NAC 52 Phono Volume

Looking for some advice please. I have searched the forum but not found precisely the issue I have.
I’ve just got a NAC 52 and find that I need to turn the volume up on phono much more than I did with my NAC 82. I suspect it must be down to the phono boards. My cartridge is a Dynavector-10X5 MkII, which is a high output MC, and I was told that it should work fine with a MM board. I think the NAC 52 has a 522 board fitted, and it must be different to what was in my 82. I had the volume at 9-10 o’clock on the 82 for phono, not much different to the volume for CDs, but I need 11-11:30 for phono on the NAC 52. Apart from the slight inconvenience of needing to turn it up more, I don’t seem to have any problems with the sound from records. The question is can I continue to use the 522 board with the Dynavector without damaging anything? Also, if not the 522, what would the recommended board be? I guess a 523? Many thanks.

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It will work just fine with NA522 boards, but as the output is a fair bit lower than many proper MMs or MI cartridges, you’ll need to run the volume knob further along its range for the same volume level.

An alternative would be to run with NA523E boards which are for medium-high output MCs.

IIRC Peter @Cymbiosis has posted on here that you might even get away with full fat MC boards with the 10X5.


I have a NAC82, with a Dynavector 10X. My experience was similar, when I has NA522 MM boards. No harm will be done. Its just slightly inconvenient.

But I now use a set of NA523 E boards, as @Richard.Dane mentions above. Mine were bought as 523 S boards and converted to E spec by Class A @Darran , at very little cost (<£30-00).

Using 523 E’s gives me a much better ‘match’ with volume from my CDX2, via my 82.

You could start looking for a set of NA523 boards of any spec, to try.

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Many thanks Richard

Many thanks Ian. It’s a relief to know I’m not damaging anything. I will be looking to replace my cartridge this year, that will be a good time to look at the boards, particularly if I opt for the next level up Dynavector which comes as high or low output MC.

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That would be the DV 20X.

As I said, you could start looking - in the usual places - for a set of 523 boards. I now have both 522 & 523’s for my 82. I also have 323E’s for my 72 - those E’s were bought to test the prinicple of using a DV 10X into Naim E Boards.

I cannot comment on using a DV high output MC into S or K boards. I don’t think I tried my 523’s before getting them converted, from S to E. Removing/fitting 5 series boards is… a bit tricky in an 82. I cannot say about a 52.

You beat me to this !
I did try my 10x5mk2 into my 323S board before i sent it to Darran for conversion to an E board. Far too much gain with the HOMC. The E board conversion is definitely the sweet spot with the 10x5. I found the MM boards sounded not just quiet, but a thin sound too. Yes, you can use them, but they dont sound great with the 10x5.

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Yes I have done with good results, but only when running a Stageline S direct from a 552, HC or SC, but not using the internal phono boards of any pre… I’d use 522 N or E in this situation as well.



Well, you did the test - that I didn’t…!! Having tried the DV10X into 72 with 323 E’s, I was pretty sure that 523E’s would work…!! And I knew fitting boards into an 82 was a bit of a faff.

My only remaining doubt for the OP, is how difficult or otherwise removing/fitting Phono boards in to an NAC52 is…?

I have the MM boards in my 82 and ran a high output MC (Goldnote Donatello red). It really didn’t fare that well compared to a Lejonklou riaa. It wasn’t just the level of amplification. It never made the sound come alive no matter how loud I was playing it. In the end I got a Goldnote PH10 which was much better than both. As it should of course given the price.

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It’s reasonably straightforward. One daughterboard goes on the top motherboard, the other underneath (there’s a cut-out for this). Just be sure that the pins all engage properly and that the securing tab is all the way through.

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I was thinking about the 52 being dual-mono and wondered how tricky it was to get at the lower motherboard.

When fitting/removing boards from my 82, my worry was the force needed to get the boards to ‘click’ into place, on to the White retaining/mounting ‘post’.

Here is a pc of my NAC82, sans cards here.
The 5 series Phono cards go top left - onto the 4 Gold pins and the White post.

(To release the cards from the white ‘post’ is just a matter of gently squeezing the post’s lugs, while gently lifting the card.)

See if you can possibly stretch to a Dynavector XX2MkII, which is a wonderful cartridge. I had three in succession before treating myself to a Te Kaitora Rua. I wouldn’t switch to another brand.

What record deck/tonearm are you using? (I ask, because Dynavectors can be difficult to match to tonearms. The ARO is perfect in this regard.)

I used 523Ss on my SuperCapped 82 with a 10x5 with really good results. The 'murk’of the 522s was gone, didn’t notice any clipping or distortion. In fact it was one of those, “Wow! What can I play next?”, experiences. :grin:

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Linn LP12 with Ittok LVIII. The XX2MkII would certainly require a new phono board in addition.

Fantastic and yes, that’s what you need to watch out for especially with 45s.



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Just noticed this thread. I use a DV17D3/Prefix S with my 52 Aux 2 and vol needs to be about 11 o’clock to match the line inputs which I have at just over 9 o’clock. If that helps.

Thanks Paul. I must admit, to my relief I haven’t yet experienced any of the issues mentioned by others when using vinyl, i.e. the sound lacking something or clipping/distortion, though I have yet to try 45rpm singles.

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