Another Cable question

Using CDX2.1 cd player with XPS
Nap 200 and Nac 202 + Hicap etc along with Neat Ekstra speakers 100 hours on the speakers.

My issue is after 100 hours I am not connecting with them. Sound feels forced and just not working.

I have spoken with numerous dealers who sell Naim and Neat and they all say they are a really good match.

They all however comment on the speaker cables. These are Chord Signature.

I get the Naca5 argument. Is this the reason?

Is the Chord Signature just not a good match.

Is it the running in of the speakers?

Is any body running Naim Neat & Chord Sugnature.

Thank you


I can’t respond directly to your question but with my speakers, Apertura, Chord cables are not a good match.
I have Apertura speakers cables with a nap 250 dr.

Unfortunately with speakers it is not sufficient for dealers to advise that component ‘x’ is a good match with speakers ‘y’. The speakers need to integrate with the room into which they are intended and you may find that you need to experiment with a few speakers to achieve a decent acoustic fit.

Speaker cables are an interesting means to fine tune your speakers. I had a set of NACA5 cables and in my room with nbl speakers the sound was screechy, harsh, very hard to listen to. Switching in chord signature cables took the edge of the harshness and provided a much better sound for my room with the nbls. I have since introduced new speakers and a different type of chord speaker cable.

I’m not being very helpful but speakers and cables can be very difficult to integrate within your home and sometimes experimentation is required. Trying to find the right saddle for cycling is a similar challenge!!


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I’ve had speakers that sound ideal in a shop demo sound very harsh when I got them home on loan so it may be the speakers, does the issue also occur when using the Linn? I also found the CDX2 rather bright, and ringing on piano music when I had my old Target style rack, I preferred the CD5x until I moved the system to Fraim Lite. You mention everything except a rack in your profile, what have you?

Naim and Neat are typically considered a good match … .however, if you are not happy with the end result I doubt that speaker cable will make your system sound completely different.

As you are on the Naim Forum, of course you will only have to wait before people advise you to use the NACA5 :smiley:

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Presumably the speakers were bought new. If so, they need a while to run in, so it may be that. I’d have thought your dealer would be able to lend you a set of A5 to try, then at least you’ll know whether the cable/speaker combination is a real issue. I’m sure you know that the speakers are designed for use near the back wall.

I notice in your profile a comment about struggling to find the right speaker. I find it really hard and have had a few failures, so you are not alone. If you have a solid wall behind them you could think about SBLs if you really can’t get the Neats working.

Hi folks thanks for the replies.
I am using Isoblue equipment support which I have had for years without problem.
I had a shop and home demo I tried speakers from Neat to Spendor A7. The A7 were awful. Overpowering and bass heavy in my room. The Neat open and bass controlled. This is still the case

The Neat sounded fine but 100 hours in and playing loads of cds the sound is so inconsistent from cd to cd.

Neat say 200 hours running in perhaps I just need to wait.

Played Moody Blues Severn Sojourn David Bowie Ziggy Stardust, Paul McCartney Run Devil Run, Alt J An Awesome Wave and they are absolutely awful. Played Jack Johnson , Tracy Chapman, Free Live, David Gray White Ladder album and they sounded great.

Very frustrated


I don’t know the Ekstra but my experience with Neat is that they need a good couple of hundred hours to run in. Inconsistency tends to be symptomatic of run in so I would wait another hundred hours or so and then play with speaker positioning before looking to change cables (or speakers).

Hi Elfer

I was hoping that was the case.

In particular I have found you can play a track and suddenly a voice seems to project suddenly. Leading edge of voices sometimes like there slurping tea. A high frequency will suddenly be projected or mashed into a horrible mess.

Bass doesn’t seem to be an issue.


Play the track again and it doesn’t happens so much.

Is your experience purely with Neat or in general. How have you obtained this opinion.

I ask respectfully.


Hi Yeti

Brightness is not an overriding issue. Its the cohesion of the sound, its not natural and feels like its forced and ill defined at the edges. The LP is not brilliant either.


Might be worth emailing Bob at Neat. He’s is a very amenable and helpful guy, he might be able to advise on optimum running times. It is difficult to imagine neat speakers with lack of cohesion, that is usually their main strength.
These are speakers that are on my radar to replace the old motive 2that I have, so please keep us posted on how you get on.

Hi Hungryhalibut.

I used to have SBL’s. They worked well with the Linn LP12 but not the Naim CD player.

Then a tweeter failed and I had a crossover issue. So moved them on for spares.

My dealer knows my system and my room and will lend me cables when lockdown is over.

I have a problem with my LP12 which they are going to look at bring to the house once sorted. They can listen and advise while they are here whenever that is.
They don’t like Naca5 though.

Both. I have specific experience with running in Neat MFS and with other speakers. If you consider your situation, the speaker is just half way through the manufacturers recommended run in period so that would seem to be the biggest variable. If it were something else (cable, positioning, speaker model etc), I would expect the disagreeable traits to be constant.

Run in traits I have experienced sound similar to those you are experiencing - one day it’s all a bit fluffy, another day certain notes make you close one eye like brain freeze from a cold drink on a hot day.

As StuW mentioned, Bob at Neat is very amenable so worth dropping him a line if you’re at all worried.

Once they are fully run in you may still not like them or they may not work with your room but it will be easier to evaluate once the speakers become constant.

P.S. I have assumed the rest of the equipment and the cable was already well run in. New equipment and cables can also take a while to settle down.

I’d ignore the fact that they don’t like A5. It doesn’t mean they are right. I much prefer A5 to signature, which seems to enhance some of the things you are describing, with their very detailed presentation at the expense of cohesion. But then I’ve only heard them once and may be doing them a disservice. Anyway I still think trying A5 would give a baseline and a Naim dealer should facilitate that. When I heard the Ekstras with a Nova and A5 they sounded super.

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That probably means their soldering skills are rubbish!

Hi Elfer

I have just been playing Marvyn Gaye not a favourite but one I couldn’t remember how it sounded. The sound seemed scratchy and uninteresting. I have swapped it for Jack Johnson On & On .
Its like listening to a different system. Its full, detailed and punchy.

Beginning to wonder if its just revealing recording quality more than I am use to.

Think I will just keep playing this cd😄

I will definitely try Naca5 just out of interest if nothing else


Yes the rest of the system is well seasoned including cables

Run in is most likely as you say, nothing wrong with isoblue. Let the speakers settle in some more.
A5 is good with Naim speakers and has been a constant in my system even when I had no other Naim but I remember some here liking other cables better with other speakers, Mr Halibut for one preferred one of the Chord cables with PMCs but not with his SL2s.

It was Tellurium Q Black that I preferred with the PMCs. I tried Chord Odyssey at one point and didn’t get on with it. As you say, when I got the SL2s I swapped from TQB to A5, and then to SL, which I still use.