Using HDD Out for Headphone amplifier on Naim Wait 5i

Hi there!
I am new to the forum. I am currently using a Naim Nait 5i and I just wanted to know your experience on using the HDD output of the Naim Nait 5i in order to connect my DAC to the Naim Nait 5i and throughput the signal a Tube headphone amplifier (Feliks Echo Mk2).

Q1: Do I ran into problems using the Naim Nait 5i and a Headphone amplifier at the same time connecting it via the HDD input/output?

Q2: Is there any sound degradation to be expected when using the headphone by using the throughput of the HDD (is the HDD really a throughput or is the signal affected negatively)?

The main use case I have is to only have one DAC for both amplifier and avoiding swapping RCA cables.

Thanks for your feedback!
Greetings, Steffen

Using the Hdd output is perfectly ok to feed a headphone amp.
Its a fixed level signal so is ideal.

You can use the input part of the HDD as usual for any source.

Thanks a lot Neil! Works perfectly fine!

Looking at the title for a moment I thought they had renamed Naim amplifiers due to lead times!


The setup using the HDD output has a really strange behavior. Let me give some details.

Denafrips Pontus DAC → RCA → NAIM NAIT 5i (HDD in) → RCA (HDD out) → Feliks Echo MkII Tube Headphone Amp

When I am playing music (Naim plays it to the loudspeaker, Feliks to the headphones) and I connect the Feliks Echo to a not used RCA output the music on the NAIM NAIT 5i plays noticeably lower in volume compared when switching the Feliks Echo to the RCA coming from the Naim.

Anyone have an idea? And if yes can anything go wrong in the system?

The funny thing is I though when both amplifiers using the signal from the DAC the volume should go lower. But it is the other side around. The music gets louder when the Feliks does not get an RCA input.

Thanks a lot for suggestions.

BR, Steffen

Hi, i am a little confused now. You have a 5i?
Im sure that amp does not have a HDD in/out. The only line level out is the TAPE out rca sockets.
Where have you plugged the Feliks in on the amp?

You don’t want the source going to the same input/output as the headphone amp. You should connect the source DAC to a different input.

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I think this is a 5i vs a 5 i thing. Looks like the 5 i (italic, or 5i 2) had the output labelled “hdd” rather than “tape”

I’m guessing the input/output behaviour is functionally identical though.

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DAC goes into HDD/Tape In and an RCA will lead from the HDD/Tape Out to the Feliks.

The use case was to only use one DAC to my two amplifiers without switching all the time RCAs. And I thought the HDD Input/Output would have serve this Use Case quite well. But it seems that something behaves strange with respect to the volume.

Did anyone has a clue why that is?

PS: I will use an XLR to two RCA Output cable to serve my use case.

This is wrong, you should use a different input for the source. I think because it’s not buffered.

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