DACs

Naim Audio DAC

ARTICLE INDEX

Setup

For CD playback I drove the Naim DAC from both my old Marantz CD63 and my new Emotiva ERC-1, first connected by an RCA cable that Naim supplied and later by optical. Using the Emotiva with an Ixos Ixotica DX1 was the clear winner. As I wrote in my review of the Neko D100 DAC it's a little disturbing that clear differences can be heard in optical connections. No co-mingling of ground planes is possible, jitter is eliminated by the DAC, what we are left with is hard errors in the digital transmission. If this is indeed the case they could easily be revealed with the proper equipment (which is admittedly not readily available).

I tried both the RCA and DIN outputs of the DAC. For the RCA connections I used some old Audioquest Sidewinder (I think) cables and the DIN to RCA conversion cable from Analysis Plus. For the DAC I used the power cord supplied by Naim, my XPS uses a power cord from bestdealcables.com as do the rest of the components in my system. These cables are a bargain in my mind and are perpetually on sale it seems. I use them to connect my Simaudio amplification chain (P5.3 preamp, W6 monoblocks) as well as the Naim gear to a Furman IT-Reference 20i power conditioner. When connecting to a PC was required I employed the Trends Audio UD10.1 to convert from USB to S/PDIF as the USB inputs on the Naim do not support direct connection to a computer. The manual talks mostly about connecting them to a USB Memory stick.