StereoNET Reviews the Blue Heaven Analog Interconnect

We have a new review for you this month, and this time it’s all about the Blue Heaven Interconnect! StereoNET reviewer, Neville Roberts, got a chance to see what so many of our customers already know about one of our best-selling cables. Roberts had nothing but good things to say about the cable and what it did for his system’s performance. He found it both balanced and dynamic, was taken by the resulting changes in sound staging it was responsible for, and was completely impressed with its impact on vocals. In fact, he was so impressed that the Blue Heaven Interconnect received the StereoNET Applause Award!

“The Blue Heaven certainly lives up to its manufacturer’s claims of offering accurate signal transfer…with especially impressive detail and sound staging. Value-wise it punches well above its weight…” – Neville Roberts.

You can read StereoNET’s Blue Heaven Interconnect review in its entirety HERE. And, as always, you can find more great reviews on the Reviews Page of the Nordost website. 

Five Easy Turntable Upgrades

One reason people love vinyl-driven systems is the analog “process”. The intricacy of turntable set-up is the perfect precursor for its daily use. Opening an album, setting the record down and arranging the needle to gingerly settle at the exact right spot—it’s a lot of work, but it feels more rewarding than mindlessly pressing play on a streaming service. Although, if you are going to put in the work, you want it to sound good. Luckily, there are several simple tweaks and changes that you can make to improve the performance of your turntable. Here, we have put together five easy adjustments and modifications to upgrade your turntable, and make sure that you are getting the sound that your analog system is capable of! 

1. Stay stable and get level

The surface that you place hifi components on always makes a difference in audio performance, but it is extra important when placing a turntable. Turntables need sturdy, level surfaces to minimize skipping and to make sure that you don’t do any damage to your needle or records. Many audiophiles purchase audio racks with anti-resonance properties, or they install audio accessories, like Sort System products, which help minimize system vibrations and are transformative to the sound. However, the simplest upgrade is simply making sure that whichever surface you have chosen to house your turntable is absolutely level and stable. 

2. Replace your belt

There are several types of turntables on the market, including idler-wheel, belt-drive, and direct-drive. If you are using a belt-driven turntable, you know that the belt is responsible for the movement and seed, and (when they aren’t working well) can even affect the tone of the music. The fact is, rubber can age, degrade, and stretch over time. If you have had your belt-drive turntable for three to five years, refreshing your belt can mean a big upgrade, stabilizing the timing of your ‘table, and allowing your music to play at a steady pace. 

3. Upgrade the tonearm cable

If your turntable has a removable tonearm cable, you can get a lot more performance with an easy, but powerful upgrade. The signals traveling between the turntable and the phono preamp are the most delicate in the analog audio system chain. By substituting the stock cable that came with your turntable for a purpose-built tonearm cable, you will unveil a whole new level of performance from your turntable that you didn’t even know existed. Low capacitance cables, with proper shielding for both channels, enable the turntable cartridge to deliver all the musical details contained on LPs to the phono preamp without loss. Some tonearm cables, like the ones produced by Nordost, even take grounding into consideration (which can make a huge difference to the signal quality). Nordost even provides tonearm cable options for a wide variety of system levels, from mid-fi to reference. 

4. Improve the turntable mat 

The mat that comes with your turntable should not be your final solution. In fact, it might even be the cause of the crackling, static noise that’s distracting you during your listening sessions. Turntable mats come in several different materials from cork, to sorbothane, to leather, and more, each material with their own merits. A good turntable mat should protect and stabilize your record, reduce friction, and even increase sound quality. However, before choosing your mat, make sure to check if your turntable manufacturer has any recommendations. 

5. Add some weight

If your turntable came without a record weight, it might be something you should consider, in order to give your system a sonic boost. Adding a weight on top of your spinning record helps to couple the record to the platter itself, which helps to minimize vibrations, improve tracking, and prevent slipping. As a result, you can cut down on distortion and background noise and tighten the focus of the overall sound.  Like with mats, before you settle on a weight, check with your turntable manufacturer for specific recommendations. 

For further information about these turntable upgrades and more, download the Complete Turntable Set-Up Guide

Nordost Playlist – November 2021

Nordost products are designed to allow you to enjoy your favorite performances as they were intended to be heard. All of us here are passionate about great music, and want to share our passion with you. 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 November.

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

  1. Midnight Mischief—Jordan Rakei—Cloak
  2. Heels—Sir Babygirl—Crush on Me
  3. Texas Sun—Khruangbin, Leon Bridges—Texas Sun
  4. You’ve Really Got A Hold On Me—Smokey Robinson & The Miracles—OOO Baby Baby: The Anthology
  5. Find Yourself—Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real—Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real
  6. What Kinda Music—Tom Misch, Yussef Dayes—What Kinda Music
  7. Easy On Me—Adele—Easy On Me
  8. The Boy With The Perpetual Nerves—The Feelies—Crazy Rhythms
  9. Ship In A Bottle-From “The Lovely Bones”—Brian Eno, Jon Hopkins, Leo Abrahams—Brian Eno-Film Music 1976-2020
  10. The Hardest Cut—Spoon—The Hardest Cut