Nordost Playlist – April 2020

It seems like ages ago that we were traveling around the world, visiting our friends and business partners, and educating end users about the effects that our products have on sound systems. In order to demonstrate these products, it is our job to find an interesting and diverse selection of music to showcase our cables, power devices, sort systems and accessories. While we might not be able to use our music for demos at the moment, we find that music means more to us than ever. We wanted to share some of the tracks that we have been playing to get us through these wild times, and hope that they bring you enjoyment and help you pass the time. Some may be classics, some may be brand new, some may not even be to your taste, but we hope that there’s something 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. Murphy’s Law—Roisin Murphy—Murphy’s Law
  2. The Expert—Yello—Touch Yello
  3. Broken—Laurie Anderson—Life on a String
  5. Glass, Concrete & Stone—David Byrne—Grown Backwards
  6. Break My Heart—Dua Lipa—Future Nostalgia
  7. Mille après mille—Isabelle Boulay—Les grands espaces
  8. Tarova—Snarky Puppy—Culcha Vulcha
  9. The Ballad of Bill Hubbard—Roger Waters—Amused to Death
  10.  Fame—Ocie Elliott—In That Room

Questions and Answers: Tonearm Cables


With the expansion of the Tonearm Cable + to our Blue Heaven, Heimdall 2, Frey 2, and Tyr 2 ranges, we thought that we would take the opportunity to share some of our most recent and frequently asked questions about tonearm cables!


So many turntables come with a fixed tonearm cable. Will an aftermarket tonearm cable really make a difference?

Yes! While many entry-level turntables come with a fixed tonearm cable, that is not the case with most mid-fi and hi-fi turntables, and there is good reason for that! The tonearm cable is the most critical and sensitive cable in a vinyl-sourced hifi system! The delicate signals generated by pick-up cartridges in these systems demand low-capacitance cables in order to protect from signal loss and image smearing. The signals carried by these cables are also very susceptible to EMI and RFI, so shielding and grounding must be a priority. Bottom line: If you are looking for proper performance from your analog system, invest in a purpose-built tonearm cable.


I bought a Heimdall 2 tonearm cable a few years ago. Will I be getting anything different if I upgrade to the new Tonearm + Cable?

The new Tonearm Cable + is a complete redesign from our original tonearm cable offerings. The new cables incorporate a twisted pair design, a construction which naturally helps minimize noise. Additionally, we have taken even more steps to eliminate EMI and RFI by individually shielding the left and right channels with silver, braided shielding before wrapping them in an additional layer of braided shielding. The Tonearm Cable + also includes a completely isolated, shielded, silver-plated bond wire which uses our Micro Mono-Filament technology. Lastly, each Tonearm Cable + comes with two, detachable, silver-plated bond whips (again using MMF), which connect to the cable’s shielding in order to totally eliminate any additional noise that could be introduced during signal transfer, no matter the unique construction of the components used in your sound system.


How will I know which of the new grounding options to use in my home system?

The grounding needs of your tonearm cable are directly affected by the components in your system, how the manufacturers of those components chose to address grounding, and how those components work together. Because of that, there is unfortunately no easy answer to this question, and some experimenting will be required on your end. To help you through that we have provided you with a step-by-step process in our Tonearm Cable + Instruction Manual.



Hi-Fi+ Reviews the Purple Flare USB Cable

When Michael Mercer from Hi-Fi+ reviewed Nordost’s Purple Flare USB Cable, he was so impressed that he nominated it for the Digital Audio Cable of the Year (an award that it won, of course!). While the Purple Flare USB Cable is Nordost’s entry-level USB cable, the only thing entry-level about it is its price-point.

“Transparency and coherence are the name of the game with Purple Flare USB. Hi-hats glisten and dissipate effortlessly into a black background. Drums are authoritative and lifelike. Vocals are realistically rendered in size and tonality. Transients race across the soundstage with precision and flare (pun intended). Purple Flare gives you top-tier performance at an incredibly affordable price.” – Michael Mercer, HiFi+

As the only USB cable in Nordost’s line-up to offer Standard A (2.0) or Standard B (2.0) to Mini B (2.0) or Micro B (2.0) termination options, they are the perfect solution for hifi audio enthusiasts trying to accommodate DACs that require micro-B and mini-B connectors!

Michael’s review is available to read here:  Nordost Purple Flare USB Cable

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

Nordost Customer Testimonial

Nordost is always thrilled to receive and share glowing reviews from journalists and experts in the industry. However, when we get testimonials from our devoted and satisfied customers, it means that much more!

Thank you to Rob from Alberta, Canada for sharing how he went from being a cable skeptic to a cable evangelist.

Originally, I was of the thought that cables would not make much of a difference in an audio system, most notably power cables. My spouse and I attended a demonstration at our local audio store (where we had purchased the rest of the pieces for our system), and we were absolutely astonished at the difference we were hearing.

Needless to say, we upgraded our power cables shortly afterward. Probably the best way to put it was that our system had “woken up” and was brought to life in a way that we had not heard before. Crisper, more detailed highs, cleaner bass response…we are very pleased.

We currently are using three Nordost Red Dawn AC Power Cords, and three Nordost Heimdall 2 AC Power Cords on our system, and are in the process of working our way through the rest of the system.”

Rob is a happy customer of Absolute Audio Video.  His system is wired with Heimdall 2 and Red Dawn cables.

Visit our Customer Testimonials page to see what more users like Rob have to say!

 What’s your Nordost story?

Industry Advocate: Elan Mehler

For more than a quarter of a century, Nordost has been renowned for the quality of our products, and the effect that they have on music reproduction. Using Nordost allows listeners to experience music the way it was intended – unrestrained, unfiltered, true. So it should be no surprise that when high fidelity is the goal, Nordost is who you come to for your cabling needs. For professionals in the audio industry, this is no different. Over the years, Nordost has worked with innovative manufacturers, talented artists, and celebrated recording engineers, who all trust Nordost to bring their finished products to the next level.

As an artist, Elan Mehler is amazed at what Nordost’s cables do for the reproduction of his music. Elan is a New York based jazz pianist and composer who has released five records internationally, and has toured throughout the world. In 2015 Elan and his partner, Jean-Christophe Morriseau, started Newvelle Records. Newvelle Records is a an innovative label that produces original, high quality, vinyl recordings, which are distributed as seasonal subscriptions in bi-monthly installments. These six pressings combine to form a box set, which uses curated artwork and writing to create an immersive and affecting experience when paired with music. The response to their work has been overwhelming, both from the artists that they work with and from jazz and hifi reviewers, who have issued an onslaught of positive reviews raving about every aspect of Newvelle, from the integrity of their records, to the quality of artists they feature, to the distribution model that they employ.

What does Elan have to say about Nordost?

“We started Newvelle Records in 2015 with the idea of building a series of records, of all new music, that cut no corners sonically or artistically. We strive to record and release the best sounding records anywhere. We built a model that treats musicians right and uses the full available canvas of vinyl to make something unique and beautiful. We record all of our records in Manhattan’s famed EastSide Sound Studio.

AB testing Nordost’s cables at EastSide Sound was a revelation for me. At Newvelle Records we are committed to bringing the best sound possible to our members. Nordost cables made an immediate impact on the quality of sound we were getting. Additionally, while previewing and testing our vinyl pressings we’ve found that upgrading to Nordost is not a subtle difference. There is an immediacy when you drop the needle that is astounding.”

Elan is a proud user of Nordost’s Ax Angel, pro audio cables.

For more information about Elan, and Newvelle Records, visit

Nelson Brill Reviews Afro-Caribbean Performances From His Travels

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 gives you a more of a global look at what is going on in the music world as he covers some recent shows and recordings he discovered on his recent travels!


By Nelson Brill    March 24, 2019  

When I am traveling to a different place, I always like to explore the neighborhoods with local record stores to support local businesses. I like to check out these shops’ record bins for new artists that reflect the music scene in that area. So while I was in London recently, we ventured to nearby Brixton where the UK reggae scene has had a rich history, supported by vibrant immigrant community (where you can get a great Ghanian stew or Ethiopian meal on a Brixton street corner or in one of the town’s many markets).

Brixton Market –

I happen upon a small record store in one of these Brixton markets, run by a local legend, Jah Lingua, “Markie”, who is founder of Universal Roots Records [] which has been producing recordings from local reggae artists since 1998.


Jah Lingua also hosts “R.D.K. Hi-Fi Dances”, (along with his spouse, Claudia, at her Brixton record store, Pure Vinyl Records) where local reggae artists perform on sound systems set up for dance parties. Jah Lingua passed along to me a copy of his CD, U.K. Reggae Stars [Universal Roots Records] and an LP produced by him in 2018 with selections from local artists with “Brixton Downbeat”, “Gentrification Dub” and other great cuts.

On these Universal Roots LP and CDs are the sounds, among others, of Brixton’s own Soothsayer Horns (a swanking brass ensemble); Sandeeno (a vocalist with an expressive baritone to match his messages of fighting racism and gun violence) and two female vocalists, Marlene Ammers and Judith, both with airy, swaying presences. These gifted artists are surrounded on these excellent recordings by local bandmates who deliver pungent bass lines; creative waves of electronica and dynamic percussion. Reggae’s joyful funk and lift; its warmth and dance and its unflinching social-conscious themes – all are here on these excellent spirited recordings from Universal Roots Records reflecting the diverse Brixton community.

Brixton School children;

This vital connection between Caribbean and African musical heritages continued when I had the lucky opportunity, on February 23rd, to visit the venerable New York City music venue, The Jazz Standard, (located at 116 East 27th Street; to catch a dazzling concert by the Spanish Harlem Orchestra, (“SHO”) [ ], a band that delivers their own incendiary mix of cha-cha-cha, mambo and salsa brilliance.

From their first fiery notes, the SHO proved to be a tight, dynamic band that wasted no time in igniting their propulsive songs drenched in their Puerto Rican heritage. The sound at the Jazz Standard was up to the task as most instruments on the crowded stage were heard clarion and true, with exception of piano and bass, which were a bit harder to hear individually in the heated big band action.

The SHO focused their Jazz Standard performance on numbers taken from their new action-packed recording, Anniversary [ArtistShare], which has just won a Grammy award.

The recording captures the SHO with great energy and upfront crackling presence. While delivering the heat, dance and punch of this swanking band, its sound is on the lean and sometimes thin side (especially on brass crescendos) and does not offer much in the way of layering or depth to its soundstage, so things are a bit congested. But what the recording offers in spades is the stellar musicianship of the band and a feel for their dancing interplay, as well as the jovial spirit of the band’s three fronting vocalists: Marco Bermudez, Carlos Cascante and Jeremy Bosch.

At the SHO’s Jazz Standard concert, their three charming vocalists hit the ground running, with the band carousing behind them in soaring strides. Bermudez’s voice is gliding and smooth and it sumptuously drove his suave song, “Echa Pa’Lante”, accompanied by brazen choruses from trumpeters Manuel Ruiz and Hector Colon and driving wooden strikes from Jorge Gonzalez’ resonant guiro. Bosch possesses a lighter, more carefree voice, telling his tales with a spoken quality. On his “Soy El Tambor,” his vocals were complemented by George Delgado’s lilting conga and Luisito Quintero’s punctual timbales.

Gon Bopps

Quintero was a whirling dervish on his timbales all night. He hit explosive wooden cracks by frenetically playing all surfaces of his drums, including hitting the sides of his timbales with his drumsticks sending crackling wooden blasts to the back walls of the Jazz Standard.

On another ballad, Bosch took up his flute and played a dazzling duet with flutist (and baritone saxophonist) Mitch Frohman, layering their spirited high runs and leaping octaves in a shimmer of light colors (that had the crowd roaring their approval).


On “Cancion Para Ti,” Frohman’s flute was complimented with lilting chords and touches from Oscar Hernandez’s piano. Hernandez was always at the ready to lend a dancing frolic or the twinkle of a mambo beat. His solo piano ranged far and wide on “Como Te Quise” joined by vocalist Carlos Cascante, whose ardent vocals were steeped in metallic glow from Doug Beavers’ and Noah Bless’ trombones. The SHO built to a final crescendo of brass calls and vocal harmonies, (with cries of “Viva Puerto Rico!” echoing through the capacity crowd). Their final songs swayed on salsa flow, with cowbell and timbales firing on all cylinders to propel intoxicating grooves and dance steps into the night.

This global-minded, (perfectly fused) connection between African and Caribbean music was also at the heart of another astonishing concert that I attended recently in Boston, presented by WorldMusic/CRASHarts, [ ] a nonprofit arts organization that has brought the richness and diversity of global music to Boston area audiences for many years.

On March 10th, at the historic Somerville Theatre in Somerville, MA., WorldMusic/CRASHarts presented a concert by South African guitarist Derek Gripper and his African Strings and Mali’s legendary performer, Habib Koite, accompanied by percussionist, Mama Kone.

The evening was a feast of acoustic glory. Gripper and his African Strings opened the show, delivering their sultry lightness on guitars, kalimba, kora and on a Ugandan traditional stringed instrument called the endongo. (The endongo was plucked masterfully by Kinobe, a Ugandan musician, who also possessed a beautiful expressive voice). The group’s instrumentals were propelled by Gripper’s classical guitar style, flowing with light percussive touches and crisp nylon string runs. Unfortunately, the sound mix was a bit skewed in that Gripper’s guitar was overly dominant and so it was harder to hear the gentle soft strums of his partners’ instruments. When they could be heard clearly, Jaja Bashengezi’s accompanying guitar was a light caress and Kinobe plied his kora in sparkling fashion, projecting his notes like soft, falling raindrops.

To hear the astonishing expressive character of a kora, take a listen to a favorite audiophile CD that brings together two partners: kora player Ballake Sissoko and cellist Vincent Segal. Their recording is Musique De Nuit [Six Degrees Records] and part of this recording was uniquely made on a rooftop terrace in Bimako, Mali, (with the bleats of goats and rumbling traffic heard below). The recording is superb in its textural detail and its capture of every musical nuance and dynamic flow to this beautiful music. The music is tender, powerful and meditative in its expressive sweep, bringing these two virtuoso players together in supple and heated interplay.


Following the set by Derek Gripper and African Strings, the vivacious Habib Koite took the Somerville Theatre stage and mesmerized his audience with his seamless voice and guitar, working as one vehicle of expressive force and beauty. The sound for this second set was much improved for its clarity, balance and tactile aliveness.

Koite’s dance of open-hearted lyricism, deep grooves (punctuated by Kone’s thrum on his calabash) and ability to fully inhabit the territory of his songs was exuberant. His voice was a perfect vehicle to express his songs: light-hearted and soaring (with a bit of aging grit up top) on songs of love and hope (including a tribute to “women around the globe”) and then turning powerful and low on his slow brewing blues. Koite’s guitar perfectly partnered with his expressive voice. He utilized open strings; short five-note scale runs (with his capo at the top portion of his guitar for its highest dancing effect) and for his blues numbers,, he let his strings go loose and rumbling to create rubbery low notes (sounding like Jimi Hendrix in his swaggering prime). Koite’s final songs were tight statements of groove and joyful dance with Kone hitting his djembe drum and hi-hat with nimble fury. On these last tunes, Koite strolled through the audience strumming his guitar with light string dampening (to deliver an ebullient dancing beat) accompanied his soaring voice. The audience sang along, swaying in the warm of Koite’s sultry beat.

Returning home after this fantastic World Music/CRASHarts concert, I listened to a favorite new CD from another artist from Mali, Fatoumata Diawara, whose music is also a marvel of expressive, dancing power. On her new recording, Fenfo “Something To Say” [Montuno Productions], Diawara and her superb band deliver all the swirl and snap of their captivating music with spawning energy and joy. The recording beautifully captures all of their stunning musicianship and tactile energy, delivering a soundstage that is wide and deep (if your system is up to it!). Diawara’s voice soars and dips, elegant in phrasing and pitch. She and her band are equally at home in the sway of hip-hop, R & B and pop (such as on their grooving “Nterini” or the lilting pop of “Dibi Bo”) or on their lush ballads, such as the moving “Mama” (which features Diawara in duet with cellist Vincent Segal). The splendor of this recording is a dancing gift to the world, from its African roots to the shimmer of its Caribbean beats and beyond.

The National

If you would like to read more reviews like this one, visit Nelson’s blog at


Dennis Davis Reviews Nordost Sponsored Jazz Quintet at RMAF

By Dennis Davis, The Audio Beat

Let’s face it—most people who attend hi-fi shows don’t make the trek there to attend live concerts.  Musical performances at shows are usually limited to solo performers who have recorded on niche audiophile labels where the biggest selling point is often the label and its recording process.  Performers who have contracts with Universal, Sony, Blue Note or ECM are not in the habit of performing for a bunch of tired audiophiles, who pay nothing at the door and show up for the concert if they feel like it.

In that context, when I learned that Nordost was presenting a concert of jazz musicians from the Newvelle record label, I was excited.  When I saw the list of performers, my jaw dropped.  On trumpet was Dave Douglas.  I’ve attended many Dave Douglas concerts over the last twenty plus years, dating back to his days with John Zorn, and own many CDs he’s recorded as a leader.  Elan Mehler, co-founder of Newvelle Records, played piano at this session and his style has become familiar to me over the label’s three seasons of uniformly great releases.  I knew little of New York based acoustic bass player Simón Willson, except for his contribution to Newvelle’s Piano Noir LP.  However, I got together with the band the evening before the concert, and couldn’t take my eyes off Simón, whose energy was infectious.  John Gunther, composer and multi-instrumentalist (saxophones, clarinet and flute) has recorded extensively as part of New York’s “downtown” jazz scene.  As associate professor at University of Colorado Boulder, and director of their jazz studies program, he was the group’s local performer for the concert, and had warmed up the ensemble the day before at a campus workshop. Singer Dominique Eade recorded twice with Ran Blake, and I loved her well-received 2017 CD, Town and Country.  In addition to a long career as an instructor at New England Conservatory, she has an extensive catalog of recordings.

For those new to this record label, Newvelle issues a new record every other month, sold as a yearly subscription.  Each LP is a work of art—the clear vinyl LP is packaged in a beautiful foldout cover, embellished with commissioned artwork and prose, and is supported by extensive information on the label’s website ( I’ve heard every record released over the last three years and Newvelle’s consistency of high quality is unequaled in today’s music industry.  Watch out Blue Note and ECM!

The concert was held at the Denver Tech Center Hilton Garden Inn, in a large high ceiling room where I had attended other events.  I recalled fairly poor sound at those non-musical events that had involved a PA system.  Fortunately, Nordost arranged for a professional sound engineer to set up the room and sound system.  He brought in a very high quality sound system and mixing board and the results were spectacular, turning a pig’s ear room into a very good sounding hall.  The stage itself was a little small for the group, and had an effect on my ability to capture good pictures, but the players adjusted well to the somewhat cramped space.

Nordost has installed its professional cabling at the New York recording studio where Newvelle Records records all its sessions, Eastside Sound.  Beginning with Newvelle’s fourth season, all recordings will be made through Nordost cables.  I’ve reviewed the first three seasons for various publications, and look forward to comparing the sound of the new studio recordings. In the meantime, Newvelle’s artists are getting the additional exposure from the Nordost involvement.

The concert featured never before heard compositions from Dave Douglas, as well as material from Newvelle’s LP “Piano Noir”, and material from its third season.  In Elan Mehler’s words, the band, “is dancing between some basic intersections of style and genre—jazz and folk music, poetry and improvisation, prose and composition.”  They opened with a composition from American folk music singer/songwriter Jean Ritchie, an Appalachian song “West Virginia Mine Disaster” recorded by Dominique Eade on her most recent CD Town And Country (Sunnyside).  Next up was “Bear It To Heart” from the “Piano Noir” LP, that featured Elan Mehler and Simón Willson from this group.  The group then launched into a Douglas composition taken from a Jack Kerouac haiku, “Arms folded to the Moon”. I confess that until the middle of the concert I hadn’t recognized vocalist Dominique Eade, but by this third song of the concert, it hit me.  Her resemblance to vocalist Jeanne Lee on The Newest Sound Around (RCA LPM-2500 with pianist Ran Blake) was immediately obvious. I slapped my head over my short memory.  I own two of her CDs and am a big fan. That third song mesmerized me.  The composition, Eade’s singing, and the bands’ excellent ensemble playing had me laying down my pad and pen for the rest of the concert.  True, my hands were engaged in taking photographs, but I was captivated.

This was a performance far above those typically found hi-fi shows.  I searched my memory for comparisons and the only hi-fi show concert I could recall was at a show in New York well over a decade ago, featuring saxophone great Joe Lovano. But merely comparing it to hi-fi show concerts is selling it short.  I attend concerts (most frequently in the San Francisco Bay area) on a regular basis and jazz concerts at least a few times monthly.  This concert was among my favorites of this year, and one I will not soon forget. It sent me home to listen to my Newvelle Records LPs and Dave Douglas and Dominique Eade CDs.  What more can you ask for from a great concert?

Nordost Playlist – May 2018

Nordost is lucky to have a wonderful team of representatives and product trainers who travel around the world educating and demonstrating the effects of Nordost’s products. As part of these demonstrations, it is our job to find an interesting and diverse selection of music to showcase our cables, power devices, sort system and accessories. Whether at shows, visiting our dealers and distributors or even in our own listening room in our headquarters in Holliston, we are constantly getting asked what music we are playing (or if our audience is not so bold to ask, we can see their Shazams working overtime). So we thought this would be a perfect opportunity to share our favorite songs of the moment. Some may be classics, some may be brand new, some may not even be to your taste, but one thing is for sure …it’s all great music.

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

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

  1. Deathless—Ibeyi, Kamasi Washington—Ash
  2. Righteously—Anna Ash—Righteously
  3. In My Life—Chie Ayado—Best II
  4. Wedding Song—Anaïs Mitchell, Justin Vernon—Hadestown
  5. Djougou Toro—Volta Jazz—Bobo Yéyé : Belle Époque
  6. Demolition Man—Def Leppard—Euphoria
  7. No Ordinary Love—Sade—Love Deluxe
  8. Catch My Breath—Confidence Man—Confident Music For Confident People
  9. Carry On—Wyclef Jean, Emili Sande—Carnival III: The Fall and Rise of a Refugee
  10. Talking Straight—Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever—Talking Straight


Top 10 HiFi system tweaks to get your system sounding its best

Screen Shot 2018-04-19 at 11.18.38 AM    By Mike Marko

No matter what kind of an audio system you have, be it state-of-the-art two channel or entry level, there are some basic system set-up and maintenance techniques that can significantly enhance your listening pleasure. Some of these common sense improvements are easier to implement than others, but by not paying attention to these basic system tweaks, you’ll never coax the best performance out of the components you already own. In no particular order, here are 10 of the most useful tweaks you can make to get your system sounding its best:



1) Level All Components

Make sure your loudspeakers and electrical components are as level as possible.  Be precise.  Stability is critical to performance too— it makes a big difference!   It is vital to make sure your speakers are stable and not rocking on their stands or feet.



2) Proper Listening Position

Where you sit in the room is very important in relation to your speakers and room boundaries. Stereo imaging and frequency response can be greatly affected if this detail is not considered. Normally, it is best to position your listening chair away from room boundaries. Too close to the back wall can result in boomy bass, but be careful, placing your chair two-thirds back from the front wall can make the system thin and unnatural.  Make sure to try a few locations to determine what’s best for your unique space.



3) Reduce Electrical Static Charges

Depending on the season and your location, static charge build-up on components, cables, carpets, and speakers can be a real problem. Both static charges from components, using digital circuitry that scrambles their microprocessors, and cables, attracting dust and dirt that affects their signal transfer, need to be eliminated for good performance. Nordost’s Eco 3X is an effective tool to remove static build up.



4) Speaker Selection and Placement

If you’re playing dubstep at club levels in a large room but are using small, stand-mount speakers, you’re going to be an unhappy camper. Conversely, large floor standers in a tiny room will be just as problematic. Properly positioning your speakers, relative to walls, your listening chair, and other objects in your room, will be critical to your listening experience. Professional help from a trusted dealer can help you optimize your set-up with these variables in mind. For more information, take a look at at our “Speaker Placement in 5 Easy Steps” blog.



5) Electrical and Mechanical Grounding

One can hardly over emphasize the importance of system grounding. The advantages of a dramatically lowered noise floor have to be heard to be fully understood. Greater dynamic range, and the ability to hear nuances that are often buried in electrical noise, are some of the greatest benefits of proper grounding. If you can’t practically install a local grounding rod into the earth, there are solutions available that can provide an artificial earth ground for your system. Nordost QKORE Ground Units allow you to enjoy proper grounding, hassle free.


QKORE front and back_style



6) Keep All Electrical Contact Points Clean

All electrical contacts can be subject to corrosion over time. Keeping these contacts clean and free of oxidation is very important to good signal and power transfer. Periodically cleaning and tightening all the connections in your system, from the AC connection of the wall plug, to the pins on a moving-coil phono cartridge, will improve its performance. CAIG Laboratories’ selection of deoxidizing and cleaning products work very well on these issues.



7) Good Cables

Much has been said about cabling in systems. Some have said that, past the most basic level, improving cables will not make any noticeable difference in your system.  You might as well just go wireless, right?  Others know that you’ll never get the most from the components you already own without optimizing their connections. Wired systems always outperform their wireless counterparts. Find a good dealer that will lend you some cables to take home and try in your own system, in your own home. Only then will you hear for yourself how important these critical links in your system are.

Norse 2 Group Image


8) Listening Room Acoustic Treatment

Imagine setting up any audio system in a stark room with no furniture or window coverings. There will be echo and excessive reverb, as well as uneven frequency response and poor stereo imaging, no matter how good the system is. Now imagine a nicely furnished normal room with couches and chairs, framed art on the walls, lamps and drapes, crown moulding, and nice carpeting. The difference in sound will be startling, whether listening to music or simply carrying on a normal conversation. For more problematic rooms, you may need to take the extra step of adding acoustic panels, either diffusive, absorbent, or a combination of the two. Again, your local shop can provide analysis and recommendations for best performance.



9) Resonance Control

In order for your equipment to perform its best, it is important to keep micro-vibrations (or resonance) away from the electrical components on any circuit boards. Certain components, like capacitors, are physical devices whose measured tolerance can vary significantly when subject to vibration.  Internally generated vibrations, like those from power transformers or disc drives, and externally generated vibrations, like those from speakers and subwoofers, can both pose problems. Thankfully there are many solutions in the marketplace to address these issues. A good choice is Nordost’s range of Sort products.

Picture 198


10) Clean AC Power

Every bit of power needed to drive your sound system, from the source, to the amplifiers, to the speakers, originates from the AC signal coming from the wall. The quality of that power can quite dramatically affect the ultimate performance of your components. Proper power delivery must reduce the RFI and electromagnetic interference that contaminates the AC signal, without limiting the peak current that components require. Nordost QRT products can be very effective at establishing this balance.

Picture 1478

Whenever you see one of us Nordost folks giving demonstrations at HiFi shows all around the world, know that we take all of these points and more into consideration when setting up our systems. Stop by the Nordost demo room next time we’re in town, and let us show you what we mean!

–  Mike Marko


For more information about tweaks you can make to improve your system, check out our “Tiny Tweaks, Big Pay-Offs — Simple Adjustments That Make a Difference” download HERE.


Nordost Playlist – March 2018

Nordost is lucky to have a wonderful team of representatives and product trainers who travel around the world educating and demonstrating the effects of Nordost’s products. As part of these demonstrations, it is our job to find an interesting and diverse selection of music to showcase our cables, power devices, sort system and accessories. Whether at shows, visiting our dealers and distributors or even in our own listening room in our headquarters in Holliston, we are constantly getting asked what music we are playing (or if our audience is not so bold to ask, we can see their Shazams working overtime). So we thought this would be a perfect opportunity to share our favorite songs of the moment. Some may be classics, some may be brand new, some may not even be to your taste, but one thing is for sure …it’s all great music.

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


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

  1. The Fog—Overcoats—YOUNG
  2. Don’t Make Me Wait (with Shaggy)—Sting, Shaggy—Don’t Make Me Wait
  3. Fallin’-Remix—Madison McFerrin—Finding Foundation, Vol. 1
  4. Money—Caroline Rose—LONER
  5. Broken Record—Alex Ebert—Broken Record
  6. For the Hungry Boy—Jonny Greenwood—Phantom Thread
  7. Make Me Feel—Janelle Monáe—Make Me Feel
  8. One—Gene Evaro Jr.—Too Good to Believe
  9. Left It With The Moon—The Shacks—The Shacks EP
  10. Spirited Away – One Summer’s Day—Joe Hisaishi—Hisaishi Meets Miyazaki Films