Naim Super Lumina loudspeaker cable

hfnedchoice.pngNaim’s meticulous engineering of its Statement amplifier did not stop with the bespoke alloy casework, but extended to the speaker cable itself.

During the development of its flagship Statement amplifiers [HFN Jun ’15], Naim Audio went into exquisite detail, even defining the silicon substrate and legs of its custom transistors. So while analysing every component and length of PCB track, Naim Audio also turned an engineering eye towards the cables that might accompany its ‘ultimate amplifier’. Its Super Lumina cable is the result, priced at £650 per terminated stereo metre (£3245 for a 5m stereo pair).

The anodised alloy clamps at each end of this speaker cable are not RF-blocking ferrites but, rather, serve the practical purpose of holding the signal and return conductors in place while indicating the ‘amplifier’ and ‘speaker end’ of the cable. Each of the composite conductors is screened by a peripheral tin/copper braid that’s connected via a high value resistor to the signal (and) return conductors. Naim’s listening tests indicated a different resistor value was required to ‘tune’ different lengths of cable. Our 7m length showed a leakage of 0.3Mohm (302kohm) which is illustrative of the resistor value.


Naim’s classic figure-of-eight geometry necessarily endows the Super Lumina with a low 66.4pF/m parallel capacitance and moderate 0.74µH/m loop inductance while its gauge delivers a very low 9.6mohm/m series resistance (a loss of just 0.0104dB/m). These are similar figures to the more affordable NAC A5 multistranded cable, in fact, but beneath the Super Lumina’s softer PVC jacket lies a more complex conductor. Three thicknesses of silver-plated copper strands are employed here, the central core using 30x0.25mm strands around which are wound 12 FEP-insulated cores, five containing 7x0.21mm strands and seven with 7x0.13mm strands. The ensemble is soldered in parallel into silver-plated copper alloy plugs.

sqnote.jpgSuper Luminance
Used between my B&W 800 D3s [HFN Oct ’16] and both Devialet and Constellation Taurus amps [HFN Dec ’17], Naim’s Super Lumina cable brought about a marked change in tonal balance and leading-edge detail resolution. Mid and treble information was simply more vibrant, vivid and – yes – ‘luminant’.

Listening to the 96kHz/24-bit download of Band On The Run [2010 remaster; Universal 0888072321489] the exultant backing vocals that punctuate ‘Jet’ fairly leapt from the speakers while the lead guitar and percussion all possessed a realistic bite and edginess. The rich, soulful set of Gregory Porter’s Nat “King” Cole & Me [96kHz/24-bit; Blue Note 5791481], recorded at AIR Studios, was delivered with the scale and grandeur of that 70-piece orchestra intact but it was the simplicity of the (five-piece) ‘L-O-V-E’ that came alive with this system and cable – the piano and occasional percussion illuminating the warmth and ambience of Porter’s liquid vocals. I’m bound to say this cable cuts to the heart of the music.

Hi-Fi News Verdict
While Naim’s Super Lumina ‘dumbell’ geometry is superficially similar to its budget NAC A5 companion, this flagship speaker cable is engineered to an entirely different standard. In practice, Super Lumina reveals its sophisticated design with a sound that draws out the finest and freshest of musical details from even quite claustrophobic mixes. That, coupled with its bass slam and zesty treble suggests a cable that will help energise almost any system.

Price: £3250 (5m stereo set, terminated in 4mm plugs)

Naim Audio Ltd
Supplied by: Naim Audio Ltd
01722 426600