It’s all about balance

Hi Guys,

Just an observation but why does Naim still fit a balance knob? I can’t think of any reason to have one

This has been discussed fairly recently and I still reply with my usual;
I use mine on my main system to offset the fact that one of my ears is in better shape than the other due to partial deafness.
In a second system, the room layout necessitates my seating position being somewhat off centre.
The balance control allows me to “re-centralise” the sound.
If playing an old tape, sometimes the sound is off centre.
Therefore, several reasons to have a balance control.


I play a lot of vinyl and sometimes records have mastering issues that put the balance off-center. It’s not often but I’m glad to have it when needed.

Also, nobody has the perfect room, and some have to make do with what they can, and sometimes that means using a balance control.

I certainly wouldn’t conflate using a balance control with tone/loudness controls, as someone else did (and apparently deleting their post in the interim).


I use the balance nob every day; neither my ears or my room are perfect

I also use a small amount of balance adjustment to compensate for my hearing.

An alternative approach, electically and mechanically simpler, would to have separate volume controls for each channel …but not as convenient for the user.

Not all systems have balance controls as such: with some you can adjust the gain of each channel’s power amp, while in mine I can adjust the overall channel gain separately on my active crossover. These are not so convenient for tweaking to individual non-centred recordings, but fine for system set up.

Fully agree.

:small_blue_diamond:Strange,.I’ve never ever used this feature…


1 Like

When you balance, are you moving all the information across or are you loosing information, I’ve never tried it and I may do later.

I.e. If a drummer is on the left channel and you balance across to the right would you still hear him or does he vanish?

It just decreases the volume on the opposite channel to the direction. So if you turn the balance to the left the right channel volume goes down.

And as the volume one side is already marginally lower, you’re really equalising the two.

I use it a lot. Every combination of Naim amp & source has given me an offset, usually to the left but sometimes not. PMC offered to check my speakers but as it was always a left lean regardless of how everything was connected including deliberately connecting backwards, I put it down to the rooms - it happens in all locations I’ve used it.

The slider in the Naim app under audio settings is a god-send, it’s almost like having an adjustment marked Go To Peak Quality. Sometimes it’s at 0, often 1 or even 2. It also depends on the source - NAS, Tidal or internet radio, and how long I’ve been listening for.

It may be Naim gear not working, more likely it’s my old ears. I’d miss having a balance control though.

Just for info i recently felt my left ear was getting worse ( i do suffer from some congestion in that ear anyway). I eventually started to toe in that speaker and noticed the mid range had stopped working. It turned out a crossover component had been poorly soldered and eventually one leg pulled from the pcb. They were PMC 25.26…so it might be worth reconsidering their offer?

Thanks Gazza. I swapped the PMCs for a pair of SCM40s not so long ago but nonetheless, the balance issue wasn’t h/w related. I’d swapped everything to push the imbalance the other way and nothing affected it, including swapping speakers over. The ultimate test was parking teen son #2 in the normal listening position and with no suggestion to guide him asked if it sounded right. He instantly said it was brilliant but off-centre. Room it was, and still is. The balance cures everything.

As an aside when upgraded from a Nait to a 250 and mentioned it, the dealer said he always has his balance over at about 5 o’clock. It sounds almost normal.

1 Like

Interesting I had a balance problem for well over a year which drove me completely nuts. I do think that some albums are biased or more detailed to the right for some reason plus my left ear is not quite up to spec.

But last year I changed my speaker cable and interconnect to Super Lumina and quite unexpectedly everything snapped into perfect balance. The balance control is now smack on 12o’clock which hasn’t stopped me smiling every time I look at it. Maybe a check of cables is worth exploring.

This topic was automatically closed 60 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.