The Nordost Difference

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In a high-end audio system every element is critical. As people who have a great appreciation for the music we love, and hobbyists who strive to achieve the most realistic sound possible in the comfort of our own listening rooms, we spend hours searching, listening, and comparing different components in order to achieve the performance level that we are looking for. As cable manufacturers, we understand that wiring is not the first component that most people take into consideration when they are looking to upgrade their sound system. In fact, at times it is even a battle for cables to be considered a component, and instead they are often pushed into the category of “accessory”. Cables, however, are an extension of the equipment they are connected to and the effect that they have on the performance of the device they are connected to should not be minimized. But by ignoring cabling and passing it off as an afterthought or accessory, you are limiting the potential that your system is capable of. After all, a system is only as good as its weakest link.

Nordost has a very unique philosophy when it comes to cable design. As a rule, we believe that cables cannot add to the fragile signals that they carry. Instead, we have designed 4 ranges, each causing less impact and signal-loss than the range that came before it, which in turn produces progressive sonic improvements. From the entry level cables (Leif) through the top of our Supreme Reference Range (Odin 2), these improvements are achieved by various means: the number and gauge size of the conductors, proprietary technology such as the use of Mono-Filament, purpose made conductors, and mechanically tuned lengths. All of these elements not only result in measurable improvements (as shown in New Approaches to Audio Measurement), but the differences are also audibly demonstrable.

Over the past 25 years we have built the reputation of our products by conducting live cable demonstrations at Hi-Fi Shows around the world. These demonstrations are great fun because we can actually show people that just changing a power cord, interconnect or loudspeaker cable can make real improvements to the musical performance experienced. The demo format we use, and have used since the beginning, is a simple A/B comparison. We simply start using a stock or entry level cable, play a small sample of music (not too long of a sample so as to mitigate listening fatigue) and then play the same piece again, at the same volume, using an improved cable. It is amazing how dramatic the results can be when you use such simple and concise comparison methods. Upon hearing our demos, listeners usually report hearing an increase in both fine details and soundstage, due to the very low capacitance of our cables. With certain cables (specifically our power cords) the music may even be perceived as being louder… however, this is not the case. What people are actually hearing is a lowering of the background noise floor, which can produce the same effect as an increase in volume.

Of course, it is not our aim to tell you what you should hear. Nordost has always insisted that the end user should hear these differences for themselves. We encourage everyone to visit their local Nordost dealers for their own demos, attend one of our live product demonstrations at an audio show near you, or even better, take our cables home and try them on your own system!

In order to appreciate the Nordost difference you have to hear the Nordost difference.

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