Nordost’s New Purple Flare USB 2.0 Cable

Computer Audio has become increasingly popular over the past decade. Recently, audiophiles have seized the opportunity to streamline the process in which they enjoy music by integrating music servers and DACs into their hifi systems. However, in order to maintain, and even enhance, the performance of your system, it is important not to neglect any aspect of your system’s cabling. The Purple Flare USB 2.0 Data Cable is the perfect solution for hifi audio enthusiasts trying to accommodate DACs that require micro-B and mini-B connectors.

lg-Purple Flare-USB-micro BThe new Purple Flare USB 2.0 Data Cable combines OFC conductors with Nordost’s innovative precision FEP extrusion technology, greatly reducing dielectric properties in order to increase signal speeds and ensure both electrical and sonic integrity. This double-shielded cable provides the detailed and dynamic results that music servers and DACs are capable of. Audiophiles will be amazed at the amazing improvements that can be achieved at this modest price point.

purple flare USB terminations_1

The fully shielded, metal jacket connectors used on the Purple Flare USB 2.0 Data Cable guarantee the utmost accuracy in signal transfer. Purpose built to serve any DAC or music server, the Purple Flare USB 2.0 Data Cable is available with standard-A to standard-B, micro-B, or mini-B terminations.

Digital cables make a difference, and USBs are no exception. The Purple Flare USB 2.0 Data cable is the most efficient and cost-effective digital cable, capable of delivering the ones and zeroes with maximum precision. With this cable in your setup, you will find a lift in your system that is simply not possible when using its stock counterparts.

  • 4 x 28 AWG OFC conductors
  • High performance, low dielectric FEP insulation
  • Double-shielded braid
  • Fully shielded, metal jacket connectors
  • Handcrafted in the USA


Nordost Purple Flare USB 2.0 Cable



Munich 2015— Odin 2 Launch recap

Nordost’s launch of Odin 2 in Munich earlier this month was a resounding success.  We are tremendously proud of these cables, so naturally we had an amazing time sharing them with the crowd at the MOC.

Have a look below at some photos of our product demonstrations, system, cables, and displays from the High End show in Munich!


Demonstrating the new Odin 2 series:

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Our set-up:

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The Odin 2 Cables in action:

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Nordost cables on display:

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Nordost’s New 4K UHD Cables

Nordost’s 4K UHD cables are the first in the industry that allow customers to experience the high frame rates and Deep Color promised from their 4K compatible components.

Heimdall 2 4K UHD style

The design philosophy of Nordost’s 4K UHD Cables, as well as the materials used in their construction, maximize high speed digital signaling, while eliminating incessant and damaging factors such as jitter, timing errors and crosstalk. Both the Valhalla 2 and Heimdall 2 4K use Nordost’s proprietary Micro Mono-Filament technology, increasing the velocity of propagation by 20%, allowing the current to travel along the conductor’s surface with virtually no impedance. Nordost’s 4K UHD cables are arranged in a twin-axial, shielded pair design. This design topology allows for shorter and more accurate wire lengths, which in turn reduces errors, while shielding overcomes any crosstalk issues. The Valhalla 2 4K cable even increases its gauge size, which allows it to surpass flow standards and carry Transition Minimized Differential Signaling (TMDS) beyond the critical speeds necessary to achieve excellent data transfer.

lg-Heimdall 2-4k UHD lg-valhalla 2-4k UHD

Thanks to new, groundbreaking proprietary electronics, Nordost is able to guarantee the same excellent results at longer cable lengths.  The Valhalla 2 4K cable can reach up to a staggering 15 meters. All active circuitry implemented into our cabling is individually programmed and tested to ensure that 4K bandwidth requirements surpass the highest standards as defined by DPL Labs.

All Valhalla 2 and Heimdall 2 4K UHD Cables are handmade in Nordost’s Massachusetts-based factory. Nordost is the only cable manufacturer with the ability to design each function of the UHD interface, assemble, and test the performance of every 4K UHD cable produced. By keeping the production of this cable in the USA, Nordost can ensure premium quality and an adherence to specification standards that is impossible for companies that outsource their manufacturing.

Learn More:


Heimdall 2 4K


Valhalla 2 4K


Nordost Playlist – May 2015

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.

Here are some of the songs that we will have on rotation this May.


  1. River—Ibeyi—Ibeyi
  2. The Singer Addresses His Audience—The Decemberists—What A Terrible World, What A Beautiful World
  3. The Look—Metronomy—The English Riviera
  4. Anyone Who Had A Heart—Shelby Lynne—Just a Little Lovin’
  5. Explosions—Ellie Goulding—Halcyon Days
  6. Rachmaninoff: Symphonic Dances, Op. 45 – I. Non Allegro—Donald Johanos—Copland, Ives And Rachmaninoff
  7. Truth Begins—Fink—Hard Believer
  8. New World—Björk—Selmasongs: Music From the Motion Picture “Dancer In The Dark”
  9. Albacore—Ani Difranco—Which Side Are You On?
  10. Chandelier—Kina Grannis—Chandelier

Danger Lurks at the Bottom of the HDMI Abyss

4K technology is new to the consumer electronics industry.  To help you better understand this new technology, we have asked our friend Jeff Boccaccio at DPL labs to clarify any misgivings or misunderstandings about these new standards:


As the HDMI interface continues to evolve, so does the complexity to managing it. Let’s face it, HDMI has set a new course for home entertainment both with audio and video reproduction. As much as HDMI’s technologies seem to have infinite capabilities, there continues to be a slight time delay between the new features that continue to be released and the hardware that must support it.

Since its introduction into the consumer electronics industry, HDMI has been pushed, pulled, stretched, and squeezed for better and better performance, which of course improves both its audio and video reproduction ability. The fact of the matter is that it should! This expansion capability was one of the major visions proposed when HDTV was introduced, giving way to the older NTSC (Nation Television Systems Committee) and PAL (Phase Alternating Line) standards. Both older systems were “land locked” in technology and bandwidth. There was no possible way of improving these older systems, and with the given speed that technology continues to grow then so should any new system that is proposed.

HDMI was one system that had the ability to “morph” itself into newer and more dynamic technical possibilities. From the day of its inception, the HDMI interface has changed countless times. As the format expanded so did the hardware that was associated with it. This includes Blu-Ray players, displays, switching devices, and AVR’s. In addition, all of these products require some kind of connection device (cable) that needed to expand in performance as well to connect them all together.

With the introduction of HDMI Rev 2.0, the interface will be pushed even harder. The bandwidth has basically doubled again, requiring connection devices to respond to these incredible data rates. What made it even harder to comprehend was HDMI’s announcement  that we can continue to use the older cables that met the Rev 1.4 standards i.e. High Speed. The question that came to many industry pendants was how high was High Speed?

High Speed cable products were intended for Rev 1.4 products with bandwidths out to 3.4Gbps per channel or 10.2Gbps in totality. However, the new Rev 2.0 specification calls for 6Gbps per channel and 18Gbps in totality! This very fact has caused many adopters to question the specification in fear of any potential long-term interoperability issues. There is a science behind all this.

The need for this expanded bandwidth is to support an increase in audio capabilities and more dynamic 4K resolutions over and beyond what is currently available. One part of this expansion is to increase the frame rate of the video from 30 to 60Hz. However, in order to accomplish this and still fall inside the Rev 1.4 10.2Gbps envelopes, a trade-off had to take place. The color quality had to be reduced in order to “fit” a 60Hz frame rate video into a 10.2Gbps bandwidth. This 4K feature is known as the “Entry Level 4K” under Rev 2.0.  Fig 1 demonstrates the loss of color detail when reducing the color quality. The color grading problems taking place in the “Standard Color” picture are quite obvious when compared with the “Deep Color” picture.

danger lurks fig 1

Fig 1

In order to obtain increased color depths and still increase the frame rate to 60Hz, more bandwidth is needed. In addition, a new feature known as HDR (High Dynamic Range) was also introduced, but only can be utilized with Deep Color resolution and bandwidth over the Rev 1.4, 10.2Gbps limits. The comparison in Fig 2 demonstrates the huge dynamic differences with and without HDR. This bandwidth area is supported as HDMI Rev 2.0a

danger lurks fig 2

Fig 2

To give you an example of the new HDMI Rev 2.0 overall bandwidth, draw your attention to Fig 3. The actual bandwidth begins at 300KHz and extends out to 6GHz. We broke down the bandwidth into three categories. “Standard”, “High Speed” and “UHD” (which is a name we will call this area since the specification does not recognize it).

Fig 3

Fig 3

The red line depicts HDMI’s minimum insertion loss through an HDMI cable. As we approach the end of “Standard” and the beginning of “High Speed” the insertion loss falls dramatically at a somewhat linear rate, passing by the end of “High Speed” at 3.4GHz and stopping at 5.1GHz. Here the limit takes a vertical plunge down into the “HDMI Abyss” shown in blue, never reaching the upper bandwidth limit of 6GHz with better than 55dB of insertion loss. Notice the opposing blue line to the red insertion loss line. This demonstrates the correctional equalization system that is physically located in every HDMI input device, effectively compensating for the 25dB attenuation all the way out to 5.1GHz. But what happens to the signal lost in the “HDMI Abyss”?

The answer to this question is rather interesting and disappointing at the same time. The disappointment is that most companies do not know or understand this physical phoneme. Since we are dealing with digital information, the need to understand how these signals respond when being modulated over a transmission line must be considered.

Fig 4

Fig 4

When modulating this type of data, a particular trigonometric function sin(x)/(x) takes place which allows the signal to extend beyond 5.1GHz. The pink lobe in Fig 4 depicts the amount of energy produced from the fundamental 3.4GHz originally produced under HDMI Rev 1.4. The lobe extends through the “HDMI Abyss” to 6Ghz. The two additional lobes in the dashed line are what many would define as harmonics of the fundamental. Every lobe provides double the bandwidth.

This is why each HDMI Rev 1.4 High Speed cable must perform better than what the specification calls for. If cables are not constructed with near perfect perfection, the odds are sin(x)/(x) will not provide the necessary bandwidth to achieve full 4K Deep Color functionality.



Learn more about 4K technology


Heimdall 2 4K


Valhalla 2 4K

Nordost launches the Odin 2 Supreme Reference series!

Odin 2 Series_2

Yesterday, Nordost launched its newest Supreme Reference Series Odin 2 at High End 2015. The highly anticipated Odin 2 Range is truly the most exceptional hifi audio cable range in the consumer electronics market. After years of extensive research and development, the new Odin 2 Cables integrate all of the advancements in cable technology and procedures that Nordost has learned since the introduction of the first iteration of Odin nearly a decade ago. The new Odin 2 Range consists of analog, digital, and tonearm interconnects, as well as loudspeaker, bi-wire jumper and power cables. Each cable type uses Nordost’s patented Dual Mono-Filament process, revolutionary Total Signal Control technology, and innovative, proprietary HOLO:PLUG® connectors in order to ensure a transformative effect on hifi sound systems.


Odin 2 Power Cords

The Odin 2 Power Cord is constructed with seven silver-plated, close tolerance, 14 AWG 99.999999% oxygen free copper conductors. Nordost’s patented Dual Mono-Filament technology creates a virtual air dielectric between the extruded FEP insulation and each individual conductor. Nordost’s TSC technology is then carried throughout the cable and into its purpose-built, 100% shielded, HOLO:PLUG® connector. Odin 2 Power Cords are available with HOLO:PLUG® US (Nema), EU (Schuko), AUS or UK to Odin 2 HOLO:PLUG® IEC-C15 or IEC-C19 terminations.

Odin 2 Analog Interconnects

Odin 2 Analog Interconnects consist of ten silver-plated, 23 AWG 99.999999% OFC conductors, each utilizing proprietary Dual Mono-Filament technology and precise FEP extrusion. Odin 2 phono and balanced interconnects are also constructed using purpose built low mass, dual ring HOLO:PLUG® RCA or XLR connectors which reduce vibrations and eddy currents when mated to components.

lg-Odin 2-TonearmFor turntable users, Nordost has introduced a dedicated tonearm cable consisting of four silver-plated, solid core conductors wrapped in a patented Dual Mono-Filament suspension and protected by Nordost’s Total Signal Control technology. These four TSC tubes are precisely arranged around a dedicated ground wire. Odin 2 Tonearm Cables are terminated with customized, extremely low mass HOLO:PLUG® connectors, weighing less than half the mass of conventional Din connectors, including straight or 90º Din, XLR and RCA.

lg-Odin 2-Digital Interconnect-110 OhmOdin 2 Digital Cables ensure the impedance matching necessary for S/PDIF and AES/EBU leads. The 75 Ohm cable consists of a single, co-axial, silver-plated, solid core conductor. The 110 Ohm cable is constructed with two silver-plated conductors placed in a twin-axial design. Both Odin 2 Digital Interconnects use Nordost’s patented Dual Mono-Filament and TSC technologies and are terminated with Nordost’s purpose-built XLR and BNC HOLO:PLUG® connectors, elevating these cables to a level never before achieved by digital leads. (The 75 Ohm S/PDIF digital cable is supplied with a gold plated BNC/RCA adapter)

Odin 2 Speaker Cable

Odin 2 Loudspeaker Cables use 26 silver-plated, solid core conductors. Each conductor takes advantage of Nordost’s Dual Mono-Filament technology and is encased in a high purity class 1.003 FEP extrusion. The conductors are carefully arranged and precisely spaced on either side of a hollow inner core in order to provide a perfect mechanical interface along the length of the cable. The Odin 2 Bi-Wire Jumper has an identical construction, making it the perfect extension to accommodate bi-wire speakers while maintaining a consistent sonic signature throughout an entire sound system.  Both Odin 2 Loudspeaker and Bi-Wire Jumper Cables are terminated with Nordost’s gold-plated HOLO:PLUG® spade and Z-plug banana connectors to ensure maximum surface contact and signal transfer.

Odin 2 Series_3Joe Reynolds, President of Nordost, announces, “We are very excited about the launch of Odin 2, which is a major improvement over our flagship Odin cables. The introduction of our patented HOLO:PLUG® technology lifts this cable to a new pinnacle of performance. We have applied all of the knowledge we have acquired over many years of research and development to offer the most state-of-the-art cable solution possible.The response from our beta testers has been overwhelmingly positive, and we can’t wait to finally introduce Odin 2 into the market.”

Nordost’s newest addition to their Supreme Reference Series will unleash every facet of a live performance and allow listeners to fully immerse themselves in a complete and pure musical experience. Odin 2 doesn’t just set the standard; it blows the standards away.

Odin 2 Series_1

Nordost at HIGH END 2015 – MUNICH


Nordost is thrilled to be exhibiting at the High End 2015 show in Munich once again, held at the MOC Thursday, May 14 – Sunday, May 17. Every year, the High End show is a wonderful opportunity to show our customers the groundbreaking projects that we are working on. 2015 is no exception! Be sure to visit us in (Halle 4) Atrium 4, Room E114 to be the first to experience the truly astonishing advances that Nordost is bringing to the hifi audio market. As always, Nordost’s very own product trainers will be presenting product demonstrations and cable comparisons throughout the show. Join us in what will prove to be a very exciting and highly anticipated show for Nordost.