Forgive my ignorance, but I have some NACA cable here that was my Dads, and I am not sure how I describe the configuration. I think my Dad had his speakers bi-wired, but I can’t recall if he had them bi-amped too. All I know is that his system sounded mighty fine!
Image below is of a complete loom (I have 2 of these complete looms).
On the left hand side of the above image, we have a simple banana plug termination to each of the NACA cores.
In the centre of the first image, we have a cable tied configuration where the cores of the 2 NACA runs are split/mixed and terminated with 2 bananas, as shown below.
Finally on the right hand side of the first image, we have the below:
The red banana at the centre goes to the red at the left and right ends of the loom.
How can I describe this set of cables??!! (other than a “pile of NACA 5 cable)!
Your wisdom is much appreciated…
p.s. the looms were prepared by West Midlands Audio some time ago, so I know they are fit for purpose, just need to know the details of the purpose!
They are wired for biwiring, where two wires go to each speaker. One of the speaker ends then has jumpers, to connect to two pairs of sockets. So they must have been made for speakers with three sets of input sockets that could be used with passive biwiring. They may very well have been Linn speakers of some sort.
Given that biwiring is generally frowned upon with Naim amplifiers, and that very few will have this setup, I’d remove the bananas at the amplifier end ie where the two cables are soldered together. That will give you four cables, two with standard wiring at the speaker end, and two with biwire jumpers. Lots of speakers have biwire terminals, so the pair with jumpers should be attractive if left as they are at the speaker end.
Thanks so much for your feedback, (they were used originally with Linn Isobariks and a Naim NAP 250 (I think), then after a lightning strike killed his system, they were used with an Audiolab setup and Epos ES-22 speakers).
OK, so I understand what you are saying about splitting the cables, and this got me thinking… on my own system (Atom with Pro-Ac Response D20 speakers), I currently use a simple NACA to each speaker from the atom. My speakers have bi-wire terminals, but it seems you are saying this would not be of any benefit in my system?
Just wondering if I swap my own cables for the bi-wired ones… seems you are suggesting not to do this.
The set with the jumpers would be ideal for you, as you could ditch the ProAc metal jumpers and it should sound better. The jumpers on your Dad’s leads look as though they have been well done. It’s then just a case of wiring standard banana plugs at the amplifier end. A virtually free upgrade for you!
Adding jumpers at the speaker end is perfectly fine; it’s biwiring at the amplifier end that’s best avoided.
Well blow me down with a feather, a free upgrade! They don’t come around too often.
I will get one of the electronic engineers at work to add some good quality banana plugs onto the split cables and see how I get on! Any suggestions for decent plugs, or will a standard pair off RS suffice?
Your guidance is really appreciated!
RS bananas are fine, or you may have the little plugs that originally came with the Atom in the box. As you have access to soldering facilities, get bananas added to the other set at the same time, which will make them easier to sell.
They don’t look to be as long than 3.5metres - which is Naim’s recommended minimum length. I doubt that the Atom would mind overmuch though…
They are 3m long… nothing has exploded yet so seems OK!
A 3 metre pair should be fine for your Atom. So not only do you get a free upgrade, but you have enough cable to make up a second 3m pair that you could sell.
You could use the plugs that are supplied with the Atom, although they are awkward to solder. A pair of nickel plated Deltron bananas would be fine, and they are not expensive.
Warning. Soldering NAC A5 (or A4 or Linn K20) is not easy. You need a high powered soldering iron.
Cheers for feedback everyone… I have access to good soldering tech at work (and soldering personnel), so should be all set.
It is not too difficult. I have a 50W soldering station. It went fine.
Glad to here. Maybe I had a bad experience…? I bought a 100W iron (new), to solder some A5 and it went very badly. The A5 insulation started melting, almost burning and the solder joints were rubbish.
I sent the 100W iron back & got a refund…
[Its not that I cannot solder. I have been doing that for about 50 years - on & off. But nearly always on small stuff (audio leads, guitar wiring and slot car wiring, mainly) and using my trusty 30W iron, which is also c.50 years old.]
Ok, I see.
I did it in 3 steps:
1- Melted solder on cable
2- Melted solder on plug
3- Soldered them together.
And I use lead/tin solder.
I did all of that. Its normal soldering practice, IMO.
My guess is that either my 100W iron was faulty and was running too hot - or, being a modern iron, its temp was set higher for lead-free solder. I was using traditional leaded Multicore solder.
[I did try using lead free years ago (not for soldering A4 or A5) and I still have some, but found it difficult to get good results. The solder didn’t seem to melt properly - likely because the temp of my 30W iron is set for leaded solder.]
You need a powerful iron and the soldering should be done quickly, very quickly. No need to pre-solder anything. It does take some practice, patience & skill. Those who say it’s easy and is a walk in the Park (without the necessary experience) are doing it wrong.