Idle curiosity. Cable end markers

Naim has cable markers for source end. Why? Does it make that much a difference in the cable or is it because of the connectors?

Do other manufacturers have similar?

All to do with earthing, I believe

They listen to samples from each drum of cable and decide which direction sounds best, and mark them accordingly. Other manufacturers mark direction as well - Chord for example.

I don’t know, but I doubt it. Rather, what happens is that all cables tend to charge directionality after some use, not before, about 50-100 hours approximably; therefore, the marks on the cables contribute that you can always respect a certain position of directionality, and not reverse it once the cable has adquired its directionality and you disassemble or unplug it for maintenance, cleaning, upgrade matters…

That’s correct. The staff have to take them home and listen to each cable for a week and decide which way sounds the best, then mark them up. With a lot of people working at home over the past few months, cable companies have reduced their “directional backlogs”.

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Well I believe I’m using mine the wrong way 'round.
Does the tag go nearest the source or nearest the amp?


The band is always at the source of the music.

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Thanks HH.
Crap! I’ve been using it backwards. I wondered why it said “Paul is dead” when I was playing Rubber Soul …



Exactly right. It was one of Roy’s tasks, now most probably done by Gary C; cut off a number of lengths and have cables made up, then listen to them to determine best direction.

Of course, with NACA5 the direction is printed at the cable maker, but still Naim check to make sure it’s right. Just as well, as I recall once in the past it turned out that Roy preferred it the “wrong” way around. A head-scratcher, and if Roy was right then the whole lot had to go back to be scrapped. And guess what, he was right. After some investigation it turned out that something had been changed at the cable factory and I guess someone had decided the direction probably didn’t matter one way or other. Whereas of course, it does.

Whether it matters to you or not, or whether you “believe” in cable directionality or not, probably doesn’t really matter. What does matter, is that Naim obviously care enough to think it does matter enough to make the effort and go through the process. Which, when you think about it, is rather reassuring…

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