Klimax DSM as Source and Preamp

I have this question into Linn as well but thought I’d see if anyone on here has done this. Is it possible to use a new Klimax DSM as both a source and preamp into a 500 DR? Was thinking of shrinking my Naim footprint by four boxes (552 DR and ND555). Keep the LP 12/super line/supercap DR into the Klimax. Thanks!

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Yes you should be able to, unless there’s some limitation at the Naim end, which I can’t see - it has XLR inputs. As long as it’s a KDSM Music or A/V variant and not a Hub, which is Exakt output only (no analogue out). Both the Music and A/V versions have variable level RCA and XLR analogue outputs.



Although the NAP500 sports XLR sockets, these are still single ended so you need to use the RCA outputs on the KDSM and have suitably wired RCA to Naim pin out XLR cables made up.

The new NC250 and forthcoming NC 350s (as well as the Statement NAP S1) have fully balanced inputs.

Other than that, set the KDSM into variable volume mode (shown off on mine as I’m using it as a fixed level source) and you’re good to go.

I’ll be interested how you get on with this combination if you give it a try.


Thanks. I’ll see what Linn has to say as well. Does Naim make an rca to xlr cable that would work?

I’m not sure if Naim supply these particular cables but any competent dealer should be able to make them up for you.

Wiring is very simple, but note that the Left (Ch1) and Right (Ch2) XLR sockets on the 500 (and 300) are wired slightly differently to each other. Your standard DIN4 to XLR cables have Green and Red bands on them which differentiate which cables are Left and Right respectively to ensure you use them with the correct socket at the amp end.

Left RCA centre pin connects to XLR ch1, RCA outer to XLR -ve.

Right RCA centre pin connects to XLR ch2. RCA outer to XLR -ve.

me too !!!


There’s no reason why this shouldn’t work but I have my doubts as to whether it will sound good. There’s little to lose by trying though, other than the cost of a pair of custom made leads.
A few years ago I tried removing my 282 and running my Chord Dave direct into a 250DR. It kind of worked, but moving to a matching Chord power amp sounded so much better.

Thanks. How do you like the Chord Dave on the NDX2?

Surprised that you continue to use the Superline/SC instead of moving to a Urika 2 digital?

The Linn DSM will convert your Superline signal to digital anyway - might as well use the more efficient method with the Linn Urika 2.

Certainly worth a try for the Urika 2!

It’s a brilliant combination. I would have been just as happy with an ND5XS2 which uses the same transport, but my dealer had a great deal on an NDX2.
I was happy with my all-Naim system, and could happily have added a power supply to the streamer, but I just didn’t want so many boxes, and they are expensive.

If you’re going to digitize the LP12 anyway, might as well get an Urika 2 and save two more boxes.

I prefer analog, so a DSM of recent vintage isn’t for me as a preamp, though I use an ADSM/3 as a streamer.

Edite: I see @restock beat me to it

I was unaware that the Klimax DSM digitized the vinyl playback. I tried a Urika in my current set up and the super line to my ears was better. Thanks for the advice!

I thought I preferred analogue, too, but after listening to a Urika 2 for about 30 seconds, it was evident that Linn have got something very right. It went against everything I felt was right and proper but I ended up swapping Urika 1 to 2. That was on a last model KDSM so with the new one, it might be sensational.

Oh, and I’m also very interested to know if KDSM into 500DR works…


Interested to hear what Linn writes back with. They have been helpful before. I’d have to try the urika II again if I went this route.

I was rally worried about changing to digtising my P10/Apheta 3 output, and then phono equalisation (prsumably) happening in the digital domain before Space Otimisation (room correcion) before ADC.
I ned not have, sublime.
(Changed from Aura into Klimax Kontrol to Selekt Edition Hub Organik Dual Mono).
Not quite a fair straight comparrison, what wih room effects removed, but, wow.

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The prior model DSM already digitized it, so I’m not surprised you preferred moving the ADC upstream.

I prefer keeping my vinyl analogue.

The 500 has (I think) an input impedance of 18k, as comparison Klimax Twin has 7.8k (@1kHz). So Linn and Naim should be close enough. I think a Naim pre has 50 ohm out, the Klimax DSM around 300. I have very short cables.

On the other hand my old 135s seems happier with the chinese Holo Audio Serene KTE preamp I’m trying compared to my normal Klimax/DSM with Organik upgrade. The Holo even give better crunch&punch than my ancient 72/HC. Using the Klimax as DS in both cases. The Holo can also do work as a 3W headphone amp.

But they all sound musical and engaging so the diff I hear may simply be the normal diff in tone between these preamps having nothing to do with current & impedances.

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…but…this is the first time I’ve been able to use SO for analogue signals (TT + AV).

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The Linn DSM digitized all analog inputs to be able to process for volume control and space optimization.

The Urika 2 would take that conversion to the phonostage directly and allows interesting flexibility for RIAA.

The Superline is a great phono - but I guess if I would try to keep this analog then into a 52 or 552.

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No, although it’s a DSM model (I had it converted at the time when it was upgraded to /2 status on the off chance that I might just pair it with a power amp at some stage), I used it purely as a streamer. The Urika 1 went direct to the 552 - all analogue. I compared that to a Urika 2 via the Exakt input in the KDSM. It was clearly and notably better. As I said, contrary to everything we deem holy but I had to go with what my ears told me.

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