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.  

How does cable design affect the audio performance of digital cables?

When you’re looking for a digital interface, cable design is of the utmost importance, but what aspects of cable design matter, and how do they affect the performance of your digital cable? There are several electrical characteristics to consider, the top four being: characteristic impedance, capacitance, shielding and transmission speed. 


Characteristic Impedance: 

When speaking about the impedance characteristic of a digital signal, it is important to note that, while you may want to focus on the cable alone, the transmission line of a digital signal starts where the RF signal is generated inside the digital source and ends where the signal is decoded inside the digital receiver. However, for the cable alone, the impedance characteristic is defined as the ratio of voltage to current at the input to an infinite transmission line. The stability of the impedance characteristic depends on several design aspects of the cable, including conductor size and geometry, insulation material and the thickness of that insulation, and connector quality and type (75 Ω for S/PDIF, 110 Ω for AES/EBU, 90 Ω for USB, and 100 Ω for UTP Ethernet cables).


Capacitance: 

In digital cables, high capacitance of a cable will slow down voltage transitions, causing an unevenness to the flat portions of a square wave. When this happens, the D/A receiver on the other end of the signal will have a harder time identifying the data transmission. Many aspects of cable design that help to minimize capacitance are the same aspects that affect the impedance: decreasing the conductor diameter, changing the conductor geometry, and using insulation with a low dielectric constant. The art of designing a high-quality digital cable is finding the balance between what needs to be done to keep capacitance low and avoiding negative impact on the characteristic impedance of the cable. 

To keep capacitance low, Nordost implements their proprietary Mono-Filament technology in their digital cable design. By intricately and uniformly wrapping single or twisted pairs of FEP Mono-Filament around each conductor before encasing them in an extruded layer of high-quality FEP, each conductor is surrounded by its own air dielectric. In decreasing the interaction of the conductor to the insulation, the signal is no longer hampered like it is in more traditional digital cable designs.


Shielding:

Whereas in analog interconnects shielding is used only to keep foreign elements away from the signal, in digital transmission, shielding both keeps external radio frequencies and electromagnetic interference away as well as keeping RF signals inside of the cable itself. When designing a digital cable, one important thing to keep in mind is the compatibility of the specialized connectors with the shielding material, as that will determine how manufacturers implement the shielding into the design. 


Transmission Speeds: 

While fast transmission speeds are always sought after in cable design, for some digital cables it is absolutely essential. USB cables, for example, must perform a digital handshake (where the signal travels from source to destination and then back in 26 nanoseconds) to work. When using a conventional design, that handshake is only possible at short lengths. Nordost USB cables, on the other hand, employ Mono-Filament technology, enhancing signal speeds so much that we are able to build cables twice the length of a standard USB cable or longer, and still achieve a reliable handshake.


For more information like this, to better understand the technical challenges of digital audio data transmission, and to know what to listen for when auditioning digital audio cables read our download, Digital Audio Cables: How Can They Make a Difference?, now!  


Nordost Playlist – July 2021

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 July.


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


  1. We Cannot Resist—LUMP, Laura Marling, Mike Lindsay 
  2. Bed Head—Manchester Orchestra—Bed Head 
  3. Lowdown—Boz Scaggs—Silk Degrees 
  4. Slow Mover—Angie McMahon—Salt 
  5. You & Me—Dave Matthews Band—Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King (Expanded Edition)
  6. Comerte Entera—C. Tangana, Toquinho—Comerte Entera
  7. Somebody Help Me—Otis Brown—Southside Chicago
  8. Tip Toe—SAULT—7
  9. Dreams—Fleetwood Mac—Rumours
  10. Against The Wind—Victory—The Broken Instrument

Hi-Fi Choice Reviews the Heimdall 2 Power Cord ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

We have another 5 Star review in the books! This month our Heimdall 2 Power Cord was recognized for its excellence in Hi-Fi Choice. Reviewer, Neville Roberts, was immediately taken by the unmistakable improvements our mains cable had on his system, calling it an “excellent choice” for any high-end system.

“With the Heimdall 2 in my valve preamp power supply, [the music] is spectacularly reproduced with the crisp and sharp drum-taps and hand-claps in perfect sync with the baseline and piano.” – Neville Roberts, Hi-Fi Choice


You can now read Hi-Fi Choice’s review here: Nordost Heimdall 2 Power Cord

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


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

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.


Most Popular Blogs of 2020

When we were thinking of a nice way to end the year, we thought… why not give the people what they “liked” most?! This 2020 blog round-up includes the posts that we have published throughout the year which received the most engagement. Whether it be likes, shares, comments, retweets, Instagram reactions, or however you feel like measuring now-a-days, here are the blogs that you engaged with, most all in one place! 


5 Ways To Improve Your Sound System For Your Time At Home

This year, everyone had to spend a bit more time than usual in their homes. One of the ways music-lovers passed the time was by listening to their home sound systems. To make that listening experience more enjoyable, we shared five easy practices and/or products that improve the quality of your sound system for little to no cost! 


Sonic Properties of Nordost Technologies

This blog is a helpful tool when you are looking to upgrade your audio cables. As you go from one range of Nordost cables to the next, there are several technological aspects that change in terms of cable construction. This guide will prompt you to pay attention to certain sonic properties in your music, to hear what each technological benefit brings to your sound system.  


Two Sides to Vibration

By now, most people understand that unwanted vibration is damaging to a hifi system. However, “vibration” is a catch-all term. There are actually two completely different types of vibration that you need to worry about. This blog explains the difference between these two variations and what causes them. 


Nordost Technologies Explained

One of the major factors that sets Nordost apart from the rest of the audio cables out there is the revolutionary technology that makes up our cable designs. However, sometimes just listing that technology doesn’t help customers understand what that technology is, or what it does! This blog provides brief explanations of some of these technologies to help you better navigate our product offerings. 


Nordost 2020 Awards

We almost didn’t include this post into this list because it seemed like a brag… but it was by far one of our most popular posts of the year! It’s hard to keep up with all of the hifi reviews and articles in the many different blogs, websites, and magazines out there. So if you are a Nordost fan, or just want to see what people are saying about our products, this blog provides you with a list of the various awards we have been granted throughout 2020, as well as links, so that you can read each review attributed to the award in full!

Nordost Sort System: How to Get Your System’s Vibration Under Control.

Along with poor grounding, unwanted vibration may be one of the most ubiquitous problems in hifi. Damaging vibrations, no matter the source, have the ability to alter sound causing distortion, disrupted imagery, and even timing issues to the music you’re trying to enjoy. Not only is vibration a ubiquitous problem in hifi, but it’s pervasive throughout the system– affecting your components, loudspeakers, audio racks, and even cables. Luckily, ridding your system of unwanted vibration can be easy.

Nordost has not only introduced one anti-vibration product, but an entire Sort System made up of three products that are uniquely specialized to combat vibration, depending on the element of the system they are addressing. Unlike other anti-vibration products on the market, which define themselves as either isolation/de-coupling or coupling devices, Nordost’s Sort System takes a different, more comprehensive approach: resonance control. (For a deeper look at the difference between isolation, coupling, and resonance control, check out our blog: Three Ways to Address Vibration Control). The following will help you better understand each of Nordost’s Sort devices and show you how they fit into your system to help you rid unwanted vibration. 


Sort Kone

The Sort Kone is designed to address vibration occurring within components. It is built using a unique three-part construction, which creates a mechanical diode. When pressure is applied to the Kone, a one-way path is established through which the internal vibration produced by moving parts in the chassis of electronics can escape. When you place Sort Kones under audio components (a minimum of three Sort Kones per unit is required) music becomes more focused, there is an increase in depth and transparency in system performance, and the dynamic range is broadened. Nordost Sort Kones are available in three levels of performance (aluminium, bronze, and titanium) to fit a wide range of system and budgetary needs.


Sort Füt:

The Sort Füt is a mechanically tuned resonance control device designed to address the vibration generated both within loudspeakers and through audio racks. It is purpose-built to enhance the performance of your hi-fi system and improve upon standard spikes and stabilizers. The Sort Füt’s proprietary four-part construction eliminates unwanted vibrations by providing a direct ground path out, allowing extraneous energy to escape either the loudspeaker or audio rack it is attached to, while simultaneously preventing external vibrations from traveling back through the device. The result: a reduction of intermodulation distortion, a proliferation of musical information, and an increase of tonal and textural details that will allow your system to achieve the dynamic range it is capable of.



Sort Lift

The Sort Lift is designed to minimize the points of contact that cables make with the ground and reduce boundary effects, without negatively affecting the resonant properties of the cables themselves. Each Lift is composed of two integral components: the base and the springs. The base inhibits any transference of electrical charge from the floor to the cable and eliminates static build-up on the dielectric itself. The springs use flexible, titanium alloy spring-wire, which makes up both the support wings and tension wire supports. Both elements of this floating spring system are coated in FEP, mirroring the design of Nordost cables and making the supports an extension of the cable jacket, eliminating any electrical interference, while allowing the cables to maintain their natural resonance properties.


To learn more about our Sort System or to arrange a demonstration, contact your local Nordost retailer
For more information about vibration control, including how to identify different types of resonances, their sources, and how to manage those harmful vibrations, so that you can enjoy your sound system to its full potential, download our guide, The Importance of Vibration Control, today.

The Absolute Sound Reviews Nordost’s QPOINT and QSOURCE

Since their release at High End Munich in 2019, Nordost’s QPOINT Resonance Synchronizer and QSOURCE Linear Power Supply have been generating constant buzz within the hifi industry. Just recently, The Absolute Sound featured this revolutionary combination of products in a review to further explore the unbelievable impact that they have on two-channel systems, which, as author Jacob Heilbrunn even describes in the title of his article, is “Strange but True”.  In the end, both separately and as a pair, Jacob concluded that there is no question about it, the QPOINT and QSOURCE provide “valuable sonic benefits in a high-end system”. Here is a glimpse of what he had to say about both products:

QPOINT: “With the introduction of the QPOINTS, the orchestra really snapped into place. It was like a photo that went from blurry to sharp in the blink of an eye. It was a sheer pleasure to hear the interplay between the harpsichord and orchestra…What a revelation!”

QSOURCE: “The QSOURCE [powering the Roon]…offered a substantial improvement in image density, resolution, and hall ambience.” 


You can now read The Absolute Sound’s QPOINT/QSOURCE review in its entirety here: Nordost QRT QPOINT and QRT QSOURCE Resonance Synchronizer: Strange but True

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


Nordost 2020 Awards

As this hectic year starts to wind down, it’s a good time to reflect on the high points that we have enjoyed. Luckily, Nordost has had SEVERAL this year: 13 to be exact! That’s the number of awards that Nordost has won for our outstanding products in 2020 alone! 

As a company, Nordost strives to provide hifi enthusiasts with the means to bring life into an audio system in order to truly enjoy music as it was intended. We take a lot of pride in the audio cables, power products, and audio enhancers that we produce, so we are always honored to be recognized by reviewers, industry leaders, and prominent publications for our work. We thought that you might like to celebrate with us!


An Audiophilia Star Component 2020: Frey 2

“The Frey 2’s performance and general neutral and happy nature never disappointed. And they were wonderful in all sorts of repertoire from grandiloquent to introspective.” – Anthony Kershaw, Audiophilia


Hi-fi+ Editor’s Choice 2020: Odin 2

“Odin 2 takes your system to new levels of performance you might not have thought possible: in this respect, it’s like listening to great old recordings played back on top-notch new equipment – you end up asking yourself, “did they know how good this is when they made it?” Odin 2 does that to both music and the equipment upon which that music is played.” – Alan Sircom, Hi-Fi+


Hi-Fi+ 2020 AWARD WINNER: Valhalla 2 Tonearm Cable +

“The V2+ tonearm cable follows the house V2 sound of exceptional transparency and stunning transient playback, without ever falling to the temptation of over-sharing the treble content. The midband and top are deliciously open and see- through, seamless and nearly organic in naturalness, while bass is disarmingly honest and musical in its flow. This is a staggeringly insightful wiring upgrade to hear what’s hiding in the groove.” – Andrew Harrison, Hi-Fi+


Hi-Fi Choice Recommended: Heimdall 2 Tonearm Cable +

“The instrument focus and clarity are both excellent and the soundstage is expansive…the bass is powerful and punchy and the drums and hi-hats are crisp, tight and engaging. The great energy is splendidly conveyed and the instrument focus of the hi-hats is particularly well defined.” – Neville Roberts, Hi-Fi Choice


Hi-Fi Choice Recommended: Blue Heaven Power Cord

“The overall performance is clear and refined with a very low noise floor. The Blue Heaven is certainly a very good value-for-money, high-quality power cable option.” – Neville Roberts, Hi-Fi Choice


HIGH FIDELITY REFERENCE AWARD: QKORE

“…connecting all elements in our system to the artificial ground is equivalent to replacing any of its elements with a superior one. But – and here it starts to be interesting – we get more of everything that we already have in the system, not something completely new.” – Wojciech Pacula, High Fidelity


Positive Feedback Writers’ Choice Award 2020: QKORE

“In advance of installing the QKORE Ground Units, I had imagined what such a product might accomplish. Those daydreams were prophetic—the only surprise was how significant it turned out to be…it did more to improve my sound than any alternative I can think of at that price.” – Marshall Nack, Positive Feedback


2020 The Absolute Sound Editors’ Choice Awards: Purple Flare

“…Purple Flare really shines in the midband with a slightly forward, driving energy that imparts a dynamic liveliness to all genres of music.” – Neil Gader, The Absolute Sound


2020 The Absolute Sound Editors’ Choice Awards: Heimdall 2 USB 2.0

“I experienced, in my own system, what others have been pointing out: USB cable can greatly impact sonic performance. The Blue Heaven USB cable was quite good, but I was impressed by how much more detail, texture, body, and spatial information came through with the Heimdall 2 USB cable in place. It all added up to a more life-like and enjoyable musical experience all around.” – Kirk Midtskog, The Absolute Sound


2020 The Absolute Sound Editors’ Choice Awards: Frey 2

“Frey 2… has rebalanced the scales, taking the transient and micro-dynamic elements of the past and integrating them with richer mids and a brawnier, meatier bottom end that gives orchestral music more discernible, atmosphere and weight. In a word, there’s more fidelity to the live event.” – Neil Gader, The Absolute Sound


2020 The Absolute Sound Editors’ Choice Awards: Valhalla 2 

“…the outcome of using the Valhalla 2 is truly prodigious. Everything instantly improved as a result of using this dynamically unconstrained cable. It was easy to detect that the Valhalla lowered the noise floor, and that the bass notes became more defined and stygian…the bennies were evident across the sonic spectrum, in ways both large and small.” – Jacob Heilbrunn, The Absolute Sound


2020 The Absolute Sound Editors’ Choice Awards: Odin 2

“With the Odin 2, the notes seem to leap out of the loudspeakers with the tiniest, low-level details excavated with remarkable fidelity…the Odin 2 played a vital role in bringing their magnificent performance to life.” – Jacob Heilbrunn, The Absolute Sound


2020 The Absolute Sound Editors’ Choice Awards: QKORE

 “…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 Heilbrunn, The Absolute Sound