Naim 300 dr with linn kdsm, adsm, meridian 818v3 or ultradac

hi all,
i’m using a naim 300dr with a meridian 568 and would like to upgrade the preamp. I’d like to take box count into account and only stream using Roon. As the 272 successor is not on the horizon, I’m looking for an alternative. Does anyone have experience with Naim 300 dr combined with a Linn (katalyst) Kdsm or Adsm. If someone has experience with a meridian 818v3 or Ultra Dac, i’m also keen to hear about it.

regards and thnx,

@bailyhill could respond to you. He uses a Meridian dac and before had Naim gear too ( Nd555).
I don’t remember someone here driving a nam amp with linn source directly. Perhaps @TiberioMagadino knows something about that, he has a linn dsm.

I have used a Linn Klimax Kontrol with NAP200 and it worked well without any obvious problems. I had previously used a NAC282 with SuperCap, but had problems with Linear PS buzz. I swapped out the NAP 200 for Linn KCT before moving to the DSM. The main drivers for the move were Linn’s Urika II for the LP12 and Space Optimisation V2 which made a big difference. This is the best vinyl replay I have heard at home,

I can see no reason why a DSM would not work well directly in to a NAP. I also used my NAP200 with Chord DAVE and it worked well enough. I think the Etude sounds even better and has the extra power I needed to drive inefficient speakers. So all in all the NAP200 was/is an excellent and versatile amplifier.

I know Naim likes its power amplifiers used with its preamplifiers, but in my experience, the NAP 200 works well with alternative front ends. NAC 282, UQ, KK and DAVE.

hi Tiberio and Frenchrooster

your reactions are very helpful. Sounds useful to explore these options further. Wonder why there is no thread like: best Roon streamer/ preamp to go with naim poweramp. I would be interested to learn what to take into account - like impedance matching and lots of stuff I didn’t know was relevant.

Thnx again!


The vast majority here use Naim pre with Naim amp, because it’s recommended by Naim.
You can see in the search topic some threads as non Naim pre with Naim amps, and a lot of Roon.

Hello Ignace—Bailyhill here. Yes I went from an ND555 to the Meridian Ultra Dac. With the ND555 I was using a DC47 Townsend Passive Pre. I went from 3 boxes to 1 box. The ultra is very nice. Its also MQA full decode which is the best to my ears. I have it driving a Krell KSA 80B which Drives my one ohm Apogee Scintillas. No experience with Ultra driving any other amps–but its a great source. I use Nucleus+ and Roon. No vinyl, no NAS, no downloads, but a Unity Core to rip cd’s/

Hi Bailyhill, thnx for sharing. Nice setup! I was wondering when going from 3 boxes to 1 box, were there any real alternatives to the Ultra Dac? And … just out of curiosity, is the MUD on par with the ND555 setup when considering Red Book?

Hello Ignace–I had a Mytek Manhattan II that I tried to dip my feet into MQA. It was very nice and convinced me that I wanted to sell all my gear and go with the ultimate MQA system. I tried MSB and that was good. Then the MUD as you say, and that ticked off all the boxes for me and the sound was better than I was expecting. I had also reasearched dCS and Brinkman–both fine units I am sure. At that time, about 6 months ago, dCS had just started to emerge and the reviews were not out yet. I could not find one locally for eval. I think they are very good units. The fact that several experienced forum members here have migrated to the DAVE, and Linn, suggest that there was more to be had than the ND555 was offering. I would have waited for an outboard box or a firmware update from Naim, but I went directly to the factory support and there was no indication that they were considering it at that time. I am 75 years young, and cannot wait forever. So I pulled the plug on the MUD and its been wonderful. Its the end game for me.

As to RedBook–I use a Unity Core and rip cd’s to it. When I auditioned the MUD, it was clear that their apodizing filter was doing something much to my liking. I mostly look for MQA material these days, as its wonderful. However, I must admit that lately, with some jazz and some country vocals, I am finding some older material at 44/16 that sounds mighty fine. I would guess its the MUD and the apodizing filter as well as other things that they do but do not talk about–and of course the mixing engineers did a great job. Have no regrets. Would do the same thing again.

Recently considered adding an M Scaler, but went for a pair of Vandersteen Subwoofer 3’s instead. It should help both the bottom end and and top end according to what I have read. They are being built now, and should ship soon. Then the fun will begin. I will post on my Subwoofer findings in the future.

Also considered adding another power supply for the ND555, and NAC552, its power supplies—but that was cutting into my Tesla fund and it was exceeding my WAF box limit:smiley: