Nordost Displays Valhalla 2

Intrigued by Ariel Bitran’s initial assessment of Nordost’s new Valhalla 2 line, as well as the repeat responses of website readers who seem determined to answer the modern koan, “What is the sound of one hand clapping in the hot wind?” I spent awhile listening to Valhalla 2 in Nordost’s room in the Hilton. Paul Ritchotte (L) and the ultra-modern Rune Skov were only too happy to oblige, switching between Valhalla 2 and the original Valhalla line (including the power cables that are currently—pun intended—on my desktop’s iMac and Dynaudio Focus 110A self-powered loudspeakers).

On a not-so-shabby system that included a Burmester 061 CD player; Roland Aeris DAC, Chorus preamp, and G25 stereo amp; and Nola Metro Grand Reference Gold loudspeakers, the men began by making a single switch of power cable on the CD player between Valhalla and Valhalla 2. To these ears, there was no question that the Valhalla 2 delivered far more body and weight, and far more convincingly balanced a keyboard recording’s highs with the instruments lower tones.

The final comparison I had time for was on a recording by Ravi Shankar’s daughter, Norah Jones. While I expected bass to be more solid, I was taken aback to discover that highs were actually clearer and more lifelike, and the entire presentation more transparent than the Valhalla line I thought excelled in those areas. “Far more convincing throughout the range,” I scribbled in my notes.

“Valhalla 2 combines the best of Odin and Tyr 2,” I was told. I don’t know how to confirm that without lots and lots of listening, but I could certainly see the differences in geometry between Valhalla old and new. Valhalla 2 features a totally different, asymmetrical internal layout and dual microfilament construction, and now sports Neutrik connectors.

“The change of connectors, which were specially designed for Valhalla 2, made a big difference,” said either Paul or Rune. “And the new hollow plug connector has similarities to both our Sort Kones and Q-Base.”

I also learned that Valhalla 2 speaker cable has less connectors than Odin, but higher-gauge conductors. Insulation is FEP Teflon, and the cables are more flexible and forgiving when you move them around. “Everything has changed,” said Rune.

COMMENTS
Psychedelicious's picture

the men began by making a single switch of power cable on the CD player between Valhalla and Valhalla 2. To these ears, there was no question that the Valhalla 2 delivered far more body and weight

That settles it: Nordost's older cables were truly inferior! 


Nordost salesperson

GeorgeHolland's picture

Mr Serinus has NEVER listened to a cable or power cord that DIDN'T sound differently. Hence his hearing is flawed OR he has expectation bias OR he's just not worth reading. I reccomend not bothering to read anything he writes on here or other websites. Just look up his "business", whistle therapy *chuckles* he's a real laugh riot. No wonder Stereophile uses him as a "reviewer".

ChrisS's picture

Georgie,

Does anyone ever listen to you?

MVBC's picture

Imagine what the next generation Valhalla 3 will sound like!devil

eugovector's picture

"The final comparison I had time for was on a recording by Ravi Shankar’s daughter, Norah Jones."

I love that thought that, without the reference to Ravi Shankar, the readers of this article would have been asking "Norah who?"

X
Enter your Stereophile.com username.
Enter the password that accompanies your username.
Loading