Preamplifier

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Product Reference Information

Behind The Badge

Suggested System

A Naim Retailer will recommend the right system for you, however you may choose to partner the NAC-N 172 XS with the following as a start:

  • Separates System
  • NAP 155 XS
    NAP 155 XS

    The NAC-N 172 XS' ideal partner is the NAP 155 XS, although it can be paired with any Naim or non-Naim power amplifier

  • Ovator S-400
    Ovator S-400
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NAC-N 172 XS Preamplifier

NAC-N 172 XS
  • NAC-N 172 XS
  • NAC-N 172 XS
  • NAC-N 172 XS
  • NAC-N 172 XS
  • NAC-N 172 XS
  • Review
  • Review

The best of both worlds
The NAC-N 172 XS defines a point at which worlds collide – the traditional world of separate pre and power amplifiers, and the new world of network streaming. It's a conventional preamplifier, perfectly at home in a Naim separates environment where, partnered by a Naim NAP 155 XS power amplifier perhaps, it can reproduce music from CD or vinyl in a way that stirs the soul and quickens the pulse. But the NAC-N 172 XS also opens the door onto the new sphere of high resolution audio, internet radio and streamed music. It's a sphere that has just the same soul stirring potential as conventional audio sources, but that's effectively limitless in scope and content.

Liberation in control
The NAC-N 172 XS can be controlled via the front panel buttons and digitally controlled analogue volume knob, the standard remote control handset or the n-Stream app for iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch. Using the n-Stream app is a uniquely liberating experience, allowing not just easy control of music playback, but the possibility to explore a music collection and find new music from the expanded music information feature delivered by Rovi. Full system automation means a Naim CD player can also be controlled directly from the app.


  • High quality preamplifier including digitally controlled analogue volume control
  • UPnP™-enabled to stream audio files from any UPnP enabled server such as UnitiServe or a NAS at up to 32bit/192kHz resolution
  • vTuner 5* full service internet radio
  • Optional FM/DAB module variant available
  • Streams/plays WAV, FLAC, ALAC, AIFF, AAC, WMA, Ogg Vorbis and MP3 files
  • Full Naim Multiroom functionality including Party Mode
  • Gapless playback available on all lossless file formats
  • Front-panel USB port for replay of MP3 player/iPod and USB-stored audio  
  • Digital USB connection from iPod/iPhone for ultimate quality and iPod control
  • Multiple intuitive control interfaces: front panel, remote control handset and n-Stream control app
  • Full system automation, wired remote in and wired remote out
  • USB mini-b connector for software upgrades
  • Linear power supply with 230VA transformer with separate windings for digital and analogue sections
  • High quality Burr-Brown PCM1793 DAC
  • Ground selector switch for optimum performance with many sources and power amps
  • Five 24bit/192kHz-capable S/PDIF digital inputs (2 x coaxial RCA, 2 x TOSlink, 1 x front panel mini-TOSlink)
  • 3 analogue inputs (1 DIN, 1 RCA pair, 1 x 3.5mm front-panel socket)
  • 1 line output
  • DIN and RCA preamplifier analogue outputs
  • Front-panel 3.5mm headphone connector
  • OLED display for high contrast and easy visibility
  • Ethernet and Wi-Fi network connectivity

As the first Naim streaming preamplifier, the NAC-N 172 XS introduces numerous innovative techniques for signal processing and isolation to ensure that each audio signal or stream is output with maximum fidelity. It employs a Burr Brown digital to analogue converter chip that offers the same performance as the one fitted to the digital benchmark Naim NDX network player, and it benefits from all the filtering and signal management techniques that have brought Naim to the forefront of digital music in the home.

NAC-N 172 XS component selection is entirely optimised for sound quality and the XS style case construction helps minimise microphony by providing a rigid, non-resonant foundation for the electronics. Like every Naim product, fastidious attention to power supply noise and regulation, PCB layout and earthing topology, is a fundamental element of NAC-N 172 XS performance.

The result of all this extraordinary technology is extraordinary music reproduction that lives, breathes and satisfies. Integrate a NAC-N 172 XS in an existing audio system, or build a new pre/power amplifier system around it, and the world of high resolution audio, UPnP™ streaming, and the vast resource of internet radio can connect seamlessly with your existing world of CD and vinyl.

AUDIO INPUTS
Input Impedance 30kΩ
Input Sensitivity 200mV
Analogue Inputs 1 x 5-pin DIN, 1 x RCA pair, 1 x 3.5mm front
Digital Inputs 5 x S/PDIF (2 x coaxial RCA, 2 x optical TOSlink, 1 x 3.5mm front panel mini-TOSlink)
Sample rates maximum 192kHz (coaxial), 96kHz (optical)
UPnP Ethernet (RJ45) or Wi-Fi
USB/iPod 1 front-panel socket
AUDIO OUTPUTS
Analogue Outputs (variable level) 1 x 4-pin DIN, 1 x RCA pair
Analogue Outputs (fixed level) 1 x RCA pair
Output Level 1Vrms
Frequency Response 5Hz to 40kHz
THD + N 0.015%
Signal-To-Noise Ratio (S/N Ratio) 90dB
Crosstalk 80dB
Output Impedance <47Ω (variable outputs), <600Ω (fixed output)
Load Impedance 10kΩ (min.)
Headphone outputs Stereo (front panel 3.5mm jack)
UPGRADES
Other Hi-Line, Power-Line, any power amplifier
CONNECTIVITY
Remote Input 3.5mm panel jack on rear (RC5)
USB Updates only (rear panel USB mini-B)
Remote Output 3.5mm panel jack on rear (RC5)
Network Ethernet (Cat5), Wi-Fi
Remote Control Infra Red (RC5)
FORMATS
Audio Formats Supported WAV and AIFF (up to 32bit/192kHz) FLAC (up to 24bit/192kHz) ALAC (up to 24bit/96kHz) WMA (up to 16bit/48kHz) must be WMA 9.2 Ogg Vorbis (up to 16bit/48kHz) MP3, M4a (up to 320kbit/s), Playlists (M3U, PLS) iRadio Service Provider vTuner 5* full service Int
Multiroom Master: Will stream native quality WAV, FLAC and AIFF (up to 24bit/48kHz), ALAC (up to 16bit/44.1kHz), AAC and MP4 (up to 16bit/48kHz) files only Client: Will play 320kbps MP3 quality only
USER CONTROL INTERFACES
Front Panel Volume control, logo mute and buttons
Handheld Remote handset included and optional n-Stream app for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch available from the App store.
POWER
Mains Supply 100V, 115V or 230V, 50/60Hz
Power Consumption 35VA (max.)
PRODUCT CERTIFICATIONS & LICENSES
Certifications vTuner Premium
Licenses MP3, AAC, DAB
PHYSICAL
Dimensions 70 x 432 x 301mm (H x W x D)
Weight 5.65kg
Shipping Dimensions 200 x 590 x 500mm (H x W x D)
Shipping Weight 7.5kg
OTHER
Tuning Range FM 87.5 - 108MHz, DAB Band III and L Band
iRadio Service Provider vTuner 5* full service
FINISH
Front Brushed and black anodised
Case Black powder coated

REVIEWS

Here is a selection of reviews that have been written about this product. Where PDF downloads or online links are available to us, they are featured.

  • Hi-Fi World - February 2013

    "Whether you are new to Naim or already a user, it's well worth a listen."
  • What Hi-Fi? Sound & Vision - October 2012

    "An engaging and high-res-happy performer – and a real star turn at this price level."
  • Gramophone - October 2012

    "There’s a directness and honesty about the sound that really communicates a recording very well indeed."
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