Corry

Fitting BNC plugs to a Linn T-Kable

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I have a question for the devotees of Naim amplification. I’m using a SuperLine phono preamp with my LP12. The T-Kable is connected via phono plugs which I’m not thrilled about, partly because they’re very tight, which makes them difficult to unplug, even with the SuperLine’s transit screw fitted (without which the suspended baseplate might come loose), but also because Naim amps work optimally with 50 ohm BNCs for the phono connection.

I asked my dealer about this and he said it would be difficult to do. The reason is that the Linn T-Kable is either RG59 or RG6, which is too big for a 50 ohm BNC. Naim’s long-discontinued Aro tonearm has an RG58 cable, which is fine. He commented that he’s seen many Linn tonearms fitted with a 75 ohm BNC, which is the wrong impedance.

Has anyone here ever used a Linn T-Kable with 50 ohm BNC terminations? If so, what are the specs, the brand, and so on?

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Not a helpful comment I know ....but I was  a Naim amp user when they first started using BNC s .

I remember fitting them to my then NAC 32 preamp amp and Ittok arm cable  , and  being staggered by the audible difference .  Not entirely sure which was better though !  The sound  was "sharper" and "cleaner"  but was it  as "tuneful", and did the music "breathe"  so well ?  

It troubled me because I felt unable to confidently advise customers on it...and a few of them who changed were unsure as well.

When I switched to Linn amps the issue,[ for me at least] went away .

Edited by Smokestack
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I can't help you on the BNCs but some of the Linn Silver RCAs are indeed quite tight.  I would recommend using a strong pair of needle nose pliers and loosening them up.  Put the tips inside the ring and pull the handles out a little bit then go around the connector to do this at several points.  They are not only easier to use but also sound better when they are snug rather than tight.

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I can't help you on the BNCs but some of the Linn Silver RCAs are indeed quite tight.  I would recommend using a strong pair of needle nose pliers and loosening them up.  Put the tips inside the ring and pull the handles out a little bit then go around the connector to do this at several points.  They are not only easier to use but also sound better when they are snug rather than tight.

Thanks for that suggestion, much appreciated. I’m not near my system right now but, from memory, the RCAs on my T-Kable have a chunky metal cylinder without the cutaway you sometimes see, so it never occurred to me that there might be any way to adjust them. I’ll give that a shot when I reinstall my LP12 and report back.

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If yours is an older T.Kable with the outer ring being solid my suggestion won't work, but I haven't found that style of RCA to be very tight.  Several years ago Linn switched to a newer RCA that is like many in having a series of slits in the outer ring.  Those are the ones I've found to often be too tight and which you can use my suggestion on.  Just push out a bit two opposing sections divided by the slits and work your way around the ring.  You shouldn't have to push them very far at all to lessen the grip so go easy on it at first.  The ones with a solid ring have a strip of spring metal on the inside that grips the sleeve of the RCA socket, but as stated I have never found those to be a problem.  They also sound a bit better than the ones with slits.

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My T-Kable is from 2007, yet the plugs are a very tight fit. I still have the older arm cable in my box of parts, and the plugs on that look quite different, are lighter, and have several slits around the outer ring.

Assuming I’m unable to ease the fit of my current plugs, my choice appears to be either to switch to a better fitting but slightly inferior sounding plug, or to just put up with it. Given that I only unplug them a couple of times a year, I’m inclined to go with the latter. Having said that, do you know of any other RCA plug that’s as good or better sounding than the solid Linn ones and that also has some degree of adjustability?

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Only the newer Linn plugs with the slits, they are quite pricey, however.

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On ‎09‎/‎11‎/‎2019 at 19:42, Corry said:

My T-Kable is from 2007, yet the plugs are a very tight fit. I still have the older arm cable in my box of parts, and the plugs on that look quite different, are lighter, and have several slits around the outer ring.

Assuming I’m unable to ease the fit of my current plugs, my choice appears to be either to switch to a better fitting but slightly inferior sounding plug, or to just put up with it. Given that I only unplug them a couple of times a year, I’m inclined to go with the latter. Having said that, do you know of any other RCA plug that’s as good or better sounding than the solid Linn ones and that also has some degree of adjustability?

Corry.

I'm almost tempted to suggest that you go and find something that is worth worrying about. :sofa:

 Go and check that the dog doesn't have flees or something :D

[It's very easy to get a "bee in your bonnet"  about stuff like this....I've always been very prone to it my self... so I'm very much the pot calling the kettle black.

 On the other hand , we could argue that it s all about  "marginal gains" ....which, back in the 80s,  was probably my justification for listening to different brands of  mains plugs !]

Edited by Smokestack

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On 15/11/2019 at 00:15, Smokestack said:

Corry.

I'm almost tempted to suggest that you go and find something that is worth worrying about. :sofa:

 Go and check that the dog doesn't have flees or something :D

[It's very easy to get a "bee in your bonnet"  about stuff like this....I've always been very prone to it my self... so I'm very much the pot calling the kettle black.

 On the other hand , we could argue that it s all about  "marginal gains" ....which, back in the 80s,  was probably my justification for listening to different brands of  mains plugs !]

I’m neither “worried,” nor do I have “a bee in my bonnet” about it. To use your term, it’s a “marginal gain,” and I’m investing what I consider an appropriate amount of time and energy to address it. If I don’t find an appropriate solution, and soon, I’ll leave it alone and move on.

In 30+ years of hi-fi ownership and upgrading, I’ve found a recurring pattern. The first is that, while all the usual box upgrades offer varying degrees of musical improvement, they very rarely match the expectation generated by reviews, whether those reviews are by professionals or fellow enthusiasts. The second is that paying attention to seemingly small installation details frequently pays dividends well beyond the time and money invested in them. I agree that this can become a rabbit hole but, in my experience, getting truly satisfying sound in a domestic environment is as much an accumulation of attention to detail as it is care in the purchase and matching of equipment. For me, this means at least keeping an open mind about tweaks that others might be dismissive of.

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21 hours ago, Corry said:

In 30+ years of hi-fi ownership and upgrading, I’ve found a recurring pattern. The first is that, while all the usual box upgrades offer varying degrees of musical improvement, they very rarely match the expectation generated by reviews, whether those reviews are by professionals or fellow enthusiasts. The second is that paying attention to seemingly small installation details frequently pays dividends well beyond the time and money invested in them. I agree that this can become a rabbit hole but, in my experience, getting truly satisfying sound in a domestic environment is as much an accumulation of attention to detail as it is care in the purchase and matching of equipment. For me, this means at least keeping an open mind about tweaks that others might be dismissive of.

Totally agree ...

  Now make sure you listen to different brands of mains plugs and/or IEC leads.

[ I was pulling your leg :D ...but I'm not kidding about  the mains plugs ]

Edited by Smokestack

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On 18/11/2019 at 23:19, Smokestack said:

Now make sure you listen to different brands of mains plugs and/or IEC leads.

[ I was pulling your leg :D ...but I'm not kidding about  the mains plugs ]

I’m sure mains plugs (and sockets) have a bearing on SQ, but I’m afraid auditioning them would be a bridge too far for me. The mere thought of installing a plug (or socket), listening to the system, changing out the plug/socket, and then listening again, while trying to retain the aural memory of the previous audition, gives me an ulcer. I’m happy to draw the line there, and defer to others whose ears I trust. In this example, I'm happy to settle with Naim PowerLines (in which the supplied plug is a key component) and AV Options Hubbell Deep-Cryo sockets.

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FWIW , old school Naim amps used to sound best with RS 10 amp rated IEC leads, terminated with MK 13 amp plugs .

The Linn amps seemed to sound at their best with the supplied moulded leads.

[I've never to this day really understood how these things can affect the sound...but the differences are clearly audible and in many cases not subtle.]

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