NAC 282 hiss

Hello everyone,

Bought new NAC 282/NAP 200 DR combo a week ago. There is an annoying slight, but noticeable constant hiss coming from the speakers. I can hear it even from the listening seat which is more than 3 meters from the speakers. The hiss is there even if no source is connected to the preamplifier. If I disconnect the preamplifier from the amplifier, the hiss disappears, so the cause of the hiss is definitely NAC 282. If I mute the preamplifier, the hiss disappears.

I wonder if anything can be done about it. Or, maybe, the slight but noticeable hiss indicates a fault with the preamplifier?

Your replies are appreciated.

Is the hiss present on all inputs? Does it vary depending on input? Are you using a turntable? There’s always some hiss while connected but it shouldn’t be at an annoying level unless either you live in a very quiet area and have acute hearing or you listen to music at high levels and leave the volume up when not listening.

Hello Marksnaim, thanks for the reply.

Is the hiss present on all inputs?

Yes, if I switch the inputs on the preamp, the same level of hiss is present.

Does it vary depending on input?

The same hiss is there even if no source is connected to the preamp. The hiss does not appear to vary at all when switching the inputs.

Are you using a turntable?

Not at the moment

you listen to music at high levels and leave the volume up when not listening.

Up to “two o’clock” position the hiss level does not seem to be affected by the volume level. Above that level the volume does increase the hiss. At any rate I leave the volume level low at about “nine o’clock”.

First, there is hiss on Naim amps. How much varies and may depend on how sensitive the speakers are.

I guess a question here is, whether this is hiss or interference? Does the hiss change if you drastically move the speaker cables?

Disconnecting the 282 from the 200 doesn’t necessary mean the 282 is to blame. If interference, it needs a full circuit to manifest. Disconnecting the pre and power just breaks that circuit. It could be coming from the 200 or RF picked up by speaker cables (I used to get AM radio until I moved cables away from the power amp).

Background hiss from the pre will increase with volume. Interference will be unchanged with volume.

I guess a question here is, whether this is hiss or interference?

Well, I am not that experienced, but it does not sound like RF interference to me. The hiss always sounds the same, and does not change over time. It comes mainly from the tweeters. To my knowledge, the RF interference does not sound homogeneous and changes with time.

Assuming that’s true, it may be the normal hiss from the Classic preamps that have highly sensitive inputs from before the digital age.

Certainly there is a fair bit on mine with 86db sensitivity speakers. But it’s not audible at 3m. If yours are on the other side of 90db, that phenomenon may differ.

For what it’s worth, my speakers sensitivity is 91db.

Sounds normal to me. The only surprising thing is that you can hear it 3m away even though your speakers are 91 dB efficiency. I would get your dealer to check it out for you, perhaps bringing a pair of less efficient speakers as a check.


The hiss is completely normal and nothing to worry about. Just mute the preamp when you are not using the system. The fact that you have very efficient speakers makes it a bit more obvious, that’s all.

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There is always some hiss, but yours does sound a bit too much. You might try another cable - if you can get one. The other thing I’m wondering is what volume level the knob is set at. I had 282/200 and now 282/250dr. I rarely have the volume past 10 - the knob starts at 6, 2 o’clock is rock concert level and beyond.

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Roman, how old are you? When I got my first Naim in 1983 when I was 22 I could hear the hiss really clearly. Nowadays I don’t hear it at all!! Whatever, it’s fine.


The hiss is definitely a bit too much for me. I can hear it when the music gets quiet, and it kills all the joy. Probably I will try to get the preamp/amp combo back to the dealer on Tuesday.

The knob is usually around 9-10 o’clock.

I am 51, but, for better or for worse, not deaf enough yet :smile:

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I’d agree with those who say to get the dealer over. Failing that, anyone else with a 282 who can indicate whether this is within norms or not. Ultimately, no one else has your ears so comparative analysis would be good.

As a sanity check can I also ask:

  • Did you audition the new amp with your speakers?
  • When you say “new” do you mean actual new units or simply second hand “new” to you? If so, the age of the units is critical.

My 282 was a demo piece but does not have a noticeable hiss. I can’t imagine any sort of speaker mis-match that would cause such an audible hiss. Age also should not cause audible hiss. Something is definitely wrong if the op’s description is correct. If dealing with a dealer, I would suggest a trial with similar pieces rather than returning the equipment to dealer, that way if it still occurs you know it is from the household. If you return it and it’s fine at the dealer, then goes back in place …

Just remember we are not just talking about the 282. Yes disconnecting it or muting it cuts the hiss but because it breaks the circuit. The 200 could be equally the culprit. Best to think of the problem as a whole. i.e. There is hiss on a full circuit from speakers to preamp.

I have NAC282 with reasonably efficient speakers (Focal Elektra 1028BE - 89DB I believe). There is a clear hiss very close to speakers with volume control at 9O’Clock.

From our normal listening position I can barely hear anything. My wife, who has better hearing than I, can still hear it - but not enough to be intrusive.

More audible is a slight click when I toggle the mute button.

Maybe, like my wife, you just have very good hearing.

The Focals are 91.5 in fact - from the spec sheet.