2022 Blog Round-Up

What better way to start off the new year than by giving the people what they “liked” most throughout the past year, all in one spot! This 2022 blog round-up includes our posts from last year that received the most engagement, whether that be likes, shares, comments, retweets, Instagram reactions, or however you feel like measuring nowadays. Here are our favorite blogs, back by popular demand!  


Why Lift Your Cables?

Cable lifters do a lot more than just make your system more aesthetically pleasing and help cable manufacturers highlight their cables at tradeshows. This blog explains the purpose of cable lifters and tells you how they can improve your sound!


Why Are Audio Cables Important?

Audio cables can be a controversial subject in the audio community, and people tend to end up in one of two camps: cable believers and cable deniers. So, instead of blindly joining one side or the other, get your questions answered and get informed!


Q & A Cable Auditions

Our product specialists receive questions on a daily basis about Nordost products, their application, and hifi in general. We thought that we would take a minute to share some of those questions here so that everyone can get the answers they are looking for!


How to Position Your Sort Kones to Get the Best Sound From Your Components

Sort Kones eliminate the harmful vibrations generated within your components that degrade the sound of your system. However, the placement of those Kones make a huge impact on the sonic results. This blog will help you to most effectively place your Sort Kones to achieve the best performance from your devices.


Are Nordost Cables Worth the Upgrade? Hifi Manufacturers Think So!

Some people make the argument that cables don’t matter. They ask the question, “If the component I buy comes with all the cables it needs to run, why wouldn’t I just use those cables that come in the box for free?”. In this blog, we’ll tell you why have the wrong idea.


Jitter: A Hifi Villain’s Origin Story

If jitter was an audio villain, its evil powers would be inducing noise to unsuspecting recordings, obliterating the depth of field, and smearing the details out of pure, musical integrity… really dastardly stuff.  But what IS jitter, where does it come from, and what can be done about it?


Cheap Cleaning Tips for Vinyl Lovers

As audio hobbyists, we are always looking for ways to improve the music we love, on the systems we love just as much. In this industry, hearing the word “improvement” often quickly leads to a much lighter wallet. However, not all improvements will break the bank… 

A Reflection on Hifi

By Amy Hansen, Nordost Product Trainer and Sales Manager

Sometimes I can’t help but reflect on the journey that led me to where I am today. For me, that journey has culminated (so far) into a great love for the industry that I have the privilege to be a part of—hifi audio. 

If anyone had told me back in my college days, studying Criminology and Sociology, that at age 50 I’d be knee-deep in the quirky world of hifi audio, surrounded by audiophiles, I’d probably reply, “What’s an audiophile??”. Ten years ago, I stumbled my way into the hifi industry and have never for a second wanted to be anywhere else since.

Nordost opened the doors to this new world for me.  A world of music, people who love music, artists, audiophiles, audiophile shows (I’m one of the weirdos who love trade shows!), manufacturers who are driven to replicate music as it was intended to be heard, and my beloved HiFi Dealers, who support the habit they love so much. Leave out any one of these key components, and I would probably be watching the clock at a desk-job somewhere, totally unaware of the music missing from my life.  

Let’s face it, what are we all doing in this hobby if not enjoying music and the artists who make it?  Like most, I’ve always loved music and the emotions it allows you to feel.  It can get you pumped for a night out (okay – maybe for me that was years ago, but I still remember it), it can transform you, make you cry, make you laugh, motivate and inspire you to push on, connect you to strangers, make you think of someone you love or a lost love, it can talk to you without words, or even put you to sleep.  I had never quite realized how important music really was to me until I was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer in 2018. 

In addition to being a music lover, I have always been a runner. Obviously, I knew that my cancer diagnosis was going to be a setback to this passion. After surgery and radiation, I couldn’t wait to get the green light to hit the pavement again. It was when I did that I realized just how important my playlist was. It was filled with motivational songs about being stronger, feeling alive, being brave, and being at peace. My music truly let me believe I could fly.  I ran my very first half marathon only three months after completing radiation, and that could never have happened without my precious playlist.  

If you’re reading this, my guess is that you spend much time, like I do, trying to achieve the best reproduction of sound from your audio system. There is skill to that. It takes hours of dedication to find the right products that complement each other, your listening room, and your musical tastes. It’s what we do, and it’s part of why we’re here. But don’t forget, in the midst of your critical listening, to occasionally just sit, or stand, or dance, and simply enjoy the other reason why you choose this hobby we love: the music.

Are Nordost Cables Worth the Upgrade? HiFi Manufacturers Think So!

Some people make the argument that cables don’t matter. They ask the question, “If the component I buy comes with all the cables it needs to run included, why wouldn’t I just use the cables that come in the box for free?”

It’s true, many of the audio devices you purchase may come with cables included. Unfortunately, the cables that are typically provided are not the ideal options for the components they are paired with. Many hifi manufacturers are pressured to meet a certain price-point when releasing a product to market, which really limits the cables they are willing to supply in the box. They believe that they are best served putting all of their resources towards the electronics themselves, instead of the power cords or linking cables which make the components run. In most cases, cables are simply supplied with components so that the components can be used immediately. However, when used with these standard cables, performance suffers.

Manufacturers know that what they provide for free with your purchase isn’t the best choice. Need proof? The next time you attend a hifi show, take a moment to look behind the systems in your favorite manufacturers’ rooms. That’s what we do! You’ll notice that the cables they choose to use when they’re trying to make a good impression are not the standard black cords they give away…they use Nordost!

When showcasing their products, many of the manufacturers you love use Nordost products to show their components in the best light possible. You should do the same with the carefully chosen components in your home system! Just because, for the sake of convenience, manufacturers are forced to make compromises in what they supply, doesn’t mean that your system should be limited by the “standard” cabling that they can afford to provide in the box for free! Upgrade your system with Nordost to make sure your system is living up to its performance potential.


Curious about why audio cables are so important? Find out what audio cables do, which aspects of cable design impact performance, and which cables should be upgraded first HERE.


Nordost Playlist – June 2022

Nordost products are designed to allow you to enjoy your favorite performances as they were intended to be heard. All of us here are passionate about great music, and want to share our passion with you. Each one of us has our own style… We listen to a wide variety of artists and genres but, in a way, we appreciate them all. We thought that we would share a few of the songs on our own personal playlists with you each month. Some may be classics, some may be brand new, some may not even be to your tastes, but we hope that there is something here for everyone.

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


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


  1. Electrified II—Yello—Toy
  2. Inside And Out—Feist—Let It Die
  3. Mustt Mustt—Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan—Mustt Mustt (Real World Gold)
  4. Yesterday Was Hard On All Of Us—Fink—Perfect Darkness
  5. So Do I—Christy Moore—This Is The Day
  6. Oh My God—Lula Wiles—Shame and Sedition
  7. Normal—Katie Pruitt—Expectations
  8. Summer Wind—Kathy Stack—Psychemagik Presents: Magik Sunset, Pt. 1
  9. Music For a Sushi Restaurant—Harry Styles—Harry’s House
  10. Masterpiece—SAULT—5

Questions and Answers: QNET

Since the launch of the QNET Network Switch, the response and interest has been overwhelmingly exciting. However, with interest, comes questions! We thought that we would take a minute to share some of the most frequently asked QNET questions here, so that everyone can get the answers they are looking for!


Q: The QNET is advertised as being a “layer-2 Ethernet switch”… what does the phrase “layer-2” refer to? 

A: “Layer-2” refers to the OSI model around which numerous interfaces/protocols are designed. Ethernet is just one of those protocols.

Even though there are hybrid devices out there, a switch is (theoretically) a layer-2 device, meaning that it establishes links between two directly connected nodes (i.e. operates on MAC addresses), which is the hardcoded physical address that every internet port (including wireless) has. A layer-2 device is capable of routing packets within a given local area network (LAN), but not outside of it.

Routers, on the other hand, are layer-3 devices and operate on IP addresses, through which devices on different networks (WANs or any combination of different LANs) can communicate amongst themselves.


Q: Why do the ports on the QNET offer different speeds? 

A: The QNET was conceived to be an “audio” network switch for both internet audio streaming and local network NAS audio streaming. For these purposes, 100 Mbps is more than enough speed.

At 100 Mbps it’s also possible to contain noise propagation to a minimum, compared to higher speeds, and that’s why the QNET offers 2 x 100 Mbps ports.

For devices requiring higher bandwidth, the QNET offers 3 ports at 1 Gbps.


Q: Do you need to buy the QSOURCE Linear Power Supply in order to use the QNET? 

A: No, the QNET is provided with its own switch-mode power supply so that you can use it without any additional purchases. However, just like with any DC-powered device, the performance of the QNET will be much improved by introducing a high-quality linear power supply, like Nordost’s QSOURCE


Q: Can I daisy-chain multiple network switches including the QNET?

A: While it is possible to daisy-chain multiple network switches, you shouldn’t. Daisy-chaining multiple network devices adds delay, noise, and traffic. Therefore, it should be avoided. For best performance, the QNET should always be physically connected to the main router in your network via an S/FTP Ethernet cable, preferably a Nordost Ethernet cable of your choice.

Questions and Answers: Product Warranties

All Nordost products bought from an Authorized Nordost Dealer are covered under warranty. However, to benefit from your warranty, you must register your Nordost purchase. From time to time, we are asked questions about our warranty, what is covered, and how to register products, so we thought that we would answer some of our most-asked warranty-related questions for you here! 


Q: What is the warranty on Nordost products? 

A: Nordost products have a non-transferable, limited lifetime warranty to the original purchaser (with the exception of our QRT products, which carry limited 2 or 5-year warranties, and our headphone cables carry a limited 2 year warranty). In order to benefit from Nordost’s warranty program, Nordost must receive a completed product registration form along with proof of purchase. Register your Nordost product here.  


Q: How do I register my Nordost products so that I can benefit from Nordost’s warranty program? 

A: If you have purchased your Nordost product directly from an Authorized Nordost Dealer, you can register your Nordost products directly on the Nordost website. To access the Product Registration Page, simply click here, or you can find the link located on the navigation bar at the bottom of every page on our website. To complete your product registration, complete all the necessary fields and upload an image of the proof of purchase provided by your Authorized Nordost Dealer at the time of sale.

If you prefer, Warranty Registration Cards and proof of purchase from an Authorized Nordost Dealer can also be mailed to: 
Nordost
93 Bartzak Drive
Holliston, MA 01746 USA


Q: Is there a warranty on pre-owned, or second-hand Nordost purchases. 

A: Nordost’s products have a non-transferable warranty to the original purchaser. If you purchase a previously-owned Nordost product from a private seller, the product will not hold its original warranty.

However, if you purchase a Certified Pre-Owned Nordost Product directly from an Authorized Nordost Dealer, your product has been inspected by Nordost and deemed a “factory-certified used product” which can be resold under warranty. If you have purchased a Certified Pre-Owned Nordost product from an Authorized Nordost Dealer, a Certified Pre-Owned Warranty card will be included in the packaging.


Q: How do I register my Certified Pre-Owned Nordost Product? 

A: If you have purchased a purchase a Certified Pre-Owned Nordost Product directly from an Authorized Nordost Dealer, you should fill out the Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Registration Card provided with your purchase and send in the completed form, along with your proof of purchase, by mail to:
Nordost
93 Bartzak Drive
Holliston, MA 01746 USA

OR, Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Registration Cards and proof of purchase can also by scanned and emailed to info@nordost.com, or faxed to + 1 508 893 0115

Nordost is headed back to AXPONA in Chicago!

After a long hiatus, it’s time to go back to AXPONA! Come and see Nordost April 22nd-24th, at the Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel & Convention Center, Chicago in the Schaumburg F room.  We are bringing together some of the leading brands of in the industry to give Axpona attendees a truly world-class listening experience. With top-of-the line equipment from Stenheim, VTL, Wadax, VPI, and of course, Nordost, you don’t want to miss this impressive reference system. In addition to our showcase system in Schaumburg F, featuring a full loom of our Odin 2 cables, Nordost will also be performing our renowned live demonstrations and product comparisons in room 739. It’s been a long time since we have been able to visit the AXPONA audience in Chicago, and we can’t wait to see you all again!

Positive Feedback reviews the QSOURCE Linear Power Supply

We’re delighted to share a recent review which is especially helpful, since it looks at the QSOURCE as a product in its own right, and not just as an upgrade for the QPOINT (or QNET for that matter)!

In his review, Marshall Nack from Positive Feedback, describes the improvements in imaging, soundstaging, and presence that he experienced when connecting the QSOURCE to his network switch. He was impressed that the QSOURCE was able to “couple deep resolution, transparency, and relaxation”.  

“To introduce intangibles like atmosphere and timbral finesse, along with tangibles like deep resolution and transparency out to the corners, you might consider the Nordost QSOURCE… the level of refinement the QSOURCE LPS brought exceeded my expectations; my quest for a Hi-End LPS ends here.” – Marshall Nack, Positive Feedback

You can read Positive Feedback’s review in its entirety here: Nordost QSOURCE Linear Power Supply. Or, you can find this review and more great Nordost reviews on our Reviews Page.

Why Are Audio Cables Important?

Audio cables can be a controversial subject in the audio community, and people tend to end up in one of two camps: cable believers and cable deniers. So, instead of blindly joining one side or the other, get informed!

Sure, you can say that cables are an indispensable component in virtually every hifi system. But why? What do they do? What characteristics should you look for in cable design and how do they impact performance? What is the harm in mixing different brands of cabling? Why should you invest in aftermarket cables instead of opting for what is provided with components at purchase? When upgrading the cables in a system, where should you start?

In this download, you will find the answers to all these questions, and more, so that you can be confident about why audio cables really are so important.

Includes:

  • Characteristics of audio cables and their effects
  • An introduction to the “sonic signature” of cable designs and the importance of complete cable looms
  • Aftermarket cables vs cables “included with purchase”
  • Upgrading cables and where to start in a system

Read now: WHY ARE AUDIO CABLES IMPORTANT?



Audiophilia Reviews Valhalla 2

We are thrilled to share a fabulous review which was published this month on Audiophilia.com. Anthony Kershaw evaluated our Valhalla 2 range, and was so impressed with our reference cables that he dubbed the range one of Audiophilia’s Star Components! Here’s a taste of what Anthony had to say:

“The cables allowed laser-like focus of the multi layers to play exactly as the engineers and performers envisioned. So, every effect the young Stravinsky brought to his orchestration…is heard clearly, but, most of all, musically. As such, the timing, transparency and resolution of the cables are astounding. So, while everything in the orchestra is laid clearly before you, the sheen and tactile effects from the V2’s design, construction and materials make every musical choice a delicious event. This is playback way beyond technique.” – Audiophilia 

This glowing Valhalla 2 review is now available, in its entirety, on the Reviews page of the Nordost website.