Cable sensitive or not?

During the lockdown I’ve been doing a lot of internet noodling of items in various threads to get a bit more background knowledge. I’ve been away from the Naim ecosystem for a long time so I still have the mantra in my head that Naim amps only work with Naim speaker cables. I read a review in the Ear of the NAP250 DR that said in recent amps it’s not an issue any more. Is this true? I currently have an old CB NAP250 with NAC A5 but as part of my search for new speakers I was looking at a REL sub and they suggest one of their “expensive” blue cables and their special Naim version of same because of compatibility issues. Any thoughts?

REL subs, because of their connection scheme are more optimised for use in home theatre systems.

For music use, they will expect you to use the high level connection, with a CD 250 this means that you must connect the sub to the back of the speakers (and not to the amplifier), and you can only make one 0V connection (for most makes you could use the proper live and 0V connections for both channels). It also precludes use of filtering to deal with the fundamental room modes, so unless your room is very big you’re going to have large peaks and troughs in the bass response (particularly if you take the common advice to put the sub in the corner of the room).

Using low level connections allows for much more flexibility.

Interestingly, REL are very specific about Naim connection using their special Baseline Blue connect saying that they connect to the amp end with piggyback plugs claiming that this has been developed with Naim but they don’t go into detail.

I bought my first Naim Amp in 1996 (NAT02/CD3/NAC102/AV/NAP140/NAP180). My dealer, an official Naim retailer, used Nordost cables with banana plugs to connect front and rear speakers. I never had any problems with that, but at those times I didn’t know about the issues with third party speaker cables. That might be the reason that it works fine. Today I use Sommer cable with NAP300DR and UnitiQute and Inak with NAP200 without any issues.

This is a CB NAP250 we are talking about not a NAP250-2 or NAP250DR, so it’s much more sensitive to load.
Look at the FAQ on the subject for Naim’s view; they designed the amp and aren’t trying to sell REL subs.

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As I understand it the old amps were sensitive but the current classic system amps are okay with other speaker cables. Certainly my 250 DR is fine with Chord Odyssey.



This is what the Ear review said. I guess it gives me a decision to make in the future whether I retain the CB 250 or upgrade. This is the problem of having the dealer network down and the factory closed.

I’d never let cables influence my selection of hardware. If your 250 still meets the need Naca is fine!

I’d say it’s not just cables, but also speakers. It seems like the modern power amps tollerate a wider range of speakers than the CB models.Back in the day, it used to be that only a handful of speakers formed that synergy with Naim It’ll be fun auditioning new speakers and throwing out my preconceptions (once the dealers re-open).

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