Amp Reviews – A Review of the Naim NXS 3 Integrated Amplifier

At such an attractive price point, this amp is truly remarkable. Not only does it sound fantastic; but also includes HDMI ARC/USB inputs, RCA outputs and optical connectors, two sets of shaping knobs (lead, deep and scoop) plus subwoofer output – an impressive lineup!

What really irks me is the rise of non-AMP articles in mobile Top Stories.

Arcam A5

Arcam’s Class-AB integrated amplifier lets you enjoy wirelessly streaming of your favorite songs. Equipped with analog and high-resolution digital inputs, as well as a top-grade moving-magnet phono stage for turntable, as well as Bluetooth support with aptX Adaptive technology for premium sound quality, its 50 Watt-per-channel power output offers rich and detailed hi-fi audio experience.

This integrated amp features a solid aluminum chassis, with simple controls for adjusting volume and selecting inputs on its front panel. The design is sleek and minimal, featuring illuminated rotary knobs. Yellow accent branding adds a splash of color.

The AUX input allows you to connect a compatible device for music playback, while the front-panel headphone jack lets you enjoy your tunes without disturbing others. The integrated amp can also be used with home theater receivers as part of multi-channel systems or passive speakers for stereo listening; its RCA inputs feature preamplifier and power amp modes to ensure optimal performance.

ARCAM’s A5 marks the launch of their Radia series – luxury audio separates that include an integrated amplifier, CD player and streaming DAC – replacing their HDA series and featuring a stunning new look that pays homage to British heritage while remaining affordable luxury. Furthermore, this series boasts features that set it apart from competitors.

Integral amplifiers are at the core of any Hi-Fi system, and ARCAM A5 is no exception. Made by British company ARCAM in Nottingham, this British amp is powerful yet flexible enough for any genre imaginable; perfect for music enthusiasts from classical to rock! Plus its elegant design seamlessly fits into any home decor.

The A5 offers an impressive variety of inputs to meet any music source, such as optical (Toslink) and coaxial (SPDIF) digital inputs supporting two channels of PCM audio up to 24-bit/192kHz, binding post speaker outputs designed for single pair of 8-ohm or 4-ohm speakers, binding post headphone jack with wired headphones up to 2kOhm impedance compatibility as well as preamp outputs that remain active when headphones are connected using “Headphone Override” setting.

Naim NXS 3

The Naim NXS 3 is one of many integrated amplifiers from this British hi-fi brand dating back to their original NAIT in 1983. Taking an uncluttered approach, this back-to-basics design includes a moving magnet phono stage and some tweaks in power amp circuitry to further increase responsiveness compared to before. As befits an analogue integrated amp, there’s no DAC included – adding to its purist appeal.

Since our last model debuted, our research and development team has made many advancements to the power amplifier section of the XS 3 that make music sound even more authoritative and intimate whether driving loudspeakers or headphones. Furthermore, the XS 3 makes an excellent companion for turntables, CD players and any other form of media you might use in your system.

It is a slimline black and green-striped box featuring input selector buttons on its right fascia and a large volume dial on its left, as well as a mute button and 6.3mm headphone socket for use with headphones or speakers. Furthermore, there is a USB input to connect with computers as well as two RCA inputs and three Naim DIN inputs that support various devices.

As with our other integrated amplifiers, the XS 3 was designed to fit seamlessly into your system and amplify your favourite music with emotional impact. When we used it with Marten Duke 2 loudspeakers for example, Rush’s YYZ became breathtaking; from Geddy Lee’s gritty bass tone and Alex Lifeson’s six-string magic.

The XS 3 offers many hi-fi features, such as its bi-directional ZigBee remote that works with existing Naim products as well as being an interface for music streaming services. Furthermore, you can configure inputs and favourites via its user menu that will be displayed on its included NARCOM-5 remote control; additionally it boasts an auto standby function which automatically turns off after 20 minutes without activity to conserve energy and protect sensitive audio circuitry.

Arcam XS 3

The XS 3 is an artistic piece of hi-fi. Its design and technology appeal both to intellect and emotion; music from its powerful 80-watt per channel power output will enthrall listeners of all stripes while filling larger rooms.

The design of the XS 3 is sleek and sophisticated, featuring clean lines with yellow highlights around its vents and control dials. The front-panel display shows source selection, menu settings and playback status; its well-weighted control dials spin smoothly while being powered by 220-240V AC to make it suitable for use across most countries.

This integrated amplifier features a dual-die ESS Sabre DAC for digital-to-analog conversion, featuring maximum PCM handling of 192kHz and support for wireless streaming via aptX HD. Furthermore, there’s an RS-232 port and Ethernet port for network control purposes and it can even function as a Roon endpoint when combined with an optional Roon Core license and compatible speakers.

Another stand-out feature of this integrated amplifier is its Class A preamp output stage and headphone amp. Class A amplification is one of the best ways to enjoy hi-fi audio, producing very little distortion and noise; class A amps such as those found on XS 3 are designed to deliver accurate representations of audio signals – something high-end audio is designed to do.

The XS 3 comes equipped with an AV bypass switch that enables you to use the amplifier without using its home cinema processor, making it especially helpful if you want to listen to multiple speakers at the same time. Furthermore, this switch helps eliminate digital noise that might exist within your source material, providing for cleaner amplification and speakers overall.

This amplifier comes equipped with an eARC fitting that lets it connect easily with modern televisions, making it especially useful if you plan on streaming content but lack a television that supports HDMI. The interface for using the eARC is very user-friendly; even your phone or tablet app can control this device!

Parasound JC1s

Parasound amplifiers have long been known for striking an excellent balance between price and performance. Their JC 1+ amp is no exception – its predecessor being their previous flagship model (JC 1) but this newer one not only sounds different but is smaller too! At 400 Watts per channel (8-ohms), its massive heat sinks and unassuming silver faceplate reveal nothing about what lies within.

The JC1+ offers both balanced and single-ended inputs that can be selected via a switch on its back panel – ideal if using fully balanced preamps/DACs such as Bricasti Theta Gen VIII. Its balanced output stage features 24 Sanken 15A output transistors hand-matched for optimal performance, and its 60MHz bandwidth eliminates slew rate distortion that could otherwise compromise clarity of music playback.

One key difference between the JC 1+ and its predecessor, the JC 1, is its independent power supply for output stage and input stage operation, helping reduce noise while guaranteeing pure class A operation up to 25 Watts output power.

This represents an immense improvement over its predecessors, which were limited to class-AB at lower output limits. Furthermore, the JC 1+ boasts an adjustable bias feature to enable users to customize the output voltage for optimal performance.

During my listening sessions, I noticed that the JC 1+s have an incredible ability to manage dynamic musical passages with ease – something not many high-powered solid state amplifiers can match. Furthermore, there was considerable resolution at low listening levels which is something I have only encountered with expensive amplifiers such as Boulder Pass Vitus amplifiers.

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