Naim 252 speaker hissssssssss

Hi, I need some help.
I’m experiencing a constant hiss from my speakers when my system is not muted. It is audible from my listening position - which is about 3 meters from my speakers. My speakers have a 88db sensitivity. Silent passages with classical music are not dead silent.
The hiss is constant - independent from volume level.
My system comprises a 252 + SC (non DR) + 300DR + NACA5 + Naim din/xlr. The 300DR is from 2018. Speakers are Triangle Duetto. I’m using the RCA input on my 252 - not the DIN ones. The 252 + SC are old but have been serviced by Naim in December 2020. The hiss was already apparent before the servicing. I just hoped it would disappear when serviced.
When I use a meridian 568 as preamp with the 300DR, there is silence though.

Anyone any ideas which might help to reduce the hiss?


Thanks for saving me from having to ask the question. New 252 and SCDR here, and a new 300 DR. Speakers have sensitivity (1W@1M) of 89 dB and I am 2.6 meters away. So all pretty comparable to you. I am using all DIN inputs though (and RCA-DIN from the phono pre)

I have a slight hiss too, like you independent from volume but goes away on mute. I wouldn’t say that I can “hear” it from the listening position, or only if I ensure that the room is as silent as it can be and I don’t breathe. Otherwise it’s more a little awareness of its presence, but really only when not playing music. I don’t notice it when there is silence within the music. (Plus I have an open kitchen adjacent to the living room and the fridge does its thing anyway).

[Edit: Now that you made me to look for it :wink: I guess I can somewhat hear it from listening position, but below a level that I find bothering but this is surely also a question of taste]

Before the 252 arrived, it was much more silent when having another unit in front of the 300. This was first a Bluesound Node 2i and then a Nova (all while first preparing and then waiting for the 252). The hiss was not totally gone but much less. I considered this the well known Naim power amp hiss.

I was a bit surprised that it got louder with the 252. However, shortly after it arrived the 252 went back to the distributor (minor thing, the low-volume balance of the volume poti was just too bad, must have been one of the worst ones Naim received from Alps). They replaced the poti and did a full check, so as the hiss was the same after it came back, I have to assume this is expected - which I suppose is supported by yours doing it after Naim service.

It does not bother me, but I get that it would if I could hear it like you, e.g. with more sensitive speakers or in a very silent room. It’s on my list to compare with the dealer’s unit next time I go there. I never noticed it there in the past, but I didn’t look for it

I have a 20 year old 252/SC/250 (soon to be serviced). There’s a very slight hiss from the speakers which appears to be coming from the power amp as its still there when volume control is all the way down. Can only hear it with my ear up against the tweeter. So I don’t think your 252 should be doing this, especially if you can hear it over the music.

Thanks. Does yours go away when muting the 252 with the mute button? Ours does, and also it was not there with different front ends, so is not coming from power amp (or at least much less as I described)

I maybe wrong but I am sure this is completely normal and has been spoken about before. My 282 has a hiss from speakers also when not muted.


Cool, thanks. I did search when I noticed it but did not find anything useful, but the search terms are necessarily awfully common. Didn’t open a thread because personally I am more interested and not really bothered, so at least I wanted to compare the dealer’s demo before saying anything

Actually I am confused by all this back and forth over recent months. I did have the dealer’s 252 while mine was being sent back, and its volume poti was dead center down to zero and the hiss was the same

Yup, a low level slight hiss is quite normal with Naim. Some bright speakers may exacerbate it, but I can hardly hear it from a few metres away with my own SL2s.


For what it’s worth I also have a hiss as described above with 552/300 and no change with 500.Also had it with 272. Only really noted in a quiet room without music playing

Both Suedkiez and I have had significantly less hisssss when using the 300DR with another preamp than the 252. But it’s also remarkable that the hiss is kind of irrespective of volume.
I know for a fact that my DR300 is not broken - as the hiss vanished again when using a non Naim preamp (while my 252+sc were being serviced).
As the apparent hiss is constant, I would be looking for another constant in the 252-300 chain. As it is not the signal, it must be related to grounding - which is kind of constant. It doesn’t surprise me that the grounding could be kind off crappy - with the nap-ps-nac-sc-several-burndy’s in the equation. This might explain why many users don’t have any problems, and only hear a hiss when getting really close to the speaker - even ones with highly sensitive speakers. Their combo has been executed fairly well. It also explains that many have hiss issues - it is almost a reported Naim trait. It also explains why Suedkiez’ replacement of the 252 did not help very much and resulted in the same hisssssss.
But anyway - when in error, it takes quite an effort to find the error in the crappy combo’s.
I’m sure it can be solved. Yup. I’m quite positive the technicians in Salisbury know where to look for when they have a complete combo in their hands.

Apart from the Aria-to-252 RCA-DIN, my whole system is cabled as per Naim spec and I have a MusicLine PowerIgel Plus where all the mains leads end in the same spot, so I doubt it is any grounding etc., and my hiss at least seems entirely comparable to Richard’s. Of course your speakers are 1 dB more sensitive which may well make enough of a difference, at least combined with maybe a bit more sensitivity to it (people are not the same wrt hiss, just like some love vinyl rustling, some don’t care, and some are allergic)

You are right on all points :wink: . It would explain different reports from different users. I guess it doesn’t explain why using other preamps with the DR300 results in significantly less hiss.
I would be happy with some tips which might reduce the hiss. Maybe use some special kind of cable dressing or maybe use some kind of damping, etc. Anything which might help.

If the 252 hisses, it does explain.

Music helps :notes: :trumpet: :drum: :oil_drum: :guitar: :musical_note: :wink:

You seem to conclude that the problem is with the 252/SC because a different pre-amp does not hiss with the rest of your system. Have you tried the 252 with a different system and power amp? Does it still hiss then?

If the 300 did not hiss (or much less) with other pres, why would it with the 252?

And I conclude this because I know 2 that do, both new - mine and the dealer’s, at least in my entirely new system. Mine was doublechecked by the German distributor. Plus the OP’s that always did it and still does it after service by Naim. Plus others in this thread. Plus Richard saying that it’s normal.

Do you know a 252 or 282 that does not?

Neither my 252 nor my 282 hiss at all (nor my NAC32/NAC42, NAD 3020B, Rega Brio-R or Denon stereo amps (forget which model) or Pioneer and Yamaha AV receivers for that matter). My HiCap DR and a NAP 250.2 have a bit of a low hum, but that is possibly due to sloppy cable dressing.

If it helps, everything is installed on full-fat Fraim and fed by various MusicLine and Wireworld power strips with standard Naim cables and PowerLines.

Tinnitus might be hiding something from me, but my wife, friends and various kids have only ever complained that the music is simply too loud for their ears.

Interesting regarding your 252 and 282. We are all aware that other pres don’t. But what remains, then, is that Richard said this:

I have olive 52/135s into Kudos Titan T88s - only hear hiss if I put my ear 6 inches from the drivers ( tweeter specifically)
I would be unhappy hearing hiss from listening position.

My tinnitus and Spendor speakers probably eliminate any perceivable hiss, except perhaps for live recordings by Jeff Buckley, all of which seem to be a bit tizzy.

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In the last month I just had to try stuff to deal with the hiss. I did not reduce the hiss (yet). But I did make some progress. Found out that there might be a way to reduce the constant pre-amp-induced hiss: use a 10dB attenuator on the power amp input. But didn’t find a fitting attenuator though. And of course had to try some other stuff too. I tried a Furutech NCF Clearline. A nice improvement. I also tried the Witchhat Morgana din-xlrs. An even better improvement. Kept them both. Hiss not reduced. But loved the music.