I currently have a system composed of a ND555, MD100 tuner, NAC252, NAP300 (which will arrive next week) and ProAc K6 speaker. The cables connecting the amp to the speakers are Chord Carnival. The cables are 12 m long and run in the basement inside 16mm electronic sheaths.
I want to replace the cables since they are probably the weak link in my system. I just tested a pair of Chord signature at my dealer’s shop and at my house. They are very good indeed. However, they are too bulky to be hidden and I am not prepared to compromise on the aesthetics.
I would like to have an advice about cables that could improve significantly over the Carnival and that could be installed inside 16mm electric sheaths. The total price should be under 4k€ for a pair of 12m cables.
Any idea is welcome.
Can you fit NACA5 into your trunking?
If yes, go for it - it will be hard to beat it given the price and length required.
I don’t know. I thought about the NACAs but I have not found their dimensions. How wide are they? I have read also that they are hard to bend.
If your trunking has any tight bends, NACA5 might be hard to pull through compared to other cables.
Width - around 14 mm.
Bending is not too bad. For really tight bends you can warm up the cable with a hair dryer.
This will work if you can open the trunking.
If you however need to pull the cable into it, forget about NACA5 - it won’t go.
I’d then look at some of the Tellurium Q offerings.
Actually the trunking is in place. I would have to pull the cable. I guess I have to forget about the NACA.
If you have a helpful dealer, you might ask him to let you try pulling some NACA5, as if it works, it’s a good option. Dealers buy it on 100m drums, so you could try pulling it before cutting it, and pull it back out if it doesn’t work.
Quite a few cables (including Tellurium, I believe) come factory termnated with banana plugs, which isn’t going to work for you.
No trying to be smart, but this is one case where random internet forum suggestions are not going to work very well. Get a hold of a dealer who can conduct a site visit and work through a few options. Any dealer worth their salt will either try and assist you, including a visit to your house, or suggest another dealer who may be able to assist if the cable selection they can source will not work for your very specific area.
Your system deserves nothing less than the best speaker cables you can get (that will still work within your tight restrictions).
Good luck !
I would hardly call our suggestions random.
Educated - yes. Random - no.
Thank you for your suggestion.
I know my restrictions are tight. I have already asked my dealer if he could do some work to replace the trunking to allow for larger cable but he doesn’t. He is not really into on site visit.
From what I read on this forum, UK dealers are much more active than in France. They lend equipment, visit houses to tweak systems, etc. Even though my dealer is very good in terms of recommendation, he doesn’t do all that.
I guess I’ll try to find another dealer here in Paris who could come on site and help me with choosing the cables and pulling them into place.
That makes things trickier for sure Michael. In this case I guess the only advice we can steer you with is to list a few well regarded possibilities that should work physically in getting through your trunking. A few I’d suggest might be:
Chord - Odyssey or Epic
Mogami 2972 - I use this and have previously fed it through a similar underfloor conduit to your arrangement. It’s very flexible. Twinned, fixed spaced banana plugs can be screwed on after the bare cable has been pulled through the conduit. Contact John Burns at Pear Audio.
WitchHat N2 - designed to sound similar to NACA5, but has the key advantage of being more flexible. Would fit in a 14mm conduit from the look of it, but worth a call to WitchHat to check. This option would also have the key advantage of you being able to try it before you ‘bury’ it and if it doesn’t sound good to you then you can return for a full refund in 30days.
Your system certainly deserves some good cables! Good luck.
As you like Chord currently it would make sense to have a look at their range. The futureshop website is good in that it gives dimensions of cables and in some case you can specify non terminated. Chord Odyssey would fit comfortably.
I have speaker cables in a conduit under the fireplace, so I know your predicament. If you have not replaced before. Tie some strong cord or fishing line to your old cable and then drag the cord through as you remove your old cable.You can then use the cord to pull the new cable from one end while someone pushes from the other end. Just in case you had not thought of it. Best of luck.
Chord Epic or Odyssey could do the trick. They are not too bulky form what I read. I was hoping to find some higher quality cables given my budget (4k€ for 2x12m).
I also looked at the WitchHat dimensions and they would fit. The nice thing is that there is the possibility to try them out and send them back if I don’t like them which is a real advantage.
I will try first to talk to another dealer here in Paris. There is a few of them that seem to provide some service. Then I might check out with WitchHat.
If the limiting factor with having a free choice with no limits cable selection is the trucking, then replace it. You don’t say what its made of but I would just remove it & replace it with something of a more suitable size.
This can be done by any person who is familiar with building work, an electrician is probably best as they know the problems of cable routing, but a good general handyman might also be ideal.
We are lucky in the UK that dealers will instal your system for you. Given what you have spent on Naim boxes, that doesn’t seem like much to ask. I would look for a more helpful dealer. I would also second Mike’s suggestion to use an electrician. They are used to cable pulling in tight spaces, and should be able to help. Also, in relation to the cost of your system, perhaps you could have larger trunking installed so that it no longer restricts your choice of cables.
The people at Chord are very helpful, I’m sure they would answer queries.
I’m not sure where Carnival would sit in the current range. From the recent demo at the Bristol Show the new X range is a step up from ordinary PTFE insulation. I’m sure though that from Epic upwards these are factory termination only so you would be limited to Shawline unless you are confident the plugs would pull through.
Chord still supply “installation” cable, so if your electronic sheaths are metal you might not need the shielded cable?
Thanks for the suggestions.
Actually, I know of an electrician who installed the plastic trunking has pulled the cable in the house. I am pretty sure that he might be able to pull thin cables through the current trunking or replace them with larger ones but I wanted to know if some of you guys might have suggestions of very high quality cables that wouldn’t require the installation of larger trunking.
I tested the Cord signature which are great but so large that they can hardly be bent whatever the trunking diameter might be. In addition, they are too expensive since I need 2X12m (maybe 11m but that does not change much the cost). I am not in the no limit zone. 4k€ is the kind of budget I have in mind. I am not sure the Chord Epic would make such a difference with what I have now which is more than decent and would have to test.
I guess that at this stage, I must be guided by a dealer who understands my prerequisites and allow me for some tests at home. And then he should ideally be able to install a larger trunking if needed and the new cables for me. I will give a few phone calls and send emails.
Looking around, I thought that Chord Odyssey X or similar cables might fill the bill. I have seen that several members of the forum use them with high end systems (NAP500 and the such). I guess that if it works for them it could also for me. In addition, 2x12m is around 1200€, largely under my budget.
I had a question though about the speaker end termination. Currently, I am using bare wire. I would like to know if there is any recommendation using bare wire versus banana plug or spade connections. The bare wire and spades are probably easier to guide in the trunking.
I’d try the latest version of Epic cables with the Ohmic plugs. Much better than what you currently use and should work with existing conduit. I wouldn’t go with bare wire, Chord have now perfected crimped.
I would find someone who is good with a soldering iron, and get them to put on banana plugs after the new cable is pulled. Use Naim plugs for your power amp, and whatever matches your speakers.