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What's this cable? Should I repair it?

Discussion in 'audio' started by wulbert, Nov 10, 2019.

  1. wulbert

    wulbert pfm Member

    Lost the output from left channel today and traced the fault to this 5-pin DIN to 5-pin DIN cable. (phew!)

    This cable comes from my Naim CD1 into Naim NAC/NAP combo (with Avondale power supply) and then into Linn Kans. It seems to be four separate cables bundled together and looks well made if slightly DIY.

    My first thought was to simply replace it, but whilst fault finding with a generic DIN to DIN that I had in a drawer (the drawer with all the old mobile phone chargers, mini USB cables, batteries, RCA cables & broken headphones) I noticed that the original cable is much, much better/louder than the generic. So, I'm wondering, is it a special type, or just a decent h--fi quality item? Is it worth getting it repaired by a pro. I'm guessing £25-£40 for a repair?

    Or can cables like this be purchased easily?

    Apologies for coming here first rather than Googling. I wanted informed comment.

    OK: I can't post images here (jeez!) so will need to describe; It is a DIN - DIN cable, about 400mm long, made from 4 separate cables bundled together and shrink wrapped and I'm assuming soldered at each end.
  2. Joe

    Joe pfm Member

    Have you checked each line for continuity? It could just be a dry joint and easily fixed.
    wulbert likes this.
  3. glancaster

    glancaster In the silicon vale

    Don't just use any cable that seems to fit as the wiring may be different!

    If you are good with a soldering iron, then just fix it. Otherwise, either find someone who is, or buy a new one.

    The correct one will be listed somewhere on this page: https://www.flashbacksales.co.uk/acatalog/naim-cables.html

    I'm not 100% sure, but I'd guess that, specifically, it is one of these: https://www.flashbacksales.co.uk/acatalog/naim-style-5-pin-din-plug-5-pin-din-plug-cables.html

    Other manufacturers also do, including Naim themselves, but I've always found the Flashback ones sufficient.

    Kind regards

    - Garry
    wulbert likes this.
  4. suzywong

    suzywong Shifting 0s & 1s since 1968

    So 5 pin DIN in a 180 degres arc? The CD1-NAC cable is known as a “Naim Lavender”. You can (a) get out the soldering iron, (b) buy a “pucker” one - £150 new from Naim, £50-70 S/H from ebay/friendly Fishie, or (c) buy a third party equivalent from the likes of Witch Hat (£117) or Flashback Sales (£30-40).
    wulbert likes this.
  5. Zombie

    Zombie pfm Member

    Flashback rules
  6. nobeone

    nobeone pfm Member

    Hmm it would be unusual for 4 separate cables to be assembled in one 5 pin DIN cable? Try looking in the reference section for FAQ on how to post images so we can see? May be this is something you would be hard pressed to better and should get repaired, or be a DIY oddity best put to one side.
    wulbert likes this.
  7. wulbert

    wulbert pfm Member

    Thanks all for your replies. My mistake. What I have is the Naim CD 3.5 ( not the CD 1) Sorry, my memory and knowledge of gear are sketchy.

    Also the cable I have is probably home-made. I can see now that the CD player and amp are both designed to have some kind of lock-ring on the cable which mine doesn't have. The cable was supplied by the vendor I bought the CD player from, so probably not O/E.
    Yes, it has five pins in a 180 degree arc. I haven't checked it for continuity but easy enough to do, so I shall have a go and if one pin is dead, I'll peel off the shrink wrap and have a look. I never have much luck with solder, never seems to stick when I do it.

    I can't afford £100+ for a new cable. Didn't realise they were so pricey! ( must be why I was given the DIY one with the player). I'll have a look at the Flashback pattern part ( thanks for the tip) if it's not a simple fix. Nothing to lose by having a look at it.
  8. wulbert

    wulbert pfm Member

    Also meant to say; the cable I have is labeled "Amp" at one end, so clearly directional. I wonder if that's important?

    I shall have a look at how to post images. Seems they need to be hosted elsewhere and a url used to link; seems very arcane.
  9. nobeone

    nobeone pfm Member

    Forgot the directionality, go for something that joins the pins either end first :p

    I'm sure a local fish can help fix a cable if you are local, happy to cover mid Devon ...

    EDIT: ah Glasgow, my offer is a safe one!
    wulbert likes this.
  10. wulbert

    wulbert pfm Member

    Trying to post photos from Flikr but keep getting a big, red X across the pic icon. Must be doing something wrong...

    Managed it, see below:
  11. wulbert

    wulbert pfm Member

  12. wulbert

    wulbert pfm Member

  13. wulbert

    wulbert pfm Member

    Good choice of cables at that Flashback place, thanks.

    Interesting that they sell a "damped" one without locking rings? They claim the lock would defeat the damping. Presumably allowing vibration to cross from chassis to cable or vice versa. Hmmm
  14. wulbert

    wulbert pfm Member

    I bought the CD 3.5 from a Hi-Fi repair man, so it's possible he made that cable himself. I remember him being scathing about the cost, and also quality, of some (only some) products from cable vendors.
  15. glancaster

    glancaster In the silicon vale

    If you’re buying from Flashback, or any other decent vendor for that matter, and you’re still unsure exactly what you need, I’d drop them a line first, and have them assist you.
    wulbert likes this.
  16. suzywong

    suzywong Shifting 0s & 1s since 1968

    OK, a NACD3.5 uses a standard “lavender” with a bayonet (“ring”) lock. I have a 3.5, and very fine it is!:D.

    What NAC do you have?

    Looking at your photo, I speculate that it is a “home brew” job with four coaxial cables which attempts to provide a “ stereo audio in + tape out” configuration. Probably not originally intended for use with a CDP. If that is the case, then it’ll be a bit crowded within the connectors, so unless you are really confident with a soldering iron then investing thirty quid in a Flashback might be money well spent. This one will do nicely:


    Flashback do make “superior/premium” cables. You may wish to look at those, depending upon whether or not you think/feel/believe that “cables make a difference”....but we are not going to open that particular can of worms in this thread?!
    wulbert likes this.
  17. wulbert

    wulbert pfm Member

    Hi Suzy, thanks for your help. I'll probably buy from Flashback, there's no way I could solder within the restricted space available. I might go for the "premium" one; saw a positive review of them on this site.

    I have a NAC 72, NAP 140 combo, it works well.

    [​IMG]fullsizeoutput_1de2 by Bill White, on Flickr
  18. stevec67

    stevec67 pfm Member

    Jesus f*ing H f*ing Christ! £150? That's just offensive!

    That cable you have there is a lashup. OK but a lashup. Repair or replace, but spend less than £150.
    Julf and wulbert like this.
  19. wulbert

    wulbert pfm Member

    Flashback cable now ordered. I went for the "premium" one. The lure of any slight gain in music being too tempting! Hope it's worth it.

    Thanks for all the help and advice given here. Much appreciated.
  20. wulbert

    wulbert pfm Member

    The Flashback cable arrived today ( very prompt service & good communications).

    Just fitted it and can hear a noticeable improvement. Tried it with "Money" by Pink Floyd (not a song I really like, but good range of sounds in the intro to test things) and bass guitar sound improved with a more realistic "electric" bass sound. More space between the other instruments and more detail about what they are all playing, especially the staccato guitar chord bursts.

    So, all in all a very happy result. I shall have a go at repairing the old cable (no continuity between outermost pins on one side) and if successful, keep it as a back up or to replace the Tandy effort I have on the rarely used cassette player connection.

    Thanks for your insights & knowledge folks.
    glancaster and nobeone like this.

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