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Avondale Blacklink speaker wire vs Naim NACA5

Discussion in 'audio' started by scottmac62, Jul 7, 2010.

  1. scottmac62

    scottmac62 Member

    Has anyone compared these two on Naim gear?
    If so a compare and contrast would be most
    appreciated. Especially in sound staging and
    brightness.

    Also, I am not sure what length is required for
    optimal impedance. I have the Naim XS and
    I do believe that the 12 foot run does sound
    better.
     
  2. martin dawson

    martin dawson pfm Member

    I've used Naim naca 4 then moved onto naca 5, this together with Naim amps with Linn Isobarik speakers. The reason I went to the Blacklink cable because my wife was complaining how she could see the ridges under the carpet with the naca 5. I've used the 821A boards from Avondale in the pre-amp and the NCC 200 in the 250 and they have been superb. I contacted Les and he made me a set for the Isobarik's, I used them for a whole weekend but I found that the music was flat and everytime I reverted back to the naca 5 it returned. I sent them back via Jon ( Zener). However the cable may work on other speakers but not Isobariks.
    Regards,
    Martin
     
  3. mjw

    mjw pfm Member

    ditto above. Bought the BL after a house move and when I eventually put everything together they sounded fine.
    I then bought some 135s that came with N5 at the correct length. BL a slightly muted soundstage compared to N5 between 135s and NBLs in my experience. I did my crunch test on music I knew live pretty well (mainly piano, chamber and other acoustic music) and the N5 was the more realistic for me.
     
  4. Eyebroughty

    Eyebroughty JohnC

    Hi,

    Well I went from NACA5 to the BlackLink using my Naim 250 first then currently the Avondale M130's. In both cases the BlackLink was far better than the NACA5. I use Shahinian speakers as they are so much more revealing than Isobariks in everyway.

    Yes I have had Isobariks both passive and active, using the full Naim active system and the Shahinians are better even with Naim amps, however the Avondale amps just let music play and the BlackLink is just the better cable with both amps.

    I suspect that the reason the difference between the cables is not being shown when using the Isobariks is because they are not able to resolve the fine detail that a speaker like the Shahinians can. Until you sit down and seriously listen to what speakers like Shahinians can do then differences in cables and amps can sometimes be masked by the speakers.

    I would even add that Mogami speaker cable is better than NACA5!

    There, that should start a war :)

    Cheers

    John
     
  5. Pete MB&D

    Pete MB&D Pete Maddex, the one and only!

    Hi,

    I went from NACA5 to some home made cables, made from 16mm CSA wire (126 X 0.4) on my Shahinians Arcs and they are so much better that I sold my NACA5.
    NACA5 does seem to have the Naim house sound.

    Pete
     
  6. djftw

    djftw Heterodox Member

    The ideal length for NACA5 is supposed to be 5m, roughly 16' 8". 12' is ~3.6m which falls within Naim's range of permissible lengths, 3.5m to 18m (11' 8" to 60').

    Can't comment on BlackLink properly as I haven't exactly done any exhaustive comparison, just a few fleeting A/Bs in a friends system, but I wasn't exactly blown away by the difference - though there was one I couldn't tell you which I'd prefer without extended listening. In contrast, in my experience having a decent length of NACA is essential to getting a Naim amp to sing. I'm sure the same is probably true of the BlackLink.
     
  7. mjw

    mjw pfm Member

    to add context to my comments, I use 5.5m lengths.
     
  8. Darth Vader

    Darth Vader From the Dark Side

    I use Black Link with my Shahinian Obelisks purely for cosmetic reasons as the NACA5 was thick ugly and unbending. A very clear and clean sound indeed. I think that you also have to take into consideration the output impedance damping factor and stability of the power amp. Mine can deliver an 150A peak into 1 Ohm.......... However also worked well with 135s Avondaled to stage 3.

    Cheers,

    DV

    PS 5m lengths
     
  9. Darth Vader

    Darth Vader From the Dark Side

    Les offers a sale or return policy so you have nowt to lose by gettng some to try.

    Cheers,

    DV
     
  10. sonix

    sonix pfm Member

    I have a XS and I may get shot down for saying this but I think the best kept secret in town is the old CableTalk 3.1 bi-wire and find myself using it in preference to NAC A5 (5m pair). Although IMHO NACA5 is more refined, bouncier bass and musically draws you to follow the leading notes and tune easily the 3.1 opens up the sound, has a wider and 3d soundstage, more realistic tone to instruments and a more in your room feel. Its probably a matter of taste in the end but the 3.1 can be picked up for such little money.
     
  11. jackbarron

    jackbarron Stamford Bridge KGB

    I had NACA5 in a Naim/Linn Keilidh setup and switched to Blacklink. It worked fine.

    I then got some Shahinian Arcs, compared the NACA5 to the Blacklink and the latter won, not least because it wasn't ugly, fat and white, unbendable wire.

    I figured I couldn't lose with the Avondale sale or return policy.

    So I got shot of the NACA5, which was followed by my Nait 5 as I discovered the joy of valves with an EAR V20 integrated amp.

    Bloody hell, then the music went 3D.

    I've still got a Naim CD player and power supply though.

    Jack
     
  12. 2 many boxes

    2 many boxes pfm Member

    I tried BlackLink instead of NACA5 between my A260Z and my SBLs. I found the BlackLink to be better than the NACA5 in every respect except oomph, bounce, dynamics, life, call it what you will.

    As I couldn't live without that factor I'm afraid I gave the BlackLink back. Les raised his eyebrows a bit but no more than that.

    This is the only Avondale product I've ever returned though :)
     
  13. Interzone

    Interzone pfm Member

    Just to add fuel to the fire I changed my NACA5 for this and much preferred it.....
     
  14. iTz

    iTz pfm Member

    Prefer QED Original to both and when I figured that out the cable comparing business suddenly stopped.
     
  15. Interzone

    Interzone pfm Member

    Which of the 3 maplin cables did you try?
     
  16. YNWOAN

    YNWOAN 100% Analogue

    So there we have it, depening on the post A is vastly better than B - or B is vastly better than A; or C to Z is just the same (or vastly better) than A or B :).

    You gotta luv the Internet!

    :)

    (I can't believe that nobody took the opportunity to say how much more 'musical' one was compared to the other or how 'broken' the other sounded)
     
  17. dave

    dave Plywood King

    LOL...I think it was Joe Petrik who traced each post down on one of these threads many years ago and concluded once the smoke cleared, a CD3 sounded better than a CD2 or CDS.
     
  18. iTz

    iTz pfm Member

    None, was referring to "Avondale Blacklink speaker wire vs Naim NACA5" of which I've got both.
     
  19. scottmac62

    scottmac62 Member

    Sonix, I am curious about the CableTalk. Who sells it? I cant find it on the
    web. Are they still in business? I am curious because i actually used to
    own a pair of Meadowlark speakers driven by a Plinius amp and the
    CableTalks made them sing. They are system dependent for sure.
    When I tried them on a pair of Chapman speakers they did not sound
    right. The pair that I tried had a green round sleeve. Not sure what model
    they were. My Naim XS is driving a pair of DeVore Super 8's which
    is a great combo. Very musical and addictive when you get it right.

    By the way, I do plan on keeping my Naca 5's, but do plan on selling
    my expensive wire I am using on my HT system. So, I am looking for
    an inexpensive solution that may give me the option for a different
    flavor on my Naim XS.

    Thanks everyone for the input.
     
  20. RossB

    RossB Member

    I still have some of the Cable Talk 3.1 speaker cable which I bought probably a decade ago. I'd be surprised if it was still available. I've been through endless amounts of speaker cable over the last two decades, from cheap stuff to ultra expensive Nirvana, Kimber Select, Magnan etc. It pains me to think of the thousands and thousands I have wasted over the years on wire. Which is not to say that cables don't sound different - they do, sometimes dramatically so. It's just that NACA5 consistently sounds better to me than anything else, and I don't even use (and in fact actively dislike) Naim amps.
     

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