Chord Co. Epic v Witch Hat IC’s

What questions in the first para?

Yes

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Now corrected.

I used to think along similar lines. Naim kit, Naim cables, easy and optimised and anything else might be different but not better. It was often stated that the standard cables could not be bettered.

Then Naim came out with Highline, Powerline, Superlumina etc. so indicating themselves that the standard and subsequent cables could indeed be “bettered”.

Naim specialise in hifi equipment and make some cables but other companies specialise in cables and design them specifically for Naim equipment. It is not unrealistic to think that a company who’s core business is making cables might actually be better at making them than Naim.

Today, my hifi is from a hifi company and my cables from a cable company. I also like a simple life but it was easier than I thought to find something tried and tested and designed as part of a Naim system. I prefer them in every way over the Naim equivalents I tried, even weeks and months later. In my case, WitchHat.

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OK yes I see. Obviously it’s your system and you know what you are hearing so I’m hardly in a position to disagree with you. If you are happy then all is well.

I would like to do an EpicX chord comparison with my Morgana Wha

In fairness I don’t think they ever claimed that the standard cables could not be bettered. Just that they were ideal for their equipment and allowed it to perform as intended whilst other cables may not.

In fairness to myself with regards to all the replies here I certainly never claimed that Naim cables could not be bettered. Rather that it is a potentially risky and costly business and that it’s not always easy to make the right choice. First impressions can often be misleading.

Maybe I was just unadventurous and preferred to play it safe.

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I think that those looking back far enough can probably find comments from JV himself to the effect that cables needed to be sensibly-designed & made, that going further was wholly unnecessary and that some cables were clearly not compatible with Naim. This morphed over the years to people saying the Naim said all cables were Woo or all cables were identical, neither of which they said IIRC.

Whether their saying explicitly that Naim cables could not be bettered for Naim amps ever happened is also irrelevant to me - they had good cables and wished to sell them. And, as others have stated, the existence of Super Lumina and Hi-Line cables doesn’t prove that they were stupid/ deaf in 1980 or that they have sold out to French desired to fleece the gullible - it just means that when they had new facts they changed their opinion.

Linn would probably like all LP12 to have every upgrade, feed Linn amps and then into Linn speakers via Lin cables. That’s how they demonstrate kit and its hardly surprising that they imply or state that it is how their kit works best. We are however quite entitled to buy LP12s while disagreeing with Linn about all the rest.

This conversation would be very different if Naim cables of any sort were dreadful and ruined the sound - but they aren’t and they don’t. That does not mean at the other extreme that they cannot be improved upon. In my system, to my ears and in my room, I prefer 18M (!) of Telleurium Q Black 2 speaker cable to Naim A5, but that doesn’t mean that there is anything wrong with A5.

With a wide variety of Naim amps and non-Naim speakers, in a wide variety of rooms, a wide variety of listeners will be happy with Naim cables, while other cable choices (however well reviewed and expensive) may well not work at all well.

Finally, I suspect that means that we all agree with @anon33182107 's last 2 comments: -

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In more general terms, and thinking beyond just cables and Naim, it is possible to stray from the clear road forward by being seduced by a fascinating performance tweak, whether it be a cable or something else. Enthusiasm and inquisitiveness can easily take hold and one tweak or substitution leads to another. This can carry on for some time, months or even years perhaps, until one day one wakes to find oneself lost in completely unknown territory with absolutely no reference points at all. The sound of your system is unrecognisable and you really don’t know how you’ve got there or what the way back is.

It’s happened to me once and it can be a most distressing and disorientating experience. So I would say to all those who would experiment with cables - proceed with great caution. Give yourself plenty of time to adjust to your new surroundings and never lose sight of your known reference points.

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[quote=“Pete01, post:27, topic:24268”]
I don’t think they ever claimed that the standard cables could not be bettered.[/quote]

Heard many times in ye Olden Dayes, before Highline, Powerline, & Super Lumina

Then they discovered Smirnoff! :laughing:

(Speaking of which, having just watched the Ingerland match, I feel a wee dram of Talisker is in order)

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One has to see it in context. In the olden days there was not the variety of cables that there is today from very many different specialist companies. Cable science was in its infancy.

Yes Naim believed that the lavender interconnects and mains cables that they supplied were the most suitable for their equipment and that substituting them for others back then could lead to performance degradations in musical terms. I would say they were not far wrong.

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What a huge load of traumatic hassle for a very simple and sensible question. I have experience of Epic, Signature, stock and Morgana and would say that Epic’s presentation is on the more excitable end of the spectrum; akin to a well run in 282 / 300 combination. Really really good. My CDX2 is currently back at HQ for a new transport and my trusty old £150 Marantz CD67 OSE sounds truly amazing through Epic interconnects into the 552 / 300. Signature adds more midrange ‘body’ and is very worthwhile if you find yourself progressing down that road. I didn’t like Morgana at all… Cut price and crazy delivery delays have never been an issue with my Chord purchases…Furthermore, claims that at best alternative cabling is no better is completely inappropriate; power carriage aside, please IGNORE such statements in the context of Chord or WitchHat as suppliers…
To say that other

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There are numerous specific combinations. Spectral/MIT, Goldmund has their own cables… as an aside the Goldmund Lineal is the best S/PDIF digital cable I’ve ever used. Mark Levinson / Madigral had their own cables , they even choose connectors called Camac’s made by a Swiss company. Apogee speakers recommended Symo, a Swiss cable. Audio Research had their own cable line up.

Hi @anon33182107 -sadly no. The old among us remember when Naim boxes contained the old grey cables. The swap to lavender came much later.

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Signature TA here too. Yes, midrange and body are the key words. The standard Naim cables are good but sound pale or flat in comparison.

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With Chord things indeed start to happen at the Signature level…
Epic has never quite done it for me (IC, speaker, ethernet etc.) and rather than Epic I might even go for Shawline as they are more energetic in my experience. At that price point WH may also make good sense especially if you feel your system is slightly on the brighter side?

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Hi Nick,

Yes sorry I was really referring to the old grey cables - I am the old amongst us! Not sure when the so-called lavender interconnects came in. Can’t really say I noticed any great difference in appearance at any point. The interconnect I had with my CDS3 was obviously lavender but just looked grey to me - same as they always did. Or perhaps my memeory is failing me and senility is creeping in!

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Lavender and Grey are the same thing, in NaimLore…

Well that’s what I thought, but some people seem to regard them as different things…

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And indeed please IGNORE the above statement. Rather keep an open mind and make a decision for yourself based on what you hear in your own system.