The Nordost Difference

I am led by the sound of intricate rhythms and interesting textures, and I find myself in the Audio D'Occasion suite, where Radiohead's Amnesiac is ripping into a pair of Thiel CS3.7 floorstanders, sending the speaker's impressive corrugated drivers into a mad dance. I take a seat.

Nordost's Bruno de Lorimier catches me and warns: "I just want you to know we've only had the system going for about ten minutes, in case you're listening critically."

A crushing blow, this is to me, because the album sounds infinitely better than it ever has in my own home.

Bruno then offers a demonstration of the Nordost interconnect family. Associated equipment includes the Simaudio P-7 preamp and Andromeda CD player. Nordost's philosophy, Bruno explains, is that cables are not to be thought of as accessories. Instead, they are very important components, without which, of course, a system could not make music. And, a cable's job is to remove as many filters as possible from the sound, without imparting a sonic signature of its own, thus opening a transparent window onto the recording.

We begin by listening to Roxy Music's "Avalon" through the Nordost Blue Heaven interconnect ($230/1m pair). This is followed by the same track played through the Red Dawn interconnect ($400/1m pair). Next, we switch to Haley Sales, a Canadian singer/songwriter/surfer, and we go from the Red Dawn to the $700/1m pair Heimdall. Finally, we listen to a singer/songwriter named Mika, starting with the Heimdall and ending with the Valhalla ($5000/1m pair).

The change from Blue Heaven to Red Dawn resulted in subtle differences in volume (increased) and transient response (faster). Moving from Red Dawn to Heimdall, I noted a much more obvious change: Bass impact and quality were improved, percussive speed was again increased, and the sound was more immediate overall. Finally, the change from Heimdall to Valhalla was profound: I noted much more air around all of the instruments, Mika's voice was startlingly present, and there was a heartwarming body and truth to the violins that had been previously neglected altogether.

I now, more than ever, believe that cables do make a difference. Great.

Share | |
Comments
beedogs's picture

if i were spending $5000 for 1 meter of cable, i'd be silent too if someone asked me if they actually made a single bit of difference.

François Caron's picture

Off-topic.Stephen, don't panic. Apparently, we're expecting snow on Sunday. :)

Jeff's picture

What kind of Turntable is that?

Erick Lichte's picture

Doesn't it suck to when you figure out how much EVERYTHING matters in an audio system?I had that same reaction the first time I really tried comparing cables. "Great."

John Atkinson's picture

I just caught the same dem, Stephen. And without having read your report, my description of the differences between the Nordost cables are the same as yours! Yup, cables matter, damnit!

Jeff's picture

To phrase my earlier question better ... what brand is that turntable?

Stephen Mejias's picture

my description of the differences between the Nordost cables are the same as yours!Whew, thank god.

Stephen Mejias's picture

To phrase my earlier question better ... what brand is that turntable?Jeff: I failed to note the model of turntable, but I'll find out for you...

robert's picture

Oracle. O-R-A-C-L-E

Neil Fox's picture

The thing that is remarkable to me is that Nordost cables are so consistent. Every step up the line is a bigger piece of the same pie. Most cable lines are all over the place. Nordost is also one of the few cable companies to put real specs on the package. I think those two things are related.

Gary's picture

The turntable's an Oracle with an SME arm.

agnes monica bogel's picture

Hello, was this a blind listening or were you aware that the cables were changed? Is there any measurement data to support this article? Cheers A. Bogel.

zutroi delorean's picture

> Hello, was this a blind listening or were you aware that the cables were changed? Is there any measurement data to support this article?From the deafening silence I'd say that the tests weren't blinded, and, bias is therefor expected.

Site Map / Direct Links