Nordost Cable Listed in Order of Importance

Nordost, one of the world leading cable makers, has a very peculiar (at least to me) take on which cable is most important in an audio system.  See below.  I tend to spend the most money on my speaker cable which to Nordost is the least important.  Power cables seem to take the lion’s share in their model.  They did say that it’s not written in stone in the note, but to me it has always been the speaker cable. Although in my current system, the power cord from the wall to the Synergistic conditioner is the most expensive but not by choice, that’s how Synergistic configures them.  Where do you stand?


1. Primary Power Cord (From wall to conditioner such as QBASE Mark II AC Distribution).

2. Secondary Power Cords (From conditioner to components).

3. Interconnects.

4. Speaker Cables.

(Note: Every system is unique. There is always a chance you may benefit from deviating from this guide.)


IME, power cords have a biggest impact and bang for your money in a well appointed audio systems. The other two are just as important but to a lesser degree. And I’m in agreement with Nordost’s ‘order of importance’.

My list:

#1. All power cords. No matter where located.

#2. Digital cables

#3. Umbilical cords between the LPS & the component.

#4. Interconnects.

#5. Speaker cables.

Ultimately, they’re all important. Everything matters in a high resolution system.






Interesting. Thanks. My experience has been speaker cable, amp power cord, interconnects… othe power cords. but I do not have nearly the experience of Nordost.  

I agree that each power cord in an audio system has a major impact, with greater potential than other types of cable. However, I do not use my "best" power cord on the wall to conditioner. I have exotic ultra high end power cables (MSRP far beyond any offerings from Nordost, including Odin Gold) that utilize finely tuned and treated crystals which have the strongest filtering effect when connected directly to components. Far be it from me, however, to question the Nordost pedigree, whose supreme reference products, as far as I am aware, do not make use of crystals or minerals beyond fundamental metallurgy, a company possessing legendary status for its groundbreaking products. As such, I use a Nordost Odin power cable between my High Fidelity Cables power distributor and the wall with extraordinary results. Thus I conclude the hierarchy proposed by Nordost is reflective of the design goals of that Company rather than a Universal Rule.


They were very wise to note that every system is unique and that their priority is not universal but one must admit, coming from them, a storied company, makes one think twice before dismissing their recommendation.  But for me I have always given my speaker cables the highest priority. 

I would say the connectors  are before  the powercord. I find the plug both the iec or the male plug make more difference than the powercord it self. 

The way I approach it is, It’s relative to what currently is the weakest link in your cable game. For me, the biggest improvement was speaker cables.

Well, I'm certainly not Nordost, but in my experience:


Power Cables

Speaker Cables

In other words, they're all important. :)

I agree with the least important, speaker cable. I get the best bang from interconnects, them power cords, then digital. I also use nordost for my main connection, the 1 priority interconnects from pre to amp. 

I think it would largely depend on the quality of power in your listening room. In my case, where I have a dedicated power line in a separate building from the main house, upgrading power cords made no significant improvements. So for my specific situation it was 1) interconnects, 2) speaker wires. Maybe speaker wires was equally important, but they took so long to turn-in, that by then, you are not sure what improvement did what since I have had a multitude of them in my setup for the last couple of years. The important thing is that it works, not always certain why.

All have their influence and depends on system.

My sequence is all power cables first, starting with the best one from wall outlet to power strip, then power amplifier and then preamp and sources.

Then interconnects, the best one from pre to power sources following.

Speaker cables last but not neglected in quality, as most likely they could be one of the most expensive part of cabling.


I tend to agree with Nordost order of importance. Perhaps adding dedicated lines at the top though.


My experience, and I don’t use Nordost, has been:

Digital Cable

Analog Interconnects

Power Cables

Speaker Cables

1-phono cables (from cartridge to phono pre) are most significant, as they deal with a tiny signal (.2mv - .5mv). not debatable.

2-after that the interconnect from your preamp to your amp is critical because that synergy is paramount to the whole signal path.

3-all the rest are situational and not consistent. every A/C power grid is different, interconnect from source to pre can be significant, speaker cables can be critical depending on the amps and speaker synergy. you cannot generalize. no absolutes.

I started with the Power Cables and thought they made the most difference.

Especially on the power conditioner (had one then) and now the amps (direct to dedicated outlets).  Everything helped as I finished interconnects and speaker cables. I have Kubala Sosna Elation, and I tried many.

But this was interesting:

My friend wanted to try his DAC in my system and is not a huge cable believer.  So I inserted his DAC with average interconnects.  Not so great.  Then I used my Elation interconnects to  try his DAC and BIG improvement.  It seems subtracting a nice set of interconnects made more of an impression than adding them!

So a good test if you need to reassure yourself; put an old interconnect or PC into your full loom and see what you miss!  Kinda like turning off your subwoofers!


Nordost's list is taken from Linn, which from the very beginning said the source is the most important element, i;e turntable, arm, cartridge, phono amp etc.

I am surprised so many believe power cables are the most important.  I have said this before but the cable you can pay $25,000 for and more is just the last 6 feet of 10 miles or more of cabling that comes from the power station to your wall socket.  What about the other 9 miles and 5,274 feet?   Power conditioners are different because they interface actively with the power.


You are wrong in both counts. Nordost thinks power cables are the most important cables. The list they provided has nothing to do with components. Second, think of power cables as filters. It doesn’t matter what is before them, least of all how many miles of it, as long as they can clean it before transmitting it to the component. If you have a spurious signal coming through your electrical system, you can filter it with a 2 inch filter. Length has nothing to do with it.  At any rate, this post is not about whether cables make a difference or not. Thanks for your response anyway. 


I am not wrong on the Linn count.

I cannot see how a passive conductor that passes current can act as a filter.  The current simply passes through it.  How does it filter and where does the filtered out element go?  If you want to 'clean' electrical current, you need an active component.


Nordost's list is taken from Linn

How can you not be wrong when these two lists have nothing to do with one another?

I cannot see how a passive conductor that passes current can act as a filter

You don’t have to see. You just have to hear it. 

an array of bbq sauces

How's them worm's tasting, spenav?

Slap on some Q sauce for some spice-Happy 4th!



Well, not too bad 😀.  Considering only one person misunderstood the post, I can’t complain. I also see the other posters’ point of view. It’s refreshing if you ask me. Things can reasonably be seen through different lenses and still make sense. 

I've heard it with my own ears, power cables can make or break a system. I'm a believer YMMV but open your own ears and just listen


Subjective listening proves nothing.  Have a nice day?  Your hi-fi will sound nicer.