I should have added that the Nordost cables will be replacing a set of classic Cardas Cross cables.
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I have the Nordost FREY series 1 array (ICs and shotgunned speaker cables with matched jumpers).
Note: The shotgunned with jumpers array worked better than bi-wires, but let’s set that secondary debate aside herein.
(1) First and foremost, like all cables, the FREY audio performance is system dependent. One size does not fit all.
(2) After a very lengthy 6 month comparative audition head-to-head shootout, at their pricepoint, they bested all contenders and pretenders in MY system (emphasis added on the "MY" qualifier .)
(3) I also have the lesser model NORDOST Purple Flair cables in my "B" system. It is my experience that as you move up their product line , they just get better and better.
The tension arises in the entirely subjective value judgement as to how far up the chain do I go that is in conflict with the drain on your wallet as to where the model selected is "good enough".
There is a litmus test to this observation in the following summary extracted from a Canadian hi-fi magazine reporter. This is a repost of the CANADA HI-FI reporter’s take from the NORDOST cables bake-off exhibit actually performed live at a Toronto audio expo held annually -"TAVES". They stopped at the hierarchy of a progressive higher model bakeoff summit at the Valhallas (....one below the current top ODINS ...) with the inference that a move up the model trendline results in improvement as one keeps going further.
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 a swap of a single USB cable, from OEM to Nordost Blue Heaven ($250/2m), to Heimdall 2 ($500/2m) and,
a swap of a single RCA interconnect, from OEM, to Blue Heaven, to Heimdall 2, to Tyr 2 and finally Valhalla
(Along with convincing the audience in the room that cables DO matter, I’ve now got the bug to upgrade..."
After owning the original Frey SC's for several years I was able to demo the series 2 and I have to say even the Heimdall 2 had a much more liquid/warmer sound especially in the mids over the original Frey's.Although I didn't upgrade my SC's at the time I did upgrade my original Frey IC's to the Tyr 2. Not quite as good as the SC upgrade but a lot cheaper at the time. And as stated before as you go up the ladder the Nordost cables only get better.
NORDOST does have dealer demo cables available (they have a green sleeve).
Your existing CARDAS cables are fine cables themselves, full stop.... you are not considering moving up from Home Depot POS quality level crap. What’s driving the possible change? A brief summary of your system components would help.
My experiences showed that a full FREY cable array (ICs and speaker cables) was the strong leader choice, when compared to an ad-hoc swap-in of just the ICs or the just speaker cables alone.
If you cannot arrange a personal take-them-home overnight audition with the demo cables, or even have an at-the-dealer personal audition, then I would heartily recommend a phone or email consult with a NORDOST dealer that carries both brands for his two cents worth.
FWIW, up here in Toronto, AUDIO EDEN carry both and will give you a fair and even-handed comparative opinion on the respective cables and hopefully answer your questions better.
The main thing you should notice about the Nordost is that they present the music in a very real way ...meaning that horns are not up in your face they are in the back where the drums are and the whole presentation is portrayed evenly without any one thing standing out...very invisible, you will also have instruments and musicians (not just boxes playing music) in your listening room. The Nordost are one of the least colored cables and blows Cardas away in terms of transparency and the ability to get out of the way of your components (which better be good)!