2023 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 2023 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 your favorite blogs of 2023!  

Questions and Answers: Grounding

Recently, the idea and means of artificial grounding have been a hot topic in the audio industry. Effective electrical grounding in a hifi audio system can mean the difference between enjoying your music and falling in love with it. System noise is a complicated and incessant problem for so many, so why not answer all of your questions in one place?   

Audio Cable Looms Explained

What is a loom of cables, and why does it matter in the context of a sound system? This blog explores the idea of cable signatures, mixing cable brands, and shows you how to get the most cohesive sound from your hifi equipment. 

Questions and Answers: QSINE and QWAVE

Since their launch in May at the High End in Munich, people have been very curious about our new QRT Plug-Ins. With every new technology and new product there will be questions that need to be answered. We want to make sure that you get all your answers as easily as possible, so we have put some of our most frequently asked and answered questions together here!

Questions and Answers: QBASE Mark III

The QBASE was first released to the audio world in 2009. Almost 15 years and two iterations later, the QBASE is still as sought after as when it was launched. However, over those 15 years, much has been improved. In this blog, we answer your questions about the QBASE Mark III, including how it compares to the QBASE Mark II.

The Perfect Turntable Upgrades

The resurgence of vinyl has taken the audio market by storm. Just like any hifi lover, vinyl junkies are sure to want to make the most out of their purchases. If you’re looking for an easy upgrade to elevate your listening experience switching out your standard tonearm cable and power cord is where to start. This blog lets you know what to expect from those very upgrades.  

QRT Family Explained 

Nordost’s QRT family consists of several impressive audio enhancers. Each of these offerings works as an individually contained solution, with unique objectives for alleviating the poor power quality that impacts audio systems. We understand that sometimes it’s hard to keep all of these QRT products straight, so in this blog, we briefly explain each QRT solution on the market and the distinctive benefits that they bring to a system. 

How to Upgrade your Amplifier

As hifi enthusiasts, we shell out big money to purchase the components that will give us the best possible sound. A lot of deliberation goes into our purchases to determine the right fit for our systems. But did you know that your consideration shouldn’t stop there? In this blog we show you how Nordost products can ensure you maximize the potential of your amplifier. 

Music to Help Set-Up and Understand Your Hifi System

Evaluating your system can be a daunting task. At Nordost, we understand your frustration, and we’re here to help! In this blog, we will take you through several tracks that you can use to help fine-tune your speakers, assess how your components interact, and just see if you are getting the most out of your system.

Dealer Spotlight: Kazoo Audio

By Mike Marko

John Ferry, of Kazoo Audio, is a true veteran of the Michigan audio scene. Kazoo is a bastion of audio bests in the suburban town of Portage, located outside of Kalamazoo, MI, which John operates alongside his business partner, Chris Zainea. Both Chris and John are dedicated to providing the perfect mix of top-tier audio equipment and service. In their search to find the best audio equipment to create the most memorable musical experiences, they found Nordost, and have been an exemplary Nordost dealer ever since.  

Before Kazoo Audio was born, John operated out of the former Classic Stereo, which served the audiophiles of Michigan until the financial crisis of 2008/2009 forced Classic out of business. However, after being brought to tears by an especially powerful musical performance in Nashville with his daughter, John realized the importance of creating an emotional, musical connection in the home. He was inspired to get back into the business, and two months later, Kazoo Audio was open!

John and Chris moved to their current location in 2016. They designed the shop around the love of music, staying true to their chosen mantra: “Where Music Matters”. 

When you enter the store, you are greeted by a beautiful selection of equipment. Not to mention, superior service and knowledge from the Kazoo Audio team. As you move through the store, you will find a wide selection in price and performance levels, with several systems on display for audition. As an added bonus, most of the systems feature Nordost cabling and power products.

At Kazzoo, they pride themselves on offering an honest and professional presentation of audio systems in both two-channel systems and home theater set-ups. Kazoo has a little something for audio enthusiasts and music lovers alike.

If you find yourself in the Kalamazoo/Portage area, be sure to stop in for an experience you won’t soon forget.

Dealer Spotlight: Saying farewell to Harry’s Hi-Fi

Harry’s Hi-Fi, longstanding audiophile retailer, closed March 31.  Now, we say farewell to a true Canadian Hi-Fi Institution!

By Bruno de Lorimier

We were all saddened by the loss of Harry about a year ago, and no person more than wife and co-owner Pat Sotropa.  A little over a year after this tragic and totally unexpected incident, Pat came to the heart-wrenching decision to close the store at the end of the month. Pat isn’t exiting the business for financial reasons but after 40 years, she has earned a rest and is calling it a day. 

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Harry and Pat Sotropa are owners of Harry’s Hi-Fi. PHOTO BY TROY FLEECE /Regina Leader-Post

I have personally known Pat and Harry for over 25 years and consider them friends.  In Regina, Saskatchewan, Harry’s Hi-Fi was one of the first Canadian dealers to come on board with Nordost. Like everyone, I was extremely shocked and saddened by Harry’s passing which came so suddenly as he simply didn’t wake up on the morning of April 8th, 2022. One may find comfort in that he passed away peacefully in his sleep, but that doesn’t diminish how much we’ll miss him.  Everyone who knew Harry will tell you that he was a truly unique and remarkable individual with a vibrant passion for life and for music (and gardening). Even today, we continue to love Harry! 

Now, with the permanent closure of Harry’s Hi-Fi, the audio industry will also be losing a truly special and extremely supportive dealer that was devoted to providing the most comprehensive, attentive, and caring sales advice, quality products, and support to all its patrons. 

Harry’s hi-fi obsession was rooted in his love of music “What’s better in life than music?”

The first thing you should now about Harry is that, although everyone referred to him as Harry (including himself and his wife Pat), his real name was Vern Sotropa!  Here’s the story behind the name…

Custom Stereo is the name of the store where Harry got his start in hi-fi equipment sales in 1976.  He was 26 and working the summer as a staff clerk for the Department of Labor and spending a lot of his student loan money — meant for University of Regina sociology studies — at Custom Stereo.  He was in there often enough that the owners, Tom Clelland and Richard Grassie, offered him a job which he happily took.

Fast forward six months or so: the three are sitting in the bar of the Royal International Inn — formerly the King’s Hotel, demolished along with the store in 1978 to make way for the Cornwall Centre. As Harry told it, “Tom goes, ‘Custom Stereo is a lame f—–g name.’ He goes, ‘We should change the name of that place,’”.

Pat interjects: “You know this is all going to become public knowledge.”

“I don’t care,” Harry answers. He goes on: “We should name it Tom, Dick and Harry’s.” So they had a Tom, they had a Dick, and from the time we crossed the street from the Royal International to the stereo shop, the name stuck like s–t to a Hudson Bay blanket. And that was it.”  Harry was born!

Through three Custom Stereo locations, to the founding of his own shop in 1983…Through sales of turntables, the players of those “unlistenable” early CDs, car stereos, home theatre, and the popular resurgence of record players — he’s been known as Harry. Not Harry Sotropa. “It’s like Prince or Madonna,” he says laughing. “It’s just Harry.” 

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Harry (wearing shorts) and Pat stand in one of their listening rooms. PHOTO BY TROY FLEECE /Regina Leader-Post

Harry and I also a had funny ritual.  Quite often, almost exclusively on Fridays, he would call me after 5:00 pm my time (3:00 pm for him) as sort of a joke. He would say “Am I too early to disturb you yet?  I can call you later if it further disrupts your weekend”. We would then proceed to tell each other jokes for the first few minutes (sometimes more) before moving on to more serious business.  I miss those calls.

It’s Pat who has the real Harry tales to tell. She told me: “I bought a stereo from Harry and I was married to someone else at the time. From that moment Harry and I were together for 44 years. We both listened to all different kinds of music, it was a passion for both of us that did not diminish.” Since childhood, Pat and Harry have been in love with music and it was no secret that both were huge fans of Nordost. They recommended Nordost cables to every customer who walked-in the door, and they practiced what they preached, since their entire home system was wired with Valhalla.   

As a 50th birthday present to his wife, Harry had earrings, a bracelet and pendant made from a piece of Valhalla speaker cable!

Harry was inspired by one of Pat’s stories about Valhalla Interconnect that she had been regaling a customer about the merits of Nordost cables in a system. At the end of the conversation Pat mentioned that it sounded incredible, but that it was also so beautiful and that one could wear it as a necklace.  That clearly didn’t fall on deaf ears. When Harry asked our North American V.P., Michael Taylor, for a foot of Valhalla and Michael passed it on to Nordost’s owner, Joe. At first, Joe was suspicious of Harry’s intentions. He had never heard someone make such an unusual request. However, Joe finally did agree, and Harry worked with a local custom jeweler to get it made. Pat wore the set regularly, especially when attending Hi-Fi shows. Harry always pointed out that Pat was wearing audio jewelry!

Harry’s Hi-Fi was known for creating a welcoming and inviting environment. Walking into Harry’s Hi-Fi on Rose Street, their location since they moved from 1239 Albert St. in 2000, was like walking into a music lover’s home: Brick walls, wooden floors, music-themed artwork on vibrantly coloured walls.  There’s a listening room to the right, a pseudo-living room. Comfortable leather armchairs face a window that’s flanked by awesome-sounding and expensive Bowers & Wilkins stereos wired with Nordost cables.

Adjacent to that space, there’s another similar setup.

Both rooms have stacks and stacks of vinyl records on shelves — you can’t very well test the analog players without records to play. (It’s not the 5,000-strong collection they have at home — which, according to Harry, is “not that crazy” a number.)

From Elvis Presley talking his way through a Sun Studio recording, to a British pressing (i.e. higher quality recording) of Patsy Cline, to Dave Brubeck’s smashing piano — there’s a decent array.  On rotation lately, they’ve had The Franklin Electric, The Avett Brothers, The Barr Brothers, Case Lang Veirs, The Lumineers, GoGo Penguin … The list goes on.

The point of their work was to give people a music experience as close to live as possible. According to Harry, you can’t actually have a live band in front of you…as he was known to say, “Nothing beats live music,”.

The music at Harry’s would switch from The Killers to The Band, Tracy Chapman, to Classical and Jazz as they demonstrated the equipment’s sonic diversity.

A song at a time: “It’s not the usual way someone would listen to a record. Usually you’d clean the record, clean the needle, sit down and listen until the arm lift signals Side A’s end, flip the record over, clean the record, clean the needle, sit down and listen …” Harry said.

Harry and Pat were big on vinyl.  They witnessed vinyl’s comeback in their store, and even in their own house, although they had never completely abandoned it.  They had a very strong opinion about the importance of a properly set-up, good-quality turntable, which didn’t have to cost a fortune.  At Harry’s Hi-Fi, prices ranged into the tens of thousands, but a decent turntable could be bought for only $400.

“When people say, ‘You know records are back, right?’ I’m like, ‘Man, records didn’t go anywhere.’” But for a lot of people, they did. The rebound has been strong, maybe detrimentally so.  “It’s just silly right now. Everybody has to have a turntable just cause…,” says Harry. “It’s trendy.”

Having a record player has “become a cool thing, and that doesn’t mean that it’s good,” says Pat.  One of the problems with this trend is cheap turntables.  “That’s one of the reasons why we try and tell people, ‘Don’t play your records on your great-aunt Dorothy’s console,’ ” says Pat. “You might think it’s a cool piece of furniture, but it’s not good for your records.”  Quality counts, and here’s why: Turntables need to be aligned to properly play a record.  Even an expensive turntable can ruin a record if it’s not set up right.  “We’re talking about a diamond here, and a piece of vinyl,” says Harry.  The groove of the record is engraved soundwaves, tinier than you can see. That diamond is the needle (a.k.a. stylus), which traces the groove and vibrates, making the sound when amplified.  “The information that’s in the groove of a record is smaller than the pit of a CD. It’s microscopic inside,” says Pat. “We’re still amazed that a technology that’s 130 years-plus is still the best sound quality we have.”  At least, when they’re set up for quality, which Harry estimates 99 percent aren’t.

A market full of “groove grinders,” as Harry calls them — a bad needle, improper geometry and weight — are literally chipping away at records as they play. That’s how records get a hissing and scratching sound. Like tires on a car, they’ll eventually wear out — but they wear out faster if you don’t take care of them.  When they are taken care of, they sound fantastic.  Before any turntable leaves the store, Harry makes sure it’s set up correctly: The stylus is correctly angled, right down to the micron. He uses a microscope in the process.

“Part of it has to do with a point of pride, that when every table, every cartridge walks out of here, it’s the best it could possibly be,” says Pat.

“We try really f—–g hard,” Harry says “and we will for as long as the store is open”  … and they did

Harry works on properly aligning a record player before selling it. PHOTO BY TROY FLEECE /Regina Leader-Post

In his teenage years, Harry’s parents never had a turntable; they’d borrow a neighbour’s for a few weeks at a time.

Pat and Harry bonded over their love of music more than 40 years ago. In fact, as I mentioned earlier, it’s how they met.

“It was a pair of Klipsch Heresy’s with Luxman L30 amplifier,” Pat says, remembering her first Custom Stereo purchase from Harry. She was working downtown too, a block away, managing T-Shirt City.  After seven years working for someone else, in 1983 Harry became an entrepreneur.  They remortgaged their house at an obscene 19-per-cent interest rate to make it happen.  “The economy was in the toilet and we’re opening up a new store,” says Harry.  “Not sure if we were stupid, (or) young,” says Pat. “I know it’s just what I wanted to do,” says Harry.

“I was kind of along for the ride at the beginning,” says Pat. “I didn’t sell anything, I just sat back and listened to him, and that’s the best way to learn how to sell is being mentored by somebody who’s really good at their job.”

When their son Dylan was old enough for daycare, and daughter Alicia was in Grade 3, Pat quit her jobs at Bi-Rite Drugs and the Pasqua Hospital to work alongside Harry.  “We work together extremely well,” says Pat.  Their love of music united them for 44 years.

Pat is thankful for the customers who helped put mac and cheese on the table of her Normanview bungalow for the last 40 years. She could have tried to sell the business, but as Harry once said “anybody who has the knowledge to do it has got a better paying job right now, though some of the gear is pricey, there’s little profit in hi-fi sales.”

“Selling the business to someone else isn’t an easy alternative”, Pat said. “High fidelity equipment requires a level of expertise, knowing how to put systems together, figuring out what works with what; the devil is in the details.”

That part of the job is where Pat and Harry found joy: educating customers about the products and talking about music. Through those conversations, a connection with the customers was formed.  “You have to give people a reason to buy better quality goods. Just because it’s expensive, doesn’t necessarily make it better,” said Pat.

Harry always described the business as a three-person operation run by two people. With Harry’s death, it became a one-person show and Pat is just tired.

“In addition to helping customers who walk through the doors of the Rose Street location, I was handling the books, ordering, shipping, receiving, providing technical support for customers, setting up turntables — everything.”

Throughout decades of selling sound, Pat has witnessed technological advancements in audio and entertainment, as well as changes in perception of women working in the field.  “It’s been an interesting ride. For me, as a woman, there’s very few women in our industry that are in my kind of position — way more now than when I first started,” she recalled.  “I remember when I first started on the floor selling, guys would always refer to Harry and Harry would say, ‘I don’t know. Ask her,’” Pat said with a laugh.

Looking back, she remembers feeling frustrated at points and wondering why no one would talk to her. Nowadays, she says the men who walk in do not question her knowledge or ability.  The people she did speak with over the years have made lasting memories, as customers of all ages have purchased audio equipment from Harry’s, including the children and grandchildren of customers of years past.

Although Pat recognizes that Harry’s Hi-Fi still has a lot of loyal customers — including ones from out of province, who make a shopping trip every few years, Pat says. “It’s too much. I’m going to be 68-years-old. It’s time to wind it down,” “I’m really emotional. It’s hard because I will miss the people. I won’t miss the business end of it, you know the paying of bills…”

Pat Sotropa, owner of Harry’s Hi-Fi, inside the store on Thursday, January 19, 2023 in Regina. She is retiring after the March 31 closure and has been running the business herself since her husband, Harry, passed on in 2022. PHOTO BY TROY FLEECE /Regina Leader-Post

Pat has no plans to jump into another venture any time soon. After four decades of working, she is going to do some thinking instead.

“I need to sort of figure out who I am as a human being, without my life partner, without my business partner and without my business”.  “It’s going to be an adjustment for me, but we made such good friends. Our best friends have been customers and they still continue to be.” “It’s still for me a great joy, it gives me a real giggle, when I can do a good demo for somebody and they go, ‘wow, I’ve never heard that before”.

It’s time to enter a new era for Pat and for each one of us.  It will be quite different without Pat and Harry, of that I’m certain. Thank you for your generous contribution to  the Hi-Fi world, your friendship, and for all the fond memories!

(Thank you to the Regina Leader-Post for some of the material included in this homage)

Audio Cable Looms Explained

A “loom” of audio cables is a group of cables, constructed using the same technology and produced by the same manufacturer using a cohesive design philosophy. As a result of this design philosophy, cables produced by distinct manufacturers (and sometimes even ranges within each company) have their own sonic qualities, or “sonic signatures”. The sonic signature of each brand’s cables may be classified as brassy, light, bass-heavy, neutral etc.  

Ultimately, it’s up to the listener to determine their own opinion on the merits of each cable’s sound. What is undeniable, however, is that the effect of mixing cable brands and their respective sonic signatures can have mixed results. 

If you are lucky, the divergent characteristics of your cable hodge-podge will balance themselves out and you will be left with a pleasant-sounding system. Unfortunately, more often than not, the sonic signatures from different cable brands clash, leaving you unable to hear the composition of your system as it was intended. When that happens, you get to deal with the fun task of finding where that clash is happening through trial and error.  

Besides not being able to find the cable that may be less desirable than others, mixing cable brands also makes it harder to identify the weak spots in your electronics themselves. Remember, some cable manufacturers use devices like filters to make up for deficits that may be caused by other components in your system. When listening to your system, you may find yourself wondering if the thin sound you’re hearing should be blamed on your speakers, or your speaker cables; is the slow timing the fault of your pre-amp or interconnects? Upgrading a hifi system can become unnecessarily frustrating and time-consuming when it is not clear which upgrades need to be made!  

By using a uniform loom of cables you are no longer faced with these problems. There’s no need to “balance out” a system; weaknesses are easier to assess and fix, and your components are all on a level and comparable playing field. By hearing your music’s signal flow through a loom of cables, throughout your entire system, from the source all the way to your ears, you ensure that there are no competing or conflicting sonic properties influencing or changing the signal, allowing you to achieve a more coherent and realistic reproduction of sound. 

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: 
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:
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