Questions and Answers (February 2019)

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: Do the new Set-Up discs include tracks for some sort of test tone or songs that help with subwoofer set up?

A: Yes, our newly upgraded, set-up and tuning discs offer a unique mix of diagnostic tracks, calibration tools, and system conditioning aids to help with every aspect of system set-up. In fact, there are a whole suite of sweeps and discrete tones to specifically address subwoofer set-up. You can find out more about the System Solution Set-Up & Tuning Discs on the Nordost website.

Q: I know that Nordost always stresses the importance of cable burn-in, but how many hours of break-in does the QK1 need to achieve its best performance?

A: Unlike cables, our QK1 and  QV2’s don’t need a lot of break-in time. Although, since the QK1 is a mechanical device, it does need a little more time than the QV2, which is an electronic device. While you can hear immediate audible changes as soon as they are plugged in, in general, these products need to be plugged in for about a week to achieve their intended performance levels.

Q: Which Nordost speaker cables are available in bi-wire?

A: Typically, Nordost speaker cables are not available in bi-wire. We recommend that you use our Norse Bi-Wire Jumpers for the speaker cables in our Norse and Leif ranges and our Reference Bi-Wire Jumpers for cables in our Reference and Supreme Reference Ranges. We also have customized Bi-Wire Jumpers in both our Valhalla 2 and Odin 2 ranges which are essentially extensions of the speaker cables, in order to ensure that there is an identical sonic signature running throughout your entire system. However, we do offer a bi-wire option in our 4-Flat and SuperFlatline Leifstyle cables.

Q: In the FAQ section it states that the QX2 and QX4 each have a “different focus”. So, is it possible to combine both products in one system?

A: Yes, in most systems you would start with a QX4 between the wall and the power distribution/QBASE (it’s ideal to use a QX4 unit in that position because it is stronger). Then you would add other units, either QX2s or QX4s, between the distribution block and the actual components.


Introducing the System Solution: Set-Up & Tuning Discs

After years of great success with our original System Set-Up & Tuning Disc, Nordost is excited to introduce a newly upgraded disc-set that both improves and expands upon our initial product, offering more content and features, to get your system sounding its best and to keep it that way. The Nordost System Solution is an invaluable tool for the installation, maintenance, and fine-tuning of any hifi audio system. Arranging a new system is a painstaking and exacting task for even the most seasoned audiophiles. This two-disc set, provides you with a unique mix of diagnostic tracks, calibration tools, and system conditioning aids that will help unlock the full potential of your sound system.

The System Solution Set-Up & Tuning Discs include tracks that range from the simple, such as channel checks and pink and white noise, to the more complex and unusual LEDR tracks, timed frequency sweeps, and repeat drum beats. Our sound engineers have incorporated specially designed tracks to facilitate full-range loudspeaker positioning and the integration of subwoofers, and have even included a number of useful “system service” functions.

These functions include degauss and burn-in signal tracks, both of which are essential precursors to fine-tuning your existing set-up or new components. Each of these helpful tracks is fully explained and expounded upon in a detailed instruction booklet, included with every disc set.

Nordost is proud to say that over the years our products have become integral components in preeminent recording studios around the world. This has given us the opportunity to incorporate musical selections recorded using Nordost cables as an exciting new feature on our set-up discs. These carefully curated tracks highlight specific aspects of system performance and will help you to further explore the subtleties of your newly-tuned system. This also means that Nordost users will have the ability to experience performances wired with Nordost from beginning to end!


  • Essential channel and phase checks
  • Multiple pink and white noise signals for speaker/room diagnostics
  • Sophisticated LEDR tests to optimize speaker placement
  • System maintenance tracks (Degauss and Burn-In)
  • Low-frequency tones specially designed and configured to map room modes and aid speaker placement or subwoofer positioning and integration.
  • Specially selected music tracks with detailed listening notes to further refine system performance


Dealer Spotlight: Natural Sound

By Steve Greene

Looking for the recipe for a world class hifi store? Set up shop in a highly visible, heavily traveled location. Fill that store with numerous sound rooms, each furnished with the best sounding and performing audio/video brands available. Staff it with a knowledgeable and personable sales team. Natural Sound in Framingham, Massachusetts, has been diligently following that recipe for over 40 years, and can attest to its success! So, audiophile friends, next time you find yourself on the busy Route 9 between Boston and Worcester, pull over and avail yourself of the warm, friendly environment to see, hear, touch, and learn about today’s best 2-channel audio and home theater gear from the most experienced salespeople in New England.

Natural Sound was a company founded by audiophiles, for audiophiles in 1975. Since its establishment, one of the original founders has left the company to pursue new endeavors within the audio industry, as did his replacement, and both have gone on to become well-known engineers and product designers in the field. Meanwhile, original co-founder and current owner, Jim Lackey, is consistently sought after by various manufacturers to lend his extensive expertise to both develop new products and revive older ones. Nearly all of Natural Sound’s employees have worked for Jim and General Manager, Larry Goldberg, for many, many years— some for decades!  That longevity in the industry means that each of Natural Sound’s sales associates (Peter, Mark, Lewis, and Dave) has years of extensive experience and product knowledge to ensure that they will be able help improve your current home audio system or build a new system from entry level, all the way up to super high-end.  Natural Sound even has an amazing integration team, headed by Paul, who intimately knows just about every quality piece of audio/video gear on the market, including all Nordost products.

Speaking of products, this veritable old soundhaus is teeming with tempting hifi kits.  We’re talking esteemed brands like McIntosh, Wilson Audio, Magnepan, Ayre Acoustics, Revel, Naim Audio, Focal, Bryston, Bowers and Wilkins, Rogers High Fidelity, and more! There are a lot of nice turntables to choose from too, such as Rega Research, Pro-Ject, Oracle, Clearaudio and TechDas Air Force.  Are headphones more your style? Natural Sound carries superb models from Audeze, Focal, Beyer, and Sennheiser, amongst others!  Whichever component you are in the market for, Natural Sound can make them all sound even more rich and resolving with Nordost cables.  The shop is always well-stocked with Nordost demo cables and gear, so that you can compare various models in your own home system, from our entry level White Lightning cables, all the way up to Valhalla 2. You can even get a demo of our powerful, new QKORE grounding system, Sort Kones, and other resonant control and power products.

So next time you are in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, take some quality time to visit our friends at Natural Sound. And, if you are a Red Sox fan, you might be lucky enough to say hello to GM Larry, who is personally my favorite Red Sox mentor and fan!

Natural Sound
401 Worcester Rd.
Framingham MA
(508) 879-3556

Nordost Playlist – February 2019

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 February.

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

  1. bury a friend—Billie Eilish—bury a friend
  2. Moretown Hop—Noam Pikelny—Universal Favorite
  3. BAGDAD – Cap.7:Liturgia—ROSALÍA—El Mal Querer
  4. Honey—Robyn—Honey
  5. Where’s The Catch? (feat. André 3000)—James Blake, André 3000—Assume Form
  6. Make You Feel My Love—Bob Dylan—Time Out Of Mind
  7. Woman—Cat Power, Lana Del Ray—Wanderer
  8. Beautiful Strangers—Kevin Morby—Beautiful Stranger b/w No Place to Fall
  9. Suzanne—Bermuda Triangle—Suzanne
  10. Pristine—Snail Mail—Lush


Nordost is headed to the Montréal Audio Fest!

Come and see Nordost at the Salon Audio Montréal Audio Fest. Please join us, March 22nd – 24th, in Montréal at the Hôtel Bonaventure. Throughout the show, our sales representatives and product specialists, Bruno de Lorimier and Michael Taylor, will be performing live demonstrations and product comparisons, available in both French and English, in Salon St-Michel. This year we will be partnering with our new Montréal-based dealer, Villeneuve Audio Video, to put together a system featuring Simaudio components, Bowers & Wilkens speakers and, of course, Nordost cables. The Montréal Audio Fest is a perfect opportunity to hear the effect that quality cables can have on a hifi system, and to determine how the caliber of performance is improved as enhancements are made to cable design. Admission is free to the public, so we hope to see you there!