NACA5 vs TQ Black II vs Witch Hat Phantom

I have had my NACA5 for more than 10 years, and have been quite happy with them and didn’t really see a need to upgrade. However, recently we moved furniture around in the living room, and their stiffness was getting a bit problematic with the new furniture layout, so I thought about a potential upgrade.

As I’m also building an office system, I ordered a pair of TQ Black II and Witch Hat Phantoms to compare. The idea is to then sell the NACA5 (assuming the new cables are better - which seems to be the case based on the reviews I have seen), and use the new cables in the two systems depending on which combination I like better.

The TQ Black IIs arrived first.

After a a few days of burn-in, my initial impression is that TQs (vs the A5) have a noticeably cleaner and more open midrange. There is also better separation. The treble is clearer too - more airy and no brightness. It removed a layer of warmth (or is it vagueness) that is obvious in the A5, especially in the midrange. There is also noticeable improvement to the bass - more layering and definition. All the good hifi stuff.

Overall, Vs the A5, the TQs do sound “technically” better, however im not still not 100% sure emotionally. There are a number of times when I listen to familiar tracks that I felt the old A5s just held the music together that bit more.

As TQs have only been burning in for a few days, think I will reserve my judgement for now.

Will post more impression when the TQs burn in more.

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I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. I don’t deserve decent equipment because obviously my ears are not up to the job.
When I recently upgraded my speakers I listened to them with nac05 and TQB2. I couldn’t detect any difference in sq but chose the Tellurium because they were more user friendly.
It’s a pleasure to read feedback from those better equipped.

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This is a summary of Naim’s greatest strength (what I think of as musical coherence - i.e. that the system is tuned to play a piece of music as a whole in an engaging and convincing way)…

… Vs. ‘HiFi sound’ - where you often get more details leaping out, but less connection with the tune, a less visceral sense of the musicians and their instruments at work.

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Would also be interesting to know the price comparison, same or different? Or I can just find out myself.

It’s the most annoying cable. 10 times over priced and user unfriendly. It must cost Naim 10p a meter landed price.

It’s very much horses for courses here. When I had PMC I preferred the original TQ Black, but with Naim speakers the A5 was preferable. I’m now using TQBII with my ProAcs and it sounds great. It’s definitely not a case of Hifi pyrotechnics over musical coherence, which I experienced once when I tried a Chord cable. The TQBII is delightfully easy to use, as well as sounding very good indeed. It shouldn’t be dismissed simply because it’s not Naim.

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Maybe it’s not you(r ears ). Maybe it’s the equipment that doesn’t have quality enough to show the difference. Or ( like my case) the disposition of the equipment it’s not optimal and doesn’t allow the equipment to bright all is glory?! :sweat_smile:

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Subscribe. I really think cables it’s the final fine tuning of the system, after the basic synergy of the system is found. And , as always, it’s a question of ( personal) taste

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You are rebutting an argument that no one has made.

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Can I suggest an alternative - Kudos KS1. Working really well between my 250DR (which just passed the 100hour mark from new today, taking a step up) and ATC SCM11s.

I have had TQ Black II (short demo only), and then TQ Diamond Blue, and finally TQ Silver II in my old system. I bought the Kudos KS-1 speculatively as they are relatively low cost, liked them. I did try the Silver II’s again with the new 250DR, but prefer the KS-1.

There is no ‘right or wrong’ just what we (think) we hear.

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It feels like Kudos is a rebranded Chord Clearway? Not that it will make it sound worse.

I had a very long listening session today as I had the house to myself in the morning.

Have to admit I’m growing to appreciate the TQ presentation a lot more. Perhaps it’s the effect of the burn-in, it seems the sound is starting to gel together a lot better.

Compare to the A5s, the midrange still lack that sense of intimacy and sweetness, but things are very close. Everything else seems to be an improvement. Finally, and the most important thing - the music is now sounding is a lot more coherent vs before.

I like it.

My TQ Black II stays too replacing Mark Grant Van Damme 6mm2 :+1:

The WH phantom itch has been eating at me so have secured a used 5m pair to try against mk1 TQ silvers… I’ll report back next week

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I’ll be interested to hear your thoughts.

G

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Look forward to your findings.

I ordered mine about two weeks ago from Witch Hat, but order still “processing” :thinking:

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Wow, it looks like you are going at full throttle with your upgrades. If I’m not mistaken you upgraded your speakers not too long ago and also upgraded your amp to SN3 and acquired a Hicap DR for it. :+1:

Indeedy. But that’s it for several yrs… honest!

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I’m still waiting for a WHP versus TQBII comparison.

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@Slamdam I got the Mark Grant 6mm2 cables about 6 months ago. I personally am finding that they gave my treble more air, and a cleaner mid bass. It did come at the expense of a sligthly less romantic mid range. But it was replaced by 4mm2 Amazon cable.

What difference did you get between the Mark Grant and the TQ?