Miserly Feature Set

I am considering replacing a Supernait 3 with a separates system. There are several features that I would appreciate, but which are not available of any Naim preamp. These include input trimming and at least one balanced input so that an awkwardly-shaped CD player could be relocated some distance away from the main rack. The puritanical, hair-shirt offerings from Naim are pushing me towards McIntosh which offer excellent sound quality along with a much richer feature set. Wouldn’t a more generous bundle of features make Naim more competitive?

Probably not.

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Are these balanced inputs?


It clearly lists 2x balanced inputs.

The NAC S1 has two balanced inputs so that’s an option. Would be nice if Naim refreshed their preamps marketed to the other 99.5% to include balanced inputs but it doesn’t appear that’ll happen soon. Why make a decision based on a cdp?

Wasn’t input trimming previously available on the 152 but thought to compromise SQ?

It was there on the NAIT 5 and the NAC112/112X. The resistor ladder volume control allowed the input trim, however an ALPS Blue tended to sound better so it was dropped.

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I think that the Supernait 3 offers plenty of features and connection options. Wether they are relevant to you is a whole other story. (i really love the system automation system)

I agree with @Katzky2021 that the preamps should be refreshed with balanced inputs, and looking at the new Atom HE, it may be happen sooner than we think.

I think the Atom HE offers input trimming. I don’t think it has balanced inputs, but as it has a DAC, you could use Optical S/PDIF or Coaxial RCA to hook up your CD player when placing it some distance away.

Yup, the Unitis (both original and new Unitis) have long offered input level trims, mainly because their volume control design has allowed it.

When the pre-amp range is inevitably renewed some time in the future, I wonder whether we’ll see trickle down from the Statement, or something else? Will we still have the tape monitor circuit? Mono? These last two I find really useful on my 552, so I’m not sure about how “miserly” is the feature set really…

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You are right. I mistook it for inputs, but these are just balanced outputs.

puritanical, hair-shirt offerings sounds ironic looking at your choice of awkwardly-shaped CD player!


^^^ :grinning: :joy: :rofl:

@EnglishRogue – the absence of balanced inputs and outputs has been debated many times before and as Richard Dane alludes things may change but Naim has only relatively recently introduced RCAs (alongside DINs), and its focus is on system balance, so I wouldn’t hold my breath.

I wonder how McIntosh would view using such a source in to a Naim amp, as McIntosh isn’t widely known for PRaT, more warmth and detail?

…and yep - the love child of K9!


I’d just go with the MAC if that’s better suited to your needs. Excellent sound quality, if a little expensive (in the UK).

Hi, @EnglishRogue.

I run long unbalanced lines from my 552 to an AV pre in a different room.

I understand the objective with balanced is to reduce noise/hum over long runs. I do not notice noise with my unbalanced setup (to my happy surprise), so I have not worried about the lack of balanced.

Is your long run from the CD player noisy? If so, maybe adjusting cable positioning or changing the cable will get you result you are looking for without leaving Naim.


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The 272 has input trim so hopefully it’s replacement will keep the feature. Id hope for balanced outputs rather than inputs personally but I doubt either will be the outcome

Isn’t the whole DIN obsession just a way of dissuading consumers from connecting other manufacturer’s kit to the precious amps?

Naim justifies DIN connections for improved performance and I am inclined to believe them.

Consumers can also invest in any interconnects they want, including DIN-to-RCA or whatever combination suits their needs.


DINs are better suited to the way in which Naim systems are grounded, with the whole system connected to a common earth. They are not the only brand to use them, despite being a minority but they are certainly there by design. If you want to use a non-Naim box you just get an RCA to DIN cable, which Naim can supply.

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You clearly have issues with Naim gear. If you don’t like it, fine, get something else. There are enough people that will buy their equipment even if it is too short on features and doesn’t have a cheap plastic blackletter ident stuck on the sides.

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