Naim Powerline vs competition

So I’m currently running a MusicWorks power cable on my 552 PS. It’s a nice chunky cable 2m long. I’m now wondering if spending cash on a Powerline is good sense, or perhaps I can get good enough results from another cable. How good is a Naim Powerline compared to the best from Cardas, Nordost etc. Thoughts?

Btw I’m pleased with 2 Powerline Lite cables on the NAP 135 Monoblocks. I would have considered it for the 135s but I don’t think I have the budget for 2 cables at the moment.

The Powerline was made for purpose by Naim, so it should be good! Also it’s now the standard mains lead with the NAC552/552PS. You should try one. Just be sure to connect it properly for best results.

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Hi Richard,

Connect it properly? is there a specific way to connect it?

The IEC end is a tight fit. It needs a firm push to engage properly, if not it can arc and blow fuses.

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Also, you need to be careful to only grip the IEC plug by the main body as you push it in, that way the rear section can properly decouple as the (very tight) jaws are pushed open onto the pins - i.e. don’t grip or push on the rear section of the IEC at all.

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Yes, I have blown a few internal fuses when my Powerline has not been fitted tightly.

In fact it is often difficult to get it just right as one of them has a tendency not to fit as snuggly as the others so I always keep some internal fuses to hand for when I re-build my Fraim and move my kit.

Richard, I assume you mean hold the silvery bit rather than push by the black near the cable entry.

Phil

Yes, exactly.

I have tried Nordost Blue Heaven, Chord Power Cord and made up cables using Furutech IEC receptacles, plugs and their highly regarded FP Alpha 3 and FP -TCS31 cables. It was at a time when I thought I could do better than the Powerline at a lower cost using specialist cable products. It was a complete failure (in my case)…not even as good as the standard provided Naim cables. Lesson learned… most of my Naim components now use the Powerline. If you are going to gain a discernible improvement over the standard cables the probability is that it will be with Naim designed products IMHO

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I see. What improvements can I expect on the 552DR with a Powerline over say a Powerline Lite?

I’m sorry, I can’t help you there as I’ve never tried a Powerline Lite. A note of caution, try to audition the cables first. I did a lot of scouring of the old Forum to see what experiences others had had before buying my first. Most reported improvements but some didn’t notice any significant difference to their ears.

Just buy a pre-loved Powerline in one of the usual places; and if you don’t like it, you move it on with no or very little loss. Easy peasy lemon squeezy, especially for a 552 owner… :slight_smile:

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I think it is best to stick to what is tried out by Naim,…to Naim’s products.
But you can still,…as some do here,try Chord and Anzus power-cables.
But if you want to go outside that,you have much interesting cables etc to try😛…

I’m now trying out different power-cables and connectors to my headphone-system.
:black_small_square: Burson Audio Conductor Virtouso headphone amplifier.
:black_small_square: A special streamer solution with MAC Mini and separate LPS.
:black_small_square: Cisco 2960 switch with special separate LPS.

I have a lot to try,…some examples you see in the pictures above.

/Peder :slightly_smiling_face:

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It’s sometimes easy to put on a cable like Nordost, Chord etc and hear a difference…but does it really sound better, make the music experience more enjoyable? If you do try out a number of cables, take your time to make sure it’s better than the Naim equivalent. In your case I think an ex demo or second hand power line for £ 300 or so, should be a no brainer imo.

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I think on any Naim Product a Powerline has to be favourite if you’re paying that kind of money . I’ve used them in the past and they work really well , the icing on the cake . As Gazza mentions , I’ve tried others and they sound different but better ?? I’m not sure .

If you’re looking for a cheaper alternative I’d look for something with decent connectors and a shielded cable to keep the RFI at bay . In the UK Mark Grant Cables and MCRU would be good places to look .

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But not necessarily on non Naim products, particularly Rega for some reason.

Would a Powerline Lite be likely to make an audible improvement replacing the stock mains cable on a 15 year old (serviced) NAP150x?

My experience of Powerline Lites has been very good. And this is from a sceptic who got a loan of a cable from his friendly Naim dealer. :grin:

The best place for the PL Lite is the pre-amp PSU (Flatcap/Hicap etc), followed by the source component. IMHO. Powering the Hicap with a PL Lite was like a box upgrade! My missus said, “is that just a kettle lead? Wow!”.

Of course your 150 may well be powering the pre-amp so use it on that.

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Yeti, Not sure what you mean. Looked back a bit for context.

Phil

There has never been universal agreement here on whether or not the full Powerline makes a significant/worthwhile difference, and I suspect the Lite will be much the same. You can always ask a dealer for a demo one to try for yourself.