External Phono stage for Nac52

I currently use the internal phono cards (MM) in my Nac52 preamp supporting a Dynavector 10x5. I’m in no rush to replace the 10x5 but when I do I would like to have the option of going for a low output moving coil.

I could just replace the internal cards as and when necessary, but I do wonder if an external phono stage would give improved performance now with the 10x5, and give flexibility of choice when the time for replacement comes.

My only experience of using an external phono stage was when I experimented with a Stageline on an 82. In that case I concluded that it was marginally better to use the internal boards. Clearly I need to be looking further up the food chain to achieve the improvement I’m hoping for.

So my questions are:

  1. Is it possible to improve upon the internal cards with a budget of £1000. I have no problem with buying secondhand. Makes auditioning much more difficult but it can always be moved on if it doesn’t work out, without losing too much in the process.

  2. A switchable MM/MC phono stage would be more convenient overall, but would it be better in the long term to swap to a MC only unit?

  3. I believe I will need an interconnect with 2 x RCA to 5 pin 180° DIN. Any recommendations given that it is unlikely to be included with the phono stage?

My current system configuration is included in my profile.

Thanks for reading and looking forward to seeing what experiences and suggestions you guys have to share.

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I would take a look at dynavectors own stage, as it will work nice with the cartridge and a new one is around £750 so well within budget and less than £400 secondhand

I do have a similar system (phonosophie no 3, prefix + SC, 52, SC, 135 and SBL) and experimented with phono recently.
If you have got a lp12 consider the prefix as well. Could be build in - was designed for lp12. Is Mc only! Used prices are very moderate. Around 250.
It is way better than internal boards.
You might give it a look too. But only MC.

You also need no additional cable - can be fed by aux2. And updates to come with psu.

At that price level my first choice would be a Tron Convergence. A suitable Din/RCA IC can be sourced for a small sum to connect to your 52. The Convergence is a steal at the price , sourced in the UK and is a massive upgrade over the Naim cards, imho.
Good luck!

I would try and get a used Cyrus phono signature with psxr2 power supply

Might be worth waiting to see if Naim bring out a phono stage based on the one supplied with the solstice.

As the OP has already the stageline, If I understood well, and have around 1k budget, I would consider a second hand Hicap.
Maybe the Vertere phono, which seems to be particularly good for 1k.

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I would remove the existing cards from the NAC52 and look for a secondhand Superline to be powered from the dedicated rails that are used on the NAC52’s AUX2 input. You just need a SNAIC 5 to make the connection.


I found Dynavector’s own P75 to be an absolute bargain when paired with our DV XX-2 into our NAC52. About £750 new or £250 used.

At the £1k mark, a Vertere phono stage, Tron Convergence or used Sim Audio Moon 310LP would be on my short list.

Honestly, that’s about it.

When we looked for a decent upgrade from our own DV P75, it took £2.5k+ stages to really make more than a small improvement while still sounding musical. Lots were better hifi but just didn’t either let the music flow like the P75 or sounded un-natural/unbalanced in some way with our XX-2.

The Superline sounded tremendous, but it really needed a Supercap-DR to show its potential.


Hope this helps, BF


At that price one is also within range of an used Urika 1, which could be a good choice for the OP that already has a Radikal-equipped LP12.

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Ah yes…I missed the Radikal Ricardo. Used Urika would certainly fit the bill.
Hope you are doing well !

I have a feeling those 500 Solstice sales might generate some used SuperLine listings. :thinking:

I’ve already gotten a SuperCap out of it. LOL

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Thanks for the replies given so far. There is much food for thought in them and I’m learning a lot just from searches on the kit mentioned.
Just to clarify, I no longer own a Stageline - it was just one that I bought a year or so back when I had an 82 and 2 x hi caps, allowing for some experimentation. As I said the stageline, even with a Hicap powering it did not give me an advantage over the internal cards. I subsequently sold the Stageline along with the 82 and Hicaps to fund the 52 and Supercap I have today.
Although beyond my current budget, the idea of a Superline or Urika appeals, but that would have to wait until (and if) I commit to an MC cartridge to replace the 10x5. Having a MM/MC external stage in the meantime appeals as that gives an easy route to my next cartridge, but I could only justify that if the uplift in performance is a significant one, and keeps to my approximate budget of £1000.
I particularly like to hear about others experiences in going through similar upgrades, so keep those ideas flowing.

Another vote for the Dynavector P75 here, a surprising little box!
And configurable for MM/MC with a Phono Enhancer mode.


Just wanted to give an update on my journey so far as it may help others on a similar path. Several of the recommendations made looked promising, but in the end it came down to availability. A search of the secondhand market prevailing at the time revealed a Dynavector P75 Mk4 was available. Given that I have a 10x5 cartridge that I like, this seemed a good starting point - backed up by a number of replies above.

Not having a suitable interconnect in my spares drawer, I also purchased a cheap interconnect from an internet sales site. Initial listening was positive but not conclusively better than the internal cards. Bass notes were more textured and there was more detail available, but musically it didn’t quite gel. I put this down to the new cable needing to burn in. Also, The P75 itself, being just months old, may not have had enough use to give of its best, so I decided to persevere. Whilst there was some improvement after 30 hours or so it was not enough to fully convince me. My conclusion was that the cheap cable wasn’t up to the job.

Further research on the forum showed that the Chord Chrysalis is recommended by no less than our own Richard Dane. It was also available at a reasonable cost online. A few days later the ‘new’ cable was installed.
It was immediately obvious that this was a huge improvement. The improvement in sound that I had initially noted was still there but the music now gelled. The performers were no longer doing their own thing - they were now playing together with a sense of realism and sheer musicality that made me smile. No matter what LP I selected it was like listening to it for the first time. No matter what style of music I played the joy that I got from the uplift in the musicality (female vocals particularly shine) made the financial outlay worthwhile. In my view a good upgrade is one which releases more enjoyment from my record collection. The value of the upgrade being determined by the increase in enjoyment versus the financial outlay. The P75 does it for me.

In conclusion, the P75 is a very good phono stage that gives me the improvement that I wanted now with 10x5. It also offers the flexibility I wanted when I come to replace the cartridge and it is very possible that I may never feel the need to upgrade the phono stage again. Although the Urika or Superline may tempt me at some point, given that I already have the power supplies in my system.

This has proved an interesting and rewarding step in my hifi journey. It also reminded me of the importance of good, well matched cables - although I remain sceptical of truly expensive cables, preferring to put the bulk of my investment into equipment and records.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to this thread, as well as the forum in general for pointing me in the right direction.



Sounds like a Win-Win situation, here… :smiley:

As a confirmed user (and believer in) of DV10X’s and of ‘basic’ level Naim/Chord cables, what can I say…

Neil, I’m glad to hear that the Chrysalis was such a success. It worth repeating just how well it works with Naim and how superior it is to most of the inexpensive (and some rather expensive ones too) alternatives available.

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