24

Well-known member
May 31, 2021
183
103
770
Naim seems to be a polarising brand of amplifier. As 12th Monkey said if you're not that impressed with it now, I also suspect that it may not be for you and meet your preferences.

Having just in the last week moved away from Naim (Nait XS2), as I suspected there were other manufacturers whose amps I may prefer, and did some things better for similar, or less money in some cases.

I think what Naim does very well as a brand is to lead its customers into a mindset that nothing can match their products; for me personally, I bought in to that, but have had doubts and dissatisfaction for a little while, hence my moving to another brand.

My humble advice would be for you to take your time, listen to as many brands and lines as you're able to; there have been some great suggestions made already.

Good luck in your search, and try to enjoy the journey👍
 

daytona600

Well-known member
Oct 5, 2012
539
284
19,270
the manufacturer's claim that the amp needs a run-in period of at least a month used regularly to fully express its sonic qualities will be confirmed.

Always judge the first song if a component sounds Right in the 1st few minutes it will sound right in 20years
Hifi is like a great car or a great meal if it feels right Buy It
 

rainsoothe

Well-known member
Apr 30, 2012
848
389
19,270
Naim seems to be a polarising brand of amplifier. As 12th Monkey said if you're not that impressed with it now, I also suspect that it may not be for you and meet your preferences.

Having just in the last week moved away from Naim (Nait XS2), as I suspected there were other manufacturers whose amps I may prefer, and did some things better for similar, or less money in some cases.

I think what Naim does very well as a brand is to lead its customers into a mindset that nothing can match their products; for me personally, I bought in to that, but have had doubts and dissatisfaction for a little while, hence my moving to another brand.

My humble advice would be for you to take your time, listen to as many brands and lines as you're able to; there have been some great suggestions made already.

Good luck in your search, and try to enjoy the journey👍
The way they lead me into thinking nothing can do what they do was by hearing them when going to audition 2 other brands, and trying to move away on 2 occasions and being happy for a few months, but then missing the Naim boogie. So it's not just Naim marketing blurb, as most Naim haters imply.

I do agree that some things are missing in their presentation, and I believe it's a matter of picking your poison, as I have not yet heard an amplifier that does EVERYTHING the way I like it.

And yes, Naim can be polarizing, some hate their sound, some love it, and some think it's just "meh". Which can be applied to any brand, I guess.
 
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nopiano

Well-known member
I think you may be right, I will continue to listen to it to better recognize and appreciate its characteristics.
For the moment I am using simple standard audio cables, but I have already decided to replace them with the cables proposed by the retailer, Supra Classic 4.
Have you seen this, in the manual? It’s unfortunate it doesn’t explicitly state which is the case for your amp. I’d suggest the dealer lends you Naim cables.

COPY Follows

Loudspeaker cables are vitally important. They should each be at least 3.5 metres long and of equal length. The recommended maximum is normally 20 metres although longer cables may be viable with some Naim amplifiers.
Some Naim amplifiers are designed only to work with Naim loudspeaker cable and using alternatives may degrade the performance or even damage the amplifier. Other Naim amplifiers can be used with any high quality loudspeaker cable although we recommend that Naim loudspeaker cable is used. Naim loudspeaker cable is directional and should be oriented so that the printed arrow points towards the speakers. The Naim loudspeaker connectors supplied are designed to comply with European safety legislation and must be used.
Contact your local retailer or distributor for further advice on loudspeaker cables and connectors.
 
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rainsoothe

Well-known member
Apr 30, 2012
848
389
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I think you may be right, I will continue to listen to it to better recognize and appreciate its characteristics.
For the moment I am using simple standard audio cables, but I have already decided to replace them with the cables proposed by the retailer, Supra Classic 4.
Make sure you can return them. In my experience, Naim's mumbojumbo regarding low capacitance speaker wire holds true. While normal, twisted speaker cable won't break their modern amps, they will still sound better using speaker cable with specs close to their own NACA 5 - which your dealer should also carry and loan you. Or just go blind and buy a Witchhat N2, which is supposed to be the same as NACA 5 but can be bent around corners, and also cheaper. (Witchhat are ex-Naim employees). Goodluck, and of let your ears decide. Don't try to force yourself into liking Naim, it'll just frustrate you :)

Besides the Rega, I'd also try Exposure 3510, Densen B130xs and Electrocompaniet eci 80d.
 

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