Nac 552 connect headphones

Good morning all, only an occasional “poster” usually when I’m stuck ! But a regular visitor.

So, I am trying to connect a 3rd party headphone amp to my Nac 552 and I am completely confused, I need step by step help please :grinning:
Firstly I have a 5pin din to 2 rca cable with the direction arrow running from the din to rca (so hopefully that’s correct!) but what din socket at the back of the 552 does it connect to? I tried it in the 4 input (which I thought was the tape out) but nothing ? Sound kept coming through the speakers ? I only listen to vinyl, no other source connected, so with regards the two banks of inputs / outputs on the front, how should they be set ? Currently I have input set on aux 1 (for the superline / supercap ) and all good on that front but how do I stop the sound coming through the speakers ?
So specifically, what I’m after is 1) which is the correct socket at the back, and 2) which is the correct button set up at the front ?
As always any help would be much appreciated!

The FAQ here should help out;

Note that you will need to connect to one of the in/out sockets using either an interconnect specially wired to take the rec out signal from the DIN pins or using a fully wired DIN5 - 4 x RCA tape interconnect, even if only using one of the two sets of RCA Phonos. A regular DIN-RCA Phono interconnect won’t work as the DIN will have the Play and not the REC pins connected.

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Thanks Richard, most appreciated. I think it may be a cable issue then? Would you be able to tell me if a chord clearway 5 pin din to 2 rca is the correct cable to use for this ? I assumed it was

Chord Company Shawline 1.2m Special Record/Headphone Cable
Wired Pins 1+ 4 and pin 2 Common

This is the one I use. I’m sure a similar configuration can be ordered in any of their ranges.

You’ll need to check with Chord that the REC pins are wired. They may not be unless it was specifically configured for a record/headphone amp purpose.


Thankyou, most appreciated. It seems like I may have the incorrect cable, oh well at least I know now.
So with regards what I need to do with regards the “working” once I plug it in, I just need to set the bottom row of buttons to the “tape” and then I should get the sound through the headphones as opposed to the speakers, would that be correct?

The bottom row of buttons selects the source you wish to route to the out of a suitably enabled in/out input. Obviously ensure that the rec circuitry is not muted.

I feel 100% sure that didn’t happen! But that’s very helpful
I assumed that I would be able to simply buy an of the shelf 5 pin din to rca cable and job done, looks like I was badly mistaken :grinning: still live and learn, luckily the cable didn’t cost me anything.


You will need to press mute on the top row or you will have both speakers and headphones working, from whichever sources you have selected as input/output.


Perfect, thanks one and all. Very helpful when I was in headphone distress !

I will seek out a cable that I can use, gotta be careful though to make sure I get exactly the correct one

Have a word with your dealer.

I bought a Chord Crimson 2xRCA to DIN5 cable and my dealer had it rewired to the correct pins for using as a DIN5 to 2xRCA cable for use with my headphone amp.

Slightly related to my original subject!
Now, I think I am correct in saying this but I wanted to double check. I believe from reading one of the posts on the naim uniti atom HE thread is that by using a “configured” 5pin din to 2 rca cable you can connect a Nac 552 into the atom HE ? I think I’m 99.999999% sure of this but I wanted to double check
Thanks !

I assume here you’re trying to use the Atom HE as just a regular HP amp. In which case, I guess it would be possible to take the REC out signal from the NAC552 into the Atom HE analog input on RCAs. To do that you would need a DIN-RCA tape patch lead or DIN-RCA where the DIN has the REC pins (as opposed to PLAY pins) connected.

More detail here;

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If this is what you’re doing, I’d be massively interested to learn how you find things sound vs the Atom HE in standalone mode. I may well try this myself.

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I guess the main potential issue performance-wise would be that the Atom digitises the analog input so it would run through an A-D/D-A stage.


Thankyou Richard for the responses. I thought I could take it, but it’s worth getting a second opinion. I was toying with the Atom HE as I really love the focal MG clear, and I know that naim and focal are now “joined” to some degree! So synergy should be good
But I also take up the point you make about the digitisation of the signal, I have read about that on other forums.
I had the Lehmann audio linear on dem with the MGs and I really liked the combo, but given my current system and the fact that due to personal changes I can only really play through the speakers for 50% of the time, so that leaves roughly 50% of my time will be with phones, am I doing a “disservice” to the signal by having the lehmann ? Should I be going for something like a benchmark ? So difficult to audition these things.
I will probably skip the atom, I have no interest in streaming, I’m a vinyl only bloke :-), very confused as to what headphone amp to get

I have been using a Violectric HPA V281 for a while and can highly recommend it.
The 281 is not in production anymore but Violectric have several options. I used a Naim HeadLine/Supercap before and I very much prefer the Violectric. I also have a 500-system.

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Hi and thankyou for the recommendation. I did look at violectric, they certainly get excellent reviews,but the problem for me is finding a dealer that stocks them so I can do a home dem? Even when I look on the net, not many places stock that brand and certainly the two dealers that are close to me do not.
Following the golden naim rule “ try before you buy” it’s not easy.

Try before buy, but also try with your chosen headphones as a pair. I didn’t do this and it took me a while to rectify and get the sound I wanted, even though the amp and headphones were individually excellent they have to complement each other.