Non-naim preamp to NAP500DR

Please tell me what to modify to the nap 500dr in order to connect to my passive preamp XLR connectors.

What is the pre-amp you are using? You say it is passive and uses XLR outputs - I assume they are balanced?

Frankly, it doesn’t sound like an ideal combination - Naim power amps don’t work so well with passive pr-amps, for starters - and may not be worth the expense and effort of having some suitable interconnects made up. Note that the NAP500 uses Cannon XLRs but they are single ended (NOT balanced - do NOT connect a balanced interconnect) and they are handed (see pin layout in the picture below);

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Yes balanced passive preamp connect to a balance DAC.
From the picture you posted, i assume just switch the pin 2 and 3 wire on the channel 2?

And yes i know NAIM products are single ended.

Please do not fiddle with the internals of your NAP500, discussions about this are not allowed here.

Best approach would be to have your cables made up with the correct pin alignment (corresponding with the back of the NAP500)

Will you be using balanced to single ended 1:1 transformers on the balanced XLR outputs? It will make the wiring somewhat easier and may very well perform better.

sorry I don’t understand??

What is the DAC/pre-amp you will be using?


Goldpoint sa1x

If it cant be done wont be buying the 500DR

OK thanks. I really don’t think this will be the best combination for your money. The NAP500 is designed to be used with a Naim pre-amp - the better the pre-amp, the better really, so think in terms of at least a NAC252, better yet, a NAC552. Of the pre/power partnership, the pre-amp is much the most demanding part. Take as an example, a NAP500 power amp partnered with a NAC122x pre-amp and Flatcap2x power supply vs. a NAC552 pre-amp partnered with a NAP150x power amp. Performance-wise, the latter combination is way, way ahead of the former and just so much more engaging to listen to. And that’s with a top quality source of at least a similar level to the NAC552 or NAP500. I’m not sure that using such an inexpensive source here will give the best result for your investment.

I would suggest you make an appointment with a local Naim dealer and then go along and listen to some of the options.

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Given that your DAC has a single ended RCA output, and a volume control, do you really need the passive preamp, which complicates things by having only balanced output which is not a match for the 500?

Having said that, a few people have reported good results using a passive preamp into a Naim power amp, but it didn’t work for me when I tried a Townshend Allegri. I certainly wouldn’t risk buying a 500 without a careful home demo to be sure that it works well in your system. I’m also dubious about the use of a £20k power amp with sub£1k components upstream. It seems like a poor balance.

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