I’m wondering if anyone using Atom as a streamer connected to Accuphase integrated amp (i know it sounds weird ), however, this is the setup i currently have, until i get a good bargain on a solid DAC/Streamer.
Was just curious, in case anyone using such scenario, what would be the optimal or recommended volume output on Atom? Currently using 70% but thought if anyone can suggest otherwise?
Wiith a Naim amp I think you would find that a lower volume setting, allowing you to increase volume on the preamp, would improve things, but i wouldn’t know about Accuphase.
I would suggest that you try reducing the Maximum Volume settings in the Naim app Audio Settings menu, as this would avoid any accidental adjustment using the Atom volume control which might give you a nasty surprise.
I love the Atom HE as streamer/DAC into my Olive 52/SC/250 system. I compared this to an nDAC and really don’t miss much on the Atom HE. Yes - an nDAC with XPS DR is better but the Atom HE is an excellent streamer with the added benefit of having an excellent headphone amp. Atom HE setting is usually at the 70-90% setting with the NAC52 at 8.30-9 o’clock.
I also tried the Atom HE into my main system with Accuphase E-800 and it did sound excellent as well. Although my preference there is for my DC-37. The Atom HE is a good DAC though and I would expect it to beat quite a few other streamers and DACs.
By the way - since you have an Accuphase integrated - have you considered the DAC card for streaming via USB (eg from a Mac Mini).
I just tried the Atom HE vs. the internal DAC50 card in my E-800 as experiment: While the Atom HE had the usual Naim like qualities (flow, pace) with a nice deep soundstage and nice bass, I actually preferred the DAC50 in the Accuphase - quite bit more resolution, even better flow and timing with much more tension between musicians in the piece I was listening to (Geri Allen “Obtuse Angles”). The Atom HE works better into the Naim but for the Accuphase the internal card was ahead IMO.
Great! Thanks guys for your comments here so what i understood is basically there’s no magic formula of setting this up in a way that triggers some magic or improves SQ, however, when i push mine above 85% it distorts the sound heavily. I would guess it’s because of the amp section being in use and no way to be skipped i found that it sounds better on the higher volume settings such as 70-75%. I always keep it set to 70-75% and rather control Accuphase volume (and it’s purely analog ).
Wow, that is something i was also considering as an option to go with the board DAC. I was just a bit skeptical about it as there’s no dealer or any other way to try it first so blind impulse buying is not really my thing But it is certainly great to know that it brings some improvements to SQ and has even more details. Yet it simplifies a whole setup turning my integrated into a single (or almost) box solution. How would you describe that sound? Are you using it with Roon / tidal desktop app?
I use a Mac Mini as Roon server (for Atom HE) and for direct USB feed to Accuphase DAC50 or DC37.
I believe you have an E-270? I think a DAC50 or DAC60 card would work well (unless you already use the single card slot for a phono card).
A DC37 is better but the DAC50 is already really excellent. Very refined, delicate detailed sound. For my Accuphase E-800 I of course prefer a separate DC37 DAC but that is almost 8-10 times as expensive for a 10-15% improvement.