Nordost Premiers the Valhalla 2

Rune Skov shows off the new Nordost Valhalla 2 interconnect ($9799/2m pair) next to his sweet Nordost tattoo.

On Tuesday May 28th, 2013, Nordost premiered the Valhalla 2 cable lineup at Lyric Hi-Fi in New York City. Rune Skov, International Product Training & Sales Support Manager for Nordost, gave a demonstration to a garrulous group of audiophiles who joyfully suggested what differences they heard as Skov switched out each old Valhalla cable for the new one.

The first iteration of the Valhalla is a 13-year old technology. Skov stated the Valhalla “really put Nordost on the map,” but that “it was time to make changes.” Many attendees at the demo proclaimed proud ownership of Valhalla but were curious to hear the advantages of the new design. As usual, nobody had the audacity to take the sweet spot chair. A self-proclaimed symphony-conductor and I took seats at the wings of the front row.

The Valhalla 2 power cord costs $5,999.99 for 2 meters and is $1,000 each additional meter. The Valhalla 2 power cord is comprised of seven solid silver plated 16 AWG OFC conductors intertwined and suspended in a Dual Mono-Filament matrix. It is insulated with extruded fluorinated ethylene propylene (FEP), a really awesome plastic used in lab-ware and tubing for corrosive processes.

Rune started with an all Valhalla 2 wired system except for a single Valhalla 1 power cord running from the wall to a Quantum QB8 power distribution center ($1499). Other gear plugged into the QB8 included the Simaudio Moon 880M monoblocks ($42,000/pair), Simaudio Moon 750D CD Transport ($12,500), and Simaudio Moon P8 Preamplifier ($16,000). The Focal Stella Utopia loudspeakers ($95,000/pair) finished it off.

We listened to a performance Tchaikovsky’s Nocturne by Chinese cellist Ma Xinhua from the Rhymhoi release Three Wishes for a Rose. After switching the to the Valhalla 2 power cord, I heard a deepening of the soundstage, more relaxed extension into the highs, and a slightly sweeter sound overall. Skov suggested, “Everything becomes more natural.” A participant interjected that he could hear the “wood of the instrument.”

We then ran the same test with another track from the same album, this time only switching the power cable of the Simaudio 750D CD Transport from Valhalla 1 to Valhalla 2. The rest of the cables remained Valhalla 2. I heard cleaner and more extended highs, extended decay on the rumbling left hand of the pianist, and greater dynamics.

Skov sold his power chord: “Your system will never sound better than the first power chord you have.”

Third to demo was the Valhalla 2 interconnect which costs $9799 for two meters and an additional $1100 for each additional half-meter. Skov interchanged balanced interconnects on the Simaudio 750 CD Transport. We listened to Chai Lang’s performance of "Theme from the Godfather" on the Rhymoi compilation A Time to Meet Again. In this comparison, I heard a less obvious difference but still a difference. There were longer decays to the piano, a bit of shrillness from the violin was eased away, and the violin’s transition to a lower-pitched section seemed a touch less bulky.

The Valhalla 2 interconnect is offered with both single-ended and balanced terminations. With the single-ended cables, circular wood blocks wrapped around the interconnect instruct the user from which direction to transfer the signal. Both terminations feature Nordost’s new trademarked Holo:Plug technology which claims to maximize efficiency of your signal transfer by creating a direct connection with the wire’s conductors.

At this point, the conductor next to me asked for a recording with a full orchestra. I made an aggressive move and took the sweet spot.

Skov played Camille Saint-Saëns’ Danse Macabre as performed by the Minnesota Orchestra, conducted by Eiji Oue, and recorded by an editor at Hong Kong hi-fi magazine Audio Technique. Most startling and enjoyable were the piece’s shifting dynamics and the system’s startling impact with the unisons of timpani and double bass.

Another attendee asked for some jazz. Skov played Vietnamese-Danish bass player Chris Minh Doky’s sleepy arrangement for “Every Breath You Take” by the Police. This is jazz?

Skov suggested that the CD sounded weird and put on “All Blues” from Miles Davis’s Kind of Blue. The image was comfortably spread with one sax on each side and Davis’s trumpet clearly centered. The contrast in breathiness and blowing force between Cannonball Adderley’s nearly spritely alto and Coltrane’s mellower tenor was delightful. Good call on the switch Skov!

The final demo of the presentation was for the Valhalla 2 speaker cables priced at $11,849 for a two meter pair and $1500 each additional half meter. Nordost describes:

“The Valhalla 2 Reference Speaker Cable consists of twenty-eight conductors divided into four groups of seven. Each conductor is made from solid core 99.999999% oxygen free copper and plated with 85 microns of silver…The transmission speed of the cable is extremely fast, at over 96% the speed of light.”

Someone better call Marty McFly.

Skov played song “Another Day in Paradise” from Swedish singer Josefine Cronholm. During playback with the Valhalla 1, I noted an enjoyable evenness and cleanliness to the stand-up bass and exciting shimmering rise from a cymbal quickly struck with mallets.

Skov and Michael Taylor of Nordost fell to their knees as they switched the Valhalla 1 for the Valhalla 2 speaker cables. Through the Valhalla 2, I heard more inner detail to the stand up bass with slightly longer decay. A rimshot that had before been mostly metal rim and drumstick now included much more body of the snare. The rising cymbal now featured more body of the cymbal and less shimmer.

Nordost also offers a digital interconnect and tonearm cable within their Valhalla 2 line. As I left the event, Michael Fremer arrived. He’s got some Valhalla 2’s at home. Hopefully, he will share his thoughts in the future either in Stereophile or on To sum up the improvements from the Valhalla 1 to the Valhalla 2 that I heard, it seemed the new cables brought out more inner-detail to the instruments, added spaciousness to the soundstage, and eased and sweetened the highs.

ChrisS's picture

Rich, expensive, luxury, high end, unaffordable... always means insecurity and rip off?

Psychedelicious's picture

So why repeat yourself? Cables are deep shannanigan territory. I think money spent to improve sound is much better spent on amplification, speakers a good DAC, and room treatment. Any funds left over should be spent acquiring MUSIC. Only a fool wastes their money on interconnects. Frankly, I say that as a music producer as well as a fan of Stereophile magazine for the last 25 years.

I'm only trying to help. angle

MVBC's picture

Nordost own website:

From Valhalla 2 interconnect: "V2 is extremely fast, at over 87% the speed of light."

From Valhalla 2 speaker cables: "The transmission speed of the cable is extremely fast, at over 96% the speed of light".

Therefore, the entire system will be limited at 87% provided there is not somewhere a lower value to be found.

Now to put in perspective this terrible loss, the exact speed of light is 299,792,458 m/s so the difference between 96% and 87% is huge:

27,000,000 m/s! This is HUGE. On your system with overall 10 m length of pricy cables, you're looking at a 0.00000037 s "very clearly" audible difference!

Can you afford to lose sleep over this? wink

Psychedelicious's picture

It's still not clear how much of an increase in near-light-speed performance Nordost gets you. 87% of light speed sounds slow to me, what if a Radio Shack cable performs faster? Has anyone tested this?

It's 2 a.m., I'm losing sleep! crying

ChrisS's picture

Seeing your system photo and hearing your music on your soundcloud profile, no wonder you find Radio Shack/ Home Depot wire good enough.

Psychedelicious's picture

I'd say that comment exposes your system as underpowered, and not truly full-range.

Try this Mozart bit I sequenced

pwf2739's picture

There is an important distinction that has been missed here. The article written by Mr. Bitran is about the Nordost Valhalla 2 (V2)  in a specific system, in a specific show, on a specific day. And that was the extent of of the article. The two positive comments, one of which was mine, were both about the V2 used in a home based system by two different consumers. All the discussion about this other cable and testing this or that has absolutely no relevancy whatsoever. That is like saying because you test drove a Ford and didn't like it you would never buy a Chevy. What ever anyone feels about "other" high end cables, or even the whole concept of reference cables, has no bearing at all on the legitimacy of the V2 cable. The only legitimate argument, as it pertains to the article, is whether or not the V2 cable offers a sonic improvement in your system. I found a significant improvement, so did the other person who responded favorably, and so did Mr. Bitran. So if anyone has not tested the V2 cable in their system, whether by purchase or by loan, then no inference about whether or not the cable lives up to it's claims can legitimately be made. Criticize all you would like, but it is simply conjecture. 

There is also a lot of discussion regarding cost. Why does cost even matter? Either you can afford and more importantly justify the cost or you cannot. High end audio has never been about affordability and likely never will be. Every audiophile with a significant other understands that. If the cost of a V2 cable is so outrageous, then what is acceptable? A $1000.00 cable? Or a $500.00 cable? Maybe a $100.00 cable? If you can justify a $1000.00 cable the people who would only spend a $100.00 would think you  are wasting your money. But you had no problem at all spending a $1000.00. If it was only about cost then the most practical way to listen to music would be a very inexpensive MP3 player. There would be no need for high end audio. But that is not how it works. 

There is nothing wrong with a system that costs $3000.00, $5000.00 or even $10,000.00. They are all capable of producing great music. But like it or not, there are those people who have $100,000.00, $200,000.00 and more invested in an audio system. Just because those people have affordability on a larger scale are they therefore wrong? I have had very inexpensive cables and interconnects and found them inferior to the products that I now have. That is proof enough to me that the claims made by Nordost are true. As well as the other Nordost Odin, Valhalla and Tyr II cables I already have prove the point. And if that is not enough, my own ears are the definitive judge. 

Because at the end of the day, no scientist, engineer, PhD or anyone else will ever be as much of an expert as I am as to how my system sounds in my home. That is the bottom line. 

Psychedelicious's picture

Because at the end of the day, no scientist, engineer, PhD or anyone else will ever be as much of an expert as I am as to how my system sounds in my home. That is the bottom line. 

Believe what you will. Double-blind tests have a way of making declarations such as yours appear very, very foolish when scrutinized by those silly scientists and intellectuals and their ridiculous "scientific method."

Apparently you make an exception to your "I know better than anyone" rule for Nordost's "engineers" (if you can call them that). You put your faith in the designers of grossly overpriced cables. Everyone else? Just fools who believe in science instead of marketing hype.

I've repeatedly noted that the super-rich are free to buy whatever they want and feel good about it. I encourage it, because free spending leads to job creation—at least that's what Ronald Reagan said. Without access to speaker cables and bottles of wine that cost more than cars, being rich would be soooo boring. But make no mistake, there is NO performance advantage—it's even possible for exotic cables to screw up the sound by failing to perform a primary task: act like a cable, not like a filter.

I will never tire of this article debunking the value of expensive cables.

Ariel Bitran's picture

about the value of cables in general? or just Monster cables? I've used a paperclip as a clip to connect the binding posts behind my crossover, but I was happy to get the official part in there once I got the replacement. Did it sound better? I don't know. This was when I first got my speakers, so I doubt I could even tell.

i also think you're ignoring something here, and something which I'm waiting for someone to say. A very simple premise:

Cables can make a difference.

Do you think it is possible to hear a difference when using different cables?

If yes, then cable engineers can certainly engineer a cable to sound a certain way. Pwf2739 makes the correct point when he says this article IS NOT about expensive vs. inexpensive and that sort of qualitative judgment but rather the experience of the old Valhalla to the new. 

I move my listening chair an inch to the left and the sound changes. I find this contention that cables are irrelevant to be tiring. NEARLY EVERYTHING MAKES A DIFFERENCE. 

I like to think of hi-fi like food. You can get a cheeseburger from the diner down the block or you can get it from the really nice place downtown. Yes, they both use meat, cheese, lettuce, and tomato, but the quality of sources, cooking process, expertise of chefs, and presentation all determine the final enjoyment. If the diner makes the better burger, then more power to you, the informed consumer. You don't have to get your burger at the fancy place anymore to get your fill. But if the nice place takes the concept of "burger" to the next level, then it's worth the added value.

I think what gets people wrapped up in this mess is that there is just such a large disparity between the 50ft of speaker cable I can buy for $8 down the block versus the $50,849 I'd have to pay for about 50feet (approx 15 meters) from Nordost.

Psychedelicious's picture

I move my listening chair an inch to the left and the sound changes. I find this contention that cables are irrelevant to be tiring. NEARLY EVERYTHING MAKES A DIFFERENCE. 

It's tiring because why? The contribution of speaker cables has been studied and debunked countless times through scientific testing, so all that's left is a cadre of true believers insisting "but I can hear the difference, so it MUST be real." That's not science, that's religion—which means engineering isn't really a part of the equation.

The law of diminishing returns hits cables very hard. Just about everything else one could do makes a much bigger difference in terms of SQ, including the act of moving your head an inch! The notion that the difference one hears is attributable to a cable, or the sum of all cables, is very silly indeed.

Manufacturer's demos are—by their very nature—are suspect. The contribution of speaker cables to a system's performance is miniscule by any standard. Exploiting that miniscule, admittedly measurable difference is the name of the game. That game is called "sales and marketing," and it has fooled many folks over the ages, including the best and brightest. 

Good luck with your audio adventures. I think you are going down the wrong path, but it's the path of your choosing, and evidently you have company. I certainly don't claim that cables are irrelevant. They need to be of adequate quality to perform their task, of an appropriate gauge yada yada. But there's the law of diminishing returns to look out for, and it hits cables really, really hard.

I merely point out the folly in attributing—on blind faith—the difference you (and others) heard at the Nordost demo, to the cables. Bernie Madoff took rich people's money, too.

I'd love to settle the debate by stepping away from absolutes. I will allow for a 1% possibility that Nordost cables do what they claim, if you allow for a 1% possibility that they do not. That would be agreement enough for me.

Ariel Bitran's picture

that different components can cause differences in sound.

i do not have the experience yet to apply dollar values to those differences.

re: do what they claim?

i care more about how they sound.

Psychedelicious's picture

Certainly, if the exercise is to simply examine how different components sound, it is necessary to listen to exotic cables and to form an opinion on their effect on a system. I suggest that a dose of skepticism and a very critical outlook serves one well, because IF one gets fooled because the speaker-cable industry is not totally immune to human folly, then the cost is severe, except for those to whom this amount of money is trivial.


Ariel Bitran's picture


Ariel Bitran's picture

moving my head was a bad example b/c there is a measurable difference as to where you put your head.

i'm not saying i'm a 'mystic' -- i love measurements and science and the math of sound -- but i'm also not a 'meter-man'


(meter man, meter man, hears what only a meter can)

Psychedelicious's picture

I start with metering. I don't end with it. We agree on that, in the end the ear—and the person—need to be the judge of what's transcendent. When I "get it right", my system provokes goosebumps on a regular basis. For the most part, only very high-end systems have done that to me in the past, systems equipped with exotic cables.

Now, I can reproduce the entirety of the high-end experience with my frankensystem, and the one thing I found required no attention was cabling. I also say that as a musician. I have over 100 tracks on, and many of them will test a stereo system's capabilities quite well. here's a link to my profile:

I've been in a room full of meter-heads, I know the folly of that way of thinking as well.

Psychedelicious's picture

I like to think of hi-fi like food. You can get a cheeseburger from the diner down the block or you can get it from the really nice place downtown. Yes, they both use meat, cheese, lettuce, and tomato, but the quality of sources, cooking process, expertise of chefs, and presentation all determine the final enjoyment. If the diner makes the better burger, then more power to you, the informed consumer. You don't have to get your burger at the fancy place anymore to get your fill. But if the nice place takes the concept of "burger" to the next level, then it's worth the added value.

My wife happens to be the Zagat editor for Philadelphia, a city with many fine restaurants. If there's one topic I'm immersed in all the time, it's food. If there's one pursuit where I get to enjoy the exact same service and product as the ultra-rich, it's food. 

The burger analogy is particularly apt, I've experienced the whole gamut from $5 to $100+ burgers. It's the same thing I've been saying about speaker cables—the really pricey ones are almost always gimmick. Even when there's substance behind the gimmick. the price is artificially inflated, just to "qualify" it as a rich-person's "product," while offering no tangible qualitative benefit to the consumer.

Last month, Morimoto prepared a sushi dish for my wife and I. The whole restaurant came to a standstill, to watch the Iron Chef at work. The end result would have cost us a whole lot more than the sushi we usually eat. It certainly had incredible aesthetic appeal. Was is tangibly better than other sushi I have had? No. The entire "value" of the experience was in the attention we received, because Morimoto was actually making our food, instead of someone else who earns a lot less money.

My point it that the value of the meal was based on its exclusivity, not on its quality. That happens all the time with food.



ChrisS's picture

Remind me of my father- he can't enjoy a restaurant meal if he knows the price.

Psychedelicious's picture

Often, when I go out to dinner I, cost is no object; the chefs are always personally attentive, and I dine high-end all the time. Often I don't even have to order from the menu, I just have a chat with the chef. My current situation consists of not having enough time to take advantage of all the dining opportunities that present themselves each week.

When it comes to food, I have enough experience to know that money does not directly correlate to quality. It does buy ambiance, slick sales pitches, awesome presentation, and good customer service. Owning (or eating, or drinking) something expensive does boost the ego. I love being mistaken for a celebrity, because of the great, attentive service my wife and I get when we dine out. I could see spending money to maintain that illusion 24/7, if I had the cash to spare. Seriously, why not!

ChrisS's picture

Your wife (and you by association) is in a situation better than being monied, you have power. And that power is not benevolent.

You (ok, your wife) wield the same power as an executioner and a torturer.

Tell me your ego is not orgasming...

I understand now.

ChrisS's picture

You rely on an "article" for good science? Most of these "experimental" situations are designed and executed so poorly that one can't possible come to any valid conclusions. For all we know...

-the experimental design was crap

-testing equipment was crap

-the test listeners were all 58 year old construction workers with colds and hearing problems

-Monster cable tested = coat hangers = crap!

Psychedelicious's picture

Considering how proponents of exotic cables are willing to dispense with both science and common sense, I figure anything goes—including internet polls and articles that expose the hogwash.

ChrisS's picture

Bad science is crap, bad science taken seriously is even worse. Marketing and hype is no better.

Psychedelicious's picture

It agree 100 percent. "Bad Science" is just a synonym for "mistake," and a mistake that's taken seriously - as fact- should be avoided.

Psychedelicious's picture

I rely on my experience and my own system and my ears and also measuring devices. I rely on 25 years of HiFi fanaticism. I rely on my ears, which still test well for full-range hearing and that have trained through the process of becomeing a musicial and a producer.

I'm not relying on an article for anything but a nice simple anecdote about how silly all this exotic cable talk is. I'm still waiting for factual figures on how fast electrons travel through radio Shack speaker cable. Can anyone help? 

ChrisS's picture

Some requirements of good science is replication and verification. If your experience, your ears, your system and measuring devices tell you that the world of cables is "flat", then so be it. If you hear no difference whatsoever with any cables, then that's your own experience.

If someone else with their own ears uses your system, your measuring devices, and even your choice of testing material (tones? elevator music?) and consistently hears a difference with different cables (and happens to prefer cable XYZ), what then? Does that negate your experience? No, just brings up more questions to investigate.

Good science can tell why you can't hear a difference with all the cables you've tried. But not the way you do science.

Peoples' experience used to tell them the world "out there" was flat, then someone stepped onto a boat and stayed onboard long enough to tell them otherwise.

Just because you can't hear it (or appreciate the difference?), doesn't mean others can't.

Psychedelicious's picture

Peoples' experience used to tell them the world "out there" was flat, then someone stepped onto a boat and stayed onboard long enough to tell them otherwise.

Not true...

"The myth of the Flat Earth is the modern misconception that the prevailing cosmological view during the Middle Ages saw the Earth as flat, instead of spherical."

ChrisS's picture

Then speaking of truth, how does your "truth" become somebody else's? Because you say so?

Psychedelicious's picture

Of course not. I can't guarantee that I am right about exotic cables and interconnects—I can only express confidence in my opinions. What I can do is share any conjectures, hypotheses and theories I might have on the subject. 

Psychedelicious's picture

I never said all cables sound the same. I said there is no correlation between price and sound quality, and that exotic cables do not perform in a manner superior to well-engineered cables that cost much, much less.

In the analog realm, there are variables to account for which can affect a cable's performance. What I do claim is that a competently manufactured cable of a specifice gauge and resistance and without defect acts as a relatively transparent conduit, the quality of which is hard to improve upon. That's the law of diminishing returns at work. If it acts like a cable, it's a cable. Otherwise, it's a filter. If we're talking filters, then the sky's the limit, anything goes.


Psychedelicious's picture

Over 400 people voted on this poll, the majority of voters did not hear exotic cables offer any improvement, and a mere 7% think they heard exotic cables offer significant improvement in sound quality. 

Ariel Bitran's picture

haven't you been the one professing science and experimental validity and you give me an internet forum poll?

I'm sorry, but LOL.

Psychedelicious's picture

Yeah, that was an un-smooth maneuver. I've got to go do a photo shoot but "I'll be back," lol. Touche.

Check out my soundcloud profile though, I think you might like some of what you hear.

ChrisS's picture

Psychedelicious's picture

Figuratively speaking, if their ears are broken and their minds are closed, sure.

ChrisS's picture

Taste, taste... Ok, now off with their heads!

MVBC's picture

What's amazing here is that neither Nordost or the author of this article can clearly state what technical characteristic creates the alleged sonic improvement that brings Valhalla 2 above Valhalla 1.

Is it a case of changing the shape of the front handles that makes amp 2 better than amp 1? indecision

ChrisS's picture

You're the only one asking this question. I guess they can't hear you.

kevon27's picture

The following list below should end this debate about cables:

For the folks on a budget

For the folks who can spend a little more:

And the people who own a money tree:

GeorgeHolland's picture

What we really need is for Stereophile to use DBTs and actually do measurements on cables but of course they won't and never will, BECAUSE that would show us what really is going on and THAT would hurt cable sales tremendously. So what we get is half truths, conjecture and subjective listening with all it's flaws so cable companies can say whatever they like as long as people like Mr Serinus "hears" a "big" difference. It is 100% likely Mr Serinus will, that is why i never take what he reports as fact.

Utopianemo's picture

Ariel related that he heard a difference in the sound characteristics between the V1 and V2, and described that difference in a positive manner.  Psychedelicious asserts that Ariel was either deceived, or that he may have heard some miniscule difference that was only subjectively better.  

Psychedelicious asserts that well-engineered cables essentially perform the same, or at least close enough that large increases in the cost of cables past a certain point are a deception by the manufacturers of such cables, tantamount to shysterism.  He also insinuates that people with the means to afford such cables only buy them to assuage their insecurities or feed their egos.  Although he asserts that measurements are only a beginning point to discerning quality difference between equipment, he also asserts that differences between products which are not measureable either do not exist or are insignificant. He believes statistical data and anecdotes which support his standpoints and discounts that which doesn't.

Ariel believes cables can make a difference, and at this point does not have a stated opinion on whether there is significant difference between cables of varying cost. He does not openly pass judgement on cable manufacturers who sell very expensive cables, or people who buy them. He believes statistical data and anecdotal evidence which supports his standpoints and discounts that which doesn't.

I hope I have accurately presented the two major opinions in this thread. I'm just a little agitated at myself for wasting so much time reading through it all. Since the last 3 pages have pretty much only regurgitated the above information ad nauseum, and there is no hint of anybody changing their opinions, and there is no hint that any new information or new viewpoint may surface any time soon, why don't we all step away from the keyboards and do something else? It's nice outside.

GeorgeHolland's picture

that anyone who works for Stereophile does not and never will admit to being wrong. That is JA's main motto, "I'm never wrong" Add into the equation that he won't do DBTs and says that they are "too hard" or "flawed" and you get the recipie for Stereophile which is , show measurements for the most difficult to measure components and judge them on that and then do zero measurememnts on components that are simple to measure and rely upon subjective opinion to judge those. This way he can include the overpriced rediculous cable and power cord "reviews" and not have to explain himself. A really neat way to sidestep the situation, objectivity combined with subjectivity so we end up with a hopelessly screwed up review system with JA and company never having to admit that he is wrong.

For future reference about ANY cable/power cord "review" from Stereophile, just remember that it's all about subjective opinion and zero facts.

ChrisS's picture

Be dazzled by the fantastical worlds that spew forth from Psycho-Georgie's Mind!

Ariel Bitran's picture

wow, it's nice to see that my written thought is in agreement with my internal thought when summarized. 

GeorgeHolland's picture

You are not going to do a DBT or SBT when trying out the Nordost cables I take it. How about a simple cable switch without you knowing which is which and writing down your guesses? Not even that? Try 3 different cables in all. Lowly Radio Shack, Blue Jean and Nordost. Interesting if you can pick which is which. If you CAN pick which is which THEN how about a simple frequency response test of each cable along with the LCR so we can see what MAY be causing the "sound differences". You are curious enough to try this no?

Utopianemo's picture

GeorgeHolland, you're incorrect on a few levels.  Stereophile does admit to being wrong from time to time.  The most infamous example that comes to mind is the Carver Challenge

Secondly, when one divorces subjectivity from objectivity, one is left with a spreadsheet.  Spreadsheets don't interpret themselves, and for the average human being they're boring as hell to read. The fact that you waste large amounts of time criticizing an audiophile magazine for the method in which they approach their reviews on their own forum pages proves my point.  You may cringe and howl and cry foul at what you perceive to be dishonest or pointless journalism, but you are still reading it and you are still spending your own time and devoting your own energies to responding.  You may hate Stereophile's method, but your own output proves you find it more interesting than some other mythical media outlet that provides factual information without subjective opinion.  Facts are meaningless without interpretation.  

I've never heard from any journalist who thinks DBTs are worthwhile. You may think they're scared of being proven wrong, and you're probably partly right. But I don't want to see DBTs in reviews.  DBTs are a test for the reviewer, not the speaker. When I read a review, I want to hear how the speaker performs.  I can tell for myself if I trust the reviewer's judgment based on the body of their work. 

Bottom line for me is, I do understand what you're saying.  To be frank, I agree with you in part; I think boutique cables are largely snake oil and in the grand scheme of things, they are the least important link in the chain from source to ear. And I am cynical when I read reports on exotic cables(and, for that matter, any gear too far beyond my budget). 

The point I'm trying to make is it doesn't matter. You've made your case, nicely nestled between Psychedelicious and that moron with the Calvin avatar. The time and energy you are putting in may make you feel a little better about your frustrations(just like the time I'm putting in makes me feel better about mine), but it's not going to make Atkinson admit he's wrong, nor will it make Stereophile even reconsider exchanging its format of flourishing flowery and ecstatic prose at pieces of audio gear or homoerotic boutique cables in favor of spreadsheets and machine language.  It will not stop self-indulgent, moneyed people from buying mystical audio cables, nor will it stop enterprising hucksters from making said cables.  You've said your piece and nobody cares except for the people who already care, so take a breath and get on with your life.

ChrisS's picture

Georgie's turning blue! No one told him to let that breath out!!

GeorgeHolland's picture

Sorry but DBT, SBT or at the very least what I proposed to Ariel is easy enough to do but of course he won't. JA won't let him. A long as JA and company let "reviewers" (I use that term with a cringe for people like Mr Serinus) spout praises for magic cables but do nothing to back up these claims with some simple testing, then Stereophile is in mine and other's opinions a farce. Get JA to admit he is ever wrong, he won't. The jitter fiasco talk he gave a few years back was brought up in a thread and he just ignored it. Nope, JA won't admit to wrong doing and his laziness is par none for refusing to test tweak products.

Areil's silence to my request for SOME sort of testing is sign enough for me to know NOTHING will be done. He will just do the typical subjective listen and come to a subjective conclusion ho hum.

ChrisS's picture

Psycho-Georgie just doesn't understand science....

eugovector's picture

Here's 134 pages of people who would love to read about DBTs:

You know who doesn't want to read DBTs?  People who spend tens of thousands of dollars on cables.

ChrisS's picture

Any college kid can tell you  that these tests are poorly done and the results meaningless.


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