Directional cables

So this is something I just don’t understand, how can a cable be directional? Does it really make a difference?

I bought my speaker cables many years ago (Nordost Flatline 4 way for biwiring the speakers) and it’s directional but when I got them home the amplifier end (two terminals per cable) and the speaker end (4 terminals per cable) were the wrong way round, the directional arrows pointed to the amplifier. I never quite got round to returning them…so is it worth having the plugs reversed so the arrows point in the correct direction or will it make no difference after all this time?

For the signal it will make no difference, but sometimes the ground/shield is only attached at one end in which case it might. Whether that’s then audible is a different question.

So you could check with Nordost why they claim it’s directional.


I bet they will say “sounds better” like everyone does, so one is back at square one :slight_smile:

1 Like

Just looked at their website.

Interesting how they give completely different explanations in the first and third answers. And annoyingly for the first don’t say which end, as if it’s random. And I’d love to see a link to those experiments they mention, I have my doubts.


I prefer the honest Naim variant, “we don’t know why, but we tried and it’s what it is” :slight_smile:
I don’t have much time to waste, and I figure it either does not actually matter or it is like the people say who spent their life on this stuff. There won’t be any harm by plugging it in as the documentation says. I know this does not help the OP; the lesson is to try and get it right first time and don’t worry.

However, the OP may rest in knowing that Nordost says that the directionality is acquired and the arrows are apparently only there to help remembering the direction. So if they were always used this way, Nordost seems to be saying that it is fine. At least according to the 3rd answer :joy: But then the 1st emphasises interconnects anyway


This thread from the old forum is probably worth a read:

Julian didn’t really know why cables tended to sound better one way than the other, although he did speculate that it could have something to do with how the cable surface was affected during the application of the insulation, some kind of annealing process perhaps.

Naim don’t take anything for granted and listen to cable batches to determine (or confirm) directionality. More can be read about that from my posts in the thread linked above.


This topic was automatically closed 60 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.