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.



2 thoughts on “Questions and Answers: Tonearm Cables

  1. Does Nordost offer an (internal wire) tonearm cable solution for the entire signal path from cartridge to phonostage in this new technology?

    • Nordost does offer a dedicated, internal tonearm wire that runs from the cartridge and through the tonearm, which is available, by request, at dedicated Nordost dealers. While this internal tonearm wire does not have the same internal construction as our new Tonearm Cable + for obvious reasons, since the new tone arm cable deals with grounding issues, the sonic signature of the cables do complement each other, and will make a noticeable sonic improvement when used together.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.