Are these speaker cable specs safe to use with Nova?

Hello, I have the DH Labs Q10 Signature speaker cables which are 2×12 awg and 2×14 awg pure silver-coated copper as a four-conductor multiple gauge array. The Capacitance & Inductance values are as below. I wonder if it would be safe to use with Nova and Supernait 2/3

Capacitance - 30 pf / foot

Inductance - 0.15 microHenries / foot


See the speaker cable FAQ:

From there:

NACA5 specifications are as follows:
Capacitance: 16pF per metre
Resistance: 9 milliohms per metre
Inductance: 1uH per metre


High capacitance &/or very low inductance cables are to be avoided at all costs and may result in damage to your amplifier.

The approx. recommended length with NACA5 for power amps is 3.5 meter minimum, 5-10m ideal, 20m maximum. Unitis and SN3 are more tolerant, 3m should be fine for those.

So for 3 meters NACA5 this gives a minimum of 48 pF capacitance, 3 uH inductance. At 10 m, capacitance would be 160 pF. Inductance is more important.

Yours have approx. per meter 90 pf and 0.45 uH. So to reach the minimum inductance you need at least ~6.5 meters, which puts you at 585 pF capacitance.

So I would say no.

Note: I’m writing this on the phone during lunch, so forgive if I miscalculated somewhere. But check with your calculator following the same formula and you will figure it out


Naca 5:
Capacitance: 16pF per metre
Resistance: 9 milliohms per metre
Inductance: 1uH per metre

So I would say not, but metre and foot are not quite the same, are they?

However the xs, supernaits and uniti ranges are far more tolerant and so the “3.5m min of naca5” rule doesn’t apply.
Just avoid any litz / woven construction.

Wow…I thought mine were 3m but checked and indeed they are 4m! Phew!

I bought AQ type 5 at the recommendation of my dealer and they immediately overheated (and shut down with an screen warning) my Nova. I ordered the NACA5 and never overheated again.

Sounds like you need a new dealer too — someone who knows their Naim…

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They are good as far as deals but don’t stock much Naim. Mu-so & Qb and Atom sometimes. No separates though. But they are all there is here locally. I can order anything but they don’t have it there to hear (other than a Uniti.) I did get my Focal Chora 816 speakers 2 for the price of 1 which still blows my mind. $895 for the pair! That’s a crazy deal.

But even at a length that produces just half the minimum inductance (of classic amps) the cable is scratching the maximum recommended capacitance. It may work, but ideal it’s not

Who doesn’t know his naime?

My Q10s are 2,5m in length

Inductance will be : 1,22 uH
Capacitance will be : 246 pF

According to these specs, it is not the ideal conditions for Nova to operate optimally, is that correct?

Also, I did buy the NAC A5s at 4 m when I purchased my Nova and I already had the Q10s… I did use the Q10s for couple times and there was no heating or any other effects and I actually preferred the tonality with my Dynaudio SP40s but in the back of my mind, I always had a doubt that if I was using the Nova in non-ideal conditions with this cable and I never left them plugged for prolonged times. The last time I removed them and plugged back the NAC A5 the sound became much warmer than it used to be with the A5s. I also feel like I lost some control and detail in the lows. It may be a placebo effect or something else I don’t know but I started wondering if there could be any damage done to some components of the unit.

are these considered to be woven construction ?

No, the woven word concerns how the wires are formed, your picture shows woven (cloth) covering
Woven in this case means numbers of insulated positive & negative wires constructed into an interwoven cable.

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Fair enough, if they offer good deals. Just thought it is problematic when a Naim dealer recommnends cables that aren’t fit for purpose with Naim. But maybe that’s the price to pay for good deals…

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I see… Kimber cables as example, I guess.

Yes Kimber, plus others, most common are the Litz types
Basically a cable form that interweaves or layers numbers of pos & neg.
This construction lowers inductance - a good thing with power amps that have a built in series inductor on the output stage where too much inductance added by the cable rolls off HF.
But the downside is it increases capacitance & that can be a problem at some level eventually to any amp.

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TelluriumQ Black2 cables at 3m work fine with my Nova. They sound much much better than the AQ Type 4 I had before.

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