Multichannel AV Advice Requested: Naim +?

I would like to find a way to integrate my Naim 332/333 into my existing 7.1 AV system which is driven (at the moment) by a older but good Denon AV receiver. More precisely I am looking to have the front L and R channels driving by my Naim system and have something else (possibly my existing AV receiver) handle the remaining 5 channels: Center, Rears, Sides. My primary use of the Naim system is for stereo listening so that video/AV setup would be secondary so I am hoping for something decent and relatively inexpensive.

I have read a few threads that refer to this sort of arrangement: there is “AV Bypass” mentioned but I don’t think that is available on my preamp/streamer. I don’t know if it might be possible to send the L/R (stereo) from the receiver to my Naims, perhaps via a digital connection effectively set the L/R output on the receiver to zero.

I have not followed home theater for over a decade so there may be new formats or devices I don’t know about.

Thanks so much

I believe all Naim preamps since the turn on the millenium have AV bypass so it should be possible to enable this on one input and connect the LR pre out on the Denon to the 332. Then just control everything from the Denon while watching TV.

Which Denon amp is it?

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Thanks so much. I was under the wrong impression that AV Bypass was a special connector rather than something that could be configured. May I then ask what is the difference between using AV Bypass and a regular audio input selection? I wonder if it has something to do with allowing the receiver to control the volume level of all speakers rather than having the volume controls of the LR on the Naim and the rest of the outputs on the receiver.

My receiver is the Denon AVR-2807. It has preamp outputs on RCAs so, if I got this right, I might be able to send the LR preamp outputs to my Naim (with AV Bypass on) and the remaining 5 channels would be driven by the receiver just as before.

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You are correct. The AV input is really useful as it is set to ‘unity gain’ - ie x1. This means your AV receiver controls the master volume that each channel follows. The Naim volume control is effectively disabled.
I run such a system but not with the 300 series. I do firmly recall reading that the new range has the same facility so it is a really good way forward. Reduces the ‘strain’ on your Denon’s amplification too.

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Thanks By-Tor. Your description of AV Bypass as unity gain is really helpful for me understanding!

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Yes Unity Gain is in the manual for the 332. It effectively bypasses the preamp gain stage. Just add a RCA atereo interconnect and you’re done.

An update for everyone that helped me:

It did indeed work as you suggested and I am surprised how straightforward it was, I now have 7 channels with the Naim handling the front left and right speakers. I do have a remaining issue with hum on the Naim channels probably because of a ground loop or EM noise picked up by the long cable between the receiver and the Naim. I will now attempt to solve that.

Thanks again everyone.

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What is the ground switch on the 333 set to? Naim send all signal grounds to Naim source for the whole system.

Seems to be a lot of pepole with earth loops this week.

Thanks FZ!

I tried a cheap RCA ground loop isolator between the receiver and the Naim and the noise is gone so it must be caused by a ground loop.

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Same here. In the past I noted that anything touching Cable TV causes hum unless isolated.

I seem to remember removing the Naim CD player also stopped the hum from CATV, but isolating the CD player is not ideal as isolating the AV system entirely from the NAC.

Other than that, unity gain is wonderful in use. Got mine working in a new room this weekend!

Nick

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