Nordost Odin or Valhalla 2


Folks, 

Do you feel Nordost cables are worth it's asking price?  What's the proportionate amount one should spent on cables? 

After hearing them at RMAF 2015 and few other brands of cables, I decided to look into the upgrade cost.  I own a decent HT setup and invested over $125K in my pursuit of audio nirvana.  

So I contacted a Nordost dealer to get an estimate on my setup.  The dealer came back with an estimate of $110K on Valhalla 2.  Needless to say, I didn't even bothered to ask the cost of Odin in my setup.  

No offense to the dealers, but I started to wonder the profit markups on high end cables.  I do hear stories about some unscrupulous dealers who sell high end products to get spiffs from big manufacturers in shape of exotic vacations, free products and so forth if they sell more widgets.  Isn't this corporate hi-fi that only seeks to show returns for shareholders.  To me its pure business, where is the passion for audio?If they are only focusing on providing expensive audio jewelry and targeting individuals with deep pockets then I say, mission accomplished.  

I have much better experience with smaller companies who are dedicated and committed to providing 'magical' listening experience without taking a second mortgage on your home.  I thought the whole idea of audio art is to create aural magic.  

IMO most cables regardless of price point, will get you 80% of the performance of super expensive cables.   So is it really worth spending thousands of dollars more to achieve that 20% or 10% of performance? 

I would like to hear from folks who owns Odin or Valhalla 2 or other comparable brand of cables, what was decided factor in their choice, what other cables did you compare before settling with Odin or Valhalla 2.  

I don't have any hidden agenda or personal vendetta against high priced cables or dealers engaged in selling high end products.  The idea here is to gauge performance vs. cost of super expensive cables. 

Happy Listening!!!

Convert?fit=crop&h=128&rotate=exif&w=128lalitk
Do you feel Nordost cables are worth it's asking price?
Absolutely not. I don't even find them worth their used prices. Of course many Nordost owners would disagree. Too thin and sterile sounding for my ears. I've heard enough to know that system synergy, personal tastes and such. Couple Nordost cables with warm gear and perhaps they will work better.

What's the proportionate amount one should spent on cables?

Only you can determine the answer to that question. Everyone has their own personal limits. Some folks spend less than 1% on cables while others spend  80% or more of their audio budget on cables/cords.
All will tell you that their approach works best.

Personally, I find cables to be effective part of the audio chain, and spend more than I used to years ago. That said, I have reached the point of saturation too, where cable costs rose to over 50% of the system cost.
I found this to be overkill, and have since backed off a bit. Today, I would say that I am at around 35% of system cost on cables/cords/conditioners.
I'm sure that many will tell you that this is still way too much, others may say it's not enough.

Who cares what others say? You pay yer money, you makes yer choices.

Cheers,
John
In the context of your system,(110k) I would consider V2.
But I sure wouldn’t accept retail pricing. I’m assuming this is more than just a PAIR of cables, but several since it’s a HT rig?
Im a Nordost fan with my modest tubed gear plumbed with H2/F2.

I wouldn’t consider the Odin line unless I had a way over the top 500k+ rig where just my speakers are 100K+ alone. Essentially, only if I were one of the powerball winners.
I believe the Tyr II gives you most of what the Vahlhalla/Odin offer for a bit less $$$.

I don't know what dealers work on,  but I'm guessing based on the retail list of Nordost products,  they are getting at least 60 points. Nothing wrong with that, anyone who complains simply votes with their wallet and lack of bargaining skills.

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I have never thought Nordost cables were perfectly neutral. To my ears, in certain applications, they can lack body and natural warmth and sound hifi-ish. In other applications, they can sound very nice. But they are not my favorite flavor. Of course many people whose ears and taste I greatly respect disagree with me. As one who owns and have used in my system Nordost, Stealth Indra, Tara, Cardas, Kimber, Shunyata, High Fidelity, Discovery, Tributaries, Audioquest and on and on---I would emphasize that it is ALL system and ear dependent as EVERY system has a character and EVERY cable has a character.
Through a 100k system, you should be able to discern the differences in cable sound form one brand to another and from the most basic to the most unobtainable. Please test before you buy. I use thecableco library frequently.
Also and most importantly, I find that the difference in character between cables of different manufacturers far exceeds the difference in sound between a midlevel and top level of the same brand.
Others will no doubt comment. Although there are no rules in audio, I have been willing to spend about 25 percent of the cost of my components on power cords and cabling, although I'm happier when it's more like 20 percent. Above that, the law of diminishing returns applies and I upgrade other aspects of my system all of which are more cost effective at that cost-benefit ratio---especially speakers. 
Just MHO
The idea here is to gauge performance vs. cost of super expensive cables.
It doesn't exist!  There is no correlation between cost and sound.

Just buy what you can afford or willing to spend and sound best in your system.    

I would like to hear from folks who owns Odin or Valhalla 2 or other comparable brand of cables, what was decided factor in their choice, what other cables did you compare before settling with Odin or Valhalla 2. 


Sound!   I have a friend with a $150,000 full loom of Stage III cables and it sounds FANTASTIC! 


If you have a thin-air level system,  ... Then " yes"... They can (and do ) work and can take the whole system to another level and leave you gob-smacked.

at the Nov 2015 audio expo in Toronto, Nordost had a killer system cabled up with all-ODINS (power, ICs, and speaker) that  blew away the  show. I lost count what the rest of the system actually cost, but somewhere north of about $400K for a 2-channel system.

ODINs or VALHALLAS are not for everybody, but if you have that oxygen breather level system commanding cables to do them proper justice justice , then I have not heard anything yet that rivals them .

If you take note, a very large population of audio mag reviewers have the VALHALLAS as their reference cables.

I will rehash a prior post to serve as a litmus test that cables DO matter. ...in brief: NORDOST ran a repeated 3-day audio expo demonstration symposium in Toronto at an audio expo on that very issue, it was attended by thousands - It was also attended and written up as such by a writer from a prominent Canadian AUDIO magazine.

He wrote his article that highlights a  litmus test on the effects of swapping in better cables as reported by him , and he reported  on the shared observations of the thousands of attendees at the TAVES audio expo in Toronto in Nov 2014. With reference to the above , ... his conclusion summarizes it well.

Nordost

"... 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...."
Agon member Rockitman has a full loom of Odin so you contact him for more info

Here's AVShowroom's video of his system.

Audio enthusiast and Grateful Dead lover Chris aka "Rockitman" 


Nordost makes amazingly non musical cables....great for computer connections, but not for music.
Dear All,

I read all your post. IMHO : some are rights and some are wrong. First the choice of your cable depends on your system coloration : all get one.
The marriage between cable and element is very important.
Basis : Power Conditioner : Me I purchased the JMF Audio PC302 (very amazing for the results... But I connected 2 ODINS on 2 QB8 to power my 8 Linn Solos amp from the JMF Conditioner.
I added also a QX4 module (even if 2 are better), one will add more quiet sound, lower background for all my sources...
Tried also the Ansuz ramp. Good apparently.
I get also ODIN Phono (amazing and very natural and musical), ODIN RCA also.
Now I am doing V2/ODIN RCA comparisson.
My seller told me : V2 is better than ODIN but I don’t think so.

In my opinion, V2 is coloring the high frequencies and narrow bandwidth (less bass) than the ODIN so at the end less music because aggressive.
The size of the soundstage is narrow with V2 than ODIN.
So I validated my ODIN (without any doubts : ODIN RCA is not colouring the sound / real music / V2 is making distortion...
I am living with my ODINS for about 3 years so when I change sthg, I could see immediately the changes...

DY onw experience (not easy : to choose need for me 3 years with a lot of trial where to place cable (I started at the beg with all Nordost (ODINs, V2... but too energitic... less musical then strike the balance with your ears as usual.)
Good luck,
JIM
Vinyls a lot (LENCO JTN75MKII, Whest audio, Lyra Atlas, Linn Komri Aktiv system...)

Hello Lalitk,

I posted the same question here and on Audio Asylum a while back but specifically regarding the V2/Odin speaker cables.  I finally got around to auditioning the Odin speaker cables over the last three days.  ...................  STAGGERING!!!

Hard to believe that speaker wire could make this kind of improvement. I'm coming from a full loom of original Valhalla which still to this day is a reference for many and excels in areas of detail, speed, and openness.  Just the Odin speaker cables ..  alone .. and the improvement in these areas of performance (among others) is just massive. No kidding, this is an upgrade on a major component level!!!  Yes,  speaker wire. 

Not that Odin is right for everyone, every system,  and their taste.  But from what I've read the results from this cable is consistent in any system it's inserted.  For me,  I'm finding it extremely rewarding as what I'm now hearing  is just that much more - compelling - captivating - and that my emotional connection to the musical performance is stronger than ever for having Odin in my system. 

Lalitk, this is just me just passing along what I've heard and not from my 1st hand experience.  Someone who responded to my thread on AA who tried both V2 and Odin1 felt that V2 gave about 80% of the performance of Odin.  My dealer insist Odin1 is much better than V2 and I've also heard first hand comments from industry insiders that it's wishful thinking on the part of those who are saying V2 is as good or better than Odin1. 

Needless to say I wrote the check for the Odin1 speaker cables that I auditioned. 

Guys-

at this level, careful gear selection is paramount to achieve the proper system synergy.  I have only auditioned the mid-level Nordost cabling and rather enjoyed the experience w/ Naim gear.

Happy Listening!
trcnetmsncom, 

I am glad to hear that you loved the Odin1 speaker cables.  My experience with them was not as extended as yours but I am willing to concede that they are well made cables.  We all know that cables are system dependent and any well made cables with a decent R&D should yield good to great results. 

I started this thread to know if Nordost Odin or Valhalla's cables are worth the retail price. IMO, the answer is NO, simply because of the dealer mark-up and the marketing hype.  They are indeed good cables, no doubt. However, I believe you can create the same magic as Odin or Valhalla for lot less. 

The purpose of any well made cable is to simply to get out the way and let your components do the dance. If your components are good, you will hear good performance with any decent priced cable.  

Most of us with a decent investment desires to extract every last ounce of goodness from their components. I think that where these highly touted reference cables comes to play.  They ring up the top 10% of the nuances that some mid-priced cables simply incapable of conveying. 

I did find a very 'special' brand of cables that I am currently auditioning in my home.  Once I complete my evaluation, I will be happy to report my findings and how they stack against some very expensive and well known brand of cables. 

Happy Listening!

Nope, I have had the opportunity to compare the KLEI zFLOW33 ICs and the Nordost Valhalla2 ICs and the KLEI zFLOW33 ICs were noticeably better and much more musical... so, I would buy these ... http://kleinnovations.com/kle-innovations-klei-products/klei-zflow-ics/klei-zflow33-ics/
Post removed 

Hello Lalitk,

"I started this thread to know if Nordost Odin or Valhalla's cables are worth the retail price."

The answer to this will be different from person to person. 


I sold Nordost for over 9 years of time. I owned the Nordost Valhalla loudspeaker cable for 12 years of time. I also sold a lot of Valhalla in the past.

You need to understand the properties of each brand to have an idea what it does.

First of all each brand builds the stage differently and also in sound the differ a lot.

I work in the world of audio of almost 18 years. I have done many tests, because this way I learned to think and work in properties.

I think and work by Tru-Fi. These are all the different properties sound can own.

What are the properties of Nordost?

When I am at a show and they use Odin, you can audition often that the stage depth and width is not that big. Compared to brand like Audioquest, Transparent and MIT the stage is less wide and deep. This property you will find in each different Norodost cable you compare and test.

Instruments and voices are in real very small and direct. When you judge cables on individual focus, Nordost is not that direct and sharp compared to brands like Audioquest, Taralabs and Transparent.

In the time I sold Nordost I always used Kimber interconnects. Why? Very simple, first of all in blind shootouts clients prefer this combo always compared to only Nordost.

Why did people prefer this combo instead of a full Nordost combo.

It is very easy to explain. You add different properties to the Nordost cables what they don't do well.

When I add Kimber interconnects, the stagte became wider and deeper. The indivdual focus of instruments and voices became sharper and more palpable. The mid frequencies became more diverse and richer.

This is way I always said to all my clients; Nordost is incomplete. But....you still can use the parts and properties they fill in the right way.

Based on my knowledge now and the way I work I could not sell it anymore. Because based on the properties of Audioquest I can create a much higher endresult.

Because I sell a sound instead of brands and products. I am only interested in the properties of each part in a set. I collect these properties and with them I build mu sound based on Tru-Fi. I have proven to many people that this way you can outperfrom any set created by the ’old’ fashion way of creating a audio system.

When an audio system owns more different properties sound is build of, it owns more emotion and intensity during listening. That is why you need to be aware of all the properties each part of your system owns.

All these properties together including the acoustics is how the stage and sound of your system is build.
lalitk-

10-20% of overall budget should be spent on cabling. This is the bottom figure. Happy Listening!
Get Odin 2 for your entire system its the best be a sport.
ebm, you seem to be a huge proponent of Odin cables :-) 

Thank you all for your feedback.  
ebm, how did the HFC CT1-UR interconnect compared to the Odin IC?
Nordost has a long history of sounding thin so it's no surprise the reputation lives on.  It's not true anymore.
When Odin is used at shows, I always say: we will have about 1 metre of depth. In almost all situations this is the outcome.

1 metre of depth for highend is unacceptable. I don't understand why the people who give these demos are F. deaf!

I sold Nordost for over 9 years of time. I always said; it is incomplete, and these are facts.

They changed an importsant part to make the sound less harsh, but it still lacks properties you need and want.
bo1972, at the risk of extending what you have turned into an excruciatingly annoying thread, I believe you missed wlutke's point.  The OP asked about Valhalla Gen 2 versus Odin Gen 1.  You continue to make generalizations about all Nordost products (including Gen 2) based on your experience with Gen 1.  Can you characterize V2 as the OP asked?  If not, then your generalizations are merely counterproductive.
They own the same properties, same level of depth.

You should ask why you would choose either?

I audtioned the presentation of Valhalla2, I any many others were not impressed.

I owned the Valhalla 1 for 12 years. But these days there are better and more complete cables.

Back then the Valhalla was able to create a better level in some areas compared to others. But now in 2016 we live in a different world.


bo1972 -

You said: "When Odin is used at shows, I always say: we will have about 1 metre of depth. In almost all situations this is the outcome."

Your bias against Nordost makes you look for and expect a bad result in the product while dismissing the good.  If your statement is not true in all situations, as you have stated, then the problem is not specific to the product but to its implementation.   I compared high end Audioquest to my mid-line Nordost and I heard what you are trying to express.  The Audioquest had smaller, more focussed images that gave the impression of a larger stage because of the small image size but with little difference in the actual placement in the listening room.  I liked both presentations.  The recording determined which presentation I preferred.  

I have done thousands of test in audio and still do it a lot. It is all about finding patterns and the d.n.a. of a product.

I was succesful when I sold Nordost ( for over 9 years) and it made a combination with Kimber interconnects. This combination made the stage deeper and wider. And gave it a sharper individual focus of instruments and voices. And also a more involving mid frequency.

In blind test people prefered always this combination over a full Nordost combination.

It is very easy to explain why?

It is more complete and people prefer this over a less complete sound and image. Most people never did as many tests as I did. So their knowledge and insight is inferior. They are not even able to think about these options.

Audio is all about music. And music is all about emotion. That is why I create audio by Tru-Fi.

Tru-Fi is how music sounds in real. And consits  of 8 different parts you judge sound for. All these parts influences our emotion.

When you create a more complete and realistic sound and image like in real all people prefer it. It is that easy to explain and even during listening it is easy to understand why.

When you do not have a reference frame, you never will understand what you are doing to create your system. It will based on nothing.

Thie is why audio created by listening and hear what you like never will give a stunning and realistric sound.

Because when you do not understand why the stage and sound is what you are hearing. 

All systems at shows are in over 99% incomplete. Because the way people make a combination  does not make sense. It is ineffective and at the end you are so far away from the sound it could be and should be.

When a system has a higher level of emotion and realism, all people will prefer it. So this is why audio shoud be created like this.
You need to understand music and properties of other products and brands to use Nordost the right way. Because I still believe you can use it to create a good balance and level in sound. It is not easy!
I just bought heimdall norse2 nordost, It's a full sounding speaker cable, no brightness, system Plinius amp sa100, audio research tube preamp, marantz transport,peach tree dac, Technics SB C700 speaker.True old nordost are thin sounding not this new one.
They improved in a better overall sound. But in stage depth and width they still miss quality. The same thing about individual focus of voices and instruments.

Also they have a too low blacklevel. These are essential parts you need to create a stunning sound.

They also need improvements in the diversity in the middle frequencies.
Please forgive us our ignorance.  You are a true genius.

When you use audio by Tru-Fi, it becomes a lot more easy to understand.

Tru-Fi gives you the information about the properties each individual part owns

Each product owns its properties. I sold and tested Nordost for over 9 years of time. For met it is very easy to understand the properties.

At the end you need to use these properties to the max.

When you don't know the propties ( most people don't know, then you never will understand why the sound and stage is what you hear) audio is a big guess.

I have seen in 18 years of time that the main reason why so many sets at shows, distributers, shops and at new clients sound not that good, is based on the fact that they are mot able to think in properties.

The difference is endresult between Tru-Fi and 'traditional'way of creating audio is huge. 

I would give one advice; stop creating audio by comparing parts when you don't know which properties you bring in and which ones you get out.

This way audio is done by trial and error. This is extremely ineffective!!