Supernait 2 power amp mode Vs AV Bypass

I would like to try using my Supernait2 as power amp
On one hand, the connection guide in the user manual is not clear to me as my DAC/Preamp is single ended, so I don’t understand what I am supposed to connect to the connections behind the removed linked plug

On the other hand the description of the AV by-pass, seems to describe a power amp mode for the AV input. is it the same? does engaging the AV bypass turn the AV input into a dedicated power amp mode in the same sense as the overall power amp mode?

I tried asking this through the support contact but didn’t receive a response for more than a week now

Appreciate any knowledge/expeience sharing on this

Just use the Power Amp in DIN4 socket. What is the DAC/Preamp? I ask because the pre-amps in many DACs aren’t really any such thing and you may well get much better performance using the fixed level output and using the Supernait’s own pre-amp.


I have a Chord Qutest DAC and use HQPlayer upsampling. I am controlling the volume through HQPlayer. I have no other sources. So don’t really need the preamp for source selection. Only volume control.
Today I just leave the Supernait2 with the volume at 12oclock use the HQPlayer volume control.

How would I connect the the Qutest to the 4 din? Is that a special cable 2RCA to DIN4?

What is the difference if I just use the AV bypass?

A pre-amp is so much more than just volume control. But I guess if it’s a case of convenience trumping performance then I could understand.

In which case you may be better off going via the Av bypass option, which bypasses the pre-amp’s volume control.

Actually I thought I would be gaining performance if I just use the supernait as a power amp
But I guess you are saying that this would only be a gain if I use a better preamp then the one in the supernait and not if use no preamp at all?

Does the AV bypass disengage the entire preamp section or just the volume and balance control? Will I still gain the benefit of the other preamp benefits you are referring to in this case, and just bypass the volume controls?

I don’t know for sure. Worth experimenting though to see what works best I would think.

Ok. Thanks
Actually I really like the supernait preamp. Just wish the balance control had a clear neutral position. Maybe it’s a case of OCD, but I am never sure if I have it in the right position for “zero” offset between left and right. Having it disabled by av bypass would at least bring peace of mind :slightly_smiling_face:

I would say from my experimentation that although bypassing the preamp in a Naim system can work, you ahould really embrace the Naim amp design in which pre and power amp work together.
Chord do things rather differently, and make power amps that are designed to work directly from their DACs (Ttoby, Étude). You could consider these as an alternative, although I don’t know how they would work with the Qutest that has no volume control.
Either way you need to be a little careful as failure to engage the software volume control has the potential to cause damage downstream.

Thanks. I’ll be keeping it in integrated mode and not bypassing the pre-amp :+1:

That said, I usually don’t change the volume at all so the knob is usually just below 9 o’clock position. Is there any sense/benefit to reduce the volume up the chain (sw or DAC) and turn the Naim’s volume knob to a higher position?
Some say that volume knobs are not linear and can change the sound a bit along their range. So is their a sweet spot or a region where Naim’s volume knobs sounds best or are they linear all across?

Any imbalance in the ALPS Blue pot should only be at the first few degrees of travel.

Great. Good to know.

And I think I have one more question around this subject before I let it go :slightly_smiling_face:

The Chord Qutest can be set to output the analog signal at 1, 2 or 3v
Is there any preference when pairing with Naim?

I don’t use a Qutest, but like many others I found that using a Chord DAC into a Naim amp seemed to sound better when the DAC output was lower, so I would try the 1V setting. This will also make the volume control easier to use by giving it a wider useable range, and taking it out of the lower range where any channel imbalance is noticeable.
No harm in trying the 2 or 3V setting too if you’re curious. Sometimes louder sounds better on first impressions so I would be careful not to jump to conclusions after a brief listen.

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