NAC A5 or Chord Odyssey X?

Hello all,
I’m looking to upgrade my speaker cables.
I currently have an SN3 connected to Monitor Audio Gold 300 via QED XT40i cable.

Budget is an issue here, so I’ve read favourable reports about the Chord Odyssey X.

Has anybody compared these to the NAC A5 (which in this case will cost me less).

Thanks in advance.

NACA5, any day. It’s unnecessary to use anything else.

(Sold second hand, sometimes, on eBay, so it may be worth checking that.)


Even cheaper - Linn K20.


I once tried the Odyssey and found it really boring. I’d try Kudos KS-1. It’s sensibly priced, and very good, and nice and thin too.


What is it with the QED cable you are not satisfied with, and what are you seeking in your system. Do you want a brighter or warmer sound, or an overall more open sound with better clarity and detail?

I don’t have experience with your QED but the NACA5 has a warmer sound with midbass lift where the midbass sticks out more. This contributes to a slightly more upbeat presentation with the NACA5. The Chord Epic and upwards are generally smoother with more extended frequency extremes, reproducing low bass more effectively with an airier and more lit treble than the NACA5.

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QED cables have a reputation for sounding rather bright.

The obvious choice is NACA5. It was designed for use with Naim amps, so it’s likely to provide the best performance. You can of course use anything you want, within reason, but why would you want to use anything other than what was specifically designed for your equipment?

There have been various ‘flavour of the month’ alternatives that seem to have found favour from time to time. The Kudos KS-1 seems to be the latest. I’ve no personal experience of it at all but I have read in a few places that bass weight is slightly reduced compared to NACA5. This would trouble me if it were true. But nothing to stop you from giving it a try.


In my experience this depends on your speakers, a good Naim dealer will lend you a couple to try.

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Linn’s LK20 is the same as Naim’s NACA4. Naim were cheesed off that Linn had copied ‘their’ cable, which was what prompted Naim to introduce NACA5.


I have experience of using QED cables and agree with others comments here on them tending to lean towards a brighter sound which becomes a little fatiguing for my ears. I have also used Chord cables and would suggest these have a more neutral, weighty sound, more pleasing to me. I have never owned a Naim Amp but given there is a very definite signature sound, I don’t think you can go far wrong with one of their own cables in terms of compatibility.

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@broomy This is my first Naim system and I decided to keep my Chord cable from my previous Rega system. Why? Flexibility around corners. My installation requires the cable to bend around corners and go behind bookcases. My speakers are at one end of the room and the equipment racks at the other. Had I taken the more common approach of the speakers and equipment bring close together then NACA5 would have been fine and not had bending issues. However we would have lost our coveted view. Sometimes things other then SQ need to be factored in.


Absolutely, unless you are someone who is lucky enough to have a dedicated listening room, like me, it is all about compromise utilising a room for many purposes. As I say, Chord to me is very much neutral so should work with a number of systems.

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That’s true. My current set up requires a speaker cable that’s pliable since the equipment rack is on the side wall, and the NACA5 couldn’t do it due to the stiffness. Apart from the failure to get the cable to bend into shape, I was expecting the NACA5 to produce the best result with Naim amps. However, just like broomy I had better luck with Chord Epic and currently Signature XL. The Chord has more extended frequency extremes as the treble sounds airier and more extended, and low bass is reproduced more convincingly in comparison to NACA5. The bass of the Chord Signature XL not only goes deeper and sounds fuller but is more defined, layered and detailed in comparison to the NACA5.

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@broomy Yup. We cherish our NYC skyline view. For us, that is more important than maximizing hifi performance. Even more important is that it us our living room. Years ago I had free standing acoustic panels and upper ceiling acoustic triangles. The room looked bizarre to say the least. When I decided to abandon audiophile nirvana and just focus on bringing great music into our home, I felt liberated and calmer.

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I absolutely agree, this is meant to be an enjoyable thing, unfortunately, we all read to much and strive for perfection, this of course isn’t achievable, as we all know. I have two panels which complement the room and sit behind my speakers, one is needing to be close to a corner so these make the world of difference to low frequency control but have no plans for anything else. We just need to all appreciate more what we already own, listen and just enjoy. :wink:


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If the QED is considered bright, it wouldn’t be for me.
Does anyone know the Van Den Hul CS122 Hybrid?

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