Nordost is going to AXPONA!

axpona april

Nordost is excited to be showing at AXPONA in Chicago next month, April 25-27.  This should prove to be an excellent event.  Nordost will be well represented by various local dealers.  AXPONA is a great opportunity to hear a variety of Nordost products including full looms of our Supreme Reference and Reference ranges, Odin and Valhalla 2.  Stay tuned to Nordost’s Facebook page for more information as the show day approaches.  We hope to see you there!

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Isolation Control vs Resonance Control for Audio Components

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Vibration is both a blessing and a curse in the high-end audio world. While vibration is the main reason we can enjoy this hobby of ours (it is, after all, through vibrations that we can hear!), it is also one of the most notorious culprits of sound degradation. Adverse effects of vibration on an audio system include confusion of imagery, timing errors and musical distortion. Two increasingly popular methods of dealing with harmful vibrations are the use of isolation devices and resonance control. These two solutions come from two drastically different schools of thought.

Isolation control devices are de-coupling devices, meaning that their objective is to separate (or isolate) the component from its surface. When employing a de-coupling device, one must assume that all of the harmful vibrations are coming from the outside. These products absorb external energy before it can get into the product.

Resonance control devices, on the other hand, are coupling devices which merge the component to the surface it rests on. If using a resonance control device, you adhere to the belief that the most powerful and damaging vibrations that occur are generated from the components themselves, which vibrate as they operate. Resonance control devices act as a mechanical diode—allowing a one-way escape route for the extraneous energy produced from electronics. Once the vibrations are eliminated, a whole new layer of tonal and textural details will be unveiled.

For more information on Resonance Control Devices click here

Origin of the name: ODIN

Origin of the name Odin

In Norse mythology, Odin is recognized as the father of all gods and the creator of heaven, earth and everything in between. He is the god of magic, wisdom, wit, learning and war. As the overseer of nine worlds, Odin sits on his throne in Valhalla and awaits the news received from his two ravens, Huginn (thought) and Munin (Memory), who are sent to all corners of the worlds each day to bring back what they see to their master. In pursuit of knowledge, Odin has gone hungry and has even sacrificed an eye for a drink from the well of wisdom.

What could be a more fitting name for our top tier cable range than the father of all gods: Odin

 

 

Introducing the brand new Heimdall 2 USB 2.0 Data Cable!

lg-heimdall-USB_blogAs the use of music servers, hard-drive stored music and high-resolution audio downloading grows increasingly popular, and in some cases becomes the standard choice, it is critical to use a high quality USB cable that can meet the demands of music fidelity. Improving upon Nordost’s Blue Heaven USB 2.0, the new Heimdall 2 USB 2.0 is the high-end digital cable that will deliver ones and zeroes with the efficiency and diligence necessary to maintain the correct impedance to dramatically lift your hifi system to a whole new level of performance.

Thanks to the experience acquired in the fabrication of successful products such as the Blue Heaven HDMI and USB 2.0 cables, Nordost can now further refine digital leads through its most current, proprietary technology. The Heimdall 2 USB 2.0 is constructed from 4×20 AWG stranded, silver-plated 99.99999% OFC conductors, arranged in a precise, twisted double helix in order to ensure character impedance, reduce noise and minimize cross-talk contamination. In order to increase dielectric, the conductors are suspended in Nordost’s proprietary FEP Dual Mono-Filament, which is newly optimized to increase flexibility and mechanical dampening.  Add a dual layer silver foil jacket and silver braided shield and the Heimdall 2’s extreme data transmission speeds surpass the USB 2.0 standards.

To further up the ante, the new Heimdall 2 USB 2.0 is now implementing mechanically tuned lengths. This technique, used in Nordost’s Odin, Norse 2 and Valhalla 2 ranges, reduces internal microphonics and high-frequency impedance resonance, which ultimately allows you to enjoy the dynamics, coherence and balance of live music played in the comfort of your own listening room.

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Steve Dickinson Reviews Heimdall 2 in Hi-Fi+ Magazine

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If you haven’t checked it out yet, you should take a moment to read Steve Dickinson’s review, Nordost Norse cables: Heimdall 2, which was published in the December 2013 edition of Hi-Fi + magazine.  Reviews like this are a great way to stay informed and they give you a firsthand account of premium products, like our cables. In this piece, Steve takes a look at our Heimdall 2 range in comparison to the first generation of the Norse family, which is impressive in its own right. We are happy that Mr. Dickenson appreciates the improvements that we have made with our Norse 2 cables.

 

The Heimdall gives a strong sense of scale and authority, but without adding the sort of mass and inertia which drags a system down…The added sense of impetus brought by the Heimdall brings out the extra little kick from the in-between beats which separate a 2/2 from a 4/4 time signature. Tiny inflections are also better resolved, most obviously in vocals but also noticeable elsewhere. This means performances that are carefully weighed and nuanced can be more affectingly portrayed.

 

Steve’s full review is now available on the Nordost website under reviews. Or, to read now, click here

Speaker Placement in 5 Easy Steps:

Implementing correct speaker placement could be one of the most beneficial changes one can make in an audio system. When properly placed, the life and direction that it can give to your system’s performance as a whole is as clear as the difference between listening to a recording of Richie Havens’ famous rendition of “Freedom” and being in the front row at Woodstock experiencing his throaty cries and frenetic strumming firsthand. The slightest shift or rotation in your loudspeakers can completely transform your soundstage, for better or worse. And when even one centimeter could be responsible for transforming the sound system that you have invested so much in, the idea of tackling and perfecting speaker placement may seem daunting. Because speaker placement is heavily dependent on the room and loudspeaker being used, there are no precise rules. However, we have simplified the process into 5 easy steps.

1.  Come Prepared

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While this process of placing your speakers is simple, and even fun, it becomes infinitely more so when you are working with the right tools to get the job done. Besides the more obvious appliances that are specific to the particular loudspeaker you are working with, before starting your speaker placement make sure you have the following: masking tape, a felt tipped pen, tape measure and a level.

2.  Voice the Room

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As many of you already know, the positioning of your loudspeakers in relation to the wall can have a significant effect on the speakers’ performance. For example, speakers placed with a close proximity to the wall tend to register as “bass-heavy”. In order to find the best positioning for your listening room, you can use a technique called “voicing the room”. Essentially, this tests the acoustics of the space.

Standing with your back to the far wall behind your speakers, simply start speaking in a loud, even voice while taking small steps into the center of the room. Once you have found a spot in the room where your voice takes on a natural quality, mark it with your masking tape and continue to advance until your voice begins to lose that characteristic. Continue the same process, now starting at the side wall, and walk towards the center of your initial marks. Once finished, you should have a squared off area. You will place your speaker a third of the way into this area.

This should be repeated on the opposite side of the room for the second speaker.

3.  Get Centered

Once you have placed your speakers, it is now time to determine your “sweet spot”. In order to do this, imagine that your speakers and “sweet spot” make a triangle. You can use your tape measure to find the vertex where the legs extending from both speakers converge. As a starting point, your sweet spot is the same distance in front of your speakers as the distance between them.

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4.  Toe-in

When you “toe-in” your speakers, what you are really doing is angling them towards your sweet spot to truly shape your soundstage. There is no hard-fast rule for a proper toe-in since so much of the results depend on the speaker model and the room itself. What is sure, is that the adjustments you make should be made little by little and should be identical for each speaker. The difference in focus and tonal balance after toe-in is powerful.

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5.  Leveling

Make sure that both loudspeakers are leveled horizontally and vertically. This last step ensures that the tweeter, mid-range and woofers are vertically aligned so that the cone and tweeter disbursement is coming from the center vertical line. It also ensures that the driver assembly of your woofers has a firm base and can move with maximum efficiency.

 

 

To get more detailed information on other methods of speaker placement:




Nordost Playlist — March 2014

Nordost is lucky to have a wonderful team of representatives and product trainers who travel around the world educating and demonstrating the effects of Nordost’s products. As part of these demonstrations, it is our job to find an interesting and diverse selection of music to showcase our cables, power devices, sort system and accessories. Whether at shows, visiting our dealers and distributors or even in our own listening room in our headquarters in Holliston, we are constantly getting asked what music we are playing (or if our audience is not so bold to ask, we can see their Shazams working overtime). So we thought this would be a perfect opportunity to share our favorite songs of the moment. Some may be classics, some may be brand new, some may not even be to your taste, but one thing is for sure …it’s all great music.

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  1. Settle Down – Kimbra –Vows
  2. Orion—Rodrigo y Gabriela—Self titled
  3. Hurricane—MSMR—Secondhand Rapture
  4. The Lady is a Tramp—Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga—Duets II
  5. Roving Gambler—Billie Joe and Norah Jones—Foreverly
  6. We the Common—Thao & The Get Down Stay Down—We The Common
  7. Eavesdrop—The Civil Wars—Self titled
  8. I’m Not In Love—Kat Edmonson—Way Down Low
  9. Everybody Wants to Rule The World—Lorde—The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
  10. Wave—Beck—Morning Phase

If you have a song that you want to share, feel free to leave it here in the comment section. We are always looking for some new suggestions!