Speaker Wires for SN3 and Spendors

I’ve seen some good threads on this, but I’m opening it back up.

Currently I have Kimber Kable 12TC speaker cables with the SN3 and my Spendor D7.2s. They sound great.

I’ve read non-Naim wires can be damaging, or maybe that only pertains to just older Naim amps. Lots of conflicting information, but should I be concerned?

Lots of folks have recommended the Witch Hat Phantoms and others, and you see the Naim NAC A5 wires.

What do folks think of the Super Lumina speaker cables? I haven’t seen those mentioned.

What would be Naim-safe, but an upgrade from the 12TCs if they are damaging to the SN3?


This was true of some non-NAIM cables with the old NAIM gear (the cable inductance was part of the design spec). I don’t think the modern gear has any significant/known issues.

I have on my system an audioquest Robin Hood speaker cables, and because of the cable compatibility that could exist I am reticent on acquiring a supernait 3. I do not want to buy an amp that could be problematic with my cables. So I am a little curious on the reply’s.

With the older amps, Kimber was one of the WORST specced cables you could use…the 12TC has 30x greater capacitance and only 1/10 of inductance of NACA5-which is the stuff perfect storms are made from. It is not an urban myth that some speaker cables can damage a Naim power amp. A friend of mine tried out some Cardas Golden Reference on his NAP500 and it ran very, VERY hot and sounded meh…a classical symptom of ultrasonic oscillations that could fry both amp and speaker. Restoring the NACA5 immediately made amp run much cooler and improved the sound to an expected degree-even if you cannot hear ultrasonic oscillation, you an easily hear what it does.

The wide spacing between the conductors in the NACA5 geometrically bestows upon it the desired low capacitance and high loop inductance.


I have these and very much like them, very open and organic, tighter lower end and a much wider and deeper sound stage. I had them on a SN2 and now on my 252/250.


Hi Ron, it’s great to see you here on the Naim Forum all the way from the old Forum days.

Always enjoyed your posts and invaluable feedback. Thank you.

My warm rgds

Phil P

I am using Tellurium Black 2 cables between my SN3 and D7.2’s. No problem at all. But it would be interesting to compare these with other cables - if I had the cash!

In my early days with Naim I thought I’d take the Kimber 8TC off the valve amps I was using and try it on a prototype NAP250.2. A big mistake. It sounded not so great and started too get rather hot rather too. I quickly removed it before anything untoward happened.


I used Witch Hat Phantom when I owned an SN3 with S40 Dynaudio speakers.
Noticeable improvement over NACA5.


I’m running Spendor D9.2’s. I changed from nac a4 to nac a5 and was pleasantly surprised at how much of an improvement they were.

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I was using Atlas 2.0 (can’t remember official name) speaker cable with my previous Supernait 2 for many years. No problem at all and sounded wonderful.

I think there is a 3.0 or maybe 3.5 available too. I bet they would be good.

IME Kimber is very much terrible on Naim amps.
Most Naim, Linn, Chord Co. Witchhat, TQB, Atlas Hyper, Kudos cables will match but there are others out there, a jungle.
Of above, I’ve used most of them and ended on WH Phantom with Kudos KS 1 on my list.

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Even if the 12TC isn’t doin immediate damage to the amp, it will be increasing the stress on the power-amp and PSU of the SN, definitely recommended to change it for something more suitable.

Witch Hat Phantom
DNM Reason (be aware of it being ‘bass light’ though)

Less Recommended:
Anything where the conductors are larger diameter AND closer together (the ratio is important)

Anything that has a woven, coax or strongly twisted type of construction

As for SL, yes it a very good cable and primarily designed to complement the quality of Statement or 500 series systems; but, for the same equivalent cost other system or room upgrades may well give more benefit with a SN3 based system.

I used Atlas hyper 3.5 with Spendor d7.2 - nap 250 but it didn’t suit me. The sound was a little darker. Now I use Witch Hat Phantom and I am very satisfied.

I would use the NAC A5 tried and tested and a good base to start from.

S/L speakers are very good but it would probably be wiser to spend that sort of money on source upgrades ?


Since you own super lumina interconnect it would be a nice match with super lumina speaker cables. If the price is right i think is a excellent choice. Have in mind that Super Lumina are good from new but they need some months to come at their best. This is my experience at least, i have mine now for 11 months and last couple of months my system is quite good. There is a strong chance SL contributes to the improvement (11 months before i upgraded also XPS to 555PS for NDX2)

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Yes…‘meh’ sound and heatsinks you could cook a Full English on.
It is very, VERY difficult to improve on the sound of NACA5 using legacy amps, but extrremely easy to find cables that not only sound (much) worse, but actually have a high risk of causing spendy damages.

Got some used A5s to start from, and they finally arrived today.

They’re sounding great so far. I can see now the stiffness aspect to them, but I didn’t have much issues bending them around to the speakers.

The only concern was bending the cables from the right angle banana terminations, as one was facing up and the other facing down in the back of the SN3.

The one facing down has to bend quite drastically on the shelf, putting a bit of stress on that set of speaker inputs.

Otherwise, great sound and warmer tones with deeper bass so far.

Can’t you simply reverse the plugs at the speaker end, so both are connected upwards at the back of the amp?

Decide if wires going up or down is your preference option, then disassemble the plug that is ‘wrong’ for you, remove the plugs screw, swap the pins over, reassemble & then the plug will orient correctly

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