Speaker Set-Up — Everything you need to get started

Speaker set-up is an exacting and time-consuming process consisting of endless small, repetitive motions. A centimeter back, a touch of a rotation, a tilt forward— every minute movement making a world of difference in the performance of your system. While some find system set-up to be a fun and interactive process, allowing you to intimately understand your hi-fi system, others find it to be pretty tedious.

Whichever side of the camp you fall on, if you come to this task well-prepared, it is sure to go a lot easier for you, and, hopefully, it will be quicker too! That is why we have come up with a comprehensive list of everything that you’ll need as you tackle speaker placement!


1) Masking or “Low-Tack” Painter’s Tape

You’ll be using your masking tape to “grid” the floor and to ensure that you are making uninformed adjustments to both the left and right speakers. You can even use your masking tape to mark the final placement of your speakers, to save you the trouble of redoing the whole process in case your speakers are accidentally moved. If you decide to mark the final placement, you may want to opt for a more discrete colored tape.


2) Marker Pen

You can use any type of writing utensil, as long as it allows you to clearly make marks on your painter’s tape.



3) Tape Measure

Your tape measure should be a least two meters long since it will be used throughout this process to take precise measurements of your speakers, as well as their relation to elements of the room. It may also be used to measure and mark increments on your painter’s tape.


4) Spirit Level

It is best to use a digital level, but both long and short bubble levels can be useful too. Use your level to make sure that your loudspeakers are on an even plane and to find an even rake and azimuth angle for your speakers. It will also help to ensure that all of your components and equipment are level.


5) Laser Pointer

A laser pointer will make it easy to determine if your speakers are set to equal heights. It will also help to identify the sweet spot for your system and allow you to keep track of movements relative to the listening seat.



6) Speaker-Specific Tools

These tools should have been supplied with the speakers themselves to aid in set up. Some tools may include— a spanner for locking spikes, a pry-bar for adjusting spikes, or chocks.



7) Air Wedge (optional)

If working alone, an air wedge (typically used to position doors or windows) will help you lift speakers safely, one side at a time. You should also be aware that many speakers are heavy and moving them should be undertaken only with great care and sufficient manpower for the task. Struggling to move a large speaker on your own could result in serious injury! An extra pair of hands (and ears) will make adjustments much easier, more precise, and safer too.


Now that you have all the equipment handy, you’re ready to get started! To figure out which set-up method works best for you, and to learn other essential tips, download our Speaker Set-Up Guide!


    Download the Nordost Speaker Set-Up Guide


Nordost Customer Testimonial

Nordost is always thrilled to receive and share glowing reviews from journalists and experts in the industry. However, when we get testimonials from our devoted and satisfied customers, it means that much more!

Thank you to James from Ontario, Canada for sharing how he became a loyal Nordost convert!

“I am an avid home cinema and audio enthusiast. I have tried many types of cables over the years, large commercial brands, generic brands, and boutique brands. I largely used another big name company’s products, since they were easily accessible in my area, always wanting to try Nordost. A recent amplifier purchase found me at a Nordost dealer a drive away—I could not resist the rare opportunity to try Nordost cables in my system. I figured I would start with a Blue Heaven Power Cable for this amplifier, and it did not disappoint. I have used that same amp with cables costing 10x to 60x more, and they did not have nearly the impact as this Blue Heaven cable did. In fact, the performance immediately drove me to purchase more Nordost Blue Heaven cables. I now have speaker, HDMI, digital and multiple power cables. My streaming system has Purple Flare Power Cables and Blue Heaven Digital Cables. How is it possible that cables in these price points can outshine reference products from another company I asked myself? Needless to say, I have converted most of my cables to Nordost and am working on the remainder. I am extremely pleased with the performance and am now left wanting more, always wondering what I am missing by not moving deeper into the product line. I will not use anything but Nordost moving forward, and look forward to expanding my cable investment in the near future. Even if I need to make a four-hour-long round trip to get them! Hopefully, I will soon be into the Frey 2 or Valhalla 2 product offerings. Potentially upgrading some of the Blue Heaven cables in the system now.”

James is a happy customer of Audio Eden.  His system is wired with Purple Flare and Blue Heaven cables.

Visit our Customer Testimonials page to see what more users like James have to say!

What’s your Nordost story?


Introducing the Valhalla 2 Tonearm Cable +

The most precious information being passed through a hifi system is the delicate signal carried from the phono cartridge to the phono stage input. In order to maximize the performance of an analog system, every aspect of your tonearm cable, including the conductor layout, quality of connectors, versatility in termination, and grounding capabilities, must be entirely optimized for its application. Our newly redesigned Valhalla 2 Tonearm Cable + is the only cable on the market to excel at every one of these important design aspects, exceeding the performance requirements that high-quality analog replay requires.

The Nordost Valhalla 2 Tonearm Cable + uses four, silver-plated, solid core 99.999999% OFC conductors, arranged in a twisted pair design to create a left and right channel. Both channels are then individually wrapped in a silver, braided shield, eliminating inter-channel cross-talk. In order to dramatically increase its signal speed, and expand the cable’s bandwidth capabilities, these conductors implement Nordost’s proprietary Dual Mono-Filament technology, reducing insulation contact by 85%. A separately shielded, silver-plated bond wire, wrapped in Micro Mono-Filament, is then incorporated to enhance performance and minimize the noise level.

The largest hurdle to overcome in tonearm construction is noise. Providing proper and complete grounding has historically been a challenging feat, given the overwhelming combinations of ground options available between the turntable and phono stages. In order to address this problem, we have designed the most versatile solution on the market, including two, detachable, silver-plated ground whips, complete with Micro Mono-Filament technology. When needed, these ground whips connect to the cable’s shielding, totally eliminating any noise that could be introduced during signal transfer, regardless of the unique construction of the components being used in the sound system.

As with all Valhalla 2 cables, the Tonearm Cable + is cut to mechanically tuned lengths. This technique reduces the internal microphony and high-frequency impedance resonances of the cable. The V2 Tonearm Cable + is then terminated with our proprietary HOLO:PLUG® Straight or 90० low-mass 5-pin Din, RCA, or XLR connectors, which have been specifically designed to accommodate the cable’s unique design.

The Valhalla 2 Tonearm Cable + is handmade in the USA, ensuring the highest level of production quality and precision, which is necessary when manufacturing the most crucial signal cable in a sound system. This reference level tonearm cable delivers these very delicate signals seamlessly, while eliminating noise from the signal chain.

Suggested retail price is $4,999.99 USD for a 1.25 meter length. Additional half meter increments are $625.00 USD.


Nordost at High End 2019 in Munich — Recap

High End in Munich was a resounding success for Nordost. This show was the perfect opportunity to impress a captivated audience of distributors, dealers, and end users with three new, innovative products: the QPOINT Resonance Synchronizer, the QSOURCE Linear Power Supply, and the Valhalla 2 Tonearm Cable +.

In addition to the excitement in the Nordost room, we were asked to be a part of eight other first-rate systems throughout the show by some of the most respected manufacturers in the industry. Here is a taste of those systems, each wired with Nordost Cables.

In the Nordost room, Bjorn Bengtsson and the rest of our team gave demonstrations of the new QPOINT and QSOURCE in a system wired with Valhalla 2 cables and featuring VPI’s new HW-40 Direct Drive turntable and YG Acoustics’ Hailey 2.2 loudspeakers.  

dCS, Wilson Audio, and Dan D’Agostino’s incredible system featured our Valhalla 2 cables:

KEF, Hegel, and Arcam’s system was wired with our Frey 2 and Tyr 2 cables: 

Constellation and Magico used our Supereme Reference Odin 2 cables to bring their sound to the highest level:

MOON and Dynaudio’s system was wired with Tyr 2 cables, (and Heimdall 2 Ethernet Cables):

CH Precision, TechDAS, and VIVID Audio wired their amazing system with Odin 2 cables, and grounded it with QKORE!

Audio Physic used our Norse 2 Power Cords and QRT Power Products to round out their system:

Gershman Acoustics, VTL, and The Wand’s system sounded tremendous with our Valhalla 2 cables: 

Introducing the QPOINT Resonance Synchronizer

A complete sound system is the result of several factors working together in harmony to produce a cohesive, pleasing, and authentic representation of sound. As audiophiles, we are accustomed to examining how several factors, including components, cabling, power, vibration control, etc. work together in order to create the “best sound” possible. However, there is an element present in every system that has been chronically neglected until now: electromechanical resonance.

Every component in a sound system has several individually resonating parts within them. When these electromechanical resonances oscillate concurrently, but not in unison, these discordant vibrations become a source of electrical noise, resulting in smeared, muddy sound. At the High End show in Munich, happening now, we are previewing an exciting new product which solves this exact problem.  The QPOINT eliminates this internal electrical noise, enhancing the coherency and timing that is typically lacking in even the most high-end audio systems.

The QPOINT is the latest development in QRT technology. The QPOINT Resonance Synchronizer emits a subtle field which manipulates all electromechanical resonances within its immediate proximity so that they resonate in unison with each other. In order to accommodate its effects to all of the various electronics in the industry, including but not limited to solid state or tube amplifiers, digital or analog source components, traditional line stages or modern digital processors, and even to tailor results to the personal preferences of the user, the QPOINT has been designed with two modes. Mode I and II each generate unique resonances, which emphasize different musical characteristics as they lower the noise floor. Users can switch from Mode I to Mode II instantaneously to evaluate which sonic properties fit the needs of each unique electronic device in their hi-fi system.

Nordost’s QPOINT Resonance Synchronizer ensures your electronics are all working in concert, in order to enhance the coherency, articulation, and musical structure of your system.

The QPOINT will be available at select Nordost dealers, worldwide, this summer.

Suggested retail price: $749.99 USD


Industry Advocate: Eleanor McEvoy

For more than a quarter of a century, Nordost has been renowned for the quality of our products, and the effect that they have on music reproduction. Using Nordost allows listeners to experience music the way it was intended – unrestrained, unfiltered, true.  So it should be no surprise that when high fidelity is the goal, Nordost is who you come to for your cabling needs. For professionals in the audio industry, this is no different. Over the years, Nordost has worked with innovative manufacturers, talented artists, and celebrated recording engineers, who all trust Nordost to bring their finished products to the next level.

A longtime Nordost advocate is Eleanor McEvoy. Eleanor is an award winning, Dublin-based singer/songwriter. She got her start at a young age, as both a pianist and violinist. Graduating from Trinity College with an Honors Degree in music, she was accepted into the RTÉ National Symphony where she concentrated on songwriting. Her break-out hit was the highly celebrated, lead single, and title-track off of “Only a Woman’s Heart”, the top-selling Irish album of all time. Eleanor McEvoy is very well regarded in the hifi community, and is recognized as releasing the world’s first ever SACD single, “Did I Hurt You” from the album “Yola”, which is regarded as the industry standard and is used to test high end products. Eleanor’s list of work includes: What’s Following Me?, Snapshots, Yola, Early Hours, Out There, Love Must Be Tough, Singled Out, I’d Rather Go Blonde, Alone, If You Leave, STUFF, and Naked Music. She is currently working on a new project, which will be an in-studio, live album, recorded using Nordost cables.

What does Eleanor have to say about Nordost?

“I love the clarity of sound I get with Nordost. As a singer songwriter, it’s so important to me that listeners can hear my song lyrics clearly. Capturing the best vocal possible is my highest priority in the studio. Hearing back vocals that I’ve recorded on Nordost cables I know I’m getting the highest possible sound quality.

My partner is a sound designer, so he’s particularly meticulous about sound quality. He’s constantly re-wiring the various systems in the house. It’s a good opportunity to try out different leads, amps, etc. Again and again we come back to Nordost on all the systems.”

Eleanor is a proud user of several Nordost products including Heimdall 2, Blue Heaven, Ax Angel, and QRT.

For more information about Eleanor, where to buy her albums, and to learn about her upcoming tour dates, visit www.eleanormcevoy.com

Nordost Playlist – May 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.

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

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

  1. Cellophane—FKA twigs—Cellophane
  2. I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free—Wynton Marsalis Septet, Susan Tedeschi, Derek Truc, I Wish I Knew How It Was To Be Free
  3. Fancy Man—Devendra Banhart—Ape in Pink Marble
  4. Miss Simone—Sara Bareilles—Amidst the Chaos
  5. Nothing Sacred/All Things Wild—Kevin Morby—Oh My God
  6. Lights—SOHN—Tremors
  7. Walden Pond—Atta Boy—Out of Sorts
  8. Northwest Passage—Stan Rogers—Northwest Passage
  9. Top of the World—Kimbra—Primal Heart
  10. Oh My Love—Riz Ortolani, Katyna Ranieri—Oh My Love


Nelson Brill Reviews Afro-Caribbean Performances From His Travels

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, Nelson gives you a more of a global look at what is going on in the music world as he covers some recent shows and recordings he discovered on his recent travels!


By Nelson Brill    March 24, 2019  

When I am traveling to a different place, I always like to explore the neighborhoods with local record stores to support local businesses. I like to check out these shops’ record bins for new artists that reflect the music scene in that area. So while I was in London recently, we ventured to nearby Brixton where the UK reggae scene has had a rich history, supported by vibrant immigrant community (where you can get a great Ghanian stew or Ethiopian meal on a Brixton street corner or in one of the town’s many markets).

Brixton Market – citizens.com

I happen upon a small record store in one of these Brixton markets, run by a local legend, Jah Lingua, “Markie”, who is founder of Universal Roots Records [http://www.facebook.com/UniversalRootsRecords] which has been producing recordings from local reggae artists since 1998.


Jah Lingua also hosts “R.D.K. Hi-Fi Dances”, (along with his spouse, Claudia, at her Brixton record store, Pure Vinyl Records) where local reggae artists perform on sound systems set up for dance parties. Jah Lingua passed along to me a copy of his CD, U.K. Reggae Stars [Universal Roots Records] and an LP produced by him in 2018 with selections from local artists with “Brixton Downbeat”, “Gentrification Dub” and other great cuts.

On these Universal Roots LP and CDs are the sounds, among others, of Brixton’s own Soothsayer Horns (a swanking brass ensemble); Sandeeno (a vocalist with an expressive baritone to match his messages of fighting racism and gun violence) and two female vocalists, Marlene Ammers and Judith, both with airy, swaying presences. These gifted artists are surrounded on these excellent recordings by local bandmates who deliver pungent bass lines; creative waves of electronica and dynamic percussion. Reggae’s joyful funk and lift; its warmth and dance and its unflinching social-conscious themes – all are here on these excellent spirited recordings from Universal Roots Records reflecting the diverse Brixton community.

Brixton School children; citizensuk.com

This vital connection between Caribbean and African musical heritages continued when I had the lucky opportunity, on February 23rd, to visit the venerable New York City music venue, The Jazz Standard, (located at 116 East 27th Street; http://www.jazzstandard.com) to catch a dazzling concert by the Spanish Harlem Orchestra, (“SHO”) [http://www.spanishharlemorchestra.com ], a band that delivers their own incendiary mix of cha-cha-cha, mambo and salsa brilliance.


From their first fiery notes, the SHO proved to be a tight, dynamic band that wasted no time in igniting their propulsive songs drenched in their Puerto Rican heritage. The sound at the Jazz Standard was up to the task as most instruments on the crowded stage were heard clarion and true, with exception of piano and bass, which were a bit harder to hear individually in the heated big band action.

The SHO focused their Jazz Standard performance on numbers taken from their new action-packed recording, Anniversary [ArtistShare], which has just won a Grammy award.

The recording captures the SHO with great energy and upfront crackling presence. While delivering the heat, dance and punch of this swanking band, its sound is on the lean and sometimes thin side (especially on brass crescendos) and does not offer much in the way of layering or depth to its soundstage, so things are a bit congested. But what the recording offers in spades is the stellar musicianship of the band and a feel for their dancing interplay, as well as the jovial spirit of the band’s three fronting vocalists: Marco Bermudez, Carlos Cascante and Jeremy Bosch.


At the SHO’s Jazz Standard concert, their three charming vocalists hit the ground running, with the band carousing behind them in soaring strides. Bermudez’s voice is gliding and smooth and it sumptuously drove his suave song, “Echa Pa’Lante”, accompanied by brazen choruses from trumpeters Manuel Ruiz and Hector Colon and driving wooden strikes from Jorge Gonzalez’ resonant guiro. Bosch possesses a lighter, more carefree voice, telling his tales with a spoken quality. On his “Soy El Tambor,” his vocals were complemented by George Delgado’s lilting conga and Luisito Quintero’s punctual timbales.

Gon Bopps

Quintero was a whirling dervish on his timbales all night. He hit explosive wooden cracks by frenetically playing all surfaces of his drums, including hitting the sides of his timbales with his drumsticks sending crackling wooden blasts to the back walls of the Jazz Standard.

On another ballad, Bosch took up his flute and played a dazzling duet with flutist (and baritone saxophonist) Mitch Frohman, layering their spirited high runs and leaping octaves in a shimmer of light colors (that had the crowd roaring their approval).


On “Cancion Para Ti,” Frohman’s flute was complimented with lilting chords and touches from Oscar Hernandez’s piano. Hernandez was always at the ready to lend a dancing frolic or the twinkle of a mambo beat. His solo piano ranged far and wide on “Como Te Quise” joined by vocalist Carlos Cascante, whose ardent vocals were steeped in metallic glow from Doug Beavers’ and Noah Bless’ trombones. The SHO built to a final crescendo of brass calls and vocal harmonies, (with cries of “Viva Puerto Rico!” echoing through the capacity crowd). Their final songs swayed on salsa flow, with cowbell and timbales firing on all cylinders to propel intoxicating grooves and dance steps into the night.

This global-minded, (perfectly fused) connection between African and Caribbean music was also at the heart of another astonishing concert that I attended recently in Boston, presented by WorldMusic/CRASHarts, [http://www.worldmusic.org ] a nonprofit arts organization that has brought the richness and diversity of global music to Boston area audiences for many years.

On March 10th, at the historic Somerville Theatre in Somerville, MA., WorldMusic/CRASHarts presented a concert by South African guitarist Derek Gripper and his African Strings and Mali’s legendary performer, Habib Koite, accompanied by percussionist, Mama Kone.


The evening was a feast of acoustic glory. Gripper and his African Strings opened the show, delivering their sultry lightness on guitars, kalimba, kora and on a Ugandan traditional stringed instrument called the endongo. (The endongo was plucked masterfully by Kinobe, a Ugandan musician, who also possessed a beautiful expressive voice). The group’s instrumentals were propelled by Gripper’s classical guitar style, flowing with light percussive touches and crisp nylon string runs. Unfortunately, the sound mix was a bit skewed in that Gripper’s guitar was overly dominant and so it was harder to hear the gentle soft strums of his partners’ instruments. When they could be heard clearly, Jaja Bashengezi’s accompanying guitar was a light caress and Kinobe plied his kora in sparkling fashion, projecting his notes like soft, falling raindrops.

To hear the astonishing expressive character of a kora, take a listen to a favorite audiophile CD that brings together two partners: kora player Ballake Sissoko and cellist Vincent Segal. Their recording is Musique De Nuit [Six Degrees Records] and part of this recording was uniquely made on a rooftop terrace in Bimako, Mali, (with the bleats of goats and rumbling traffic heard below). The recording is superb in its textural detail and its capture of every musical nuance and dynamic flow to this beautiful music. The music is tender, powerful and meditative in its expressive sweep, bringing these two virtuoso players together in supple and heated interplay.


Following the set by Derek Gripper and African Strings, the vivacious Habib Koite took the Somerville Theatre stage and mesmerized his audience with his seamless voice and guitar, working as one vehicle of expressive force and beauty. The sound for this second set was much improved for its clarity, balance and tactile aliveness.


Koite’s dance of open-hearted lyricism, deep grooves (punctuated by Kone’s thrum on his calabash) and ability to fully inhabit the territory of his songs was exuberant. His voice was a perfect vehicle to express his songs: light-hearted and soaring (with a bit of aging grit up top) on songs of love and hope (including a tribute to “women around the globe”) and then turning powerful and low on his slow brewing blues. Koite’s guitar perfectly partnered with his expressive voice. He utilized open strings; short five-note scale runs (with his capo at the top portion of his guitar for its highest dancing effect) and for his blues numbers,, he let his strings go loose and rumbling to create rubbery low notes (sounding like Jimi Hendrix in his swaggering prime). Koite’s final songs were tight statements of groove and joyful dance with Kone hitting his djembe drum and hi-hat with nimble fury. On these last tunes, Koite strolled through the audience strumming his guitar with light string dampening (to deliver an ebullient dancing beat) accompanied his soaring voice. The audience sang along, swaying in the warm of Koite’s sultry beat.

Returning home after this fantastic World Music/CRASHarts concert, I listened to a favorite new CD from another artist from Mali, Fatoumata Diawara, whose music is also a marvel of expressive, dancing power. On her new recording, Fenfo “Something To Say” [Montuno Productions], Diawara and her superb band deliver all the swirl and snap of their captivating music with spawning energy and joy. The recording beautifully captures all of their stunning musicianship and tactile energy, delivering a soundstage that is wide and deep (if your system is up to it!). Diawara’s voice soars and dips, elegant in phrasing and pitch. She and her band are equally at home in the sway of hip-hop, R & B and pop (such as on their grooving “Nterini” or the lilting pop of “Dibi Bo”) or on their lush ballads, such as the moving “Mama” (which features Diawara in duet with cellist Vincent Segal). The splendor of this recording is a dancing gift to the world, from its African roots to the shimmer of its Caribbean beats and beyond.

The National

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


AXPONA 2019 Recap

Axpona 2019 was a massive success for Nordost and all of our partners. This year, we were proud to treat attendees to a reference system featuring our Odin 2 cables, that showed music lovers what real synergy in a hifi system sounds like. Or as reviewer Jason Victor Serinus from Stereophile said, “OMG, it’s music…So much of what I’ve missed at this show is here.”

Thank you to all of our friends in the industry who chose to show what their products are capable of by using Nordost cables and power products. And a special thank you to the show-goers who attended the Nordost demos in the Holm Audio room, who took the time to learn, first hand, how quality cables can make a difference in a home sound system.

Please enjoy these photos from the show!

Nordost’s reference room featuring products from VTL, Stenheim, dCS, and VPI

Holm Audio’s Nordost demonstration room 

Holm Audio with Audio-Technica/DALI Speakers/Rogue Audio/Sony/VPI Industries

Holm Audio with Bluesound/DALI Speakers/NAD/PSB Speakers

Holm Audio with Questyle and Revel Speakers

Gershman Acoustics with VAC and VPI (Winner of Positive Feedback’s Audio Oasis! Award)


Cambridge Audio


VANA/Audio Physic/European Audio Team/Okki Nokki


Special Event at Filtronique

In honor of their annual sales event and to celebrate 50 years in business, Filtronique invites you to attend a special event with Nordost.

Bruno de Lorimier, who is celebrating 15 years with Nordost, will be in attendance for both days of the event, providing information and performing demonstrations on our world renowned cables and accessories.

Presentations times for May 10th and 11th:

Friday 12:00 & 16:00 hrs
Saturday 11:00 & 15:00 hrs

Come enjoy special pricing, door prizes, hors d’oeuvres, refreshments and more!

À l’occasion de sa vente annuelle et des célébrations de son 50ième anniversaire,
Filtronique vous convie à l’évènement Nordost.

Bruno de Lorimier, qui célèbre ses 15 ans chez Nordost, sera sur place pour deux journées
d’informations et de démonstrations sur les produits de cette prestigieuse firme américaine.

Présentation à heure fixe le 10 et 11 Mai
Vendredi 12:00 et 16:00 hrs
Samedi 11:00 et 15:00 hrs

Tirage de prix de présence et promotion exclusive
Des rafraichissements et amuse-bouche seront servis