Positive Feedback reviews the QKORE

Nordost is happy to share yet another glowing review of our QKORE Ground Units. In this review, Positive Feedback’s Marshall Nack introduced QKORE to his system to find that it straightened out frequency balance, gained body and density in his system’s low end, and exposed a variety of accents and dynamic markings in his music. In fact, the sonic improvements that Marshall achieved in adding the QKORE to his system exceeded his expectations: 

“In advance of installing the QKORE Ground Units, I had imagined what such a product might accomplish. Those daydreams were prophetic—the only surprise was how significant it turned out to be…  it did more to improve my sound than any alternative I can think of at that price.” – Marshall Nack, Positive Feedback. 

You can read Marshall’s review in its entirety here, or check out more great reviews on our reviews page!

Questions and Answers: AXPONA Livestream

As you all know, our industry had to cancel its trade shows this Spring, but that doesn’t mean that we couldn’t go to AXPONA! On Friday April 17th, the day AXPONA would have been held, Nordost took part in the AXPONA Livestream. We were represented by Nordost product trainer and International Sales Manager, Bjorn Bengtsson, who spoke to our good friend and dealer, Bes Nievero at Music Direct. If you missed Bjorn’s interview, you can still see (and share!) it on Facebook, but in case you would rather read your information, here is what we talked about during the Livestream!

Q: What is the state of things with Nordost given the Corona virus?

A: All Nordost retailers are well stocked with Nordost products! We prepared early for some sort of disturbance due to the coronavirus, and since all of our products are made in America, we were able to stock-up all of our retailers before things got serious. We can’t wait for things to get back to normal, but until then, we’re just happy we can still make people’s lives at home a little more bearable by making their hifi systems sound the best they can.  

Q: Many people are using standard interconnects from their turntable to their phono amps. Why is it important to use a dedicated tonearm cable?

A: The task of a dedicated tonearm cable is different from that of a standard interconnect. That mostly has to do with the nature of signals that it transmits. The signal coming from a tonearm cartridge is incredibly small, delicate, and needs a massive amount of amplification—from 100x to as high as 1000x (MM to low output MC). It is very important that this signal being amplified is protected from both internal and external interferences. That kind of protection requires a dedicated cable design.  

Q: How does the new Tonearm Cable + differ from the previous models that Nordost made?

A: Nordost’s tonearm cables have always aimed to protect the delicate signals being transmitted from the cartridge to the phono amp, but now we have expanded our way of doing that to make it even more effective. In the new Tonearm Cable + design, you still get Nordost’s patented technology, combined with solid core silver-plated conductors, and the high bandwidth and low capacitance that is always associated with Nordost, but now they are constructed using twisted-pair conductors making up left and right channels, which are then individually shielded. That way there is no inter-channel interference, and they are also protected from external interferences.  

Q: Why is a group of smaller gauge wire better sounding than a larger core conductor?

A: Actually, a group of smaller gauge wire doesn’t sound better than a larger core conductor. You have a lot of strand interactions with a multi-stranded cable, which is why we choose to use solid core conductors.

5 Ways To Improve Your Sound System For Your Time At Home

By now some of us have been home for a couple of weeks, some a couple of months… but we all have at least a couple things in common: we all have some extra time on our hands and are looking for ways to make our life at home more enjoyable. That is why we have put together a list of 5 easy practices and/or products that will get your system sounding great for little to no cost!

1. Level Your Components 

Make sure that your electrical components and loudspeakers are as level as possible. Be precise. In the case of loudspeakers, they should be leveled both horizontally and vertically. Ensuring that the tweeter, mid-range and woofers are vertically aligned, so that the cone and tweeter disbursement is coming from the center vertical line, makes a big difference! And don’t forget to check that your speakers are stable and not rocking on their stands or feet. 

For more details about leveling your speakers, as well as other speaker placement tips, please download our Speaker Set-Up Guide

2.  Get Your Speakers Tight

Hours, months, and years of intense listening sessions, constant vibrations in the speaker cabinet, and even dry air will cause a screw or two to become loose. Make sure to check that binding post connections, and the bolts that hold each driver to their baffle aren’t loose, and tighten any screws that need it. Just be careful not to overtighten, as this could lead to a stripped thread! 

For more affordable speaker upgrades, please see this blog.

3.  Reduce Static Electric Charge 

Static charge build-up on components, cables, carpets, and speakers can do everything from flatten perspectives to inhibit the dynamics of a sound system. In order for your system’s performance to be at its best, use an anti-static treatment to eliminate those static charges. Simply spray a small amount of Eco 3X onto a cloth and wipe down the jacket of your cables and the area around speaker drivers to reveal a more relaxed and natural soundstage. 

For more information on other ways to clean your cables, read this blog.

4. Try An At-Home Demo

Many hifi dealers may have been forced to temporarily close their store locations. However that doesn’t mean that you can’t still try our products in the comfort, and safety of your own home! While you might not be able to bring in heavy loudspeakers for a trial, there are plenty of lighter, more manageable audio components that are perfectly suited for easy transport and home auditions. We may be biased, but we know for a fact that all of Nordost products are perfect for at-home demonstrations. Call your local hifi retailer to see what you can demo today!

For a step-by-step guide to successfully audition hifi cables in your own home, read this blog

5. Upgrade Your Streamer 

When we aren’t enjoying our music, many of us are spending a lot of our time streaming television and movies. For those of you that use an Apple TV media streamer, or any other streaming device powered by a figure 8 power cord, there is an easy, inexpensive upgrade that is sure to take your streaming to the next level! Nordost’s entry level Purple Flare Figure 8 Power Cord is the perfect solution for your Apple TV. The Purple Flare Power Cord uses Nordost’s technology to construct a high-speed, low-loss power cord that will allow your streamer to produce a picture worthy of your system. 

For more information on the Purple Flare Power Cord, read this review.

Dealer Spotlight: 3mA Audio

Besides rodeos, Tex-Mex, BBQ, NASA, and many other things, Houston Texas is known for being one of the largest and most diverse cities in America.  With all the great things to love about Houston, 3mA Audio stands at the top of the list for audiophiles and music lovers alike. 

With a passion for music and vintage audio gear, especially tube audio, Johnny Yip first opened 3mA Audio’s doors in 2012 with just a few product lines.  Johnny’s experience and passion for tube and vintage gear gave him the reputation of being the walking encyclopedia for vintage audio.  Fast forward to today. Johnny Yip and now partner, Luis Miranda, who was once a client, have expanded the business and carry some of the highest quality audio gear and accessories in the industry, such as YG Acoustics, Vitus Audio, Bowers and Wilkins, Audio Research, Nordost and more. There is something for every taste and budget, and Johnny and Luis help their clients find what’s right for everyone.

Unlike the famous Texas barbecue restaurants, who will never reveal their secret recipe, 3mA Audio’s secret to success is no secret!  Their commitment to treating everyone who walks in the door as if they were family is what sets them apart and keeps their clients coming back. With their multiple listening rooms, events at 3mA Audio are not ones to be missed! They cater to their attendees, treating them to music, demonstrations, food, and beverages. Their expansive but cozy outdoor deck (with patio!) hosts live concerts and attracts big crowds.

For Johnny, Luis, and their staff, 3mA feels like a second home, and it will to you too! If you’re in Houston looking for the best high-end audio buying experience, look no further than the experts at 3mA Audio.

Nordost Playlist – April 2020

It seems like ages ago that we were traveling around the world, visiting our friends and business partners, and educating end users about the effects that our products have on sound systems. In order to demonstrate these products, it is our job to find an interesting and diverse selection of music to showcase our cables, power devices, sort systems and accessories. While we might not be able to use our music for demos at the moment, we find that music means more to us than ever. We wanted to share some of the tracks that we have been playing to get us through these wild times, and hope that they bring you enjoyment and help you pass the time. Some may be classics, some may be brand new, some may not even be to your taste, but we hope that there’s something for everyone.

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

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

  1. Murphy’s Law—Roisin Murphy—Murphy’s Law
  2. The Expert—Yello—Touch Yello
  3. Broken—Laurie Anderson—Life on a String
  5. Glass, Concrete & Stone—David Byrne—Grown Backwards
  6. Break My Heart—Dua Lipa—Future Nostalgia
  7. Mille après mille—Isabelle Boulay—Les grands espaces
  8. Tarova—Snarky Puppy—Culcha Vulcha
  9. The Ballad of Bill Hubbard—Roger Waters—Amused to Death
  10.  Fame—Ocie Elliott—In That Room