Chord cables v.s S/L

Nd555/552/500/dr/ sl2 speakers, in your opinion which cables is better in terms of sound with this system,comparing between s/l or any level of chord.

Prepare for an onslaught

The only chord you should be considering at this level is the Super Sarum or if you’re buying new the Super Sarum T
The old debates of SL v Super Sarum were pretty much split 50/50, so in theory the Super Sarum T should win
The SL has a shortfall in that it can’t provide cables to complete a full loom in some configurations, mine included
It you’re pockets are especially deep then look no further than Chord Music
Probably needs a listen with run in cables not new

The choice was easier for me as I started down the Chord road back in the day when Naim maintained they’d never heard a better sounding cable than NACA 5


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You really have to listen, my first audition with SL did not go well. I preferred hiline and std cables or true signal audio. I decided to wait and try again in another, future system, to make sure.

For me the SL cables were a great upgrade when considering each on their own. When you have the complete loom though something happens that makes the music so much more enjoyable. Historically I enjoyed the effect of ‘excitement’ when upgrading and SL will never give this. The music seemed to be reproduced with more ease and less effort if that makes sense? A coherence that was not there before now exists. Naturally over time you forget and just listen to the music but I do remember that feeling of coherence that was not there previously.


I’ve played around with a few wires. My conclusion is that for connecting between Naim components is that it’s better to use Naim wires - they just seemed more natural to my ears than Chord. I was very surprised at the impact the SL interconnect had between the CDS3 and 282.

For speaker cable however I preferred Chord Odyssey over Naca but haven’t tried SL.

However, if possible home demo essential.



I’d place SL somewhere around “old” Epic or Signature level - I’ve not heard any of the latest Epic or Signature so can’t comment on them. So, perfectly good cables, although lacking in the breadth of the range, but, imo, expensive for what they offer.

Comparing SL speaker cable with original Sarum, I strongly favoured Sarum. Other comparisons, in particular Din/XLRs (which was SL v old Sarum SA) were even more emphatic. There’s little point in comparing SL with Music as the Music range is in a completely different league.

I’d echo the view that if you hear either, whether you compare them or not, make sure they’ve been well burned-in or else you’ll not hear them as intended.

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Another vote for chord sarum t similar in price but not performance

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I use SL and ChordMusic in my system and I like them both.


SL cables preserve the dynamic energy in the music.

They also open up the resolution and bandwidth. Music flows freely with SL in place.

I didn’t like any Chord cable I heard compared to SL. Yes even the top of the line ones.


I have only ever compared Chord Sarum Tuned Aray to SL and preferred the latter.

As someone mentioned earlier, it seems to be a matter of personal taste, so you will need to do the leg work and demo in your own system to come to the right decision for you.

Yes but vicarious listening doesn’t count :grinning:

Ermmm not vicarious… unfortunately

Even the chord music couldn’t really please my ears next to SL…

I’m not saying it’s bad… I’m saying the SL is better.

Not everyone has to like chord cables Dave… ?

I do use a chord subwoofer cable though

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So, do you prefer Vertere or SL? Would you say that Touraj designed a better cable for Naim than for his own brand?

Maybe it´s one thing to design/develop cables with electronics/components from one manufacturer, and another thing to design cables which should be used with a variety of different manufacturers/brands.
I can imagine it is easier to fit a cable´s “sound design” - in this case of SL-Cables - specifically to Naim electronics…If you like it, if it gels with your speakers, with your room, that’s another question…

To my ears, the Chord Sarum T and Chord Music Interconnect (between Superline/Supercap and 552) sounded too dark, and whilst presenting harmonics in a very tempting manner they took out some of the drive I love with Naim. So I prefer the standard Naim Interconnect at the moment.

While I agree (and did experience) that the early inceptions of Naim amps were “particular” about the cables that were used with them, I don’t believe that the current range have any specific requirements that make them somehow unique. Given that many of us don’t use Naim speakers, it would be rather bizarre to assume that there is some unique “special” cable formula that suits Naim amps yet ignores the peculiarities/requirements of whatever speakers you might choose.

I tend to think that the role of any cable should be to get out of the way as much as possible - the suggestion that they should act as some kind of mechanical tone control is simply wrong and would merely highlight a deficiency of whatever equipment is being used.

My ChordMusic Din4-5 (between Superline/Supercap and Nac S1, previously 552) sounded better than my Hi-line and standard Naim IC. More details, very dynamic, and extremely musical.


I’m running Chord Music between my ND555/552 and 552/500. Much preferred over the SL interconnects… much more relaxed sound with no tension. The SL speaker cable is very good, however.

The Chord Music Ethernet takes streaming into another realm.


Well it depends in which context.

Speaker cable : SL (because it is specifically designed by Naim for Naim amplifiers, and has the right inductance, capacitance etc…
Din/XLR : definitely SL is better, and vertere does not offer or make these anymore anyway
Interconnects : Again Vertere does not make DIn/DIN interconnects at pulse R level, so one would need to buy SL.

BUT their DFI range for RCA and DIN source to preamp interconnects is superb value for money, and indeed that is what I use for all my hi -fi systems other than main rig as it is a fraction of SL cost.

a few days ago I tried swapping out the DFI for a Chord clearway which I used for my Chord mojo and although I could heard what the Chord Clearway did - the DFI really sounds much better to my ears, in terms of clarity, and preservation of musical energy…

Now to be fair I have heard the effect of Chord digital cables such as the streaming ones and the Coax digital ones, and these are superb. No doubts.

I hear the Music Din4-5 in an active (DBL, 3x500, 552, Naca5) system with an maxed out LP12 at a friend of mine - and it sounds very good. It was immediately better to my ears compared to the standard Interconnect. In my system, I prefer the not so polite presentation of the standard IC at the moment…but will try the Music again in a few weeks. Will report…

To me, that’s exactly the point. But then I prefer some tension for now. I think it´s a journey…and maybe the Chord Music will be in my system in the future…my 500dr is now only 2 months old - so this could also be a different outcome, when I will try Chord and Superlumina in a few months again…