I moved from a Meridian 500 series to an Atom in one room. and the Star in another room. Overall I’m very happy with the change especially since I can use pretty much any format of music now in either room.
But today I noticed something odd with the Atom. There seemed to be quite a bit of mid-range distortion on a piano and vocals recording I was listening to (Paul Buchanan’s Mid Air). Was the same on CD and streaming.
A bit of elimination ruled out the Atom, the mains supply which left me with the speakers or the speaker cables.
I’m using a pair of Living Voice Auditorium Avater speakers with the cables that I bought with the speakers s/h about 18 years ago. These are Electofluidics Monilith 20/20 which I think at the time were the cables that Living Voice recommended. Never had any issue with the same speakers and cables with the Meridian. The only difference was that because the Meridian power amp had four speaker terminals I was running two separate cables to each speaker.
I swapped over the speaker cables from the Star - AudioQuest FLX/SLiP.
Swapping over the cables eliminated the mid range distortion. Can only assume there is something about the cable construction or material that is causing the distortion.
So looks like I will need to change the speaker cables but wondering what folks would recommend without breaking the bank.
Also, the speakers didn’t have links on the terminals so I used a pair of links that I had lying around. Should I do 2 to 4 cables and dispense with the links?
Sorry for the long post!!
Hi, those Electrofluidics cables are exactly what Naim amps don’t like, as they have high capacitance and low inductance. Using them in bi-wire configuration would make things even worse. The FLX/Slip is a better match for a Naim amp, but again, I would avoid bi-wiring and put the links back in. Better still, use some ‘jumpers’ made up with short lengths speaker cable instead of the supplied metal links, or have the cables soldered with an F-connection.
Someone’s going to say it, so I’ll mention that NACA5 works well with the Atom, particularly if it’s well soldered. This wire can be a pain to use because of its size and thickness as I found in my small office, but worth a try if you can accommodate it’s awkwardness.
I agree on NACA5 on being a nice fit and sounding great with Naim kit. I also agree on it being a pain to use as is so stiff it can be a pain
Thanks Chris, yes I did a bit of digging and there are various forums citing the problems with Naim and these cables.
Please don’t use these cables on a Naim amp - IIRC, this was certainly a cable that Naim would specifically warn against using, as damage to a Naim amp could result.
I’m happy to recommend A23 cables. They just disappear.
Have a look at Witch Hat N2, £15 a metre so won’t break the bank and comes with a 30 day money back guarantee. If you don’t like them send them back for a full refund. I use it with my Nait XS2 and PMC speakers and never entertained the thought of returning it.
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