NAIM Cables

I just the Atom and read that it’s recommended to get NAC A5 at 3.5M. Wasn’t intending to get these cables. Is it really necessary to get them and do they really make a difference?

They’re strongly recommended by Naim and you won’t have any comeback if you use some other loudspeaker cables and your amp blows up.

NACA5 doesn’t cost a heck of a lot, so I don’t see why you would consider using anything else.

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It’s not a necessity. What were you considering instead?

I don’t know if it applies to the Unitis but there is a potential impedance problem with some non-Naim cables. Worth checking with a dealer.

Been with Naim for the last 15 years now and tried a variety of cables with NAP200/250/300. Audioquest,MIT,Monster,some unknown brands and now WitchHat. Never heard a difference but that might very well be just my ears. But never blew up any amp or noticed any amp having a difficulty with a certain cable. So is it necessary? Imho,no. But it is always nice to experiment. After all,the proof of the pudding…etc.
But I would not worry about damage to your Atom. Except if you create a short while experimenting…


…. or use kimber or electrofluidics speaker cables, hence the question.

The Atom doesn’t have the cable requirements the classic series has. Actually I cannot see they have any requirements at all in the manual. Use whatever having banana plugs.

It used to be with the older Olive amps that using a certain length of A5 was part of the design. Using something else could cause problems.

I thought the more recent equipment was less sensitive but I could be wrong. But I’d read the manual or ask your dealer.

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TBH I didn’t have anything in mind. The Atom is the first and highest grade component I’ve ever owned. With all my older equipement (Denon AVR etc.), I’ve used “higher” quality speaker cable I found on Amazon. When I saw the recommendations for the Atom, I wasn’t sure if it’s a real requirement and if it truly makes a difference or not. I assume Naim wants to sell their cables, but I am sure there are some benefits as well.

Thanks for the reply. I am glad to hear there’s not a risk of damage. I am not an audiophile by any means, but trying to inch into the higher end hardware. I know this is nothing compared to what you guys are using :slight_smile:

It’s probably not absolutely necessary here (unlike with the power amps - see the FAQ here on speaker cables) but certainly recommended as it’ll be ideal for the Atom without breaking the bank.

Linn k20 works well for not much £. It is similar to naca4 the predecessor to naca5.

Don’t use litz /woven cables. I.e., something that looks like this:


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You can certainly consider other cables but I’ve found a number of times that the large core diameter of NACA5 (4mm) brings a more weighty sound to the atom than others I’ve personally tried. The only issue is that it’s a pain to use. It only wants to bend in one direction. It’s pretty stubborn as far as cables go. Occasionally it likes to unplug itself from my Nova if I look at it the wrong way.

For something cheap, flexible and not likely to invalidate any Naim warranty, Linn K20 will work fine. If you want to experiment or spend more money WitchHat or Kudos are likely safe choices, Tellurium Q is another brand many folks here have and like.


A5 makes for a super secondhand buy, always a lot on eBay and it’s the safe choice.

I’ve recently deployed Kudos KS-1 and think it simply sensational. Leap years ahead of my previous cables (A5/Chord Epic/Rumour X and Phantom, discreet, easy to bend and stunning value to boot, I was blown away - the hype is well justified IMHO.


On what more specifically does it beat the others listed?

I have ticked that box… :grimacing:

If you ‘must’ buy new, then Linn K20 is the safe bet (as @Mr.M said above) - almost identical to Naim A4. And more flexible than Nai A5.

Just get Kudos KS-1 I kept my original Linn cables for over thirty years and never found any thing else that made me want to change until this.
It’s discreet and great quality.
Easy diy maintenance too.


A Linn K20 user here, although I have tried others including NAC A5 and also a borrowed set of the RA woven ones. They all worked fine with my SU and NAP.

I run my K20 in a white plastic over sheath, like the posh boutique cables to make them less, well grey. They sound better too, just kidding!

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“On what more specifically does it beat the others listed”?

OK Slamdam, so please bear in mind these are only my opinions based on my experience with these cables in my own system. Shall we start with Naim’s own cable? It’s certainly dynamic and conveys the Naim house sound with punch and clarity, nowt wrong with that and for many there’s no need to look any further, the only downside being it’s not very good for cable dressing as it’s pretty stiff! Phantom I found to be very similar but more refined, I was a little disappointed if I’m honest for the price and was expecting more. As for Chord, they both had a tendency towards accentuated bass and treble which made for a fatiguing listen and Rumour X put vocals too much to the fore. The KS-1 is in a different league - not only does it have the dynamic delivery of A5 and Phantom but there’s more detail and balance, overall I feel I’m more involved in whatever I’m listening to and that is ultimately what I’ve spent the last 18 years striving for. It’s a total bargain IMHO and the dealer I bought from on eBay dropped the price to £30 per Metre terminated and burned them in for a week before delivering for free. What’s not to like?