Dac streamer advice to match MA9000

Hello guys, I used to have a Naim Nova linked to a MA7000 McIntosh and I played the Nova as streamer dac using this not in a conventional way, music basically had a preamp from Nova and the preamp from MA7000. To be honest I liked the sound especially with rock I had very good and enjoyable play on my speakers Harbeth 40.1 and JBL 4429. I sold then the Nova and MA7000 and I bought an MA9000. I tried few streamers and I don’t like at all the build in dac of MA9000, it lack of verb and is not enjoyable. I am wondering then to buy now a streamer from Naim checking the NDX2 as an option or to opt again for an Atom for instance to use as pre amp dac and streamer. The reason why I keep choosing Naim is the burr brown chip that I like a lot even if is an old one, which setup you suggest?

Ifi has a neo stream with burr brown dacs might be an option

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Thank you but I wanted to have an advice on Naim product. Wondering if make sense to buy the ndx2 or again an all in one to use as streamer dac and pre amp. I like a lot the combo nova McIntosh however the way was linked didn’t allow me to keep Enough details in the music. Can for instance use an atom just as streamer/dac? Can I exclude the pre amp on McIntosh?

You have a top integrated, much better than Nova or Atom. Excluding its pre to use the Atom or Nova pre would be a big waste.
An Ndx2 is the best choice in your case.
But maybe you don’t like Macintosh sound ? In that case sell it and get an SN3/ Ndx2, to have an entire Naim sound. But I feel it would be a step down vs Ndx2 / MA9000.


I understood that he has already the Macintosh dac module inside. But he doesn’t like it very much. ( see his first post).

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The Mac 9000 comes fitted with a DA1 module which has been superceded by the DA2 which can be installed instead of the DA1. I can’t comment on the performance of the DA2 but agree with the OP that the DA1 isn’t the best. In my opinion, the nDAC betters it.


Thank you guys for the advices, yes indeed I don’t like the dac inside the ma9000 that is too soft for me and not enjoyable, I prefer the sound out of nova that mount a burrbrown dac that despite is old for me is much more enjoyable. The match between nova and the ma7000 wasn’t a good fit in the way it was plugged I had basically two pre amp however was still enjoyable for certain music as blues and rock for detailed classica the double pre lost a lot of of details. Now, would you recommend then a ndx2 or maybe I can take as well an atom or even the new NSC 222 and try to exclude the ma9000 pre? I can borrow both.
With regards of another amplifier to run my harbeth or jbl I need to go with 200w min per channel so I don’t think Naim has something for me

You have a very capable amp, which I believe has an input to the power amp which would allow you to bypass the internal preamp if you are using a different one. I would say that it makes no sense to bypass the built in preamp to use one in a cheaper device such as an Atom, or even an NSC222. If you realy want to do that, sell the MA9000 and buy a separate power amp.

Given what you have now, I would but an NDX2. It’s a very capable source, and you will not be wasting money on an expensive preamp that you don’t need.

Hi Beppe, have you considered replacing the harbeth with more modern speakers?

Yes I thought as well to sell the Harbeth but these are classic speakers and I really like them for certain music. I will try then to demo a NDX as evaluate if I get the sounds I like, worst case I sell everything and I move to different setup

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