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Naim DAC Inputs

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I have seen little discussion on the recently release Naim DAC with regards to their recommended input (e.g. USB, Coax, TOSLINK). There has been a recent discussion on CA concerning Async vs Non-async DAC's. Naim is taking a different approach with regards to inputs. Big surprise there.


Their actual "preference" seems to be TOSLINK with four TOSLINK inputs available. If I read the Naim whitepaper correctly, they actually recommend TOSLINK over Coax due to potential of Coax to pick up noise. Part of their reasoning for TOSLINK is that lots of consumer level products have TOSLINK outputs, meaning that you can plug in several different pieces of equipment making it very versatile.


Their approach for dealing with jitter is to have 10 separate clocks. This whole issue is beyond my understanding but I have not read where other DAC's are using this approach, at least to this extent.


If you have not read their whitepaper, it is at:




It is an interesting read which discusses their thinking why they have done what they did.



Beresford North America



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Naim is not taking the usb road for they claim that it would bring too much noise from the computer.

And so they favor Toslink. They like the M Audio Transit with the latest Asio drivers.

Sorry to say that my listening experience confirmed this. The three of us preferred the "legacy" Arc DAC7 with M Audio Transit and standard usb cable to direct Usb with a Ayre Qb9 with wireworld ultraviolet usb cable.The usb cable does have a strong impact on the Ayre Qb9. I don't think it has anything to do with data transfer. Is it due to the computer noise transferred to the Dac?




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I think that the "TOSLink to Naim DAC" is slightly more complicated. Naim are a big proponent of a single earthing point which an unisolated SPDIF / Coax connection could damage. Therefore they give the advise of using TOSLink as an easy solution isolated connection between DAC and Computer. That's not to say TOSLink is automatically

the best connection if SPDIF is correctly isolated.






...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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