Using a 250DR with a non Naim Preamp

Good day gents,

I’m trying to lure my friend into our wonderful world, by hooking up my 250DR to his system (Denafrips Pre&Dac and Dynaudio Evoke 50).

Besides the custom made 2RCA-XLR cable, should I pay attention to anything else? I’m particularly interested in matching the input-output impedance.

250DR input impedance: 18k ohms
Denafrips Athena: RCA output impedance: 200 ohms

Thank you.

Screen Shot 2023-02-22 at 12.21.15 pm

I’m running a 300DR with a Manley Labs Neo-Classic 300B valve preamp. And yes, I had to get custom RCA>XLR cables made for it to work.

Is it Naim heresy? Probably. Does it sound sublime? Hell yes. The organic 300B valve sound married to the heft and sheer control of the 300DR is such a delicious combo.

Don’t be afraid to mix ‘n’ match.


Doesn’t @Frenchrooster use an E.A.R. Preamp with a 250 DR?


Historically I have used an EAR868 and my current Icon 4 passive pre-amp with a Naim 250DR and now with my 300DR without issues - with correctly wired interconnects, obviously.

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I currently feed my NAP 300DR directly by an RME ADI-2 DAC and it sounds very good. I have previously used a valve pre amp with no issues as well, although it would be good to check compatibility with valve pre amps because not all will work at their best feeding a power amp like Naim’s which has an 18k ohm input impedance.

Having said that 18k ohm isn’t especially low and unlikely to present a problem to most valve pre amps

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As @NO-QUARTER wrote, I use indeed an Ear 912 with a Nap 250 dr.
They match very well together.
What are the specs of the Denafrips ? gain ?


The Denafrips Athena has 0 (zero) gain. Pure class A line stage.

My Ear 912 has around 15 db in unbalanced way. Maybe @Simon-in-Suffolk could answer if your Denafrips can match the 250 dr specs, as it has 0 gain and the 250 dr +29 db.

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I see no reason why that should not be fine - ideally output impedances should be many times less than the input impedance they are connecting to for small signal audio circuits - and that is what you have here… and also these are typically average impedances - they will typically vary across the audio frequency band - just like with loud speakers. This is quite different from transmission line impedances that should be matched along the line for a wide bandwidth.

I suggest you keep the controller volume low to start with - as you get used to how the levels match.



Who would have believed Denafrips would gel so well with Naim?! Hopefully, we’ll have another Naim believer within our ranks pretty soon :grin: In my opinion, music came to life after downgrading from 600W to just 80W. :crazy_face:


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