I don't think you're going to find many Naim lovers here. I was heavily into it back in 2005 or so and I think it's great stuff. At that time, they only had the standard grey DIN interconnect, but when the HiLine came out it was a revelation. I remember the dealer had my whole system set up at the dealership and the only thing we swapped out was that IC and it was incredible. I always used NACA5 speaker cable, so I'm not familiar with others. I will tell you, adding a Flatcap to the CD5x will improve the system amazingly. The HiCap is also great, and adds a lot of bass weight if that's what you're after. But an external PS is everything with Naim. Good luck.
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Hi again chayro,
Which Flatcap is the matching one for the CD5x: Flatcap 2 or Flatcap 2x? Also, what about a flatcap on the XS integrated? However, from what you're saying, I get the impression the bigger improvement comes from adding the flatcap to the cd player vs the integrated?
I was listening to my system last night. Man, is it sounding good! Thus far, the CD5x has been powered on since 2-17-19, and the XS since 2-20-19. From what I've read, these units can take several weeks to fully "warm" and be at their full listening potential?
As for the source cable, I'll be interesting to see if I hear any differences at all when going from an all RCA interconnect, to an all DIN interconnect. Of all the gear I've had over the years, the only two constants has been the Vandy 2C's and these Mogami RCA and speaker cables.
A guy on the Naim forum uses Mogami W2549 as well, except he had a custom DIN to DIN cable made at Redco using W2549. I might do that to if there is a noticeable improvement. Once I start building some funds again, a Flatcap for the cdp is my next step.
@jsbach1685 - I’m a naim lover :-)
At least I love their amps!
- some of their other source components are a little pricey for my budget.
Unfortunately, I have found that posting on the NAIM forum got me the typical "NAIM Follower" responce
- i.e. "Use NAIM cables only"
- so I no longer post anything on there.
I only have the Nait 5i (mkII) integrated amp with the passive pre-amp section and found that it performs way above it’s price point when treated to great cables.
Over the years I have tried many cable combinations, including the DIN connectors, which proved to be the worst method of connecting source components. I now used RCA cables across the board
For speaker cables I have tried commercial products from...
- Van den Hul CS-122 and D-352 for many years, which bettered the NACA5 for dynamics and detail
- I then had the opportunity to try gZero2 and gZero6 speaker cables from KLE Innovations, which blew away the VdH for clarity, dynamics and bass performance
- I have also tried a couple of other well known commercial brands, but the KLI Innovations product bested them.
For Interconnects I have tried cables from Van den Hul, Audioquest and Chord, but I found KLE Innovations gZero20 to provide te best bang for the buck. They no longer sell the gZero 20, but they do have better performing models listed on their web site
For Power Cables I have always used some version of my own DIY cable designs - the latest HELIX geometry has proved to be unbeatable.
I now use my own DIY Helix Cables throughout my system because they offer unparalleled clarity, dynamics and imaging.
I have had several people try my Helix cables with great success on systems ranging from a $350 mini system, to systems in excess of $70,000. The power cables even improve Video performance when used on TV's
Unfortunately I DO NOT make the Helix cables for others, because people have a tendancy to ask for very specific parts/wire, which can be complex to source - but I do share my designs, together with How-to instructions and I will answer any questions that may come up.
Here are the instructions on how to make the Helix cables...
The speaker cables are a terrific match for the NAIM amps, because they have very low capacitance, which eliminates the possibility of oscilation - a known issue with many high current design amps like NAIM.
On the same site you will see my reviews of many of the KLE Innovations products, so if you are not into DIY then give those a try - they are excellent products, good value and will outperfrom many other higher priced commercially available products in a side by side comparison.
If you have any questions on the Helix or KLEI products just ask
Regards - Steve
I think you can probably use any flatcap with the CD5s, The flatcap, unlike the Hicap, has 2 outputs, so you can probably upgrade both, but I got out of the Naim game before your integrated came out. My guess though, is that you might find more of an improvement using the flatcap exclusively on the CDx5, but you should experiment.
@chayro - here’s a link from the NAIM community forum
So the lack of Inductance in the outtput stage of NAIM amps requires a certain inductance to be present in the cables for the amp to perform correctly, but the high capacitance can destroy amps
Having exchanged emails wil NAIM support when I first got my 5i MKII amp - they stated categorically it is the capacitance element that drives an amp into oscilation not the inductance. But for best sound, cables with similar ratings to the NACA5 cables should be used
Here’s a link to a similar thread in another forum
Here’s what QED has to say about it...
Another factor to be considered with speaker cables is amplifier stability. In some cases, a little extra capacitance at the output can make an amplifier oscillate, overheat and even self-destruct. Or it may oscillate momentarily at high radio frequencies during operation and show no obvious symptoms.From their web site:
On the practical side - A friend actually did destroy both his Ayre and Gryphon amps (both high current designs) using high capacitance speaker cables. Once he got them repaired he changed his cables and now all is well
The interesting thing about this particular topic of conversation is...
- the amp companies know about this issue
- the speaker cable companies know about this issue
- very few technicians seem to know about this issue
- retail outlets know NOTHING of this issue
- AND no one warns the consumer about it
There used to be a page on the NAIM web site warning about this issue, but it appears to have been removed..
PLEASE NOTE - it is ONLY high current SOLID STATE designs that have any type of issue with High Capacitance speaker cables
Tube amps are just fine - i.e. to my current level of knowledge
Regards - Steve