Cable upgrades

Am trying it now in the context of my system (see profile). I am not convinced yet. It’s very different to the lavender and in my system it disrupts the balance in ways I can’t easily explain. In some ways better, in others not so.

@Lucifer - if you’ve got it properly installed I’d leave it in for a few weeks so you get used to what it does then swap your old I/c back in for a comparison. I had to use my lavender I/c recently and found I missed the Hi Line.

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Changed from a Powerline to an FTA Elara power cord from wall to power block which made it sound very good. I feel it will be difficult to evaluate the effect of just changing the lavender to hiline when the different interconnects seem to work best with different power cords. However, the Hiline and the FTA sounds better than the lavender and the Powerline. And the Powerline and lavender sounds better than FTA and Lavender. I will try to leave the Hiline in place for a few weeks now.:grin:

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Having Karouseled, I next investigated isolation/ support, about which I knew little, with great results.

Next come cables, about which I know even less, and about which my woo-merchant scepticism is at least as great.

I have ancient grey and black Naim cables everywhere, except on my CDS2 - that has a Superline (good sound but now broken again). Despite my efforts, the wires are a bit of a mess, and it’s hard with so many boxes to get all the wires hanging freely.

From what I read here, I should probably be trying Morgana cables. Is that right?

Does it matter that my signal-only cables are grey, not lavender, and about 30 years old?

Finally, I believe that Witch Hat offers a 30-day trial. However, from comments here, it seems that they can take a few weeks to start working properly. Is that right?

Doesn’t it make the 30-day thing a bit moot, or do most people find (as some have said) that the improvement is evident well within that time?

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I first started buying Witch Hat cables for my SN3 NDX2 set up with the appropriate power supplies.
I found the best result was a Morgana interconnect between the NDX2 and the SN3.
The Phantom speaker cables to me sounded far superior to the NACA5.
I’ve gone with Witch Hat now and each cable made an overall improvement but the two above made the biggest difference.

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After 2/3 weeks you’ll have a pretty good idea what they bring. There will be more refinement after that but not a significant change in sound & presentation, just a bit better still. So imo the 30 day trail is perfectly adequate.

That makes sense - thanks

Never liked the HL and ended up sticking with the lavender with my NDS. The SL however was a whole different story.
I use SL on my olive set up for that naim sound. From my 500 series though I have coaxed an altogether more sophisticated sound, using alternative cables, whilst maintaining that naim PRAT. Pretty amazing, to the point of being the best sound I have heard from hi-fi, bar none :slight_smile:

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Always a bold claim, but I am glad it is working so well. Which cables on the 500s?

Using Chord / Music. Took a period of adjustment, but once I had adjusted I couldn’t U-turn. It is a different sound - more delicate and more bold all at once. Treble soars higher, more air, no shrillness that sometimes I experienced, very sweet top end. Big bold voices - lifelike a guess - going backwards vocals on a lot of tracks felt too thin. Same for piano. The challenge was the bass - so much more info comes through the cables that the speakers really need to cope, and that meant a lot of experimenting with positioning. As with everything hi-fi, there are always compromises, but thèse cables brought so much that I couldn’t go back.
Having said that, the SL in the olive setup really suits the kit and it also sounds fantastic, albeit in a different way. :blush:
Important to say though that I was happy with the 500 set up before the changes - it was engaging and took me on an emotional journey whenever I listened. It’s just that I discovered that there was more on offer and that, to my ears, the naim cables hold that potential performance back somewhat.

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Perfect critique Robbo :+1:

Nick, worth saying here that I have heard systems at upwards of 2-3 x the outlay for the 500 series - I appreciate them, and they do some stuff better for sure, but in terms of overall experience and a sound that ticks so many boxes including the all important fun factor, the maxed out naim system, IMO, is right up there. Although I don’t think I could say the same before unleashing it’s broader potential to get some of that « hi-fidelity » stuff as well as the PRAT we all love :blush:

I’ve made some edits and removed some posts here.

Would members please respect and abide by forum rules with regard to mention or discussion of unauthorised modifications to Naim equipment. Such modifications include the use of 3rd party “SNAICs” and Burndy cables, which carry DC power between Naim boxes. Quite apart from not giving you the performance Naim intended, there are potentially serious warranty implications should a failure occur while they’re being used, hence Naim strongly discourage their use. Thanks.

Thanks to all and apologies - I caused Richard’s last post.

Following all the comments here and reviews elsewhere, I have ordered new cables on a free 30-day trial.

I have not ordered a replacement lead for the digital PS for my 52. I have not ordered leads to replace the Burndies powering my NDX2 or CDS2. I believe that saying that I had would breach the site policy, but that’s no problem because I am not doing so - I will be keeping these Naim cables and not replacing them.

If I find myself wanting to add to the voices reporting a change to my actual system in my profile or any threads, I will try to find an acceptable way to convey that, but I understand Richard’s points. Perhaps if we just go for ‘an unauthorised cable’?

Nick, please just avoid mention. It saves much time and work here. As I say, Naim strongly discourage such modifications, for good reason.