Superlumina DIN-XLR vs Chord Sarum Din-XLR

Yes, today funnily enough! Both teamed with N272, 555PS through ProAc K6s.

Superlumina clear winner to my ears. Natural, clear, precise. Sarum sounded forced somehow, too much 'in my face' and attack. Both pretty much equal in terms of timiming. SL better value for money for me.

Tim

On 552/300/Titan 808s, 552/300DR/808s, 552/300DR/ Kudos S20 and 552/500 (not DR) /PMC systems - but not to be fair a 250DR - the results were always overwhelmingly in favour of the Super Sarums, quite the opposite of Tim's findings in fact. The Sarums were more natural, had better timing, greater clarity and allowed greater insight into the performance.

So, I guess you'll just have to listen for yourself and then decide ��

I have tried the Chord SSA DIN/XLR between my 252/SupercapDR and 250DR (in place of Witch Hat) and it sounded plain weird. The dealer who lent it to me assured me it was run in but it may have needed more hours on it for a fair assessment. Difficult to describe the sound other than 'incoherent', bit like this post I suppose! I was using a SL IC and SL speaker cables at the time of the Chord SSA DIN/XLR demo and it is possible Chord/SL may not be a happy marriage and the Chord may have disrupted that SL synergy if you believe in that kind of thing.

i have not tried the SL DIN/XLR as I spent money elsewhere in the system.

I have preferred the Chord Sarum Super ARAY when compared to the Super Lumina. So far I have been able to avoid listening to the Chord Music 

Having said that I consider that the differences become more readily apparent at 552 level and I am probably too parsimonious to spend that amount of money on a DIN/XLR cable until I thought it really warranted it.

I tried the Chord Sarum TA  vs the Vertere ones (before SL and Super Aray were available) in a 552/500 set up) and much preferred the Verteres which I bought. Subsequently determined that the SLs were very similar to the Vertere, so stuck with them (but did change to SL ICs, again much preferred to Chord and SL speaker cable). So yes you probably need to listen to both!

Neil

In my system 552dr 3x500dr 800's, the Super lumina was not only much better but sounded so much more real, like live music compared to HiFi. I love the "Naim sound" and find the chord very sterile in comparison. Its weird when people regularly seem to have the opposite findings. Maybe music taste comes into play, my findings are generally with Rock based music, acoustic and Jazz. 

Dave J posted:

Wow, really strange how our views are polar opposites! Would love to understand why.

I believe that although there are obviously some fixed, immutable base lines, when it comes to the senses and the way our brains interpret the incoming signals, we are all subtly different, and, when it comes to auditory signals, 'hear' things differently to the next person. Not surprising really, when you take into account the almost infinite number of variables at play. Yet another example of how boring life would be were we all like exactly the same things.

Tim

Timmo1341 posted:
Dave J posted:

Wow, really strange how our views are polar opposites! Would love to understand why.

I believe that although there are obviously some fixed, immutable base lines, when it comes to the senses and the way our brains interpret the incoming signals, we are all subtly different, and, when it comes to auditory signals, 'hear' things differently to the next person. Not surprising really, when you take into account the almost infinite number of variables at play. Yet another example of how boring life would be were we all like exactly the same things.

Tim

I agree Tim and it would certainly be boring if we all agreed, but in this case we're seeing extremes of opinion. We are all, pretty much, fans of Naim gear and many of us own quite similar systems. We don't appear to "argue" about the night and day qualitative differences when it comes to the boxes but when it comes to opinions of SL or Sarum cables, they are either fabulous or, frankly, crap. 

I'm with Chris, bake off!!

well, I compared the standard Naim 100 GBP RCA to DIN cable to the 2100 GBP Sarum Super Array RCA to RCA.

On my system I don't hear much difference...?  But I think these may be my speakers fault.

Seem these Dynaudios Focus have quite a strong character of their own...

When I took them to my friends home with 552/500 and Dave, we both could not hear much difference either from my 282/250 DR.

But strangely (there were 3 of us), we all heard going from NACA 5 to Superlumina on my system

And clearly can hear going from Chord Dave to Vinyl?

 

Thanks GraemeH, that's good to know. Although not identical, our systems are similar. What would you say were the main things that the Witchhat Audio Hatpin 4x Din-XLR bought to the table? I'm still testing the Super Lumina Din-XLR but for our taste and system, it's a lot of emphasis. It's also quite a lot of cash to spend.

I replaced the original CB cable with the Witch Hat one.  Good improvement for not much of an expense.  Cleaner micro dynamics. Slightly less mid base boom and better low base.

In general I am not a fan of fancy cables.  Frequently I find it is like changing the color of the glass in a window but the view out the window is  still the same!  Often I end up switching back to the standard cable six months or so later.  Just my opinion based on my experences but I know others have different results.

Paul

 

NewNaim16 posted:

Thanks GraemeH, that's good to know. Although not identical, our systems are similar. What would you say were the main things that the Witchhat Audio Hatpin 4x Din-XLR bought to the table? I'm still testing the Super Lumina Din-XLR but for our taste and system, it's a lot of emphasis. It's also quite a lot of cash to spend.

Hi, what was your conclusion about the SL DIN-XLR? what did it bring to the cable compared to the standard naim cable?

Having read this, and many similar, posts I'm beginning to conclude that the only way to make any sense of the varied, sometimes polar opposite opinions, would be to listen to some of the contributors systems. I believe that people's tastes in listening to music vary to such an extent that it is more or less impossible to objectively judge the effects they describe when attempting to compare equipment, be it a pre or power amp, interconnect or speaker cable.

Whilst interesting to read, I honestly cannot see anyone changing their opinion on the basis of these posts - most seem to seek affirmation from like minded souls, and dismiss naysayers with indecent haste!!

It does come down to very individual preferences. My system may sound rather too neutral too some people and I'd find some systems to have too much character of their own that seems imposed on whatever is playing.

I've also found that some people genuinely do not hear some information that I find essential - for me the subtle low-level information in voice that tells me what is going on in the subconscious soul of the singer and tiny variations of timing when a group play together in tune and low-frequency bass-lines moving about add essentially to what I've invested in being able to hear played into my room in the music.

A hear the Naim cables as not giving over-emphasis to higher-level information that just drowns-out this sort of information. My hearing has definitely changed over time and I know that once certain information was not important to me and I just wanted an incisive sound that was more in my face ... this changed over the years to where I now want the performance to be naturally rendered without any undue emphasis.

I'm not saying Naim SL cables do this best, but only that they are the best I've yet heard do that in the context of medium and high-end Naim systems. But it is so personal that I understand others hearing it differently. The real difficulty is that some people do not conceive that people can be so different in their musical rendition requirements that they view it is an attack on themselves, which it is not. Unfortunately there is not a lot that can be doe for those that think we are all the same or should be forced to be the same.

DB.

Thank you Darke Bear

I tested SL both IC & SC and found their delivery far too bright and for me enhanced high end replay, not really too truthful at all, but I put this down to burn-in where surely that extreme high frequency response would be rounded off.

I personally like a low floor for noise levels and also prefer a tight and full bass track with coherency through the mids then to the highs, the SL didn't do this for me on two NAIM systems now (NDS now 272/250DR), they are not for me and I believe no matter how much run-in they would put a signature to the playback, this is just my own belief, they are just too much.

Back when a SN2 was being replaced a demo on HCDR did more for the playback (opening the taps a such) than SL, at that time, on my now newer system the same cables present similar issues for my ears/room acoustics.

I am now going to try TQ black or Ultra and Chord Sarum fully, so far NACA5 and Hi-Line have been fine for me, so far :-)

My belief is as DB alludes so many variables present themselves that only hearing them with your own equipment and room can anyone decide and the right answer is always the one which you buy, as you like that presentation, no one is really right or wrong, just differing tastes and approaches, but appreciation from me that cables like the SL are available to be able to  make that choice, which is brilliant, just as we have choices for everything else at bewilderingly differing levels of price and capability. Bring on SL2 so I can try those and maybe choose those in the future.

I do find this thread rather confusing in terms of the varied conclusions and wonder if part of the reasons for this may lie in variation in manufacturing tolerances.  Is there any chance that these interconnects can sound better or worse if connections aren't made 100% optimally; if there is any variance in how they have been assembled; etc.  That is, if we were to listen to two or three identical interconnect cables, be it from Naim, Chord or another manufacturer, would they all sound the same?  Hopefully they would, but I wondered if anyone has any experience of such a comparison.  Trying to convince my self that it's not all down to differences in how we hear/ process sounds!!

Peter

analogmusic posted:

well, I compared the standard Naim 100 GBP RCA to DIN cable to the 2100 GBP Sarum Super Array RCA to RCA.

On my system I don't hear much difference...?  But I think these may be my speakers fault.

Seem these Dynaudios Focus have quite a strong character of their own...

When I took them to my friends home with 552/500 and Dave, we both could not hear much difference either from my 282/250 DR.

But strangely (there were 3 of us), we all heard going from NACA 5 to Superlumina on my system

And clearly can hear going from Chord Dave to Vinyl?

 

Missed this old post. It is interesting that you compared the standard Naim RCA - DIN to the Chord Super Array RCA - RCA and heard little to zero difference. My experience is with the Flashback RCA - DIN and Chord Signature Tuned Array RCA - DIN. Although I heard a difference, it was certainly not night and day, in my experience.

Did you manage to try an aftermarket DIN to XLR between your NAC 282 and NAP 250 DR ? Personally I am done with the cables in the system. It's sounding very lovely at the moment, with the standard Naim XLR to DIN between the pre and power.

northpole posted:

I do find this thread rather confusing in terms of the varied conclusions and wonder if part of the reasons for this may lie in variation in manufacturing tolerances.  Is there any chance that these interconnects can sound better or worse if connections aren't made 100% optimally; if there is any variance in how they have been assembled; etc.  That is, if we were to listen to two or three identical interconnect cables, be it from Naim, Chord or another manufacturer, would they all sound the same?  Hopefully they would, but I wondered if anyone has any experience of such a comparison.  Trying to convince my self that it's not all down to differences in how we hear/ process sounds!!

Peter

Could be wonder if we had one room and one build but swapped the same cabling between 3 pairs of the same cables we would hear any difference.

I remember that the HiLine needs to be placed, I was told, so it just 'bites' when used in the amp-streamer and not pushed all the way in, leaving the connection feeling a little loose, and cable dressing is well mentioned causing replay to change.

What voodoo cables can be :-)

northpole posted:

I do find this thread rather confusing in terms of the varied conclusions and wonder if part of the reasons for this may lie in variation in manufacturing tolerances.  Is there any chance that these interconnects can sound better or worse if connections aren't made 100% optimally; if there is any variance in how they have been assembled; etc.  That is, if we were to listen to two or three identical interconnect cables, be it from Naim, Chord or another manufacturer, would they all sound the same?  Hopefully they would, but I wondered if anyone has any experience of such a comparison.  Trying to convince my self that it's not all down to differences in how we hear/ process sounds!!

Peter

Good imagination. Even if there were differences between the identical interconnects, I wager the difference between the identical interconnects would be relatively minor to the point of indistinguishable when compared to the capability of our hearing to detect those differences, considering that the differences between different interconnects are not that significant to begin with. My opinion based on my limited experience with different interconnects.

ryder. posted:
analogmusic posted:

well, I compared the standard Naim 100 GBP RCA to DIN cable to the 2100 GBP Sarum Super Array RCA to RCA.

On my system I don't hear much difference...?  But I think these may be my speakers fault.

Seem these Dynaudios Focus have quite a strong character of their own...

When I took them to my friends home with 552/500 and Dave, we both could not hear much difference either from my 282/250 DR.

But strangely (there were 3 of us), we all heard going from NACA 5 to Superlumina on my system

And clearly can hear going from Chord Dave to Vinyl?

 

Missed this old post. It is interesting that you compared the standard Naim RCA - DIN to the Chord Super Array RCA - RCA and heard little to zero difference. My experience is with the Flashback RCA - DIN and Chord Signature Tuned Array RCA - DIN. Although I heard a difference, it was certainly not night and day, in my experience.

Did you manage to try an aftermarket DIN to XLR between your NAC 282 and NAP 250 DR ? Personally I am done with the cables in the system. It's sounding very lovely at the moment, with the standard Naim XLR to DIN between the pre and power.

I re-did the test there is a difference, the Chord being more analogue, gentle and having a good huge dose of PRAT, better retrieval of low level detail, and a bigger soundstage, and considerably better bass. Well you have the signature tuned array, so you know what that sounds like.

However doing the test too many times, the mind gets tired of listening to the same song with different cables.

 

It does seem a common denominator remains with 552 systems being far more likely to give musical preference to Sarum, and those with lesser pre-amps [ 272 282 et al ] are not, or less likely to feel the Sarum benefit. Maybe it's the sheer transparency of the Sarum that simply conveys the musical ability of any given pre-amp, and the 552 beguiles a benefit that is far more obviously. 

Debs

Touraj Moghaddam.

The CEO and founder of Vertere, creators of high-end audio cables, has dedicated almost his entire working life to striving for listening perfection.

"[we have to understand what is the weakest link and then produce and design it and get the result that you expected. The advantage is that once you’ve done that it automatically leads you to the next weak link.]”

Knowingly, or not, I think most member on the Forum are faced with the same issues that high end Audio Designers are faced with.

The Weakest Link, of OUR System!

Hence, the endless pursuit of perfection within our own context!

I Remember, not to long ago, the 500 Club, and the Vast Majority of the Forum was rocking with Nac A5, and Standard Naim Interconnects.

Worked Great, within the Context of Mediocre Systems.

SN 2 > Nac 202....>552

But Naim, not being complacent, up the Stakes! 

An $90K USD Pre-Amp, the S1!

In this context, the SL technology was mandatory! 

An $270K USD STATEMENT!

Now within OUR own Mediocre Systems! 

As they say: YMMV

BTW, Vertere Speaker Cables resembles the SL Speaker Cables, cosmetically!

When it's all said and done, I believe we are all in the pursuit of that live performance, or monitor reproduction.

JMHO!

Allante93!

analogmusic posted:

Vertere Pulse X speaker cable does not sound like Superlumina speaker cable. 

I can't say one is better than the other, they both are very good.

Now analog, you know me bye now, cosmetically as well as price, neither are cheap!

"Now within OUR own Mediocre Systems! 

As they say: YMMV

BTW, Vertere Speaker Cables RESEMBLES the SL Speaker Cables, COSMETICALLY!

When it's all said and done, I believe we are all in the pursuit of that live performance, or monitor reproduction.

JMHO!"

Furthermore, I don't claim to have your hands on experience, but since you mentioned it, how do those expensive VERTERE CABLES sound.

For better, or worst?

I'm still rocking Standard Naim ICs and Nac A4! LOL

Allante93!

analogmusic posted:

When I took them to my friends home with 552/500 and Dave, we both could not hear much difference either from my 282/250 DR.

But strangely (there were 3 of us), we all heard going from NACA 5 to Superlumina on my system

And clearly can hear going from Chord Dave to Vinyl?

 

As strange as it may seem, we are on the same page!

Mediocre:

SN2>202....552!

Now $90K USD S1, or $270 Statement.

Perhaps a noticable difference, for the best!

Allante93!

 

 

northpole posted:

I do find this thread rather confusing in terms of the varied conclusions and wonder if part of the reasons for this may lie in variation in manufacturing tolerances.  Is there any chance that these interconnects can sound better or worse if connections aren't made 100% optimally; if there is any variance in how they have been assembled; etc.  That is, if we were to listen to two or three identical interconnect cables, be it from Naim, Chord or another manufacturer, would they all sound the same?  Hopefully they would, but I wondered if anyone has any experience of such a comparison.  Trying to convince my self that it's not all down to differences in how we hear/ process sounds!!

Peter

+2, the Rhetorical approach!

Allante93!

How does expensive Vertere cable sound? well they all have in common the ability to sound more detailed without losing any of the Pace, Rhythm and Timing.

You get more detail with Vertere as you move up the speaker cable range (from DFI to Pulse X mini and then Pulse X).

Have to say Pulse X is superb. 

Officially though, Naim will not recommend any other speaker cable other than NACA 5 or Superlumina.

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