Should I be using DIN instead?

NAIT 5si - should I use the DIN connectors instead of RCA for my phono and streamer inputs? If so, are shorter cables better? Thank you!

Preferably yes… 1m is fine , what streamer? As naim streamer will be supplied with din interconnect.

All else being equal, the DIN is superior to the RCA Phono (see FAQ on this), so if you can use the DIN inputs then there are gains to be had by doing so.

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Thank you. I will investigate further.

I’ve seen flashback cables recommended? I’m thinking about cost saving here…

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I can recommend Naim’s own RCA-DIN and DIN-RCA interconnects. Otherwise look for secondhand Chord Chrysalis (later type), which can be a bargain and works very well with Naim.


I have flashback’s one. Blue Jeans can make you one up as well if you ask. Am guessing it’ll be cheaper than Naim. Or look for 2nd hand of course.

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These cables are directional?

What do I need to connect sources to the 5si?

Yes, usually directional. Assuming the sources are RCA Phono then you’ll need RCA Phono to DIN5.

Hi Richard,

I thought the DIN5 layout was standardised. Am I wrong here in the sense that they’re wired differently depending on “direction”? Or are they directional in the sense that they supposedly sound better one way round?

They can be configured two ways, RCA to DIN or DIN to RCA. DIN to RCA is used with Tape or A/V out of a DIN plug. RCA to DIN is used for inputs such as CD into a DIN plug.


A heads up that directional cables fall under the category of snake oil especially outside the high end audio world for many including myself.
I also do not subscribe to the idea that a DIN connection performs better that a phone one in an analogue audio context.

Good for you.

Just try it for yourself. Pick a cable that comes in both a DIN and an RCA version and compare. Like many others, many years ago I did the comparison, and DIN was clearly preferred. Naim wouldn’t fit DINs otherwise - why make life difficult? after all, it would be far more commercial to ditch DINs and go for RCA phonos, if it wasn’t for the fact that DINs perform better.


Wow, hadn’t realised the spec has in and out reversed for tape recorders. I guess so you can wire them ‘straight’ when there’s a DIN on either end, but still as strange choice IMO to make a manufacturers life a tiny bit easier at the expense of the consumer…

If you think about it, it simply has to be like that. A five pin tape socket has two ins and two outs, so only two can be wired when going to 2 phono at the other end. So it follows that in or out cables must be wired differently. There are of course din to 4 phono tape leads, which could be used either way round, but then you end up with two unused leads flopping about.

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There could be plenty of reasons which have nothing to do with sound quality:

  • Because they’ve always done so, never reconsidered
  • Because it’s a USP
  • For backwards compatibility with older kit
  • Because technically DINs are better than RCA (Ground connects first, where it’s signal for RCA)

The only somewhat believable explanation for a difference in sound quality I’ve seen is the single ground theory, but then again, I don’t see people shorting the grounds of their RCA leads. Probably because in plenty of equipment they do share a ground anyway.

Not really, they could of course have chosen the same PINs for in and out on both ends. You’d just have to wire the other two when going to phono.

That’s not possible. Draw it out on a pice of paper and you’ll see why. It’s certainly not a conspiracy intended to make life hard.

Of course it would have been possible, whoever wrote down the spec had 5 pins to work with. He or she could have assigned them in any order they wanted. Most probably the current spec and difference between ends was chosen because it allows you to wire DIN to DIN straight instead of crossed. Can’t think of any other reason.

All possible reasons, yes, but I’m letting you know that the actual reason Naim chose and have thus far stuck with preferring DINs over RCA Phono is down to performance, pure and simple.

But rather than take my word, or Naim’s word for it, try it for yourself.

If you can’t hear a difference Between two otherwise identical interconnects then that’s fine; These days Naim also offer some RCA Phonos to try to make life easier for those who wish to use RCA Phono interconnects.