Naim stage line N (moving magnet) volume - gain

Hi there,

I have noticed that when I listen to digital sources (DAC) connect to my NAC 202 / NAP 200, the volume knob is between 8 and 9 o’clock for my desire listening volume. However, when I listen to analogue sources (vinyl) using the Stageline - N, I have to crank the volume knob up to 11 o’clock to listen at the same volume as the digital source. Is that common? For comparison, I hooked up a rega MM preamp to the NAC 202 (via RCA - ext 2) and that doesn’t happen. With that combination, both sources match at volume level.

Also, I noticed that with the volume knob at 11 o’clock (ext 2 input /stageline) without music playing more noise comes out of the speakers than at 8 o’clock

In my experience the Stageline N Is not so great on dynamics and gain level. Probably 322 & 522 phono cards were better on that. However, Nait50 phono input seems much improved on gain level and engagement

I find a big difference on any source when I use dins but all is restored with RCAs.
Dins are deaf. :wink:

I think this is to be expected - your digital sources have a much higher output than the Stageline.


The stageline N has a gain of 35dB, on the low side for a MM phonostage. I ran one with a Decca cartridge (5mV) alongside a superline of gain 64dB with an Ortofon SPU Royal N (0.2mV) and the Decca was a bit quieter than the Ortofon. Both required more volume than CD or streamer but then CD output was originally set high to try and make the format sound impressive against vinyl and it stuck.

All sounds to be Normal For Naim. The problem is really with the high output of digital sources into the relatively sensitive Naim Line inputs vs the lower gain of the Phono inputs. Just how it is.

I believe that @110dB has said that the relative gains have been altered on the NC range, to (partly) address this…?

A possible solution for High Output MC cart users is to fit MC boards instead of MM, where separate internal boards are used. Not possible on a 202.

Really? The specs say 60db gain for the StageLine.

For the S and K but the N is for moving magnet

Audio |Input Sensitivity|
K & S 100μV,
E 400μV,
N 2mV|

Audio Outputs Gain
N 35dB at 1kHz,
K & S 60dB at 1kHz
It’s not quoted for the E.

E boards work rather well with High Output MC carts…

I use a DV 10X into 523 E’s in my NAC 82. Gives a much better match with CD , volume wise.

The E gain is 4 times less than S/K so I calculate the E gain to be 12 dB less - so 48dB.

The E boards are spec’d for medium output moving coils. The N boards are spec’d for MM, MI, HOMCs. Some folks have reported good results with E boards and HOMCs but, really, I would have thought that combination would be boomy and dull(?)

Well… I am not the only Forum user running a DV High Output MC into Naim E boards.

Your thought - is your thought… :thinking: