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

Titan Audio cables are great. I have the Helios and it’s first class. Their mains blocks are high quality too. Highly recommended

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I briefly skimmed the responses here. Mostly valid points and recommendations. Dedicated lines, good point. As brought up by others, the type of sockets and plugs also is a factor, and it can be a major one based on my limited experience.

UK plugs and sockets and what people use in the UK but there are different plugs and sockets used at other countries too, and different connections may affect sound quality. My experience with Naim equipment is the standard power cords(UK plug) work very well with the amps. As a matter of fact they sound best when compared to other aftermarket power cords which I tried. No Powerline though. However my recent experience with power cords which come with US plugs is a revelation. I didn’t manage to use the power cords with my Naim amps yet though.

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Another difference. The UK standard cord is 0.75mm2 compared to EU which is 1mm2.

This ia how the standard EU cord looks inside. Like any lamp cord.

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The IEC cables supplied with units for the German market are not “bog standard”, but specific to Naim and include polarity markings (3 small raised dots) on one side where the cable enters the Schuko end. That will help you to get matching phases when several leads are plugged into a power strip.

The Netzleiste Plus power strip has a Furutech plug (just like the Schuko version of the PowerLine) and is an improvement over a standard power strip. The Netzleiste Plus is marked for polarity with a white dot. Even better is the PowerIgel Plus, if you can find one at a sensible price.

Schucko PowerLines seem to sell for around EUR 400 on the second-hand market. PowerLines used on all units within a system seem to be better than the sum of individual PowerLines mixed with other power cables, e.g. the ones included as standard by Naim.

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Not one of the seven or so German power cables I got from Naim had this, the first one 13 years ago and the last one this year. They all had a white paint marker on one side.

EDIT: Correction. I checked the cables storage box. The XPS2 cable from 2007 has the white paint marker and the dots (never noticed them and they are nowhere mentioned. My dealer always only pointed out the white paint). The CD5i-2 cable from ~2007 had the white marker, not sure about the dots (not with me anymore). The 300PS and the SC cables from 2020 have the dots and no paint marker. The NDX2 cable from 2018 has neither

Of course it is commendable that Naim ensures correct phase on its IEC inlets, but says nothing about the cable. Polarity marking on IEC-Schuko cables is not entirely unusual as the IEC end ensures correct orientation as long as the unit manufacturer has the correct phase on the socket. I is well known that it sucks hat Schuko does not ensure the correct orientation that would be desirable in modern installations. Unfortunately, it is not replaceable and every German hifi freak knows (or should) to check phase and measure units (if not marked as with Naim)

At least haptically the cable seems indistinguishable from any IEC cable you get with any device in Germany - however I did allow that maybe Naim chose them from a thousand different options.

What I can say for sure it that this is not the same cable as in UK because these are in the German box as well, so the main point stands that comments about the UK cable are not particularly helpful

The Netzleiste Plus power strip has a Furutech plug (just like the Schuko version of the PowerLine) and is an improvement over a standard power strip. The Netzleiste Plus is marked for polarity with a white dot. Even better is the PowerIgel Plus, if you can find one at a sensible price.

Schucko PowerLines seem to sell for around EUR 400 on the second-hand market. PowerLines used on all units within a system seem to be better than the sum of individual PowerLines mixed with other power cables, e.g. the ones included as standard by Naim.

If you pay attention please, no need to educate me on this as I just wrote a few posts above that I have a PowerIgel Plus and it made a big difference - in my system, which is not an Atom as the OP’s. Hence why I said to the OP that a PL is the only cable I would consider adding without audition, but whether it makes a sufficient difference to justify the ~350-450 used price on an Atom I don’t know

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I was not trying to educate you at all. I simply replied to a post without reading every other post that came after it. In future, I will make an effort to pre-emptively read every one of your posts before I deign to reply.

At the risk of insulting you for something you may or may not know, this is the info sheet included with all Naim kit that I have bought in Germany:

If your NDX2 did not come with this sheet or the IEC cable with three raised dots from a German dealer, was it sealed or already open? The info sheet has always been with the envelope or sealed bag with the manual and warranty card. This one is from a StageLine, which was the first box to hand. If the cable and info sheet are missing, then you might want to ask where it is.

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It’s unfortunately quite common on the forum to shoot from the hip which in my humble opinion leads to useless diversions that help no-one and then the addressed poster has to needlessly point out that they already said that, etc. [It’s fine to state these things stand-alone, of course, but if they are in a reply it’s a bit confusing IMHO]

But apologies for being too rude. I was annoyed to have to interrupt the cooking to restate things.

You have a very good point that I had briefly forgotten about: The NDX2 (and the 555PS which comes with a PL though) was not new, though bought via the dealer. I cannot rule out that the cable got mixed up.

However, the SC and 300 are new from 2020 and I opened the boxes myself, and there was no such sheet in them. Nor in the CD5i box in the past to the best of my recall. I just checked the manual stash and the German part of the manual has a straight translation from the English version about the cable being specifically chosen for Naim, but says nothing about the marking

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Ah, okay. Thank you. I have the plug with those markings, but unfortunately my box did not come with that note as far as I remember. I will now check the polarity … :slight_smile:

Maybe this will improve things a little bit.
However the cable itself seems very ordinary to me …

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I also found Titan Audio’s mains cables to bring a very welcome uplift to my system’s performance. Don’t dismiss their budget cables as these offer excellent value. The Atom would want one of the “Signature” cables designed for high current use (power amps).

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Must be the German distributor Music Line Biz adding this paper before sending them to retail. Never seen such in Sweden and never got it in second handed german sold boxes either so I assume it’s not from Naim production.

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Maybe, but if they do they are not very diligent about it. (I am usually quite diligent with these things and keep everything - I even kept the Naim sampler download code cards in a sealed bag together with everything that came with a particular unit, but there is no such sheet anywhere in my manual stash, just went through it)

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Me neither in Luxembourg (Belgian/NL distributor I suppose…)

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The cable doesn’t need to look anything other than ordinary. It’s perfectly good for the job. Many companies make money by wrapping cables in fancy coverings, calling them silly names and charging huge prices. I bet that if the Naim standard cable was a different colour and priced at £300, people would be falling over themselves to say how marvellous it was. But somehow, just because it’s included for ‘free’ people think it’s no good and must be replaced.

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That might be true, @hungryhalibut! I was simply a little confused that the UK cable which came with the atom looks and feels of higher quality than the German cable. I am/was not expecting a “night-and-day-difference” as it is mentioned in the hifi world quite often when talking about some tweaks and changes.

I now checked the phase of my mains outlet und plugged the cable into it in the correct direction as @Leggit mentioned with the distributor’s note. (Until today it was “wrong” according to that note.) However I cannot hear any difference. :wink:

My first conclusion would be: It is definitely a very bad idea buying a different cable without demo and audition and decide if its worth the price. (I guess this is a common rule for every component, upgrade or accessory.) Maybe I should simply relax and enjoy the music …

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The orientation might be more important when having several units plugged in - not that I am guaranteeing that the difference is audible then, but doing it right won’t hurt

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Ah, okay. Thanks for explaining, @Suedkiez.

As others have said, a dedicated mains feed from your consumer unit normally provides the best value for money performance gain, should you be able to do it.

In all honesty, I would stick with the standard, good, Naim cable and put available funds towards new music, a turntable or something else.

Best, BF

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Many thanks to all of you for the discussion and all your comments so far. I really like this vital and helpful forum.

I learned I should not expect too much improvement by replacing the power cord and that it is not in all cases obligatory to spend more than 10% of the price of an atom for a power cord. So I will be very careful with that investment and reduce the priority of such an upgrade.

May I ask if I should neglect upgrading cables from my current (and cheap) material on such a system in general? (Speaker cables and interconnects.) I am asking because I decided to buy a pair of new speaker cables next week (Tellurium Q Black II) due to quality issues of my 50 EUR Dynavox cable which I am using at the moment. (The Tellurium cable was the one the dealer had installed on the demo system when I had the first demo at his shop and I now have a good offer at the moment with no risk: I can send it back if I am not happy with it.)

Thanks.

Speaker and interconnect cables most likely have a larger impact than power, but in the end it’s the same: Ideally try at home. You may or may not hear a difference, and if you do you may or may not like it. But many are happy with the TQB2 with Naim, and far beyond an Atom. So I’d say try it if the offer is good and there is no risk. (I’d say the same with a power cable if there is the option to try it). If you like what the TQ does, it would not be wasted even if you upgrade the Atom later.

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Thanks, @Suedkiez.