Robert Deutsch of Stereophile reviewed the amp with Nordost Valhalla and gave the amp a thumbs up.
Would the review have the same outcome had he used Heimdall? We can only speculate.
I think yes, because he may reason it questionable to stick cables well over half the retail value of said equipment. Notice his reasoning of pairing the speakers for review-a 4k retail speaker.
Likely, the Frey would put your SF's in their best best light over the Heimdall, but I'm thinking the improvement so minuscule that a component swap before going up the food chain with cables would be more sonically significant.
Even if I could afford them I wouldn't use the Frey with my PL. I would put my money elsewhere. Example-phono stage/cart
My $0.00002 cents.
I meant to include in my post-have you read the "Cable cost relative to system" thread in "What do you think?"
Almost like a religion debate. More stuff to digest.
Thanks for the response Tablejockey. I am planning on auditioning the Heimdall 2 vs. Frey 2 in a couple weeks, but not in my exact system. It will run through my same amp (Primaluna HP Integrated), and other tube gear, so I can get their general flavor with tube gear. More and more dealers have told me the series 2 is less clinical and bright than series one Nordost cabling. Series 2 is more musical, neutral and smoother throughout the lower and upper ranges. Many have stated they think it is a better match than series one cabling, so I look forward to auditioning. I have to admit that I am not a big fan of the lavender/purple color of the Frey 2 cabling and much prefer the red Heimdall or grey Tyr, but hopefully it won't be a deal breaker if I really like them. I will give my impressions hopefully when I audition them later this month.
I have read some of the "cable cost relative to system" thread and it is a contentious topic. I hate to see people overextend themselves with their budget but I understand how much of an impact a good cable can make. The law of diminishing returns seems to come in much quicker than other source and spark equipment, so that must be taken into account. The problem with he thread is that the LENGTH required in certain systems will determine the cable decision more than anything. If someone needs a 4 meter speaker cable while another person only needs a 1.5 meter, that can mean $3,000 in some models! Not to mention interconnects, power cables, power conditioner, tonearm cables, etc. Some money has to be put in to bring the best out of your system, but that will be dependent on the system. getting into this hobby, I was not ready for how fast the requirements can spiral out of control. I was thinking some decent speakers, a turntable, cd player, and int amp and I'd be set. So many more decisions to make which is a blessing and a curse! I give my two cents when i hear the cables though. Best, David
I have some experience with the original versions of Heimdall and Frey. The Frey was definitely a big improvement over the Heimdall, smoother and more substance. They were both too thin sounding in my slightly warm-side-of-neutral system so neither was worth the money in that respect. I put Frey 2 throughout and never looked back. They are balanced from top to bottom and to quote a cliché "Makes the old Frey look broken". I have not heard the Heimdall 2.
Your gear has allowed "entrance" into the room of great sound.
Now you have to sift through ridiculous claims, price and as you mention-awful aesthetics.
I flip flop between being agnostic and a follower. The PL HP does respond favorably(in my system) to a power cord and conditioner.
Off topic, you're aware power tubes get you closer to what you seek as well. I have tried KT88 and EL 34. Currently like the sound of some old 6L6
So you really dig the Frey 2 - what is your system consist of?
I will look into tube rolling at some point. i currently have the EL34 stock tubes to start and will then contact Kevin Deal if I want to tinker and fine tune the sound more to my liking. What power cord and conditioner are you using at the moment?
"So you really dig the Frey 2 - what is your system consist of?"
Ortofon Cadenza Bronze
VPI, ARC Ref3 + PH7, Ayre, Vandersteen, AZ Satori Shotgun
I use a power conditioner more for the surge protection and I thought using my ancient $100 monster PLC was doing the HP an injustice. In keeping with the "value" theme, a now discontinued PS Audio powerplay unit is used.I guess the unit is doing its job as I can instantly hear a difference in overall dynamics compared to the monster. As a bonus, it looks much nicer in the rack than the mess of cable on the floor.
The power cord definetly is a YMMV thing. There doesn't seem to be a consistent thread with entry level cords(the only level I'm willing to try).I've had great results with the dubious Mapleshade cord, but it isn't a permanent fixture for obvious reasons. For now I use the Signal Cablle "magic" cord. While many users of this cord report good results, I don't hear any noticeable improvement over the stock cord. Fortunately, it's inexpensive. If I come across an exceptional deal, I may splurge for a Nordost or a Shunyata.
The cable thing really is a roll of the dice. I do believe starting with decent wall AC feeding the system and protection should be addresed.
The Heimdall and Frey 2 are not in the same league. I have Tyr2 as well.same "house sound," but not same quality.
Although this thread is old, I've had a few more experiences, so I am posting that experience.
I bought two Heimdall 2 power cords in the past month, and then my dealer had a 20 amp Frey 2 power cord for a customer that wasn't broken in. Since I had a 20 to 15 adaptor, I offered to keep it for the weekend and break it in for 48 hours.
One thing I notice - and I heard another Frey2 in their showroom - is that an all-Nordost power cord setup allows the music to "dance" in a way it does not if even one cord is not Nordost. This means all the dynamic inflections, at different volume levels in say, Stravinsky's Firebird will all have their own, articulate energy, instead of all the instruments playing mezzoforte, for example.
Putting the Frey on my CD player was eye opening and it was the same in their showroom: Frey is a superior power cord to Heimdall to even an untrained ear. More body, more weight, and the music "surges" more powerfully. Frey is a very, very, good cord and quite a bit better than Heimdall. Having said that, Heimdall is still very good or I wouldn't have purchased it. It's just that the Frey seems to have a lower noise floor, less of a "scrim" between you and the players, and - particularly in the bass - instruments separate themselves out much more fully, so that you can hear the "air" around the instruments in the bass, whereas with Heimdall, it's there, but not as clear.
Given that I have Frey 2 interconnects, I found the whole experiment very eye-opening. I'd considered Shunyata cords (I've owned Shunyata since 2003 and have gone through periods with the original Nordost (Valhalla, Tyr, Frey interconnects and speaker cable, and Shiva, Vishnu, Brahma and Valhalla power cords), but was never quite "sold" on them. I am now. The newer generation of Nordost fills in that "dip" in the upper bass/lower midrange and is quite a move forward. The first generation, as another poster put it, was too "thin"- sounding. That's gone. And the dynamics, since the power range has been filled in (100-400), gives it more power and majesty. It's quite, quite good, and unless you have a $20,000 system, you'll be quite happy with Frey2. Heimdall2 also, but Frey is the magic point, to my ears.
Interesting read on your experience. I see a year has passed since my last post.
Patience and timing finding deals has allowed my system to now play through a complete mix of Frey2/Heimdall 2. Table has Frey2 -phono amp to speakers are Heimdall2. Power cords/IC's also H2. The cable makeover now has my system performing as I expect. Also did wall to PS Audio Power Plant which feeds everything.
All music simply sounds more realistic.
"It's quite good, and unless you have a $ 20,000 system, you'll be quite happy with Frey2. Heimdall2 also, but Frey is the magic point , to my ears."
Your system clearly is at/near that cost/performance level to appreciate Frey2.
Im not so sure I would experience the considerable improvement heard since last years post. Frey2 at the source(table) is the limit for me. Very rare at least for now finding a private seller liquidating his Frey2 setup at least 50% off retail.
H2 can be found for reasonable prices.
I wouldn't hesitate to splurge on Odin2 if my system were at that level.
The H2 should hold me over until I'm ready for a substancial$$$ gear overhaul, but that requires powerball winnings.
Tablejockey, I’m actually listening thru a modest integrated right now. My Hurricanes blew and although I’ve had the problem taken care of, I haven’t put them back into the system yet, so I’m listening thru an NAD.
After living with the Heimdall 2 power cord on the CD player, I’ve concluded that the best placement for the Frey 2 power cord is at the source. Of course, that means I have a Frey 2 power cord on the CD player and Frey 2 interconnects coming out of the CD player. I’m sure that lifts the performance as a whole.
Roy Gregory’s belief is that putting the best cord at the wall improves the whole system, but my belief is that works only if you have a highly resolving, dynamic system. I didn’t find it to be the case at all when I had all Shunyata cords, even when I upgraded the power cords from ZiTron Cobra to ZiTron Alpha. The sound was surprisingly the same. (Again, modest system probably played a part in that.) With the Nordost I have now, I first put the Frey 2 at the wall, where the Heimdall was, but it didn’t light my fire that much, and I went into the experiment with no expectations. The magic came with Frey 2 on the CD player, Heimdall 2 on the PS Audio P300, and Heimdall 2 going from the PS Audio to the NAD. No other combination produced the same results. And I didn’t have to strain to hear the difference the first time I got the Frey 2 to break it in: as soon as I hit play, I heard the ambient field increase and I could hear the bass instruments separated out, as I mentioned in my previous post.
HOWEVER, that power cord I was breaking in for a customer of the dealer couldn’t have had more than 150 hours on it (they don’t seem to believe how long it takes for full break, because I walked in several times after I returned it, and they weren’t playing music on it), and my experience with Nordost is that it sounds brighter - and more colorful - at the beginning, when it is breaking in. There’s a distinct brightness starting in the upper midrange that is not harsh, but accentuates the upper midrange/lower treble frequencies in an appealing way, although, given the equipment I’m using, this is also due to the NAD’s somewhat less resolving and less dynamic upper midrange and highs. ( I remember listening to a Supremes Anthology CD and it was literally unbearable - at any volume. Yet, when I played Ella Fitzgerald sings Cole Porter, none of that brightness interfered. I concluded Motown, even the reissues, are just very bright CDs). When the Nordost smooths out (at least the interconnects. Not sure about the power cord), it sounds just as transparent, but distinctly less "exciting." (Have you noticed that?) I noticed it several years ago when I first got Frey 2 interconnects. A conductor friend was visiting and it was exactly 27 days after I’d put it (the Frey 2) into the system, and when I hit play, I immediately noticed the forwardness of the Frey had lessened and I was sitting at least 5 rows further back (doesn’t sound like much, but in Carnegie, 5 rows sounds noticeably different). And while I heard some of the harmonic information was less obvious, my conductor friend commented that he wasn’t using to hearing so much harmonic information from my system (he’d heard it with different equipment and power cords). I imagine placing a separate, high quality preamp into the system would then bring back some of the excitement, not a euphonic excitement, but more of the dynamic quality/harmonic information that is easily heard in live music in a good concert hall. Of that I am sure.
But I think you have the Frey 2 in the best place, which mirrors my using it on the CD player and finding that placement producing the most superior results.
I’ve placed more emphasis on room treatment (resilient channel and ASC Wall damp 13 years ago) as well as 35 tube traps, and also good outlets and dedicated circuits. It certainly make the music come alive in a way that mimics live music, of which Carnegie hall is my regular reference - and SOME seats in Carnegie, even in the 2nd tier, aren’t all that great. One time, I decided to sit closer, moving from the balcony to the 2nd tier as part of an experiment to see how much better it sounded and I have to say, the difference was less rewarding than I expected, given I was 20 rows closer to the stage. Carnegie has done something in the hall that has pushed the sonics the wrong way, to my ears, and those of my friend, who regularly attends the Bushnell in Hartford. We both noticed it, so it wasn’t just my ears having a bad day. And this was in the course of attending 3 concerts at Carnegie, months apart. I can’t visually tell what they did, but I can sure hear it. Maybe someone else who goes there could explain that.
But back to the Nordost: I could live with just the Frey2 power cord on the CD player and Heimdall power cords elsewhere, just as you have.
I have h2 speaker cables n h1 interconnect from dac to preamp, when I replaced my cardas digital to D60 illuminati I felt, I upgraded to Tyr.