Naim Supernait vs XS vs Exposure 2010s

Anybody compare these amps?
My speakers are Devores gibbon
super 8's and I have heard the
Naim supernait with these speakers.
Very nice. Most musical sound I
have ever heard. My one complaint
is soundstage width. Even with their
expensive cds2? (18,000 $) cd player
the width would not increase. However,
front to back imaging was really good.

I hear the Exposure 2010s is musical
and transparent but nobody comments on

I would also like to know if the Naim
XS and Supernait sound the same? I read
somewhere that the XS is smoother and rolled off.
For my system anything smoother than the Supernait
would be too smooth.

Would appreciate any insights and please don't
post links to forums that require membership.

I'd say it's time to try some tubes! -Lars-
Actually, I do have tubes.

I have a Cary 300b sei single ended
triode and I do like it a lot.

However, I also like different perspectives
and options in sound. That is why I like
to have several integrated amps on hand.
As long as they are not too large in size.
Like the RWA 30.2 which I also enjoy and
is really small and a very different sound
then my Cary and the Naim.

The DeVores sound great with both tubes
and ss. If the exposure is musical like the
naim with a wider soundstage then I would
like to give it a try.
Glad you know tubes! Does the Cary have enough power to adequately drive the DeVores? Having owned Naim gear in the past, I'm interested in the Naim/Exposure comparison as well. -Lars-
In my room the 15 watt (or is it 20?)
Cary has more than enough
power for the 8's. In fact, it has more
low end weight than my RWA 30.2.
The 30.2 has a little more control of the
low end but I always find the Cary to be
satisfying with what ever genre I throw
at it. My room is on the small side about
12 by 14 and it is a little overwhelmed with
bass at times with the Cary. So, a medium sized room should
be fine.

In addition, I just picked up a pair of
Auditorium 23 speaker wire and I can not
believe how musical this wire and combo is.
Unbelievable bloom, decay and a tonality that
just sounds right. They really make an emotional conection. I still like my Stereovox
for soundstaging but the Auditorium 23 is a must
have for this combo at a much cheaper price.
It also really adds that prat quality you hear
with the Naim gear. It is really hard to stop
listening and I will have to try the Auditorium's
on the RWA.
Since nobody is actually answering the question you asked i would like to chime in.The Exposure amp does imaging and soundstaging quite well.What you described about the Naim is quite common with the brand.The Naim products have never been known for their sounstaging abilities.The Exposure is very dynamic,and i find soundstage width to be quite good.I own it and the matching cd player and am very happy with the sound.It is warm and smooth (without being soft and mushy) and has excellent rhythm and timing(much like Naim).It is pretty much good all around which is somewhat of a rarity at the price point it sells at.
I am very satisfied with mine and i can't imagine you not liking it.It's kind of a cliche but the best word to describe it is musical.I went through a fair bit of gear(some higher priced) before i settled on the Exposure gear.None of it sounded so right to me.Btw,from what i understand John Devore has personally recommended it to a couple people when asked for a good inexpensive integrated to go with his speakers.
I have a Nait XS, and compared it extensively with a SuperNait, a Nait 5i, and a Creek Destiny. I owned a 2010 for about a month.
The 5i and the 2010 perform at about the same level, with the 5i being "better" to me, in that it was more revealing of musical nuance. The 2010 sounded pretty harsh to me. Now, I will say that my point of reference is my ARC Ref series gear which is pretty smooth. I enjoy playing with the integrateds because I love the concept, and just love to play with audio gear... That said, I think the Supernait and the XS are about the same level product as each other, if you don't need the dac in the Supernait, get the XS. They both have MUCH more drive than their ratings suggest. As mentioned, I also owned a Creek Destiny amp. It was more transparent and "open" than my XS, but did not do musical nuance, and make the music "of a piece" nearly as well as the XS. Despite the 40 wpc difference in power rating between the Destiny and the XS, the XS had much more grunt and drive. The XS has plenty of transparency itself, just not as much as the Destiny. I kept the Naim XS, and sold the Destiny. It is the classic audiophile resolution vs musicality debate. But you asked about the 2010... I guess I would say that all of these are priced appropriately in my opinion. The 2010 performs like you would expect at the price point, which I believe is around1200-1500 if memory serves, the XS and Supernait are quite a bit more expensive, and well worth the extra cash imo.
Be aware that the Naims really DO take a long break-in period, a month (of play) at least. They run cool, so they can be left on. Once they are broken in, they can be turned off with a normal turn-on warmup (30 min.) only required to sound great. I am using a Nordost Valhalla cord on my XS, and it fully exploits the quality of the cord. It really lifts it to a high level. Also, the XS is the first piece that MUST be plugged into the wall. My other gear, including my ARC gear, benefit (or at least don't suffer from) being plugged into Audio Magic Stealth conditioners. But the XS sounded a bit dead into that. It is a really cool, fun to play with piece.
It sounds like you like to have a variety of gear around, to include tubes and solid state. I am the same way, and I find the Naim route is yet another avenue to satisfaction. There are tubes, there is solid state, and there is Naim. It is a different mode of musical delivery than most solid state or tubes. I see now why they have such a rabid following.
Naim Nait XS is a simply wonderful amp - and will go very well with the Gibbons. I do not believe it gives much if anything up to the Supernait, and in fact, getting the DAC out of the box may actually provide a slightly "cleaner" sound in the XS. The Exposure will not sound better than either Naim, but will sound different as described above.

I put listening to an XS fed by an older very high end Naim CD player and played through Naim floor standing speakers in my top ten listening sessions of all time. It just really sounded closer to live music to me than I am used to hearing - including sessions with some much more expensive and carefully set up gear.

In the end, I say soundstage schmoundstage. If the sound of the Naim grabs you, then relax and enjoy what pleasures the it has to offer. I agree with Dbarger, Naim really does offer a "third approach" to music reproduction, one I happen to like a lot.
First a disclaimer; I am a Naim dealer so I am a bit biased towards Naim in general.
I agree (mostly) with Mr. Bargers comments above vis a vis
the XS and Super Nait. Not having heard the new Exposures I can't comment on them (I did like the older ones quite a bit). The comparison between the Super and the XS is NOT in my opinion simply related to whether you want digital inputs or not. The Super Nait can be a stunning amp and to my ears is the more capable piece in that it not only is more revealing than the XS but the power it can display is clearly above what the XS is capable of.
It is cleaner, more powerful and if the source is superb it will respond more like a high end piece of equipment than the XS. That last comment is the key. The better the source, the better the Super will sound. I have it from good authority that feeding a Super with something like a Linn or equivilant analog source is flat out fantastic!

That said, the XS is a beautiful sounding piece and it can be the backbone of a terrific sounding system! It is a bit more lush, a tad less incisive, does not have the jackhammer bass that the Super can and is more tolerent of less than excellent sources.

To sum up...

The Super Nait is an amazing amplifier and a powerhouse with a clear and solid upgrade path to boot. It responds with better sources and can be flat out huge when fed properly. The digital inputs just are icing on the cake.

The XS is an superbly musical amplifier and in comparison to much out there in it's price range it is a huge bargain.
Plenty of power, plenty of inputs, upgrade path, a big step up from their entry level piece the 5i2.

Honestly, you can't go wrong with either of them, it just depends where you ultimtely want to end up.

PS. I have heard the Super Nait throw a stage that is completely enveloping. All depends on the recording.
First of all, I would like to say thanks
for everyone's input.

It is true that John DeVore recommends both
Exposure and Sugden for int ss amps. He also
really likes my Cary 300b sei for tubes. On
the other hand, he has not had a chance to hear
his speakers with the Naim gear. I can attest
that they are a great musical combo. From what
I am hearing, the XS would be too soft for the
DeVores. As engaging the supernait is with the
DeVores, I did find myself wanting a little more
detail not to mention more sound stage width. The
pluck of a jazz or blues guitar string is just a little
too smoothed over. I would like more sheen on the attack.
However, sax, horns and piano are so dead on.

Even with these minor criticisms the DeVores being fed
by Naim seduced me into listening for hours before
buying the Super 8's. I have been in this hobby for
a long time and have listened to a lot of systems costing
in the 100,000 $ range and this type of seduction has
never happened to me before. Sure these systems sounded
intriguing but I would lose interest after about 20 minutes.

So, I absolutely agree that the right musical tone is way
more important than a huge soundstage. Wish I could have

I do like to play around with gear including power cables
and wire. So, I most likely will have to try both.
I do not have an Exposure dealer so I would want to
buy used. Unfortunately, they always sell immediately
on agon.

Thanks Dbarger for the power cord advice. I am really
curious about Naim and power cords. I know they oppose
anything but naim which is a turn off to me, but I am
sure there are pc's to make them sound better. I also
wanted to ask you if you tried the 2010s or was it
the 2010? I hear the s version is a big improvement.
It was the 2010S. As I said, it was fine and priced appropriately, but the Naim XS is much better. I will say that Realhifi has more experience than I, since he is a dealer, in comparing the Supernait and the XS. My experience with the XS, 5i, Exposure 2010S, and Destiny were all in my home, but the comparison with the Supernait was in a showroom, so I would have to ad that caveat...
That said, I cannot imagine the XS being "soft". It is smooth, but not soft, and very dynamic. I recently added a Hi-cap XS to mine and it lifts it again, to really a very high standard. I loved it before, still do, but check out a Hi-cap and prepare to be amazed, again.
I know in absoulute terms that my ARC Ref gear is more audiophile-ish. But the Naim gives me a satisfaction that I have not received with any other brand, and I have tried a lot of brands...
On the soundstage front, I would be shocked if you did not find the soundstage acceptable in the XS by itself, with a Hi-cap it is VERY impressive.
Dbarger, please elaborate on the Hi-cap.
Is it the latest model? I am not that familiar
with Naim but I know there is a Hi-cap2.
What improvements do you get in regards to
transparency, inner detail and soundstaging?

Have you tried an after market pc and power
conditioner on the Hi-cap?

By the way, I know what you mean by ARC being
audiophile-ish. I have heard several ARC set
ups on both Wilson watt puppies and top of the
line Theils and I must say that I have never heard
a more holographic and illuminated soundstage like
that ever.
I am still getting used to the Naim vocabulary. It is not a Hi-cap, but a Flatcap XS. They are less expensive than Hi-caps. There are improvements across the board, from soundstaging to drive to transparency, without losing that musicality and nuance of the bare bones unit. Every instrument in a group stands out a little clearer.
Exposure 2010s does run cool or hot?
Dbarger, you have now piqued my interest
in the Nordost pc. I currently have
Shunyata's Python and Anaconda alpha helixes
not to mention an old King Cobra v2. Sounds
like the Nordost is a good match for Naim.
Curious how they compare.

Did you lose any of that Naim musicality?

Were the benefits of the Nordost on par with
the Flat cap?
The only Shunyata PC I have is a Black Mamba which I use in a digital piece, so I don't have enough experience with Shunyata upper level products to compare. When it comes to losing musicality, at first I thought I did lose some because with the Valhalla PC the detail gets ramped up quite a bit, on just about anything, including the XS. So you start to concentrate on all that detail... After getting used to it, I don't feel it loses musicality. Comparing the effect of the Flatcap vs. the Valhalla, hmmm, I would say the Flatcap may have the bigger impact, but it is very close in my opinion. That may change as the Flatcap is quite new and breaking in. I can say they both have a pretty big impact for sure. I have the Valhalla on my XS, and a Synergistic Master Coupler on my Flatcap. Fun stuff!
Like I said, I am not all that familiar
with Naim and I was thinking that the
flatcap would power the XS and not just
the preamp. Thanks for clearing that up.

Sounds like you have really good synergy.
I always felt the Supernait was lacking in
detail although still very satisfying.

I bet you must be curious how much better
performance the Hicap would bring to the table.

Has anyone compared the two?
"Even with these minor criticisms the DeVores being fed
by Naim seduced me into listening for hours before
buying the Super 8's. I have been in this hobby for
a long time and have listened to a lot of systems costing
in the 100,000 $ range and this type of seduction has
never happened to me before. Sure these systems sounded
intriguing but I would lose interest after about 20 minutes".

That sounds like a fairly decent endorsement of Naim.
If you think that's good wait till you hear their seperates.

PS. What was the source you were listening to when auditioning the Supernait?
We tried the cdx2,cds2 and the cds3.
The cds2 with its respective separate
power supply really through out the
widest soundstage that seemed to float
out on a plane. It was very organic
in its sound and was the most satisfying
with vocals. However, the sound of a
jazz or blues guitar was just way too soft.

I really liked the cdx2. The cds3 increased
the front to back imaging but did not really
increase width. Not sure if it is worth that
much coin.

I was not aware of flat caps or hi caps at the
time, so I am not sure if one was used.

With my first listening session via the cdx2
I did notice a profound sense of an aura that
seemed to float high above the music. Its hard
to explain because I have never heard anything
like that before but I really liked it. However,
on my second listening session I did not quite
get that same effect as before.

If you could enlighten us on the differences in
sound between the flat cap and high cap it would
be most appreciated.
Hello Scottmac62,

I've just returned from visiting a few dealers and have finally logged some time in front of DeVore Fidelity/Naim systems. Both happened to be Supernait based, one with a pair of The Nines and the other with Silverbacks. I am very impressed. While I certainly don't have enough experience to feel as though I know the amp well, what I heard (including comparisons to several other electronics brands that I do know well) makes me inclined to believe what Dbarger writes is somewhat true, Naim doesn't really sound tube or solid-state-like, just very good. I found myself less tempted to get out of my listening chair and find the best speaker position in the room (one of the things I do when I visit a dealer, of course).

Happy listening,
John DeVore
Exposure 2010s does run cool or hot?

Hi John,

Really appreciate your input.
If you would care to compare and
contrast the Exposre 2010s and the
Naim gear it would be most appreciated.

Love your speakers by the way.
If you could enlighten us on the differences in
sound between the flat cap and high cap it would
be most appreciated.

Not sure if that is directed at me or not but...

If you are going from a bare CDX2 it is: Good, better, best. Well actually not best. I have spoken to another dealer that put the 555 power supply on the CDX2 and he is over the moon!
"and he is over the moon!"
I like the international flavor offered on A-gon.. Am I correct assuming this is from the UK?
Realhifi, I was under the impression that
the flatcap and hicap can only power the
preamp section of the Supernait and the XS.

Are you saying they can also power their
cd players?
Yes. They can power their cd players also and sound amazing in the process. In fact the Flatcap 2xs can power both a Nait XS and a CD5XS at the same time. It is the only power supply in their line that can power 2 components at once.
*s* I believe that is from the UK...cheeky and fun bunch over there I say.
It's been far too long since I've heard the Exposure to be able to compare, sorry. Thanks for the kind words, happy listening!