New Classic Speaker Cable Length vs. Signal Cable Length

Question: Outside of Naim, when running monoblock amps, it’s customary to run the amps as close to the speakers as possible to minimize the length of the speaker wires, in favor of longer signal cables. With Naim I have always been told that longer speaker wires are more favorable. Is this still the case given the 332’s balanced XLR output and the newer circuitry of the mono 350s with XLR inputs?

I must to run 25ft cables to get from my rack on the outside right to the left side speaker location up the stand to the monitor. Would it be better to put the second 350 on the left side and run an 18ft XLR? Thoughts?

Thanks for sharing your collective wisdom.

No old requirement for speaker cables 3 meter Naca XX is gone, so for the first time in about 15 years my 180 cm Chord Signature does not go against Naim advice.

According to @110dB (aka Steve Sells) the previous 250DR could be used with “any speaker cable”. He didn’t elaborate on whether that applied to other amps such as the 250.2 or 300, but it would seem to suggest that perhaps we have all been a bit too hung up on the 3.5m minimum rule.

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I don’t think it makes much odds - the 350 will easily drive 25 foot speaker cables. If you keep the 350 in the rack it will be well supported and probably more out of the way than having it next to the speaker. The 350 power cable will also be star earthed together with your other equipment in your mains block.

= drive speakers through 25 foot cables…
As might virtually any amp, depending on the characteristics of the cable - but a question is whether the sound might be better with speaker cables as short as possible. That is often considered to be the case, and if the signal to the amps can use balanced cable they can happily be very long if needed.

The designs have changed, however there are still some guidance for optimum performance and caution against damage, and yes almost certainly the combined impedance of cable and speaker will affect the negative feedback of the amp so will ‘tune’ the sound and possibly in extreme circumstances lead to instability. I think some people don’t realize in higher end audio hifi amplifiers how significant the combined reactive load of the drivers and speaker cable is to the performance of the amplifier. It’s not like plugging a mains extension lead in…. But I guess unless you have studied electronics it might be conyerintuitive.

From the Nait50 manual


If i was going to buy the new 350’s i would certainly have them behind my speaker’s rather than on the rack.
This is because of the balanced xlr’s. This will provide a much better signal loss than any speaker cable you can buy, due to the way a true balanced cable works. But obviously everything needs to be true balanced in the system, ie pre amp.
Getting them noisy transformers away from my other components on the main rack.

The only thing that might change my opinion on above is if like myself right now, each speaker is beside my rack. But even so i would still try it.

Advice in the New Classic (250 and 350) manuals is similar, but omits the bit about “Using cables from other manufacturers may hinder performance or even damage the
integrated amplifier.” Steve even mentioned in an earlier post that the 250 would be fine with 1 metre.
Perhaps there is some additional protection in the output of the New Classic amps, that are not there in the Nait 50?

Possibly - or a different design - you wouldn’t want to put much protection other than a zobel network across the load which will affect the performance and the feedback circuitry - especially if not required.