Naim Pre-amps with Phono (RIAA) Inputs

Can somebody advise about (or send me a link to) which of the Naim pre-amps has a proper phono input  (ie with RIAA equalization). I am looking to upgrade/modernize from a chrome bumper HiCap/NAC32.5, which performs well, but (how can I put it delicately) looks a bit "dated" and clashes with the UnitiQute/Nap100 that I have recently acquired.

Original Post

The NAC 102, 82 and 52 were the last ones that I remember having internal 5 series phono boards (as opposed to the 3 series boards in the 32.5)  

The olive NAC52 makes a nice upgrade on the 32.5/hicap, if you are so inclined.

Alternatively, go straight to a black pre-amp and add an external phono stage such as a Dynavector P75 (for Dynavector cartridges), a Rega Aria for Rega cartridges or a Trilogy 906 for a wide range of other cartridges.

It would be really nice if Naim produced a current, half width pre-amp with analogue inputs.  One day, perhaps...

Hope this helps, FT

Foot tapper posted:

The NAC 102, 82 and 52 were the last ones that I remember having internal 5 series phono boards (as opposed to the 3 series boards in the 32.5)  

The olive NAC52 makes a nice upgrade on the 32.5/hicap, if you are so inclined.

Alternatively, go straight to a black pre-amp and add an external phono stage such as a Dynavector P75 (for Dynavector cartridges), a Rega Aria for Rega cartridges or a Trilogy 906 for a wide range of other cartridges.

It would be really nice if Naim produced a current, half width pre-amp with analogue inputs.  One day, perhaps...

Hope this helps, FT

Thanks FT. Yep, a modern version of the 32.5 would indeed be wonderful - but I'm not holding my breath. I was hoping to not add additional complexity, which is what would happen with a separate pre-amp and phono pre-amp.

I could go for a phono pre-amp (Stageline maybe) and upgrade to a Uniti2 (which has a powered phono input and a couple of extra standard analogue inputs), but the sound I'm sure would be a disappointment.

Looks like a refurb 102/Flatcap is my best option.

Hungryhalibut posted:

I wouldn't swap from a 32.5 to a 102, nor would I run a 102 from a flatcap. It really needs a Hicap and napsc as well. The 82 is clearly better than the 32.5 but also needs the Hicap and napsc. 

What's the rest of the system? One option might be a Supernait 2, which can power a Stageline. 

Thanks for the reply HH. My original plan was to replace the 32.5/Hi-Cap/NAP250 with a streaming system, rip the CD collection to flac and keep the LP12/Lingo as an occasional source of pleasure. I did the streamer (UnitiQute/NAP100) and flac ripping but hit a road block with the LP12. The Qute is fine playing the flac files and DAB radio, but is pretty bereft of analogue inputs (which I occasionally use for old cassette decks, CD players and the like). Using the old Hi-Cap/32.5 works fine to make up the for the shortfall in the streaming system, but it is long in the tooth and a bit ugly. Supernait + Stageline would work, but doesn't seem to have any advantage over a Uniti2 + Stageline. Like I said to a previous reply, a straight update of the shoebox size 32.5 (or a stageline with a couple of analogue inputs - I can control volume from the UnitiQute) would be ideal for me.

ianrobertm posted:

Err.... the 72....? Effectively, a modernised 32. Surprised not mentioned already. Or an 82.

I would not (personally) suggest a 102. YMMV.

Thanks - from other comments you are right on the 102. I have never heard one or even heard much about them. I had originally hoped one of the later pre-amps had phono cards (purely for aesthetics), but it seems not.

Good advice from HH.  I too would skip the 102 if vinyl is your source of choice.

A 32.5 powered by a Supercap is remarkably capable , though may not address the styling issue for you.

An external phono stage + a Supernait 2 would be a cracking combination.  Which sources do you use for vinyl & digital replay of music, i.e. which turntable, CD player and/or streamer?  There does seem to be a particular synergy between certain combinations of cartridge & phono stage, so the choice of phono stage will depend on which cartridge you use.

Best regards, FT

Richard Dane posted:

Last preamp with phono cards was the NAC102. However, if moving from the NAC32.5 then I'd be looking at a NAC82 or NAC52.

alternatively consider an outboard phono stage or secondhand Prefix and one of the current range preamps.

Just checking Richard, are you saying that a current range pre with Prefix would give as good a performance as an 82/52 without? And then what implications would that have for the performance of an 82/52 with a Prefix, IYHO?

Paul Holden posted:

Can somebody advise about (or send me a link to) which of the Naim pre-amps has a proper phono input  (ie with RIAA equalization). I am looking to upgrade/modernize from a chrome bumper HiCap/NAC32.5, which performs well, but (how can I put it delicately) looks a bit "dated" and clashes with the UnitiQute/Nap100 that I have recently acquired.

Here in Asgaard we are still using an 87 32.5 with olive HiCap and 2006 Prefix with another Olive HiCap. All just ticketyboo! My 19 year old daughter loves the 32.5 for its retro looks. Have you had the 32.5 serviced? Have you reversed the casing to make it look 'olive'?

Richard Dane posted:

Loki, all else being equal, a Prefix outperforms the internal boards. 

I did think about the Prefix at one point, but I have a MM Linn K18 cartridge (and a couple of replacement stylii) which I don't particularly want to change. And I understand MM modified Prefixes are rare as rocking horse droppings.

Paul, AFAIK there has never been a MM Prefix. At least not from the NAim factory...

the advantages of the Prefix - I.e. minimising the signal cabling from cartridge to step up/eq - are best realised with a low output MC. It's less critical with an MM where a certain amount of cable capacitance is often required. 

Foot tapper posted:

Good advice from HH.  I too would skip the 102 if vinyl is your source of choice.

A 32.5 powered by a Supercap is remarkably capable , though may not address the styling issue for you.

An external phono stage + a Supernait 2 would be a cracking combination.  Which sources do you use for vinyl & digital replay of music, i.e. which turntable, CD player and/or streamer?  There does seem to be a particular synergy between certain combinations of cartridge & phono stage, so the choice of phono stage will depend on which cartridge you use.

Best regards, FT

Actually Vinyl is now only an occasional pleasure - 80% of the time it is digital streamed (flacs on a NAS or internet) - 10% vinyl - 10% CD (if I had a working CD player). Hi-Cap and 32.5 are old, ugly (IMHO) and overdue servicing and I would have ideally liked a modern/matching/affordable replacement. As that doesn't seem to be available in the Naim range, it looks like my only real option is to swap the UnitiQute+NAP100 for a Uniti2 (partly solves the broken CD/DVD player problem) , a Stageline (or MM Prefix if I can find one) and get the Hi-Cap serviced .

 

 

Richard Dane posted:

Paul, AFAIK there has never been a MM Prefix. At least not from the NAim factory...

the advantages of the Prefix - I.e. minimising the signal cabling from cartridge to step up/eq - are best realised with a low output MC. It's less critical with an MM where a certain amount of cable capacitance is often required. 

Thanks Richard. I thought I read on an old thread that Naim would do a MM Prefex on request - maybe there were never any requests...

Loki, sorry, I'm not quite sure I have fully understood your question.  Better than what?  The 32.5?  As a line level pre-amp yes, I'd say the NAC82 outperforms the NAC32.5 - the big box pre-amps generally have better bandwidth at the extremes compared to the shoeboxes.

For all that, I like the NAC32.5 very much - one of my favourites and a real classic that can still perform really well in the right system.  And any shoebox pre-amp that can accommodate two turntables, two recorders, a tuner and something else (possibly digital?), and comes with a handy mono switch to boot, has to be alright in my book.

@Paul Holden - Ok, so to simply and de-link things, how about considering a Rega Fono phono stage - as a cheaper/more cost effective way to deliver your 10% Vinyl fix....? That would connect into any current Naim combi or pre very nicely. 

Alternatively, there is the Naim Stageline, as a (much) more expensive in-house option - which can be directly powered from some (not sure which) Naim units.

ianrobertm posted:

@Paul Holden - Ok, so to simply and de-link things, how about considering a Rega Fono phono stage - as a cheaper/more cost effective way to deliver your 10% Vinyl fix....? That would connect into any current Naim combi or pre very nicely. 

Alternatively, there is the Naim Stageline, as a (much) more expensive in-house option - which can be directly powered from some (not sure which) Naim units.

The Stageline is affordable, but on its own doesn't solve the need for a couple of additional analogue inputs. So, unless someone can come up with a prono-stage with additional analogue inputs, I would have to change the Qute for a Uniti/Uniti2 - or just keep using the old boxes.

Paul Holden posted:
Richard Dane posted:

A Stageline can be powered from the AUX2 on a Uniti/Uniti2, NAC52, NAC112, NAC112x, NAC122x, NAC202, NAC282, NAC252, NAC552, NAIT 5, NAIT 5xs, and Supernaits.

Not a (CB) Hi-Cap?

Yes Paul, however, my reply was to elaborate on Ian's post where he mentioned powering from the AUX2 socket on a Naim pre-amp but wasn't sure which pre-amps provided this.

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