Confused about my Atom

Hi all, I have been reading so much about speaker cables that will or won’t work with my Atom. Why is this not an easy answer? I have Kimber 8PR which has a high capacitance of 267. So why is Naim not saying in the documentation that the Atom won’t last using that cable? My dealer is telling me that cable is bad so buy audioquest rocket 44 for $550 (with discount). As a newbie this is getting beyond confusion. I just don’t want to void my warranty on my expensive Atom so Naim should be very clear on what is ok and what will void the warranty right? The older Naim amps needed the inductance of Naim cables. Got it. Clear. Is the Atom diff and if so why the heck isn’t it clear? I even called Naim from the US and the person on the phone wasn’t even clear. I am thinking I should return the Atom and get something that doesn’t have such confusion over wether or not I will burn up my amp. By the way the Kimber never heated the amp or caused any distortion. It sounded great using those cables which I have replaced with 14gauge Crutchfield house brand cables. Any help is much appreciated. Best JH

It’s not that difficult, Naim probably won’t ever recommend or advise (or advise against) any brand except their own cables. It might be just simple marketing, it might be legal, who knows.
If your Kimbers sound OK on your amp & don’t make the amp run hot, OK go with them. But I think with your posting on this & other threads about this subject when you’ve been advised it’s not the best cable construction type to use, why keep asking the question.


Have a read through the FAQ on speaker cable here;

Your Atom should probably be a bit more tolerant than the classic power amps, but I would still avoid anything extreme that’s very high capacitance and/or very low inductance (the opposite of what Naim specify, which is low capacitance and moderate inductance). Unfortunately the Kimber woven cables are extreme - both very high in capacitance and very low in inductance. I had some Kimber 8TC that is similar, that i was using with some valve amps. I thought i would try it on my NAP250.2 just out of curiosity; a mistake. Not only did it sound terrible, but the amp got hot, very fast. I quickly removed it and went back to NACA5, which is, of course, ideal for Naim amps.

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The Atom, Star and Nova are not that sensitive to speaker cable spec, unlike the Classic amplifiers where the cable is part of the output circuit design.

If it works and your amplifier doesn’t get too hot (as Mike mentioned) then it’s all good. I really don’t think Naim will ever void a warranty because you used a particular type of cable on the Atom, especially as they don’t mention it in the spec. I guess your dealer would like to sell you some new cables though…



@johan5 - It looks to me, that you have asked almost this same question more than once, now - this being the latest (?). Having read all the responses on this thread, I completely agree with them.

However… if you wish to disagree - for whatever reason - that is your right. But asking the same question and expecting a different answer is not likely to be fruitful.

Naim’s advice here is clear. They recommend their own cable. What manufacturer would not do so…? That’s their recommendation - and they do not need to justify it.

This is in Internet - so - YMMV.

If I can make a suggestion, it reads like you’re from USA, why not look at Blue Jeans Cable
They sell simple 2 core, & with real world pricing at $0.87/ft for the white 12AWG, $0.75/ft for grey.
Plus they have a few common sense words about speaker cables:

As discussed recently on another thread, the Atom may well be more tolerant of a range of cables than, say, a 250, but it is certainly NOT completely immune to the effects of a cable that has a very different inductance and capacitance to NACA5. Unfortunately your Kimber cable is an extreme example of that, and while you might get away with it, others have not.
Buying an amp to suit the speaker cable seems like an odd way to choose a system to me, I would do it the other way round.

I have been asking as I have been learning about this issue. This post has to do with warranty. I was unable to get Naim to answer when I spoke to them on the phone and was hoping they would jump in here. I have been confused since there are so many statements made such as capacitance matters/doesn’t matter, you are damaging your amp, your not. For the money I spent on this device Naim should say what you just said.

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You need to contact naim support directly, the forum is for chat not support.
Personally I would never use kimber with naim. It is a known mismatch. Goetz and electrofluidics is another one.
Buy linn k20 if price is an issue, its essentially a match for naim naca 4 cable and entirely suitable.

Just a final post (we hope) on this.
All solid state power amplifiers can be damaged by capacitive reactance that causes parasitic oscillation instability in the output stage. The amp designer will include features that mitigate against this, e.g. output stage zobel networks & series inductance (thats what NACA5 does) Also bandwidth limitation to roll off output just above the audible band which is normally below the frequency that parasitic oscillation instability starts.
Whatever; excessive capacitance in a speaker cable will bring the amp closer to the point of parasitic oscillation & the risk of the amp overheating & destroying output transistors.

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