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!
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:
“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.”
“The Sort Füt helped ratchet up my system’s performance across the board without any apparent downsides.”
” …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.
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.
Raidho’s room was easily one of the best sounding rooms at the show. They used a full loom of our Valhalla 2 cables!
KEF used our Blue Heaven cables with Hegel components:
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.
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.
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:
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.
Here are some of the songs that we will have on rotation this May.
- Deathless—Ibeyi, Kamasi Washington—Ash
- Righteously—Anna Ash—Righteously
- In My Life—Chie Ayado—Best II
- Wedding Song—Anaïs Mitchell, Justin Vernon—Hadestown
- Djougou Toro—Volta Jazz—Bobo Yéyé : Belle Époque
- Demolition Man—Def Leppard—Euphoria
- No Ordinary Love—Sade—Love Deluxe
- Catch My Breath—Confidence Man—Confident Music For Confident People
- Carry On—Wyclef Jean, Emili Sande—Carnival III: The Fall and Rise of a Refugee
- Talking Straight—Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever—Talking Straight
Recording is about to begin on Newvelle Records’ fourth season, and this time…they are using Nordost cables! Newvelle Records is an exciting new company that produces original, high quality, vinyl recordings, which are distributed as seasonal subscriptions. The collaboration between Nordost and Newvelle Records, announced in December 2017, is a natural fit, joining two companies whose love of music drove them to go to great lengths in order to achieve the same goal: high fidelity sound. Nordost cables have set up permanent residency in Manhattan-based recording studio, EastSide Sound, and are burned-in and ready to capture some great jazz. Newvelle’s fourth season will feature artists such as Steve Cardenas, Lionel Loueke, Bill Frisell, Skúli Sverrisson, Francisco Mela, Jason Palmer, Andrew Zimmerman, Dave Douglas, Kevin Hays, and Thomas Morgan.
In celebration of our collaboration and the commencement of their fourth season, Newvelle Records is offering an exclusive gift: For every box set purchased, customers will receive a complementary pressing of Piano Noir!
To receive your free copy of Piano Noir, shop for your box set HERE and enter promo code “Nordost” at checkout.
Axpona was a tremendous success! Nordost cables were featured in eight rooms throughout the show. Nordost fans were happy to see we had everything on display this year, from our introductory Leif cables, to our Supreme Reference, Odin 2 range. We want to give a big thank you to all of our industry friends, CH Precision, Raidho, Nola Speakers, Cambridge Audio, Gershman Acoustics, Sonner Audio, and especially our fantastic Chicago-based dealer, Holm Audio, for all of the wonderful support. For those of you who didn’t get a chance to hear these spectacular systems in person, we hope you enjoy some pictures from this great event!
Product specialist, Mike Marko, manning the sales table and teaching some interested customers about Nordost technology:
Nordost was showcasing Newvelle Records who are using Nordost cables to record their upcoming fourth season of LPs:
CH Precision used our Valhalla 2 Power Cords and QRT power products:
Cambridge Audio chose to use our Heimdall 2 and Frey 2 cables to debut their new Edge Series:
The Raidho room sounded fantastic with our Valhalla 2 series:
Sonner audio used a variety of Norse 2 cables:
Gershman Acoustics used Valhalla 2 and Tyr 2 with their VPI Titan turntable:
Nola equipped their system with Odin 2 and QRT power products:
Mike Holm was spinning Newvelle Records in one room, and used our Leif and Norse 2 cables (including our Heimdall 2 4K UHD Cable) to enhance his home theater system in another:
By Mike Marko
No matter what kind of an audio system you have, be it state-of-the-art two channel or entry level, there are some basic system set-up and maintenance techniques that can significantly enhance your listening pleasure. Some of these common sense improvements are easier to implement than others, but by not paying attention to these basic system tweaks, you’ll never coax the best performance out of the components you already own. In no particular order, here are 10 of the most useful tweaks you can make to get your system sounding its best:
1) Level All Components
Make sure your loudspeakers and electrical components are as level as possible. Be precise. Stability is critical to performance too— it makes a big difference! It is vital to make sure your speakers are stable and not rocking on their stands or feet.
2) Proper Listening Position
Where you sit in the room is very important in relation to your speakers and room boundaries. Stereo imaging and frequency response can be greatly affected if this detail is not considered. Normally, it is best to position your listening chair away from room boundaries. Too close to the back wall can result in boomy bass, but be careful, placing your chair two-thirds back from the front wall can make the system thin and unnatural. Make sure to try a few locations to determine what’s best for your unique space.
3) Reduce Electrical Static Charges
Depending on the season and your location, static charge build-up on components, cables, carpets, and speakers can be a real problem. Both static charges from components, using digital circuitry that scrambles their microprocessors, and cables, attracting dust and dirt that affects their signal transfer, need to be eliminated for good performance. Nordost’s Eco 3X is an effective tool to remove static build up.
4) Speaker Selection and Placement
If you’re playing dubstep at club levels in a large room but are using small, stand-mount speakers, you’re going to be an unhappy camper. Conversely, large floor standers in a tiny room will be just as problematic. Properly positioning your speakers, relative to walls, your listening chair, and other objects in your room, will be critical to your listening experience. Professional help from a trusted dealer can help you optimize your set-up with these variables in mind. For more information, take a look at at our “Speaker Placement in 5 Easy Steps” blog.
5) Electrical and Mechanical Grounding
One can hardly over emphasize the importance of system grounding. The advantages of a dramatically lowered noise floor have to be heard to be fully understood. Greater dynamic range, and the ability to hear nuances that are often buried in electrical noise, are some of the greatest benefits of proper grounding. If you can’t practically install a local grounding rod into the earth, there are solutions available that can provide an artificial earth ground for your system. Nordost QKORE Ground Units allow you to enjoy proper grounding, hassle free.
6) Keep All Electrical Contact Points Clean
All electrical contacts can be subject to corrosion over time. Keeping these contacts clean and free of oxidation is very important to good signal and power transfer. Periodically cleaning and tightening all the connections in your system, from the AC connection of the wall plug, to the pins on a moving-coil phono cartridge, will improve its performance. CAIG Laboratories’ selection of deoxidizing and cleaning products work very well on these issues.
7) Good Cables
Much has been said about cabling in systems. Some have said that, past the most basic level, improving cables will not make any noticeable difference in your system. You might as well just go wireless, right? Others know that you’ll never get the most from the components you already own without optimizing their connections. Wired systems always outperform their wireless counterparts. Find a good dealer that will lend you some cables to take home and try in your own system, in your own home. Only then will you hear for yourself how important these critical links in your system are.
8) Listening Room Acoustic Treatment
Imagine setting up any audio system in a stark room with no furniture or window coverings. There will be echo and excessive reverb, as well as uneven frequency response and poor stereo imaging, no matter how good the system is. Now imagine a nicely furnished normal room with couches and chairs, framed art on the walls, lamps and drapes, crown moulding, and nice carpeting. The difference in sound will be startling, whether listening to music or simply carrying on a normal conversation. For more problematic rooms, you may need to take the extra step of adding acoustic panels, either diffusive, absorbent, or a combination of the two. Again, your local shop can provide analysis and recommendations for best performance.
9) Resonance Control
In order for your equipment to perform its best, it is important to keep micro-vibrations (or resonance) away from the electrical components on any circuit boards. Certain components, like capacitors, are physical devices whose measured tolerance can vary significantly when subject to vibration. Internally generated vibrations, like those from power transformers or disc drives, and externally generated vibrations, like those from speakers and subwoofers, can both pose problems. Thankfully there are many solutions in the marketplace to address these issues. A good choice is Nordost’s range of Sort products.
10) Clean AC Power
Every bit of power needed to drive your sound system, from the source, to the amplifiers, to the speakers, originates from the AC signal coming from the wall. The quality of that power can quite dramatically affect the ultimate performance of your components. Proper power delivery must reduce the RFI and electromagnetic interference that contaminates the AC signal, without limiting the peak current that components require. Nordost QRT products can be very effective at establishing this balance.
Whenever you see one of us Nordost folks giving demonstrations at HiFi shows all around the world, know that we take all of these points and more into consideration when setting up our systems. Stop by the Nordost demo room next time we’re in town, and let us show you what we mean!
– Mike Marko
For more information about tweaks you can make to improve your system, check out our “Tiny Tweaks, Big Pay-Offs — Simple Adjustments That Make a Difference” download HERE.