Naim NDX 2 > Niimbus HPA US 4+ > Focal Utopia Headphone

My source is a Naim NDX 2 powered by a Naim XPS (non-DR) power supply.

My headphone is a Focal Utopia with a Danacable Lazuli Reference cable (3 meter, unbalanced).

It is now time for me to buy a dedicated headphone amplifier. (I am not interested in purchasing a headphone amplifier/DAC combo.)

I would like the headphone amplifier to have a form factor similar to the Naim NDX 2. (I am not interested in purchasing a large headphone amplifier with tubes.)

Finally, the headphone amplifier must have the scalability and class of the NDX 2 and the Focal Utopia headphone.

A dealer in Canada offered me a home demo of the Niimbus HPA US 4+ headphone amplifier/preamplifier. After a quick search I learned Niimbus is a brand made by Lake People in Germany. Niimbus is part of their “Ultimate Series”. They also make a series branded Violectric, as well as, various pro audio gear.

The Niimbus HPA US 4+ has a list price of $5,999.95 US funds.

The headphone amplifier/preamplifier measures 351mm x 82mm x 275mm.

I accepted my dealer’s offer to home demo the Niimbus HPA US 4+.

When I received the amplifier I connected the Naim NDX 2 to the Niimbus HPA US 4+ with a set of WyWires Silver RCA interconnects (1 meter).

The WyWires interconnects are made of 100% copper Litz wire and they deliver high bandwidth, stable resistance and frequency extension. As promised, they “get out of the way”.

I pasted a few FLAC files onto a USB thumb drive… I plugged the thumb drive into the Naim NDX 2… I pressed play…

I think there is synergy between the Naim NDX 2, the Niimbus HPA US 4+ and the Focal Utopia Headphones.

I am really enjoying this. :grinning:

I will post more thoughts after the set-up settles down.


I got a Bryston Bha-1a which is quite nice but i guess can not keep up with yours:) enjoy it!

I had the opportunity to demo both the Nimbus and new Headamp GSX Mini at the same time at CanJam NY in January of 2019 (I have attended the last 3 years). Once you finish breaking in the Nimbus and conclude your demo you should try to listen to the GSX Mini. That is what I purchased and it replaced a Moon 430HA. Headphones are (excluding my Stax) Utopia and Sony Z1R both which run Kimber Axios cable.
The Utopias are endgame for dynamic headphones.


I’d second the HeadAmp recommendation. I use one of their amps with the Utopias - very nice (and Jason is very helpful). Not heard the Niimbus though.


The Niimbus HPA US 4+ has settled into my system.

The Niimbus HPA US 4+ definitely has the scalability and class of the Naim NDX 2 and the Focal Utopia Headphone. I do not, in any way, feel the amplifier is limiting the performance of the source or the headphone.

For the first time, I feel I am hearing the full dynamic range the Focal Utopia Headphone is capable of producing. The low end frequencies have a tremendous amount of speed, detail and weight and the high frequencies are extended, detailed and airy.

The Niimbus HPA US 4+ delivers excellent layer separation and imaging without being analytical or fatiguing.

Also, the sustain, release and decay of the music is handled superbly.

The Niimbus HPA US 4+ three useful features.

(i) Adjustments can be made to the input pre-gain settings. There are eight input pre-gain settings available (-15dB, -12dB, -6dB, 0dB, +6dB, +12dB, +18dB, +24dB). The -dB settings make the amp “act a bit softer” while the +dB settings add “more juice” to the amp. (The descriptions are quoted from the Owner’s Manual.) The settings allow the user to match the amplifier with different headphones and to personal taste.

(ii) The amplifier is able to drive three headphones simultaneously (one balanced and two unbalanced outputs are available).

(iii) The amplifier has a Balance Control “to compensate moderate level differences between left and right channel”. (Again, the quote is from the Owner’s Manual.)

There are two more things about the Niimbus HPA US 4+ worth noting. The Volume Attenuator is very nice and the remote control is excellent.

I was able to squeeze more performance out of the Niimbus HPA US 4+ by swapping the stock power lead with a Naim Power-Line power cable. There is a noticeable uplift in performance with the Naim Power-Line.

Since the Niimbus HPA US 4+ is also a preamplifier, I purchased a Naim SNAIC (RCA > 4-pin DIN). I can now connect the Niimbus HPA US 4+ to my Naim NAP200 power amp.

Next I will compare the Niimbus HPA US 4+ to the Naim NAC202 (with NAPSC, HiCapDR).

My source is a Naim NDX 2 powered by a Naim XPS (non DR) power supply.

It is connected to a Niimbus HPA US 4+ headphone amplifier/preamplifier with WyWires Silver RCA interconnects (1 meter).

The preamplifier is connected to a Naim NAP200 power amplifier with a Naim RCA to DIN SNAIC.

The power amplifier is connected to Graham Audio LS5/9 BBC Monitors with Naim NAC A5 speaker cable.

Comparing the Niimbus to a NAC202 powered by NAPSC and HiCapDR power supplies…

(i) The soundstage is large and open.

(ii) The detail retrieval is finer.

(iii) The high frequencies are extended and they have greater clarity.

(iv) The low frequencies are deeper and controlled.

The presentation of the Niimbus is dynamic and forward or less relaxed.

I certainly could live with the Niimbus in my system, but the all Naim set-up has better integration. My listening room is small and I sit close to my speakers, so I prefer the relaxed presentation of the NAC202. If I had a bigger listening room or faster, state-of-the-art speakers I might prefer the Niimbus.

With the NAC202 I think I have the right preamplifier for my speakers and my room.

This was a fun and rewarding experience.

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