I’m a big fan, but my ladder climbing was pretty modest: I started with Heimdall 1 interconnects (RCA) and upgraded to Frey XLRs. Both series 1. I tried a Heimdal 2 but it was so close to the Frey that I kept the Frey and sold the H 2. I noticed a much bigger difference going from the Shiva to the Vishnu power cables. I might want to climb a little higher with power cables. I started out with a Heimdall speaker cable but felt it was too thin—looking back it could have been more my room and amp at the time—but I switched to Acoustic Zen Holograms and never looked back. Also have blue heaven HDMI. I feel the Nordost line are pure and dynamic, very accurate and resolving. If the Holograms are adding a bit Of roundness and smoothness, it works for me.
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I am a NORDOST fan. Here are my experiences:
(1) LEIF SERIES: NORDOST PURPLE FLARE
its a very good cable doing yeoman duty, but it is comparatively expensive to its peers. I tested it extensively in A-B shootouts in my $5000 “B” system. Again,because everything is system dependent, it was a yeoman product that did not excel sufficiently to warrant its $$ price point , so I sold it off and replaced it with another brand ( bonus - cheaper ) that was every bit the equal.
(2) NORSE SERIES : NORDOST HEIMDALL and FREY
I had had an all-HEIMDALL ARRAY that was fine, until a favourable
all -FREY array (XLR interconnects, shotgunned speaker cables, shotgunned jumpers) presented itself as an upgrade.
Why the upgrade?
The FREYS bested the contenders and pretenders after extensive A_B shoutouts in my $40,000 “A” system. I would have continued up the model lineup to a VALHALLA but , alas, budgets always prevail.
in short, it bested all comers in MY system at its price point. The contenders and pretenders included CARDAS, FURUTECH, KIMBER, ATLAS, ECOSSE, CHORD, DH LABS, VAN DEN HUL, and a bevy of others.
Have I personally used the ODINS and actually personally swapped them in and out? ...NO .... I capped out at all-FREYs in my own system (ka-ching already!)
NOTE: The FREY was better than the HEIMDALL and significantly better than the PURPLE FLARE above (..... not even close.);That is not surprising to me in that it follows the experience I witnessed at an audio expo in Toronto, the write up in an audio publication is reproduced as follows.
here is the CANADA HI-FI reporter’s take from the NORDOST cables bake-off exhibit actually performed live at TAVES.They stopped at the improving model bakeoff summit at the Valhallas (one below the Odins) with the inference that a move up the model trendline in improvement keeps going further to the ODINs
http://canadahifi.com/taves-consumer-el ... rge-de-sa/
".....I had a chance to sit in on a couple demonstrations in the Nordost room, giving my feet a well deserved break. I’m very familiar with the benefits of high quality cables and use a full Nordost Heimdall 2 loom with my reference two-channel setup. That being said, I always find the Nordost demonstrations to be an “ear-opening” experience. Michael Taylor from Nordost demonstrated the significant sonic benefits of replacing an OEM cable with a Nordost model – in particular 1) a swap of a single USB cable, from OEM to Nordost Blue Heaven ($250/2m), to Heimdall 2 ($500/2m) and; 2) a swap of a single RCA interconnect, from OEM, to Blue Heaven, to Heimdall 2, to Tyr 2 and finally Valhalla 2. Along with convincing the audience in the room that cables DO matter, I’ve now got the bug to upgrade...."
1) +1 on the observation that the higher you go in their product line, the better they get. As stated, I currently have the FREYs (ICs and speaker) after prior personal experiences with the PURPLE FLARE and Heimdalls that supports this observation.
(2) there is a good reason why many mag reviewers personally use VALHALLAS in their reference systems.
(3) Having attended numerous audio expos, go see how many electronics makers and dealers use higher end model NORDOST as their cable of preference at these shows.
(4) my fantasy Trip down the Yellow Brick Road to Audio OZ is a potential upgrade to VALHALLAS (currently on my wish list going forward ......)
Nordost Heimdall is the level to start with.
Like every other cable, it's subjective and argued to death on value/price.
I use Heimdall II throughout. $20K Odin power cords have been in my system. It was something more appropriate for a $100K+ system, but an experience to just plug in a couple of power cords that retail TWICE the cost of my system!
Cable madness is a topic that EVERYONE is right and wrong.
I didn’t start with Sartori —found a good deal on the Holograms and jumped in. I did try some Acoustic Zen interconnects—the matrix reference I believe—but they were so stiff they just didn’t work from a physical sense. My equipment is in a salamander cabinet. Sounded fine, but never really gave them a chance.
Well i am also NordOst fan , after i have been so lucky to have a local dealer that has been very very helpfull in letting me try out different levels af NordOst cables , started out with the QB4 and Frey 2 Power cords , that just made a big difference in my system. Then i have tried Frey 2 - Tyr 2 and Valhalla 2 loud speaker cables , and they are each a jump up in performance,,,,for the Valhalla 2 i was blown away at how good a Loudspeaker cable can be revealing and cohesive as well as just sounding so right, and i had thought it would just have put my system in a kind of not really good sounding , but it did otherwise.
For interconnect what they to me see to do right is layering - 3D and ease.
If you are using a CD Player you really owe yourself to try Sort Kones under it.
Right now i am testing an NordOst Heimdal 2 Ethernet cable against my Audioquest Vodka , and have to say that NordOst wins as layering is much better , its much easier to " look " into the music scene.
I’ve never auditioned any Nordost cabling. But, I do have 2 of their QBases. They help clean up noise that my two other pricey power distribution blocks don’t do. The external ground lug is great for grounding all of my separates. The QBases also play very nicely with my other brands of power cables and power conditioners. It’s an amicable group. Curiously, I don’t use the primary earth outlet in either QBase. A little to revealing for my tastes.
"IMO you have to go up the line retry far to avoid thin"
I never understood/heard that often repeated remark. The latest version does however have a subtle warmth to them. Perhaps the Nordost is removing artifacts in the signal and revealing this "thinness?" I have no idea.
It's all subjective,in the ear of the listener, and their wallet.
That said, my lame hearing couldn't discern the micro change of sonics once you get past Heimdall/Frey.