Nordost Tyr 2 Spkr Cables - Alternate for less $$

For the last few days I have had these Nordost Tyr 2 cables in my system replacing my Goertz MI-2 Bi wire cables. The Nordost are significantly better with improved dynamics, improved spatial presentation, blacker background, and just overall sound better.

I have never really been a fan of or explored high priced speaker cables, and although the Nordost are clearly better, I don't really want to spend that much on a pair of speaker cables even though I am buying used and getting a very good deal.

I would like input from users that have heard the Nordost Tyr 2 as well as less expensive cable. It would be great if there were something close to the performance of the Nordost Tyr 2 for quite a bit less.

My system details are posted on the "System" tab below.

Thanks for your comments and suggestions.

Best Regards,

Jim Perry

QUOTE: " ....something close to the performance of the Nordost Tyr 2 for quite a bit less...."

Your quote extract above is asking for a wishful but impossible task that is at odds with the time-honored axiom in this hobby: you get what you pay for....full stop.

I currently have the FREYS (both the ICs and matched speaker cables) after having both HEIMDALLs and also lesser grades in my prior systems. There is a a direct correlation between improved performance and the product model with its matched price.

At the TAVES audio expo in Toronto in late 2014, here's the CANADAHIFI mag review summary supporting the same.

...." 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..."

My takeaway on Nordost :

(a) I now appreciate why many reviewers have the Valhallas as their reference cables.
(b) Nordost is not the silver bullet or Holy Grail for everyone for sure and and there are other fine cables out there..... BUT .... if you are indeed looking for that unique and upscale NORDOST sonic signature and its particular matched performance, I highly doubt that you will find a NORDOST TYR clone elsewhere and especially not in any cheap price strata.

I have no idea how compare different cables to the ones you already have aside from listening to them all in the same system. For your ProAc/V4 combo, some brands I like are Audioquest, Tara, JPS and Kimber Select. Cable Company should have demo's for all of them.
Zd542's response, although not necessarily what we want to hear is the correct one.

I've been wrestling with the cable question for some time seeking the best &/or a giant (read costly) killer, and given the almost infinite number of our individual system variables, there is no one or right answer.

As much as I dispise cable auditioning, that's the only way to find something that beats something else. Price may enter into it, but the relationship may be anything other than what is logical! Obviously all the cable manufacturers & sellers would like us to believe otherwise.
I too agree with ZD. And I'll add the following thoughts:

I would consider the possibility that what may be happening is not so much that you are preferring the Nordost cables in themselves, but rather that you, or more specifically your amplifier, aren't reacting well to the Goertz cables. Although the two cables obviously have some physical similarity in that they are flat, their electrical parameters, especially their capacitances, are DRASTICALLY different. In fact, about as different as it's possible to get. The Goertz cables have ultra-high capacitance, while the Nordost cables have exceptionally low capacitance. Many amplifiers do not react well to the capacitive load presented by the Goertz cables, at least if the cables are not used with Zobel networks. And if you have been using Zobels, as is often done with Goertz cables, perhaps the sonic effects of the Zobels in themselves, as well as the cables, are contributing significantly to your preference for the Nordosts.

So I would not be surprised if MANY cables that are far less expensive than the Nordosts, but that are more conventional in their electrical characteristics than the Goertz (and are therefore not as extremely dissimilar to the Nordosts in their electrical characteristics), would eliminate most or all of the issues that the comparison between the two cables has revealed.

If you haven't been using Zobels with your Goertz cables, that would be the first thing I would try. And if you have done that, I would pursue the suggestions ZD has provided.

-- Al
One further thought: From the perspective of the amplifier, by using the Goertz cables in a biwire configuration you are doubling their already extremely high capacitance.

I don't know if the biwire configuration of the MI-2 provides one pair of terminations for each channel at the amp end or two pairs, but if it is physically practical to do so I would certainly try disconnecting one of the two runs at BOTH ends and putting jumpers on the speakers. That would cut the capacitance in half, although it would still be much higher than the capacitance of most other cables.

Good luck. Regards,
-- Al
Akg_ca, I was hoping it was more than wishful thinking, but you are right and to a large degree you get what you pay for, so finding something close for far less is unlikely.

Zd542 and Mrmb, thanks for your input. I thought of doing the Cable Company trial. Probably the right thing to do, but I know my system well enough to hear when I have a significant improvement, which the Nordost Tyr 2 have caused. It is also unlikely I can do better than the Nordost Tyr 2 at the price I am paying, so I may go ahead and purchase them.

Almarg, thanks for the technical information and thanks for contributing to this. The Goertz may be a mismatch in my system. I have tried the Zobel network and it did not make a difference, but the high capacitance might be a problem.

Lastly, thanks to all for your input. I am going to listen for another week and decide whether to buy or do more auditioning via the Cable Company

Best Regards,

Jim Perry
You're welcome, Jim.

Regarding "you get what you pay for," in the context of cables, you may find this thread to be of interest.

Good luck. Regards,
-- Al
Almarg: Thanks for adding the technical reasons to this and so many other threads. You've touched on some of the many reasons why one cable may work better than another in the same system...
If you like the way Nordost sounds in your system, a great lower cost alternative would be to try some Morrow Audio cables (MA4's at least). These have worked wonders in my system, I still use Nordost SPM speaker cables.(I bought them sometime ago used, and I'll never part with them)
Shouldn't your speakers and components have Nordost wires inside them to, to be even more effective? IC's cables and power cords only go so far. What about the entire trail?
"03-16-15: Polk432
Shouldn't your speakers and components have Nordost wires inside them to, to be even more effective? IC's cables and power cords only go so far. What about the entire trail?"

Its not necessary to do something like that. Components and speakers are designed as individual units. (As always, there's bound to be an occasional exception.) For example, someone who's designing a speaker, and trying to achieve a certain sound, may use brand A internal cables. Those cables are judged as part of the whole speaker, and not individually. Some people call this type of thing voicing. They may have settled on Brand A because brand B cables were too bright, and maybe Brand C cables were dull sounding. Brand A happened to be the best choice for that particular application.

Its no different than any of the other parts that go into the end product. Would you go and swap out all of the resistors in every component you own so that they're all the same brand? Its no different with internal cables.
"Zd542 and Mrmb, thanks for your input. I thought of doing the Cable Company trial. Probably the right thing to do, but I know my system well enough to hear when I have a significant improvement, which the Nordost Tyr 2 have caused."

Yes, but that's the point of it all. The cables will sound different. That's why its so important to listen to them first.
Over the past year I've tried several Nordost
speaker cables in my system, starting with Red
Dawn, and followed by Heimdall, Frey, and finally
Tyr. I eventually chose the Frey, which has now
been in my system for about 6 months, and I'm very
pleased with the performance. Overall, I'd say the
Heimdall is the "sweet spot" in the
Norse line if price is a major factor in your
selection process. However, if you have a bit more
in your budget, you should go with the Frey's. The
Frey's provide about 90-95% of the Tyr's sound
quality and unless one has a very high resolution
system I rather doubt that you'll notice any
meaningful difference. In your case, however, you
DO have a ri-rez system, and I think buying the
Tyr's is well justified.

I bought mostly new cables from a dealer that
offered a major discount, and if you'll call me I
will give you the contact info. My phone number is
"two zero six -- seven seven two -- one nine
zero nine".

P.S. Before the Nordosts, I also used Alpha-Core
Goertz MI2 speaker cables. You are correct when
you say the Nordost cables are a big improvement.
Mattmiller, thanks for the suggestion on Morrow. I will check out their website.

Polk432, I have no idea. In my original post I say, "I have never really been a fan of or explored high priced speaker cables". I do think your idea is interesting, and if you do that I would like to know about your results.

Zd542, thanks for your comments. I am trying to decide whether I can make myself do a cable shootout. I am not sure if I have the time right now.

Sdcampbell, I appreciate your thoughts on this. I have a Frey 2 phono cable that came with my SME 10 turntable. I don't have a basis for comparison on this. My dealer has offered to lend Frey 2 interconnects so I can see if they make a positive change in my system. This really started when he took the Tyr 2 cable in trade and offered to let me try them in my system. I may give you a call, and thanks for offering that, if I move forward with more Nordost cable. Are you located in Seattle?

Thanks again to everyone for all of the input and help.

Best Regards,

Jim Perry
I use Frey and Heimdall IC's. Magnum Dynalab upgrades their tuners with Kimber Cable (I think) and Wilson Audio recommends that I use Transparent Cables since they use Transparent wire in their speakers. I have an all tube system and it(rewiring everything inside) may work, but I'm not willing to spend to find out. I was going to go with an all Odin loom at one time, but just can't justify that much money for wires. Happy listening.
Thanks to everyone for your input. After listening for another week I bought the Nordost Tyr 2 speaker cables. The price was good enough that I can resell if I decide to do a cable shootout and they end up losing.

Best Regards,

Jim Perry