Nordost loudspeaker cable with naim

@MikeN:

No good reason really. I have been using NACA5 and it is paid for. I need about 7 meters and that runs into many American dollars for Nordost, Chord, or SuperLumina. The effect on the sound of Nordost is so apparent where I am using it, that I am nervous about too much of a good thing.

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It is pretty amazing, to hear so many good things about the basic speaker cable. I am would almost be curious. I will let you know, when I experienced the SL. Thanks again Skip

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Hey Skip, as promised my findings,

I was exited to receive the super Lumina cable. I played music with it in my system for 2 days. But I was very disappointed. I want to be careful, because I am certain that it is an excellent cable. Otherwise it would not be used in the statement line.
It was very good in ritme flow. But voices went back in comparence with the Nordost Cable, and the sound was far less sparkeling.
I think it is all about my set up, the SL did not do it for.
My dealer advised me, not to go for the Nordost with my Naim system. And the dealer of Hartbeth also strongly recommended me, to avoid the Nordost cable. I love my Hartbeth’s, and I can not imagine audio without Naim.
But I am a little rebellion, and am not going to follow the advices. I Made the order for the Nordost Frey 2 cable.
I sended a mail to the technical department of Naim, because I was a little worried about all the warnings (even in the manual. Especially safety is important. But got the answer back, that the Nordost Cable is fully safe to use with Naim. That was good to know. I am now the proud owner of a system match, that should not be a good match. But it is safe, and what a great music is flowing through my room.
Although the SL was not the cable for me, I am impressed about the service and quick respons of the Naim Company. So Nordost was added, But it is all about Naim

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Putting the Hicap of the pre amp on the primary earth socket was a very good tip!:wink:. I replaced all the power cords to Heimdall and put a frey2 power cord into the ORT distributer. Probably at some Kones under the ORT. And after this I will run and enjoy for a while. Because, once you start…

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I use some Nordost in my system but on some parts I felt it didnt work.
If you can find one a Thor is a great investment. I use this with a Vishnu to the wall but standard Naim cables into it. This works well
The Nordost speaker cables can rob the system of prat v NacA5. This was with the original Red Dawn. Not sure what the new Freys would be like but its in the same ballpark as Super Lumina
Tried using a Vishnu on my Supercap- this didnt work.

If all the cables are new, give them a couple of months and they should improve some more.

Allright, good to know! I thought it would be a week or so. The distributor of Nordost die put the speaker able on a special machine for a week. This would bring the cable to a first big break in. I am happy with the sound it produces now, so if there is more improvement to come, it is a bonus

My dealer is a big proponent of Nordost, but for tweaks only. He has never steered me wrong. Thus the Nordost power strip and Valhalla2 power cord to the wall. Naim Powerlines everywhere else. NACA5 to the ProAc K6’s, but Valhalla2 jumpers to the tweeter range. That is pretty much it. I get all the Naim magic with a little Nordost to elevate the highs and make the soundstage bigger.

Hi MikeN.
Any chance you can post up a few photo pictures of your system and those Nordost cables here in this thread ?
Nordost do make good looking cables and I love to see them in action. Might be able to help you setting them up better perhaps :grin:

Hi Mike,

We own the same loudspeakers - Harbeth Super HL5 Plus (mine is not the Anniversaries though). Can you expand a bit on the difference between the Naim Superlumina and Nordost Frey 2 speaker cable? Which is more dynamic with better detail, clarity and bass?

I first tried Nordost cables 18 years ago. My experience with Nordost is only with speaker cables, starting with the Flatline Gold, moving up to the Blue Heavens before going with the ultimate SPM Reference which at that time cost more than the speakers. Yes, the cables cost more than the loudspeakers which sounds a bit crazy.

Did you try the Chord Epic Twin? I am currently using the Chord Epic with the Harbeth Super HL5 Plus. The Chord Epic saw off the NACA5 in my main system, the latter currently used in the bedroom system.

The Nordost Frey 2 is not a cheap cable. A 4m pair which I need will cost £3,860 whereas I only paid £275 for the Chord Epic Twin in the same length. A big price difference. There are some who have compared the Nordost Frey 2 to the Chord Signature speaker cables on other audio forums. The Nordost Frey was said to offer more clarity and detail, the Chord a bit darker and warmer with reduced clarity and detail. The Chord may be more suitable in brighter systems whereas the Nordost will shine in warmer systems where more clarity and detail are desired.

On the contrary, I find the Harbeth SHL5 Plus’ overall balance to be on the warmer side of things with the treble sounding slightly dark and less sparkly ie. not bright. It’s a nice trait to have with most recordings or music that I listen to although I sometimes crave for a bit more sparkle and extension in the high frequencies.

Perhaps the Nordost mains and interconnects had caused the SHL5 Plus to sound bright. I’ve never tried Nordost power cords and interconnects so I couldn’t relate to the experience. Having said that didn’t have much luck with power cords as I couldn’t find any significant difference with power cords after all these years. Some of the cords I tried include Supra Lorad, mid-range Wireworld and the very stiff Virtual Dynamics Nite II which bought from Audiogon 15 years ago. I had better luck with interconnects and speaker cables.

I tried the Frey 2 interconnect for the phono amp, and the Tyr 2 for the NDX. But that did not work for me. It was bright, and at some parts have on bass. It felt like a balance, that did not work out. Because of this my expectations of the other Nordost products were low. I do not know, why the power Cords and the speaker cable are positive game changers, while other Nordost Cables do not work at all.

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ah yes , i had amazing service from virtual dynamics . still got one of their cables. never used shl5plus with nordost , only with other types including van damme copper . I just found they made my ears ache sometimes in one room but they did sound good . the room is very bright

in another room we used with a 200 watt msb amp and a thrax valve amp with reaonable effect and it was not bright but did not suit me so they sold fast . nothing beats their incredible midrange though

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Very very nice, sure there must be some awesome music coming from those lovely HL5 + 40s.
You should post some pics on the Nordost blog section on their web site.

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Hi Mike,
It is not the job of a speaker cable to emphasize, guide, or change anything in the sound that comes from the source.
According to NAIM’s method, the cable is the continuity of the power amplifier.
In my experience, there is no need to invest in any other cable, except what your amplifier manufacturer recommends.
In my system based on OLIVE amplification, different cables were tested, at different price levels, including the S.L.
After almost a month of listening, I felt that something was missing from my music.The emotion from the music was gone, but I heard more HI FI…
I quickly returned to the good old NACA5,cable and immediately noticed that my fun with the music was back.
I would suggest that you check an improvement in the existing system (positioning the components, positioning the speakers in the room space, etc.) than looking for a solution with a speaker cable.
P,s
Sometimes we hear differences between different sources, which come from poor recordings, In this case there is nothing to do …

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Ha Ditton,

I think you are completly right. Although, there are some things that have influence on the sound. For example the electric power, coming from outside. I had Great results, with the sepation of the power, and making a special group, dedicated to the audio system. The cleaner the elektrical power, the better. But with a special power group, I noticed that there is an enormous different in the sound, depending of wich fuses are choosen.
The same things I noticed with the distribution blocks.
I never wanted to believe the importance of expensive cabling. Big margins, bought reviews and a big marketing system are all things, wich I try to consider.
So I started with all things, like speaker placement, accoustics in Music room, and disconnecting all components for an optimum energy flow.
So back to the speaker cable. I always loved the Tellurium Q cabling, and had them earlier in de supernait 1, later supernait 2 and later the 250 DR. And with the 300 DR they did not work. I tried to seek in the system, by trying some different set ups. But I have to admit, I did not do enough. For example, I have the High Cap DR on the 282 NAC. And maybe I should have tried the Supercap instead of the Hicap and even replace the 282 with a 252. And with this ad about 7 K, instead of a cable of 3 K.
And the other thing I did not do is try the original Naim Cable, wich you recommend. I thought to go for the top cable of Naim, and thought; If the SL does not work, it would be strange that the much Cheaper cable of the same company would work.
Just like a lot of Naim users, like the 300 DR better with the Highcap, instead of the supercap. It also could be, the naca5 cable gives the sound, wich is preffered above the more expensive SL.
But after spending a lot of time, seeking for the correct balance in my system, I finally made a decision, and bought the Frey 2 speaker cable. And I realy enjoy the music a lot, with this cable in my system.
But possibly the standard Naim cable would have done the magic. And if this is the case, it not a very smart move, to buy the far more expensive cable.
But At this stage I will live with the combination for a while. And most of all enjoy the music. I always liked listening to music, even If it was not the most perfect sounding. Since I moved into the high end, I often am much to critical about the sound of the system. Thank you for your message!:wink:

Mike,
As you yourself have noted, the path to “audiophile nirvana” requires a lot of experience and wonder …
I hope for you, that the new cables will improve your feeling and give you musical composure.
On the other hand, I guess, after not a long time, the chronic tickle, which we all have, will come back to you in search of the ultimate sound.
You are right in your diagnosis about upgrading the pre, from NAC282 to 252 and hicap to supercap not necessarily upgraded to dr.
(And if your bank manager approves the spend, too, to 552 and skip a step on the scale.)
In my opinion, upgrading this, and especially at second-hand prices, will make you the significant leap you’re looking for, without spending unnecessary money on expensive speaker cables.
incidentally,
With which speakers is the amplifier connected?

The Speaker is the Hartbeth 5 HK plus Universary. Also this speaker is often critcized as not being high end. But I love the beautifull Transparent sound. These speakers will be replaced within 1 or two years bij the Diesis Auro speakers. I have put my mind on this speaker, as they do everything I like about the Hartberh x factor 10. I listen to these speaker for a whole day. It breaths Music. It is open on the back, so one should think it will not do well on bass. But the Bass are incredible fluend. I would advice you, just to listen tobit one time. Not on you tube, but for real. Any way, they cost 23 K. And as there are so Many important things to spend the money on, it will be there in time instead of tomorrow.

Mike,
The HRBETH are excellent speakers and I have heard a number of their models in the past.
They also work great with NAIM electronics.
As I wrote, I recommend you go in the direction of upgrading the pre and power supply that will give you an amazing result with this speaker and you may reach the much-awaited Nirvana … good luck and good music anyway.