Nordost will be at TAVES – Consumer Electronics Show

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Come and join Nordost at TAVES this year, October 13-15th at the Toronto Congress Center in Toronto, Ontario. Throughout the show, TAVES attendees will have the opportunity to stop in and see Nordost’s informative cable comparisons and product demonstrations, presented by Nordost sales representatives. This year is the perfect occasion to experience the impact Nordost’s new QKORE Ground Unit has on a world class sound system. The QKORE is the most effective, comprehensive grounding solution in the industry. It provides an artificial, “clean” earth using both electrical and mechanical approaches to eliminate stray high frequency noise and voltage-generated magnetic fields from your sound system, leaving a clean reference behind. Stop by “Berton 4″, where we have partnered with our dealer, Audio by Mark Jones, to hear the Nordost difference!

Questions and Answers (August 2017)

Our product specialists receive questions on a daily basis about Nordost products, their application, and hifi in general.  We thought that we would take a minute to share some of our most recent and frequently asked questions here so that everyone can get the answers they are looking for!


Q: I live in a small apartment, so managing my audio cables is always an issue. I have read that Nordost warns against coiling speaker cables and power cords, as well as avoiding contact both from other cables and walls. That can be difficult when you’re working with my space constraints! Can you offer any advice for me to keep my cabling tidy while avoiding interference and sound degradation?

A: If your speaker cables are longer than what you need, we suggest running them in a serpentine pattern so that they rest on their edge (minimizing surface contact). Placing them like this will ensure that you don’t coil them, and that they resonate freely.  If you use our Sort Lifts, this will improve their resonating properties, and decrease their contact with the floor even more. Power cables are a bit trickier, but you should still avoid coiling them.  Also, make sure that if they are near the speaker cables they cross the speaker cable at a 90 degree angle, so that they don’t run parallel to each other.

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 Q: How much time is required to break in a power cord?

A: Power cords have the fastest burn in time of any cable, thanks to the amount of current flowing through them. Typically, they are good to go within 48-72 hours of continual use. When breaking in any other Nordost cable, we recommend 168 hours for our Leif and Norse 2 ranges, and 336 hours for our Reference cables. Although, it’s best to go to your local authorized Nordost dealer and ask about the ability to burn them in on our VIDAR machine (however, this service is not available for power cords).
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Q: What is the difference between the QV2 and QK1?

A: These two product address different frequencies.  The QK1 adds harmonics at high frequencies, and is a mechanical device. The QV2 adds harmonics at midrange and upper bass frequencies, and is an electronic device. For more information about these products please visit the QRT section of our website.

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Q: I am looking to buy a power cord, but I don’t know what length to get: 1 or 2 meters. Do cables at different lengths sound different?

A: The jump from a 1 meter to a 2 meter cable is the most noticeable jump when comparing any length.  While a 1 meter power cord won’t sound bad by any stretch of the imagination, the 2 meter cable will sound smoother, since the resonance is being spread out over a longer length.

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The Hong Kong High-End Audio Visual Show 2017 – Recap

The Hong Kong High-End Audio Visual Show is always a highlight of our year.  It was a pleasure working with Radar Audio, our outstanding distributor both in Hong Kong, as well as mainland China, to set up a world-class system with the help of Magico, dCS, and Constellation Audio.  Together, we put on a a full weekend of amazing demonstrations for show attendees and press.  If you couldn’t make it to this impressive event, here are some of our favorite pictures from the show:

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Thank you to the Radar team, for all your help, from everyone at Nordost!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Nordost is headed to Rocky Mountain Audio Fest this October

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Nordost is very excited to be exhibiting this year at the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest, at the Denver Marriott Tech Center in Denver, CO  October 6-8th! Come and see us in the Humboldt Peak Room, where we will be offering live cable comparisons and product demonstrations, including power products and resonance control devices, throughout the show. Our presentations will focus on the newly released QKORE Ground Unit, which has garnered enormous success since its launch at Munich High End this past spring. The QKORE is the most effective, comprehensive grounding solution in the industry. It provides an artificial, “clean” earth using both electrical and mechanical approaches to eliminate stray high frequency noise and voltage-generated magnetic fields from your sound system, leaving a clean reference behind. Take advantage of this opportunity to hear, first-hand, what proper grounding can do to a top-shelf sound system.

The Source AV – Nordost Event

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Come and join us for an afternoon of demonstrations, comparisons, and great music! The Source AV, in Torrance, CA, is hosting a Nordost Event at their showroom on August 20th, from 12-4 PM. Representing Nordost, product specialist, Jon Baker will be giving demonstrations on, and answering questions about, our hifi audio cables. We hope that everyone in the LA area will be able to visit us at The Source AV and learn what our transformative products have to offer your home audio system.

 

The Source AV

August 20th, 12-4.

3035 Kashiwa St. Ste 101

Torrance CA 95050

United States

(310) 534-9900

jasonlord@thesourceav.com

 

 

DB HiFi — Nordost Event

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Hifi enthusiasts in the Suffolk area of the UK are in for a treat! DB HiFi is organizing a great event featuring a state-of-the-art system running a full loom of Nordost’s Valhalla 2 Cables, as well as components from Innuos and TAD speakers. Join us in the DB HiFi showroom on Saturday, August 19th from 12:00–20:00 for an evening full of wonderful company and amazing music!

DB HIFI
Braiseworth House,
Braiseworth Road, Braiseworth, Eye,
Suffolk IP23 7DS

01379 873451

info@dbhifi.co.uk

Marc Mickelson reviews the QKORE for TheAudioBeat.com

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Nordost’s new QKORE products are receiving a lot of worldwide press attention. The latest review featuring these revolutionary grounding devices can be found on theaudiobeat.com. In his article, Marc Mickelson is very impressed with our QKORE Ground Units, and the blatant effects that they have on a sound system, remarking, “What you hear will be positive, and dead obvious, with every recording…”. While reflecting on exactly what he was hearing, he said:

“[The] purist recordings of small ensembles…made plain QKORE’s contributions, as the recording venue sounded bigger and the musicians more in-the-room present, no ‘maybe’ about it. This occurred across recordings and components, QKORE expanding musical horizons and making everything in them sound more vivid—more grounded, you could say.”

Marc’s QKORE review is now available to read on the Nordost website here:  Nordost QKORE Grounding System

You can find more great Nordost reviews on our Reviews Page.

Nordost Playlist – August 2017

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 August.

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  1. 16 Shots—Mykia Jovan—16 Shots
  2. The Moons Detriment—Shannon Lay—The Moons Detriment
  3. A Little Better—Gnarls Barkley—The Odd Couple
  4. The Rhythm Changes—Kamasi Washington—The Epic
  5. Cigarettes And Coffee—Otis Redding—The Soul Album
  6. Pain—The Texas Gentlemen—Pain
  7. Never Been Wrong—Waxahatchee—Out in the Storm
  8. Austin—Hannah Gill & the Hours—The Water
  9. Bubblegum—Confidence Man—Bubblegum
  10. Driving Woman—Japanese Breakfast—Soft Sounds from Another Planet

We’ll be updating our “Nordost Monthly Playlist” on Spotify every month, and you can visit our profile to find all our selections in one place!

 

 

Making Your Marque: The 12 Most Important Products in the History of High End Audio (PART 2)

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I hope all of our Nordost readers enjoyed Part One of this blog and, strange as it might sound, I hope that NOBODY agreed with all of my choices! In Part One, I explained my reasoning for choosing “The Most Important Products” but I need to say again: my choices are not carved in stone; rather, they’re my opinion, based upon my knowledge of the components that preceded, as well as those that followed, my selections. It is my fondest wish that readers of this blog will sit down over dinner, drinks and some serious listening sessions and not only debate my choices but refute them.

High End Audio has a rich and fascinating history distinguished not only by the products themselves but by the personalities of their designers, critics, and the dealers that sold them. The process of discussing and debating my choices is actually more critical to the future of High End than my process of selecting them is. Enjoy!  – Anthony Chiarella


 

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Quad ESL 57

“From a theoretical point of view, an electrostatic is an ideal way to make a loudspeaker – it matches the air perfectly and it’s all predictable, as ordinary loudspeakers are rather variable. It has some problems which are rather difficult, mainly due to the stretching of the diaphragm. It mustn’t shrink and that sort of thing. Very high voltages, 10,000v, make it difficult, but it’s an ideal – I think most loudspeaker manufacturers have looked at it and said ‘What a lovely way to make a speaker, but it’s not very practical’. And a lot of manufacturers have tried it, too, and most of them have said ‘This is not profitable. Get back to putting loudspeakers in boxes and start selling ‘em lad!’” – Peter Walker, Quad Founder, Hi-Fi News

Introduced in 1957, the world’s first production, full-range electrostatic offered a higher performance alternative to every dynamic, box-type loudspeaker of that time. In pioneering an exotic, purist technology in the quest for ultimate reproduction of classical music, Quad didn’t simply pave the way for subsequent electrostatic and planar loudspeaker manufacturers, it became, arguably, the first true High End Audio company.


 

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photo: carpwrangleronline.weebly.com

Celestion SL-600

More than any other loudspeaker, the SL-600 was the ultimate expression of the design concepts first proposed by the BBC LS3/5A; namely, a point-source whose compact enclosure and closely-positioned drivers eliminated most of the problems endemic to larger loudspeakers. Certainly, the SL-600 wasn’t the best “mini-monitor” ever made. Wilson’s WATT and Celestion’s own SL-700 quickly surpassed it—but, in its use of avant-garde technologies, including the first dome tweeter designed with the assistance of laser interferometry and an inert cabinet built from an exotic, honeycomb-aluminum laminate called “Aerolam,” the SL-600 gave the compact speaker credibility, not only for use in “Bang-for-the-buck” systems, but for inclusion in the finest and most expensive rigs, as well.


 

 

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Harmonic Resolution Systems SXR Rack System

Anyone who believes that equipment racks are merely accessories, and not true audio components, has never heard an HRS product. Designed by Mike Latvis and built in Buffalo, NY, HRS products elevate (pun intended) EVERY aspect of system performance— and Mike can scientifically prove it! Over the past four decades, there have been all sorts of attempts, from Target to Torlyte to CWD to Stillpoints, to use audio furniture to improve system performance, but HRS demonstrates that every one of them was inadequate. Actually, I could have chosen any HRS Rack System but the SXR seems to provide the best performance-per-dollar, and also leaves enough cash in the budget for HRS’s matching Isolation Bases, which are required to complete the system.


 

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Wilson Audio Specialties WATT

At a time when state-of-the-art loudspeakers (Inifinity IRS and RS-1B, Magnepan Tympani, Wilson’s own WAMM) tended to be enormous, dauntingly expensive monstrosities, audiophiles started plunking Dave Wilson’s recording monitor atop Entec Subwoofers (in the days before Wilson’s “Puppy” woofer was available).  This created a system whose resolution, transparency and spatial description rivaled those behemoths at a fraction of the price and, more importantly, did so with a footprint of slightly more than one square foot per channel. By enabling apartment dwellers and other décor/budget-sensitive music lovers to mount the summit of high end performance at a time when that luxury had been reserved for those with no budget or space constraints, the WATT was a truly seminal product, as has been proven by Wilson’s meteoric success ever since that speaker’s introduction.


 

 

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dCS Elgar

With the help of fine digital products by Krell, Levinson, Audio Research and other iconic manufacturers, the CD had, by the early ‘90s, become the software format of choice…even among audiophiles. Still, digital was considered inferior by the high end cognoscenti when dCS’s first consumer product bowed in 1997. Designed by a company credited, not only with the world’s best studio processors, but also with the developing threat-avoidance technologies for fighter jets, the Elgar was perhaps the most thoroughly engineered digital product in history.  This statement was supported by the fact that it stayed in production, and defined the state-of-the-art, for nearly a decade— no mean feat for a computer! By elevating digital reproduction to a position of parity with world-class analog, dCS’s Elgar deserves its place on this list


 

photo:   www.rewindaudio.com

photo:  www.rewindaudio.com

Technics SL-1200

Of my twelve selections, this is bound to be the most controversial. The SL-1200 wasn’t the first commercially available direct drive turntable.  Its big brother, the SP-10, earned that distinction in 1970.  Nor was its sound quality universally applauded by audiophiles, a fact which Technics both acknowledged and addressed when it introduced a modernized version in 2016. It was, however, among the most beloved audio products ever made (the most robust, too!), as well as one of the longest-lived, with a production run that stretched from 1972 to 2010. Muse to the Hip Hop movement, the SL-1200 also inspired the current crop of state-of-the-art direct drive turntables by Continuum, VPI, Brinkmann and others.