Using a Naim amp with a third party Pre amp

I currently have a third party valve pre amp and just wondered if it would be OK to try it with my Naim 135’s instead of my Hi Cap and Nac 72?

Be careful, it can work OK, but often not. If the pre-amp is not filtered at bandwidth extremes then it can upset the Naim amps. Naim pre-amp into non-Naim power amp is however, fine.


Thanks Richard, it’s an Allnic L1500.


  • Input : Line level × 5
  • (Balanced × 2, Unbalanced × 3)
  • Output : Balanced × 1, unbalanced × 1
  • Input Impedance : Unbalanced 10kΩ
  • Balanced 20kΩ
  • Frequency Range : 20Hz ~ 20kHz (FLAT) 16Hz ~ 75kHz (-3dB)
  • Voltage Gain : +20dB
  • THD (1kHz) : Output 0.3V, 0.06% – Output 1.0V, 0.15%
  • S/N Ratio : -90dB (CCIR, 1kHz)
  • Maximum Output : 15V RMS (Non clipping)
  • Output Impedance : 150Ω Constant
  • Tubes : D3a or equivalent × 2 , 7233 × 1, 6485 × 1 (Voltage Regulator)

Not sure if I dare risk it.

I’m sure there will be no harm in trying it out. You’ll need appropriate single ended RCA Phono to XLR leads (do not use the balanced outputs). You should know pretty quickly if it works ok or not.

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Thanks for the information Richard, very much appreciated.

I was sent some Silver Diamond XLR to XLR Tellurium Q Leads to use with it but I don’t think I’ll be able to use those if (as you have stated) “do not use the balanced outputs”.

I don 't have any RCA/phono to XLR leads so will probably have to leave it for now.

The XLR connectors on the NAP135s are single ended, not balanced. You should never use them with balanced interconnects.


I notice that the back panel has a switch for balanced and unbalanced output so would it be possible to use balanced interconnects and then switch it to unbalanced or doesn’t it work like that and I think I already know the answer but just wanted to check.

You would definitely use the unbalanced output, but you can’t use balanced interconnects.

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I would assume that if you set the switch to unbalanced, the signal would be switched to the RCA output.

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For anyone interested I managed to get my hands on some RCA to XLR cables and tried the above Pre amp combination with my 135’s.

The verdict is that although it was a little bit smoother and that there was more detail in the higher frequency range that unfortunately came at an equal and matched loss in detail in the lower frequency range meaning that my Nac 72 gave a better overall result for me.

Of course it was maybe an unfair comparison as the Nac 72 is designed to work with Naim amps.

I have a different experience with my ear 912. For my ears and tastes, it gave me better musicality vs the nac 252 I had before, with a nap 250 and now 250 dr. I didn’t lost prat and dynamics, and gained more opened sound, with finer textures and fluency.
However, with a Conrad Johnson Ct5, I had a bit tube rush and too romantic sound. It was not a good match.

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