Issue with my New 52's Phono Input

I have an issue with the phono input of a recently acquired 52. I upgraded from a 82/HicapDR last month. They sounded great as is and a nice step up from my 82. I only tested the CD input - it didn’t come with phono boards. After a week of listening to the 52 I sent the Supercap off for a recap. I figured the Supercap is going to need a service soon so best to get it done while I still had the 82. They were both last serviced close to ten years ago. Now that the SC is back I put my 82’s K phono boards in the 52 and it sounds a bit off and constricted on the phono input. Lacks punch. Same with another set of phono boards that better match the output of my cart. Vinyl on the phono input now sounds like a downgrade from the 82 while the CD & tuner inputs are still an improvement. All outputs on the 52 might be a little less. Turntable is a Rega RP8 with Audio Technica OC9XSL. Any ideas? Does that little jumper wire in the upper left (under the blue wire) need to be snipped? or is that just on the tape input? I bought this from a dealer who said it didn’t have any problems.

How long has the 52 with Phono boards been powered up now…? And when was the 52 last serviced…?

It’s been powered up for 6 days with a couple of brief power downs for phono board swapping. It was last serviced 9.5 years ago. If it was only a matter of warming up shouldn’t that effect all inputs equally?

You have answered your own question, here…

I think matching a high end TT with and onboard stage is revealing weakness. At this level a stand alone phono stage is a must. The 52 is incredible revealing, it was their opus when it was released.
You are using the Rega tonearm lead rca’s and converting to BNC? It is possible the 52 needs service, but given your other sources I think it is either the rca to bnc adapters or just showing you you need a better vinyl front end. Though I guess something else in the signal chain after the cards but before the common circuitry. You are using a regular supercap correct, no DR, my Naim “guru” Chris West has advised on multiple occasions no DR power supplies with olive gear-bad sound. It is possible the veiling of the 82 kept you from noticing the bad sound from the cards, they may just need a rebuild.

Apologies for derailing the thread but does this mean anywhere in the system? So if you have Olive gear don’t get anything with DR?

Absolutely not. Look at my profile pic. 52 with 500dr. Just no dr power supply with olive preamps. Don’t know about digital.

I think you’re on to something here with the 52 being more revealing. That said, tonight I was listening to a Japanese pressing of The Poll Winners - Exploring the Scene and it was pretty damn agreeable. I’m using a olive Supercap & BNC converters. With my 82 I had a HicapDR. I’m doubtful a recap is needed. Preamps can go longer than amps and power supplies. And the phono boards were just fine in my 82. I’ll give it some more time.

But what about those wire jumpers on input 1? Do they remain intact with phono boards or snipped? I did a search and didn’t find the answer.

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Dont snip anything, you are not experiencing a jumper problem. Your 82 might not have been able to delineate the weakness in the cards or worn components, your 52 with fresh SC certainly will. I would get a second hand phono stage and some second hand chord signatures or better to connect it. I can readily hear differences repeatable and describable in my system with the slightest change, even a 1 mm record mat, the 52 is the sh*t. don’t used the cards, or get them rebuilt vs new ones. The other option is to get MM cards and a nice SUT or head amp. Its a lot to ask two small cards to do 2 gain stages, I have stage line MM that I use on the 52 if I have a blown tube or issue. Need a vinyl SS back up. With a great sut it sounds great even on the 52’s power. I would use that hicap DR.

I’m copying @NeilS and @Richard.Dane , one of whom will be able to advise on the links. This is the first thing I’d look at. Servicing is far less of an issue with preamps and it’s not something I’d be worrying about. I’d also not be worrying about using the internal boards. Naim boards are excellent and more then good enough for your Rega and AT cartridge. Back in the day people were using Naim amps with built in boards with top of the line Linn, Roksan etc. decks, with great results.

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IIRC, you shouldn’t need to cut any links here.

Strongly disagree, even the stageline is way better than the internals($250 used), the Rega is a serious table, just had a 10 in house even better. Yes the cart could be improved on. The rega is way better than old any suspended table, technology has improved incredibly. Luckily we have smaller diamonds to mine untouched used record grooves, and get the best of tube recordings and Naim amplification…

Get the phono boards serviced. Cheap enough to try that first.

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Ah that’s clearer.

I was thinking about my NDX. Ultimately I want an XPS. Not being recommended to get a DR version because I have a 52 would help the budget

No. With a new streamer XPS DR is better. Just no xps dr with cd3 etc. don’t use a dr power supply with an olive unit.

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Not necessary to cut any links on input 1 in your NAC52.
I also wouldn’t recommend using RCA/BNC adaptors though, for no reason other than I think they’re a bit nasty!



Eh, isn’t it largely the same circuit in another box?

In any case, I most certainly didn’t think a Stageline (when I had one) was any better than the cards in the 52; if anything I felt the latter had a slight edge on it.

I do use an external phono stage, but do not think the cards are bad at all.

Before the upgrade to the 52 I felt my sources were pretty well balanced. I figured the improvement the better preamp brings would be equal with both sources. Live and learn! Maybe I’ll get a better phono stage down the road. I’m tempted to put the 82 back in and try it with my freshly serviced Supercap instead of my HiCapDR but box swapping is not my favorite activity. In one round I briefly installed the SC Burndy ass-backwards. It didn’t take long to think something wasn’t quite right and sort it. I wonder what the measurement fanatics would make of that - probably if it wasn’t double blind it didn’t happen. But we know otherwise :smirk:

Assuming they are the same boards, which I doubt, given better caps and resistors since the 1990’s. Their are many variables at play why the stageline could be better even if they had the exact same boards.Given signal levels in the 20-40 mv range, being separated from the entire pre chassis and better electrically and vibrationally isolated could have a huge impact on sound. There is also different distribution of the power to the circuit, pins vs snaic, that has a huge impact on sound. Lastly the conversion from RCA to BNC which was necessary to use the internals of the 52, certainly didn’t help.

Well, the BNC thing could be solved at the source, and I’m not convinced of SNAIC as being better than the very short path inside the box.

In any case, proof is in the listening. Have you compared them?