Very olde speaker cables

After reading some (ie. loads) of the threads about speaker cables, I started wondering about my cables. They are a 30+ year old pair of ‘Audioquest Crystal Hyperlitz bi-wire capable’. which I currently use in bi-wire mode with my Atom (yes, I know that’s against Naim recommendations).

Anyway, I stated wondering if the system would benefit from new cables. I don’t want to spend a fortune, say up to about £25 a metre, and would only single-wire this time around.
I also have access to a pair of Linn K10 cables but haven’t tried them with the Atom yet.
I’d be grateful for any comments and advice. TIA

Well bi-wiring doubles the capacitance and halves the inductance, which in combination can make some Naim amps very unhappy.

Halving the DC resistance could be a plus, but is almost certainly outweighed by the detrimental effects of the LC parameters.

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Linn K20 is… remarkably similar… to Naim NAC A4… (not A5)

And very cheap.

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BTW…the name of the AQ cable -Hyperlitz already suggests it may be high capacitance and low inductance, even in single runs. Biwiring will make the parameters twice as unfavorable. I suspect however the Atom does not need the high inductance cable load that the NAP amps do.

But amp instability caused by mismatched cables is a genuine thing…for instance running a NAP500 with Cardas Golden Reference (a Litz cable) caused it to run as hot as a hotplate, due no doubt to ultrasonic oscillations that posed a real risk of permanent damage. Restoring NACA5 dropped the operating temperature by tens of degrees C.

I reckon your best bet would be to buy some s/h NACA5, which you’ll be able to find for <<£25/m. This is often listed on the well known auction site. If I were you I’d buy longer lengths than you need and cut them down from both ends and solder on new connections.

Thanks @Clive That’s the obvious answer but I think I need something more flexible. Currently wondering if KS-1 would be a good choice.

Maybe GB £10 per metre… :open_mouth:

(I got 2 x 7,5 m for £142…!!)

Thanks @RonToolsie I’ve used the AQ cable continuously for 30 years with two other amps prior to my Atom and none of them have ever run warm. I’ve always been happy with the sound of each system but am aware that there is better sound to be had out there…

Kudos KS1 speaker cable small flexible and easy to solder terminate.
I use them and they easily bettered Linn K20 and K400. :+1:t2:

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Chord Rumour X works a treat for me

For performance I think NACA5 is a very good cable. I used it with my Atom for a while, and it was the best performance I had from it until a speaker change forced me to use an alternative.
If the stiffness of A5 is more than you can cope with, A4 or Linn LK20 are good, cheap alternatives. However, both of them are, like A5, a wide flat design, and although they will bend in one dimension, they are inflexible in the other, so if, for example, you lay them flat on the floor, bending them round a corner is hard unless you put a sharp kink in them.

Easier cables in this respect are round ones. Kudos KS1 and the Chord cables up to Oddysey, which is a little stiffer. If you really want a super flexible cable, try Mogami who make very good cables aimed mainly at musicians and the recording industry rather than home HiFi.

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As Naim amps simply sound better with simpler multistranded designs something of decent gage and not crazy cost will be fine with the Atom. I’m familiar with the AQ Hyperlitz cables and I think they are very good but would tend to match them with other electronics such as Arcam.

Personally, at that level I would (and in fact do on my UQ2) use Atlas Element 2.0. Costs next to nothing, round, pearl colour. Atlas cables aren’t seen much on the forum but they are designed with Naim and Linn in mind.

Hi Skeptical.
I’ve had my eye on KS-1s ever since Witchhat’s demise. Are they smooth-sounding, but with good clarity and detail?
I ask because the HF can be quite pronounced with my speakers and I don’t like any shrillness as it is fatiquing.
I’m in Canada, so I would probably have to order them, preterminated, from a UK dealer.

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KS-1 is the best cable I’ve ever had and I’ve been used to quite bright speakers previously and have really managed to hear quite easily what is shrill or not.
I’ve had Linn K20 and then linn K400 split for over 35 years and had never found cable that could match let alone beat the rich and musical depths of K400.
We had some renovation work done that meant a slight reroute of cables leaving my 35 yo K400 split too short.
I bit the bullet and tried a speaker cable that looked completely different to what I was used to but on recommendations I gave them a go.
I couldn’t believe my ears the bass went to a new detailed and musical low all the detail shone through and to my delight the top end didn’t have any of the shrillness of other cables I had tried.
So am delighted with the Kudos KS-1
Mail order wasn’t a problem either with super termination too. :+1:t2:


Thanks so much for the detailed reply Skeptical. It sounds like these are what I’ve been looking for. I’ve purchased all of my kit from carefully analysing reviews and it’s worked very well.
When I’m ready, which will be after we move house as the length will matter, I’ll contact Cymbiosis.
And I can tell this is a well-thought-out review because, afterall, you are skeptical.



Like @Skeptikal I too use Kudos KS-1, upgrading from NAC A5 and concur with his comments.



Excellent. The other cables I was considering were the Nac A5, so I’ll just put that to bed and go with the KS-1s when I know what length I need.
Thanks and cheers.

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