Optimize Your Subwoofer with These 3 Simple Upgrades

  By Bjorn Bengtsson

Subwoofers usually get overlooked. During the development of our latest Blue Heaven Subwoofer Cable, we realized just how little TLC is typically given to the subwoofers in sound systems. Often the complaint we hear is that subwoofers don’t integrate well enough, when listening to two-channel music. At Nordost we understand the tremendous value of high-quality audio cables, power products and resonance control, and once people hear our demonstrations at industry shows, or in retail showrooms, they understand the importance of these upgrades as well. However, whenever people begin to consider upgrades to help improve their subwoofer, we hear a lot of “buts”:

“…But what’s the point? The amplifier inside my subwoofer isn’t as good as the amplifier in my dedicated main speaker.”

“…But the interconnect would have to be so long—my subwoofer is too far away from my preamp. “

“…But why change the footers? My subwoofer already came with its own set of feet.”

I’m sure that all of these arguments sound familiar. I do have one more “but” for you however:

“…But these arguments are exactly why you need to consider making upgrades to your subwoofer!”

Let me explain:

1) Power Cord Upgrade

If the amplifier in your subwoofer isn’t as good as the amplifiers in your primary loudspeakers, it’s imperative to optimize its situation, in order to allow your subwoofer to succeed. This can easily be done by upgrading the power cord feeding the subwoofer. A really good power cord is essential to ensure that the built-in amplifier performs at its absolute best. With quality AC feeding your subwoofer, you will finally be able to enjoy those powerful, low frequency notes in your music, and not be stuck experiencing them as just a rumble.

 

2) Dedicated Subwoofer Interconnect

The price of long-length interconnects may be daunting. However, at longer lengths, having a high-quality cable is of the utmost importance. The longer a signal is trapped in its conduit, the more damage and signal-loss will be experienced, especially if that signal is being transported in a substandard cable. When dealing with subwoofers, which are typically placed far away from the rest of the system, you are introduced to a series of real challenges that a good, purpose-built subwoofer cable will have to overcome. If these challenges aren’t addressed properly, the signal will arrive “tired”, very distorted, and riddled with phase problems.

 

3) Resonance Control

In terms of mechanical optimization, low frequencies create a hostile situation. Unfortunately, the footers and spikes that come with subwoofers were not designed to efficiently drain the cabinet of detrimental vibrations generated by those frequencies. When trapped within the cabinet, these vibrations will negatively affect the driver(s) in your subwoofer, making the sound have an undesirable, muddled and boomy quality. Upgrading your footers and spikes with a product that addresses resonance, like the Nordost Sort Füt, will help minimize these harmful effects and maximize the performance of your subwoofer.

Subwoofers are worth paying attention to, and just like any other component in your system, the attention that you give them will make a huge difference! If you make these changes, you will be able to impress both yourself and your audiophile buddies with seamless low frequency integration, without any rumble. When done right, a properly optimized subwoofer will allow you to enjoy low frequency sound that will make the legs of your trousers flap, your eyes blink involuntary, and your chest cavity resonate with your favorite music…

Soundstage! Australia reviews the QKORE

This month yet another fabulous review of the QKORE was released. In his article, Peter Katsoolis of SoundSage! Australia, describes contaminated AC power as tainted blood, which can spread from component to component, wreaking havoc on the performance and sound of your system. The cure, as Peter found, was QKORE.

“What the QKORE1 then does by giving a musical blood transfusion to each and every audio component, and to so clearly and audibly ‘AC lift’ the performance of my entire system, is genuinely astounding.”

You can now read Peter’s QKORE review in its entirety here: Nordost QKORE1 Ground Unit

You can find this review and more great Nordost reviews on our Reviews Page.

Special Event at JS Audio

Come and join us for a night of demonstrations, comparisons and great music! JS Audio, in Bethesda, MD, is hosting an event Saturday, June 16th, from 4-9 PM. Special guests from Wilson Audio, dCS, D’Agostino, and, of course, Nordost will be there to present some amazing products! We hope that everyone in the DC area will be there to join in for this fantastic opportunity to hear these products at their best! 

June 16th
4PM-9PM
JS Audio
4919 St. Elmo Ave.
Bethesda, MD 20814
(301) 656-7020
js@jsaudio.com
www.jsaudio.com


Dealer Spotlight: Liquid HiFi

By Steve Greene

As audio enthusiasts, we have all probably had a favorite audio store during our youth that had a marked, or even profound, influence on our future endeavors, whether personal or business related.  For Ron Buffington of Liquid HiFi that store was Progressive Audio in Columbus, Ohio.  Progressive Audio treated potential clients with unbridled enthusiasm and respect, regardless of whether that person was a well-heeled audiophile, or an aspiring young student. Ron Buffington loved visiting that store frequently and he never forgot the passion that they had for audio and music.  Today, Ron is the proud owner of Liquid HiFi in Charlotte, NC, where he emulates the spirit of Progressive Audio—helping client’s to get more out of their music systems by adding his own expertise.

A unique mix of experience allows Liquid HiFi to offer systems that make the toes tap and communicate the emotion of the music.  Before owning a high-end audio salon, Ron delved into many arenas of the hifi industry, including speaker building, measurement and acoustics. He even won a world championship in the International Auto Sound Challenge Association’s world finals in 1996.  The combination of these vast and unique audio endeavors allows Liquid HiFi to deliver a truly special experience to their valued clients!

In 2008, Ron’s passion for high-end home audio led to the formation of Liquid HiFi in Charlotte, North Carolina. Ron imparts a personal approach with his clients, conducting in-home demonstrations of Nordost products, including Sort Kones, QKORE Ground Units and Nordost cable comparisons. When you work with Ron, he designs a system that maximizes the quality of sound, so that your favorite music is reproduced both accurately and musically. He also utilizes a Real Time Analyzer, to ensure that your listening room becomes a big part of the design equation. This approach has allowed Ron to develop long term relationships with his customers, who appreciate his dedication to their unique audio needs and budget.

Ron proudly and vehemently states that he only sells products that he would listen to in his own home. Products must pass that listening test before he will even consider offering them for sale to his valued clients. Some products that have met that criteria for Ron include Dynaudio, Focal, Moon by SimAudio, Jeff Rowland Design Group, Marten Design, Esoteric Grandioso and, of course, Nordost!

Liquid HiFi is authorized for, and can demonstrate, all Nordost product categories including Reference (Valhalla 2) and Supreme Reference (Odin 2)! We are very proud to have Liquid HiFi as an esteemed member of our family of superior authorized retailers. To schedule a visit with Ron, simply visit his website (www.liquidhifi.com) and give him a call. You won’t regret it! He has a dynamic, state of the art showroom with multiple systems set up for your listening pleasure. Plus, he will even come to visit you in your own listening room so that he can fully analyze and formulate his recommendations to make your system even more enjoyable and musical!

Radar Audio Hosts Exclusive Audio Show in Macau

We are very lucky to have the support of wonderful dealers and distributors from around the world. In order to spread the word, and the advantages, of using Nordost in a sound system, our dealers host specialized events for their customers to hear, first hand, the improvements that optimizing the cables and power products used in a hifi system can really make. Last month, Radar Audio, our standout distributor in Hong Kong, held one such event in Macau. This exclusive audio event, featured top-tier brands including PS Audio, dCS, Magico, Constellation Audio, Hifi Stay, roon, and, of course, Nordost. Thank you to Radar for putting on a great show, and for always representing Nordost so well!

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The Absolute Sound reviews Nordost Sort Systems

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In this month’s issue of The Absolute Sound, Kirk Midtskog had some great things to say about our Sort System— Nordost’s range of resonance control devices. After hearing the entire line of Sort products integrated into his sound system, he noticed some clear improvements: “Clean, coherent, calm. The background noise was, indeed, reduced all around. Musicians’ positions in space and the overall sonic envelope were fleshed out very well.” In his article, Nordost’s Sort Isolation System—A Trio of Options, Midtskog gives a detailed description of each of our resonance control solutions. Here are a few snippets from his article to see how each of our products fared:

Sort Kone

“All three [Sort Kones] reduced haze between images and throughout the larger soundscape. They helped contribute to a more organized and less splashy presentation… As a result, images were more focused and the whole listening experience became more relaxed and involving.”

Sort Füt

“The Sort Füt helped ratchet up my system’s performance across the board without any apparent downsides.”

Sort Lift

” …Sort Lift reduced background noise and enhanced upper-frequency information… [it] also notably increased liveliness, transient crispness, and overall musicality and resolution.”

Kirk’s review is now available to read here: Nordost’s Sort Isolation System—A Trio of Options

You can find this review and more great Nordost reviews on our Reviews Page.

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High End 2018 in Munich – Recap

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This year at the High End show in Munich, we decided to impress show-goers with a truly world class sound system. This remarkable system featured Raidho D4.1 loudspeakers, components by Simaudio, including an imposing pair of Moon 888 Power Amplifiers, a VPI Avenger reference turntable (made with Nordost’s internal tonearm wire), Nordost Sort System  resonance control devices, QRT power products, which highlighted our QKRORE Ground Units, and, of course, a full loom of Supreme Reference, Odin 2 cables. In addition to demonstrations, we had the opportunity to celebrate our recent collaboration with Newvelle Records by spinning a selection of LPs from their first two seasons of box sets! It’s always a joy to go to Munich to share the outstanding sound our products are capable of producing with our friends and partners from around the world. We also want to say a special “thank you” to our fellow manufacturers who chose to showcase their products using Nordost cables! If you weren’t able to make it to Germany this year, here are some pictures from High End 2018 to enjoy at home.


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Raidho’s room was easily one of the best sounding rooms at the show.  They used a full loom of our Valhalla 2 cables!

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KEF used our Blue Heaven cables with Hegel components:

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Octave had their system outfitted with Tyr 2 and QRT:IMG_4725


Simaudio’s system was decked out with Heimdall 2 cables:IMG_4744IMG_4745IMG_4748IMG_4749


Elixir used a variety of Nordost cables to show off their assortment of products:IMG_4739 IMG_4740

Reintroducing the SuperFlatline Speaker Cable

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The SuperFlatline Speaker Cable is a true Nordost classic. It was one of the original cable options that put Nordost on the map. Easily distinguishable by its trademark, flat design, SuperFlatline quickly became known throughout the industry as one of the most respected high end speaker cables, offering an unmatched performance level at its price point. This highly sought after product offers detail, clarity, and purity throughout the whole frequency spectrum, from subsonic lows to ultrasonic highs. Now, due to popular demand, Nordost’s SuperFlatline cable is back!

Nordost’s SuperFlatline Speaker Cable consists of 16, 23 AWG, solid core, flat, rectangular copper conductors. The flat geometry of this cable not only increases signal transfer speed, but also makes it possible to run lengths under carpets for easy and discreet installation. Additionally, SuperFlatline employs an innovative precision FEP extrusion process, which lowers the capacitance and increases the bandwidth of the cable dramatically, enhancing accuracy in signal transfer.

This high quality, versatile cable can be used in any system. When used in a shotgun configuration, the SuperFlatline is capable of carrying high currents (up to 12.5 amps at 300 volts) while its 16 conductors can easily facilitate bi-wiring or bi-amping. 

Designed and manufactured entirely in the USA, the SuperFlatline Speaker Cable guarantees the precision of craftsmanship required to produce the uncolored, unfiltered accuracy of sound that is synonymous with Nordost.

The Absolute Sound reviews the Nordost QKORE

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In this month’s issue of The Absolute Sound, you will find yet another stellar review of our QKORE Ground Units. In his article, Nordost QKORE Grounding System: Silence is Golden, Jacob Heilbrunn is absolutely taken with our product, calling the QKORE “the most potent power product” that he has ever experienced. His enthusiasm is further captured in the closing paragraph of his review:

 “…the elegance, the poignancy, the fragility of a musical line is what conveys the emotion at the heart of music. This is what the Nordost QKORE does so well. I can’t help thinking that to achieve the most from any high-end stereo Nordost QKORE is an essential product to consider”

Jacob’s QKORE review is now available to read here: Nordost QKORE Grounding System: Silence is Golden

You can find this review and more great Nordost reviews on our Reviews Page.

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EastSide Sound recording studio installs Nordost cables! [WATCH]

Nordost cables make a difference. Thanks to the series of live product demonstrations and cable comparisons performed worldwide at trade shows and dealer events, many hifi enthusiasts have had the opportunity to hear this difference for themselves — not to mention the improvements that people experience when introducing Nordost products into their own homes! However, there is one aspect of the chain that people have not been able to hear Nordost’s impact on — the musical recordings themselves.

A few years ago, Nordost launched its first range of pro audio cables, Ax Angel. Ax Angel studio recording cables are constructed using the same design philosophy and technology as our hifi audio cables, allowing musicians and recording engineers to fully capture music in its original state. This is what the Chief Engineer at EastSide Sound, Marc Urselli discovered when we initially installed Nordost cables in his recording studio, in order to record Newvelle Records’ fourth season. Once the cables were in place, we thought it would be fun for Marc to conduct an A/B test to hear the difference for himself. As a five-time nominated and three-time Grammy Award winning recording and mixing engineer, we wanted to hear his expert opinion.

I was initially skeptical about the fact that an audio cable might be able to make more than just a subtle difference in sound. When I got to test these cables I was blown away by how big the difference actually was. It wasn’t just a subtle thing that only an audio engineer or an audiophile would hear, but a clear improvement in the overall frequency response of the signal that EVERYONE can hear! Sound comes through without restriction, in its full, bold, rich and wide original state! More low end, more high end and more of EVERYTHING!  – Marc Urselli

Nordost has captured the installation and A/B test on video, for you to enjoy: