Two thoughts about Atom with B&W 703s2


This is my first post on this forum. Too bad I didn’t discover it sooner, because I read a lot of interesting discussions. Now I have two thoughts of my own about which I would like to know the opinion of others.

I recently replaced my old hifi set with an Atom and a pair of B&W 703s2 speakers. Now I have read several discussions about adding an amplifier because it would benefit the speakers. Would that be the case with my setup as well? The dealer indicated that the Atom would be able to drive even more demanding speakers? Any experience with the same setup?

The same dealer indicated that the Atom actually needed a different power cord, preferably a Chord Shawline Power Cord. Has anyone made the same choice? Although it’s a relatively inexpensive upgrade, it’s still a waste of money if it doesn’t lead to an audible improvement.

Thank you in advance for your thoughts :slight_smile:


I changed power chords starting with my Mu-SoQb’s. It made a surprising difference. Now I have better mains leads for everything. I like MCRU stuff and I pick DIY parts and make my own now. Try a pre made cable around a hundred pounds and see if you can hear the difference.

I think your Atom is fine driving those speakers, but you could always demo a power amp and see for yourself. Assuming you auditioned and this combination came out on top, so just enjoy the system.

FWIW I have the Star with the 702s2.

Although many here disagree, I just don’t see how a power cord will make any difference. Only difference would be if it’s too thin, in which case it would heat up, but nothing audible.

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You’ve presumably not heard devices with Powerlines added then?

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hi there,

adding an extra amplifier might be something to consider in the future but not now. I own an Atom too, it is driving my secondary system and just for the fun of it, i connected it to my Focal Kanta No.2 and was pretty surprised, what came out of this combo, it wouldn‘t go extremly loud, but sounded very good.

The upgrade of the mains lead was indeed a very good decision, as this is clearly audible, replaced mine with a reasonably priced Isotek Premiere.

Enjoy this little powerhouse, there will be enough possibilities for future improvements.

Don’t know about Powerlines specifically, but I’m sure my dealer uses “fancy” power cords in his demo room. Never bothered to check what they were.

I have my own QB2 in the kitchen. Never thought of upgrading it with another power cable. Thanks for the tip!

That sounds like good advice and is perhaps also what I am most inclined towards. Good to hear that replacing the power cord can actually make a difference. This was really something that I was very much wondering about. Think I’ll go shopping during the holidays for a late Christmas present for myself :slight_smile: Thanks for the help!

Powerlines can make a huge difference both audibly and visually. One of the most cost effective increments I ever did was to add an Ecosse Big Orange to a Sky box, improved sight and sound.

My Qb2 in the kItchen has an AudioQuest NRG Y2 mains lead. Seventy quids from a local dealer.


And an audible difference? This not too expensive cable appeals to me :slight_smile:

(Welcome Bram!)
My Uniti is hooked up to the same. Problem is I can’t comment much on the improvement, because I inserted a PowerQuest 2 first before I changed the standard power cable - That recommendable cheap alternative to Naim’s own products was such an improvement that the new power cord incremental improvement was too hard to notice for a 51 year old pair of Dutch ears.

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Sadly that £69 has cost me hundreds as I replace all my mains leads with MCRU items now, either kit built or off the shelf. I heard the difference straight away. I really only started because the three pound fig 8 that came with the Qb2 looked a little flimsy compared to the rest of the build quality.
If you get no SQ boost, at least it works properly and looks more appropriate.

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@billywindsock Did it by any chance tighten the bass? It’s actually a good idea, my Qb1 is stuck in a corner and doesn’t have that 3rd setting the Qb2 has (corner setting)… Maybe a Y2 could work… cheaper for sure than trying to upgrade my Qb1 for a Qb2. I’ve got a gut feeling that Qb1 don’t hold their value as well as some of the classic Naim products, I reckon dealers are not too eager to trade.

Before jumping it might be worth noting that the Atom comes with a Powerline Lite (if you’re in the UK) which costs more as a standalone purchase than the AudioQuest cable. At the very least I would ask to borrow a demo copy before shelling out. A full fat Powerline might give you more musical enjoyment but I’d audition first to see if it’s worth the money for you.

Regarding your OP, I would advise caution in how you read posts on the forum. On the one hand there are many helpful folk here who are ready to advise posters who run into problems or are looking for upgrade routes. On the other, there are many who sing the praises of this, that or the other box or cable or tweak (including me). The danger is that reading them puts you in the “I’ll have to get one of those” or “perhaps I need a new this or that” frame of mind and on to an endless and potentially expensive merry-go-round of changes. You’ve got a fine new system, probably not even run in yet. Why not spend the next few months enjoying your system, discovering new music and not thinking about upgrades?

Apologies for the sermon.



My main impression was that it reduced background noise. It made everything a little easier to hear. I then added an IsoTek Gemini, a two plug mains filter and it made a huge difference to the noise floor again. I suspect that shielded cables keep out the huge amounts of signals from WiFi and other ‘remote’ devices away from the HiFi box electronics. Even my doorbell is sending waves around the house, that huge number of signals must affect electrical equipment somewhere along the line.
The picture shows the Qb2 in place before I bought my Uniti Star.

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Nice! I never knew that. Not the case in Holland though. At least not with my dealer.
But indeed, if it’s new, run it in first… The truth is that I bought my Powerquest2 because of the power surge protection, not for the sound quality. That was just a nice bonus.

Are you sure about that? As a fellow Dutchman I can tell you that the cable looks suspiciously similar!

Not 100% no, I’ll have a look at the small print on the cable :slight_smile:
It may explain why I didn’t hear much difference with the AudioQuest, LOL.

I think I’ve figured it out. With Uniti Atoms for the European market two power cables are supplied: one with a UK plug and one with an EU plug. Unfortunately I think only the cable with a UK plug is a power line lite ( However, the European cable seems to be a bit more solid than the one that came with my QB2.

Happy holidays everyone!

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