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.

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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?"

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