Nordost’s Engaging Comparisons

Nordost’s Lars Christensen has become an industry legend of sorts for the enthusiasm with which he launches into cable comparison after cable comparison. At RMAF, he notched his demos up several steps, inviting people to hear the effects that cabling, power distribution, and resonance control products from Nordost and other companies can have on system sound.

“The bottom line is, despite the science involved, if you can’t hear it, it matters not,” Nordost’s West Coast distributor Michael Marko told me outside the demo room.

The power cable comparison, performed on a Simaudio Moon CD player connected to a Hegel preamp and monoblocks and Raidho’s X Monitor ($20,000/pair with stands), began with a stock power cable, and shifted to Nordost’s Blue Heaven ($299/2m), the show debut of Red Dawn ($499/2m), Heimdall ($799/2m), Frey ($1899/2m), Valhalla ($2999/2m), and Odin ($16,000/2.5m). Similarly, the interconnect comparison went from generic “cheapie” through maybe a dozen Nordost lines, starting with White Lightning ($179/1m pair) and ending with Odin ($16,000/1m pair).

The resonance control comparison, which covered Nordost’s four models of Sort Kones—from AS (aluminum tip with steel ball, $65 each) to TC (titanium tip with ceramic ball, $350 each)—addressed supports under both the CD player and the power strip on the floor. I recall my own amazement when, years ago, a dealer brought over an early model of Shunyata’s Hydra for me to hear, and how different it sounded when, after listening to it placed directly on the floor, we elevated it on some half decent equipment supports. I often have to remind myself, each time I plug my laptop into my reference system, to stick supports under it, because they greatly improve the sound.

The final comparison, which called into play a NAD DAC with HDMI input, pitted Nordost’s new Blue Heaven HDMI cable ($350/1m) against a stock HDMI cable ($5/1m), Audioquest’s Carbon HDMI ($169/1m) and Diamond HDMI ($1095/1m), and Monster 1 HDMI cable (approx. $40). Need I say that Nordost would not have performed such a comparison in public had it not been sure that its HDMI cable, the only one of the batch, I am told, manufactured entirely in the USA, would come out on top?

JohnnyR's picture and Stereophile do some in depth REAL testing with Nordost cables you mentioned. Will you? Of course NOT. You NEVER will. Prove me wrong I DARE you. This is a waste of time asking for REAL tests though. You and JA are too afraid of the results. Come on, what are the reasons for not doing in depth tests.?I am sitting here patiently awaiting a reply.........what I thought you and JA won't give a single reason.


Nordost is one of the WORST bull shitters in the history of High End. Hey what ever happened to that new revolutionary way of testing cables, that Nordost announced a couple of years ago, that would PROVE how much cables do make a differnce? .....What?........What's that?.........Ohhhhhhhh that's right it never got heard of again for some "strange" reason. Maybe because it also was pure BS like their products.

JVS you should know by now the fallacy of comparing cables in a non SBT or DBT environment much less a sighted "test". Also you should know by now that simply moving your head a couple of inches will change the sound in a room. You do the readers a disservice by writing such foolish reports full of flaws like this but that never has stopped you before.

GeorgeHolland's picture

Since JohnnyR is no longer with us, I'd like at add that I also find Nordost cables to be way overpriced and unaffordable by anyone without deep pockets. I do recall Nordost claiming to have a new test for cables. Was that just them trying to make their cables look better? Why didn't anyone from Stereophile address JohnnyR's questions? I find this disturbing.

Absolutely HiFi's picture

As a long time owner of Nordost cables, I'll just say that they are certainly an ear opening experience to those who wish to leave their biases and preconceived notions at the door.  Norsdost makes a fine product and the difference between their own cables (let alone others), are readily obvious to those willing to listen.

GeorgeHolland's picture

So you don't know either why Nordost doesn't mention their new way to measure cables anymore? Hmm a shame. Did you compare Nordost using a simple blind test of a sighted test?  You know just knowing which cable is being listened to will influence your judement. Still no answers to JohnnyR or my own questions. Getting lonely in here now,

markotto's picture

but what happened to JohnnyR?

JohnnyR's picture

Seems a few snowflakes on here got their feelings rubbed the wrong way by my postings. I would guess some of them were the actual manufacturers  that didn't take kindly to some truth being spoken.  Hey Nordost!........where are those "new" cable measurements you boasted about, what . 2years ago now?  Hmmmmm nothing to see so far.

markotto's picture

I have been involved in dozens, perhaps hundreds of double blind tests of cables and other audio components and the results have never indicated [regarding cables] that any MEASUREABLE difference exists between cables of reasonable quality and price.   My  conclusions have always been that one should base their purchase on construction quality. Some cables are "built" better than others. Very good cables can be had for $100 or less. If you need to spend $1000 on cables, well go ahead. If you think you need to $50,000 on cables, don't bother. Buy the $100 cables and send me the other $49,900, I can sure use it, or far better yet, give it to the 29,000 children who starve to death EVERY DAY!!!! Something to think about STEREOPHILE. PS. LOVE your insights JohnnyR.