Balance at Low Volume left only.... how to find issue

This morning while my son was studying I was playing music at low volumes and it is seriously balanced over to the left speaker - it’s almost like the right is not even active. Strange. I have checked the output from the NDX2 and the cables - I moved from Din to RCA and it’s still the same. What to do next?

I have tried balancing to the right on the pre and it balances at low volume but then after a few more notches on the volume its balanced too far to the right now!!

Playing at higher volumes all is good.

I have a NAP250dr so I may sway that out with the 300. Also maybe swap the HiCaps around and the output cables… so much to fiddle with!


2x hicap
NAP 300 dr
B&W 803 D4

This is a known issue with the alps pots naim use. There have been previous threads about it but its not considered a fault or issue.


In practice the problem is excessively high sensitivity making you have to use the very end of the volume control’s rotation, at the very end of the potentiometer tracks. If you have a balance control try shifting heavily over to the other channel and increase the volume control setting a bit - with luck you might get it near enough balanced at low enough volume.

I wonder if the New Classics havd fond anything better with gain and/or volume control?

That’s an interesting use of “weasel words” - ‘it is not considered an issue’.

If it were my equipment, I would think that it was a very big issue indeed. I would be straight on the 'phone to my dealer asking for the VERY BIG issue to be resolved, or the unit replaced with one that works properly!


Has anything changed since you last listened at low volume or what?

How low is low .

Buy an attenuated interconnect.


Yes, a known issue with all Alps pots. The better ones were used for the 552 apparently. My 282 is only a minor issue at very low volumes. Two solutions. Fiddle with the balance knob or my favourite, don’t play at low volumes.


Had this in spades with my 102. Far less so with my 82.

interestingly my replaced SN3 has no such issue - you can reduce vol down to barely audible and it’s equal in both speakers, this is with balance at 12 o’clock. My previous SN3 had the usual imbalance issue at low level and right channel was always a bit down I felt even at higher volumes.

unfortunately with Alps potentiometers you get lucky. It depends on the original tolerance level at the time of assembly since they don’t waste time adjusting them at the factory. Unfortunately it happened to me on many amplifiers such as Sugden A21 SE, NAD S300, Unico 90 and various others, therefore expensive amplifiers. Unfortunately there is nothing you can do except use Rothwell attenuators, don’t listen at low volume or switch to Japanese amps…absolutely perfect with volume management.


To my mind it’s not just a balance issue - if is not great to compress all use of the volume control into the first quarter or third if its travel. One day Naim will learn and reduce gain, or provide separate adjustable gain.


you can try putting the amplifier on mute.
Then rotating the volume knob several times to remove the occidation of the potentiometer tracks.
Then do the same with the balance button.

This solved the problem on several of my CB boxes

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82 is further up the naim ladder and will get the less rubbish pots ! Must admit, im lucky with my 282. And my hoard of 72s !

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It’s so strange - maybe I never went that low before! I don’t remember it!

Then it’s probably as simple as that you’ve discovered a new side of your preamp that you didn’t know before. As others have said- That’s how it behaves at low volume.

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Not “weasel words” from me Graham, just observation from previous posts I’ve read on the same issue. Apparently Naim tried other volume pots but they didn’t sound as good as the Alps ones.


The 272 had a resistor ladder volume control which did not suffer from the imbalance at low volumes. I believe the New Classic series also uses a resistor ladder setup.



Correct it does.

All my naim pre amp’s i have owned have done this, and it’s a known problem.
You need the new range that has the relay volume from the statement to get perfect volume balance through the complete range.

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There has been quite a bit about the New Classic approach, it’s one of the key improvements. Not sure if I read your question right, so apologies for this if I’ve not interpreted correctly. The New Classics both use a statement derived resistor ladder volume control in place of the Alps pots. Pictures of both 222 and 332 internals in the main NC threads, and more than one post from 110db about it.