Grounding Your Hifi Audio System: “Natural” vs “Artificial” Ground

When “grounding” an audio system, the first thing that audiophiles do is make sure that their AC receptacles are in order. This is a great first step! It is vitally important that the AC line and load wires on all receptacles being used in your hifi system are correctly phased and properly grounded.

However, if you really want to address earth ground, the most practical and worthwhile upgrade is to install a dedicated circuit for your audio system. This step should be followed by installing a separate, external ground path to an external ground rod. Each of these solutions provides a path out for unwanted, “spurious” currents that circulate through the circuit and add noise to the system. Unfortunately, these measures ONLY address earth ground, and don’t do a thing to address signal ground. 

Signal ground becomes a problem whenever currents are generated during transmissions between devices in a system as a result of the small differences of potentials in those components. In order to rectify the background noise and loss of low-level details caused by contaminants on the signal ground, you need to elicit the help of an artificial ground. An artificial ground is a sink of impedance lower than the house earth ground, so that high-frequency noise on the signal ground will drain away, leaving a clean reference behind. 

Signal ground can be addressed two ways. The first option is to use an extremely low-impedance cable to connect the signal ground access point on the termination to the ground pin of an unused wall socket. However, the second option is far more versatile – a passive grounding box. Nordost’s answers to artificial ground are their QKORE Ground Units, a series of parallel grounding devices which can either separately provide an artificial “clean” earth for the primary side of the power supply (earth ground) with the QKORE1, and the secondary side (signal ground) with the QKORE3, or can address both the signal and earth ground together with the QKORE6! 

For more information about grounding your audio system, download The Importance of Electrical Grounding in Audio Systems.

Nordost Playlist – May 2021

Nordost is happy that we can continue to make our time spent at home a little more enjoyable 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 May.


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


  1. Mama Papa—La Force—La Force     
  2. Get It Right—Aretha Franklin—Get It Right
  3. Baby Baby Baby—Make the Girl Dance—Baby Baby Baby
  4. Past Lives—BØRNS—Dopamine 
  5. It Never Entered My Mind—Miles Davis Quintet—Workin’
  6. Woncha Come On Home—Joan Armatrading—Show Some Emotion 
  7. All That Heaven Allows—Mercury Girls—Ariana 
  8. The Times They Are A Changing—The Brothers And Sisters—Dylan’s Gospel
  9. Glasshouses—Maribou State—Kingdoms In Colour 
  10. Posing In Bondage—Japanese Breakfast—Jubilee

Introducing Nordost’s New Odin 2 Tonearm Cable +

Audiophiles who have an appreciation for classic, two-channel systems understand the importance of a high-end tonearm cable. The tonearm cable is the most critical and sensitive cable in any vinyl-sourced system. This is especially true in revealing reference systems. The delicate signals carried from the phono cartridge to the phono stage demand that every aspect of the cable’s design, material, and construction be entirely optimized for its application. The newly released Odin 2 Tonearm Cable + is the perfect solution for such critical demands.

Nordost’s Odin 2 Tonearm Cable + consists of four, silver-plated, solid core 99.999999% OFC conductors, wrapped in a patented Dual Mono-Filament suspension. This innovative and proprietary design element dramatically increases signal speed and reduces insulation contact by 85%. The conductors are then individually shielded using Nordost’s unique Total Signal Control (TSC) technology, allowing for 100% coverage and protection from external pollution (such as RFI and EFI) and crosstalk. 

The largest hurdle to overcome in tonearm construction is noise. Providing proper and complete grounding has historically been a challenging feat. Nordost’s O2 Tonearm Cable + easily tackles this problem with a two-prong approach. Firstly, Nordost’s new tonearm cable runs a fully isolated bond ground throughout the cable. When needed, this bond ground connects the chassis of the turntable and phono-stage, creating a secure, low noise connection between the two components. The second method is a versatile solution, ensuring that Nordost’s tonearm cable will be able to address any grounding need, regardless of the unique construction of the components in the sound system. Each Odin 2 Tonearm Cable + will include two, detachable, silver-plated ground whips, complete with Dual Mono-Filament technology and TSC shielding. When needed, these ground whips connect to the shielding of the tonearm cable, totally eliminating any noise that could be introduced during signal transfer. 

As with all cables in our Supreme Reference Range, the Odin 2 Tonearm Cable + is measured to precise mechanically tuned lengths, a technique that reduces internal microphony and high-frequency impedance resonances. The O2 Tonearm Cable + is then terminated with Nordost’s proprietary HOLO:PLUG® Straight or 90º low-mass 5-pin Din, RCA, or XLR connectors, which have been specifically designed to accommodate the cable’s unique design.

The Odin 2 Tonearm Cable + is handmade in the USA, offering the highest level of production quality and precision, which is necessary when manufacturing the most crucial signal cable in a sound system. Nordost’s Supreme Reference-level tonearm cable eliminates noise and provides the low levels of capacitance needed to maintain the integrity of such fragile signals, ensuring a truly sublime vinyl listening experience.


SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Insulation: High purity extruded Fluorinated Ethylene Propylene (FEP) 
  • Conductors: 4 x 23 AWG 
  • Construction: Mechanically tuned lay, length and Dual Mono-Filament, TSC design  
  • Material: Silver plated 99.999999% OFC Solid Core 
  • Bond Wire / Grounding Whips: 23 AWG silver-plated, Solid Core OFC, Dual Mono-Filament design. 
  • Capacitance: RCA: 9.75pF/ft  XLR: 23.5pF/ft  
  • Inductance: RCA: 0.11µH/ft  XLR: 0.0611µH/ft  
  • Overall Shield Coverage: 100% Individually shielded
  • Velocity of Propagation: 90%
  • Termination: HOLO:PLUG® gold-plated Straight or 90० low-mass 5-pin Din, RCA, or XLR connectors.  Whips and bond wire terminated with gold-plated 5mm spades.

Newvelle Live – Incredible artists. Live in studio.

After a year of having to suffer without live music, our friends at Newvelle Records have found a solution: Newvelle Live. Newvelle is giving music lovers around the world a front row seat to live, jazz concerts, brought to you from their favorite recording studio, East Side Sound! This is a wonderful opportunity to join in on a unique experience, enjoy world-class performances, and support talented artists. 
 
Continue reading to find out all of the details you need to participate in these fantastic events. 


What is Newvelle Live?

Every week in April 2021, Newvelle invites you to experience live concerts at our favorite studio – East Side Sound – where we’ve recorded each of our first five seasons. But for the first time, you’ll have a chance to see Newvelle artists perform, streaming to wherever you are in the world.

With live performances all but eliminated due to the pandemic, Newvelle Live gives you a novel way to support artists and institutions who are preserving the legacy of jazz for a new generation. Anyone can join. All we ask is that you consider making a contribution to support the musicians performing every Friday in April. Contributions will be divided equally among the 12 artists performing throughout the series.

Newvelle, thanks to the generous support of musician and entrepreneur Alex Rigopolous, covers the entire overhead for producing and recording this series. So all of the money that is donated for this streaming series goes straight to the musicians.

This series is designed as a radical experiment: one that explores the relationship between musician and fan, and an attempt to strengthen our communities and support musicians at a critical time.

As society slowly starts to spin forward again, we are given a chance to reassess how we value music.


John Patitucci, Yotam Silberstein and Roggerio Bocato: April 9
Tim Berne and Gregg Belisle-Chi: April 16
Rufus Reid and Sullivan Fortner: April 23

Carmen Staff and Allison Miller:  April 30

www.newvelle-records.com


Nordost Playlist – April 2021

Nordost is happy that we can continue to make our time spent at home a little more enjoyable 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 April.


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


  1. FREEDOM—Jon Batiste—WE ARE 
  2. Pay Your Way In Pain—St. Vincent—Pay Your Way In Pain 
  3. It Might as Well Be Spring—Nina Simone—Portrait 
  4. À l’ammoniaque / Mon dieu—La Zarra—À l’ammoniaque / Mon dieu
  5. Days Like This—Van Morrison—Days Like This
  6. Take Me to the Good Times—The Suffers—Take Me to the Good Times 
  7. Colors—Black Pumas—Black Pumas 
  8. Under Pressure—Karen O, Willie Nelson—Under Pressure
  9. The Steps—HAIM—Women In Music Pt. III
  10. Waiting for the Sun—The Doors—Morrison Hotel 

Hi-Fi Choice Reviews Norse 2 Bi-Wire Jumpers

We are very happy to announce that our Norse 2 Bi-Wire Jumpers have joined the ranks of “Hi-Fi Choice Recommended” products! Neville Roberts was very pleased with Nordost’s solution for bi-wireable loudspeakers, both for hifi-lovers with a bi-wire/bi-amp set-up who don’t want to invest in two separate sets of loudspeaker cables, as well as for system-owners who are using bi-wire loudspeakers along with single-output amplifiers. This efficient, practical, and effective solution yields massive sonic improvements by replacing the standard, metal plates and generic wires supplied with most bi-wire loudspeakers.

“The Norse 2 [Bi-Wire Jumper]…matches its task very well, offering all the refinement you would expect from a set of high-end cables and so is a sensible upgrade to the metal links fitted to so many speakers.” — Neville Roberts, Hi-Fi Choice 

To decide if you should be using our Norse 2 Bi-Wire Jumpers in your own system, and for tips on how to configure jumpers with your loudspeakers, download our Bi-Wire Jumpers guide, today! 


You can now read Hi-Fi Choice’s review here: Nordost Norse 2 Bi-Wire Jumpers

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


Introducing Nordost’s New Valhalla 2 Ethernet Cable

High end, two-channel audio systems have gone through a major transformation over the past decade. Systems that were once driven exclusively by vinyl and CDs are now largely run by content stored on NAS drives and servers. In order to ensure that audiophiles can enjoy the ease of streaming music without having to concede the fidelity that they deserve, it is necessary to employ an Ethernet cable worthy of facilitating that transfer. Nordost’s Valhalla 2 Ethernet Cable allows music lovers to fully incorporate digital music storage and streaming into their reference audio systems, while maintaining, and even improving upon, their musical performance.

In order to meet the increasing demand for high speed data and increased bandwidth, the Valhalla 2 Ethernet Cable has the advantage of eight, 23 AWG, solid core conductors wrapped in a high density polymer insulation. These annealed conductors are arranged into four twisted pairs before being triple-shielded. Each of these design aspects minimizes skin effect, eliminates crosstalk and EMI (electromagnetic interference), and ensures a high performance network cable, offering far more bandwidth than is needed for the typical data demands of today.

To further distinguish the V2 Ethernet Cable from its competitors, Nordost has implemented its unique mechanical tuning process. By meticulously cutting each conductor at calculated and equal lengths, Nordost reduces internal microphony and high frequency resonance. The precise cut of each conductor, at a length which is determined by the cable’s geometry, material, and application, guarantees the uniform arrival of all signals, dramatically reducing timing errors.

To complete this reference design, the Valhalla 2 Cable is terminated with a completely specialized, gold-plated 8P8C/RJ45 connector, designed to resist ESD (electrostatic discharge) and optimized for mechanical reliability. The resulting cable supports frequencies and transmission speeds that easily meet Category 8 requirements.

The Valhalla 2 Ethernet Cable is designed, manufactured, and terminated in the USA. Each cable is constructed with precision, consistency, and quality fabrication, providing a massive improvement over standard issue, mass-produced, low precision Ethernet cables.

SPECIFICATIONS 

•   8 X 23 AWG Solid Core Conductors
•   Twisted Pair Design
•   Triple-shielded: Screen foil and Dual Braid
•   Mechanically tuned lengths
•   High density polymer insulation
•   Specialized EMI and ESD resistant gold-plated 8P8C/RJ45 connectors
•   Extremely high bandwidth

Nelson Brill Reviews New Jazz Orchestra Performances You Can Listen To At Home

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 recommends some exceptional jazz artists to get an authentic live experience in the comfort of your own home.  


JOYS OF HOME LISTENING: BIG ENSEMBLE JAZZ TAKES CENTER STAGE

By Nelson Brill March 2, 2021

There’s something elemental, grooving and beautiful in the panorama of colors and sounds that flourish in a jazz orchestra performance. When recorded with care and experienced on a high quality home audio system, the kaleidoscope of sounds from a jazz orchestra immerses the listener in a special way. The following are a few delectable new recordings, in audiophile quality sound, that bring the blaze and inspired sweep of big band jazz into joyful focus.

First off is a CD that I reviewed in 2019 and continue to return to for its superb sound and its striding-forth grooves. Intrepid pianist and composer Ellen Rowe leads her stellar all-women Octet on Momentum – Portraits of Women In Motion [Smoking Sleddog Records; www.ellenrowe.com] in performance of originals that combine Rowe’s soulful lyricism with her playful joy. Great examples are the soulful opening “Ain’t I A Woman”, (a slow grooving pageant propelled by Tia Fuller’s leaping alto saxophone, Marion Hayden’s rubbery bass and Melissa Gardiner’s powerful trombone) and the churning gem “R.F.P. (Relentless Forward Progress)” riding on the steady pulse of Allison Miller’s creative percussive engine, her sparkling cymbals precise and light. Other highlights include the swank and swing of “The Soul Keepers” and the grooving pluckiness of “Game, Set and Match” (with Fuller’s alto sax and Ingrid Jensen’s trumpet crisp and funky in their blurting play).

Tia Fuller: montereyjazzfest

Rowe is also interested in exploring the soft incandescent side of her soulful melodies, as on her beautifully flowing “Anthem” (slowly unfurling on Janelle Reichman’s sweet clarinet) and on the stately “The Guardians” propelled on the quiet bombast of Lisa Parrott’s baritone saxophone and Rowe’s twinkling piano (with Miller’s crisp cymbals always in stride). The recording delivers all of the up-front sparkle and layered tactile flow of this big band in confident bold flight.

Dina Regine photo

Another gifted woman composer exploring the rich palette of the jazz orchestra is the incomparable Maria Schneider, whose original music casts a mesmerizing spell in its combination of unkempt beauty, glittering palette and underlying power of its narratives. The superlative “Maria Schneider Orchestra” (“MSO”) is composed of musicians who have been playing with Schneider for years, many of whom are gifted composers, teachers and band leaders in their own endeavors.

Frank Kimbrough- New York Times

One of the MSO’s original members was the brilliant pianist, teacher and composer, Frank Kimbrough, whose sudden recent passing was a great loss to the jazz community. Kimbrough has a rich discography of his own that is worth exploring. For instance, Kimbrough was the inspired force behind one of my favorite LP labels, Newvelle Records, (check out their full subscription series catalogue at: www.newvellerecords.com) and was the first artist to record on Newvelle Records with his glowing 2015 recording, Meantime.

Another wonderful recording of Kimbrough’s is his camaraderie with the spirited tenor saxophonist, Noah Preminger, on Preminger’s quietly intrepid 2011 CD, Before The Rain [Palmetto Records; www.noahpreminger.com]. On this stellar recording, take a listen to the entangled beauty of Preminger’s lustrous breathy sax with Kimbrough’s soft punctuated rambles on his piano, accompanied by an ace rhythm section of drummer Matt Wilson and bassist John Hebert. Preminger’s burly high calls and creative tumbles nestle beautifully within Kimbrough’s dulcet piano explorations as they explore together the colorful windswept territory of Preminger’s vital, slow-brewing ballads.

I can also recall in my mind’s eye Kimbrough’s fantastic performance as a member of the MSO in their reveling concert held on a glorious summer night at Ozawa Hall at Tanglewood (www.tanglewood.org) a few years ago. On this special night, Schneider conducted the MSO in inspired fashion in performance of selections from their boundless recording, The Thompson Fields [ArtistShare; www.artistshare.com], still a favorite of mine in Schneider’s oeuvre. I can still recall the sound of Kimbrough’s piano twinkling in the rear of Ozawa Hall with his notes dancing in inventive dash and sunniness into the quicksilver acoustic of that glorious space.

Schneider and the MSO have now released a new 2- CD set of music, Data Lords, [ArtistShare; available exclusively at www.mariaschneider.com] and luckily for us, this new recording was produced before Kimbrough’s passing so we still get the chance to relish hearing Kimbrough’s artistry with his compatriots in the MSO. Data Lords, like its predecessor, The Thompson Fields, is a beautifully conceived package. Its striking graphic design is by Cheri Dorr; its fascinating artwork (prints of glowing leafs made from acrylic and gouache on masonite) is by artist Aaron Horkey and its inviting session photography is by photographer Briene Lermitte. The entire physical package is a joy to handle and explore, testament to the great craft and care given to this ArtistShare project.

The music of Data Lords is another dynamic work of art from the intrepid Schneider and the gifted musicians of her simpatico MSO. Schneider is focused on the nuances of her themes (our “Digital World” on CD #1 and “Our Natural World” on CD #2) where one might hear upbeat melodies (forging human connection and uplift) in the same measures as more prickly themes and forces that inhabit the beautiful tumult of her music.

Wall Street Journal

For instance, on the “Digital World” side, Schneider composes “A World Lost” with lines of soulful, poignant beauty rising and falling against slow, unfolding mysterious forces of vastness and struggle, building upon Kimbrough’s soft repeating piano figures, Jay Anderson’s deep arco bass, Ben Monder’s electric guitar (like streaks across a night sky) and Rich Perry’s arching tenor sax. All this tension (between contrasting forces of beauty, human potential and struggle) are also embedded in the rambunctious pounces of Schneider’s “Don’t Be Evil,” a defiant indictment of corporate overlords (as Schneider discusses in compelling linear notes) with its spiraling Ryan Keberle trombone solo; Monder’s sweeping angular guitar spread (over a contorted version of “Taps”) accompanied by stomping brass in cacophonous up-roar. “Sputnik” is laced with the eerie beauty and vastness of space with the kinetic Scott Robinson carousing and fluttering deep on his inventive baritone sax, its path lit by the MSO rich brass choruses and Jonathan Blake’s sparkling cymbals. The title piece concludes the first disc in another blaze of colors slippery between the possibilities of human advance and connection (in the unspooling heights of Dave Pietro’s burning alto solo), and a vision of a robotic- dominated future portrayed by Mike Rodriguez’s acerbic trumpet tinged with electronic effects.

Schneider’s vision of our “Natural World” (on disc #2) also gushes with vital forces. On “Sanzenin”, the sparks of Gary Versace’s lithe accordion flow through a shimmering landscape of woodwind and brass colors (to paint Schneider’s leisurely stroll through a masterful Japanese garden) and on “Look Up”, Marshall Gilkes’ golden trombone leaps and falls (amongst brass choruses and Blake’s cymbal and snare flings) to offer beautiful lyrical wonderings inspired by Schneider’s own joys in taking time to stroll and observe Nature. Schneider’s pulsating landscape of colors on “Look Up” and “Braided Together”, a beautiful little ode (floating on the pulses of Kimbrough’s player piano and Pietro’s glowing sax) to the inspired writings of Pulitzer Prize winning poet, Ted Kooser, all remind me too of the indelible images of Nature by the writer Annie Dillard, from her eloquent classic, Pilgrim At Tinker Creek [Harpers Press, 1974). At one point, Dillard describes how she sees “the tree with the lights in it” – revealing the complexity and beauty of Nature all around us when we take the time to stop and look. Schneider’s “Look Up” and her “Bluebird” (another swirling colorful ode to birdwatchers and preservers of Nature everywhere buoyed by Steve Wilson’s shining, romping alto sax), is on a similar quest to get us to stop, look, refresh and contemplate.

Donny McCaslin – KNEX.org

Sitting at the final turn of Data Lords is “The Sun Waited For Me”, a slow- brewing marvel grounded in the MSO’s regal brass power flowing underneath the passion of Gilkes’ trombone and Donny McCaslin’s charging tenor sax. I have had the good fortune of catching McCaslin at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston (“NEC”) in celebration of his music with the students of the NEC Jazz Orchestra and it is always a joy to hear his creative solo inventions. Here, on “The Sun,” McCastlin gifts us with his swanking R&B and bluesy side with his tenor sax pumping and soaring in dance with Schneider and her vital MSO – upwards and onwards in sunny glory.

Saxophonists Steve Wilson and Dave Pietro, both long time members of the MSO, have also jumped on board to contribute their impeccable swinging presences to another new big ensemble recording, one that shines with the grooving delights of classic big band jazz. On his new 2-disc recording, New Life [Jazz House Records;], legendary guitarist Peter Leitch leads the Peter Leitch New Life Orchestra in performance of originals and standards in rollicking, high-energy fashion. The recording quality here is superb with particular kudos to the recording team for ensnaring all the colors of a sprawling big ensemble (spread on a nicely lateral and impressively deep soundstage), with each player imaged and positioned in their own natural space and air. All instruments have a vivid, dynamic presence on this recording with excellent tactile detail and crisp timbres (with the only exception being Peter Zak’s twinkling piano set back a bit too distant to hear his instrument’s full weight and body).

Leitch’s originals teem with fresh combinations of sounds and colors. He has this great feel in his music to allow the space and time for his intrepid musicians to stretch out and frolic in each other’s company. For instance, if you are into trombone glory, look no further than Leitch’s soulful “Back Story”, combining the unique colors of bass trombone, (plied in growling glory by Max Siegel- testing your loudspeaker’s woofers at every glorious plunge!) with Matt Haviland’s regal trombone in a stirring, bluesy promenade. Other great highlights are the two grooving Leitch originals that launch each set, “Mood for Max (For Dr. Maxim Kreditor)” and “Exhilaration”, both frolicking with loose and grooving solos from Wilson’s cascading alto sax; Zak on his nimble, expressive keys and Duane Eubanks on crisp, soaring trumpet (contrasted nicely with the mellow hues of Bill Mobley’s flugelhorn).

Duane Eubanks -Allaboutjazz.com

Leitch also brings an agile compositional touch to his creative ballads. For instance, he blends the soft lilt of Tim Harrison’s flute with deep brass choruses and an inspired soprano sax solo from Wilson to propel the surging and beautiful ballad, “Elevanses.” Leitch’s “Long Walk Home” is the capstone highlight to this generous set of music. Its laid-back jam session feel gives everyone a chance to step out and soar, aided by the supple and pungent bass work of Yoshi Waki (whose lines are beautifully recorded here without compression), and the anchored-down foundation of drummer Joe Strasser’s creative stick work. This is one gushing joy ride of big band boogie and buoyant companionship swinging under Leitch’s inspired baton.

And, speaking of a gush of joy, lets end this big band home listening session with a boisterous, brilliant big band treat from another of our jazz treasures, bassist extraordinaire Christian McBride, leading his gleeful Big Band on their rollicking new recording, For Jimmy, Wes and Oliver [Mack Avenue Records; www.mackavenue.com].

Christian McBride: observer.com

Similar to Leitch’s New Life recording, McBride also focuses on placing a small core of players within the context of a big band sound to explore all the glowing funk and grooves in this rich chemistry. Joining McBride’s prodigious bass in his small core of players is the swashbuckling organ of Joey DeFrancesco, the intrepid, spinning guitar of Mark Whitfield and the sparkling drums of Quincy Phillips. This zestful quartet perform alone on a few swanking numbers on this new disc, including a breezy version of Freddie Hubbard’s “Up Jumped Spring” (lightly swinging on Phillips upward swishes of brushes on his tactile snare) and on “Don Is”, a funk fest on the rubbery pulses of a nimble McBride bass solo and DeFrancesco organ runs filled with his patented funky organ quips and bluesy, slippery holds.

joeydefrancesco.com

On all these impeccably funky tunes, Whitfield and DeFrancesco swing with irresistible force. I was fortunate to catch Whitfield a few years ago performing at the Berklee Beantown Jazz Festival in Boston and I still recall him standing off demurely to one side of the street stage (joining his son, the dynamic pianist, Davis Whitfield) and captivating the crowd with the leaps of his guitar: spidery yet powerful, slippery and sparkly – all in the inventive service of swing.

Mark Whitfield – democratandchronical.com

The positive vibes and boundless solos continue on For Jimmy, Wes and Oliver when this zestful core of players meet up with the rest of the stellar Big Band in collective, fun-filled flights. Here’s the deeply pulsating “Medgar Evers’ Blues”, the quick cannonball shots of Miles Davis’ “Milestones” and the gutsy trombone-launched “Pie Blues” – a special highlight that ends the disc with everyone in the band, (including a pumping Carl Maraghi on his brawny baritone sax aided by sharp trombone choruses) scorch the blues in slow-brewing delight. For Jimmy, Wes and Oliver is all about the blues, the dance, the funk –in the hands of a razor-sharp big band primed for adventure and joy.

Quincy Phillips – Carnegiehall.com

You can read more of Nelson’s concert reviews at www.bostonconcertreviews.com.


Nordost Playlist – March 2021

Nordost is happy that we can continue to make our time spent at home a little more enjoyable 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 March

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is playlist_february_2021.png

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


  1. Ideal Woman—Celeste—Not Your Muse (Deluxe) 
  2. I Walk on Guilded Splinters—Dr. John—Gris Gris
  3. You You You You You—The 6ths, Katharine Whalen—Hyacinths and Thistles 
  4. Chan Chan—Buena Vista Social Club—Buena Vista Social Club 
  5. I’ll Be Your Mirror—The Velvet Underground—The Velvet Underground & Nico 45th Anniversary 
  6. Fools Rush In (Where Angels Fear To Tread)—Bow Wow Wow—Girl Bites Dog 
  7. That’s Life—Shirley Bassey—Let Me Sing and I’m Happy 
  8. Digital Love—Daft Punk—Discovery
  9. Favor—Julien Baker—Little Oblivions
  10. You Make Me Feel So Young—Willie Nelson—That’s Life

What to Expect From a QRT Demonstration

If you’ve yet to explore Nordosts QRT products, now’s the time! QRT Power Products and Audio Enhancers are specifically designed to improve your audio system by alleviating the poor-quality AC and DC power on your sensitive electronics, providing everything form proper grounding to synchronizing the electromechanical resonances of your components. Like all Nordost products, QRT solutions are easy to demonstrate in any system and the performance improvements that they bring to your music are immediate and unmistakable. However, we recognize that for some people, sitting in on a demonstration can be intimidating. Often times, listeners appreciate knowing what to listen for when they sit down to audition a product. 

While it may be impossible to pinpoint the exact effect that each QRT product will have on your system, (due to the fact that each system is different based on the components that its comprised of, and how those components interact with each other) we still want you to have an idea of what to expect. To do that, we have listed some of the sonic effects that you can expect to hear when introducing each QRT product into your sound system! 

What to listen for when auditioning the … 


QBASE AC Distribution (QB8/QB6/QB4)

  • Develops the soundstage, imparting 3D quality to imaging
  • Tonal richness and depth in the music becomes more noticeable
  • A quieter background allows layers of resolution and details to come to the forefront of performance
  • Brings a sense of neutrality to the system, allowing the sonic signature of your components to shine

QKORE Ground Unit (QKORE1/QKORE3/QKORE6)

  • Strips noise from the system, imparting a blacker background, which allows you to appreciate details and nuances in the music
  • Improves pacing, timing coherence, and natural decays in the music
  • Extends the soundstage, presenting a livelier presentation with stronger image outlines
  • Improves the accuracies in both the timbral and bass region, opening up the entire dynamic range

QPOINT Resonance Synchronizer

  • Enhances the musical organization, focus, and coherence 
  • The two modes of operation emphasize slightly different aspects of the musical reproduction 
  • Introduces a controlled sense of dynamic freedom and force to the sound 
  • Allows the natural quality of the instruments to shine through, as well as vocal separation and three-dimensionality

QSOURCE Linear Power Supply 

  • Dramatically lowers the background noise 
  • Any device it powers will produce a much wider/deeper soundstage with more clarity, ambience and resolution
  • Music reproduction has more dynamic range and is more nuanced 

QVIBE AC Line Harmonizer (QV2) 

  • Increases aspects of depth, realism, and spacing in the music
  • Lowers the perceived background noise
  • Smooths sibilants in the playback

QKOIL AC Enhancer (QK1) 

  • Increases clarity of imaging, sharpness, depth, and focus 
  • Improves elements of speed and timing in the music 
  • Lowers the noise floor 

Contact your local dealer to set up an in-store or at-home demo of our QRT products today!