I would like to try different speaker cables from the 2x3.5 meter NACA 5 I have had for a long time.
I have set myself a rule of trying a cable with a price equal to +/- double the price of the NACA 5, I think it is a jump (at least in cost) sufficient enough to certainly notice and hear differences but above all an a real improvement.
Therefore, in the list of well-known and easily available cables, I would have considered Chord EpicX (and not the XL version) and Tellurium Q Silver (I tried the black ones and I felt insignificant differences compared to the NACA 5).
Suggestions from other brand names are welcome.
Given that the minimum length of the NACA 5 must be 3.5 meters for a matter of electrical compatibility with Naim amps, I would like to ask who knows what are the minimum lengths for the EpicX and Silver that respect this electrical compatibility, in order to be able to test them properly.
The objective of the minimum recommended length of NACA5 is to apply an inductance load on the amp output stage. NACA5 has 1uH/m so 3.5m is 3.5uH.
If you want to apply that to another cable, then you need to know what the cables inductance is, & unfortunately that is something that not many cable brands publish, especially so the two brands you are looking at.
The inductance can be roughly approximated if you know the cable construction, size & conductor spacing, although it is approximated it will give a guide to being in the ball park.
The round Chord cables with a pair of conductors inside will be around half of what’s needed (0.5uH/m), not a problem but double the length will be good. The TQ’s flat side by side (edge to edge) construction will be closer to NACA5…
I use Chord Odyssey & have measured it’s inductance & capacitance. It measured 0.6uH/m.
I need 5.5m to reach to one of the speakers, therefore 5.5m x 0.6 = 3.3uH per cable, & for a Supernait thats very acceptable.
Now if they don’t publish any specs at all? Avoid I’d say, choose between the ones that at least don’t hide the basics. Of the two the OP mentions, Chord does provide specs.
Regarding the OP’s situation, I doubt the minimum really is 3.5m for your amplifer as it’s a current one. Perhaps for the old ones it mattered, but as I said before, Naim wouldn’t sell you 2m lengths of Super Lumina if that could damage their (current generation) amplifiers. 2m SL has about the same inductance as around 1.5m of NAC A5.
If you are still in Luxembourg, there was a dealer there having your Harbeths prominently in the window at the Avenue de la Liberte. If you go there, I´m sure you can still my fingers and nose on the window. Resisted my greedy feelings!
A bit on topic, I have always found that longer loudspeakercables sound better even when they are coiled to save space. Starting from 5 metres. This does not add to your question I realize.
But at least they provide AWG / mm2 area, disregarding use with older Naim amps for a second, the single most important metric. Especially if you’re going to use longer lengths like is often advocated here. Tellerium Q don’t even provide that.
This is where Naim have been really smart; instead they removed the added inductance that is normally on the amp output to provide stability into load, and instead designed it so that a known cable of defined properties and length provides the necessary inductance. That way you can have a practical length of speaker cabling without losing performance.