Questions and Answers (February 2019)

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 our most recent and frequently asked questions here so that everyone can get the answers they are looking for!


Q: Do the new Set-Up discs include tracks for some sort of test tone or songs that help with subwoofer set up?

A: Yes, our newly upgraded, set-up and tuning discs offer a unique mix of diagnostic tracks, calibration tools, and system conditioning aids to help with every aspect of system set-up. In fact, there are a whole suite of sweeps and discrete tones to specifically address subwoofer set-up. You can find out more about the System Solution Set-Up & Tuning Discs on the Nordost website.


Q: I know that Nordost always stresses the importance of cable burn-in, but how many hours of break-in does the QK1 need to achieve its best performance?

A: Unlike cables, our QK1 and  QV2’s don’t need a lot of break-in time. Although, since the QK1 is a mechanical device, it does need a little more time than the QV2, which is an electronic device. While you can hear immediate audible changes as soon as they are plugged in, in general, these products need to be plugged in for about a week to achieve their intended performance levels.


Q: Which Nordost speaker cables are available in bi-wire?

A: Typically, Nordost speaker cables are not available in bi-wire. We recommend that you use our Norse Bi-Wire Jumpers for the speaker cables in our Norse and Leif ranges and our Reference Bi-Wire Jumpers for cables in our Reference and Supreme Reference Ranges. We also have customized Bi-Wire Jumpers in both our Valhalla 2 and Odin 2 ranges which are essentially extensions of the speaker cables, in order to ensure that there is an identical sonic signature running throughout your entire system. However, we do offer a bi-wire option in our 4-Flat and SuperFlatline Leifstyle cables.



Q: In the FAQ section it states that the QX2 and QX4 each have a “different focus”. So, is it possible to combine both products in one system?

A: Yes, in most systems you would start with a QX4 between the wall and the power distribution/QBASE (it’s ideal to use a QX4 unit in that position because it is stronger). Then you would add other units, either QX2s or QX4s, between the distribution block and the actual components.


 

Introducing the System Solution: Set-Up & Tuning Discs

After years of great success with our original System Set-Up & Tuning Disc, Nordost is excited to introduce a newly upgraded disc-set that both improves and expands upon our initial product, offering more content and features, to get your system sounding its best and to keep it that way. The Nordost System Solution is an invaluable tool for the installation, maintenance, and fine-tuning of any hifi audio system. Arranging a new system is a painstaking and exacting task for even the most seasoned audiophiles. This two-disc set, provides you with a unique mix of diagnostic tracks, calibration tools, and system conditioning aids that will help unlock the full potential of your sound system.

The System Solution Set-Up & Tuning Discs include tracks that range from the simple, such as channel checks and pink and white noise, to the more complex and unusual LEDR tracks, timed frequency sweeps, and repeat drum beats. Our sound engineers have incorporated specially designed tracks to facilitate full-range loudspeaker positioning and the integration of subwoofers, and have even included a number of useful “system service” functions.

These functions include degauss and burn-in signal tracks, both of which are essential precursors to fine-tuning your existing set-up or new components. Each of these helpful tracks is fully explained and expounded upon in a detailed instruction booklet, included with every disc set.

Nordost is proud to say that over the years our products have become integral components in preeminent recording studios around the world. This has given us the opportunity to incorporate musical selections recorded using Nordost cables as an exciting new feature on our set-up discs. These carefully curated tracks highlight specific aspects of system performance and will help you to further explore the subtleties of your newly-tuned system. This also means that Nordost users will have the ability to experience performances wired with Nordost from beginning to end!

Includes:

  • Essential channel and phase checks
  • Multiple pink and white noise signals for speaker/room diagnostics
  • Sophisticated LEDR tests to optimize speaker placement
  • System maintenance tracks (Degauss and Burn-In)
  • Low-frequency tones specially designed and configured to map room modes and aid speaker placement or subwoofer positioning and integration.
  • Specially selected music tracks with detailed listening notes to further refine system performance

 

Dealer Spotlight: Natural Sound

By Steve Greene

Looking for the recipe for a world class hifi store? Set up shop in a highly visible, heavily traveled location. Fill that store with numerous sound rooms, each furnished with the best sounding and performing audio/video brands available. Staff it with a knowledgeable and personable sales team. Natural Sound in Framingham, Massachusetts, has been diligently following that recipe for over 40 years, and can attest to its success! So, audiophile friends, next time you find yourself on the busy Route 9 between Boston and Worcester, pull over and avail yourself of the warm, friendly environment to see, hear, touch, and learn about today’s best 2-channel audio and home theater gear from the most experienced salespeople in New England.

Natural Sound was a company founded by audiophiles, for audiophiles in 1975. Since its establishment, one of the original founders has left the company to pursue new endeavors within the audio industry, as did his replacement, and both have gone on to become well-known engineers and product designers in the field. Meanwhile, original co-founder and current owner, Jim Lackey, is consistently sought after by various manufacturers to lend his extensive expertise to both develop new products and revive older ones. Nearly all of Natural Sound’s employees have worked for Jim and General Manager, Larry Goldberg, for many, many years— some for decades!  That longevity in the industry means that each of Natural Sound’s sales associates (Peter, Mark, Lewis, and Dave) has years of extensive experience and product knowledge to ensure that they will be able help improve your current home audio system or build a new system from entry level, all the way up to super high-end.  Natural Sound even has an amazing integration team, headed by Paul, who intimately knows just about every quality piece of audio/video gear on the market, including all Nordost products.

Speaking of products, this veritable old soundhaus is teeming with tempting hifi kits.  We’re talking esteemed brands like McIntosh, Wilson Audio, Magnepan, Ayre Acoustics, Revel, Naim Audio, Focal, Bryston, Bowers and Wilkins, Rogers High Fidelity, and more! There are a lot of nice turntables to choose from too, such as Rega Research, Pro-Ject, Oracle, Clearaudio and TechDas Air Force.  Are headphones more your style? Natural Sound carries superb models from Audeze, Focal, Beyer, and Sennheiser, amongst others!  Whichever component you are in the market for, Natural Sound can make them all sound even more rich and resolving with Nordost cables.  The shop is always well-stocked with Nordost demo cables and gear, so that you can compare various models in your own home system, from our entry level White Lightning cables, all the way up to Valhalla 2. You can even get a demo of our powerful, new QKORE grounding system, Sort Kones, and other resonant control and power products.

So next time you are in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, take some quality time to visit our friends at Natural Sound. And, if you are a Red Sox fan, you might be lucky enough to say hello to GM Larry, who is personally my favorite Red Sox mentor and fan!

Natural Sound
401 Worcester Rd.
Framingham MA
01701
(508) 879-3556

Nordost Playlist – February 2019


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 February.


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


  1. bury a friend—Billie Eilish—bury a friend
  2. Moretown Hop—Noam Pikelny—Universal Favorite
  3. BAGDAD – Cap.7:Liturgia—ROSALÍA—El Mal Querer
  4. Honey—Robyn—Honey
  5. Where’s The Catch? (feat. André 3000)—James Blake, André 3000—Assume Form
  6. Make You Feel My Love—Bob Dylan—Time Out Of Mind
  7. Woman—Cat Power, Lana Del Ray—Wanderer
  8. Beautiful Strangers—Kevin Morby—Beautiful Stranger b/w No Place to Fall
  9. Suzanne—Bermuda Triangle—Suzanne
  10. Pristine—Snail Mail—Lush

 

Nordost is headed to the Montréal Audio Fest!

Come and see Nordost at the Salon Audio Montréal Audio Fest. Please join us, March 22nd – 24th, in Montréal at the Hôtel Bonaventure. Throughout the show, our sales representatives and product specialists, Bruno de Lorimier and Michael Taylor, will be performing live demonstrations and product comparisons, available in both French and English, in Salon St-Michel. This year we will be partnering with our new Montréal-based dealer, Villeneuve Audio Video, to put together a system featuring Simaudio components, Bowers & Wilkens speakers and, of course, Nordost cables. The Montréal Audio Fest is a perfect opportunity to hear the effect that quality cables can have on a hifi system, and to determine how the caliber of performance is improved as enhancements are made to cable design. Admission is free to the public, so we hope to see you there!

The Audio Beat reviews the SuperFlatline Speaker Cable

We are happy to share a wonderful review of our newly released SuperFlatline Speaker Cable, recently published on TheAudioBeat.com. In his piece, What I’d Recommend To A Friend: Nordost SuperFlatlineRoy Gregory remembers the cable that “awakened the audio public’s awareness of both the importance and performance potential of speaker cables“. He also realizes that in a world of one-box solutions, the affordable price of the SuperFlatline makes it all the more relevant today, especially at its performance point.

…it is very obviously cut from exactly the same musical cloth [as Valhalla 2], with its crisp, clean dynamics, unforced transparency and expressive musical range. That uncluttered clarity allows it to cut straight to the heart of the densest or most compressed studio mix… Regardless of genre, SuperFlatine’s musical exuberance is hard to beat.“—Roy Gregory

You can now read Roy’s full review here: What’ I’d Recommend To A Friend: Nordost SuperFlatline

You can find this review and 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 Richard from Nebraska for sharing a little about his transformative experience with Nordost!


Music is one of my life’s greatest enjoyments and Nordost has played a major part in it.

My Nordost journey began at the RMAF Show in Denver, CO after seeing Mike Marko’s phenomenal Nordost cable presentation with The Sound Environment assisting. This became a game changer for me and I knew at that time, that Nordost was for me.

My first demo, a Purple Flare Power Cord plugged into a 4K Apple TV using an LG OLED TV, produced unexpected, yet amazing results.  The power cord significantly improved the video and sound quality. With that, it was clear that Nordost transforms your audio/video experience into one that is so immersive, it draws you into the music and film.   

I’ve since added Heimdall 2 Power Cords, three Blue Heaven HDMIs, and a QB8 MKII with two QV2s. This resulted in greater color saturation, deeper black levels, and improved contrast levels. Image clarity, depth, and texture also showed improvement.  With the Heimdall 2 Speaker Cables, audio showed improvement in dynamics, a wider and deeper sound stage, and greater transparency and separation.

Each new addition of Nordost equipment has bestowed incremental, yet significant upgrades to the video and sound. What more could you ask for? Listening to music or watching movies with family and friends and hearing them say “WOW!”…  It doesn’t get much better than that!”


Richard is a happy customer of Sound Environment.  His system is wired with Purple FlareBlue Heaven, and Heimdall 2 cables and uses QRT Power Products.


What’s your Nordost story?

Industry Advocate: Mike Valentine

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.


 

Mike Valentine has been chasing sound for over 40 years. In the early 1970s Mike joined BBC Television as a sound engineer where he worked on a huge range of programs from “Monty Python” and “Fawlty Towers”, all the way through to “Live Aid”. At the time, the technical training within the BBC was second to none. In 1986 Mike left the BBC to pursue a career in the feature film industry, where he has worked on over 90 feature films including the last five Bond films as the underwater cameraman. However, he has always been passionate about sound. In 2011, Mike returned to his roots, launching “Chasing The Dragon”, recognized as one of the leading producers of audiophile recordings. Through his label, Mike has been able to produce several LPs, including the recently released Vivaldi in Venice, which was recorded using Nordost cables. This live chamber ensemble recording in the Interpreti Veneziani has received rave reviews from critics. These reviews include respected publications such as The Absolute Sound, which ran an article in this month’s (January 2019) issue, by Wayne Garcia, calling the recording “one of the most gorgeous sounding and exquisitely played LPs [he had] heard in quite some time”.

What does Mike have to say about Nordost?

“The most vital thing I have come to appreciate over the years is how precious the microphone signal is. I cannot tell you how everything that we now record has been lifted by leaps and bounds by using Nordost’s Ax Angel microphone cables. We have carried out many A/B tests and have always voted for the musicality and sheer foot tapping fun that our recordings now have, when made using these great cables. I now never leave home without them! In fact, our most recent Direct Cut album (which we also recorded in Double DSD and PMC for download release), featuring audiophile icon Eleanor McEvoy, was recorded using Nordost cables, and the sound is fantastic!”

Mike chooses to use Nordost’s Ax Angel, Blue Heaven, Odin 2, and QRT products in his recordings.

For more information about Mike Valentine and his body of work, visit chasingthedragon.co.uk

 

TONEAudio Reviews the Purple Flare USB Cable

Nordost has more to offer than the exclusive, reference-level products that we are best known for. Offering a complete range of products that are designed to complement all systems from the highest-end to the most modest, Nordost has something for every music lover. That is why we are especially excited when we get reviews featuring our introductory products— so that people can see how transformative our most elemental cables can be! In his review, Nordost Purple Flare USB, Jeff Dorgay looks into the improvements that our entry-level USB cable makes on a system. Dorgay explains that the deeper, more quiet background and “relaxed feel” that the Purple Flare USB gives to the performance is something that even non-audiophiles can appreciate.

“[With the Purple Flare] great recordings feel larger and densely packed recordings open up more and are less fatiguing to listen to. Even my favorite live recording (and arguably one of the worst sounding records, ever) KISS-Alive! perks up when delivered via the PF. I wanted the best and I got it.”—Jeff Dorgay

You can now read Jeff’s full review here: Nordost Purple Flare USB

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

Nordost Playlist – January 2019


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 January.


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


  1. My My My!—Troye Sivan—Bloom
  2. The Final Frame—Michael Kiwanuka—Love & Hate
  3. Less But Better—Sam Gendel—4444
  4. Neon Moon—Cigarettes After Sex—Neon Moon
  5. Waveland—Noam Pikelny—Universal Favorite
  6. The You Can Tell Me Goodbye—Bettye Swann
  7. Do You Ever Remember?—Molly Drake—Family Tree
  8. The Rich (And The Poor)—Keith Jarrett—Treasure Island
  9. Wake Up—Sudan Archives—Sudan Archives
  10. Quiet Dawn—Archie Shepp—Attica Blues