A naim home theatre set up, I have an idea

Having spent some time with HD and UHD processors and moving back yet again to an AV2 running analogue out after living with a very good but ultimately not as good high end processor (Acurus ACT4) running my naim amped set up I am now using analogue out from a slightly tweaked Panasonic 9000 into the AV2. I so wish I could have a player that did this as good as it could do (I really didn’t like the Oppo 205, so sold that).

So here is my thinking :nerd_face: buy a used Meridian HD621 feed the audio HDMI in to the 621, then I could pick up 4 used naim DACs and run those to the AV2 for the 8 channels of analogue out. It would ‘only’ be 44/24 or 48/24 and not 96/24 but I suspect 4 naim DACS running 48/24 would be an improvement on an 8 channel internal DAC (AKM 8 channel DAC) in the 9000 player

I could then save up for 4 555’s or XPS :wink:

Interesting approach. It would be fun to see a Naim DAC stack. There would be the issues of audio codec support and the HDMI version if video pass-through is a concern.

I’ve also been exploring different ways to keep the AV2 in my multichannel system. The recent Acurus Muse caught my attention. It could be used as a processor & DAC (to the Naim AV2). What where your impressions of the model you tried?

With the design of the Naim DAC, I’d imagine there could be some latency that may not be adjustable . Hard to say for sure though, and I like the ambition here.

An ideal match to an HD621 would be a 568.2mm. They go for around 500 from the usual places.

I believe all the CODECs will work in 7.1 configuration and be available in 44/24 or 48/24, I will miss overhead channel info. Im very interested in using a HD621 to try different DACS, adding a Meridian and replacing the AV2 is an option especially used as I can only run 8 separate channels with Meridian any way. I only run audio from a UHD player to the audio set up, the HDMI picture goes direct to the PJ, via a Lumagen. So pass through is not relevant to me.

My current set up is Panasonic 9000 (with added LPS and slightly modded analogue board) > naim AV2 to 9x 135’s (with 32.5/spercap in loop for L,R these are bi amped) to Sonus Faber Extrema, Cremona C, Elipsa, Amator, Rear and surrounds.

I did have the Acurus in replacing the AV2/32.5-supercap for about 6m, but on the final reckoning the Acurus was better with resolution, positioning and backdrop. But it missed the groove of the naim and I decided that it was better to sell and pursue analogue out than experiment further with other £12k processors. I could see some preferring he Acurus in place but for me the resolution is not something I pursue, I’d rather be moved by the music and emotion of the film than hear every detail. (The Acurus isn’t overly detailed or analytical, but try as I have over the last 10+ years I move the 23.5/superCap away from driving the Extremas and I lose something)

I will need to move house (on the market at the moment) before I invest in 4 naim DACs as I will need more rack space and for space but the idea of say £5-6k on a HD621 and 4 naim DACs just seems to have more potential for happiness than say a Trinnov (I have heard it several times, and whilst it is extraordinary for spacial positioning it left me cold with emotion and music. I greatly respected it but didn’t covert it)

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PS any latency can be managed by lip sync either in the player or AV2. Interestingly the only adjustment I have made with three different BR players the Acurus ACT4 has been when I installed the Lumagen, when I make changes to everything else all seems to need the same adjustment of 100ms


Hi Adrian,

Shame the Acurus and Trinnov didn’t do it for you compared to your AV2 system via analogue outputs. Will be interested to follow your progress with multiple Naim DACs and the HD621.

Didn’t you also listen to the Storm processor? This seems to get decent feedback for its musicality if you can put up with Dirac.

There seems to be a pre-owned Mk1 unit for sale at a UK dealer if you were still interested in trying one at home.


I did listen to the storm and of all the demos it was the best, difficult to compare as all the demo rooms were different. I did want to try one at home but it never came off. I would be interested in the Storm Mk1 but given how good the set up is sounding at the moment I am holding off investing too much unit we move house, if I could find a ‘neat’ place to hide a HD621 and some DAC’s Id give it a go sooner. In a few years time the Storm MK1 will be under £5k second hand. I sold my Acurus for £4.5k only to get mucked around by an Italian buyer who just couldn’t get it to clear customs as he had to pay some duty. So 2m after selling PayPal refunded him Im £303+£280 does on shipping and Ebay have charged me £400 commission… When I get it back it will be advertised again and it wont go anywhere outside the UK. I also dont know how much better a Storm might be than the Acurus as well. Its not a 10 minute job to decide I lived with the Acurus for 6m and only then could I make the call.

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