Powercord for Naim Nova

Hi,

I have read lot of things, contradictories assertions even in this forum. I can’t figure how a power cable can improve SQ while it’s not design to transport sound signals but I cannot imagine that so much audiophiles, with solid experience, thinks that it does and invest in some high-ends power cable if this was irrelevant.

Can you tell me if investing in a good power cable still relevant for the Nova (not the typical high-end system) and ideally the sharing experience of someone who made the move.
If so, I’ll be happy to grab some recommandations. I’ve seen lot of reference in internet : Naim, Wireworld, Furutech, Nordost, Orhlbach but it’s cryptic for me.

I don’t know if it’s relevant but I am pluging the Nova on a multiple socket because i am not confortable with plug-in it directly for security reason. Should I consider buying something else for the optimisation ?

Ps. I have a Wireworld Oasis 5m speaker cable, is it better to upgrade this cable or to replace the original Nova’s powercord ?

You’ll get more value, more improvement in SQ etc., from changing speaker cable, Wireworld is not ideal for Naim.
The supplied Naim Powerline Lite with Nova is made for its purpose

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My feeling is that any good quality power cable with sufficient gauge should be fine for a Nova, just make sure that it’s not too cheap and thin with poor quality plugs.

When you are going to upgrade your equipment further, a dedicated mains feed could be a good thing to look into, since it will help provide the most stable current for your system.

When you are using a standard socket block like you are doing currently, i don’t think an expensive power cable will bring you any immediate benefit.

I agree with Mike above about the speaker cable though, upgrading that might bring you more sonic improvements at this stage!

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Thank you. May I ask you why Wireworld aren’t a good match with Naim. I didn’t know the brand and the dealer told that they were the perfect match for Naim. It’s important for me to know if I can trust his advice in the futur or no.

I have been on a similar quest and when it comes to cables - i came to the following conclusion:
you will always have controversial opinions. It goes even further as you will hear completely opposite opinions. It will get you on a merry-go-round and bias your opinion when you will actually put the cables in the system. It is best to try it for yourself. A does or does not work well with B is seldom true, because every one of us has different electronics, different rooms, different speakers. And also different ears and tastes.

I’d suggest trying a Naim Powerline first (used or on loan from your dealer) and just compare it to your stock cable. Let the Powerline in for say a few days or a week. After that, swap it to the regular power cord and listen to the tracks you listened before. Music you know well, ideally played at the same volume (easy to write it down with the Nova). Are you missing something? Maybe the Powerline is taking something away that you liked before? Then you know it is not the right cable for you.

By the way your device is a high-end streaming amplifier.

As for the socket, i would plug it in directly, at least for this test. What are you afraid off?

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Powerline made a nice difference to my nova, and I’d get witch hat phantom and leave it there…

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Thank you very much.

I don’t plug it directly to the socket wall because I don’t have earth safety (I am not sure It’s the right Word in English).

I agree that listening is the best option but unfortunately with COVID restrictions it’s very difficult and most dealer doesn’t loan devices in Paris.

What is your multi plugged into then?

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An Eaton one.

Its a shame Wireworld don’t publish the cable specifications, however the cables construction with close coupled + & - flat conductors, twisted in a helix, indicates it to be a high capacitance / low inductance cable, thats 180 degrees opposite to what Naim ideally require.

Dealers generally tend to sell you what there favourite is, ask the dealer to provide the cables spec, if they can’t then how do they know its “the perfect match”

If you are comfortable reselling gear - i’d suggest buying it used. You can find it easily for less than 400€. Its resale value will stay the same even if you decided to sell it months or years later.

That is what i did, still don’t know if will keep it as i have no time for critical listening with the family beeing always at home nowadays :slight_smile:

I know every audiophile is trying to improve their system but don’t forget that you already maxed out the 95% of audio quality with your current setup. The cables are really the icing on the cake and should not be overemphasized. In my opinion, statements about dramatic improvements are often taken out of proportion and should always be considered against improving room acoustics and speaker placement, which have a much more dramatic effect on the quality of music reproduction than any cable upgrade. Of course, once you have optimized everything else, it makes more sense to devote time for the cables as it keeps your hobby alive :slight_smile:

Apart from the differing opinions, there is also the question of where the most benefit can be found in terms of investment. A Powerline (new) costs around 10-15% of the retail price of a full Nova, so that may feel a bit skewed (to some).

There are also other tweaks thinkable that people are enthousiastic about, such as for instance installing a set of Gaia feet under their speakers. It is a smaller investment and might bring more noticeable benefit.

However, you are ofcourse right when you say:

In the end it’s all subjective and circumstantial, and it highly depends on how much you want to spend. :wink:

I have the powerline lite on my NAP 135s and I’ve always wondered would a powerline be worth the money. So far, speaker stands and furniture have made noticeable improvements to sound quality. Power cables? I couldn’t tell much between them. Perhaps it’s because I’ve always opted for an upgraded 13a fuse in the plugs and thicker gauge wire to begin with.

I can’t shake off my curiosity for the Powerline though.

Other than the upgrade to a full Powerline - and as noted, that’s a pretty big investment (though as with all good investments, it’s got both instant and lasting benefits) - I wouldn’t suggest anything. Replacements haven’t been tested with Naim, and in my experience can make either no or a negative difference.

What’s making you want to upgrade? What are you wanting the mains cable to do?

Also agreeing on the speaker cable. As a baseline i would always use a set of NACA5 with Naim Gear first and compare it to that cable if making a change.

Avoid Wireworld. They have lousy IEC connectors with bad fit. Easily trips the fuse. You can do some minor tuning with power cables depending on what you are looking for IMO.

I would like to add that this is partly true since changing power cables can also make Naim products sound better than original depending on your sound preferences, speakers etc. It’s more about matching than the brand making them.

I borrowed a full fat Powerline from my dealer and it made a substantial difference - much more than I expected after all the swapping about and asking the wife type tests, so I kept it. It was ex-dem at around half price so zero risk and cost effective. Worth a try!

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Yep and several on eBay for circa 350 - 400 …

Interestingly the prices of Powerlines have increased a lot on the auction sites in the last few months so they must be popular.

When I added a used Powerline to my Nova, I found it made a significant difference. In fact it was the only “tweak” that I found worthwhile. YMMV.

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