Conundrum DIN vs RCA?

I bought a ‘nice’ din cable to connect my NDX2 to my SN3 and it sounds ‘nice’. I paid roughly $650 for the UK-made din cable. I then bought a pair of $65 Chinese-made rca cables.

The rca’s seem to offer much more power/volume across the spectrum (at least that’s how I perceive it). For sure the bass is more present and powerful. The speakers sound like more juice is flowing to them with the rca’s hooked up.

The din offers a quieter, more refined sound across the spectrum. Lower noise floor most likely, but the bass isn’t quite a present as the rca’s. The amount of micro-details in the presentation is greater than than the rca’s.

I like them both for different reasons, but am I just crazy possibly preferring the overall package that the rca’s offer over the din? Do I have the wrong din? I feel like I’m being reminded of something that always pops up when I check out new gear, and that is that ‘you can’t have it all’. Unless you are willing to spend more than I’m willing to spend.

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Second time I’ve linked this in a couple of weeks! Worth a quick read, you are not alone.


Perhaps, instead of a $650 Din, try a $650 RCA from TelluriumQ or Chord🤔

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How about the DIN cable that comes in the box with the NDX2?


Settle for the RCA if you prefer it to a Naim DIN to DIN. Our hobby is not supposed to be about angst!


DIN to DIN is Top Trump, that’s the rules.

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I used the stock cable on the ND5XS2 I had, but haven’t tried it on the NDX2. I ended up using rca’s on the ND5XS2 as well after a demo of a few different IC’s. This is the first time I’ve spent any significant cash on a din cable.

I would really hope the Chord Epic is better than the stock Naim cable at $650, but who knows these days?

It’s just kind of a weird deal. Why can’t I get the bass/power out of the expensive din cable? It does other things better than the rca’s, but the bass is such a big ingredient for me.

A well reasoned argument.:joy:

That’s probably more what I need. A swift kick in the rear and quit being such a sensitive baby about the whole thing. Like I need to have a monocle and cup of tea to figure this out. :man_facepalming:t2:

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I think the issue is more the brand of din than rca vs din. I am not a fan of chord epic and find them a bit like you describe. Mine are rca however and I prefer the standard Naim din that came in the box.

My guess is din vs rca has minimal difference. What you are finding is that you do not like the chord epic

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The RCA to RCA ICs might possibly sound (as in my case) about 2-3dB louder than DIN (so some more perceived forwardness and bass?) at the same volume/knob position so you need to make sure you adjust if that‘s the case before deciding on a preference. I thought there is a slight difference in presentation, completely understand if some would prefer the RCA but I went for DIN on my SN3 (so RCA to DIN over RCA to RCA). Cables were not the same, but tried several and both cheaper and more premium DIN sounded better to me.

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Use the original Naim DIN cable or Naim DIN Hiline in the end they musically outperform Chord cables,I think.

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Thanks for the replies. The rca’s are definitely higher output (or at least that’s how I’m perceiving it), but maybe not ‘better’ in the overall sense?

I might end up ordering the Witchhat Morgana as that seems to have pretty good reviews around these parts.

Again thanks for everyone’s input. :+1:

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Yes, I did end up with the Morgana myself - a very good lifelike overall presentation.

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Are you, by any chance, testing these cables by connecting both at the same time and switching between them, or do you have both DIN and RCA outputs enabled in the app settings? This can result in less than ideal performance, so if you are, try connecting only one cable at a time and select it, not the DIN+RCA setting, and then compare.
This may favour the DIN cable as a big part of the reason Naim use it is that it provides a single common ground for both channels, which would be messed up by the addition of the RCA cable.

I suspect that more obvious differences result from any increased loudness from the RCA as discussed above, which may make it sound superficially better. Try listening to the DIN with a bit more volume to compensate and give it a fairer chance.

Ultimately, if you still prefer the RCA, keep it and enjoy spending $600 on something else!


Hello ChrisSU,

I was swapping the cables one at a time.

I agree that a big part of the rca’s attractiveness, if you will, is the volume/loudness boost. The louder aspect of it pushes the speaker a bit more and brings out the bass. Along with the added bass is a drop in the micro detail that the system is capable of. When I switch back to the din cable the little details along the edges of the sound start to reappear, but the bass decreases a bit along with the overall volume. Turning up the volume doesn’t really do the same thing as that more powerful bass just doesn’t come back.

I clearly lack the knowledge to explain it properly, but it seems like with anything in this hobby there is no one speaker or one cable etc that can do it all. I think it’s possible there is a din cable out there that exhibits some of the better qualities the rca displays while still retaining the resolution and detail I’m accustomed to hearing with the din.

I once tried some Nordost RCA cables to compare on my NDX2. The cheaper one at $450 or so was not as good as the stock lavender DIN cable. The more expensive one at $800 or so was a toss up. I ended up getting a secondhand DIN HiLine that blew the expensive Nordost out of the water. That’s what I use now and, and I have another one on my Superline/SCDR too.

@UsualsuspectX I would take @Richard.Dane’s advice and compare the lavender DIN that came with your NDX2. It is quite a very good cable. A 3rd party $650 cable won’t necessarily better it.


But we’re you also switching DIN to RCA on the NDX2 and vice versa when swapping the cables. Having both outputs enabled degrades SQ.

Have you tried the stock NDX2 cable? I’m not sure why you would think the Chord cable would be better.


Cant believe we have another thread on RCA v DIN debate. Like a goldfish bowl this forum sometimes.
Awaits incoming …


I can :roll_eyes:

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Many here will dispute the findings preferring to take the manufacturers word for it.
I tried every option with good and crap cables the din was a Naim supplied one in my CDP box.
There are other people I know and they found the same.
Don’t deny what your ears tell you.
You’ll always find high resistance to your findings on the manufacturers forum.
If it sounds better and gives you more pleasure that’s all that matters.