Naim audio poster wholesale

Naim NAC 42


Username: Chuttt

Post Number: 2
Registered: Sep-05
Posted on
Can't find much info. on the net. Seems like it's in general being sold for $ 150-200 range. I know it's a product from the 80's. Anyone has experience in that? I'm looking for a decent pre but $ is running short. I have a Mac MC2105 .... anyone know if Naim and Mac fit together? Thanks.  

Username: Jimmyblues

Post Number: 1
Registered: Dec-10
Posted on
The Naim NAC 42 preamp is one of the earlier preamp's manufactured by Naim Audio. It was built from the late 1970's until the mid 1980's when it was replaced by the NAC 42.5.

Although it was designed to be used with a Naim SNAPS power supply (which had a single 24 volt rail) the NAC 42 can be used with later dual 24 volt rail Naim power supplies, such as the Hi-Cap.

However, the NAC 42 will only utilize one of the 24 volt rails in the Hi-Cap, while the later .5 preamps (Naim 42.5. 32.5 as well as the NAC 62 and NAC 72 preamp's) will run both of the 24 volt rails in the hi-cap.

In this author's opinion, the upgrading from a SNAPS with the NAC 42 to a Hi-Cap, makes more difference than upgrading the NAC 42 to a 42.5, since the Hi-Cap itself is a far superior power supply than the SNAPS.

Of course, upgrading the 42 to 42.5 specification will also offer subtle yet noticeable improvements in soundstaging and overall dynamics; especially when using the phono stage of this preamp.

Once again, the differences will be subtle.

The NAC 42 usually sells for under $ 250, depending on condition.

As previously stated, these preamps are at least 25 to 30 years old now, being manufactured from the late 1970's to the mid 1980's. This also makes it tough to find one that's in nice cosmetic shape.

And if you see an NAC 42 with the Naim logo in what appears to be gold coloring, that preamp has been used by a smoker. It's the smoke which discolored it. Some Naim enthusiasts have inquired as to why some of Naim's older chrome bumper equipment had the gold color lettering, thinking that this equipment may have been slightly different than the Naim gear with the silver lettering.

Moreover, if a Naim NAC 42 has a pair of phono boards, that can add $ 50 - $ 100 to its price. Unnecessary if you are only interested in using the 42 as a preamp, in which you may get a great deal on one which doesn't have the phono boards.


Username: Nuck

Post Number: 15634
Registered: Dec-04
Posted on
Jimmy, welcome to the forum. Your technical knowledge will help a lot in this small forum. Welcome.

However, I am hurt. I was waiting till Jan 23rd to post a 5th anniversary addendum to this post, and have been looking forward to doing so for nigh-on 6 months now.

It's all a trade-off, lads.  

Username: Jimmyblues

Post Number: 2
Registered: Dec-10
Posted on
Thanks, Nuck ...  

Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 13686
Registered: Feb-05
Posted on
"However, I am hurt. I was waiting till Jan 23rd to post a 5th anniversary addendum to this post, and have been looking forward to doing so for nigh-on 6 months now."

Now that is funny!  

Username: Nuck

Post Number: 15641
Registered: Dec-04
Posted on

Username: Paulnumber1

Post Number: 1
Registered: Mar-13
Posted on
Hi, I have an Nac42 and would like to use it with a hi cap. How do I connect them the Nac42 has a 4 pin din for the snaps whereas the hi cap has a 5 pin. I would be really grateful for your help.
Regards Paul.  

Username: Jimmyblues

Post Number: 3
Registered: Dec-10
Posted on
You'll need a Naim 5 pin DIN to 5 pin DIN SNAIC interconnect. The 5 pin DIN fits into the Hicap 5 pin DIN input (the input farthest to the right of the HICAP) and runs to the 5 pin DIN output on the Naim
42 (this is also the furthest DIN output on the right of the NAC 42).

Then you need to run a 4 pin DIN to 4 pin DIN SNAIC (Super Naim Audio Interconnect)
from the third DIN output on the HICAP to
the only DIN input on your NAIM stereo amplifier.

If you are using a pair of Naim 135 monoblocks, then you would use the first and second outputs of the HICAP (towards the left side of the HICAP) and run
a Naim 4 pin DIN - XLR interconnect to
each of the 135 monoblocks.

I believe that the first 4 pin DIN output on the HICAP is for the left channel, and the second 4 pin DIN output on the HICAP (just to the right of the left channel HICAP output) is for the right channel.

If you are using a power amplifier other than one manufactured by Naim Audio, you would then need a custom interconnect:

A 4 pin DIN to a pair of RCA cables for a stereo amplifier (the 4 pin DIN to a pair of RCA cables runs from the number 3 output of the HICAP to your stereo amplifier), or a pair of 4 pin DIN
to 1 RCA cables if you are using non Naim mono amplifiers.

Again, for the non Naim mono amplifier configuration a 4 pin DIN to single RCA would run from both the first and second
outputs on the HICAP (right and left channels), to their respective amplifiers.  

Username: Jimmyblues

Post Number: 4
Registered: Dec-10
Posted on
To the first poster in regard to using Naim preamps with non name amplifiers such as your Macintosh amp, you would need a Naim outboard power supply
to power the NAC 42, and a non standard 4 PIN DIN to a pair of RCA cables
to connect the Naim power supply (a SNAPS or HICAP or some of the later Naim power supplies) to your amplifier.

Naim Audio products tend to work best as a system, rather than mating them to other manufacturers' components. This is especially true with older Naim amplifiers which can become very unstable when used with non Naim preamplifiers, and non Naim speaker cable.

If I were you, I would pass on using a Naim preamp with your Mac amp, and find one from another manufacturer that does not require an outboard power supply to power it.

On an aside, the earliest Naim preamplifiers were powered by the amplifiers they were hooked up to via a 4 pin DIN to 4 pin DIN interconnect that joined both amp and preamp.

Outboard power supplies were later offered by NAIM Audio to improve the performance of both the company's preamplifiers and amplifiers, by operating completely independent of the Naim power amplifier.

The outboard power supply would instead operate between the preamp and amplifier.

The benefit here was that the outboard power supply offered a quieter source which enabled the amplifier to operate solely as an amplifier, no longer having to power the Naim preamp.

The Naim NAC 42 was at times updated by a Naim Audio dealer so that it could be used to run both 24 volt rails in a HICAP power supply, without the nomenclature on the back of the unit being changed to reflect this.

For instance, several years ago I purchased a used Naim NAC 42 which was sold as a 42.5. However, when I received the unit, the tag on its rear panel said NAC 42.

This particular preamplifier had been updated to a 42.5 without the tag on the back of the preamplifier being changed to reflect this modification.

Specifically, a 5 pin DIN output had been added to my NAC 42 for use with dual 24 volt Naim Audio power supplies, such as a Naim HICAP. This .5 modification enables the NAC 42 to run both 24 volt power rails in a HICAP instead of just the one that the Naim SNAPS had.

In stock form a Naim NAC 42 can be connected from its 4 PIN DIN output to socket 3 of a HICAP to run a single 24 volt rail in the HICAP. From what I understand, at some point in time Naim HICAPs were altered so that they could no longer be used in this way with earlier non.5 Naim preamplifiers.

The overall improvement when using a Naim preamplifier with a dual 24 volt rail vs a single 24 volt rail offers subtle, yet significant sonic improvements.

Just some food for thought.