How do I connect HT receiver to NAIM stack?

I have an Anthem AVM-60 pre/pro full of RCA and balanced pre-outs.

I want to have the HT pre/pro working in parallel with a music setup, where the main 2 channels are powered by the music amp.

For example, XLR from Anthem to a Simaudio 600i integrated amp (HT Bypass).

The 600i would also serve a dedicated music streamer. This is straight forward.

However, I’m lost with the connectivity of the NAIM stack especially around these DIN connections.

What is the best way to connect the HT pre/pro to a NAC-N272/NAP 250DR in HT Bypass?

Or would I need a different amp such as Supernait 2/3 ?

The NAC-N272 analogue inputs have an AV Fixed Volume option that enable you to switch them to unity gain for connecting an AV processor, whereby on that input, the Nic-N272 will be at full gain, so volume control will be done by the processor. You can use either a DIN or an RCA Phono analogue input.

Thanks, Richard.
Ok, so would going from AV pre-out to Fixed Vol input on the 272 provide equivalent signal processing compared to going directly to an integrated amp? For example, it should bypass the DAC as well as the preamp of the 272.

Also, would using the DIN Fixed Vol input support connection from XLR pre-out? I’m assuming this would be equal to a regular balanced connection. 1 XLR to 1 DIN, or 2 (L/R) XLR to 1 DIN.


AFAIK, the fixed volume setting acts like Unity Gain, thus affectively bypassing any attenuation or gain in the pre-amp. There is no further processing within the pre-amp and the signal avoids any possible digitalisation on the way.

I assume that the XLR pre-out you talk of is a balanced signal? The NAC-N272 is single ended only, whether you choose RCA phono or DIN, so best to use a single ended pre-out from the processor if available. If not available then you’ll need to ask your dealer to source or make up a balanced to single ended interconnect to connect the two, but if you can go SE to SE then all the better.

Got ya. So using the AV XLR balanced pre-out would not be a good idea as the other end is not balanced anyway. Running two standard RCA cables from AV pre-out to 272 would probably lead to better results.

bang on.

I just got off the phone with a dealer that had a Naim expert/rep on site at the time.

They said that the 272/250DR combo is NOT a good match for AV connection – the sonic results would not get the most out of the Naim system. The way they put it, the Naim sound is a result of a Naim pre and Naim amp working together; One without the other is not so good. (i.e. if you have a Naim amp, it should be mandatory to use a Naim pre with it.)

I totally agree with matching a Naim pre to a Naim power amp, but I’m not sure I understand the issue here. The NAC_N272 is a Naim preamp with a streamer onboard as well. It has the fixed volume facility for the precise reason it then enables it to be used with an AV processor for AV purposes on a particular input.

However, I don’t know your AV kit and I presume your dealer is very familiar with it and maybe has experienced s poor match between it and Naim kit, So I would defer to their experience here.

you would be essentially using the naim setup as an amp for your 2 front channels. The rest of the channels in the AV would be powered by the HT amps you have. Granted, it may be that the amp you have for the remaining channels may not be as good as a 250DR. I’m using the SN2’s AV for my L/R while the rest are now powered by an HT receiver. The receiver sends a pre-out signal for L/R to the SN2. I used to do the same thing with a D2V. Play music through the AVM however and compare it against the same music played by the naim system directly, and you will find there is a big difference. For movies though in a properly tuned system, you may well find that using different amps between the L+R and the rest of the channels is not really an issue at all. Anthem’s ARC system would balance the channels enough and likely achieve a good balance.

I guess the point here is that, while many people mix and match brands of amp/preamp, the sound you enjoy from Naim seems to be influenced significantly from the Naim preamp. Therefore, music sounds best running Naim pre to amp. Using off-brand pre (like Anthem in my case) can work but will not get the best sound (as you mention, HearingAid).

This doesnt seem to be such an issue with some other integrated amps where HT bypass (preamp-bypass) still results in a great sound (maybe because the sound is more amp-dependent than preamp-dependent?)… Other integrates on my list: Simaudio 600i, PrimaLuna Evo 400…

Disclosure, this is what I gather from research and talking to ppl, not first hand experience. If my assumptions don’t sound right, feel free to pipe up.

That’s some strange advice you’re getting.

I used to have my Naim stuff in my ground floor office (272/XPS DR/250 DR into PMC 20.23s) and my AV stuff in the first floor lounge (Denon AVR-X7200 driving an Atmos 5.1.4 system with PMC speakers). Both sounded great in separate rooms.

About 6 months ago I moved the Naim system up to the lounge so the 250 now drives the front L/R speakers (PMC 20.23s, yes I have two pairs!) using a unity gain input on the 272.

When listening to music, the Denon AVR is switched off. Oddly, music sounds better up here (more soft furnishings and carpets whereas the office has wooden flooring and lots of reflective surfaces) and surround sound on films sounds just as good as it did before. YMMV, of course.

Hi Titan.

I ran a Denon AVR through a Naim system and loved the results. I eventually added a NAP-V175 three channel amp, bypassing all five amplifiers in the Denon, using only its pre-am functions. Stereo sources stayed plugged directly into the NAC: when playing these the Denon could be switched off. Using the Denon amps for center and rear channels worked fine, too, before I got the 175.

Using AV-bypass/unity-gain on the Naim pre gives your Anthem total control Volume for all channels for HT sources — you would not want to have to use both Volume controls at the same time. Hi-fi sources connected to your 272 would be controlled by Vol on the 272, obviously.

I did have to add a ground-loop isolator between the Denon and the NAC112, as the Cable TV system caused hum without it. If your system does not hum, you do not need the isolator.

If your Naim system must integrate with your HT, go for it. I do not know another maker who makes it work so well.


So how do you find music played from the AV processors (HT bypass) vs directly thru the Naim systems?

One more question. much difference in SQ between a Supernait 2/NAC272 combo and a 250DR/NAC272 combo?

“So how do you find music played from the AV processors (HT bypass) vs directly thru the Naim systems?”

Sorry, I am not sure I understand the question. If you want to use the HT system as a music source into the 272, you would use whatever controls exist without the Naim system added. The Naim app and 272 do not provide any control of those sources.

If you want music sources connected to the 272 to play back via the Anthem to a whole house remote zone, you can use Tape Out/Line Out from the 272 back to the Anthem Aux In or Tape2 In, etc. A second isolator would be needed if hum is an issue, as mentioned above.

Your best music sources should be attached to the 272, not the Anthem, for best results. A BluRay/SACD could be connected to either, depending how you use it most.


All set, then, @Titan?

Yes, I understand music sources should be played using the Naim app for best results. However, with the Anthem AVM-60 hooked up as AV bypass into the 272, music streaming is supported using the Anthem too (which would benefit from Anthem Room Correction).

I was just wondering how different the sound would be for same music streamed via Anthem to 272 vs 272 app.

I may be able to get a loan of a Nova in the upcoming week from a shop (7hr drive away) and answer this myself!

It could go either way. It would be interesting to compare both streamers at par, in 2.0 without RC, to see which streamer you like better. Then add RC to Anthem and decide.

Room correction done well can be great, but it is not always successful, nor necessarily an improvement in every way.

Keep us posted.


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