DAC-V1 + NAIT XS 2 + MacBook Pro

Hi everyone, I currently have a NAIT XS 2 and a MacBook Pro (2018, 4 Thunderbolt 3 Ports) and I am looking for a DAC to allow me to listen to Tidal/Qobuz HiRes and/or DSD files (MQA is not a must for me). I have a few possible options, and the DAC-V1 is one of them. The DAC-V1 has a built-in pre-amp and an headphone output, both of them are not in my wish-list. I am wondering if at least the pre-amp section may be set to OFF in order to use this unit as a plain DAC. Other brands I am considering (M2Tech, Chord, Audiolab) are plain DACs, but I have a preference for this little green thing. Did you ever connected a MacBook Pro (or other Macs) via the asynchronous USB with the DAC-V1 and then to an integrated amplifier, superseding the DAC-V1 pre-amp section? Thanks for your suggestions and apologize for the newbie question.

Hi, you can use the V1 in fixed volume mode into a preamp, or variable mode into a power amp.
If you don’t need analogue inputs, changing the Nait for a NAP200 could be a nice cost neutral upgrade.

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Hi @ChrisSU, thanks for your reply. I actually have both a turntable (connected to a pre-phono) and a CD-player with analogue output only. I could sell the XS 2 for about 1300-1500 Euro and buy a second-hand NAP 100, but this does not solve the problem of the analogue inputs. Since I can use a fixed volume, I should be able to use it a simple DAC, if I get it correctly.

Yes, with a turntable you will want to keep your Nait. Just set the V1 to fixed volume mode.


Thanks a lot!

I’m using a MacMini connected via USB cable to my DAC V1. The Mini (Audirvana+) is dedicated only as a transport to the DAC. Personally for me this is quite good combination. The V1 is used in fixed volume mode into the preamp.

@IvoB, thanks for your reply. I will look for Audionirvana. I also hope that the Tidal/Qobuz web interfaces could work as well as Audionirvana.

It’s up to you what you are going to feed to the DAC V1 from the MacBook Pro. You have to set the sound of the MacBook to the output device - DAC V1. Audirvana+ software has Qobuz and Tidal options. The V1 is not a streamer, it’s just a DAC and a pre. So you have to be sure that DAC V1 is enough for you.
Otherwise ND5 XS 2 can offer you quite a set of streaming features like high-res UPnP™ streaming, AirPlay, AirPlay 2, Chromecast built-in, Bluetooth (apt X HD), Spotify Connect, TIDAL, Qobuz, Roon compatibility, internet radio and multiroom streaming.

@IvoB, thanks, I am aware that the DAC-V1 is not a streamer, and I would like to keep the DAC separate with respect to the streamer. The ND5 XS 2 is on another league, both in price and in performance – unfortunately I cannot afford it!

Well, I’m quite satisfied with my DAC V1 / MacMini combo.
Hopefully you will find your best solution :+1:

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Using a Windows PC (with Naim drivers) via USB into a DAC-V1, feeding into my recently purchased NAIT XS3 (upgraded from NAIT 5si).

As others have said use the DAC V1 in fixed volume mode, to feed into the NAIT.
I currently stream from the Windows Tidal app set to have exclusive use of the DAC V1.
Very happy with this set-up.

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@onlyonearrow, thanks a lot, happy to hear that!

@S_Vercellone One thing worth mentioning is that the IR remote that comes with the DAC-V1 allows you to pause, move to previous or next track, when streaming from the Windows PC (via USB). Presumably, it must communicate back to the PC using the USB.
Handy function, if your laptop isn’t close to your sitting position.

Don’t know if it’s the same with a MacBook, but you’d expect so.

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As I wrote above I use Audirvana+ on my MacMini. The Audirvana+ has a remote app, for iPhone (iPad) at least, and you can chose albums, tracks, changing the device (different DACs), creating playlist etc. The app is quite handy. I don’t use the DAC V1 remote at all. Managing the volume with the remote of the Naim pre.


Thanks @onlyonearrow and @IvoB, I am considering to test the trial version of both Audionirvana and Tidal, and using the current internal DAC of the Mac, just to test the app, disregarding the sound quality.

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