Chassis or floating


I have set my ND5XS to chassis and my NAIM DAC to floating.

Is this technically correct?

Thank you.

If the Naim DAC is providing the signal to mains earth connection in the system then this should be set to chassis. I’m assuming you are connecting the ND5XS via coax to the Naim DAC and as these inputs are galvanically isolated, it shouldn’t matter what switch setting you use on the ND5XS.

Thank you.

Yes. I connect the ND5XS via DC-1 to the DAC…

So the DAC then must be chassis and there would be no sound difference when I put the ND5XS on floating or chassis?

You can try different settings on the ND5XS to be sure - it won’t cause any issues.

That I also have a turntable connected to the NAIM Superline doesn’t play into this “equation”?

The Superline is connected to the Supernait 2.

My system:
BAUER AUDIO DPS2/Lyra Delos/Superline (open)
ND5XS/DC-1/nDAC/HiLine/Supernait 2
NACA5/ Ovators S-400

Well that depends on the turntable earthing - if you set the DAC to chassis and find the sq worse or there is a hum then it’s likely you have an earth connection via the turntable. Worth checking with a continuity meter to make sure.

You won’t break anything experimenting with the switch settings though but for best results you only want one signal to mains earth connection in the system.

1 Like

Thank you so much, James.
I am honestly not quite sure about the turntable earthing…my tonearm is a Rega 303.

The Superline’s ground knob is connected with a grounding cable (Audioquest) to the ground knob of the Supernait.

There is no hum when I put the DAC in chassis or floating. Complete silence in both positions…
Will check the sound quality with both.
Thanks again.

No worries - I’ll be interested in what you find.


PS … The DPS is a lovely machine. I bet that sounds fantastic with the Superline.

Short check with Sophie Zelmani - Dreamer…

Huh…not much difference…Floating seems to present a more open soundstage…but not a day vs night thing…will check more later.

No hum or strange sounds.

The DPS sounds very very beautiful through the Superline. Thank you.

1 Like

That’s good - as there’s no hum I suspect you have no ground path via the turntable so the ‘correct’ setting is the Naim DAC on chassis. Alternatively just go with the setting you prefer if it sounds better to you.


1 Like

My understanding is that the chassis / floating switch refers to the signal earth rather than mains earth so it’s not really about hum. You need to know how each thing’s signal earth is wired. For example, my NAT05 has a fully floating earth so the streamer is on chassis.

The switch connects signal earth to mains earth when set to chassis, so set wrongly, hum can be an issue depending on what else in the system is providing a similar connection.

1 Like

Yes, the chassis/floating switch related to the signal to mains earth connection. There should only be one item in the system with a signal to mains earth connection. Traditionally in a Naim system this was the Naim CD player, and it’s just one reason why it was never advised to run a pair of Naim CD players together in a Naim system (i.e. for comparison sake) without ensuring that either one was disconnected from the pre-amp, or that one had the signal to mains earth lifted (Naim or a good dealer could oblige). With the introduction of the DAC and the streamers, it was realised that there was a greater possibility of having more than one signal to mains earth connected source permanently connected to the system, hence the introduction of a switch to set to float the signal to mains earth if needed.

A reminder: All mains connected Naim kit is earthed at the mains. This should not be tampered with as it’s safety critical.


Thank you, Richard.

So what would your advice be in my specific case?

I concur with James’ post above. I would guess that setting the DAC to chassis would be best.

Many thanks.

So -
In a System such as ND555/552/500 or NDS/552/500 the streamer should be set to chassis?
If there is a different source component in the mix (like a Naim CD player), the streamer should be set to floating?

There should be one and only one earthed ground connection, and in a Naim system, that is typically the Naim CD player (other CD players may be different). So without a Naim CD player you need to elect which other source will be earth grounded (ie set to chassis)
Having everything floating or multiple earth grounded sources wont necessarily produce any induced voltage (mains hum), but might result in a lesser performance due to increased noise floor, albeit some may find sonically beneficial as evidenced over the years on this forum.

1 Like