Uniti Atom to NAP135: Possible?

I have a Uniti Atom and I’m wondering if it’s possible to connect it directly to a pair of NAP135 power amplifiers.


I can’t see why not, it has a preamp output. You’ll need a pair of custom RCA to XLR cables. Flashback sales can make these up for you.

But you would need a preamp. You cannot connect it directly to the 135s.

That is not correct. It has an output for connection to a power amp, so it’s perfectly possible to connect it to the 135s. Whether it’s an appropriate pairing is something else entirely.

Yes HH. You are right. I was mis-interpreting the meaning of ‘Pre-amp output ‘ on the rear panel of the Atom. I thought it was permitting the Atom to be used as a DAC, still requiring a pre-amp.
Apologies for the confusion.

Why would it not be “an appropriate pairing”?

Competent as the Atom is, it isn’t at the level of 135s. Pairing an inferior source and preamp (rolled into one, in this case) with Naim’s top power amps of much of its history is contrary to what experience would suggest as ideal.

Who knows - it could be a spectacular pairing. On the other hand…

I’d assumed the OP already had a pair of 135s available and if that is the case then it’s worth a try. If that’s not the case then I’d agree that money is better spent elsewhere.

1 Like

It’s possible if you use a custom siamesed pair of DIN-XLR cables. But, as previously mentioned by others here, whether it’s worthwhile, I’m not so sure. I suspect it may be a bit of a waste of a pair of NAP135s, which really deserve a far superior source and pre-amp. Remember the system hierarchy.

It would make sense if you plan to drive a pair of Linn Isobariks.

I used a 250dr for a while hanging off my unitiqute into SBLs in my office. I thought it gave a nice lift to the performance but when the 250dr was sold to finance upgrades in the main system it wasn’t really missed

Currently the Atom drives a pair of Neat SX1 speakers.

I have a pair of 135s and a set of Neat MF7s gathering dust at the moment.

I don’t have space to set up my full system: CDS/XPS/52/SC/4*135 with Neat XL10.

So I thought maybe it’s worth £50 for an RCA/XLR cable to get back some of that sound.

What are the opinions on how this might sound?

It sounds like you should spend £50 for a cable!

1 Like

I think this is quite an interesting issue, so let’s work through what (I think) is going on here.

The source for a streaming system is fixed, 24/96 in my case, and is the same for both scenarios.

Next is the DA Converter and herein some differences surely lie.

After that, all we have is the path through the preamp (maybe some small differences here?) and then on to the power amplifier.

So the primary difference I can see is the DA Converter.

In that case, all we need to ask is how the DAC in the Atom compares to that of a higher-end component.

I think the weaknesses that such a relatively high end power amp/speaker combination might expose are very much in the preamp as well as the streamer/DAC. Sure, it’ll work, but I’m not sure it’ll really sound that great.


At low volumes, the current system is fine.

At higher volumes it seems to break down.

My reasoning was that the signal is fine, but the power section can’t deliver.

So if the speakers need more power, the 135s will give them that. They will also, along with better speakers, be much more revealing, which is why I would expect them to need a better source and preamp to give you a balanced system that sounds good.
That said, it costs you nothing to try, apart from some suitable cables, so there’s nothing to lose by trying.

Funnily enough, my Atom (with N-Sats) sounds better at high volumes, so kind of the opposite to your findings.

Is it fair to assume you haven’t compared your 52 to another preamp in a while? The differences among preamps are not small.

Having recently gone from a 72 to a 52 I was reminded of that.

My Atom is driving a NAP200 power amp through a flashback sales RCA>DIN cable and it sounds superb. The Atom is an excellent pre-amp and I do not see why driving the NAP135 power amplifiers would not work.

For the cost of the custom cable I’d be tempted to try it.

Have added a ‘spare’ NAP 250 to both an Atom and a Nova to good effect.