Mcintosh headphone amp connection

Pulled a trigger on a second hand Mcintosh MHA150 headphone amp today and trying to decide what is the best way to connect it to the rest of my Naim system (NDX2 / NAC282)? Rca from Ndx, through the preamp (how would I do that and what cable do I need) or digital out from Ndx? Trying all options is the best answer but I don’t have any of the cables required apart from the rca that I could borrow from my phono.

You could take a cable from one of the output capable DIN sockets (Tape, AV, Aux 1) on the 282 to connect to the MH150. You’ll need a suitably wired DIN5 to 2xRCA cable.

As you say you could use also use the digital output on the NDX2 and use the DAC in the MH150 but you’ll need to go into the settings on the Naim app each time to enable and disable the digital output on the NDX2. It’s not enabled when the normal analogue outputs are in use.

More info here in the FAQ on connecting headphone amps to Naim kit.

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Thanks James. Looks like the rca to rca option is the easiest. Are there any SQ benefits in going through the preamp and are the suitable din5 to rca cables widely available?

If you use the RCA out from the NDX2 then you’ll need to switch outputs. It’s not advised to have DIN and RCA outputs enabled at the same time.

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Thanks James. Does having two outputs switched on impact the sound quality?

Naim says so, in the manual, I think.
At this level, it pays to mind the details. I recommend you order a DIN to 4 RCA (in and out) from Naim, Chord, Bluejeans, or another popular maker, and use it from the 282. Get it with four leads for possible alternative future uses. Not all DIN ports on the 282 have both In and Out, so mind which one you connect to.

Naim sticks stubbornly with DIN for audible benefits. Shame to buy Naim and miss these easy wins.

Best of luck.



Thanks, Nick. I will look for a Chord cable.

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