Line out vs Preamp out

What’s the difference between the line out and preamp out?? I just got a SH NAC 172 and temporarily going to connect it to my UQ1 until I can find a suitable power amp. Assume the line out means I can control the volume with the UQ?

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Sorry don’t have those products but potentially the opposite.

Line out would generally be fixed level if there is another option (eg variable line out), and pre-out I’d expect to mirror pre-amp volume settings up to a simlilar to line out maximum.

Traditionally ‘fixed’ outputs have been considered a bit sonically superior but these days I’m not as convinced especially with Naim products with digital volume controls.

Line out is pre volume control. Pre out is post volume control.


@Alley_Cat wouldn’t line out from the 172 into the UQ1 “Analogue Input” do exactly what the OP needs? The UQ would see the 172 as any other line level source. Albeit the 172 could itself have a source connected in addition to its internal streamer.

Use line out if connecting the 172 to a pre amp.

Use pre amp out if connecting the 172 to a power amp.

Yeah, looks like line out to the UQ so I can control volume from there.


I think so, sorry was thinking the OP wanted to connect fixed/variable out from the UQ1 to the 172 assuming the UQ1 has both.

Yep, it sure does. 172 line out into Analogue Input should be fine I think

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Controlling volume on the Unitiqute means leaving the 172 page in the app and opening the Unitiqute page every time, which may be a bit inconvenient if you are using the 172 as a streamer. Still, it will work.
If you enable AV Fixed Volume on the Unitiqute you can use the 172 volume control, with the preamp output connection used.


The rule is pretty simple.

  1. Use line-out if you want the device to act as a source component (volume control is then handled by the preamp you connect it to)
  2. Use pre-out if you want to device to act as a preamp and send a (volume-adjusted) signal to device used as a power amp.

line-out has a fixed (full) gain signal
pre-out has a variable (volume-controlled) gain signal

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I gave Chris’s post a like as even though I own a UQ1 I didn’t know it had that feature. I just assumed he was correct. Which he was :slight_smile:

[edit: I don’t auto assume you are wrong! I just thought I’d check :slight_smile: ]

Blast went right through the options on mine and didn’t find it.

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Flexible little boxes! :slight_smile:


JDP - thanks! That is EXACTLY what I was looking for. Now I can A/B the preamp sections between the 172 and the UQ - more weekend fun

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Yes, not convenient I know…This is just a temporary setup until i can find a 150/155. Which, interestingly enough, is not easy…

Be careful when making these comparisons. If you use the Qute in fixed volume mode make very sure that you have the pre out from the 172. If you connect line out by mistake your ears will get a very nasty surprise!

I did!