Naim V1 DAC into a Nait 1 - anything to watch out for?

Just purchased an ex-demo V1 Dac to stream from a Mac Mini using Audirvāna Studio.

I’ll plugging this into an old Nait 1, any tips on connection or things to look out for ?

Many thanks

I do not aim to push you down a rabbit hole but improving the source reaps benefits when using the DAC-V1. If you do a ‘MAC Mini’ search over at the audiophilestyle site you should find some pointers there.

You might want to experiment with the signal ground switch on the V1. Unlike the later Naim amps the early Naits connected signal ground to mains earth, so even if you don’t get hum issues, you may get a slight improvement in SQ with the V1 set to floating, rather than chassis.

The usb connection is purported to be better than the optical/coax inputs.

Thanks for the replies

I will be using USB out from the Mini

I have been using V1 for like 4-5 years now with my SN2 and in the beginning I used a couple of usb cables between my mac book pro and the V1 — Chord C and a Vertere one, forgot its name, but it wasn’t cheap, the one with 2 separate leads. Both of them introduced noise into the DAC, it was audible through the speakers when I was touching the lap top. I then swapped them for an optical one and never had this issue ever since, SQ wise there is no difference between USB and optical.

How old’s the Mac Mini? If it’s from the era when they had an optical output, I’d give that a try. Years ago I used optical out from a headless Mac Mini into nDAC and was surprised how good the result was. Ripping a CD to the Mac and playing the rip sounded better than playing the CD on my CD5XS. The improvement was small but consistent over discs.


It’s an M1 Mac Mini, so I’ll be using USB

Understood. It was a real shame IMO when Apple dropped the optical digital output from Macs.


A shame yes, but fortunately they make them reliable enough to make them last for many years, that’s the reason I still keep my 2015 MB Pro. I think it was around that era when they stopped making the 3,5mm headphone jack to double as an optical output too.

Btw, I have some ancient Linn K20 speaker cable that still seems to be ok but my local dealer has suggested some Atlas Hyper 2.0 cables, 3.5m lengths, as an upgrade. The specs seem a little bit different but just wondered if there are any other Atlas speaker cable users with Naim ?

I don’t know why your dealer suggested that particular cable as it’s not a particularly good match for a Naim amp. The capacitance is quite high, and the inductance a bit low, which is not ideal.

That’s what I thought as well……

As Chris says, I wouldn’t use the Atlas cable with a Nait 1. Stick with the K20, or even better some NAC A5. It’s worth using Naim SA8 plugs to minimise strain on the Nait’s board mounted 4mm speaker sockets.

1 Like

I can’t help suspecting that your dealer is just hoping for an extra sale. I don’t think it’s going to make your Nait explode, but my gut feeling is that sticking with A4 will be fine. Always worth checking that the soldered joints are still good on an old cable though.

The V1 output is 2.1v and that is very high for the Nait inputs that were set for the lower outputs of source components of the day.
The volume control will be very sensitive going to very loud with very little dial movement. It also has a high possibility of showing up channel imbalance with the Nait volume pot in the first few mm’s of the dial movement.

You solve the problem with an attenuator, this reduces the input voltage as seen at the Nait input so the volume pot has more dial movement from back stop to acceptable high volume.
You can get can DIN cables with internal attenuators from Russ Andrews.
I made my own L-Pad attenuator for my Nait-2 & set it for 15dB attenuation. This takes the pot out of the imbalance area & has an easy to set volume control, but if I was doing it again I would go for something higher, 18dB or maybe up to 20dB.

1 Like

I would hope not - I think they sell Atlas with modern Naim which is less sensitive to speaker cable choice. Innocent mistake I think…….

Mike - That reminds me of another early Nait gotcha.

@Tenpercenter if you use the Tuner input (which I normally use when I get my Nait 1 out for a play), it’s L&R channels may be reversed in respect to the other inputs. Naim did eventually correct this error on later versions of the PCB (IIRC around v6 or 7) but it’s worth just checking if your Nait’s vintage means it has this ‘feature’ and you intend to use this input.

DAC-V1 has a variable output (pre-amp mode). The analogue volume pot is digitally controlled. This can be set to limit the output via 'MAX VOLUME; in the pre-out settings. One could use this to output to the NAIT. Naim claims there is no difference in circuitry, between their ‘FIXED OUTPUT’ setting and variable pre-amp setting, and that they should sound identical (though I thought I heard a difference, probably placebo!).
My setup display (with the smaller line spacing) has deteriorated and is unreadable. I had not noticed this deterioration, I just had the USB connector replaced! The volume limit topic is covered in their reference manual.

Thanks for all the replies.