In many cases I have found that using Valhalla gives better results than the others.
HOWEVER, the ONLY way you'll really know is if
a) someone has tried with electrically identical machines to yours
b) you try yourself.
The rest is pure speculation. Regards
I have three sets of ICs that I'm playing around with, all XLR: Purist Audio Design Aqueous Anniversary, Nordost Valkyrja, and Nordost Baldur. I find the Purist's are a little darker than either Nordost, with vocals not being quite as big, but instrumentation being somewhat fuller. The Baldur's are a little warmer than the PADs, and are closer to the Valkyrja's in mid and treble, but aren't as gripping or full on bass as the other cables. The Valkyrja's are a more forward cable than the the PADs, but still have excellent bass. I do notice a touch more sibilance on vocals and horns than with PADs, but that I don't think that is the fault of the Valkyrja's, but rather, because I took everything out of my rack and moved it around and reinstalled, so things either need to settle down (the DAC is known to take at least a day to settle back down if powered off) or the new cable arrangement is causing some microphonics, which I'm going to address this weekend. In my experience the higher end Nordost are very neutral so what I'm hearing could also just be new details of recordings that were obscured before, but I doubt it.
You may find that you don't need to go all the way to Valhalla to find what you're looking for. I'd start with the Baldur, maybe, since it's a steal used and easy to resell. If you're still not happy then try the Tyr or Valkyrja. My dad has Valhalla and in his system they are amazing, but I can't quite make the leap. If you can give an idea of what qualities you're looking to improve, then you will probably find that you'll get a ton of different recommendations. The only way to get a real sense of change is bite the bullet, buy a pair of cables, and then sell them if you don't like them.
Thanks fo the advise. The AQ Jaguars in my system sound too analytical and cold, which made me believe that something was wrong with my esotar tweeters. Violins for example are reproduced without any silkyness at all, which to my ear sounds unnatural.After connecting an old pair of Wireworld Silver Eclipse ICs all I was missing with the Audioquest was present again, proofing me wrong on the assumption that my C5s were broken. So, I am hoping to achieve an absolute natural balanced sound while at the same time reveiling all information captured in the recording. I love the sound of my SPM Reference speaker cables and want an Interconnect that makes use of the full potential the SPMs are able to reveil. I read about the Freys needing an extremely long burn in time unless treated with the Vidar system. Nobody ever mentions whether the Valkyrja sound better or inferior to a burned in Frey IC. How about Valkyrja anyway? Described as being the predessor to TYR? Is TYR better? How about burned in Vakyrja vs the burned in Freys? Will Frey sound too bright?
Maybe I will just buy the Valkyrja anyway.
I recently upgraded to Tyr speaker cables and am still using Cardas Golden Ref IC's. The Tyr's were spectacular in my system. I pondered the question between Tyr, Valkyrja and Frey. What the Nordost rep told me was that the Valkyrja was very similar to the current Heimdall. From my experience, the Tyr's are the closest thing to Valhalla, the difference being that the Valhalla has marginally better bass detail. The rest of the characteristics are very similar to Valhalla (Eli Manning vs. Payton Manning). I have tubes and installing these cables really showed what my system was capable of. The speakers disappeared completely. Vocals, acoustic guitars, pianos and violins gave a familiar sound of accuracy. The backgrounds became extremely quiet. Try mixing the Tyr's with the wireworld cables. It may compliment it well. Some think that mixing brands is not the way to go, but I have found that careful auditioning and mixing works. If I were you I would pick the Tyr's over the Valkyrja they're almost the same price.
thank you for your advise Sanji. I will consider the TYRs, have only heard really good things about them, but at an average $1000 used for 1m XLR it is quite the expensive route. Good to hear though that the rep compared Vaklyrja to Heimdall, meaning even the Freys should sonically exceed the Valkyrja ICs.
Consider the Frey also. At around $500 used for a 1m pair, they are excellent and half the price of Tyr/
Thank you all for your feedbacks and tips. For all of you who are still watching this thread I have news for you! I got a reply from Nordost on this topic! The Valkyrjas where discontinued as the whole new NORSE series including the smallest one being BALDUR sonically outperforms Valkyrja. Only the Vallhallas where kept from the older series as they sound better then the new TYR. But even Vallhallas have their limits and sound poor compared to the new flagship ODIN.
So, in regards to that feedback I am really tempted to go for a used pair of TYR, but looking at the budget might just end up buying a used pair of balanced Freys for now. Regards, Arne
>The interconnect I used so far is Audioquest Jaguar XLR, >but I would like to upgrade to Nordost. I just don't know >wether I should get the Valkyrjas over the Freys, or >should I go the painful way and get TYR, maybe even >Vallhalla. Would I ven hear the difference or does that >require a whle new leauge of Nordost speaker cables? Any >words of wisdom would be highly appreciated.
Since its a discussion about nordost I thought I wil give my 2 cents.
I hear people say, "heimdall gives you a taste of valhalla", "going up in nordost line things you get are only improvements" etc. thats pure nonsene. I mean, every cable has its own taste. Take Heimdall for instance, the cable is clearly in the league of its own, with a distinctive character: warm, midrange bloom, full rounded base, sweet but still detailed and not agressive highs. If you like that kind of things in sound reproduction, thats it, your search for a cable might be over. Vallhalla wont sound the same, nor Odin. I have had heimdalls for a month or so (dealer demo), liked them a lot, but purchased freys believing they will be like heimdall but even more impressive (more midrange bloom, more bass, more everything) - big mistake. freys are not heimdalls, they sound different. Same, I believe goes with upper cables. If cable wont fit your system or your taste you prefer, you wont want to keep it.
From a specific price point all cables are very good and the only thing that matters whether you like the sound taste they deliver or not. The only way to know that is to try.
Since you mentioned that Heimdall has its own character and Frey is different, would you please comment on how Frey interconnects differ from the Heimdall. Currently I own a Heimdall between a Krell 400xi integrated amp and an Audio Aero Prima CD player, and was considering to swap the IC from Heimadall to Frey. I also have the same feeling as you about Heimdall and thought Frey could be just a step-up with almost same taste.
Thanks in advance.
Heimdalls surely have nordost "house" sound, but are different. Whats was most impressing I mentioned above: midrange bloom, 3D full bodied, rounded sound, very vell everything separated in the soundstage. Highs are enough detailed and at the same time sweet and not aggressive - you can listen more "agressive" CDs you have not listened before - this balance just hooked me up completely.
Freys. I think I have about 100 hours on Frey IC and the good thing they are burned-in enough not to think too much about heimdalls (straight from the box they were awful.. heimdalls were awful as well, but since they were dealer demos settle-in, or burn-in time was short - next evening they sounded good - infact after the first few songs with heimdalls (and awfully harsh and dried-up sound) I jumped to double-check if these really were Heimdalll not Baldurs). Frey are very fine cables, and hour after hour they show more and more of their character. Less bloom compared to heimdalls, but more crisp details, which are still very rich in tone and thats amazing thing. Now rarely but sometimes those details appears bright, but if this dissapears with additional hours of burn in, I really going to love freys even more. 3D soundstage, instrument separation is another huge step forward. I would add - more focus - compared to heimdalls.
Heres some facts:
Burn-in takes (this is so physics-stupid, but so audiophile-true) a loooong time, better buy burn in service at local dealer, or burn in at home using lets say FM tuner. I am using tube amp with some rare and NOS tubes, so just can not afford leaving amp on with radio playing all day long...
I use 1 m length interconnects. Different lenghts WILL sound different.
The sound is synergy of all components + speaker placement and room acoustics.
If you demo Freys against Heimdalls in your system please come back and write down your experience.
Mjordans, thank you for the prompt and so complete comments on my question.
It is interesting to know that Frey might present, sometimes, details that sound bright. I thought Frey was more full bodied and rounded sound than Heimdall.
I am anxious to try Frey IC in my system but since I live in Sao Paulo, Brazil, the price of Nordost products at authorized dealer is prohibitive. So, I've been shopping several cables at Agon but the latest one (a Shunyata Python Alpha Helix power cable) I purchased more than a week ago is still hold at the customs and I am afraid I will have to pay some import duty. Anyway a friend of mine has Frey IC and I will borrow it and compare with my Heimdall soon and will post my impressions here.
My comments on these cables would be more accurate if I was able to compare them A-B directly...
You are right, no, Freys are not warmer and more rounded than heimdalls.
I just upgraded to a pair of Frey IC from Hemidall. The Fry are XLR, the Hemidall are not.
From what I can tell, the Frey retains the charecteristics of the Heimdall while dropping the noise floor, adding a deeper bass range (maybe not as lound in the midbass, which is fine with me), open the mids to extend beyond my speakers, and place the back of the sound stage about 1/3 more behind my speakers.
Very happy thus far.
That said, the Heimdall are awesome and I am still running one pair from my cd player to my pre and a pair of bi-wired Hemidall speaker cables..that the cables can convey the new Frey's is very imperssive to me.
Mjmch2003, just do not forget you are dealing here not only heimdall vs frey differences, but XLR vs RCA. I have never heard anyone saying that RCA's better than XLR (in good equipment, I mean true-XLR equipment).. everyone is talking about XLR cabling as major step forward.
..but since I am a tube-guy, XLR is not for me.
Someone above stated that Valkyra's were similar to the current Heimdall, and any of the newer Nordost line is superior to any of the old line except Valhalla.
Quite frankly, that is just not so, IMO and some friends, and we have had just about all the old and new Nordost lines, except Valhalla. They were used in revealing systems consisting of new Pass Labs pre amps and amps, Wilson Maxx II, Magnepan 3.6s modded, Benchmark DAC1, dcS, using Shunyata power conditioners and Shunyata Python and Taipan Helix power cords.
Quick summary: The new line is outstanding but Valkyra is quite a bit better than Frey. Frey is better than Heimdall. Haven't compared Tyr, though.