Sorry for another power cable thread: What would be the best choice for an Atom? (Audiquest vs. Chord vs. Isotek)

Hello dear naim users,

I have read power cable threads for hours and days now, but I am still a little confused and unsure which direction I should take:
I would like to spend my atom (paired with Guru speakers, no additional power amp) a little upgrade and buy a power cable of better quality as the German cable which came with the atom is more on the simpler side and have the impression that there is potential for improvement.

I am not planning to spend a lot more than 300 EUR. So I am considering the following three cables:

  • Audioquest NRG-Z3, 2m for 279 EUR
  • Chord Shawline, 1.5m for 280 EUR
  • IsoTek, 2m for 299 EUR

At the beginning I would plug the atom directly into the wall socket as I do right now. Later I would like to add a better power strip or even a filter/conditioner solution like the Audioquest Niagara 1200. (I am wondering if it’s stupid buying a non Audioquest cable when I am planning to add a Niagara later.)

At the moment it is a bit difficult to getting a cable for home demo here due to lockdown issues. So it would like to simply order the “perfect” cable online and get happy.

I am tending to go with the Chord. Don’t now why, just a feeling.

What would be your recommendation in this situation and setting?
Any experiences with one of these three cables and an Atom?
Bad idea combining a non Audioquest power cable with a Niagara later?
Or maybe another suggestion?

Thank you and have a nice weekend.

Regards colormind

Are you planning on keeping the Atom for a while or looking to upgrade in the future ? If so then I’d save the money and put it towards the upgrade rather than power cables and conditioners.

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Thanks, @james_n, for your comment.

I am definitely planning to keep the Atom for the next few years if not more.
At the moment I am considering adding maybe a turntable. But that project is really far far away from execution. That will take some time of research, planning and demoing for me.

So, I am understanding you correctly, that you are doubting a huge benefit of adding such expensive cables to the atom, aren’t you? Would you consider simpler and cheaper cables instead or would you even live with the cable which came with the atom?

Thank you.

You’ve got a nice system there and I’d question the value of adding a power cable at present. Only you can decide that though so I’d keep an eye out for a used Naim Powerline and try that. It shouldn’t be too much more than the cables you suggest. You can easily sell it on for little or no loss if you find no benefit.

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I’m inclined to agree with James here, the cables Naim supply with their kit are not just a cheap afterthought, they work well. As for the Niagara, are you looking at it because you have a mains quality problem that you are hoping it will correct, or is it just a solution looking for a problem?
It’s not for me to tell you not to buy these things - as long as you can get a proper demo and satisfy yourself that they are worthwhile, go for it. For that sort of money, though, you could get a nice Rega P6 - or you could have bought a Star instead of an Atom.

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The best improvement you can make is to instal dedicated mains, if that is possible in your house. With an Atom you need nothing better than the supplied cable, and you only need a conditioner if you have problems on your mains. For now, try to plug it directly into the wall without using any adaptors or multi strips.

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What the Old Fish says. The lead provided in the box is completely fit for purpose.

Regards,

Lindsay

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Old? Old? I’m hurt.

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At least I didn’t say smelly old fish :grinning:

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I recommend the AQ Z3. Compared it to a bunch of cables including Powerline recently and thought Z3 was the best one.

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I’d use the money on a dedicated mains.
There’s hundreds of mtr lead in the wall, an overlooked item, maybe because the invisible nature.

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Well, friends, it looks like you are saving me from an unnecessary and not well-considered expense …

… at least with the current expansion stage of my little system.

Am I right?

The best power cable for Naim products = Power Line.
Otherwise you want to look for esoteric and expensive products in the market

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True for the UK, but the OP is in Germany and that one is a bog standard IEC cable.
That said, I’d not spend 300 for a mains cable for anything without auditioning at home. My dealer even more or less refuses to sell you one unless you took a few home and tried them. It’s not guaranteed that there will be an improvement or even any change.

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Yes, there definitely must be a difference between the UK cable and the German cable, which both came with the Atom, when I compare them visually and haptically. Do you maybe have a recommendation for a proper and wise replacement, @Suedkiez?

See my edit in the post above, probably made after you read it :slight_smile:

I had Audioquest NRG Z3 in my previous system with Rotel amps. I did think that there was an improvement over the standard cable and in particular I thought that another cable at the same price, from Fisch, made everything worse. So there is risk. The dealer told me (after I listened and when I returned it to them) that customers either like what they consider a “laidback-ness” with the Fisch, others hate the same as they consider it boring. It’s interesting that there does seem to be an influence that different people perceive, but then judge it differently. Sold on the AQs when I assembled my new all-Naim system.

With Naim, the only cable I might consider without listening is the Power-Line. As suggested above, buy it used and you can sell it on without loss.

I first used the standard German cables with the new system, then purchased a used PowerIgel Plus from MusicLine (the German Naim distributor) which has all Power-Lines. Was surprised at the difference it made, but then I don’t have an Atom :wink:

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Thanks. :slight_smile:

The cable that came with it seems perfectly good t me. I could have played as I’ve I’ve done with my Naim psystem but have seen little point thus far. I also used good old Naim speaker cable which seems equally fine.

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In Germany? I mean yeah, it may be perfectly good and one has to try, like I said. But my point was that it is not the same as in UK, so comments about it from UK Naim users are not applicable

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Oh, I’m terribly sorry - how stupid of me.

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