Phono Stage (Pre-Amp)

A Hicap can only power one device. If you use it on a Supernait, the Stageline can still be powered from the Supernait Aux 2 DIN socket.

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mpw, the Supernait was designed with the AUX2 to power a Stageline if need be, so I see no issue with that, whether on its own or with the pre-amp powered by the Hicap.

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I used the 17D3 and before that 17D2s for a couple of decades, mostly with a Tom Evans phonostage, the Michell iso. (Tom supplied to populated boards Michell put them in their boxes and sold them.) This was replaced with a superline 12 years ago and the superline is going nowhere, except maybe for a second service in another 12 years time. Try 470R loading with a superline and with an Aro I found 470pF beneficial but that will depend on arm cable capacitance.

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For me I use a Tom Evans Mastergroove SR
with an active 500 system
I used a Superline / Supercap DR with the special plugs and as good as that was I wanted something extra to match the level of the rest of the amps and didn’t feel this was going to come from Naim



@Richard.Dane and other members…

I wanted to to go a bit deeper

My nagaoka MP110 input recommended load resistance is 47K ohm and input capacitance is between 150 pF to 200 pF

Now the input capacitance is arrived at by adding the capacitance of the tonearm = 130 pF in my case ( origin Live Silver tonearm 1 meter long ) and 100 pF default capacitance of my phonostage = total 230 pF

This is close to the 150 pF to 200 pF as mentioned in the cartridge specs

so am i to conclude that my cart and tonearm and well matched to my phono ??

I use a Belden 8402 interconnect from the phono to the Naim SN2 - fyi.

In case of the Naim stageline - N - the input load option is mentioned as 470 pF

so i will have to have a higher capacitance tonearm cable or add capacitance to the phonostage for matching…

am i correct in this thinking ?


I wouldn’t sweat it too much MPW. These things are general guidelines. A bit more or less capacitance either way will have an effect on the top end of the cart, but like everything else it’s all about the sum of the parts and the final result.


Using Cyrus phono signature with psxr2 power supply.
(Not with 500 series alas)

Wow, I just noticed your post, varyat. I’d love to hear your impressions of the Whest Titan Pro and the Allnic H-7000, in the context of your 500-level system. Those are some serious phono stages!

I’ve had to give up on ever auditioning a SuperLine in my system or otherwise. I’m now auditioning the Boulder 508 at home and will have it for a week or two. So far I’m quite impressed with it.

Hello AHT,
Actually I’m quite surprised that more Naim owners do not use Whest phono stages…Very Naim-like qualities of speed, dynamics and boogie. The Titan Pro is my second Whest stage and I rate it very highly. I am considering the Whest Ref MC atm as a final upgrade. James at Whest is a pleasure to deal with and can modify loading/gain to suit your cartridge needs.
The Allnic is an entirely different animal. Deep, deep immersion with huge soundstage and very sweet top end. Unlike the Whest, the Allnic puts you mid-hall in its’ presentation- front row with the Whest :grinning: Acoustic, voices are first rate with the Allnic but it does not have the driving leading edge that some music really thrives on. Very quiet, very black background.
I run two decks and this allows me to have the best of both worlds for various music genres.I am a big proponent of spending a sizable sum on your phono stage and IC to the preamp. Changes here can make a very significant difference. I would go as far as say that I would use a lower spec MM cartridge with a great phono preamp vs a higher spec MC cartridge with an average phonostage. To my ears, the phono stage is critical to get the best out of your deck.


It’d be nice if Naim developed a one box phonostage, perhaps one for the Uniti range?

Why not go with the Linn Klimax soution?

Mike, thanks for the detailed report, most interesting. I have had my eye on Whest for some time, and about fifteen years ago, when they had a US distributor, I was able to audition a mid-range model (can’t remember which one) at home. Unfortunately at the time I was living in an urban RF jungle, and the interference was very audible, no matter what remedy I tried. In the end my dealer sent it back. Now I live in a semi-rural area with no RF problems at all, so Whest is again on the radar, but unfortunately now there is no current US distributor.

In recent years I’ve been using various step-up transformers with MM stages, and some are very good indeed. Back in the 80s SUTs were not that great, in my experience, but now things are different. And after all the Allnic stages incorporate transformers, right? Many high gain solid state stages sound threadbare, even grainy to me, but recently I have had good luck with the new Lejonklou Entity MC, which has been mentioned by Peder here on the forum. After a lot of online research I bought one from the US distributor and wow, unbelievable performance for the money (2695 USD). Seems that most Lejonklou users are LP12 owners, and some are switching from Urika.

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Notwithstanding there is no Linn dealer here, why would I want to do that? How is that a substitute for the fact I cannot hear a SuperLine? :man_shrugging:

Have you heard the Pass labs xp 30, the Einstein , or the Tom Evans mastergroove? They seem to be also high rated on forums. The Audio research ref 3 also.

Just curious, that’s all, just realized you are not a LP12 owner.

Maybe I’m dense and don’t understand what it really is, but how can a Linn Klimax system make any sense at all for me if I have a NDX2/252/300 system and I’m auditioning phonostages?

Do not worry about all this if you do not own any Linn component.
I am just silly to assume that if you own Naim, your turntable should be a Linn LP12.

Interesting about the Lejonklou…they were previously limited to MM- glad they have produced a MC version. I will look into it.
I agree about high gain on some SS designs…Unfortunately, too much gain seems to actually limit the bandwidth of some cartridges. The grainy/etched sound can be an artifact of this type of situation.
Whest was represented in the USA by Jay Kaufmann out of California. I have been to his shop/house and he was a big fan of Whest. I purchased all of my Whest units through him. Jay has since retired and that has left the USA without a dealer/distributor. I have not been plagued by RF with my Whest units. That said, I had no RF problems with my SL/SC2 either so I am lucky in that regard. Had the Urika for a few years but ultimately prefer the Whest.
You are correct about the Allnic- it does use SUT in the design.There are a few US dealers so you may find an opportunity to demo if that is an itch that needs to be scratched :grinning: They are very resolving, well built units. I really enjoy mine in the right context.
Whest does offer free worldwide shipping and may offer a demo model if that is needed. As I am already very familiar with the Whest house sound, I am more willing to deal with them direct for future purchases. The Ref MC V was described as a “massive” shift up from the Titan Pro and that has me thinking…The exchange rate is very favorable for the USD atm :grinning:
Be well,

Rooster- I have not. There are only so many phono stages that I can demo without going nuts :grinning: Of the ones you mentioned, only the Tom Evans elicits curiosity- similar clean, dynamic sound as the Whest is how I understand them. Pass Labs, Audio Research amps have never appealed to me when I have heard them in the past…I’m assuming that their phono stages would be built from the same cloth.

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