Naim + Cardas

Hello friends. Does anyone use Cardas Clear Cygnus with Naim gear? If so, would you share your experience?

The thesis is: In the realm of fast dynamic revealing music loving (the British way), does Cardas bring some beautiful American color and texture without affecting the boogie factor? Hope this makes sense.



Check the Naim forum for this. As I’m sure you know, some, but not all Naim amps require speaker wire with higher inductance to keep the amp stable, so you should take that into account. Many Naim users do not use Naim cables, so you can get some more accurate information from them about what works with what. 

@ticten - If you are looking for Speaker cables I would not recommend high end Cardas, because they have very high capacitance and under certain circumstances the cardas can cause the NAIM to oscilate and burn out components - this little detail can be found on the NAIM forums as @chayro had mentioned and that’s why NAIM recommends low capacitance speaker cables

If you are looking for cables that "Boogie" I would recommend Zavfino.

If you are looking for a great cable on a budget then look at Audio Envy - they boogie also

If you want High end then look at HIJIRI

Search the forum for either of these brands for people’s impression

I always wanted a NAIM and eventually purchased a 5i, But after 10 years the power supply caps had to be replaced ($400 and two weeks being fixed) , which NAIM actually considered a "design feature" - so I said bye bye to it and replaced it with Bryston B135 - a tad more expensive but it came with a 20 year warranty - it also sounded a lot like the NAIM (i.e. "spirited") but the extra power took better control of my speakers. It also had better imaging - an exceptional amp at the price

Good Luck with your quest - Steve





This is the best advice you will ever get …. Choose wisely.

When the question was posed to a local NAIM dealer, he emphasized that NAIM recommends only NAIM’s own cables as a preferred pairing.

He substitutes the top LFD cables ( note: expensive, but worth it …) in his top end NAIM system, for his preferred “something extra” audio performance quotient,



We have custom inductors we had designed and fabricated


So other cables will work




@akg_ca - yup, NAIM is famous for its propagamda !!!

NAIM recommends only NAIM’s own cables as a preferred pairing.

This is part of the "NAIM Culture" and those on the NAIM forums adhere to this practice without question. It allows NAIM to sell amp upgrades to their customers

I on the other hand could not believe this to be the case and I have tried many different speaker cables without any issues, but I knew not to select high capacitance cables

BTW when I talk about high capacitance I am talking of those cables in excess of 450pf/ft and thats is normally on their TOTL Cardas Clear speaker cables - That’s 4,500 pf for a 10 ft cable

Most brands do not even reach 1000 pf for a 10 ft cable and my own Helix Cables are around 100pf for an 8ft cable

Also high capacitance is NOT an issue for Tube amps - only High Current Solid State designs

One aquaintance suffered two "burnouts" while using top of the line Cardas Speaker cables and high end amps (Gryphon and Ayre). Even the technician he had repair them had not even heard of this problem.

I tried Naim cables (interconnects) and they were at best mediocre compared to the others I tried.

So if you own NAIM gear and are using NAIM cables, then try some other brands such as those I mentioned above.

Another great cable with NAIM gear is KLE Innovations.- well worth the investment.

Regards - Steve



@audiotroy - From the Naim web site

Naim power amps do not have extra inductance on their outputs (gives best sound), instead, in order to maintain stability, they rather elegantly use the speaker cable. They require a cable that provides a nominal inductance along with a low capacitance

What exactly is "a nominal inductance" ???

Most speaker cables have an acceptable amount of Capacitance, but those cables that eploy many strands of insulated wire like some Cardas cables and Kimber Kable may exceed the capacitance limit for High Current designs like NAIM, Gryphon and Ayre, depending on the total length of the cables.

When I exchanged emails a NAIM rep, he indicated that low Capacitance was important to prevent Oscilation and didn’t mention inductance, but I was aware of thier requirement

But he did convey the amp will not perform at it’s best if very low inductance cables were used - no mention of low inductance

Here are the numbers for Cardas Clear

  • Measurements:
  • Capacitance: 278 pf/ft
  • Inductance: .0176 uh/ft

So for a 10 ft cable that would be 2780pf and 1.76 uh

Compared to NAC A5

NAC A5 specifications are as follows: 2-core loudspeaker cable available in white or black Each core contains 19 strands of 0.5 mm copper (4 sq mm) Capacitance: 16pF per metre Inductance: 1uH per metre

Could be a combination of both? - probably

Perhaps the speaker crossover plays some part in this process - they tend to have large inductors and capacitors

Either way, cables like Cardas Clear are not the best fit for High Current Solid State designs.

Also, relying on a speaker cable to provide adequate inductance in order for your amp to perform up to spec is perhaps not the best design approach.

Regards - Steve

I have an Atom that is quite happy driving an 87 db speaker using Kimber TC-12 or a double shotgun of Audioquest Type 6 and yes even a quite affordable LFD silver wire. I use AQ fire from the Phono and AQ water in 5 m to a tube power amp also. ;-) have fun and enjoy the music…

I’m running a Supernait 3 with Audio Envy SP12 Speaker Cables and I just aquired a pair of Audioquest Oaks full range. I’m sending the Oaks in for re-termination adding longer leads at the amp end to better accommodate the connetion on the Naim speaker inputs.


First time I hear that Cardas cables are bad for solid state amps. I use it in my mostly SS system to great results. Had Audioquest Kong Cobra and Rocket 88 and found a combination of Cardas Quadlink, Golden Reference and various flavors of Cardas Clear to deliver a more balanced, warm, yet detailed sound.   

While Cardas makes excellent products, I’ve owned them. Their cable has Multi-stranded Litz conductors, with strand size varying in Golden Ratio steps.

The Naim forum moderator states: While Naim amps of recent years are very robust, for best performance Litz type speaker cables in particular should be avoided with Naim. You want a cable with low capacitance and moderately high inductance - Litz cables usually give you the opposite to this.

I've used Wireworld Eclipse 7 with their custom made inductor with great results.  In addition, Naim's NAC A5 is a very capable cable as well.  

All the best