Hi to all
My System: Rega P6 (Ania + Phono Rega MC)/Bare NDX (Qobuz via Audirvana Upnp)/252/SC/250.2/SBL
I currently have the Nac A5 and have always only had these. I have never explored other alternatives.
My need, for reasons of dressing behind the furniture, is to have more flexible cables than the NAC.
I read well both Witch Hat N2 (also from Phantom) and Tellurium Q Black II.
The budget at the moment does not allow me to evaluate more expensive alternatives such as the Superlimina or the Tellurium Ultra Black II or evaluate other upgrade in system.
I would like to evaluate an alternative to Nac A5 that does not make me lose the musicality, the rhythm and the bass tat i alredy have with Nac A5.
Having SBLs, I would like not to penalize the low frequencies and I would like to soften the highs a bit.
At the moment I think that my SBLs are still a bit too bright despite having already done everything I could do (they are on a solid wall, they have been re-sealed, they are assembled with new PADs and with all the suggested specifications).
I also inserted some sound-absorbing panels to mitigate echo and reverberation.
So I wanted to take advantage of the replacement of cables to manage this aspect too.
Tips and experiences about it?
@angelodipa I too have never changes my cable - Cord Oydessey never felt the need too, have read good reports on here on both cables you are looking at. as always demo if you can
one thing I would look at - I too have bare NDX, added a Titan Eleckra cable on to the NDX just before Christmas - the results were astonishing just a thought and I would think less than new speaker cable
enjoy the journey
I preferred TQB to A5 when I had PMC speakers, but when I got my SL2s the A5 was much better. I’d stick with the A5 and forget about alternatives.
I have WitchHat Phantom in my set up in my home office (200/202/Napsc/LP12 Akurate/Trichord RIAA/Audiovector SR1AA). In this environment (3 x 4 meter room) the WitchHat works better for me as it doesn’t have the bass emphasis of NACA5, which at times became too much (again, in my room). Also, I find the Phantom has a slightly more refined/resolved treble. No loss of PRaT and it’s certainly more practical (= manageable), which was also a priority in my case.
Important to remember that NacA5 is integral to the design and performance of Naim amplification. It’s a pain in the butt to dress but using anything else and Naim amplification may not perform as intended.
I note that you currently find the sound a bit bright, that’s more likely something to do with your source, room, positioning or something else in your system. Also note that you dont want to compromise the low frequency, I haven’t heard the Witch Hat but I have read a review, dont recall where, used in a Naim system and the reviewer although finding the cable worked well did comment that he found an attenuation the Bass response.
Many years ago I tried some Chord Flatline which I thought I liked, but after living with it for several months found that the system was lacking in involvement and reverted to NacA5, when I did the difference to my ears and my mistake were obvious.
I would heed Hungry Halibuts advice and stick with NacA5, sometimes it takes quite a while living with a system change to realise whether or not you made a costly mistake.
I’d also say to the OP that it’s unwise to use speaker cables as tone controls. It’s worth checking that the SBLs are parallel with the back wall and not toed in, to avoid beaming treble. Remember that the wires from the crossover are NacA5, or A4 if they are early speakers, so mixing with other types will be unpredictable. One other thing - what’s the rack? A steel rack can give a hard steely sound while wood types such as Isoblue are more balanced.
Surprised a 252/250.2 sounds ‘bright’…Could a service be required?
Actually, re-reading the original post the answer is probably that neither a P6 nor a bare NDX is of sufficient quality for a 252/250, and revealing speakers on the end make it worse.
I think some of that is subjective and dependant on a number of infinite variables. In my system I still use a steel Sound Organisation for my LP12, it’s right for it and sounds fine. Other components, CD, Amplification etc is on a Quadraspire Reference which was a major upgrade in sound from the steel Sound Org rack I had those components on before, horses for courses.
I know generally speaking Naim speaker users tend to prefer them without any toe in. I have Allaes and this used to be the case in my old house, but where I now live with an unusual shaped room I find they sound better with a little toe in, the musicality as a whole sounds better integrated and focused.
Totally agree that cables should not be used as tone controls. The problem with many exotic cables IMO is that they tend to highlight or subtract a particular area of the audio spectrum rather than a balanced musical whole. Which can lead to an expensive cable merry go round when the issue to be addressed, if there is one, rests elsewhere. Or maybe the system used with the intended cables is just wrong for ones taste or room characteristics.
Yes, I was thinking that too, but not familiar with those source components refrained from comment.
How are your speakers grounded? Concrete Floor, Wooden Sub Floor, Spikes properly adjusted for level, torque etc Spike Shoes eg Chips, Skeets, Coins, Screws etc etc will all influence SQ/performance.
Have any changes been made to the system or room recently, did it sound bright before?
If all is ok with set up and the system has always tended to sound overly bright then as HH has already indicated your system may be unbalanced and revealing shortcomings in the resolution of source components which is being perceived as undesirable brightness. Room acoustics could also be another possibility.
As the person with the best name on the Forum I couldn’t possibly disagree with you. My SL2s are very, very slightly toed in, just a couple of mm, which gives the focus you describe. The general point I was making was that the more you point the speakers at your ears the more the treble can beam at you. Some speakers are designed to be used that way of course, but if the OP’s speakers are toed in - which is unlikely for SBLs - it’s worth trying them pointing straight forward.
My system used to sound bright when I had a steel rack but whatever it’s made of make sure none of the cables touch it. The brightness didn’t go when I went to Fraim Lite until I dressed the CDX2’s interconnect off the shelf.
A hair dryer is reputed to be useful for making NACA5 stay where you want it.
Of course you can disagree, that’s what friendly discussion allows. I wasnt disagreeing with you just trying to point out that without understanding the many variables the OP will face we cant really be prescriptive.
Your point about directing HF directly at ones ears can be correct but there are various ways of positioning the speaker so one listens off axis to the drive units or avoids unwanted room reflections/characteristics. Straight forward as most prefer, but Toe In can be used in this way where an imaginary line from each speaker crosses forward of the listening position, thus off axis to the listening position and directing sound away from room boundaries. Slightly Toe Out even. It really all depends on room chatacteristics and personal taste, it’s worth trying a variety of positions (ask my wife)
I don’t use Naim amplification so my post isn’t totally relevant. However, I have used TQ Telluriam Ultra Black (analogue) cables throughout my main system for quite a few years now and I have been very pleased with them. A number of people have reported that the newer TQ Black II cables are more or less on a par with the old Ultra Blacks, and so I think you would be happy with them.
However, I would recommend that at this sort of price level you should always try before you buy. I don’t know where you are located, but if possible get a TQ dealer to supply you with a set of cables for a week or so on trial. When I bought mine, the TQ dealers near me were very willing to do this, and so I was able to evaluate them over a fairly lengthy period. Hopefully, your local dealers will be prepared to give you a trial set of cables.
It’s actually totally irrelevant in a Naim amplified system, surely?
Any cable with high inductance and low capacitance will allow Naim power amps to work as intended. These include:
Naim NAC A5 (& NAC A4)
TQ Black (all variants)
Witch Hat N2 & Phantom
Well they may work, but they change the tonal character as others have found, so they dont allow Naim amplification to perform as intended. I surmise that Naim continue to manufacture and stipulate NacA5 for a reason. To better it in a Naim context requires Super Lumia which considering the cost of says a lot about Naca5.
Other cables might “work” and if they float ones boat…
The main purpose of my post was
A) to point out that at the relatively high cost of the replacement options it would be foolish to make the change on anyone’s recommendation (Naim amplification or not) without a home demo.
B) that TQ dealers might be willing to lend him a set of cables for an extended period for evaluation
I reckon that the above suggestions were very relevant indeed. My satisfaction with the cables in my own system is of course fairly but not completely irrelevant.
Have you tried out any alternative cables, or do you just assume that this will be the case for everyone?
I may not have a Naim system and so my own experiences may not be relevant, but I have seen many positive posts on this forum from Naim users who have switched to TQ cables.