The Naim Audio Stageline MC phono preamplifier stems from old phono stages that Naim Audio dedicated to its built-in models and preamplifiers a few years ago.
For quality reasons and due to a lack of space on current products, Naim Audio has released a separate RIAA preamplifier, which makes it available to users without a system from the manufacturer.
Naim Audio Stageline MC: versions
The Stageline is available in MM and MC variant.
The one we are reviewing here is the MC version, available in three variants, making it perfectly compatible with your cartridge in terms of load level and impedance: the E, specifically designed to operate with MC cartridges with an output level greater than 0.8 µV (400 µV/560 ohms), the K for low output moving coil cartridges (100 µV/560 ohms), and the S (100 µV/470 ohms).
Clearly, this phono preamplifier is designed for high-end moving coil cartridges. If you intend to use it with a non Naim Audio preamp, you will need a power supply and DIN 4-pin/RCA interconnect.
Naim Audio Stageline MC: power supply
Our friends from Salisbury are faithful to their separate power supply units, which requires adding at least a Flatcap XS, HiCap or SuperCap to this Naim Audio Stageline MC.
If you have a NaimUniti, NAIT XS, SuperNait or NAC 152XS, 202, 282, 252, 552, no power supply is required.
However, from experience, an outboard power supply yields far superior results.
Naim Audio Stageline MC: listening and review
When the system is wired and powered up, as with most turntables in this range, a break-in period is necessary and it can take quite a while… It takes about fifty hours for the results to be on par with the investment.
And despite all the waiting....it lives up to our expectations! You have all the ingredients that have made Naim Audio a legend.
Playback of this Naim Audio Stageline MC phono preamplifier is very punchy and makes the sound quality very vibrant. You'll be surprised to find yourself tapping your feet to the music! Also, this spontaneity is not to the detriment of the timbre quality, which is consistently precise and in its place.
Naturally, all these qualities are enhanced if you add a HiCap and transfigured with a SuperCap. Franck
Supply voltage: 24 V
Supply option: NaimUniti, NAIT XS, SuperNait, 152XS, 202, 282, 252, 552, FlatCap XS, HiCap, SuperCap
Connectors: Naim Snaic 5 cable
Gain: 60 dB
Dimensions: 57 x 121 x 187mm
Version K: Minimum input sensitivity: 100 uV - Input impedance: 560 Ohms (low output MC)
Version S: Minimum input sensitivity: 100 uV - Input impedance: 470 Ohms (low output MC)
Version E: Minimum input sensitivity: 400 uV - Input impedance: 560 Ohms (medium output MC)