RCA to DIN Interconnects (Again)

My first post, so please be tolerant.

After a week of home-auditioning three integrated amplifiers, I will shortly become the proud owner of a new Supernait 3 - my first Naim product. I have searched the forums on the subject, and have seen comments/advice from Richard D - but not covering the specific question I have…

My source components (DAC, Phono Pre-amp, SACD player) all have only RCA outputs. Of course, I can use the RCA inputs on the SN3. However, understanding the advantages of using the DIN inputs, I was wondering if these advantages are still realised if I have RCA connectors at the source end of an interconnect - with a DIN connector at the amplifier end?

I don’t pretend to fully understand the physics here, but obviously do not wish to waste expenditure on new cables which will not realise any tangible benefits.

Thanks for any help/advice you may be able to offer.

Welcome to the forum HenryHonda.

All else being equal, even just having one DIN in place of one of the pairs of RCA Phonos will bring performance benefits when connected to your Supernait 3. So it’s very worthwhile.

A bit more on why Naim use DINs here, from the FAQ:

Hi HenryHonda and congratulation for your purchase. You do not have to spend much to try it by yourself, you can use a Chord Cobra or Chrysalis RCA-DIN (you can find them used for around 45 pounds) and see for yourself if you want to spend more on this interconnect. Naim, Chord, Vertere, to name few, make these interconnects in various configurations.

The OP can also send the cable to be transformed for RCA to Din. It doesn’t cost a lot.

I do not know if there are any real or significant “advantages” in a DIN5 which connects a source component to a preamp [DIN4 are a different matter]- notwithstanding, to be on the safe side its best to switch off before removing any cable. Due to the structure of the RCA pin plug, the hot side (core wire) comes in contact first, so if it is removed while the device is energized, a large noise may be generated, which may cause problems with the device. Be sure to unplug the plug while the power is off.

Thanks all for responding so quickly - very much appreciated.

Richard D - thanks for the confirmation. Will using the RCA → DIN arrangement cause any earthing problems in my situation? I was made aware by my dealer that Naim amps rely on a connection to Naim source equipment for correct earthing (I had a hum problem when first connecting up) so took his advice and earthed the SN3 by taking a single wire from a spare RCA plug outer (plugged into an unused RCA input) to the earth pin on a de-fused mains plug - plugged into a wall socket.

Thanks for your help.

Re. Signal earth, it’s hard to say. Best to try and see.

I highly recommend the Naim lavender/grey RCA to DIN interconnects as well as the Chord Chrysalis, which just works so well with Naim.

Effectively achieving the same as a Naim source connecting signal ground to mains earth internally. You should be fine.

depends which…
I just sent my Chord Music IC to do exactly that… ouch!

Ouch? Expensive?
I have done that with chord signature ta for around 100 euros. I believe some dealers specialised in cables can even ask less.

I saw some RCA to 5 pin din (180) interconnects on eBay for GBP30. Those used chord stuff advertised is often overpriced in my opinion. My naim dealer made one for me at AU$120 (1m) and it can be used both ways.

Thanks all for the additional info on sources of appropriate cabling :blush:

I have heard that some owners prefer to use non-locking DIN plugs - or use locking ones with the locking collar left loose down the cable - to further isolate from external vibrations. However, as far as I can establish, the DIN sockets are already hard-fixed to the casing - but connected by flexible wires to the circuit board, which is already ‘floating’. Have I got this right, and is there any significant reason why I shouldn’t use a locking DIN plug for added security? :thinking:

You have.

Reduction of vibration/movement at the DIN pin/socket interface and, to a degree, greater freedom for the pins to align without strain.

Improved arrangement to encourage strain-free fit of pins was a design goal.

The prototype of the AirPlug was a Heath-Sells construction of pins, holder, paper clips and rubber bands.

Somewhat more robust than the finished product.

Use the locking collars on SNAICs as any unintended disconnection while powered up and with speakers connected to the system will result in some very nasty screeches, pops or other alarming noises, but you may find you prefer interconnects for sources with the locking collars wound back

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Just got my first RCA to Din interconect.
The cable is Van Damme mic silver plated copper, Amphion RCA plugs and a very nice quality locking din plug , looks extremely well made.
It wasn’t expensive but I just wanted to try one out.

My current IC’s are Mark Grant HDX1 ,I have 3 of these with my CD player and SUT and Phono stage.

Only got it yesterday but so far, early impressions are that it sounds good but a little bright with some harshness ? But promising at the same time, perhaps it needs a week to run in ?

But I tried it on my Technics STG70 tuner and wow!
It has quite simply transformed the sound ,I was using a Cambridge audio RCA before which sounds veiled in comparison. Sounds so open.

So I think I need to investigate this further, might have to invest in something better for the cd and vinyl.

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Look for the Naim lavender/grey ones, or the later Chord Chrysalis (only available secondhand these days, and so much better than the Crimson that came after). They work so well with Naim for connecting non-Naim kit.

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A load of old Cobra’s…?

I have had Red & Green ones… :smiley:

Henry

If the 0v of the left and right channel are combined close to the RCA end, (as shown in the photo Richard posted) it might be worth doing.

However, if the left and right 0v are simply combined at the Din plug (as photo below), it’s not worth doing if you’re using a SN3.

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The cable I just got has the same type of construction as the one Richard posted, with the join close to the RCA end.

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