Naim & AV

The system pics shows that some people have integrated Naim Hifi with AV, others kept things separated.
In my case I tried to have my main Naim system integrated with a Marantz based 5.1 AV and fail, there were very audible ground loops, out of sync sound / image, then the subwoofer Kef broke, the Marantz went crazy, 2 no good repairs, almost broke the Dynaudios with the AV bypass stuff, in the end I finish having a Sony TV in the main room, Naim main system in other room, and the Hicute2 happilly conected with other Sony in the barbecue place, with a RCA/phone jack cable.
But it appears that some had success having their Naim main system integrated with their AV big screen.
What was the recipe for the sucess ?

In my case success was achieved by installation by my dealer, an Arcam AV processor and setting the AV input of my Naim pre amp to unity gain. It really is fantastic, even for regular TV. Painful as it can be, I’d encourage you to persist!


I, too, have had great results - first with a NAIT XS3 and currently with a NAC282 (Arcam AVR20 in both cases). Just followed the instructions and it worked… I had a ground loop with the XS3 (strangely not with the 282) and a cheap ground loop isolator from Amazon fixed it. Otherwise it has been hugely successful and pretty much painless.

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For 5.1 AV , with the Naim for the 2 frontal, you should have a separate amp for the rest.
Yes ?

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Yes, if you want more than stereo, you need a 5.1 (or greater) receiver to drive the surrounds/centre/sub etc. It also does the processing for the front pair but routes the signal via your (correctly) configured NAIT/NAC/SuperNait for which it takes over control of the volume - which is why there are so many cautionary messages about ensuring that your Naim amp/pre is correctly configured.

No problems here with Marantz NR1608 front pre-outs connected to the AV unity gain imput NAC112x/NAP150x. No buzz/humm/hiss what so ever. The Marantz powers the center, surround, dolby atmos and sub, the NAc112x/NAP150x powers the front channels.

I have an arcam 550 and a 252/300 naim system. The naim drives the main l and r speakers and the arcam drives the rest. The arcam 550 uses preamp outputs to the 250 av inputs. This uses a naim rca to din cable. Thus allows the arcam volume control to control the home theatre volume All of this works well. I needed to change the arcam remote and arcam 550 to a second channel to remove interference with the naim remote but this was the only challenge.

Then I use an ndx2 fir high quality music streaming.

Overall a great system for both theatre and high sq music.

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I added a surround sound to my stereo system because i did not want to be a selfish old git and let the rest of the family access for mainly TV and home theatre. The main system was (LP12(lingo+linto),CDS3(XPS2), 252(SC2), 300(300PS), headline(HC2) plus SL2s). Al connected up as normal. Arm lead earth lead left off linto because of earth loop. When connected to 252 earth post it seems to screw up the sound from the stereo.

I added a Marantz SR6003, UD7006. The high level outputs of the SR6003 drive a KEF iQ60c for centre, KEF eggs for surround L+R and the preouts driving the line level inputs of a B&W ASW 610 subwoofer. Also a chord crimson RCA to DIN goes to the AV input of the 252 configured for unity gain which in turn drives the 300 so that the SL2s are used as front L+R for the home theatre. There are HDMI input connections between the UD7006 and SAT Receiver to the SR6003. Also HDMI output of the SR6003 goes to the TV. Optical back from the TV to the SR6003. So sound from Netflix plus internet through the Samsung smart TV is via optical. UD7006 and SAT Receiver sound is via HDMI. I added an Auralic Altair G1 which does not use a signal ground reference like tge CDS3. The earth seens to ground the case and that’s it. The AV kit is not plugged into the same socket (single radial circuit) as the HiFi.

Like this no major problems with ground loops.

Hope this is helpful

Denon AVC-X3700H AV receiver with Naim gear as per profile.
Don’t want to jinx it but dead easy to do and no issues.
Works well although most “audiophiles” would not like my rack (includes av), power supply (Ifi Powerstation) and tv between main speakers.
For those compromises and room modes Naim gear is entry level but to me is relatively good value for money.

That´s very interesting Mtuttleb, and it was more or less what I intended to to.
The Naim kit was plugged in a direct circuit, the AV kit in normal circuit.
The Marantz AVR5008 was connected by RCA/DIN chord cable (I think I tried RCA/RCA too) to the AV input of the 282 configured in AV bypass / unity gain mode.
Then all the HDMI inputs came to the Marantz, one HDMI output to the TV (a Pioneer Kuro plasma at the time).
Even then there were ground loops, maybe because the RCA/DIN cable itself.
One question : Now with a Smart TV like my Sony, makes sense to route all the HDMI inputs to the TV, and having a HMDI ARC conection between TV and receiver ? That way no return optical necessary for Netflix.

Notice that I have a CDX2 too.

My receiver is old. Could it be that ARC is the issue? That’s an advantage with optical. The TV could be the source of the issues with HDMI feeds. However I’m guessing a bit here. I believe the issue is when there are two signal grounds like my LP12 and CDS3 for example. I suspect it has nothing to do with the receiver (unless it has something to do with ARC). Certainly not the bluray player. Also the SAT receiver. If you run off the cable that may cause issues. I did that once but had to use a ground isolator for the Coax

My question was only because JonathanH refered a AV processor and not a AV receiver.
I think he was talking about a receiver.

Yep apologies Arcam AVR850 is what I have

Ah. Understood

For Hi-fi my NAP160 is fed by my NAC72, for AV it’s fed by my oldie, but goodie Yamaha DSP-E800 decoder - sounds great!

When I first plumbed the NAP in place of the previous Audiolab my wife was in the middle of her ‘game of thrones’ phase and we were both startled by the improvement. I didn’t used to rate old school Dolby digital, but with every system improvement I have to admit it’s got better and better!

My first amp was a Audiolab8000A, good looks / build / etc , but nothing like the 2-hand 72+140 that came afterwards.

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Not being a fan of surround sound makes this integration easier in my system.

I run the AV devices either into the TV with an optical out to my DSM, or HDMI directly to the DSM, with fixed volume output. The DSM is also my digital music source.

That then feeds my 52, which is always used as a preamp (mine doesn’t have the unity gain bypass mod) and has other, analog audio sources connected to it.

The hardest thing was actually getting the Harmony remote to play nice with the DSM and 52.

Integrating is fine and should pose no technical issues is set up right. However, in my view, this really only suitable for AV as bolt-on second class citizen to the main stereo system. Good though it may sound.

Ultimately, the issues I have with integration are:

  • Seamless integration of sound not achieved across channels when using different speakers types, even from the same manufacturer unless actually from the same range. It’s hard to express how important this is to anyone who hasn’t heard that type of seamless integration. Even a lower end surround speaker package can maintain smoother convincing panning than mismatched high end speakers.
  • The ease of use factor. With a house full of people who all use the AV system, not having to think about switching the stereo amp over to a specific input to watch TV is a bonus. Yes there are nice remotes with macros that can do that. But none are anywhere near as nice as using the tiny clickwheel stick remote that comes with the TV that controls the AV amp over HDMI ARC.
  • The ease of change factor. Make a change to the hifi: no impact on surround. Make a change to the AV setup, no impact on the hifi.

I had an integrated system in the past when funds were tighter. Ultimately, I was the only one who’d dare touch it. Ever since, I’ve had full AV and stereo hifi living in the same room side by side and totally separate and it has been domestic harmony. Previously through using small wall mounted satellite speakers for 5 AV channels out of the way of my stereo music speakers. In the new property under construction, it is 7.2.4 ATMOS with all speakers in-wall. The stereo hifi speakers are the only ones allowed to get floor space.

I would rather do plain stereo from the TV and have no surround system than try and integrate two into one if I could not have two discrete systems. I figure, movies are either important enough for their own system. Or they aren’t in which case, you should be totally satisfied with the massive uplift a good stereo gives. Anything in between the two is a waste of time - in my opinion.


I have been through many iterations of trying to integrate hifi and av over the last 30 years or so and never has it been the seamless nirvana I wanted. I now have two separate systems in the same room. The av speakers are all the same make and range (MA Bronze). The hifi speakers are on wall brackets and the av below them on furniture. Not ideal but it’s the only compromise and doesn’t look bad. No plans to change this setup even though the 5si has av bypass capability.