SNAIC cable question


I recently purchased a demo NAIM NAC 152 XS/NAP 155 XS pre/power amp combo from a dealer in California meant to replace Rotel integrated used in my office system. Surprisingly the sound was pretty harsh, lacking in balance (mids-forward) and overall less melodic than Rotel. This didn’t make any sense to me (I know a little bit about NAIM and what should be expected). To sort it out, I tried different interconnects (decent Bluejeans LC-1 RCAs as well as cheap DIN/RCA cables from EBay) which didn’t change the sound that much. Then I decided to flip the DIN SNAIC tether cable connecting the two boxes with the collared end going into the power amp instead of pre (as shown in the manual). Bang, the sound improved quite a bit. Hence my question: if the system sounds better with the main interconnect running in reverse, perhaps there is an issue with the SNAIC cable? And who knows if with the proper cable the sound quality will improve even further.

Curious if anyone experienced something similar. Unfortunately, these cables are hard to find in the US, so I thought I’d ask the NAIM community first.

Interesting. Two possibilities I can think of. The obvious is maybe you “corrected” a poor connection when you changed it around. Swap it back to the correct direction with care. Is it still better? The other possibility is the demo system got used to being connected that (wrong) way and the cable has “settled” going that direction.

What you have said makes no sense to me. Have you ruled out placebo effect and you have just got used to the new device?

I’ve come across this before. Initially its seemed that the SNAIC had been used the wrong way around, but then I also noticed the band indicating direction was not fixed and could be moved, so impossible to determine what had actually happened.

I would try listening a bit more one way then the other, making sure connection and dressing is as good as can be each time. Then just go with the way that sounds the best. However, in your position I might also be tempted to try to get hold of another SNAIC4 just in case there is some issue with the one you have.


Indeed! I got the boxes out and flipped the cable into its proper orientation: no noticeable difference in sq this time. Perhaps the cable didn’t sit correctly before or the plugs were dirty. Got everything cleaned with compressed air just to make sure. Thanks for this suggestion.

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Placebo effect is always a possibility of course. But I think this time there was a difference between “Crap, it can’t be that bad!” vs. “All is normal. Let’s listen to the music” :grinning:

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The best strategy and certainly for your pocket.

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