This is a look at the Atlas Hyper 5.0 Achromatic speaker cable which is a larger diameter speaker cable based on the 3.5 version. The Hyper range features speaker cable diameters from 1.5mm², 2.0mm², and 3.5mm² up to this 5.0mm² version. Hyper sits in the middle of Atlas’ cable range, above the entry-level Element, and the Equator ranges. The Hyper, however, is below, in price terms, the Ailsa range, and the new Arran and Mavros ranges. The Asimi range is Atlas’ ultimate cable if you come across that.
The Atlas Hyper 5.0 Achromatic speaker cable has 5.0mm² Oxygen Free Copper conductors with high efficiency and microporous low-density PTFE (Teflon) dielectric. The cold Achromatic termination offers an improved and consistent connection to the equipment.
The Atlas Hyper 5.0 Achromatic speaker cable is notably heavy, and the coils unwind nicely on lying down, presumably due to the weight. The glossy black cable feels soft to the touch. The hand-finished Z plugs have a degree of flexibility in their design making a secure connection every time.
I’m using my own Naim stack, a streaming NAC-N 272 preamplifier with an external power supply with a Naim NAP 250 power amplifier. I have a Vertere (don’t tell Atlas!) Redline DIN-XLR upgrade between the NAC and the NAP. I usually have non-GRUN Atlas Mavros (GRUN is Atlas’ cable grounding system) cable to my excellent KEF R700 loudspeakers.
The Atlas Hyper 5.0 cables have been well run for several days using Jazz FM and concluded with a couple of runs with the Atlas Cables’ Burn-In & Demagnetising disc. The comparison cable is the Atlas Hyper 3.5 Achromatic speaker cable reviewed favourably here; both cable lengths are 5m as my HiFi arrangement is Asymmetric.
The 5m pair Atlas cable is neatly and separately packed in their own bags. The 5.0 cable is heavy in a glossy black plastic sheath. The cable coils simply fall away after a short time making cable laying a simple matter, this is great. The cables have no arrows so I’m going for the direction following the ATLAS naming written on the side, with A towards the Amplifier and S towards the Speaker. I have my Naim equipment facing back to front to facilitate swapping straight away between the 3.5 and 5.0 cables, which are terminated with Z plugs in both cases. Both sets of cable use Atlas’ Achromatic cold welded termination process as explored in this article.
Keep It Loose, Keep It Tight
After a final run-in and checking my soundstage is correctly centred using Whiskeytown’s Dancing with the Women at the Bar (Tidal FLAC 16-bit, 44.1kHz), I use Amos Lee’s Keep It Loose, Keep It Tight (Tidal FLAC 16-bit, 44.1kHz) to listen for detail in the finger movement and that lovely, relaxed bass holding the track up. Swapping from the 3.5 to the 5.0 there is a tangible sense of Amos Lee being further in the room, it is hard to find fault with the presentation if I’m honest, with either cable. The 5.0 has more, though, I feel. I hear more dynamism and energy; it seems to flow better. I note that the greater diameter in the conductor, Atlas says, makes for better presentation on longer cable runs, I can feel that here, with a 5-meter run.
Don’t Forget Who You Are
Swapping back to Hyper 3.5 and turning to Miles Kane’s punchy track Don’t Forget Who You Are (Tidal FLAC 16-bit, 44.1kHz), I’m looking for bounce and a clean, punchy, snappy bass. The Hyper 3.5 delivers a fine performance, it is so impressive. Swapping to the 5.0 there is definitely more here, I hear more depth in the soundstage, it is there for sure. Listening to Ray LaMontagne’s Drive-In Movies (Tidal FLAC 24-bit, 44.1kHz), the 5.0 Hyper seems to breathe longer and has the same improved volume as the previous track.
I’ve been using this Benson Boone track, GHOST TOWN, (Tidal FLAC 24-bit, 44.1kHz) for a while now to gauge bass extension as it goes low, it is a real test of a speaker low end. And it is a clean recording.
The Hyper 5.0 offers more space and depth in my room and it is pretty clear there is a good synergy between the cable, amplifier, and loudspeaker. The lower end is clear and has a greater presence with the 5.0 in this system. It is a testament to this revealing Naim system and the Atlas Hyper 5.0 that tangible outcomes in performance can be heard.
To play around with timing, rhythm and pace a quick swap around with Dylan’s Hurricane (Tidal FLAC 24-bit, 48kHz) is always a joy. Again the 5.0 Hyper offers more to me in terms of lift and pace.
Best of 2022
HF&MS has just completed the inaugural Best of 2022 awards season. Kevin Kelly, Atlas’ CEO, pointed out to me the lack of cables awarded in the year, noting:
cable upgrades offer some of the most cost effective upgrades for customers these days and we have loads of great manufacturers out there.
Kevin, who knows a thing or two about this, is quite right and I note he generously referred to all cable manufacturers, not just Atlas. HF&MS, however, only looked at 3 items in 2022 in the Cables and Accessories section of the site, one of them was a vinyl record cleaner and a Best Of was hard to identify. I noted in the earlier Hyper Achromatic review in 2021 that :
is no doubt in my mind the updated Atlas Hyper speaker cable range represents a significant stride forward.
It seems clear to me a further step forward has been made with the Hyper 5.0 release and it represents the ace of the range. Is it the Best of 2022? It has to be, doesn’t it?
…the 5.0 Hyper offers more in delivery to this revealing system
It is quite clear after a couple of hours of mindful cable swapping the Hyper 5.0 offers more in delivery to this revealing system. The price question should always be considered once the correct solution is found. The Hyper 3.5 is priced at £550 for a 5m pair with Z plugs, the 5.0 Hyper is £960 for the same 5m pair. This is not an exercise in double the price, double the outcome and as always it definitely pays to listen but there is a nice synergistic upgrade in this system with the 5.0 Hyper cable. I certainly prefer the 5.0 cable in place, and I am a fraction disappointed as I prepare to return the cable.
Unwinds very flat
Tangible increase in performance (in this configuration)
Snug fit Z plugs
For nothing more
Full details are on the company’s site.