Hello again, another numpty question from myself, I have just had all my late olive kit serviced which comprises of 82 with k boards, 250, hicap and a cdx with xps, turntable is Linn akurate but with ekos 2 and a goldring refurb Karma, I seem to be getting a lot of noise from phono stage with the gain up a bit, would a stageline K improve on the 523k boards and if so the only way I can see to connect would be to the 82 aux input, any thoughts would be gratefully accepted, one last thing before I acquired the xps the turntable ruled now I’m just not to sure, in fact I believe the cdx might have the edge, regards

To hear what your LP12 is sending down the wires, and given the quality of your amplification, the ideal answer is probably a Superline - see the threads about them. Other phono stages are available….

More important, is the noise on phono you mention only evident after you got it serviced? If yes, is it possible that a board got loosened in transit?


My understanding it that the Stageline K is the same circuit as the 523k boards. Of course, you may have a dirty/dry joint somewhere causing the noise(?)

Hello and thank you for your help and suggestions, it would appear that the hum is a lot more noticeable on phono if the xps is powered up the hiss is perhaps just gain noise with the volume cranked up, could it be rfi or suchlike, I noticed it as after recent service the xps power button is stuck on, it will be off to class a for a fix ASAP, I would still like opinions on better mc units, regards and thank you

mmh any views on the linn Linto, it has been suggested that the Karma is a bit low output for the 523k boards and the volume needs cranking up more hence the noise, any thoughts

Regarding connecting a Stageline to the 82. Yes, you can use the aux input, or you could acquire a pair of 526 “pass through” boards which would replace the 523 boards in the 82.

526 boards do come up in the usual retail/auction places from time to time, for around £30-40. In this configuration, you would need a DIN-BNC cable running from the Stageline’s power supply (such as a Hicap) to the 82.

If you were to use the aux input, then the received wisdom is to remove the 523 boards anyway. Also it would save you having to acquire the DIN-BNC cable. And, of course, you could swap the aux & phono labels on the 82’s switches (use a pin to lift a corner). With a modicum of care, the labels can be reused.

The other point of note is that the Stageline’s signal input is RCA Phono, so if the cable from the Linn is currently fitted with BNC connectors, it will need modification for Phonos (or a BNC-Phono adaptor).

Mine too. Maybe @Richard.Dane can confirm…?

As several have commented, perhaps the problem is an effect of the service…? Worth checking back with whoever did the service, for sure.

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Hello, yes I will chat with Class A just to see what he thinks, it would appear that a stageline is a sideways move, any experience of the linn linto which apparently doesn’t need as much gain for a given volume which might reduce the noise, I must add that even if I can’t leave the xps powered up due to rfi it makes the cdx rock, imo probably as big a difference as the 180 to 250. Regards

Probably. I think the Stageline was intended to fill the “phono gap” in the 2xx series preamps.

In theory it should benefit from having its own PSU, and the 82 should benefit from the removal of the internal boards.

Yes, essentaily the same circuit. There are of course advantages in having its own quiet box and also having the ability to dedicate a power supply just to the phono circuits.

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I had a Linto for years and thought it marginally better than the phono boards in a 72 or 82, IIRC a Stageline on audition didn’t offer much of an upgrade. That probably just shows that the 523K phono boards were (as we all thought at the time) actually pretty good.

Unless you are already willing to spend enough to get a big phono stage upgrade, I am not sure a new box is the next step.

A bit of hiss if you turn the volume right up is not too astonishing. However, if it is loud enough to interfere even a tiny bit when listening to music, then something is probably not right.

More important, a buzz can often suggest interference with other boxes - when comparing the possible ways to power a Superline, I got lazy and put a Hicap right next to it. That was a a stupid idea and gave a noticeable buzz. All I had to do to fix it was get the Superline further away from any Naim box with a big transformer.

Is it possible that you have put the boxes back in different places from where they were before the service? Or that the XPS has an issue beyond a stuck On switch?


Hi, it appears the gain hiss is quite normal on phono, the system buzz only occurs if the xps is on and the 82 is on phono, with it off no buzz, if it’s removed and the black plug in cd and mains direct to cd no buzz, Class A seems to think it’s a ground issue, the on off switch now working 100% a little contact cleaner and silicon spray worked wonders, so it would appear it is the xps which will go back for investigation as soon as I can arrange it is a 140 mile round trip so no rush, still thinking of external mc stage just in case it’s rfi on 523k boards, what’s your opinions, regards Neil.

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Stick with your logical approach. Get the XPS checked out next, at Class A. There is clearly something odd happening. Take the Burndy too - of course.

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The XPS is a big power supply and so it can certainly cause noise in any Naim phono stage located close by. Have you tried moving them apart or moving and re-dressing the Burndy cable?


Hi when you say re dress the burndy what exactly do you mean, remember I’m a numpty :grin:

Don’t just move things with the Burndy cable connected. Disconnect, move the kit then re-connect the Burndy ensuring it’s properly dressed and “formed” for least stress on the connectors.

Re-dress and de-stress (while the Burndy is removed): hold each end in two hands and gently shake/wave/hula :wink: …I was surprised at the positive difference the de-stress made.

Hello, I am no expert, actually a self proclaimed numpty, it’s served me well over the years nobody ever asked me for help, anyway I initially tried moving the kit around with a small improvement, then I tried de stressing the burndy but before I managed it on turning off the xps by the mains switch (all others turned off on unit) it tripped the mains, tried it again and it happened one more time, it’s now out of the system until return to class A, I believe this points to a grounding issue, I will keep you posted, it might be a while, I also have purchased an iso 8 mains conditioner just in case.regards

Hi told you, numpty, I should have said it tripped out on turning the mains back on.

Many Naim boxes can cause a circuit breaker to trip when you turn them on, and sometimes even blow the internal fuse as well, but the XPS is particularly prone to this. It’s not a fault, it’s just that the oversized transformers cause a large inrush current briefly on powering up, which is more than a typical domestic MCB can cope with.
The solution is to get a Type C breaker installed instead of the Type B that are usually used. This is a very cheap, easy job for an electrician.
Still, if the XPS is causing problems for your phono stage it would be better to move it further away than to switch it off every time.