Naim Power lead length

I am if all goes ok going to move to my 10th house in 33 years of marriage in 2024. I have installed dedicated mains for my systems into everyone of those homes . I have tried to evolve and improve on each install dependant on the building , distance from meter and any difficult workarounds etc .
I run an active system which involves many powercords,which can become a total spaghetti. My setup I am leaving has all powercords shortened to keep overlap to a minimum and no trailing .
My question is , are Naim components “tuned” to the length of cable supplied . Am I moving the Component away from design optimum by shortening .
I suppose a definitive answer by a Naim designer would be best , but I’d also like to hear of others opinions and findings .
Also throw in the mix Torroid Vs smps .
I have 7 Naim powered devices and 5 linn smps devices .
Does Torroid power have different requirements to Smps . And yes I know to put them on a separate circuit .

The question has been asked many times on the forum. The answer is always the same: The Naim owerLine leads should not be shortened. It doesn’t sound as good.

Followed by people who experimented against the advice anyway… and found that it didn’t sound as good.

Although for safey it is advised to not coil mains cables, this really only applies to very tight coiling and high current. Which we are not dealing with here. A very large circumference coil (35cm or so) then tucked under the rack can be very tidy. I use velcro strips to hold the coils together and have just the lengths needed coming off the coil to connect to each box without being under strain. I find the use of velcro strips and lots of them invaluable in getting cable dressing right. Sometimes even just to hold in place while I work and later remove when things are settled. Others (like for mains leads) stay in place.

With an active system you will probably need to create two coils - one under the rack and the other somewhere else. In my case (not active but lots of boxes) I have two racks and a cabinet on legs to keep everything nice and tidy.

For other non main systems in the house, I have waved the performance issue and made up my own short mains leads that go from wall to hifi in basically a straight line with zero slack. I’d not do that on the main systems though.

Not sure what you are really asking about regarding linear versus SMPS. The inrush on linear is certainly greater so power on order is important. But none of that really has any bearing on cable length.

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You should have a look at the Hydra power cord, made and supplied by Grahams HiFi in Canonbury Yard, Islington, London.


That thing is so wonky. Lots of gear especially Digital bits dump their noise into the ground. Which apparently the Hydra thing ties them all together.

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You’ll start them all off now !

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Ooops !

I won’t be using a Graham’s Hydra but I would be interested to know if even that item maintains the Naim Power cord length.

They are standard Naim power cords, spliced onto a mains cable.

You would have to ring them to check.

The technical principle behind the Hydra is to try to reduce the differences between the ground potential of each component to which it is connected. It does this by connecting the ground wire of each component together. You could achieve the same thing by connecting the regular cables to a group of wall sockets that are all connected to the same ground or by using a power strip where the sockets’ grounds are tied together using star grounding. None of these approaches, including the Hydra, is a perfect solution since each power cable will carry a different ground current and, consequently, the “ground voltage” at each component is still not exactly the same.

Even though you are not considering the Hydra, the concept of getting the ground of each component to be similar seems to be important for Naim gear. Getting the grounding right has always been a principle that Naim has designed into their equipment going right back to the CB days. If I was in the OP’s position I would try to keep the length of each power cord the same and do what is practical to tie together their grounds.


Why would short length power lines negatively affect only Naim products?

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It wouldn’t.

A lot of folklore stuff around these parts, I believe some maybe based on fact & some is an opinion. YMMV.
I’m a non believer, that is until someone can proove how & why based on electrical theory.
Meanwhile I’m happy with my 2m wall plug to dist-board & made to fit lengths from dist-board to Naim boxes.


IIRC for PowerLines the reason isn’t electrical but mechanical. Too short doesn’t have enough decoupling of mocrophonics between wall and unit.

I’m an agnostic. I’m not about to butcher my PowerLines. But in my other systems I’ve made up short slack-free leads. But those systems are also lower end and less revealing so I doubt they’d reveal a difference if it did exist.

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Yes, the leads aren’t shortened. When I bought a hydra I asked Grahams to shorten the heads before putting it together. They wouldn’t do it, saying that Naim wouldn’t be happy for them to do so. Naim seem to think it’s important to keep the leads at the standard 2m length.

That’s not a technical reason, it seems they’re more concerned about being perceived as antagonistic to Naim’s mantra than they are about meeting customer’s requirements.

I suspect that the length of the power cords supplied by Naim (2m) has more to do with aligning with electrical codes than it does with SQ. I don’t know about UK or European electrical codes but in the US the NEC requires that mains sockets are placed so there is no point on the wall where the socket is further than 6ft horizontally from the “appliance”. Therefore a 2m power cable is probably the shortest length allows a component to be connected directly to a wall socket without stretching the cable or needing an extension cable or power strip. This is also why a lot of consumer audio components come with 2m or 6ft power cables as standard.

I have owned and loved Naim equipment for nearly 40 years but I am quite skeptical of the claim that 2m is the ideal length from the perspective of SQ. It would seem a remarkable coincidence that 2m is the “best” length. I think the argument is probably that it is the shortest cable that allows for convenient placing of components in most situations.

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Indeed! I said the same in another thread a while ago :slightly_smiling_face:

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When my Hydra was made, Grahams asked me if I wanted the single ‘tail’ to be left full length or shortened to around 0,5m. The other tails are full length.

Yes, the heads are always the full 2m, but the tail can be as long or short as you like.

It clearly isnt. Not sure that i understand how the length of a supply cable can have too much influence. After all, the power has already come a long way from the power generating plant.