If you want a warmer/weightier sounding cable go for the series 2. Actually the Heimdall 2 to me sounds better than the original Frey's.
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Maobacks, what are you looking to change? What are some of your components?
Series 2 has the same clarity, staging, dimension, and transparency as the original series. It adds more weight, body, warmth, "whatever," you want to call it. The decision can go either way based on components. It is also more neutral to me.
Great cable choice.
I just bought a Heimdall 2 Digital interconnect moving from the GutWire Synchrony 1. The sound from the Heimdall 2 is so warm and full. I noticed an increase in the lower and upper end. I am currently working on moving to Nordost XLR interconnects all around. I have the fronts using Nordost Baldur and the rest using Kimber Timbre rca connects, I tried the Heimdall Speaker wire and found it a bit thin at times. I liked the Heimdall but I felt my Kimber 8TC held its own against it. I would like to use the Heimdall 2. I heard that Heimdall 2 rivals the Tyr 1 and Frey 1 speaker wire.
They sound a lot more musical these days, but they still miss 2 essential parts in audio what should be there. You still loose depth and wide by using Nordost. Indvidual focus is not a great thing. I had these discussions many times with Nordost people. My Audioquest Redwood 2013 blown away my Nordost Valhalla loudspeakercable in every aspect were you Judge a cable at. Even in timing and speed. The blacks are superior to any Nordost cable. I autioned the Odin a few times. It does not have the level in blacks what the Redwood does. Blacks makes the image so much more touchable and 3-d. The presence is so much better wenn you use Audioquest. Instruments and voices are very small and direct to point out in real. This is an essentilal part in realistic audio. This is the weakest point of all Nordost cables. I sold a lot of Nordost in the past and I did hundreds of tests with them. For me it is like 1 and 1 is 2. It is that simple ( for me)
I cannot give an opinion on the Heimdall, unfortunately, but I did just purchase a Frey 2. I had heard the Frey when it was not quite broken in, but when I had it for a weekend, I was impressed by the change from Saturday night to Sunday afternoon when I listened again. I still did not buy them: I want something fully broken in, not halfway.
The dealer let me have them last Saturday and they sound considerably better. There is significant weight to the sound, far, far past the original Freys and quite, quite open.
I can't agree that they do not have focus or specificity: I also bought an NAD integrated as backup for my Hurricane amps, one of which is being repaired. Hurricane amps image to die for - much easier to hear in a larger room (my 23 x 45 room allows me to hear a realism in the Hurricanes that I do not get in my 13 x 20, ASC wall-damped room). The NAD is also fantastic at imaging and specificity - and I've owned Jadis, Goldmund, VTLs and reviewed several other components when I worked at Fi Magazine.
The Frey sound has not deteriorated at all, even going to the NAD integrated. In fact, I can hear better than ever that the NAD is an extremely quiet integrated and hearing Nina Simone's voice on the NAD with the Frey (after removing my Arcam FMJ 22 integrated) is still dazzlingly good. I could live with the NAD for its sheer musicality, much more like tubes than solid state - until you get to the (very) pricey stuff.
I would not suggest going to series 1 speaker cables: I've had the Valhalla and, as good as they were, they sucked out the lower midrange, which the Frey 2 does not. At all. I would imagine the same is true for Heimdall (I can't imagine, logically speaking a manufacturer such at Nordost being so stupid as to improve their line and skimp on anything from Heimdall up to Odin cables. That would be sheer stupidity.)
Go for the Series 2. I haven't heard the speaker cable, but the interconnects are quite a departure from Nordost's "house sound" of the past: transparent, and evenly weighted, dynamically speaking from octave to octave, but a bit lightweight overall. The Series II cures that issue. As I recall, HP, after hearing the Odins, admitted how "chagrined" he was to think of the Valhallas as "threadbare" to use his exact word for it, but that he could see it now that he'd heard the Odins (which are, obviously, also a "Series II" [astronomically priced, though] line).
This is an OLD thread but I just auditioned and listened to a slew of Audioquest IC's and Nordost IC's and Speaker cables in my system.
Sonus Faber Guarneri Tradition
Luxman 590 AXII
PS Audio Directstream DAC (Snowmass) with Bridge II
VPI Prime with Clearaudio Maestro
Valhalla 1 IC's on Digital and Analog (after testing many, even Valhalla 2)
Audioquest Tornado and Hurricane power cords into a Niagara 1000
I have tested recently:
Audioquest Water, Earth, Fire
Nordost Red Dawn, Frey 2, Tyr 2, Valhalla 2, Valhalla 1
and some others that I will not even mention.
Nordost Red Dawn LS, Frey 2, Valhalla 1
It's unanimous. In my system it is night and day and no contest.
The Valhalla 1 IC beat out all others and replaced my Audioquest Earth IC's.
also quite surprisingly,
The Valhalla 1 beat the Valhalla 2 IC in my system as the V2 lost transparency, and leaned warm as it added some mid bass and in the process lost some magic. It was like it shut the window on the music, ONLY when compared to the V1, again, in my system. I mean, it was night and day. The V1 made my speakers 100% vanish.
I was able to sell my Valhalla 2 IC and use those funds to aquire two new sets of Valhalla 1 IC's with wooden boxes (NOS) and have cash left over and am so glad I did.
More expensive is not always better and newer is not always better. Just "different" and always room and system dependent and also depends on what we want and like. Sometimes when we hear different we feel it is better only because it is different! But over time the best cables sort of stay in systems, and the V1 is one of those.
I mean, the AQ up to the fire was not even close for me here. The Red Dawn, Frey 2 and Tyr 2 IC's are nice but like smaller Valhalla 2's. I feel the Tyr 2 is the sweet spot there for sure. 90% V2 for thousands less.
I'm missing nothing btw. Soundstage is as wide as it has ever been. Imaging is precise. Bass is here and tighter and deeper but not bloated. It's balanced as it can be. Vocals are scary real and it's the most 3D I Have had in this room. I was shocked that the older V1 beat the V2 for me. When I heard this I searched out for a pair of speaker cable to replace my Frey 2, and again, more of everything.
So Bo is wrong here as again, these things are system dependent. There is no "better" just different but in the right room, and setup the Nordost Valhalla is missing nothing. In some systems the V2 would miss nothing. In some systems the Audioquest may be preferred. Room, Equipment, and personal prefs play a part here ; )
Ive also had the Audioquest Earth and Fire here. Compared to the Valhalla 1 RCA the Earth was a tad soft and dull. The Fire had more zing but too much of it. The V1 had the best balance.
I will say if anyone things the Valhalla 1 sounds lean there is an issue somewhere else along the chain. They will not give you artificial bass like some cables add but are as neutral as they come. Romantic they are not but transparent they are indeed. I can see into the music as there is zero veil.
Anyway, wanted to share my opinion and that is all that this is ; )