Interconnect Directionality

Hi, I just disconnected my system for it’s annual clean and dust. Now I am struggling with which direction to attach one of my interconnects. Details as follows: I want to connect the NAC282 (Phono inputs Aux2) terminals to the Rega Aura Output terminals. I am using Rega supplied interconnects which are marked with arrows to indicate directionality. Should the direction run from NAC282 to Aura phonostage as I think it should? Alternatively, should it run from Aura phonostage to NAC282?

They should run in the direction of the music signal - from the Phono stage to the NAC282 pre-amp.


In principle, for any type of interconnects, the directional indicators determine the way in which the signal should flow… This is always output → input…

In addition to the above, for interconnects that have no specific directional markings (arrows etc) the rule of thumb is to let the signal flow mirror the reading direction of the lettering on the cables. :slight_smile:



Surely the flow should be input to output

Am I missing something :upside_down_face:


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Yes. :slightly_smiling_face:

e.g. streamer (output) to pre-amp (input)
The banded end of the cable goes to the output device.


Perhaps the wording I would look at the source as being my input device
The TT is the input to the phono
Phono is the input to the pre
Pre is the input to the Snaxo


It’s an odd way of looking at it :thinking:

The banded end of a SNAIC or interconnect goes the source i.e. where the music is coming from. So with your phono stage the banded end goes to the output of the phono and the non-banded end goes to the pre.

We seem to be confused whether things are going or coming.

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Maybe because the signal is AC?

Never did understand this directionality thing. Makes no sense scientifically(???)

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There was along with cable wars in general once a very heated debate on another forum as to whether a cable can be directional. From how I see it if Naim or any other cable provider recommends a wire be used in a particular direction what is there to lose by following the advice?

I remember back in my early days at Naim paying a visit to Roy George’s office to ask him some questions. Although I spent most of the visit ogling his DBL prototypes, I did notice a large number of different cables slung over the door. I asked him what they were all for and he told me that whenever a new batch of cabling came in from the supplier, before it was released from QA they would cut lengths from the reels, get them terminated and then take them to Roy for listening. He would then listen to them and from that he would determine which direction he felt sounded best. From those results the favoured direction was determined.


I can’t find it just at the moment, but ISTR an interview with Ray Kimber where he described how he’d tried to get to the bottom of the whole directionality thing (having noticed it for years but remaining at a loss to explain it) by listening to cables at different stages in their manufacture. He suspected it might be related to changes in the crystal structure of the copper at the annealing or extrusion stage, but was surprised to find this wasn’t the case.

Instead, in his tests, a new batch of wire exhibited no directionality until the (molten) insulation material was extruded onto the wires. He was still at a loss as to why this might happen, other than that it must be the result of some sort of heating. Given the changes in a metal’s behaviour that can result from heat treatment, I’d say this is at least possible.


Interesting. IIRC, this was Julian’s hypothesis many years ago on the original forum.

Does this still happen?

Yes, I believe so, although I don’t know whether Roy still does it, now he’s retired - it’s probably done by someone like Gary Crocker these days

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