Eternet / speaker / power cables

Hi all; I’m looking for some help again. I’m about to purchase a Naim Atom with a pair of ProAc DT8 speakers. I’m wondering how important it is that I buy what I perceive to be relatively expensive cables: ethernet, speaker and a replacement for the standard Atom power cable. Any advice would be really appreciated. Currently been quoted for Chord Shawline ethernet; Musicworks mains lead plus either some Rega or Epic cable. As I say your experience would be great to hear. Thanks

I would not skimp on speaker cable, but I would definitely stick to the supplied mains cable, and just use basic Cat5e Ethernet cable. Don’t let your dealer talk you into parting with extra cash for these. Once everything is nicely up and running, you can, if the mood takes you, try expensive alternatives, and you will then have something to compare them to.

1 Like

Listen to @ChrisSU he is right, plus you miss the fun part doing it all I’m one go.

100% right ChrisSU. get decent speaker cables, & take your time over that as you might have them for a while. Stay with the power cable supplied with the Atom as that is a pretty good cable & is not out of place in amps a lot higher up the chain.
Buy Cat5e or Cat6 ethernet from somewhere like Amazon, pick a colour that suits, but absolutely nothing fancy, .

Must disagree with @Mike-B on one manor point, the cat cable colour is crucial :innocent:

1 Like

Hi Mike. Thanks. What’s the difference between Cat5e Cat 6 and Cat 7 Ethernet cable please. Guy quoting me £300 for what would be 6mtrs in total (less a discount). I guess you’d say a waste of money to my untrained ears. Thanks

Hi Jon, howzit goin’
Whats the diference ?? Cat5 has a 100MHz bandwidth, Cat6 is 250HMz & Cat7 600HMz, but you can read all that with a www search.
Basically 4 pairs of the same twisted wires change & improve the twist rate, construction methods & standards to achieve the improved bandwidth.

I see the real question might be why is Cat7 so expensive, my answer is I don’t agree it is “so” expensive. £300 is madness & reflectes the gulability of the audio enthusiast public. The price in that world is “justified” with fancy plugs that probably don’t perform to Cat7 standards anyway, fancy outer covering of the same basic internal wire structure, an arrow to indicate “direction” for what is a two way data stream & all backed up by marketing blurb, words of wonder & promises of audio utopia.
Looking at our favourite big river store I see most all the Cat’s are priced at less than £10 for 1 metre, and many at less than the same £10 for 5 metres.

I think your dealer is trying on a bit here. I would challenge him to show you in a demo that his £300 cable sounds better than a basic Cat5e cable supplied by you for about 1/100th of the cost.

Agreed your dealer sounds a tad dubios here.

In my experience, i found that the mains power cable made the most difference with my Nova rather than speaker cables. I use a Nordost Brahma power cord and Nordost Red Dawn speaker cable.

hmmm ??? £1,600 for 1m of power cable, & £1,900 for 3m of speaker cable to connect up to the OP’s £1999 Atom. I don’t think so


Jon - as mentioned leave it all stock, power cable (PowerLite is good), get NACA5 speakers cable say 5m pair or more) and order a cat cable from Amazon for £5.

Once setup acclimatize for at least a month if NOT more, i had the Atom but moved onto the Nova, both take time to settle.

But then you have a baseline of performance, from that point you may think leave it alone or try some cable/support tweaks.

Just because one person likes it, does not mean another will.
You either go the enjoyable journey or the race

1 Like

Hi Jon
Suggest you maybe look for an alternative dealer if he’s trying to flog you a £300 ethernet cable.

1 Like

Jon, Have a listen to the various options of cables yourself, you may be surprised. I have found different cables make a difference to sound quality. Sometimes the difference is slight but other times it has been very noticable, either for better or worse. Give it a try at the dealers, its all part of the enjoyment of getting your system just right for you.

With all the cables whether or not they make a difference audible to you, in your system, is something only you can tell. And with Ethernet cable in particular that can only be assessed with your own network in your home, what it does at the dealer potentially being quite different. To some extent that can be true of interconnects, as part of any difference between cables may be to do with rejection of electromagnetically induced noise, so it will depend on exactly where the cable is. And with all, the acoustics of the room may make differences more or less easy to hear, so a difference you hear at one location may not be apparent at another.

So by all means let your dealer demo cables, but insist on trying for yourself at home. The advice given by Mike-B seems appropriate.

If the cable prices quoted above are correct, then if it were me I’d be comparing with alternative hardware - what better system could you buy for the total cost? I am far from convinced that spending more than a third of the total system cost on the wires is the best value for money.

1 Like


I agree with the answers you got. Start with the cables delivered and buy a cheap Ethernet cable. You will not go wrong if you go for the Naim standard loudspeaker cable neither.

But maybe you should add a Cisco 2960 switch and place it between the wall or router and the Atom. It is a cheap upgrade and improve the sound.

And somestimes in the future when you want to upgrade always try at home before concluding.


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