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

Power cable manufacturers normally promote around 2m length for best performance. I haven’t done throughout testing myself but when going from 2m AQ Z3 to a 1m I felt music felt less “analogue” in that 1m sounded bit harder and 2m bit softer in that I preferred 2m. Might very well be imagination only :slight_smile:

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The first cable set has been arrived.


I doubt you’d feel inclined to change, the SLs, perfectly good though they are, are not really comparable apart from price :grin:

I have been getting that feeling :slight_smile: Will have to borrow SLs from dealer at one point, I didn’t feel like it after so much comparing and choosing and buying Naim stuff over the whole 2020 :slight_smile:

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Good morning everyone,

I have been using the Tellurium Q Black II cables for a few hours now. I’ll be quite honest: when I installed them on Friday evening, I thought: “No, it can’t be that the difference is that big.” I decided to continue my listening session on Saturday, when there is no wine involved :wink:

Brief background: I have had my Atom since last summer. Initially, the Atom played with my years old, quite cheap Nubert speakers. It was already clear to me that an upgrade was soon to take place here. So for Christmas I replaced them with the nice GURU Q10 speakers. I am very pleased with them. The sound of the Q10s was a very big upgrade for me. In my opinion, they are a great match for the Atom.

Nevertheless, there were a few small things that I still found a little suboptimal:

  • The bass was always very punchy and deep, but sometimes it seemed a bit uncontrolled to me.
  • The highs, on the other hand, were a bit harsh here and there, especially at higher volumes.
  • Both probably led to me playing with the volume a bit, especially when I played mixed playlists.

Actually, I thought that this could not really be fixed. (Apart from software solutions.) I thought that this was the compromise I had to make with such small speakers in combination with my small room.

Until I swapped my Dynavox speaker cables for the Black II on Friday evening. What can I say? Everything I described above has been sorted out:

  • The bass definitely seems more controlled somehow.
  • The highs are now very balanced and no longer too harsh.
  • Everything seems somehow more clearly open and balanced.
  • Even the mids, with which I was previously highly satisfied and had nothing to complain about, now seem even more natural. This is especially true for voices.

(Please bear in mind that, unlike many here, I am not yet that experienced and am only at the beginning of my journey. Therefore, everything is very subjective).

I would never have thought that such a difference is possible with just a cable change. I did several A/B tests with the old cable to make sure I wasn’t fooling myself.

Tomorrow the NACA5 will come for comparison. Actually, I can’t imagine that it can get any better. But I have already been wrong once and thought that a cable cannot make a significant difference. I will keep you updated if you like …

Many greetings and have a nice Sunday


Thanks, great write-up! Don’t let yourself be fooled, it’s very subjective for everyone, and why should it not be. Looking forward to the NACA5 report, but keep in mind that by all accounts they need up to 100 hours to become happy.

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If changing IEC cords would make a difference in sounds than there would be something wrong with the PSU. But, hey guys, you got a NAIM … :grinning:

colormind was describing speaker cables, but did you ever try power cords, like a full set of Power-Lines in a PowerIgel? And why are you using Naim if you think their developers are dumb and deaf?

Please excuse me for confusing and bringing the thread into a different direction with the additional speaker cable question …

That´s a misunderstanding. With Naim you don´t need to hustle with IEC cords

You never “need” to, but there is a reason they sell Powerline Light and Powerline. Did you ever try Powerlines?

And I really have no interest in an argument about this, but if you think that this is all ridiculous and Powerlines make no difference, I do wonder why you are using gear built by people who write this on their website:

To us, a smooth, stable, low-noise supply is critical. It’s absolutely fundamental to performance. That’s why we designed the Power-Line mains cable. Its complex, precision-engineered construction has been defined and refined following solid mechanical engineering principles and then confirmed after hundreds of hours of testing in the listening room.

We invite you to experience the difference it can make to your system for yourself at your local Naim Audio retailer. You won’t be disappointed.

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Hi everyone,

this is my first post here :slight_smile: .

Finally, have you been able to compare NACA5 with Tellurium Q Black II on your Atom?

Hi @GF21,

Welcome to the community and thanks for asking. Sorry for not sharing my experiences earlier - the next little HiFi project is consuming my time drastically … again. :face_with_hand_over_mouth:

I had the NACA5 and the TQ Black II for about one week in direct comparison. As mentioned the TB Black (which came in first) made noticeable difference to my extisting and more cheap cables. The benefits were obvious and to me quite impressing.

However the comparison between NACA5 and TQ Black was tough for me. To be honest: The difference to me in terms of sound quality was tiny. Yes, there was a difference. Putting it into words: To me the TQ Black was a tiny bit more present in the bass area, maybe a little bit more controlled there. The NACA5 had their strength on the other side: The highs sounded to me a little bit more refined. Just a little bit. No huge difference at all to me. (But I am not so experienced in comparing cables I have to say. In fact it was the first time I had speaker cables for direct comparison.)

Finally I kept the Tellurium Cables. The reason is that they are a more convenient to use for me. The NACA5 is not so flexible. But the good thing is: Once you bend them, they are keeping its form I would say. But for my installation situation the discrete and flexible TQ Black II is way better.

After having the TQ Blacks now for a couple of weeks I also have to say that the sound improved again a bit. Again not so much, but a bit. Finally I am very happy and I can recommend the Tellurium Black II in a comparable setup. However in my humble opinion the NACA5 is not a bad purchase either.

I hope this is useful for some of you … :blush:

And now back to my little Roon project. Very exciting. :hugs:



Good that someone asked. Great summary and very interesting. And finally someone gets it with the NACA5 :slight_smile: - but yes, there are situations where something like the TQ handles better. The NACA5 would also have improved over time, but glad you are happy, and thanks. Enjoy!

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I wonder with such a stiff cable as NACA5 and bending it in sharp angles if it won’t break the inner wires if you bend it back? Metal fatigue is normally a big issue with stiff thick metal wires. If you worked with electric wiring you know what I mean. Bend it back and forth a couple of times and it snaps.

I also wouldn’t bend it back and forth 50 times at a sharp angle in the same place as if wanting to break a paper-clip. But gently bending it once and ten years later bending it back for a new installation won’t break any wires. And Richard said it’s ok, as did my dealer who sold and installed countless meters of A5 over many years. If the room situation allows and when done right, it can stay out of the way of things, so you barely have to move it - as opposed to less stiff ones that you move around all the time for vacuuming etc.

You may have seen my example before, apologies for pushing it again if so, but I think it helps illustrate my point:


@colormind, thank you for your summary, really very interesting results.

I’m still using the Clearwater RB28 on my Cassiano and currently Atom and it’s sounds pretty good.

Btw, who is the mentioned dealer in Germany? Steinerbox?

Steinerbox closed shop, or are in the process of. Not covid-related. I was lucky and got very good sell-off prices for Chord Sarum T interconnects. They had a sale price list on the website in Nov/Dec. It may not always be up to date, but check and you may get lucky. They were still good at responding to queries

You actually have or are waiting for the Sarum t? I am curious because planning in some months to upgrade the signature tuned array to Sarum t, from Nds to Pre .

Have had them in the system since December, on advice of another Naim user I trust (been a Naim customer for a very long time, has 500), who prefers them over SL and said I just had to.

I thought it was a considerable improvement over standard.

Though my dealer thought I’d be happier with SL, although he also thinks the STs are great. However, used SL are not available in great numbers.

My original plan had been to use standard for a few months and then see about it, but an automated web search that I had running dropped the Steinerbox sale into my lap, for fantastic prices (like more then 50% off for a new one). So I thought I won’t lose anything and jumped. Got an interconnect for NDX2 > 252 and the XLRs for the 300.

The system was however still pretty new then and had changed so much. So the plan now is to use the STs for a few months, then I’ll switch back to standard and see if I am missing something. If I don’t, won’t lose anything if I sell the STs, I think

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