Naim Audio av2 Analog & Digital Surround Processor / Preamp

$799

Pictured alongside the Naim two and three-channel amplifiers (that are not included in this listing), the av2 is the component at the bottom of the stack.

A great sounding, powerfully configurable preamp capable of processing and decoding popular Dolby and DTS digital 5.1 surround sound formats (scroll down in this listing for full details from Naim on the supported formats).

This preamp has balanced XLR inputs and outputs that you'd be hard pressed to find anywhere else in this price range.

Working perfectly, and fully tested in our lab. 

Includes the preamp, a power cable and the original Naim narcom av remote.

From the Owner's Manual concerning connectivity:

"The av2 has a total of ten audio inputs: six stereo analog and four digital.

The analog inputs are connected through a combination of DIN and phono sockets while two digital inputs are connected through optical “TosLink” sockets and two through coaxial phono sockets.

Analog input sockets ONE and TWO are “versatile” sockets that can be combined to enable the connection of source components that already offer multi-channel outputs - DVD Audio and Super Audio CD for example. When operating in combined mode, eight or six input channels (available on the two DIN sockets) are routed internally direct to the output volume control, bypassing the internal signal decoding. Eight or six channel combined mode is selected during the Input Setup routine described in Section 9.

The input THREE socket also carries a stereo audio output signal. If the av2 is to be integrated into a conventional stereo audio system this input/output socket should be connected either to the system’s “tape monitor circuit” or in the case of a Naim system to the appropriate preamplifier, power supply or power amplifier input socket."

Technical Specifications:
Inputs:. Six stereo analog, two coaxial digital, two optical digital.
Outputs:. Main left and right, surround left and right, centre, extra rear left and right, sub-woofer. Two coaxial digital, one optical digital.
Decode Modes:. Mono, Stereo, Dolby Pro Logic II, Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Surround EX, DTS Surround and Neo:6.
Mains supply:. 100V. 115V.  230V - 50/60Hz.
Case size (H x W x D):. 2.76" x 17" x 11.85"  (70 x 432 x 301mm).

Please click here for detailed specifics regarding our specialized packing process that separates us from the rest.

Item

Included

Original Box

No

Manual

Online

Remote

Yes

Cables

Yes - Power

Physical Condition

9

Working Condition

10

Surround encoding background and technology:
Feature films have carried the multi-channel sound tracks necessary for “surround sound” in some cases since the 1950s. But only since the mid 80’s have the benefits of surround sound been available to domestic “home theatre” consumers. The technology that first enabled four channels of audio to be decoded from the stereo soundtrack of consumer media such as video cassette is Dolby Surround Pro Logic. Since Dolby Surround Pro Logic, and especially following the introduction of digital audio-visual products such as DVD, enhanced encode and decode technologies have been introduced that enable a greater number of higher quality channels of audio to be encoded. With digital encoding techniques such as Dolby Digital and DTS Surround, appropriately encoded feature films, music and even computer games can be reproduced in full- bandwidth surround sound with up to seven audio channels (left, right, centre, surround left, surround right, surround extra, low-frequency effects).

The following few paragraphs provide a short description and explanation of each decode technology and mode available on the av2. Further technical information can be found at www.dolby.com and www.dtsonline.com.

Naim av2 Digital Decoding Formats
Dolby Surround Pro Logic
Dolby Surround Pro Logic is a matrix decoding process that generates four output signals (left, right, centre, surround) from a Dolby Surround encoded analog stereo input signal. It is built into virtually every home theatre audio system. The nature of Pro Logic decoding constrains the single surround channel to relatively narrow bandwidth.

Dolby Surround Pro Logic II
Dolby Surround Pro Logic II is an improved analog matrix decoding technology that provides improved surround performance on Dolby Surround encoded program material. While earlier surround programme material is fully compatible with Pro Logic II, appropriately encoded soundtracks can take full advantage of its enhancements - which include separate full bandwidth left and right surround channels. Pro Logic II also features two distinct decoding options for “music” and “movie” programme material.

Dolby Digital
Dolby Digital is a fully digital decoding technology that provides three full bandwidth front channels, two full bandwidth surround channels, and one low-frequency effects channel - a channel scheme known generically as “3/2.1” (or “5.1”). The encoding technique for Dolby Digital, known as Dolby AC-3, has since 1995 been used on many Video Laser Discs and more recently on DVD. Dolby AC-3 encoding can also be found on digital television services. In addition to encoding audio for six channel replay, Dolby AC- 3 incorporates compression techniques that ease audio data storage and transmission demands and can enable, for example, a single DVD to carry a complete movie.

Dolby Digital 2/0
A variation of Dolby Digital 3/2.1 is Dolby Digital 2/0. Dolby Digital 2/0 takes advantage of Dolby AC-3 data compression in order to reduce the data storage demands of stereo programme material. The “2/0” denotes the use of just two main audio channels with no low frequency effects channel. Programme material encoded for a “2.1” (two main channels with one sub-woofer channel) channel scheme is also available and can be handled within Dolby 2/0 decoding.

Dolby Digital Surround EX
The Dolby Digital Surround EX theatre system was co-developed by Dolby Laboratories and Lucasfilm THX, and was first used theatrically for the movie Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace in 1999. The system uses 5.1-channel Dolby Digital encoding but delivers an additional surround channel by mixing its signal into the left surround and right surround channels using matrix encoding. This additional channel is matrix decoded upon playback and routed to one or more centre rear speaker. Listeners with regular 5.1 channel Dolby Digital systems do not lose the extra surround channel information; it is simply reproduced by the left surround and right surround channels.

DTS Surround
DTS Surround is an alternative digital audio encoding format that has become popular with feature film producers and can therefore be found on many DVDs. The first feature film to be DTS encoded was Jurassic Park in 1993. DTS Surround provides a similar 3/2.1 channel scheme to Dolby Digital with the encoding technology also providing data compression. The DTS data compression ratio is lower than that in AC-3 however and it is argued that DTS can provide better audio quality. The downside of any quality improvement over AC-3 is however higher data storage requirements.

DTS-ES Matrix
DTS-ES (Extended Surround) Matrix is an enhancement of DTS Surround where a seventh channel is matrix encoded into the left and right surround channels (matrix encoding is the class of technology used in Dolby Surround Pro Logic). DTS-ES Matrix provides a 6.1 channel scheme with the extra channel used to reproduce effects located directly behind the listener.

DTS-ES Discrete 6.1
DTS-ES Discrete 6.1 differs from ES Matrix in providing a fully independent seventh audio channel rather than it being matrix encoded into two existing channels. This enhancement provides opportunities for producers and engineers to generate surround effects that would not be otherwise possible.

DTS Neo:6
DTS Neo:6 provides a decoding technique that enables legacy analog or digital stereo programme material to take advantage of contemporary decoding technology and 6.1 channel schemes. Material matrix encoded for four surround channels, or even un- encoded stereo material can be processed by the DTS Neo:6 decoder to generate 3 main channels, 3 surround channels. The low-frequency channel is generated by down-stream filtering.

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