Nordost Frey vs Audience Au24e interconnect


Hi, I'm considering replacing my Nordost Frey XLR IC's with the AU24e. I'm looking for a natural and detailed sound. Unfortunately I cannot audition the Au24e but could take a chance as my speaker cables are AU24e and like the sound a lot.

My equipment:
Mcintosh MA7000 integrated
Olive 4HD music server
PS Audio DAC LINK III (Cullen Stage IV)
B&W 804D speakers
AU24e speaker cable
Iluminati D-60 digital SPDIF

Thanks.
gustavog
Did you try the Cable Company? They have a lot of cables to try on a loaner basis.
I own AU24 with RCAs but not AU24e and the originals are exactly what you want. Detailed and neutral. BTW the cheaper Audience Conductors do a very respectable job.
If you really want a super detail sound perhaps an all Silver interconnect would serve you better. I like the HomeGrown Silver Lace. The downside of Silver is that it can be steely and bright on some systems, esp if you have very clean SS with no warmth.
Thanks Mechan. Unfortunately, the Cable Co. would not be an alternative as I live in mexico unless I can program back to back trips to the US. I actually feel the Freys might be a little too bright for my taste. That's why I'm wondering about the Au24e.
I run 'em both. Frey XLR IC's DAC/Pre and Pre/Amp; AU24 Speaker cable from the amp...Let me know what you discover if you make the change. I've wondered what would happen, myself. I heave been fearing a loss of body and precision...odd as that seems. The AU24 speaker cables do an AWESOME job. They replaced Heimdall (my amp/speakers hated 'em) and a pair of Cardas Neutral Reference (more low end, but muddy mids).
Oops, I see you are running AU24 cable also. Hmm..I wonder if we're both on to something ?!!?
I've owned the Frey and Au in different systems so it is difficult to give you the AB comparisons you are looking for. I can say that my complete E series, when completed, sounded amazing with Reynaud Emeraudes and whatever tubes they were hooked to. The best synergy came when all IC's PC's and speaker cables were AU.

I later decided to go with a Vandersteen Model 5 and ended up selling off most of the Au cables, speaker cables being the main reason, and I now have Frey interconnects. Only trouble is I bought Anticables for the speakers just to get started and they are the weak link. I'm tempted to go with either Frey or Au for the speaker cables but the Vandersteen speakers have a lame 1976 spade termination that requires a 1/4 inch spade that no person will ever want to buy even at 1/2 retail.

I don't mean to ramble but just want to give you an idea of where I am at. If I were you I would first try the Au since you already have the speaker cables. Add some "E" PC's over time and you will most likely be happy.

FWIW the Nordost line sometimes gets a bad rap of being bright. I think if the power source is well addressed, and the components are neutral, Nordost cables can really add a dimension and refinement that is not easy to come by with any cable regardless of price or position in the lineup. Also delicacy and air can easily translate to bright if a system is lean to begin with.
Interesting, I'll be interested to read how this shakes out.
On the Frey, I beg to differ on this "brightness" thing. What I notice, after break-in, is a lot of slam, dynamics, low end, and smooth highs. I run the Frey XLR's. All that definition that Bjesien mentioned is in there. Maybe people who were listening to SPM or the first version of Red Dawn, back in the early 90s, came up with this "bright" stuff, but it has not been then case in the Norse series to me, with this ONE ecxeption: speaker cable/amp matching is crutial with Nordost speaker cables. If you have an amp thst puts out a great mid, and is not considered "boom boom" (think PASS, Mcinstosh, Bryston), then you are goning to think it's the Nordost's fault for not driving your speaker's woofer's when you are playing Tool or Slipknot, etc. Or Diana Krall or whatever it is you want your neighbors to feel.
Hmm, I realize it is a bit unfair to label the Frey's sound as bright. I upgraded from Red Dawn (the new revision I believe) and they communicate a lot of detail, dynamics and more controlled bass. However, they seem a bit bright, which can be due to their more detailed nature. I wonder what the Au24e IC's would bring to the table but do not want to lose on detail. Perhaps the rapport with the Au24e speaker wire would be better. Maybe I will buy them second hand, try them and sell whichever IC's I like the least.

Let us know how it shakes out. I'm psyched to hear your thoughts...! Maybe I'll try too.
I just bought some AU24s to compare...will circle back in a few wks.
I can tell you the SPM cables are much more laid back than the Frey cables. I have tried both in my system. In my system I much prefer the SPM over the Frey cables. The Frey cables are too bright in my system. The problem with the SPM cables is they are too closed in on top but I really like the SPM from the preamp to amp run. They set the right tone for my system. I then add a cable from the source to the preamp which is a little more open on top. This is my favorite combo right now. It may change next week.
Mjmch2003, my guess is that if you have a speaker that has full or near full range extension and a midrange with some weight to it, you will prefer the Frey. If the speaker and or associated gear needs some weight while not sacrificing detail or transparency the Au24e will be great. Did you get the Au24 or the Au24e?

IMO the Frey has better frequency extension and air, the Au24e is slightly warmer in the midrange and is better if you want to add more solidity to the system. Both awesome cables.
I have never viewed Nordost as "Bright".
"Lean" maybe but detailed and fast.'
IMHO Nordost is damn hard to beat.
When you combine the fact that Nordost sounds better in say 90% of the systems they are put into, you can see that they bring the "synergy" to more systems than most cables are able too.
Bright? I have not seen that!
Lean? I have seen, but a quick volume adjustment gave me second thoughts.
Detailed, extended, and PRAT? Absolutely!
My favorite cable as you can tell from the above post!
Bjesien, I got the au24s. Thanks for the analysis, you too Pep21.
I have owned both the Frey and the AU24, as well as the Nordost TYR, the Morrow Audio MA4 beats em both easily. See my review in the reviews section.
I only commented because someone mentioned SPM as bright and I know the Frey is more so than the SPM. I am not using bright as a bad term just lean with a lot going on in the top portion of the music. The VALHALLA does the same thing in my system. In my system the Heimdall sounded better than the Frey. In terms of speaker cables none of the Nordost cables satisfied me and I was willing to spend a lot more money on what I wanted verses the Frey or Heimdall. The interconnect cables are the same way. I am using now Purist Dominus Praesto from my source to my preamp and then the SPM to my amps. The Dominus has the midrange and top which I like in my system. I am sure it is all system dependent. I just thought there was some mis-information about the SPM cables being spread.
Agree on Nordost SC's, Coxhaus. My ribbon tweeters seem to mitigate brightness (dispursion?), so the impression I'm left with of the frey is definately NOT that it's bright at all. It's snappy, got drive, and great coherence.
I just popped in the Au24s. Breaking in over the next few days...
Ok, first impressions:

The AU24 zeros in on instruments and voices, dropping the backround "noise" and pushing some things to the front. In some cases this works brilliantly, in others, it seems ovewrly analystical.

The Frey is warmer. Hard to belive, but it's just the case in my setup. Feels more organic, less synthetic.

My girlfriend says the Frey is more "ambient." She likes it better in our room (acoutstics suck).

My feelings are split. Like the both. The frey has more space, front to back and side to side, but the AU24 does some really cool stuff with echos, reverb, etc.

I can see either being useful in certain conditions. The interesting thing is that they are both very similar in many ways. I don't notice any difference in bass amount or quality with either. The Frey may have a little more midbass pronunciation. The AU24 offers a little clearer image seperation (shockingly).
Mjmch2003, thanks a lot for your input. Pity that it is so hard to choose one or the other. Have you chosen yet? I'll try to put my hands on the AU24 IC's somehow and see for myself. Cheers.
You bet. I'll pop the Frey back in, tomorrow, and circle back. I'll try to use 2 songs as a reference point.
Ok, my final verdict (played some Ulrich Schnauss, Judas Priest, Sword, Orb, Bela Fleck, Ocean Blue)....

If i listened at lower volumes, I slightly prefered the Audience, but at higher volumes, I overwhenlmingly preferred the Norsodt. Anything north of "25" on my Ayre preamp sounded so forward on my system.

About the same level of deep bass from both, the Nordost has more mid bass, the Audience has a snappy and clean mid range, the Nordosts highs are more evenly balanced among instruments and didn't tend to highlight some things like the Audience. The audiece was more fun with some recordings that have a lot of "bleepy" sounds that are panning the soundstage (orb).

Did you decide which one of these, Audience or Nordost, you prefer for long time listening versus just casual listening? Which do you prefer for listening the majority of the time? I am split down the middle on getting some cables from my phono pre to the preamp.

Right now I am using Audioquest Sky and highly modded Neotech pure silver cables with silver WBT's, alternating every once in a while. The idea of trying one of these cables in my system is appealing.
Thanks.

Ciao,
Audioquest4life
Yes...I'd been away from my system, travelling, for about a month...I came back, sat down, and things just didn't sound rich, engaging or "right." I cranked up the volume and (I was using Pandor), thought the file compression (Adobe?) must be at fault. About 2 days later, I looked in back and saw that I had the Audience connected. So, I put the Nordost back in. POW. That did it. The harmonics came back, the soundstage was fleshed out, etc. Now, mind you, I run the AU24's and they are the BEST speaker cable I have had in my system. For whatever reason the AU24 XLR's just don't do it for me. Right now. I'm not going to sell them, though, because, in a different configuration, I can see them working...If I had PBS speakers or Vandersteens especially...I'd want the AU24's in (I think, this is hypothetical).
One more note...Althought the Audience might be percieved as having a lower noise floor and blacker background, I felt they had a tendency to push certain frequencies (instruments) to the front...this was cool is some ways, but it happened at the expense of the balance of the recording.

The Nordost gave me a more complete picture. Dynamics about the same with both.
I've had the frey interconnects as well as the AU24 interconnect between my modded PS audio DAC (cullen stage IV mods) and my Modwright LS100. My amp is the Modwright KWA100SE and I have Vienna acoustic Haydn Grand speaker on Dynaudio stands. This is NOT a bright system. Very balanced with a nice tube edge coming from the LS100.

AU24 is more balanced, with better defined and deeper low end as well as sweeter highs. Vocals, piano, were closer to the "real" thing. The AU24 also gives a better sense of the acoustics of the room where the recording was made. Better soundstage depth and layering. Very rich sound while keeping excellent PRAT (very hard not to tap your feet with these wires in the system).

Overall, I'm VERY impressed with the AU24. I can listen to them for hours on end at all sound volumes (including the "elicit extreme anger from neighbor" volume).

The Frey's are good, no doubt about that. But at higher volumes and for extend listening sessions, I definetly got listener fatigue (and more "turn down the volume from the wife"). Also, they make you think and analyze the music and your audio system instead simply letting you forget everything but the music. They are lean in the sound they produce.

I'm now going to sell my Frey's w/o a moments hesitations.
Your cables cost more than you speakers. Might want to re-prioritize try each cable again. Glad it works with the Vienna.
I can see how the au24 might work with the Vienna and tubes....it's all about pairing. I didn't sell my AU24 ICs, I've got them handy for when I wind up with something with a silk dome tweeter, some PSBs, etc...but with my Piegas and SS electronics, it's just not the right fit. Bear in mind I *DO* run the AU24 speaker cable and love 'em.