Alternative to Phantom speaker cable

Just received my KS1 and it has been in my system for a few hours now, early impressions so far coincide with the recent comments, it is definitely thinner sounding compared to the NACA5 (and probably Phantoms). Nevertheless, I like what it does so far especially to the mid band, it sounds maybe a bit more open and a tad more refined, no harshness detected, which I was afraid of prior to purchasing due to the silver plating. I suppose it needs some time to settle, so will not make any final conclusions yet. Will report back in a week or so.

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I connected my KS1 a couple of days ago. First impression compared to the TQ Ultra Black II is not very positive. Sound is a little bit darker and less focused. The most difference in the bass response, more muddle and less narrow and pulsating bass. Soundstage also is less extended. Surely every recording can be listened without any harshness but I miss the detail of TQ. I give it one week before swap again to the TQ Ultra Black II :crossed_fingers:t2:

However I noted that my 300DR is colder than before. I need to listen to one hour at high volume to definitely check it.

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Probably needs plenty of time to burn in fully.

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Burning in the Kudos KS1 takes a very long time.
I bought the Tellurium burn-in CD.
And I let the second track run around the clock for three days. After that, the cable had a completely different performance.


As someone who has owned Phantom, KS-1 and now Spectre I can confirm Spectre is justifiably the best sound in my system (252/300DR/Titan 606). But they did take >100 hours to realise their full potential. Such a shame WH went out of business. It would have sold by the truck load I reckon.


I really wanted to try the Witch Hat cables but Phantom was out of stock and I (fortuitously) was wary of paying up front for the Spectre. I do like the KS-1 though.

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After a week with the KS1 in my system, I have reached to the conclusion that it is not my cup of tea, as much as I like it. Yes it was a short period and the lead is not broken in entirely, but so far more or less I can judge how the overall character of my kit is about to change and I kind of don’t want to go in that direction.

This cable is such an improvement over NACA5 (in certain aspects) that from the very first minutes I installed it, I knew it was a special one, it does almost everything better than the Naim cable, with one exception - it lacks body, fullness, warmth. It is very detailed, very good midrange and vocals, very refined, open and clear with absolutely no harshness, but one thing that is missing is the bottom end, bass is tight and articulate, but that lower end grunt of the NACA5 is missing. It is kind of analytical, it lacks emotion - during the week I have mostly listened to music I know very well and I was hearing details I haven’t heard previously, but I was just standing and staring, I was not involved nor engaged with the music, just standing still.

This specific character will probably not be so obvious with bigger floorstanding speakers, as by design they go lower than my ProAc standmounts, but anyhow, with my speaker it is very lean sounding and the music is just a sound with no real emotion to it. One strange thing I noticed is when I was moving in front of the speaker, there were spots where if was on the left hand side or near the left speaker in one particular position, the sound from right one suddenly dissapeared, and same on the right side with the left speaker, looks as if I had to rearrange or change the toe in angle so it suits the new cable, the ribbon tweeter is known to be kind of directional, but with the Naim cable I haven’t experienced such thing before.

At some point I might try the Phantoms, out of curiosity, which was exactly the case and with the Kudos cable, in general I am completely satisfied with the NACA5, but it was worth the try and at least I know how it compares to alternative cables.


I just rolled up my Phantom 10m pair and put them in a closet. I went back to the NACA5. I think my upgrades over the last few years seem to favor using NACA5 now.


When I was about to buy the cables from Signals I first enquired for KS1 but the gentleman asked for my gear and recommended to go for NAC A5 and said Kudos cables are better suited to ones having Kudos Speakers.

Was there any particular aspect to the sound character that you did not like with the Phantoms?

I think I just prefer the overall presentation of the NACA5. Seems to sound more natural. If anything the Phantom are maybe a bit lean and lacking warmth and texture in the midrange.

I will probably listen for a few months and then break out the Phantom again to see what I think.


Hi @Yorkshireman

I had the Phantom a changed them for the following
Continuing the discussion from Loudspeaker Cables For SN3:

The AQ, IMHO, knocked the Phantom into a Cocked hat. YMMV

In this case I’m fortunate to be in the US, lots of choices. I’ve settled on Audience Audio FrontRow.

This is really such a personal preference choice - I have tried NACA5 and WH Phantom, but the TelluriumQ UltraBlack2 are still the cables in my system

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My comparison and impression between the NAC A5 and the Chord Epic XL was that the Chord was more revealing and also had more control of the bass and treble. Overall more musical information than the NAC A5.

The NAC A5 sounded rough and unrefined YET more realistic. At the end I chose the realism of the NAC A5 but I may revisit the speaker cables in the future.

The NAC A5 definitely has that warmth in the mids with more punch than the Chord. Not that the chord sounded thin. Absolutely not. It has a wholesome bass with good definition. Bass digs lower and treble is more extended too. To be honest I don’t understand why the NAC A5 sounds more realistic in my system. It’s like the body and the instruments sound lifelike even though a little rough around the edges.

It’s like the NAC 52 preamp for me. It’s noise floor is high but it brings music alive in a way many other preamps don’t.


I believe it’s just a matter of matching your speakers, room and taste more. Simple as that :blush: My SHL5 Plus was rather thin in the bass compared to the Tannoy I have now. And I can completely understand why naca5 match Harbeth better than for example my Tannoy which already have more warmth and scale in the low/mid frequencies.

One can to a big extent use speaker cables as tone control for the final balancing of the system.


Damn those gateway drugs! Like amps, network players, et al… :joy:

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Thanks for all the info here everybody. I’ve currently got the Witch-hat N2 speaker cable and feel with what I’ve got my system up to now I’m probably not giving my new speakers and boxes a fair chance.

The Naim cable is out of the question because it’s just not “usable” around my furniture etc, so it looks like the KS-1 is sounding favourite? Any “helpful” comments? :grin:

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I ended up packing my Phantom 10m pair away in the boxes. I’ve been using the NACA5 7m pair now for a month or more and have enjoyed my system more. I also sorted out the problem with it not being long enough to hide behind my record shelves, by running it through a color-matched conduit in front of them.

I also restored my original Naim DIN-XLR cables and still have to decide between them and the Morgana version.

KS-1 is dependent on good connectors so don’t cheap out on them, using naim plugs here and the sound IME is preferable to NACA5.

The fitting of various makes of connectors may explain why findings differ…