172 pre and line output cable questions

I would like to use my 172 to feed a pair of active loudspeakers (possibly AE1 Actives). I also want to feed a dedicated headphone amp for my HifiMan HE4XX planar magnetics (possibly JDS Labs Atom).

The 172 manual states that the preamp output should be used for downstream power amplifiers and the line out should be used for ancillaries, including a headphone amp. This is exactly what I needed to know but it does raise some questions regarding cables:

  1. For the preamp output to active speakers, should I use 4 pin din or RCA cables? (less than 3m run either side). I have already found a company selling a Naim specific 4 pin din cable that splits the single output into 2 x 3 pin cables.

  2. For the line out to the headphone amp, would it be detrimental to use a 3m long phono lead so I can have the amp (with volume control) next to my listening position. Or should I have the amp in
    the stack and swap the headphone lead for a 3m set?

Thanks for reading, I hope it makes sense.

I have sorted the headphone amp so just need some guidance on the active speaker question please.

The 172 pre out has a single 4 pin DIN and a pair of RCA sockets.
The AE1 Actives have both a balanced XLR and an RCA socket on each speaker.
Which would be best for <3m runs, a 4 pin din cable that splits to 2 x 3 pin or 2 x single RCA cables?
To be honest it wouldn’t cost too much to try both but I was hoping that someone could help me decide.

The 172 output is unbalanced, so you can’t connect to the XLR balanced input. Go for the 4 pin DIN to 2 x RCA.

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I hadn’t considered the balanced/unbalanced question so that’s really helpful thanks.

Are you saying 4 pin DIN to 2 x RCA is a better option than RCA to RCA?

Naim design their gear around DIN connections, so generally, it’s best to use them where possible. If you already have a decent RCA to RCA it should be fine, but if you’re buying one specially, I would go for DIN - RCA.

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That’s great thanks Chris, I really appreciate your help.

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