Naim newbie needs hookup help

Hello everyone, I am here in one of the Colonies (Canada,) returning to the HiFi world after a long absence and purchased a Nait 5si Integrated Amp, upon reading the Manual today, which covers SUPERNAIT 2, NAIT XS 2 and Nait 5si I was dismayed to read " Loudspeaker cables should be at least 3.5 metres long and of equal length" ok, now the part that concerns (worries) me is " Some Naim amplifiers are designed only to work with Naim loudspeaker cable and using alternatives may degrade the performance or even damage the amplifier ???" Ulp … quite frankly, until I know more I’m scared to use it ?? Please tell me that my unit is not one of then that require “special, dedicated Speaker Wire” as I can’t even find anywhere in the country that sells it. Thanks

First of all if you want to use naim speaker wire you need to search for nac a5 cable. But it isn’t the only cable that can be used for example I use ks1 speaker cable. If you do a search for speaker cable in this category there are many threads with examples. 3.5m plus is optimal but I used 3m for a while and the world didn’t end. It’s more important with the older olive and cb series boxes from years ago.

Thanks, it was the “damage the amplifier” part that put the fear in me …

The dealer who sold you the amp should be able to help.

I totally get it, I was definitely concerned but I’ve never tried naim speaker cable and I’ve had 3 different naim systems (a uniti atom, nd5 xs2/sn3 and finally my current nd5 xs2/282/hcdr/250dr). I agree your dealer is a great place for advice, mine made up my ks1 cables for me and they sounded way better than the QED cables my local hifi shop sold me initially.

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NAC A5 cables come up pretty regularly on USAM, they’re affordable, sound good and I’d expect you to have an easier time getting them shipped to Canada than electronics.

I’m sorry I am not familiar with USAM, but did find an outfit called grahams which had them on offer and hopefully would ship to Canada, they don’t seem too prohibitively expensive and seem to be held in high accord judging from the reviews I’ve read, as long as wifey doesn’t find out it sounds like a good bet, Thanks

the dealer is part of the problem, I saw a warning on the amplifier rear faceplate saying “DO NOT REPLACE SUPPLIED LOUDSPEAKER PLUGS WITH INDIVIDUAL 4mm PLUGS” and upon mentioning this to the dealer they just rolled their eyes as if to say Bollocks, they don’t stock the Naim wire so I feel they would steer me more towards whatever they happen have in stock, I would trust Naim forum members over the dealer … good knowledge matters

usaudiomart but for you try canuckaudiomart they are both one in the same.

Grahams HiFi is a fantastic dealership in the Islington district of London. They are one of the best Naim/Linn dealerships around, and sold me my first Naim system all of 35 years ago.

You can’t go wrong using them, although I can’t speak for the service that they are able to provide for you in Canada. I’m sure that they will do everything that they can to help.

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Hello @Limbo1 and welcome to the forum. I am not sure where you are located in Canada but there are many of us here who can guide you to knowledgeable and helpful dealers. I am in Winnipeg and I am sure Jeff at Creative Audio would make up some Naim NAC A5 cable at a specified length for you and send it on. Canuck Audio Mart is a great resource but for me I bought some peace of mind knowing that the cable would be properly made up by Jeff, who is very fastidious. .

FYI you can’t put links to shops, Richard will remove it for you, and you’ll earn your “I’ve been moderated” badge.

I take it that you don’t have any speaker cables already?

Back in the old days, it was really important to use Naim’s own speaker wire, as it effectively formed part of the output stage of the amplifier. With modern amps, such as your Nait, it’s much less critical, but you still should not use ‘funny’ wire such as woven Litz types. Standard wires made from copper will be fine. If you have not seen or handled Naim’s NACA5, be aware that it’s quite thick and very stiff, and therefore not easy to hide, though it’s a very fine cable. If you want it, the recommendation of Canadian dealers by TabooKahuna is a good one. There is no need whatsoever to have it shipped from the U.K. Canuck Audiomart is a good source of used cables, at much more attractive prices. In fact there is a 3.2m pair of NACA5 with Naim plugs at the amplifier end, for $300.

I used Kudos KS-1 cables, with the Naim plugs at the amp end and banana plugs for the speakers. Cables by the Chord Company are also popular with Naim owners. I’m sure there are lots of others that are suitable. Your dealer should be able to help you, or maybe the one suggested above. With a Nait 5si, don’t go silly price wise.

PS, the thread title reads as if it’s about a request for dating advice, which would be a lot more fun.

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A valid alternative to Naim NAC A5 is Linn K20. Which is a lot more… most effective… :astonished:

K20 is/was nearly identical to Naim NAC A4 cable (which you may find, pre-loved), which preceded A5. Both NAC A4 and Linn K20 are more flexible than A5… :expressionless:

@Limbo1 I’ve always used Naim NACA5 speaker wires (and the SA8 plugs that come with the amp for connection at the amp end) for the simple reason that it means I am hearing my amplifier the way Naim did when they designed it. You would too.

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I believe that Linn K20 and NACA4 are identical. As I remember the narrative, Naim were cross that Linn had got ‘their’ speaker cable, so asked BICC (or whatever else was the name of the cable company) to produce an ‘improved’ cable, which gave rise to NACA5.

As said above, it’s great, and really mandatory, for (older) Naim amps, but it can be a bit of a bugg*r to bend. The tip always used to be to use a hairdryer to warm it up prior to trying to bend it.

This is Naim’s way of conforming to a piece of legislation designed to make it impossible to accidentally plug the cables into a mains power socket! The fixed spacing of the pins (19mm apart) made it impossible.
Most cable suppliers ignored this requirement and continued to use individual plugs, as Naim now do on Super Lumina cables. Naim plugs do work very well with Naim amps, but if you want to choose an alternative don’t let this safety warning put you off.

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I’ve been using non-naim speaker cables since the day I started using Naim. Just recently I was using a pair of 2.5 meters Tellurium Q Ultra Silver cable on my NAP500 and the amp are still producing ever more beautiful music since it’s breaking in.

I think this is the best advice. Anything with two (spaced) conductors ~3m or more long is likely fine. Not sure about the hollow construction cables (eg qed’s x-tube) - I didn’t like it compared to A5 with a NAIT 5 but nothing failed.

It is such a shame that Witch Hat went bust as their N2 cable was a great (flexible!) and affordable alternative to Naim NACA5. If you can find some pre-loved N2 cable at a decent price that would be a good option.