Uniti Atom HE as DAC + head tubes & stax

Hi community, new to Naim.

The Atom HE seems like a good choice for streaming for me. But I am a headphone guy, so I ask if the Atom HE is a good streamer DAC to ANOTHER headphone amp. In my case a tube amp from Donald North (RCA outs) and a Stax energizer by Mjolnir Audio (XLR).

To my understanding this being a preamp, the analog outs are not fixed so its meant for a speaker setup. What would my results be is I max out the volume for such a use, and let the other amps do their own volume thing; does audio quality take a hit in doing this? Is this even possible? each out to another headamp?

Hi, you are correct that the Atom HE has pre outs, but no line out, so they are post volume control. You can still use them into the input of another preamp, whether that’s intended for headphone use or regular speakers, although there is of course a redundant preamp in the signal path. It’s usually worth experimenting with output levels in this case - maybe start at a low level on the Atom just to avoid any nasty surprises and use trial and error from there.

If you don’t intend to use the Atom as a preamp/headphone amp you could also consider a streamer/DAC with line out. In the Naim world that would mean an ND5XS2 for similar money, or an NDX2 or 333 for considerably more.

1 Like

I like the Atom’s form factor a lot and it seems to be a very capable AIO unit. Also don’t really have a home SS head amp, so this checked all the boxes.

Will check out other options then.