Speaker cable length

Driving with 2mtr NAC A5. Thinking of switching to TQ black II or Witch Hat Phantom because of all interesting posts here. Naim seems to recommend 3mtr. Is that also applicable for other brands like TQ? For me 1.5 or 2 is enough, and there is a nice bargain now for that length. Worth to switch?

3.5 meters NACA5 is recommended for power amps. SN3 and Uniti are a bit more tolerant (3 meters being OK) but not immune. This cannot be be simply applied to other cables because the 3.5 meters are a result of the specific electrical properties of NACA5, which result in specific values that the amp “sees”. Other cables have other values and will require other lengths (or be unsuitable).

For the SN2, the 2 meters of NACA5 were probably already not great. The values for Witch Hat are not published but the Witch Hat people know their Naim, so you have to ask them


Naim recommend a minimum length of 3.5m with NACA5.
This gives the correct minimum inductance load for the output stage.
The length recommendation does not apply to other cables as each will have different inductance rating.
However, the Supernait-2 is not so fussy about cables, but as always, longer is better than sorter. And although TQ don’t publish any specs for their cables, they are similar with high’ish inductance ratings to NACA5, so the 3.5m rule will be good.

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Great thanks! Think Witch Hat can expect an order this week. 3.5mtrs

Remember that 3.5 metres is Naim’s recommended minimum, with optimum being 5 to 10 metres. This is for NACA5, it is very likely that any non-Naim cable would need to be longer in order to achieve the same specs you get from NACA5.

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I feel like there needs to be a “please read the following before posting on speaker cables” thread pinned to the top of the hifi corner page. No offence to the op as it is genuinely a good question but there must be one a week. It might also inform others that are unaware of this matter.


Hi Mike,
Do you think there will be a hearing difference between 3.5 and 5 m.?
Or, is more meters = better performance?

Shalom @ditton66, sorry but I’m not the best to answer that question, its been quite a while since I played around with NAC A4, A5 & Linn K20. But whatever, I’m coming from this with electronics in mind rather than how it sounds.
I can go into this in depth, but I suspect will not interest most.

Peeps who have experience of the sound variations seem to agree its better with 5m up to 10m.
But in my electrical mind it can be somewhat dependant on the speaker load, e.g. but not limited to, too much inductance (length) into a low ohm rated speaker will cause roll off at high frequencies.

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I don’t know about the Supernait 3, but I could definitely hear a difference between 3.5 and 5m when I tested different lengths at the factory (this with a NAP300 IIRC). I preferred 5m btw…


Thanks all. Just ordered WH Pantom 2x3,5m to replace my NAC A5 2x2,0m. Now patient and curious :slight_smile:

Thanks Mike/Richard,
In my case it a nap135 not s.n3

With NAP135s I would definitely go long with NACA5 - 5-10m per channel.


I know Naim recommend 3.5m but I’ve found a pair of 3m Tellurium Silver and wonder if my 300DR is at any risk using these?

@Richard.Dane In which way did the longer length affect the sound in that specific setup?

I used my TQ Ultra black II 2x2m with my 250DR before and now with my 300DR. I do not know if the sound can be better with a longer cable, however I never had any issue, NAP is always slightly warm, never hot also at high volume. My only doubt is if I can get more bass control and a more balanced sound with a proper length that match inductance of 3.5m of NACA 5. It may worth to compare a 3.5m of NACA 5 but I remember it used to have a more “raw” sound specially on the mid-high range.

I much preferred the sound of longer lengths of NACA5 - 10m my favourite. The biggest difference for me was going from 3.5m per channel to 5m.

What’s the parameters which change with different length?

Parameters? I found I preferred the sound with longer lengths. Compared to 5m the 3.5m had a kind of fidgety edge to the sound that I found less easy to listen to. 5m seemed to flow and, for want of a better word, “breathe” better, and 10m was better still.


Went for 2x5m of Witch Hat Phantom instead having 2x4m TQB II today.

NAC A5 takes an age to fully run in, but when it does, it plants a huge smile on my face… :blush:


Interesting feedback, Richard! I always enjoy your replies from your experience. Thank you.

I wasn’t keen at that time to try 5m lengths of the trusty NAC A5 with my 135s, the unwarranted fear and neurosis in hindsight now, being that 5m “wasn’t in the 3.5m length multiple” , so to “play safe” for my beloved olives, I went with 7m lengths which snaked across the floor, and were lifted off ground. They have to be soldered well and correctly to the Naim plugs, which seems basic and yet there are horror stories - so preferably by Naim, though a good trustworthy dealer who knows what they are doing with care, will sort this just as well in this regard.

Friends, although I recently wrote on another thread about longer run-in timeframes for equipment and Naim cables, much to some vehemently-opposed members here who found my feedback in their actual words “ridiculous” and “laughable” - their experience was for a much shorter but unspecified timeframe - I still would not judge the NAC A5 sound fully till at least 4 to 6 months of 24x7 play at all volumes. I didn’t use burn-in CDs, just music, which could have accounted for the differences in opinion as to their run-in times.

Mine sounded good with gradual but audible improvements even after 5 months of 6-hour daily play - and after 6 months it was when I felt the sound from my system had “finally arrived in full song”, fully stabilised and wonderful. YMMV.

Moral for me - don’t rush to judge the NAC A5s. They still sound very good for the money… even with the Statement, though I understand not with the very last drop of neutrality, resolution and full openness - hence the SL. If you haven’t cable-dressed the Naim interconnects and stock power cables carefully, nor positioned or supported your electronics adequately on a good rack, run a dedicated spur for your system without power conditioners, or treated the room carefully, I wouldn’t presume to arrow the Naca 5s so quickly as being the culprit for “thin, harsh, cold” sound - which they certainly aren’t. NAC A5s still represent very fine Naim sound - at great value, without detracting at all from the PRaT, full mids and delicate clear highs. It is still the king of swing, till I have heard other makes in a full Naim system in future, to conclude from.

2m of NAC A5 which was used in the OP is not safe for Naim amps as Naim owners including Richard have shared, nor will they sound good.

Many have jumped to negative conclusions about the NAC A5s which I found baffling as it was opposed to my own experience with them - when I suspect alot has to do more with their system set-up that’s contributing collectively to the sonic issues faced. But I must concede, time has moved on, and there are good alternatives to be explored, though to write off the NAC A5 sonics to be “in a certain manner” isn’t accurate if we haven’t first seen to all the other parameters of the system and room set-up.

These classic speaker cables work beautifully with Naim amplification and suit them to a T. Can they be improved on - perhaps yes, at a cost to other possible sonic trade-offs, [apart from the SL] but I would do careful A-B dems for other makes assuming all are adequately run-in cables - I confess I’d love to try the Phantoms one day just for fun :grimacing: :sweat_smile:- - before deciding to switch.

Without having to spend much more, whatever comes with our Naims is tailor-made for Naim sound - I don’t see the need to change, and yet, it’s always fun to try alternatives.

So nicely and succinctly summarised, Stephen! :sunglasses:


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