Apple Remote - control of nDAC volume

The Naim DAC Reference Manual states on page 1 -

“An Apple Remote handset can also be used to control playback and volume.”

I am joyfully using the Naim App on an iPhone 12Pro to control a Core feeding DC1 to nDAC/555PS and CB 72-5/HC/250 (all recapped), (I am the original owner of these since 1983),
and am interested in the Naim DAC Reference Manual statement about “volume” control of the nDAC.

I have unsuccessfully tried using the volume control of the 2020 Apple TV(4K) remote handset.

As the nDAC is a 2010ish product, I suspect Naim’s reference to an Apple Remote would most like pertain to a remote of the similar era. I have googled “wiki Apple Remote” and can see various candidates.

I am hoping learned colleagues of these fora can suggest explicit models of Apple remotes that work according to the above Naim documentation.

I think the volume control with an apple products is only applicable if it is directly connected to the ndac via a usb socket.

Does your Apple TV remote already function for the playback control (play/pause or skip tracks)? If so, I expect that the volume control will be enabled if you use the Naim app to change the Settings from fixed output to variable output.

I don’t have a Naim DAC, but the built-in digital volume adjustment (required as part of various Apple Certification programs) is generally not viewed as being as good as the fixed volume so is disabled by default, relying instead on the analog volume control elsewhere in your system preamp.

Worth poking around in Settings to see if I’m in fantasy land or not! Good luck.

Interesting. I have never read that part in the manual.
My guess is that it only works when you plug an Apple device into one of the USB ports. I just tried this out with my nDAC (iPhone plugged into the front USB port) and a 2nd generation Siri remote but nothing happens (no volume or playback control). The nDAC has a IR sensor and the Siri remote supports IR as well as far as I know but maybe there is a setting somewhere that needs to be changed.

I feel like the nDac is line level with no volume control.

If @garyi is correct, and the Naim DAC is fixed line level out, then likely the additional volume remote functionality is enabled only via System Integration to a Naim preamp.

The Naim DAC White Paper (available on the Naim website here: https://www.naimaudio.com/sites/default/files/products/downloads/files/naim_dac_august_2009.pdf) says:

Remote control – via wired, IR and Apple remote (transcodes to standard RC5 for volume)

Perhaps that does double duty with an appropriate Naim preamp? I don’t know if your CB N-72 has a remote, but if not then that might be the reason…

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The DAC V1 had volume control for headphones.

… and when used as an analog preamp into the (matching shoebox) NAP 100, iirc

I think it’s the new streamers that offer the digital volume control option, as part of the (new?) Airplay certification requirement. My mistake for mixing up multiple generations!

Checking the other remote functions (play / pause especially) will at least help confirm whether the DAC sees the Apple Remote.

Thank you for the multiple responses thus far.

In re-reading page 11 of the Naim DAC whitepaper, this page entitled
“Some of the possibilities” displays various nDAC connection scenarios, and images of Apple Remotes in control, without the Naim NAC system connect.

The Naim Core connected via S/PDIF DC1 to the nDAC closely resembles the “Streaming Devices” scenario shown. In this case, there would no functionality for track selection as the nDAC can only see a digital stream. However I am curious as to what exactly the Apple Remote can control in this case … hoping it may be nDAC volume.

The documented image of the Apple Remote seems to be the “Original Apple Remote A1156”

My NAC72-5 has no remote control capability. I bought it initially as a NAC32 which was upgraded in 1986 to a 32-5, and in the 90s upgraded again with 72 boards hence it was unofficially naimed(sic) a 72-5

I feel like the nDac does not have volume.

In essence the best an apple device could do would be attenuate the signal going to the dac, presumably via an iPod or iphone that is delivering the signal.

If you want to control the nDac a logitech harmony will do this. No volume control though as the nDac does not have volume control, just look at the front of it.

It doesn’t say which remote functions are available in which scenarios, unfortunately. It probably doesn’t have an internal volume control function (there is no mention in either manual or white paper… but only another nDAC owner could confirm whether this is so), and perhaps play / pause and track select only works with the USB memory stick (as in the last illustration). I’d start there to first see if anything at all is working.

I expect any IR / RC5 substitute remote (including a Logitech Harmony) would be equally constrained.

Maybe add some songs to a USB key and give it a go?

I am starting to agree that the nDAC did not offer a digital volume option, but lack of a knob on the front panel isn’t a guarantee. It was a different design era… the UnitiQute had no volume knob or any obvious front panel controls. But it certainly had volume control via the remote, the app, and by a sly use of the illuminated logo (you could press one side or the other to raise or lower, or tap to mute). I thought that was pretty slick when I had one!

Sorry for slight thread drift, that’s caught me out on occasion - why no sound!!?? X)

For the OP, if the NDAC offers vol control it would do so either by reducing its normal line level output, or by doing it in the digital domain. The latter would not sound as good and the former might lead to unintended volume incidents when switching to a normal line level source?

Well a device controlling its own volume isn’t a volume control for nDac is it?

It’s been a fair few years since I had an nDac, but I really don’t think it has volume control and therefore an apple remote is not going to adjust its non existent volume control.

Could be different on a DAC V1, but I very very much doubt it to be honest. Besides an V1 came with its own remote I think.

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Thank you for the multiple responses.

At one time in 80s, I used 10years performing Advanced Systems Assurance on intricate technical deployments, so users of product reference manuals and technical whitepapers relied on accurate information.

So, for less than the cost of a meal at Wing-Wing on Charing Cross Road,
I have purchased an online Apple Remote A1156 to test the various scenarios documented
in Naim’s DAC Whitepaper and DAC Reference Manual.

Hey if it works, I’ll certainly apologise!

That sounds the most plausible explanation with the Naim DAC providing remote control of preamp volume with the Apple remote via the RC5 link. There is no internal volume control functionality in the Naim DAC.

Just to update my findings after I purchased and tested an Apple Remote A1156.

In my Naim combination of Core/nDAC/555DR with 72/HC/250

There seems to be “limited” remote control functionality to the nDAC’s remote control capability.

With WAV files on a USB stick inserted to the nDAC, the Apple Remote A1156 is able to :
start/stop, advance forward/previous track.

The A1156 seems to have no volume control of the nDAC in the above configuration.

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There is no volume control on the NDAC, and there is no remote control on your preamp, so volume control can only ever be manual.

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