Naim NAC A5 speaker cable upgrade to Super Lumina

I have a reasonably good set up - Akurate + level Linn LP12, Linn Akurate DSM streamer, QNAP NAS, NAC 282, pair 135s and Neat XL6 speakers. Sounds great. My speaker cables are however the ‘basic’ Naim NAC A5. Can anyone kindly share an opinion on what I might gain or notice from upgrading to the Super Lumina? A demo of course is the answer but I’m interested in your ‘real world’ observations and experience if anyone has made this transition. Thank you everyone.

I have SL speaker wires and find them a lot better than A5 - better as in more natural and real, in a way that gets you closer to the music. They also help the speakers to totally disappear. I’ve found that the SL cables are additive in that they work well together, hence the ‘full loom’ you’ll have read about. The wires seem to work well with the DR amplifiers to give an extraordinarily silent background (the infamous inky blackness) - they were designed at the same time as the DR and new transistors as part of the Statement project - so how this works with the 135s I don’t know. It really is something you need to try. Not everyone likes them - some have compared and prefer the presentation of the good old A5.


Hi Nick, i would agree with HH they are as he says and very musical too. I recently listened to SL back to back versus True Signal audio Revelation cable. The latter is excellent at half the price of SL, though i did marginally prefer SL…which left me with a dilemma so i have put a pin in this upgrade for a while.

I used NAC A5 for years with CB Naim, culminating in 52/250, and waited - increasingly impatiently - for Naim to bring out something better. I was increasingly conscious of its limitations, particularly the hard edge it could exhibit, but didn’t find anything that I liked better until I tried some Chord Epic and then moved on to Sarum. When I heard SL I was disappointed tbh, yes, it’s demonstrably better than A5 but it’s not a revelation.

Given where you are further upstream, I’d suggest the same sort of investment £-wise, might produce more significant results. Have you upgraded to Katalyst? Considered a Urika II? Both would bring significant improvements.

I’d also echo HHs suggestion that you should audition carefully as using SL with 135{s May or may not be a “good thing”.

There is a lot of sense in what Dave says. I have consciously decided to stick with a streaming preamp rather than separates, though the nearly £6,000 I spent on SL wires might perhaps reap more rewards being spent on an NDS and 282. I used the SL wires to maximise what I have but I’d always make sure the boxes themselves come first.

I found that SL speaker cables seemed to move the soundstage forward, so that the music really seemed to be there, in the room, compared to NACA5. To me, that was a clear improvement that was immediately very easy to hear, but of course, whether or not you agree, or find that it’s worth the money, is another matter.

I had a 282/Supercap/200DR with Neat XL6 speakers when I changed from NACA5 to Superlumina speaker cables. It was a very nice improvement; more luminosity and naturalness to vocals and instruments; less harshness (that seems to come with each significant upgrade) without losing the vitality of the music. It’s worth a trial at least.

Really helpful insight, thank you

Super helpful, thanks!

I’m thinking of swapping out the Akurate for an NDX2 or possibly a dCS Bartok (although I’m told the app is horrible and it’s twice the price!) … about to demo. I just like the idea (and sound) of having all Naim between my turntable and speakers!

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Very useful comments that will assist my demo listening, thank you. Of course, one should always trust one’s own ears, but I always think it is very helpful to have other people’s observations in mind

Agreed - a demo will tell!

Before you embark on the Superlumina trial it may be worth asking your dealer if he can lend two pairs of NACA5 jumpers to replace the standard metal connectors that come with the XL6s.

…or treat yourself to a pair of SL jumpers for an extra £1,000!

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I use Vertere (Pulse X Mini, I think) jumper leads with my SL speaker cables and they were at the time about £125 for a set of 4. They certainly sound far better than the NACA5 jumper leads they replaced.

Thanks everyone for your thoughts on ‘jumpers’ - I actually have pretty high quality jumpers that were made up for me by my HiFi installer who is highly skilled. That having been said, I am going to investigate the potential to improve on them with all your helpful advice

You may want to speak to Neat about rewiring the speakers internally so that only one pair of binding posts are required. It may or may not be a DIY job.

I think you mentioned the same thing to me when I Up-graded to Super Lumina and found the cost of SL jumper leads was a fortune.

As HH says an internal re wire is a solution.

But I think the Vertere Jumpers are quite expensive and a tad more than £125? @NigelB could you check your pricing please. As I’d love a set at this price

Andy, Vertere do three levels of jumper leads going up to several hundreds of Pounds but the Pulse X Mini I have are the cheapest and I paid £125 for a full set a few years ago. At a later date I also bought a set for @Adam.Zielinski and shipped them out to Poland with some Fraim Chips when the price had gone up a small amount IIRC.

Thanks where did you get them?

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