New to Naim

Hi Naim Community - I have joined the world of Naim. I have spend many years being unhappy with my hi-fi set up. Happily, I decided that to start the necessary upgrading that I would replace my Roksan K3 amp with a SN3. Clearly an amp which costs 3 times as much should be better, but I am amazed by how much better. Also the power of the amp - far more than before. It is day and night. I need to break it in and let things settle down but I finally think I have the right amp. I need a little advice on the next small steps. Firstly speaker wire - I have my speakers connected with Linn K400 wire in bi-wire (not bi amped). The wires are not the same length. One is 1.50m and the other 2.25m. Looking at the community, Linn K400 is not a good choice and bi wired even less so and I should buy say 4m of Naim speaker cable - is this worth it. Secondly, I have a PT One with a Dynavector cartridge which sounds great out of the SN3 phono input and a Clearaudio Concept MC which I use an Arcam Rphono pre amp for. The Rphono is a solid piece of kit and you can adjust capacitance, gain and resistance which is ideal. However, it uses a simple wall transformer. I am thinking perhaps a second hand Stageline N might be worth it - given it can be powered off the SN3. What do you think on these 2 points ? Grateful for all insights.

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My usual response–what is your system sitting on? If your PT One is sitting on something rickety, or if it shares a surface with, god forbid, your speakers, optimize what you have with a decent rack. This generally makes a profound difference. It will upgrade everything you already have,
and you can reevaluate your weak spots from there. Have fun!

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Several points, not in any order as (with a couple of noted exceptions listed first), the order of importance will depend on you room, furnishings and your personal tastes.

Bi-wiring - a definite NO.
The electrical load on the amplifier presented by bi-wiring is detrimental to sound and may increase the effective HF load on the amp.

Proper support for turntables - a definite YES.
This IS important

A proper rack for the electronics:
Typically, this will ‘tighten up’ the sound reducing the ‘clutter’ effect, and may also reduce any tendency to artefacts.

Speaker cables:
As you’ll be changing the speaker cables to remove the bi-wiring and increasing the length of the cables to at least 3.5m, getting a better cable will help. There are many suggestions, and some are likely benefit from using at least 5m to get the right HF load on the amplifier - a minimum length based on observation of the construction of the cable is noted in brackets.
Naim NAC A5 (3.5m+)
DNM Resolution (3.5m+) - this cable has good resolution and dynamics but tends to be light in the bass.
Tellurium Q Black II (3.5m+)
Various Chord cables (5m+)
Kudos KS1 (6m+)
There are LOTS of other good speaker cables as well. (Note that even for the shorter lengths quoted (3.5m+) increasing this to more than 5m gives further increased sound quality.)

Interconnect cables from the RPhono to the SN3:
It’s worth getting a good, well made interconnect RCA Phono to 5pin DIN (Naim style connection) in place of using RCA to RCA.

Linear power supply for the RPhono:
It may be beneficial to power this with a linear PSU, but the degree of improvement is unpredictable. There are several options if you choose to pursue this.

Room treatment:
Things such as bass traps, diffusers at 1st reflection points etc… These changes can make a dramatic improvements to the sound, but this is a complex area of work.


Welcome to the forum I have only just rejoined having had Naim gear at the heart of my systems for over fourty years. You will find plenty of friendly advice and interesting discussions anything from cables to full upgrades. Just had my Nap200 amp back from Darran at Class A Audio after a full recap and service and the one thing among many I love about Naim is the longevity my 1984 Hi Cap is still going strong. So welcome and my only comment on cable is same lengths for both speaker feeds and audition the Witchhat Audio speaker cable SN2 or Naims own. Cheers back to listening.

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As has been mentioned, bi-wiring is a definite no-no with Naim. I would recommend 5m or more per channel of NACA5. See the FAQ here for info re. speaker cabling with Naim power amps.

As for the idea of a Stageline N, there’s no need here as the internal MM phono stage in the Supernait is essentially the equivalent, and you already have that.

The rPhono is a decent bit of kit for the money but have you tried a step up transformer with the SN3’s phono stage? Otherwise there’s a Stageline S or K for MCs.


I hadn’t thought of using a step-up transformer with the SN3 - that’s interesting and might give very good value for money.
Sometimes the ‘old’ solutions can be really good when updated with modern components & manufacturing techniques.

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Just to say welcome, otherwise you’ve received some pretty good advice.

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Just spent the last five hours listening to Yazoo, Mary Chapin Carpenter and bowie plus Paul Draper ex Mansun cried a lot over Bowie, s Shadow Man (Toy Album) but that is what Naim system offers pure enjoyment and by the way I discovered after 3 years of ownership that there were covers on the plastic covers of my Q Acoustic 20 Concept stand mounters perhaps music over looks!!! Have a brilliant weekend every Naim owner just moving onto Stevie Nicks best of with the amazing Tom Petty


Welcome to the Naim forum, when I first joined I used the search feature to review gear and topics I was interested in.

There is a wealth of information worth taking the time to discover and read.


Hope you find the forum fun and interesting but don’t let the techno spoil what Naim is all about the music!


Hi - many thanks for the reply. Because I was so unhappy with the sound of my system I had upgraded a number of things already including buying a rack. My main sources (Clearaudio Concept, Roksan CD and Pioneer DVD) sit on an Atacama Evoque Eco rack. The Clearaudio also sits on “Funk Feet”. My SN3, AV Amp, PT One and Roksan DAC sit on Atacama Apollo Storm 6 racks. I think these are a good starting point.

Hi Xanthe - many thanks for taking time to reply. Thanks to you and others, I have already ordered 2 x 4m of Naim speaker wire and will get my soldering iron out and the K400 will be consigned to the cellar. Unfortunately, I had a typo in my original post (I am still learning) and I meant to say - should I change the RPhono for a Stageline S (not N) to take advantage of the better power supply and Naim connector. Currently RPhono (and all of the analogue connections) uses Chord Clearway RCA cables. So I need to weigh the cost of a new RCA Phono to Naim Chord versus a Stageline S. I don’t have a feel for whether the Stageline S would be an upgrade to the RPhono.

Hi Richard - many thanks for replying. It is a great welcome to have so much advice. The Naim speaker wire is already ordered ! There is a typo in my question - I should have said a Stageline S to replace the RPhono which would mean I have the Naim pin din connection and a much better power supply and liberate an input. I have read a thread or 2 on the “S” being well suited to the Clearaudio Concept MC. But I am not sure if there is any sonic improvement over the RPhono which sounds good through the SN3 already.
The built in MM phono stage makes my PT One sound great. Very pleased with it ! No need to do anything there.

I forgot to answer you - I have not tried a step up transformer with the SN3 phono stage - until you mentioned it and used Google I did not know you could simply buy a device to boost the MC signal to MM levels and use the MM Phono input. I could then use the RPhono for the PT One on another input. Do you know of a transformer that works well with the SN3 ?

I forgot to mention that my listening room has concrete external walls on 2 sides and a wood floor laid on concrete. So when I first set up everything 3 years ago, it sounded absolutely awful. Glassy treble and reflections. A large carpet was the first addition. Then I went through the hit and miss process of using sound absorbing foam to stop reflections from the first reflection point and also installed bass traps in the corners. The balance between too much foam making the room is dead and not enough foam leaving too many reflections was difficult. It certainly improved things greatly in the end, but it still was not engaging me and now the SN3 has transformed things.

Thanks - its a great community and there is so much good advice available. Naim cable is ordered !

I haven’t tried it myself. I’ve only used step ups on other kit. The best step ups cost big money but then you have the diminutive Ortofon T5s (and Empire and Sony equivalents) which just plug inline between your tonearm cable plugs and the phono stage sockets, which perform surprisingly well considering their very modest cost secondhand. Another inexpensive step up that’s worth a go is the Audio Technica AT630 - this is probably the best value step up and one I owned for many years.

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Hi Richard - many thanks for the suggestions. I have thought about the various options and I think I will source a second hand Stageline S as this costs the same as picking up an AT 630. I have a question - I had a look at the specs of the Stageline S and the load capacitance is 6800 pF. This appears to be 10 to 15 times the options on the RPhono which varies from 120pF and 440 pF. The various blogs suggest more load capacitance will attenuate the high end. Why does the Stageline have such an apparently high load capacitance ? Many thanks for your insights. Also I found the thread on soldering the NAC A5 cable which is very useful indeed.

Hi the capacitance on the S is 6.8nF. Capacitance is different with an MC. I would guess those values on the RPhono relate more to MM, as they would have little to no effect with an MC.

Hi Richard - many thanks. I checked the instruction manual and you are correct. It is not explained in the text but is tucked away in the specifications. Ironically input capacitance for MC is 1nF which the same as the Stageline K. I am learning so much on the forum.