We are happy to share that our Frey 2 cables have received some much deserved attention this month! In a glowing review, Anthony Kershaw of Audiophilia.com, spoke to the benefits that a Frey 2 loom brought to his sound system. In his article, Anthony applauded Frey 2’s synergy and loved how our cables “got out of the way of the music”.
“The Frey 2’s performance and general neutral and happy nature never disappointed. And they were wonderful in all sorts of repertoire from grandiloquent to introspective.” – Anthony Kershaw, Audiophilia
We all know that vibration is essential to music. It is, after all, the way that sound travels from our loudspeakers to our ears. However, vibration can also be extremely damaging to sound. Unwanted vibrations from any source have the ability to alter sound, causing distortion, disrupted imagery, and even timing issues to the music you’re trying to enjoy. Typically, when people in the hifi-world talk about the “negative vibration” in a system, they use it as a blanket statement. But to really understand what is happening and, more critically, to address the problems in your system, it is important to distinguish which type of vibration you are talking about: external or internal.
External vibrationrefers to any vibration from the environment surrounding your system that could transfer to, and impact, your loudspeakers, components, or audio rack, therefore affecting the sound produced. Air conditioners, household appliances, uneven surfaces, foot traffic, and outside noise or vehicle rumblings can all have an impact. This even means that elements of your own system could be the cause of negative, external vibrations, ie. if the bass from your subwoofer is causing your components to shudder… that is harmful external vibration.
Internalvibrationconcerns the vibration that is generated from within the components themselves. The inner-workings of audio equipment is composed of transistors, capacitors, wires, circuit boards, and power supplies. Each of these elements produce some sort of mechanical energy and, as a byproduct of that energy, resonate. Those tiny internal resonances accumulate and have a real and audible impact on the performance of the components they construct and the sound that systems as a whole produce.
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 about the QKORE here, so that everyone can get the answers they are looking for!
Q: The literature indicates that the QKORE1 is designed to be used with Nordost’s QBASE AC Distribution bar. But can the QKORE1 be used with other distribution bars in the market?
A: The QBASE is designed so that when the QKORE is attached through its binding post, the ground pin of the input is drained out BEFORE any contaminants on the AC line reach any components. If the distribution bar you would like to use with the QKORE has a similar design to that, it will work fine. However, we cannot speak for how other manufacturers design their distribution bars, so we cannot guarantee the same results.
Q: What are you supposed to do with the “mono ground” binding posts on the QKORE6 if your system does not include any monoblocks?
A: The mono ground binding posts connect to the same LVAP as the other 3 Ground binding posts that address the secondary side of the power supply. Therefore, if you do not have monoblocks in your system, you can use these two binding posts to connect any other component in your system. The thing that differentiates the “mono ground” binding posts, and makes them ideal for use with monoblocks, is that they are connected to identical-length wires, which connect to the exact same point on the LVAP. We have also found that in addition to monoblocks, front end components with separate chassis, like a DAC and a clock, benefit from being hooked up to these two specific binding posts as well.
Q: Can you connect loudspeakers to a QKORE?
A: No, you should not connect your loudspeaker to a QKORE. This could result in a short circuit to your amplifier. However, if you are using an ACTIVE loudspeaker that requires a power cord, it usually means that there is an amplifier inside of your loudspeaker. If that’s the case, then you can connect the loudspeaker to your QKORE. But keep in mind, when you do this, both loudspeakers should be connected to a QKORE unit separately.
Q: Do you have to use Nordost’s QKORE Wires to connect your components to the QKORE?
A: In theory, the QKORE will work if you connect your components using a different manufacturer’s wire. However, you would only be getting half of the benefit. The QKORE not only has an electrical approach, but a mechanical approach. By opting out of using the QKORE Wire, especially if you are going to be replacing it with a stranded cable, you will not be benefiting from those mechanical aspects of the QKORE.
Auditioning audio cables is probably an important part of your buying process. You deserve to know what you are buying, understand the differences between the products you are considering, and hear how those differences will impact the performance of your sound system.
At Nordost, we have a wide variety of products which incrementally improve as you move up our range. By visiting our website and talking with your authorized Nordost dealer, you should have a good understanding of specific technologies incorporated into each of our product ranges. However, when it’s time to sit down and evaluate how each one of those technologies impacts your sound, you may still need more direction.
In order to help you make better sense of what you’re hearing, we have listed some of the technologies used in our cable design with notes on how they can be identified from a sonic perspective.
Solid Core Conductors (as Opposed to Stranded)
Look for increased textural aspects in the music, especially in the mid-tones. You will find that the instruments sound more life-like. Another thing to notice is a perceived increase in volume, especially when comparing power cords.
Adding Conductors / Increasing Gauge Size
Pay special attention to timing. This can sometimes be heard in the drive and dynamic realism of your music.
Mechanically Tuned Lengths
This brings a darker background to the table and a smoothness to the sound. It strips artifacts and gives the music a sense of “correctness” that wasn’t there before.
Higher signal speed means less time traveling through the cable, and as a result, less loss of information. This translates to an increase in detail and nuance in the music. You may notice this in the emotion that comes across in a performance, particularly in the vocals. Also pay attention to the soundstage, which will start to lose its defined boundaries.
Even faster signal speed means even more information. Listen for decay times in instruments, as well as additional realistic qualities of both instruments and vocals. You will also find the rhythm and pacing of the music to be more precise.
Pay attention to your system’s soundstage. You should notice a much wider and deeper soundstage, as well as an overall smooth tonal balance. This can also be heard as spatial awareness of the instruments and singers. There may be a 3D element to your music and soundstage.
With 100% silver shielding, TSC provides even more defense against EMI and RFI. There will be a blacker background and noticeable noise reduction that will especially affect the low-end. This often translates into more realism and coherence in the performance. You may notice that small nuances in the music start to come to life.
Over the past few months, Nordost has been happy that we can continue to make our time spent at home a little more bearable with the gift of great music. Our products aim to allow you to enjoy your favorite performances as they were intended to be heard. Like you, we here at Nordost are music lovers. Each one of us has our own style… we listen to a wide variety of artists and genres but, in a way, we appreciate them all. We thought that we would share a few of the songs on our own personal playlists with you each month. Some may be classics, some may be brand new, some may not even be to your tastes, but we hope that there is something here for everyone.
Here are some of the songs that we will have on rotation this September.