MC Cartridge for P9 into NAC52

Thanks Richard. Yes I’m finding it difficult to match a cart to the turntable and the phono input on the NAC52. I prefer not to use spacers. I THINK Rega also advise against it in an ideal scenario. And I cannot mate a MC to the boards in the nac52. I’m still waiting on Naim to confirm which board my preamp left the factory with.

Pprobably easiest just to slide off the cover and take a look at the cards. Either way, I wouldn’t get too worried whether S or K.

The Dynavector Karat (17D*) used to be a favourite on a Rega arm, no spacers required. They changed the body material from plastic to brass a couple of years ago and upped the price to near that of the XX2, I hope the sound has improved accordingly, I’ve not seen many reviews since, nor seen any posts from users. I’ve had three of the plastic bodied ones over the years and loved them. They were good into S board apparently, I used 470Ω and 470pF to great effect on a superline.

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On my deck, I use a Dynavector 20X2H and I am very pleased with the result.
The choice of the High-Output model was made to be able to use the existing 522-N boards.
What I did, and strongly recommend, was having fitted BNC Plugs on the Rega, thus avoiding the use of adapters.
MArco :cowboy_hat_face:

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I use a Karat 17D3 here into ‘S’ Stageline and it’s a fine loading match. Very nice cartridge.

With the level of Turntable and Electronics you have I’d be looking at buying a separate phono stage as any cartridge you buy will be hobbled some what by the internal phono boards on the 52.

I do agree with what you’re saying but I don’t require the ultimate fidelity from my turntable setup. From previous experience I don’t expect it to compete with my digital front end. I’m also not entirely comfortable with investing heavily in a phonostage and cartridge when I know I’ll only do occasional listening on vinyl.

Also I wanted a clutter free setup (i know 7 components isn’t exactly simple) and I prefer not to add another component.

Ok my set up is a reverse of yours with digital being my occasional source so I get where you’re coming from no doubt that P9 52 fronted source will sound excellent with the onboard stage that is one hell of a second source I’m very envious.

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Thank you. Yes I also love the aesthetics of the p9. Fits in nicely with my vintage Naim gear.

…yes, for those of us who value the aesthetic of minimalism, surely the P9 is one of those at the pinnacle. Fine sounding too!

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It is a lovely looking deck, indeed!

As mentioned elsewhere on another thread, I think I’d be looking at something like the AT OC9XML, which looks to be the successor to the old OC9MLII, which I thought to be an excellent performer and superb value for money. It’s within your budget and should work well with the Naim phono cards.


So far I’ve narrowed it down between the Hana SL and the Audio Technica AT OC9XML.

Anybody else got any feedback regarding these carts with Rega turntables or built in phono cards in Naim preamps?

Just took your advice Richard and very carefully opened up the case of the NAC52. So if I understand correctly there aren’t any phono boards only line level input boards. Please can you help me understand what the point of these boards are?

Yes, you have NA526 line level boards on the BNC Phono input. The daughter boards come in pairs so there will be another one in the same position but underneath the sandwiched main boards. The NA526 boards enable you to use that input for a line level source, such as a CD Player. If you wish to run an MC cartridge then you need to remove the NA526 boards and in their place fit NA523 boards (either S, K or E/R depending on cart).

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Understood. Thank you. Would removing these boards effect performance of the NAC 52 in anyway?

No, not really. There’s no power requirement for the NA526s.

So moving the story along, I’ve done a little reading and decided against phono cards for my setup. I’ve gone ahead and snagged a phono amp (Atanek MC-1) so now I’m just left with the task of a cart for the p9.

No knowledge to Anatek but if choosing Rega cartridge I’d look for Aria.
The matching MC cards to Nac 52 must be 523S, not sure if loading match Apheta/Ania.

Yes I just felt like I might compromise the performance of the NAC 52 using the Naim boards. That’s never been my intention so outboard phono pre is the only way.

I’ve also read that a preamplifier sounds best with only one source connected. I would imagine as long as I turn my phono pre off between uses, the Nac52 won’t sound any different through my Audio Note DAC.

The Anatek MC-1 phono pre is suitable for carts around 100ohm load impedance so I’m safe with Rega and quite a few others cartridges.

Now my challenge is to mate a cart to the RB1000 which doesn’t effect VTA too much. I really don’t want to use a shim on the arm.

In addition to this I need to balance out the sound of the Anatek with a more lush sounding cart. This really has been a learning curve for me. But I’m glad I’ve done it. Still learning every read.

Yes…don’t use shims…good decision!