Help with NAC 62 and a headphone amp

Hi all - I’ve just purchased a headphone amp to attach to the tape monitor loop of my NAC62.

However, the volume of the amp is surprisingly low, to the point its volume pot needs to be turned up full to get anything remotely listenable out of it - and even then, it could benefit from being much louder.

The amp’s support community suggests the issue lies with the 62’s tape output voltage being woefully low - is this true? Has anyone successfully / adequately attached a headphone amp (non-naim I suppose) to the 62 without experiencing these issues?

I assume the headphone amp is not a Headline and connects via RCA phonos?

If so, are you using a correctly wired DIN-RCA Phono interconnect? This should be either a tape loop type (i.e. DIN5 - 4 x RCA Phono where you just use the REC out RCAs) or one specifically wired to connect the REC out pins in the DIN - most DIN-RCA interconnects will have the PLAY pins connected instead. See the FAQ here:


Hi there, it might not be the 62’s fault. A few years ago I linked up an none naim headphone amp to my NAC12 (via the tape output). What is critically important is your interconnect leads, it must be DIN to RCA for it to work. I hope this helps you.

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I’m using a DIN cable with 4 x RCA cables on it that I got from Flashback some years ago. Obviously only two of the cables provide any audio (the 2 x RCA I assume that fed a tape deck) - the other two don’t do anything.

OK, have you tried the other pair of RCA phonos?

The Tape REC out should just pass the unattenuated line signal from whatever source you’re using. Unless you’re using a low output MC through line level or even MM boards, you should have plenty of signal. I’ve never found it wanting on any of my Naim pre-amps including any of the NAC62s.

Yes - tried both. And it’s the same sort of volume output whether it’s from my turntable or CD player as source into the tape loop. I don’t think it’s the cable at fault, but I also don’t think it’s the headphone amp either. It’s baffling me.

I guess there could be a fault within the NAC62. Maybe @NeilS has an idea here.

@Fatcat : the monitor switch shouldn’t make any difference I think - and indeed it doesn’t

@Richard.Dane :

I may be getting somewhere.

My set up is as follows:

LP12 - with a MM cart on it - into the basic MM boards in my 62, into a 140 with a hi-cap
Linn Genki CD player.

I forgot that I had attenuated rca plugs on the CD player, mainly because its output was always so much hotter than the LP12 - and so I wanted to find a balance between sources. I’ve since removed the attenuating plugs, and the headphone amp is now acceptably loud when the CD is the source. But most definitely not when the LP12 is.

I’m guessing the boards are NA322 - not sure of revision - but are they traditionally pretty low output from a gain perspective?

OK, that’s good. If your HP amp is a fairly recent one then it has probably been designed to take a pretty hot signal such as from a CD player or other digital source.

What cartridge are you using on the LP12? If it’s a low output cartridge such as an MC then the MM boards may not have enough gain here.

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@Richard.Dane regular MM cart - ie, not a HOMC or anything, it’s an AudioNote iQ1.

6.5mV so should be just right for the MM boards. Of course, they will only bring up the signal to normal line level (anywhere from 0.5-1V) whereas digital sources are typically 2-3V, and some even more than that! As I say, maybe your headphone amp was designed around a hot digital input signal.

Thanks for your help. I’ll have to do more investigation.

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I have encountered a similar issue with my 32.5 and the tape out socket. I understand the output on this socket is 75mv, when I plug in my headphone amp (Schitt Audio Vali tube amp) there is zero volume until the 12 o’clock, past 12 I get volume…I cannot seem to get any answers as to why it does this, maybe the Headline is tuned differently? Having checked lots of amps including ones more recent than the 32.5 also have this 75mv output. Anyways, I can live with my headphone amp as is…but if you do find an answer I’d love to know! Kr, Rich

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