Reconfiguring and Experimentation help please

Hi, Can I take the pre-out from my Atom and put it into a conventional pre-amp?
Im using AE1 actives at the moment and would like to add a sub, that’s the main reason for introducing a preamp, unless of course I can ad an active sub to the Atom in any way?

Many thanks folks

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You could just use the pre-out of the Atom to feed a pre-amp level signal to the subwoofer. You might wish to check with naim though whether the interconnect needs to be slugged in some way as I’m not entirely sure whether it was specifically designed with driving long cables in mind.

Or else take a high level feed from the terminals at the back of the loudspeakers.


As the Atom’s preamp output is already being used for the active speakers there is no way to connect a sub in addition. The AE1s don’t appear to have any outputs so it doesn’t look like you can connect to them either.

I wonder whether swapping the Atom for an Atom HE would work? That has both balanced and phono outputs. You could connect the AE1 to the balanced, and the pre to the other. That’s if you can use both outputs at the same time and I don’t know if you can.

Adding a pre to the Atom would mean you’d be using two preamps, and be wasting the power amp of the Atom. Neither sound a good idea.

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Yes, good point HH, I missed the active bit.

You could try a signal splitter (1 -2 RCA Phonos) but I’m not sure how much that will impact overall performance.

Can you loop signal through either from the speakers or through the Sub? Looping through the sub you may be able to apply a very low frequency cut off for the main speakers.

Thanks Richard, my problem would be that the pre-out is occupied going into the preamp in and the AE1’s are active and as such have a single rca and xlr input…may be tricky I reckon


Yes, apologies I missed the active bit. See my post just above though. Does the Sub offer a signal loop through?

I tend to agree that this isn’t the intended application for an Atom, but I regard it so highly that Id like to try and keep in in my system if at all possible…

Unless you can connect the sub to the speakers, which I don’t think you can, your only option is to use connect the speakers to the sub or to use a splitter, which may or may not be a good idea.

With the Atom you are wasting your power amp. The HE has no power amp so seems a better fit. The question is whether you can use both of the preamp outputs simultaneously. If you can, it sounds perfect and should be of higher quality than the Atom.

Does your sub have a high level input? With the right cable you may be able to use this from the speaker output sockets on the Atom.

Good idea! I never thought of that. While the recommendation is not connect a sub to the speaker outputs at the same time as speakers, this shouldn’t be an issue if there are no speakers. I guess the question is whether driving an active sub could upset the Atom. Maybe @Richard.Dane can advise?

It does and that how I was using it previously, however I assumed that the pre-out sockets would “switch off” the speaker terminals when it sensed preout being used?

You can use the pre out and speaker output simultaneously. This is what you would normally do if running an active sub (low level) and passive speakers. I’s just that you are doing the exact opposite.

My only doubt about this arrangement is that with no compatible main speaker cable attached as well, the power amp output will only ‘see’ the sub cable which it may or may not like in terms of inductance, capacitance etc.

Thanks, so normally I’d connect the threa wires of the high level XLR to three is the speaker wires ( positive then positive and negative) but in the absence of speaker cable I’d connect speaker plugs to the hi level lead and plug it into the Atoms speaker sockets?

Just checking!

This is what you need to check, because the amp won’t be seeing a normal speaker load. I’d get your dealer to speak to Naim, or ask them directly.

This is why I used the term - “Experimentation”…don’t want to risk damaging my gear!

That sounds about right (you might want to spellcheck that last post though!)
What sub are you using? Is the XLR input really high level, or is it a balanced low level input which is what many XLRs are commonly used for?

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