SN3 Channel Imbalance

I’ve noticed my left channel seems to be biased with the balance pot centered and I’ve to adjust balance to about 2 O’Clock to get it sounding right. I’ve swopped around speakers at the back and the problem follows to the right so that rules out speakers, cables, connectors, room acoustics or my ears! Using my vinyl source is no better so it’s not NDX2 or IC. This is happening at normal listening levels so not the usual ALPS low level imbalance issue. Is this a fault in the SN3 or just a characteristic or a QC issue?

Hi ,I also had this problem back in August,but after a few months it seemed to clear. However ,2 days into the lockdown, I lost one channel altogether,tried switching cables as you did,and proved it was the SN3. Apparently it’s a sticky relay at fault,so ultimately I’ve been without my system for the entire lockdown,waiting for my local dealer to re-open,probably/hopefully sometime around the 1st June. I’d suggest that you get yours checkout ASAP,so that you don’t end up like me,good luck.

Hi Hollow,

that sounds a bit strange. I’d say that if it’s quite obvious at a even a moderate level then that is certainly not normal or even a characteristic. I remember you having a similar issue on the old forum. Seems to me like you have checked all of the most obvious things, not much else you can do really. I would almost certainly chase your dealer up about it.

I’ve the same problem with my new nac 252.
I’ve to turn the balance pot in the 2 o’clock position to center the image. If I swap the speaker cables the unbalance is in the opposite side and I need to turn the pot in the 10 o’clock . I know that Naim selected the Alps pot because “they sounded best”… but they certainly “don’t look best” and that soft plastic
knob…is not what you expect from a unit at this price level… The devil is in the details…isn’t it?

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It seems many dealers have been active during lockdown behind closed doors/on-line, with some managing to arrange deliveries to Naim nowabouts i.e. cutting out the need for dealer delivery(?).

Have you asked?

Hi,checked in with dealer when this happened,he’d had phone calls re-routed to his home,but the shop has stayed shut through pandemic ,said we would have to get it sorted as/when rules allow,so presumably after June 1st when non-essential shops could be allowed to open.It’s been extremely frustrating,but the end is in sight!

It may just be that the knob has moved on the shaft of the pot. When you get a chance (and any lockdown is lifted) get it checked out by your dealer. Otherwise @NeilS may be able to advise as I recall there was a similar issue not that long ago.

Thank you Richard. I will call my dealer in the afternoon. BTW according to another thread on this forum,looks like a common issue on the nac 252. I never had this problem on the 282. Hope they can fix it.

I am surprised that people are having this issue, as I said in the other post, it is something that should be checked during the test sequence.
It is possible to carefully remove the knob and reposition it a spline or two to centre the knob.
Otherwise, as Richard says, get in touch with your dealer whenever you can.


I also have the same issue with a nac 282 after serviced by changing its volume and balance - the balance knob need to be at 2 o’clock to get a center image. It needs to be back to the dealer who serviced it once they reopen.

If you sweep the knob it’s full length of travel does it stop at the same position each side? Say 4 and 8 o clock? If not simply pull off and reposition

AFAIK, not quite, because the pots are orientated at a tilted angle.

Mine is symmetrical on the spindle ok and goes from about 7 to 5 o’clock

Ah ok then I’d carry on with your dealer… shame

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Well if Richard is right above, maybe it shouldn’t be symmetrical and that’s the problem, bit weird though if that’s the case

I’m still at a loss why it has a balance knob :confused: Anyways - I LOVE the sound extra knob or not!!

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Setting aside any possible low level imbalance in the volume pot over the very first bit of travel, with a mono signal at normal volume and the balance knob perfectly centred L+R output should be equal.

Of course, any slight imbalance between each speaker combined with any acoustic imbalance from the room can change that, and then add any slight imbalance from either source equipment or media, and perceptible imbalance can result - it’s why a balance control is sometimes rather nice to have.


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