Pictures from Nordost Nation! January 2018

Nordost is lucky to have such incredibly loyal and enthusiastic customers! One great way that our fans let us know that they are happy with the work that we do is by sending us pictures of their Nordost products in action. Here are a few photos that have been shared with us recently. Feel free to send us pictures of Nordost in your system, via Facebook, info@nordost.com, or #nordostcables on Instagram, so that we can continue to share them with the whole Nordost family!


 

@seantmanley is all set for a nice listening session with Nordost Blue Heaven!

@seantmanley is all set for a nice listening session with Nordost Blue Heaven!

Hifi Studio System Reference has their Accuphase E-650 outfitted with a great sampling of Nordost cables.

Hifi Studio System Reference has their Accuphase E-650 outfitted with a great sampling of Nordost cables.

Here's a setup shot of F1 Audio readying their system with Heimdall 2

Here’s a setup shot of F1 Audio readying their system with Heimdall 2

"The Guarneri Evolutions got some new friends to play with today. Ref 75 and Ref 75 SE are my favorite Audio Research amps, I prefer them to Audio Researchs bigger and more expensive poweramps." -  @watchingwater

“The Guarneri Evolutions got some new friends to play with today. Ref 75 and Ref 75 SE are my favorite Audio Research amps, I prefer them to Audio Researchs bigger and more expensive poweramps.” -
@watchingwater

"KILLER" - @cultoffonza spinning Alice Cooper

“KILLER” – @cultoffonza spinning Alice Cooper

 

VPI held an amazing event using "Nordost Cables, KEF Blades, IsoAcoustics, Ortofon A-95, McIntosh Laboratory Inc. electronics, and Stillpoints.us room treatment. Source is the VPI Avenger Plus and VPI Voyager Phono."

VPI held an amazing event using “Nordost Cables, KEF Blades, IsoAcoustics, Ortofon A-95, McIntosh Laboratory Inc. electronics, and Stillpoints.us room treatment. Source is the VPI Avenger Plus and VPI Voyager Phono.”

Gabby (@gsoundquest) is showing of his 2 Flat Speaker Cables, terminated with Nordost's new Quick Connectors.

Gabby (@gsoundquest) is showing of his 2 Flat Speaker Cables, terminated with Nordost’s new Quick Connectors.

And here's the QKORE 6 Gabby is using to ground his system.

And here’s the QKORE 6 Gabby is using to ground his system.

"A stereo of the amazing battle! At Home with a brilliant happy customer feeds the music out in the room from components powered by Burmester Audiosysteme GmbH, Ayre and IsoTek Systems-bound together by cables from Nordost Cables." - Oslo Hi-Fi Center

“A stereo of the amazing battle! At Home with a brilliant happy customer feeds the music out in the room from components powered by Burmester Audiosysteme GmbH, Ayre and IsoTek Systems-bound together by cables from Nordost Cables.” – Oslo Hi-Fi Center

"Unboxing New Nordost Heimdall 2 High Performance Speaker Cables!" - @jimmy_hifi

“Unboxing New Nordost Heimdall 2 High Performance Speaker Cables!” – @jimmy_hifi

Nordost Day at Audiotorium Pederson!

Nordost Day at Audiotorium Pederson!

@phillipwangusa is making good use of our Heimdall 2 Headphone Cable

@phillipwangusa is making good use of our Heimdall 2 Headphone Cable

@utantowibowo relaxing at a friend's home with Wilson Audio and Nordost

@utantowibowo relaxing at a friend’s home with Wilson Audio and Nordost

Sander Andersen (@sound4pro) is showing off some vingtage SuperFlatline speaker cable

Sander Andersen (@sound4pro) is showing off some vingtage SuperFlatline speaker cable!

 

Nelson Brill On New Audiophile Jazz Recordings

Real music lovers can find the melody in everything. From the park to the concert hall, our friend Nelson Brill is always on the hunt for great sound. In this blog, Brill shares some new Audiophile jazz recordings.


New Audiophile Jazz Recordings To Spin And Savor

By Nelson Brill

January 14, 2018

Pierre VIGNAUX

Audiophile buddies gather around! Here are a few of my favorite new jazz recordings on CD or vinyl to share. They all contain toe-tapping music recorded with excellent sonics that deliver all the dynamic presence of these great musicians at play.

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First off, there is cause for celebration in hearing the new recording by the magnificent vocalist Cecile McLorin Salvant and her savvy trio: Aaron Diehl on piano; Paul Sikivie on bass and Lawrence Leathers on drums. Dreams and Daggers [Mack Avenue Records; www.mackavenue.com] captures this magnetic partnership in delicious flight in their performances at the Village Vanguard in New York City in September, 2016.

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wnpr.org

Salvant’s singular voice fills every nook and cranny of this glorious live recording with joy. She pours herself fully into the vessel of the blues singing slow and radiant on her powerful version of “My Man’s Gone Now” and then spiky and sweet on Ida Cox’s classic “Wild Women Don’t Have The Blues” and in the comic stroll of “Sam Jones’ Blues.” Her vocal playfulness positively glows on such burbling romps as “Let’s Face The Music And Dance”; “Nothing Like You” and “Never Will I Marry.” She effortlessly fashions narratives by Kurt Weill and Langston Hughes into a coiled, unfolding performance (on the unflinching “Somehow I Never Could Believe”) and then she joins a velvety string ensemble with cool vocal glow on a few zesty originals. Salvant inhabits the narratives of her songs with effortless aplomb. She fills each with soft scampers; slow delicious murmurs or heady crescendos – all with expressive delight. She possesses this protean ability to maintain her lithe pitch control to lightly perch on any twig or branch in her wondrous vocal range with indelible expressiveness (from tender quips to full blasts of soulful heat).

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Harlem World Magazine

Her partnering trio is as dapper and impeccable as one of Mr. Diehl’s fastidious bowties. On Dreams and Daggers, each player dazzles in their solo work and in their collective whimsy with Salvant’s creative lead. Diehl is a master storyteller at his keyboard. He possesses the lightest of touches; the most devious velvety runs and can surprise with fresh bursts of octaves or soft isolated notes that combine for deep expressiveness. Sikivie’s bass is a resonant juggernaut (check out his pumping presence in duet with Savant on “You’re Getting To Be A Habit With Me”) and Leathers is a sensual propulsive machine on his drum kit (listen to his impeccable backbone on “Si J’etais Blanche”). Savant’s duet with guest pianist Sullivan Fortner on “You’ve Got To Give Me Some” is another highlight as it shakes with sassy fury and showcases Fortner’s own transfixing piano style and his swanking partnership with the ever-adventurous Salvant. The audiophile quality of Dreams and Daggers captures every tactile detail of these gleeful encounters within the acoustic space and energy of the Vanguard. The adoring audience is also ensnared up close and present in their  boisterous enthusiasm for each musical gift bestowed by this stunning jazz band in action.

metrolyrics.com

metrolyrics.com

Across town from the Village Vanguard, the eminent Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra (www.jazz.org/JLCO/) creates its own magic in performances at Lincoln Center in New York City. Two of its stalwart musicians, bassist Gerald Cannon and alto saxophonist Sherman Irby, each have new recordings out in which they contribute to each other’s smart, bracing and vital music.

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Cannon’s Combinations [Woodneck Records; www.cannonmusicart.com] fires on all cylinders with swinging prowess, such as on the opening “Every Man Is A King” (with blaze of trumpet from Jeremy Pelt) or on “One For Amos” with  Cannon’s fluid bass pumping behind Irby’s biting alto sax. The musicians gathered on this recording offer dynamic companionship to Cannon in their eclectic journey together. Russell Malone’s swanking guitar joins Cannon’s nimble bass in a radiant duet on “How Great Thou Art” while Gary Bartz’s smoothly cascading alto propels the unflinching R & B of “Gary’s Tune.” Pianists Kenny Barron and Rick Germanson bring their own glowing styles to several tunes that run from a shimmering bossa (“Amanda’s Bossa”) to the feathery lightness of “How My Heart Sings.” Drummer extraordinaire Willie Jones III brings his panache to everything he touches, including the blaring cacophony of “Columbus Circle Stop” which blares with Jones’ humming snare and crisp cymbal heat. Don’t miss the last tune, “Darn That Dream,” in which Cannon stretches his elastic acoustic bass to the max in a glowing solo piece where his fingers pull, hold and pluck upon his low strings to create a brewing cauldron of deep soulful dance.

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Cannon and Jones shine as well on Sherman Irby’s new recording, Cerulean Canvas [Black Warrior Records], another powerful statement of creative jazz mixing with blues heat.

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This recording is another audiophile gem, recorded by engineer Katherine Miller, who also recorded the Cannon Combinations session. Miller takes great care to deliver all the tactile details and buoyant energy of these two heated blowing sessions and ensnares all of their superlative musicianship and comradeship up close and personal.

jazz.org

jazz.org

Irby’s sharp robust attack on his alto sax can sing in bellowing breathy notes as on his molten slow grooving heater, “John Bishop Blues” (with Cannon’s pungent bass pumping behind) or on his “Blues For Poppa Reed” (with pianist Eric Reed tenacious and twinkling). He can also sing on his alto sax in full ballad glory on the slow unfurling swing of “From Day By Day” and the loping gait of Wayne Shorter’s “Contemplation”. The unusual front line of Irby’s alto sax mixing it up with a tenacious trombone (plied by either Vincent Garner or Elliot Mason) is bold and expressive. “Willie’s Beat” and “Racine” are stellar examples, with trombone and alto sax rollicking to Reed’s pouncing piano notes and the sparkle of Jones’ nimble cymbal/snare combinations. Irby’s version of “Sweet Georgia Brown” is a sprite swinging delight where trombone, sax and bass frolic in lightning elegance to the dance of Jones’ wood rim hits.

Trombone also plays glorious partner to sax in another blazing recording session brought to us by the young baritone saxophonist, B.J. Jansen, on his new recording, Common Ground [RonninJazz; www.bjjansen.com].

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Jansen joins one of my favorite trombonists, the dapper and keenly creative Delfeayo Marsalis, in a collective that also includes trumpeter Duane Eubanks; bassist Dezron Douglas; pianist Zaccai Curtis and the indefatigable drummer, Ralph Peterson. They create another barn burning session that is captured on this recording in all its intense up-front energy and tactile crackle.

bjjansen.com

bjjansen.com

The heat is immediately felt on “Stacey’s Plan” as Jansen’s reedy baritone plunges and flows deep in partnership with Douglas’ bass and Marsalis’ colorful trombone declarations (filled with high note blares and slippery slides). Curtis shines with keyboard prowess as he delivers tight bluesy turns of phrase and deft soft note accents. “Bucket Full of Soul” also swings kinetically on Jansen’s baritone pelts and gutsy breeze (blowing from high registers to low) with Marsalis working his creative banter and bluster. In contrast, “Brandon’s Blues” walks in slow strides as baritone and (muted) trombone take a stroll in warm meandering fashion, until Eubanks trumpet interrupts with his brazen calls – all angular, creative shine. This glittering band can do anything it wills: moving effortlessly from the full bore swing of “Angela’s Aggravation” to the melodic flow of “Relaxin’ With Jessica”. The title cut, with a feel of John Coltrane’s combination of soulfulness and heat, is ignited by Jansen’s baritone solo roiling in colorful declarations of low reedy power and heft partnered with Douglas’ heady bass rolls and Peterson’s snare and cymbal power. The magnetic Peterson is a creative gale force throughout the recording. His percussive foundation lays the brickwork for all the garlands of sonic riches and grooves that are delivered from this tight adventurous band flourishing in their companionship.

drummerszone.com

drummerszone.com

Shadows of John Coltrane and his compatriot genius, Thelonious Monk, linger over many of these new artists’ creative visions. Appropriately, two new recordings shine brightly upon Monk’s legacy.

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The first is a special audiophile quality LP (also available in a deluxe 2-LP box set) of a never-before released recording session by Monk joined by saxophonists Charlie Rouse and Barney Wilen; bassist Sam Jones and drummer Art Taylor at the Nola Penthouse Sound Studios in July, 1959. The occasion was to record a soundtrack for Roger Vadim’s film, Les Liasons Dangereuses and this new vinyl release of the same title, (produced by Zev Feldman, Francois Le Xuan and Fred Thomas for Sam Records/Saga [www.samrecords.fr]) invites the listener to take a front row seat to experience the informal give and take between these great musicians. Listening through my Rega RP-10 turntable with Alpheta 2 cartridge (www.rega.co.uk) and Aesthetix Rhea phonostage, (www.aesthetix.net) this LP’s surfaces were dead quiet and images were beautifully rendered. Although Monk’s piano is a bit recessed and its harmonic body slightly curtailed, there is a naturalness and informal quality to this session that immediately draws one into the drama and chemistry between these simpatico players. When the full band is involved, such as on their swinging “Well, You Needn’t,” or “Rhythm-a-Ning”, Rouse and Wilen’s saxes explode with dynamic presence in each corner; Taylor’s jumping sticks on his cymbal are crisp and clear and Jones’ walking bass is a pungent engine. Monk’s delicious and obtuse keyboard chases bind all this buoyant drama with his limpid bluesy phrases and pouncing chords. On “Six in One”; “Crepuscule with Nellie” and “Pannonica”, Monk’s solos are little marvels which are revealed on this splendid LP in all their intricate design and playful vision. The swank of Monk’s 12-bar blues, “Ba-Lue Bolivar Ba-Lues-Are” is icing on the cake as all of these gifted musicians take a spirited run at this voluptuous romp. The Sam Records LP of this historic session allows us to time-travel back to sit in a folding chair in the Nola Studio and relish all of these potent grooves and musical drama within the air, warmth and naturalness of the studio space that only an LP can provide.

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Taking his own inspiration from Monk’s incomparable razzmatazz with rhythms, instrumental colors and melodic fancy, pianist, composer and arranger John Beasley has reinvented many of Monk’s compositions into his own exuberant stew for his “MONKestra” Big Band. The band has released two volumes of recordings, entitled MONKestra Volume 1 and 2 both on Mack Avenue Records [www.mackavenue.com]. The recording quality of both of these titles is excellent with the full weight, spaciousness and colorful imagery of a swanking big band in creative flight captured in a layered and airy  space. Beasley and his MONKestra can make a blaring New Orleans’ parade out of the glory of Monk’s “Round Midnight” or sail Monk’s “Skippy” into bluesy R & B territory, carefree and swinging. Monk’s “Little Rootie Tootie” is a collage of start and stop brass and woodwind soars while “Epistrophy” beckons with its dissonant swipes and clusters of tumultuous sounds (with guest Gary Burton frolicking on his crisp vibes). From Monk’s unpredictable vamps to his swinging bebop glory, everything is within the grasp of Beasley’s creative arrangements and the MONKestra’s consummate music making. They partner on these two recordings to flutter, spin and carouse in the playful landscape of Monk’s genius to the delight of our ears and our spirit.

linkedin.com

linkedin.com


If you would like to read more reviews like this one, visit Nelson’s blog at www.bostonconcertreviews.com.


 

Questions From The Show Floor

 

By Michael Taylor

Going to trade shows and dealer events are great chances for me to get out there and meet both current and future Nordost customers. You might have seen me during one of these shows, either performing cable demonstrations or manning the sales booth in the market place. One thing I always encourage is for attendees to take the opportunity to ask questions during these events. Now I would like to share two of our most-asked questions with you!

 

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Question 1: It’s easy to position round speaker cables in a system, but what do you do when they’re flat?  What is the best way to position Nordost speaker cables

Well, I can tell you what not to do: lay them flat on the floor! (Unless, of course, they are rear channel speaker cables that need to be hidden under the rug.) Let me explain… our speaker cables have a flat construction in order to keep conductors apart—allowing for both low capacitance and inductance. The secondary benefit of this construction method is that the separation of conductors makes it possible for them to resonate naturally, enhancing the performance of the cables. Since we mechanically tune most of our premium cables, we can get even more performance benefits from these resonances. Laying cables flat on the floor will dampen them, not to mention that the more surface area is in contact with the floor, the faster buildup of static charges occur. All cable dielectrics hold electrical charges, which can impede or alter the signal passing underneath them. We suggest laying the cables in a vertical position, where only one conductor touches the floor (or using Sort Lifts where nothing touches!).  Additionally, if you have any excess cables, don’t coil them. Simply run them in a serpentine pattern.

 

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Question 2: Why aren’t Nordost 75 Ohm Digital Interconnects terminated with RCA connectors?

The answer is simple: they simply aren’t good enough.  RCA connectors are, and should be used for, analog interconnects. But when it comes to digital signals, performance is dependent on keeping impedance exactly where it needs to be. The more you deviate from 75 ohms, the worse the performance—and we won’t accept that.  RCA connectors allow too much variance, which is why we won’t use them.  For 75 Ohm matching to occur, you have to use a connector which is specifically designed for that purpose: a BNC connector.  We terminate all S/PDIF cables with BNC connectors, and include a BNC to RCA adapter in the package in case your gear requires an RCA termination.  Even though an adapter may be used, it is still far better than terminating the cable with an RCA and having the impedance swing in all directions.

Nordost at The NAMM Show 2018

NAMM_Logo

Come and see Nordost at NAMM at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, CA January 25-28 in booth 2340. Nordost will be featuring our Pro Audio range of cables, Ax Angel. Constructed using the same design philosophy and technology that has revolutionized the hifi audio industry, our Ax Angel line is comprised of five different types of cables: power cords, instrument cables, patch cables, speaker cables, and microphone cables. Visit booth 2340 to get a personal demonstration and experience how the cables that we make can take the music that you make to the next level.

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Introducing the Red Dawn USB Cable

While computer audio is by no means a newcomer to the realm of hifi, developments to this ever-changing technology are keeping manufacturers on their toes, in order to stay in step with modern components. The Red Dawn USB Cable is the first of Nordost’s USB options to offer USB C plug compatibility, which is quickly becoming an industry standard due to its adoption by Apple in its newest line of laptops. Nordost’s Red Dawn USB Cable is the perfect solution for hifi audio enthusiasts integrating computer audio into their sound systems when using components that require USB C connectors.

The Red Dawn USB Cable uses silver-plated 99.9999%, OFC signal conductors, optimally designed for digital signal transfer. Each conductor is precision wound to correspond accurately with USB’s unique, hybrid twisted pair/non twisted pair geometry. The new Red Dawn cable also utilizes Nordost’s proprietary FEP Micro Mono-Filament technology, which allows it to transcend the speed and precision necessary for higher bandwidth and high speed, digital signal transmission. The conductors are then shielded with a dual layer of braid and foil shielding, in order to eliminate EMI and RFI and surpass USB 2.0 standards.

This cable is available terminated with C to Standard B (2.0), Mini B (2.0), or Micro B (2.0) plugs. The Red Dawn USB ensures that all the necessary information will be delivered with the efficiency and diligence needed to maintain the correct impedance to dramatically lift your hifi system to a new level of performance.

Designed, manufactured, and hand-terminated entirely in the USA, the Red Dawn USB Cable guarantees the accurate construction required to produce the best possible performance from computer audio equipment.

The Red Dawn USB Cable is now available for purchase at select Nordost dealers, worldwide. To find the Nordost dealer nearest you, visit the “Where to Buy” page on www.nordost.com.

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  • Fully manufactured and terminated in the USA
  • Fluorinated Ethylene Propylene (FEP) insulation
  • Micro Mono-Filament technology
  • Silver-plated 99.9999% OFC stranded conductors
  • Dual layer of silver braid and foil shielding
  • RoHS Compliant
  • Specially designed for USB C connectors

 

 

Nordost Playlist – January 2018

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 January.


You can now listen to our monthly playlist here:  TIDAL  |  SPOTIFY


  1. Picture Perfect—Little Simz—Stillness in Wonderland
  2. So I Know You Care—Toulouse—Extended Plea
  3. There Are Many Ways To Say I Love You—Sylvan Esso—There Are Many Ways To Say I Love You
  4. Sweet November—SZA—Z
  5. Skin and Bone (feat. Shirlette Ammons & Tamisha Waden)—Phil Cook, Shirlette Ammons, Tamisha Waden—Skin and Bone
  6. One For My Baby (And One More For The Road)—Frank Sinatra—Frank Sinatra Sings For Only The Lonely
  7. Little Bit—Hablot Brown—Little Bit
  8. A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall—Laura Marling—A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall
  9. No Weaknesses—The Dirty Nil—Higher Power
  10. Si Tu Vois Ma Mere—Orquesta Brazofuerte—Vivo en Thelonious

 

Le Magazine Son & Image reviews the QKORE

Review Banner-QKORE_wide

Nordost’s QKORE has left a big impression on the hifi audio market, since the ground units were first released in May of 2017. Reviews from publications around the world describe the undeniable benefits that the QKORE brings to sound systems. The latest such review comes from Le Magazine Son & Image, where author Michel Leroux explains his experience with the QKORE:

With either the QKORE1 or QKORE3 unit in place, listening becomes engaging. There is better precision and fluidity along with a less veiled sound. A significant improvement of the sound and musical rendering emerges, an unexpected but very real effect. The results are immediate…Clarity improves across the board, very noticeable in instrumental harmonics. Vocal presence is improved, along with overall musicality from the audio system. Dynamic contrast is heightened, and a more natural and coherent rendering of sound and musical content permeates the listening room.

Michel’s review, “Benefits of Parallel Grounding”, is now available to read on the Nordost website(in both English, as well as its original French text).

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