A Hi-Line on your new Naim streamer or not?

Hi there folks,

Just out of curiosity really. How are you folks connected up with your new generation Naim streamer? I keep flipping to and thro from the supplied grey/lavender & Hi-Line and I just cannot decide on which to settle on. I’m finding the supplied stock cable more open, slightly better timing, tighter, but also thinner sounding compared to Hi-Line. The Hi-Line on the other hand is smoother (rounded?), wider with a heavier sound. If only this stuff was easy. My dealer says to use the Hi-Line but i’m in two minds and can’t decide. Perhaps my 5Si amplifier is not revealing enough to show what the Hi-Line is really capable enough. Mind you, I’ve read here that folks have been in a similar dilemma with much more higher end stuff. I’m interested in what you guys think and would appreciate any feed back whether it be negative or positive.

Lavender is a good cable.

Hi-Line is a considerable upgrade over Lavender, especially for digital sources. If you already own it, just use it.

The best way to test it is what I call a ‘long-term reverse test’:

  • Connect your HiLine and use it for a month or two - your system and your ears need to adjust to the sound.
  • After few months connect your Lavender - you will immediately realise if you miss the HiLine or you prefer the Lavender.

Hope the above helps.


I was impressed by a demo of the Hi-Line but underwhelmed for a while after I got one. When it broke going back to lavender was a revelation. Lots of space around notes disappeared but the PRaT was a joy and more than compensated. Getting a fixed Hi-Line back made me realise how broken mine was though. It may have been broken from day one and this us something you should check for.

Everything was much more realistic and smoother.

It recently caused further consternation largely because the two wires inside had become twisted over the length of the insulation. Manually gently untwisting it with finger and thumb has me listening to music every night once again.

All that said I strongly believe that a Hi-Line is important for what it takes out rather than adds in. The noise floor mostly.

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Hi Ste … Yesterday from the retailer I found that for our ND5xs2 streamer we would need the xs2 amplifier … It sounds better

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Hi Adam,
I am currently using a Chord Chrysalis RCA phono to 5 pin DIN cable to go from streamer to Naim pre-amp. This is a temporary set up.

The dealer recommendations appear to be Chord Sarum at £2,000, Naim Super Lumina at £2,150 or Vertere Pulse B or R at nearly £1,000 or £2,700. They seem rather expensive for what would be an “act of faith”.

What are you using?

Best regards, BF

Thanks Adam, your post makes perfect sense to me and that is what I will do, great suggestion. My partner starts to get up and dance when the Hi-Line is in so I guess that says it all really… she says the sound is more flowing and has more kick in the bass drum.

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SuperLumina is my prefered choice. I tried Chord vs Naim and chose Naim.


Hi Mike,
I had the same thing happen to my Hi-Line from new, it was never right to begin with. Since then I had it sent back to Naim for repair and it came back sounding much better than it ever did.

Hi Andrea,

Yep, this is my next move for sure, thanks for your confirmation on this. I was kind of thinking about flogging the Hi-Line but maybe the NAIT 5Si is holding it back, so instead i have come here to hear what other users have experienced with the two cables, before I do anything else.

Hi Steve,
Not sure if this helps but you may need to give the HiLine cable a couple of days to relax (if you’ve been switching it in and out with the stock lavender) for it to start showing its best.

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The Hi-Line does sound richer and fuller bodied through my headphones and that is just using a pair of Grado SR325e cans from the 5si headphone socket.

Thanks Vic. Yes that did cross my mind but wasn’t sure. I’m going to do what Adam has suggested above and leave the Hi-Line in for a few weeks and then revert back to the stock cable. I do like the zest of the stock cable though…

Good move! My take on these higher end Naim cables is similar to yours… richer, effortless sound. I like the way they extend the upper ranges but without harshness or glare…and most of all they don’t artificially exaggerate instruments and vocals.

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It’s really hard to make a decision based on flicking between two options, and it generally just ends in confusion. Doing as Adam suggests is a really good idea. The best cable isn’t the one that gives better bass, treble, separation or whatever, but the one that lets you lose yourself in the music for hours on end without thinking about it.

One thing - and I’m pretty sure you’ll know this already, but just in case - it’s really important that a hiline hangs free without touching the wall, the rack, or any other cables.

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Hi Nigel,

yes I have the Hi-Line hanging without touching anything in a nice continuous free hanging loop as described to install it in the instruction leaflet. I have to say that the music does indeed flow better with the Hi-Line connected. There is a certain calmness to it but at the same a more sophisticated & seducing presentation to it, allowing me to further lose myself in the music (in a good way). Fabulous stuff really. I have put the supplied stock cable back in the ND5 XS 2 box and all is now forgotten. I was indeed becoming confused with flicking from one cable to the next, as you quite rightly point out. The Hi-Line is a keeper now. It has made more of a impact with the streamer than it did with my CD player too. Thanks for your input.

I’ve just got to purchase some posh ethernet cables now. My dealer recommends Audioquest Vodka - I have just been surfing the 'tinternet on such stuff, way beyond my technical knowledge but i’m told it’s worth it over patch ones.

Beware your dealer’s silver tongue and sales patter. Posh ethernet cables - I use Vodka - are very much optional icing on the cake. The first change to make, should you wish to make one, is a Nait XS. It’s also worth noting that my secondhand Cisco switch that I bought for £50 made a bigger difference than £500 worth of Vodka cables. Focus on the basics and you won’t go far wrong.


Definitely Nait XS next no question. Not that i’m in a rush to change anything at this minute but I now know where i’m heading and now know that my Neat’s will benefit hugely, more than me at this stage, adding some fancy ethernet cables. Like you say, icing on the cake. Thanks for the pointer about the switch, I shall look into this, especially as though it is not exactly going to break the bank. Thank you!

The Cisco 2960 8TC-L is the one you want. It has a built in power supply, so no temptation to fiddle there, and is fanless and therefore silent.

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Brilliant! Thanks again Nigel!

I have Audioquest Forest ethernet cables. They are less than Vodka and are still high quality. I’ve often wondered if it would be worth it to go higher up the line to the Vodka.

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