Superline loading and custom resistance?


I’m trying out different resistance loadings on the Superline. Read quite a lot in older forum threads about this, but I couldn’t really spot answers for a few questions. Hopefully some can be had here! My cartridge is a Hana ML which has 8ohm internal impedance at 1khz and a recommended loading of more than 100 (>100) by the manufacturer. Currently I run the Supeline with 220 resistance and 1 nF capacitance.

  1. Is there a genral rule of thumb for how higher value resistance (100, 220, 500, 1k) affects sound with the Superline?

  2. Is there a genral rule of thumb for how higher value capacitance affects sound?

  3. I keep reading about custom made Air plugs and Z-foils. What exactly are these compared to the standard Naim plugs and how do you come up with the numbers for the optimal resistance to try? (Have seen a few about 470, 460 etc.)


I would call AV Options. Chris will know and hook you up. The right Z Foil value makes all the difference. Deep Cryo, too.


Cymbiosis let me have a long trial with the deep cryo vs standard Naim air plug. Thought the standard air was better. If you have basic soldering skills opening up a plug and fitting your own is dead easy.

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470R is the Stagelins S resistance, 560 the K’s. My superline was ex demo and came with plugs of these values as well as the standard set.
Too high a resistance and the bass is tight but light and the top end on the sharp side, too low and the bass gets flabby and the top subdued.
Near the spot the difference can be subtle but can become apparent with a bit of time.

You can use the cap socket to add a parallel resistance, working out the resulting load is slightly complicated by the 10kΩ internal loading and the plugs are labelled as to give the load with this factored in when only one is used.

As the superline warmed up over a couple of weeks my preference with a 17D2 drifted from 560 to 470Ω.

Get the R load as best you can, then try a 1nF cap, if you still gave that socket empty, even a 470pF made a subtle difference to perceived timing but changing the arm cable affected my preference for this.


This fits with my understanding. MC cartridges I believe have an inherent peak in output in high frequencies that needs to be tamed with loading.

One strategy is to find the optimum resistive loading without any capacitative loading. Once this is done, add a small amount of capacitance and see if the resistive loading can be increased (find the new optimum) and see if this leads to an overall improvement. If you find the right combination, the sound will open up with tight bass and open, but not strident, highs.

Good luck


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Many thanks for the replies and advice. For now I’m running the superline on 100r and no plug for capacitance. Will move through the different combinations, but I wasn’t that thrilled by 500R with a short try. Felt rather flat and less dynamic than 220R. Maybe I will try a
custom plug as well. Very happy with the step up to superline from stageline though. I hope to benefit from this with upcoming upgrades to the system and speakers as well.


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Hey Skip. I think that the last time I asked Chris, they had gotten out of the business of making plugs. He sent me to Peter (Cymbiosis).

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Maybe a stupid question. Do you need to power down the superline and HiCap or amplifier to change plugs? I have powered down the whole system to do this, which is a bit inconvinient. Could not see that the manual says anything about this, and other phono stages seem to be able to switch with a dial or even on the fly with the remote (cyrus).

It would of course be quite a bad idea to try this and damage components without clear instructions that it could be done without risk. But unless you ask, you never know… :blush:


I’ve never had a problem hot changing loading plugs, except getting s grip on them. With the superline in the middle of the shelf and the Burndy in place the cap plug is hard to reach.

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Likewise – I’ve always swapped them out “hot.”

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Thanks, thats good to know.

Agree on the tricky bit to change plugs. I also feel a bit nervous pushing them into place, and at the same time hold the whole springloaded platform in place with a good finger pinch. But it’s ok. Attaching the rca cables from the turntable, that is not something I like to do without putting in the transportation screws!


I use the BNCs.

Do you use converters from rca to bnc, or does the signal cable from the turntable have a bnc conection?

I have a bespoke tone arm from Frank Schröder, though mainly I let him make the choices as I don’t have his experience. I did however ask Naim which plugs to use and Frank obliged, though I think I could sense some disapproval. Before that I used an Aro which had them as standard.

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You may be right. They will know the loading though.

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