Using a Naim nDAC with Krell equipment

Good morning.

I’ve just joined the forum and I’m a novice when it comes to high end stereo equipment. I took possession of my brother’s stereo around two years ago and had it fully re-conditioned (late 90s kit).

The DAC board in my Krell KPS 25sc CD Player has failed and despite the best efforts of a local repairer it seems that it will be difficult to repair/replace.

So planning to use the CD player’s digital output to drive an external DAC, which can then drive the amplifier and speakers. I also have a Bluesound Node 2i streamer which I have previously connected to the CD player which could also be connected to the external DAC.

Have concluded that a second-hand Naim nDAC should do the job. The internal DAC chips (Burr Brown PCM1704K) are from the same manufacturer so presumably of similar quality.

The Krell 300c amplifier takes male 3 pin left/right XLR so planning to acquire a flashback cable – Naim Style 5 pin Ring Locking DIN Plug – 2 x 3 Pin Male XLR Performance Cable.

I should then be able to link the Krell KPS 25sc CD Player via optical digital output to the nDAC and play CDs that way. I can also connect my Bluesound Node 2i directly to the nDAC.

My only source of second-hand NAIM nDAC is overseas so I’m nervous to go ahead and then find that it doesn’t work.

Any thoughts?

I can’t forsee any issues at all. Is optical the only output from your CD player?

I don’t know about your CDP issues, but the Krell 300c is an excellent amp and an nDac would make your Node 2i sound much better.
Where is overseas? It really helps to know what part of the world it is when giving advice, espaecially advice on purchasing.

Perhaps I’m wrong here, but I thought the 300c was a power amp, and that the KPS25SC included an analogue preamp stage to drive the power amp. If so, taking a digital out from the KPS will mean you’ll require an additional preamp now. You can’t take a feed straight from NDAC to Power amp … (But maybe you can go from NDAC back into to an analogue input on the KPS - ?)

What a coincidence! I also use a KPS25sc ( but in S guise ) and WATT6 ( sans Puppies )!
I had mine since the intro (1998), replaced once by Krell and it has been serviced by Krell ( for several recapping ) but as Naim, they stopped servicing all CD spinner. But it is still a terrific player and it was a very special one for me so I was determined to get it fixed~
If there is a will there is a way. :nerd_face:
Not only he fixed it (it was a transport and laser issue and Krell no longer had the parts in stock) he replaced the older parts with new and I had him upgraded the caps so they can withstand the heat. This CD player will see me off.

In your case tho are you sure it’s the DAC board that is bad?
Is that a chip issue? ( BB 1704 ) If the transport and laser are still ok you should be able to use the digital to any DAC via Coax or toslink.
If you still want to get your Krell fixed, I can forwrad the info of the outfit that can fix your Krell but not sure how you can contact me here. You can try email me at kuma1939 at outlook dot com.

Oh… note that even tho Krell and Naim used the same Burr Brown chip set, they do NOT sound the same at all. So if you are expecting a Krell sound from Naim, you are not going to get this.

I think personally the only Naim CD player remotely can compete with the Krell kps25s would be 555CD. But this does not have a digital out and not as versatile as your KPS25s. ( no preamp function on a CD 555 )

oh btw, I do not use kps25s’ preamp section. I use a Naim preamp ( NAC52 ) and a Naim amp.

Good luck!


I see Coaxial at the back. Wonder if it’s the same as SPDIF?

It is. All coax and Toslink connections are SPDIF.

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digital - coax and optical

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Ok. I’m visiting an audio store this coming weekend who have some Naim gear so maybe we can try something. If I understand you correctly, connect the Krell digital out to an external DAC, back to the Krell analogue in - ie bypass the Krell DAC but continue to use the Krell pre-amp.


Yes. So you will be able to use the Krell cd transport and its preamp.


You’ll need to check that this will work. Naim kit that includes both DAC and preamp does not allow you to route the signal out to a separate DAC then back into its preamp, but Krell may be different in this respect.

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