Curiosity killed the cat…

…but not me

So, I disassembled the lavender din-contacts to see how the cable was built. I wanted to know if there was a reason connection wise so to speak, for the directionality and there really wasn’t/isn’t as far as I can see. If anyone knows why it is directional I would be most pleased to hear about it.

Also the cable actually seem to be one interconnect instead of two which would be the rca-way of doing things. This is most interesting since it halves the need for material. I’ve seen some Chord variants where they use two interconnects, one for each channel in their din offerings. I wonder why? Chord is not consistent in doing so either. They have din cables with one lead and two leads. Anyone with insight is welcome to share light on these things. Is it just the results of listening tests perhaps, leading up to one or the other solution?


Any pictures? Love disassembly pics :slight_smile:

The directionality AFAIK comes from the extrusion process of the copper wires and nothing that can be seen with the naked eye. If you don’t know the direction of it you have to listen. I think there is a say that Vereker one time questioned the direction of the print on NACA5 to be wrong and when they dug bit into it that was correct.

In terms of interconnect I would guess it’s down to better shielding in having both wires having their own shield than placing all wires within the same single shield.


I thought Naim cables were directional based on the way they were hung in Naims cable shaker thingy. :grin:


Someone will be along shortly to tell us Naim tests each batch of cable both ways to determine which is best. That sets the directionality. Yes the cable forming process is likely to influence this.


Super Lumina for example.

"The cable design involves several silver-plated copper conductors of varying diameters, each of which is insulated individually and enclosed in a tin-plated copper shield. All of this is then wrapped in a soft outer jacket that makes it easy to install while also reducing microphonic interference. Each signal, ground, return, and shield conductor is specifically designed for its intended purpose. "

That’s exactly what happens. When the reels arrive a bunch of lengths are cut and R&D make up cables and then listen to them.


Din stereo signal cables require only three conductors, L channel +ve, R channel +ve and a common -ve.

RCA interconnects are two separate cables. Four conductors - each channel has its own negative.

Directionality is established purely through listening tests as far as I know. One way sounds better.

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Here you go @Blackbird :blush:


It’s one of the big advantages of the cable used and the use of DINs that two separate ground runs can be avoided.

JV’s explanation can be found in the FAQ (why Naim use DINs);

Furthermore, the system ground (which should be a stable connection point to which all signals and power supplies are referenced) is absolutely critical to the sonic performance of your hi-fi. A single reference ground point is important so that signal details are not lost in the small, yet significant voltage differences inevitable with separated ground paths.

Many manufacturers point to the great trouble they take to “star ground” everything. Sadly, this is all wasted when you connect your system together with RCA-plugged cables. Why?

When you connect, for instance, a CD player to a preamp with RCA-plugged cable, you automatically have two separate ground wires - the left and right shields going between them. This creates a ground loop, which degrades the musical performance dramatically, and negates any efforts that were taken to ground the internal circuits properly.

If you were to connect these same two components together with DIN-plugged Naim interconnects, you would have only ONE cable with only ONE ground shield surrounding both the left and right signal wires. Hence, only one ground path for each connection and no ground loop.


Another +20 years old quote from Julian.

"I can’t tell you why cables sound different one way round to the other, but I do
know when the ‘directionality’ happens in manufacture.

It doesn’t seem to matter how the bundle (of copper) is drawn, single direction or mixed direction, but as soon as the insulation is extruded onto the bundle, the directionality is established. This means that one can mark the insulation and it will always be the right way round.

I suspect that the hot plastic insulation anneals the copper in some way, and this affects the crystaline structure.

But all our attempts, over many years, have failed to find any measurement to show the directionality or indeed whether one cable will sound better than another (other than the obvious - resistance, capacitance and inductance)

Maybe someone out there knows?"


So when one uses a din to rca, sometimes unavoidable, does one negate the benefit of common ground? Sorry if I’m being dense😊

Yes, and no. There’s still benefit to using just the one DIN by virtue of the DIN connection itself. My own listening tests that I conducted years ago at the factory, listening to the same type of cable but in RCA-RCA vs. RCA-DIN/DIN-RCA bears this out.

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Thank you but is the din to rca made up of just one lavender? If so where and how is the shield connected to the rca? Is it split and connected to both rcas or is it connected to one of the rcas?

It’s split into a pair of tails at one end. You can see one here;


@Richard.Dane I just realized I have one here and noted the screen has been split up and led through a heat shrunk tube in parallel with each conductor

And again, thank you!

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The one thing i have never understood with copper cables and direction is, when copper is made it is heated up. This makes all the atoms in the copper face the same way.
This i get and understand could make it sound better one way to the other.
But they shift again over time and end up all different. That’s why copper pipe is much easier to bend when new compared to bending it a few years later.
So with that above does it mean that wires only have a short life span sounding good ?

You have to once again heat it up to red hot to get all the atoms facing the same way

Naim use DIN audio setup where the return is made common between channels which subtly improves stereo imaging performance in addition to possibly other aspects over having two separate returns. This is one of the advantages of using DIN over RCA/phono. If one end is RCA/phono then the common return is split for the two leads to the RCA/phono connectors.

So called directionality can be attributed to many things, from which end any shield is grounded to the direction through which the alloy is pulled when it is being constructed… which in turn is said to produce a very slightly different response to audio frequency signals.

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Cable making photos from when I used to certify electrical cables.

Making multi-strand cable

Extruding the sheath

Leak testing the cable

Ink jet printer marking the cable



Interesting :+1: