Where next and how much?

Thanks thebadyogi. My dealer is very keen on the Neats with Naim kit at this level of their product range.

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Thanks Dan_M. I must say my head says floorstanders but my heart and what I am familiar with sonically and aesthetically says standmounters. Too much choice!

Given your room, you really must consider PMC speakers as others suggest, I own the Twenty 26’s and previous to this FB1+'s for nearly 16 years, absolutely love transmission line as you can achieve a very respectable low end without needing a wide cabinet. I have always needed to site my speakers close to walls and again, PMC’s are forgiving of this so you avoid any bass boom, I had B&W’s ported speakers prior to PMC, they looked lovely but never delivered for me. Agree with the bi-wire comments, not something Naim amps like, you do need to get proper jumpers, ideally same as your speaker cable, the bars on speakers are not good and I was shocked with the improvement when replacing on my latest speaker. Happy speaker hunting!

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Thanks broomy. Un‐bi‐wiring the Mordant Shorts is now high on the list of things to get done this weekend; followed by research of every speaker/brand mentioned above to produce a not-so-short list to whittle down somehow.

Me again. I’m going to replace the current speaker cable with NACA5 as recommended ASAP before home auditioning.

Is it an urban myth that both runs of speaker cable should be the same length? It clearly cannot affect timing where it is an electrical signal.

Due to room layout and equipment rack location (which cannot change) I will need about 5m less cable if the left run can be significantly shorter than the right run with no negative effects.

I’d rather not pay for and also hide behind furniture 5m of high quality cable that I do not need if possible, but if it will make a difference then so be it rather than false economy.

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1.2 Loudspeaker Cables
Loudspeaker cables are vitally important. They should
each be at least 3.5 metres long and of equal length. The recommended maximum is normally 20 metres although longer cables may be viable with some Naim amplifiers.

Hope this is helpful from the xs3 user manual.

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Many thanks Red_rooster. 2 x 8m it is then.

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I’d also look at Kudos KS-1 cable. Many prefer it to A5 and it’s far easier to handle. Dealing with excess cable is a challenge and it should not be coiled. I have a 5.5m cable on the left, and 2.75m on the right, so everything is neat and tidy. The Nova is very tolerant when it comes to cables; your XS3 should be fine too but if in doubt, ask your dealer. I’m surprise your difference is as much as 5m, as speakers are usually 2 to 3m apart. Maybe there is a fireplace in the way. It’s not the timing that’s an issue, rather the electrical characteristics of the cable, as length affects inductance and capacitance and stuff I don’t understand, hence why the amp needs to be able to handle it. Equal lengths are far more important with older Naim amplified, where the cables are effectively part of the output stage.

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If the cable affects the sound in any way, the length is likely to be contributory, so differing lengths could alter sound balance between channels (not sound level balance, unless very long). Whether significant is another matter - the less a cable affects the sound the less the difference, in some cases none or negligible. With older Naim amps it is important for long enough length on both cables to give correct minimum loading.

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I think it’s more to do with the electrical characteristics of the cable such as capacitance and inductance, which do depend on length. However, more recent Naim amps such as your XS3 seem to be much more cable-tolerant than older designs.

NACA5 is a natural choice with a Naim setup, it’s what I used when I had an XS amp, but its stiffness and size don’t always make it very convenient in a domestic environment. When I got an Atom and wall mounted Neat Iotas for my office, it looked like a black snake going up the wall and tended to move the speakers about, so I got some thin white Chord cable which is much more visually acceptable and with no loss in SQ that I could detect.

Roger

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True - any difference would be well below the human ear’s temporal resolution limit.

However, a cable’s LCR (inductance, capacitance and resistance) characteristic is length-dependant, so if you had one cable twice the length of the other, the differences would be likely to be audible, hence the (non-mythical!) advice.

Mark

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First of all good luck, and have fun, deciding!

I run a XS3 with Neat SX3 speakers. After running a NAIT3 and Mordaunt Short MS310s for about 20 years :slight_smile: I’ll always recall @Stephen_Tate describing the XS3 and Neat speakers as likely going together like a hand in a velvet glove! Some form of Neat bookshelves are likely worth a listen.

You have a great system, I’m very happy with the sound from my XS3. It’s also a pretty compact, yet fully featured, package. Should be a great center piece of your system for many years.

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Thanks @HungryHalibut. The length is due to my rack being to the left of my left speaker, so the right speaker’s cable runs alongside the left speaker’s cable for some of the run. Not ideal but I cannot site the rack between left and right. And I think I meant 3m excess, not 5m.

Having the rack between the speakers isn’t ideal anyway, and off to one side should sound better, so long as there is nothing else between the speakers. Who wants to look at a load of boxes when listening to music? If one cable was 8m and the other 5m I really wouldn’t worry about it. 3m of cable is a lot of spare to deal with, especially if you want everything neat and tidy.

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Thanks again everyone. Currently the science, quote from the manual by @Red_rooster and not wanting to wonder “what if I’d spent the extra?” is pushing me towards equal lengths.

Absolutely. Motive SX2 or 3 especially suit Naim’s XS or Supernait amps very well indeed. A special bond i’d say.

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Yes, I will second that - Motive 1s (SX1) are even better with the SN3.

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