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Old 11th October 2012, 10:35 PM   #1
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Default early Naim manual speaker cable info

Apologies if this is posted in the wrong forum, but I have recently acquired a Nait 2 and would like to DIY some speaker cable runs, which comply with the specific capacitance and inductance requirements of this amp.

I'm hoping that someone out there can confirm that Naim originally suggested the home construction of suitable speaker cables, prior to later introducing their own NAC A4 and 5 offerings. I am led to believe that early documentation may have referred to using 4mm sq. 56 strand x 0.3mm CSA wire, twisting it a couple of times per metre of cable run. If this is correct, was there anything about what brand of plugs should be used for best performance?

It has also been suggested that Linn K20 meets the specification, at a fraction of the cost per metre of the Naim product

If anyone out there can point me in the right direction, I would appreciate it.


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Old 11th October 2012, 10:50 PM   #2
sreten is offline sreten  United Kingdom
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AFAIK Niam cable is a simply a spaced pair.

This stuff is more than good enough for most :

Cambridge Audio SYMPHONY 200 | Speaker Cable Per Metre | Richer Sounds

The best termination is simply tinning bare wire ends of the cable.

rgds, sreten.

Last edited by sreten; 11th October 2012 at 10:52 PM.
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Old 12th October 2012, 02:49 AM   #3
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I think your spec. may refer to someone's approach to Naim's recommendation. It sounds anything but pro.

The original Naim spec. on suitable cable was certainly nothing fancy or contrived, other than twinflex with slightly closer spaced conductors than is the norm on speakers now. You could say it was 20 Amp. "figure 8" cable, if such a product existed at the time. The important part is that it required a min. 3.5m run to get enough damping of ringing with capacitive loads, since there is no output coil. That's fine, but it also results in lousy RF susceptibility with at least the early models.
There is no hint that the recommendation had anything to do with sound quality.

However, as you are concerned about esoteric matters perhaps you may actually want to talk to the PFM forum people, who are all about those non-technical details and concerns.

(BTW, 'Like the addition to your signature sreten - 'reminds me of DMMs )
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Old 12th October 2012, 08:46 AM   #4
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Thanks for pointing me at the Pink Fish Media forum.

The consensus there is that early on, Naim literature recomended a specific RS Components multicore cable twisted at 4 turns per metre:

"Before they made their own cable Naim recommended RS type 357-946 cable twisted at 4 turns per metre. It was dirt cheap. Their catalogue doesn't recognise the number now but I bet they'd know an equivalent."


"quoting the manual

alternative cable should have 2 conductors, 4sqmm single core multistrand. rs type 357-946,

although i think the link in post #3 is the equivalent? Naim suggest if using this cable to twist it together about 4 turns per meter

Yes djftw - that's the stuff! It seems to have fallen out of the limelight since the old manuals and since NAC A5 has been pushed so strongly. I gather that the capacitance would be about right, and the 4 twists per metre will give the inductance that Naim quote for A5."

This discontinued product was 56 x 0.3 multi-strand, and has a currently available equivelent, so that's part one out of the way. I will enquire on that forum about the banana plug issue.

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Old 13th October 2012, 08:28 AM   #5
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I did say "esoteric".
By far, the more sensible approach is to use twinflex since the twist only serves to maintain spacing between the insulated wires. You could just as well have sleeved it with heatshrink tubing, or hand loomed it if you wished. In fact, some exotic and very expensive speaker cables have been assembled that way. It is pointless to waffle on about "correct" capacitance or inductance without a finite measure of the length of the cable. Obviously, the longer it is, the more capacitance it will present to the devices connected.

The point about Naim compatible cables is that they simply have greater reactance per meter than others which are generally designed to avoid any reactive behaviour. If you have short or long cables you won't have correct reactance anyway, so don't be distracted by irrelevant details unless you only want to follow the recommendation to the letter, as you read it.

The best direction is, I think, to select cable with the closest spacing. That is red/black automotive twinflex but it's not often heavy enough. In my area, retailers offer about six different heavy Chinese audio cables,now only rated in American wire gauge up to 12 AWG, which is 3.5 sq mm CSA. 4 sq mm flex is massive and I doubt an average audio user could make real connections with it unless they use a welder or power swage.
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