Comparison naim nait xs3 rega Elicit mk5

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FraD

Well-known member
Jun 30, 2022
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45
As I promised, as soon as the elicit mk5 arrived from the dealer I went to listen to it to compare it with the nait xs3.
Basically I didn't find big differences, as a judgment on the way of playing in general I can say that they are quite similar, and I find it hard to say that one is better than the other.
Of course there are some differences, the rega Elicit MK5 is a little more open, clearer, the naim a little more full-bodied on the mid-high frequencies, and by making the instant switching, many times the difference was not felt, not knowing which of the two were playing.
What I expected instead is that the naim sounded less defined on the bass, instead I struggled to find differences, even if the dealer present, told me that the naim went lower.
I've only done two auditions on different days for now and I'm going to listen to them again soon.
Basically there is a substantial balance between the two amps, then it's up to the listener to choose the one that seems best to them.
After another hearing I will be able to be clearer in the judgment.
I was thinking that given the sonic performance almost on the same level, you could opt for the naim since it allows me to add an external power supply with 1000 pounds and improve the sound significantly, instead if in the future I want to improve the helicity I will have to completely change amps for spending. at least three times more than 1000 pounds.
I listened to the naim with the external power supply and the improvement in sound was clear, noticeable.
 

painter24

Well-known member
May 31, 2021
183
103
770
As I promised, as soon as the elicit mk5 arrived from the dealer I went to listen to it to compare it with the nait xs3.
Basically I didn't find big differences, as a judgment on the way of playing in general I can say that they are quite similar, and I find it hard to say that one is better than the other.
Of course there are some differences, the rega Elicit MK5 is a little more open, clearer, the naim a little more full-bodied on the mid-high frequencies, and by making the instant switching, many times the difference was not felt, not knowing which of the two were playing.
What I expected instead is that the naim sounded less defined on the bass, instead I struggled to find differences, even if the dealer present, told me that the naim went lower.
I've only done two auditions on different days for now and I'm going to listen to them again soon.
Basically there is a substantial balance between the two amps, then it's up to the listener to choose the one that seems best to them.
After another hearing I will be able to be clearer in the judgment.
I was thinking that given the sonic performance almost on the same level, you could opt for the naim since it allows me to add an external power supply with 1000 pounds and improve the sound significantly, instead if in the future I want to improve the helicity I will have to completely change amps for spending. at least three times more than 1000 pounds.
I listened to the naim with the external power supply and the improvement in sound was clear, noticeable.
Interesting read 👍. How did you find the bass on the Naim with the Hicap or FlatCap; was it better defined? I had the XS2 but without an external PSU and my experience with the bass mirrors yours.
 

FraD

Well-known member
Jun 30, 2022
42
9
45
Interesting read 👍. How did you find the bass on the Naim with the Hicap or FlatCap; was it better defined? I had the XS2 but without an external PSU and my experience with the bass mirrors yours.
[/CITAZIONE]

The bass is more present and sharper, but in general the amp has more thrust, it is more full-bodied.
But you should listen to it for a longer time calmly.
 

painter24

Well-known member
May 31, 2021
183
103
770
Ah good 👍. I sold my XS2; not because of the bass, I just wanted to explore other amps, but I didn't realise/appreciate how undefined the bass was, and what I was missing with my Naim until I bought and heard my current amp.
Good to know Naim's PSUs remedy this somewhat 👍
 

FraD

Well-known member
Jun 30, 2022
42
9
45
A proposito, come mi è stato suggerito e come ho detto che avrei fatto, mi sono dedicato anche alle casse, dopo una serie di ascolti mi sono buttato sulle ProAc Response DT8.
Dovrò aspettare qualche giorno per averli.
 

FraD

Well-known member
Jun 30, 2022
42
9
45
Ah good 👍. I sold my XS2; not because of the bass, I just wanted to explore other amps, but I didn't realise/appreciate how undefined the bass was, and what I was missing with my Naim until I bought and heard my current amp.
Good to know Naim's PSUs remedy this somewhat 👍
And which amp did you buy, I'm curious.
 

FraD

Well-known member
Jun 30, 2022
42
9
45
As I promised, as soon as the elicit mk5 arrived from the dealer I went to listen to it to compare it with the nait xs3.
Basically I didn't find big differences, as a judgment on the way of playing in general I can say that they are quite similar, and I find it hard to say that one is better than the other.
Of course there are some differences, the rega Elicit MK5 is a little more open, clearer, the naim a little more full-bodied on the mid-high frequencies, and by making the instant switching, many times the difference was not felt, not knowing which of the two were playing.
What I expected instead is that the naim sounded less defined on the bass, instead I struggled to find differences, even if the dealer present, told me that the naim went lower.
I've only done two auditions on different days for now and I'm going to listen to them again soon.
Basically there is a substantial balance between the two amps, then it's up to the listener to choose the one that seems best to them.
After another hearing I will be able to be clearer in the judgment.
I was thinking that given the sonic performance almost on the same level, you could opt for the naim since it allows me to add an external power supply with 1000 pounds and improve the sound significantly, instead if in the future I want to improve the helicity I will have to completely change amps for spending. at least three times more than 1000 pounds.
I listened to the naim with the external power supply and the improvement in sound was clear, noticeable.
I had another hearing this morning and I can confirm my opinion already expressed.
The naim is by no means inferior in the bass in both extension and definition.
What I can add to what has already been said in my previous post is that naim has a better dynamic, this is particularly noticeable with symphonic music.
 

FraD

Well-known member
Jun 30, 2022
42
9
45
can XS3 drive floor standing speakers with 4ohm and 88db well ?
The listening tests I did to compare the naim xs3 and the rega Elicit MK5, and they were different listening sessions, were done with speakers with nominal impedance of 4ohm and 90 db of efficiency, the ProAc Response DT8.
There were no piloting problems, both for Elicit mk5 and naim xs3, and I confirm what was said in my previous posts.
 

RayP

Well-known member
Aug 28, 2012
50
7
18,545
can XS3 drive floor standing speakers with 4ohm and 88db well ?
This from the Naim site… “70W per channel into 8 ohms (4mm sockets), 100W per channel into 4 ohms”.

I have the XS3 driving B&W CM4s - floorstanders and 8 ohm. The room is filled with sound with the volume at 1/4 . Shouldn’t be a problem.
 
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FraD

Well-known member
Jun 30, 2022
42
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45
Despite my loathing of Naim amplification, the one real benefit is they are ballsy.

My current 80 watt amp is having no issues with 4 ohm and 86 or 87db speakers.
Even the naim nait xs3 with 70w has no problem driving the ProAc Response DT8, floorstanding speakers with 4ohm nominal impedance and 90db of efficiency, speakers not particularly easy to drive, filling the retailer's listening room in a fantastic way, above all with symphonic music which by extension of frequency and by dynamic extension, independent of our musical tastes, is the type of music that is most capable of putting the sound capabilities of amplifiers and audio systems in difficulty.
 

plastic penguin

Well-known member
Even the naim nait xs3 with 70w has no problem driving the ProAc Response DT8, floorstanding speakers with 4ohm nominal impedance and 90db of efficiency, speakers not particularly easy to drive, filling the retailer's listening room in a fantastic way, above all with symphonic music which by extension of frequency and by dynamic extension, independent of our musical tastes, is the type of music that is most capable of putting the sound capabilities of amplifiers and audio systems in difficulty.
No disrespect, genre of music shouldn't matter, it's more a case of how loud your everyday music is played. I've heard this excuse so many times.

I have most genres of music, incl symphonic, Jazz etc etc and unless you live in a barn and want to rattle the windows... and make the neighbours run for the hills, the Naim and Rega Elicit MK5 should be more than adequate in terms of volume and control over any price related speaker.
 

FraD

Well-known member
Jun 30, 2022
42
9
45
No disrespect, genre of music shouldn't matter, it's more a case of how loud your everyday music is played. I've heard this excuse so many times.

I have most genres of music, incl symphonic, Jazz etc etc and unless you live in a barn and want to rattle the windows... and make the neighbours run for the hills, the Naim and Rega Elicit MK5 should be more than adequate in terms of volume and control over any price related speaker.
My post was not understood.
The reference to symphonic music was intended to express how demanding it is for an audio system from a purely technical point of view, I repeat technical.
Musical tastes have nothing to do with it.
Symphonic music due to its technical characteristics, the extension of the reproduced frequencies and the extension of the levels of dynamics that no other genre of music can reach, is the type of music that puts an audio reproduction system in greater difficulty.
So when I say that the naim was able to perform very well with those speakers quite difficult to drive and especially with symphonic music which for what I have just said is very demanding for an amplifier, I wanted to express that the listening test was very reliable. .
The sound levels of the music you refer to have nothing to do with my speech, absolutely nothing.
Ahh ... by the way, I just saw that this year the Naim nait Xs3 won the What Hi Fi? Award, well ..... confirms what I perceived in the listening TESTS.
 

plastic penguin

Well-known member
My post was not understood.
The reference to symphonic music was intended to express how demanding it is for an audio system from a purely technical point of view, I repeat technical.
Musical tastes have nothing to do with it.
Symphonic music due to its technical characteristics, the extension of the reproduced frequencies and the extension of the levels of dynamics that no other genre of music can reach, is the type of music that puts an audio reproduction system in greater difficulty.
So when I say that the naim was able to perform very well with those speakers quite difficult to drive and especially with symphonic music which for what I have just said is very demanding for an amplifier, I wanted to express that the listening test was very reliable. .
The sound levels of the music you refer to have nothing to do with my speech, absolutely nothing.
Ahh ... by the way, I just saw that this year the Naim nait Xs3 won the What Hi Fi? Award, well ..... confirms what I perceived in the listening TESTS.
Fair comment, but I was referring to how a domestic set-up should be if it's a decent kit.

Really and truthfully it doesn't matter if the Naim was gold plated, I've still had bad experiences of the brand.

I've been a loyal fan of the What Hi-fi name and reviews for decades, but it's a big mistake to take them at their word, as every room, interpretation can be different from what you hear. And what sounds impressive on a short demo can be misleading.
A term I've used for years is "instant impact", which means it thrills on a relatively short listen listen but can drive you bonkers for longer sessions. Having owned a Naim CDP and demoed many amps over the years "instant impact" is a good way of describing the Witshire brand.
 
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FraD

Well-known member
Jun 30, 2022
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Fair comment, but I was referring to how a domestic set-up should be if it's a decent kit.

Really and truthfully it doesn't matter if the Naim was gold plated, I've still had bad experiences of the brand.

I've been a loyal fan of the What Hi-fi name and reviews for decades, but it's a big mistake to take them at their word, as every room, interpretation can be different from what you hear. And what sounds impressive on a short demo can be misleading.
A term I've used for years is "instant impact", which means it thrills on a relatively short listen listen but can drive you bonkers for longer sessions. Having owned a Naim CDP and demoed many amps over the years "instant impact" is a good way of describing the Witshire brand.
I understand what you generally mean, but
what do you mean when you say "I still had bad experiences with the brand".
 

plastic penguin

Well-known member
I understand what you generally mean, but
what do you mean when you say "I still had bad experiences with the brand".
Before upgrading to the current Leema amp, I demoed countless amps at home and shop. On one occasion, I home demoed a Nait 5i (italic version) and at moderate volumes, around 20 minutes of play, it gave me such a headache I had to take painkillers. I had to switch it off. It was nasty.

With the right speakers, in the right environment, Naim CAN sound fine....really, for my taste, Naim is a sonic nightmare.

Don't get me wrong, my system has great PR@T and very neutral, but it has also a cozy, almost huggy presentation which allows for a great blow out, if the need arises, or incredibly subtle, depending on mood and genre.

I can happily listen to the hi-fi for 14 hours non-stop and not feel fatigued. I couldn't do that with a Naim.

When I owned a Naim CDP it drove me bonkers after a couple of months.
 
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painter24

Well-known member
May 31, 2021
183
103
770
Before upgrading to the current Leema amp, I demoed countless amps at home and shop. On one occasion, I home demoed a Nait 5i (italic version) and at moderate volumes, around 20 minutes of play, it gave me such a headache I had to take painkillers. I had to switch it off. It was nasty.

With the right speakers, in the right environment, Naim CAN sound fine....really, for my taste, Naim is a sonic nightmare.

Don't get me wrong, my system has great PR@T and very neutral, but it has also a cozy, almost huggy presentation which allows for a great blow out, if the need arises, or incredibly subtle, depending on mood and genre.

I can happily listen to the hi-fi for 14 hours non-stop and not feel fatigued. I couldn't do that with a Naim.

When I owned a Naim CDP it drove bonkers after a couple of months.
This is how I kind of felt about Naim before I moved away from them; I like a good blow out now and again, and Naim certainly let's you do that, but for me, and what I grew tired of was that I always felt that the Naim was playing music AT me and not "for" or "to" me, no matter the musical genre.

When I last had a Naim set up, prior to the XS2, it was the early/mid 90s when I was in my 20s, so I probably didn't bat an eyelid back then. But now in my 50s, I like to live on the mellower, less "in your face" side of the street 😉
 
So when I say that the naim was able to perform very well with those speakers quite difficult to drive and especially with symphonic music which for what I have just said is very demanding for an amplifier, I wanted to express that the listening test was very reliable. .
Naim Audio amplification are high current designs and can do a far better job at gripping and driving loudspeakers than some higher powered alternatives (y)

You're a nobody without a Naim :)
 
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plastic penguin

Well-known member
This is how I kind of felt about Naim before I moved away from them; I like a good blow out now and again, and Naim certainly let's you do that, but for me, and what I grew tired of was that I always felt that the Naim was playing music AT me and not "for" or "to" me, no matter the musical genre.

When I last had a Naim set up, prior to the XS2, it was the early/mid 90s when I was in my 20s, so I probably didn't bat an eyelid back then. But now in my 50s, I like to live on the mellower, less "in your face" side of the street 😉
The only way to enjoy Naim is to be dumbed down. The Naim demo I quite enjoyed was the original XS powering a pair of Dynaudio Contour S1.4 a few years ago. Not I could live with that combo.

I like a fruity presentation but not one that grates - can't do fingernails down a blackboard
 

FraD

Well-known member
Jun 30, 2022
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The only way to enjoy Naim is to be dumbed down. The Naim demo I quite enjoyed was the original XS powering a pair of Dynaudio Contour S1.4 a few years ago. Not I could live with that combo.

I like a fruity presentation but not one that grates - can't do fingernails down a blackboard
I take note of what I am reading on these last posts, the experience I had with the nait xs3, tried for more than a month, even playing for several hours, did not cause me that annoyance you described.
Maybe the combination with the speakers can make a difference, I listened to it at home with my old speakers from 40 years ago, Advent Loudspeaker, which had the characteristic of being very clear, even if I don't know how to frame them perfectly now at distance of many years.
But .... I don't know ......, I take note of your observations and I take them into account even if I remain a little perplexed in doubt.
 

plastic penguin

Well-known member
I take note of what I am reading on these last posts, the experience I had with the nait xs3, tried for more than a month, even playing for several hours, did not cause me that annoyance you described.
Maybe the combination with the speakers can make a difference, I listened to it at home with my old speakers from 40 years ago, Advent Loudspeaker, which had the characteristic of being very clear, even if I don't know how to frame them perfectly now at distance of many years.
But .... I don't know ......, I take note of your observations and I take them into account even if I remain a little perplexed in doubt.
I can only convey my taste in what I like or dislike when it comes to hi-fi. There's quite a hefty following for Naim, but rather than a "instant impact" I prefer a slow burner, where it starts off impressive that just gets better and better.

I've never home demoed a complete Naim set-up (amp and CDP or streamer), I've always mixed and matched different brands, perhaps that would help.

Having heard, not demoed, a complete system in a shop with PMC speakers, that sounded fine. Could I live with that? I dunno, again it sounded too aggressive for my tastes.

I would not swap my current bundles for anything (Leema Pulse, Exposure CD2010, Pro-ject Classic and Dali Rubicon 2)

Nor am I saying you can't get better than my system. There's always better systems out there, but within my budget, it's hard to better. It doesn't smack your senses to pieces, it excites and soothes in equal measure -- it draws you into the music.
 
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