Nordost Valhalla 2 - Susceptible to Noise?

I was over the moon with the improvements my Valhalla 2 speaker wire brought to my system, until the next day things didn’t sound so great.  I thought maybe my first impressions were overblown, until I tried again after midnight and that glorious holographic soundstage re-emerged.

It seems that the Nordost cables are so resolving that I blatantly hear differences in power quality, and I’ve since gone down the path of investigating power conditioners.

But that’s another story.  What I’m wondering is whether the Valhalla 2 cables themselves could be more susceptible to RF/EMF noise, given their unique ribbon design?  And, if so, is their any way to deal with this issue?

I’ve seen some folks using Alan Maher’s Circuit Breaker Filters which you can simply tie to pretty much anything, but they don’t seem to be on his site anymore.


@battbot , yes, but in my case the difference is night and day…..

sorry for that!

But seriously - during the day the sound is downright dull and boring.  At night, it is SO different. Immersive soundstage, detailed, musically engaging, like a veil/fog is lifted.

Our tenants have a baby and thinking maybe their baby monitor during the day is adding to RF noise.

Looking for any way to mitigate this on my Valhalla 2 cables.  Without modifying them with DIY R-C filters, etc?


Not in the same league but I had a pair of Nordost Red Dawn ribbon interconnects and if you tapped on them , I could hear the tapping through my speakers so obviously they were susceptible to vibration. 


So I’ve since watched an Audiosciencereview that is passionate as always, where Amir “proves” that it is impossible for RF to harm speaker cables.  I put “proves” in quotes because while his explanation makes sense to me, I also am not an expert and don’t know.

Also, Nordost has told me it’s not likely RF that is causing my issue and that it’s all AC.  They said shielding on speaker wires is not done by cable producers and is not needed.

I used to notice a difference in times of day until I got a puritan 156 power conditioner.  In my case, I plugged everything (amp, preamp, phono, DAC) into the puritan and the sound improved considerably.  The Valhalla 2 are outstanding cables and in my comparison to several other brands, were far superior.  Also, consider having a dedicated 20A line to your music room. This too can make a large difference.  Hope this helps.

@nyev I don't think you don't need a circuit breaker filter as much as you need a PS Audio P15.

I encourage you to read some reviews of PS Audio's approach to cleaning up your power. I have some very revealing Martin Logan electrostatic speakers and I use Nordost cables. I can vouch for the kind of improvements you'll read about in those reviews, and I can tell you that it took my listening experience to a different level.

I could never describe the effect as well as a couple of the reviews where the reviewer dissected everything in minutia. We're talking extremely subtle differences in the sound, but if you have equipment that's revealing enough and it's matched well in your system I bet you you'll be very pleased with the results. 

I'm becoming more and more convinced that some of these folks don't have ^^^ because it sounds like some have literally never experienced this kind of synergy in their system. It's an expensive hobby, for sure. And you know the old saying, you got to pay to play. To me, it's kind of a "you get what you pay for" kind of thing. 


Forgot to add that one of the things I like about my Nordost speaker cables is how sexy they look. Ha ha ha ha I’m kind of into design, as a matter of fact that’s one of the reasons I bought my ML Summits, because I think they’re beautiful to look at and I consider that an added feature of the cables, that they pair well visually. I guess sometimes you just gotta bite the bullet

I think the ribbon design looks so cool mostly because it has such a unique shape and it’s so pliable. From a design standpoint, it pairs real well not only w/ my speakers but with the decor of my whole place.

@tunefuldude , I do note the great reviews of the PS-Audio regenerators, but I’m actually more excited to try the Niagara 5000 and Torus RM20 for two reasons:

The Niagara and Torus get just as good reviews at way less cost. Plus, one pro review which is easy to find pretty much rated the Niagara 5000 and P15 evenly with a slight preference for the Niagara which he found more energetic. Finally, there is an Audiosciencereview video where Amir “proves” that the PS-Audio P12 actually degrades the sound. That said, he also “proved” the Niagara 1200 does nothing, so who knows!

I’ve yet to see direct comparisons that put the higher cost regenerators ahead of the lower cost conditioners.

Two houses ago I had intermittent noise so I bought an Audience AR-6 and it helped a lot. Then we moved to a new subdivision that was a cow pasture just a few years before. Everything electrical was new and buried and I had absolutely no power problems. About 3 years ago we moved back to the big city. The dwellings are not as close to each other, but now I’m getting the intermittent line noises again.  I'm using the AR-6 again and all is quiet again.

All the best.


I use a Nordost qb8 power supply for all my power cables from wall. Of course a great V2 or Odin2 should come from wall into that. I also as a Concert violin performer always notice night is deafeningly quiet compared to day. Even during day time vs. night time rehearsals, not just performances.  I have Odin 2 speaker cable and V2 and Tyre 2 power cables (depending where in the system).  When I added a dedicated 20 amp line to my place noise became much less apparent. Just my experience.

I’ve been avoiding the 20A dedicated line due to the fact that I have no crawlspace or attic, and as such would need to rip out a lot of drywall to run the new lines.

However, just today my local dealer told me to consider running the line outside my house. They were strongly urging me to do that - said “you won’t know what hit you”. Also gave me a card for an electrician who won’t rip me off.

@dancarlson10 , what gauge wire are you running? 10AWG? Any special wiring, or anything unique at the breaker box other than the 20A beaker?



I did the same thing. Ran it along the garage and out across the Outside wall. Most important thing I was advised to do is do not bend the cable itself if possible. So the electrician used a thick plastic conduit which went around the walls. I was also advised to buy a certain cable. The person advising me (i just don’t want to use his name as he is a close friend) is someone everyone in this industry respects and knows what he is talking about). He recommended a company called Atkore and get 10-2 which is a nice thick gauge. I found a local dealer who could access Atkore for me by calling the former head of sales  who of course knew my friend.  Also important is steel sheathed not aluminum. The electrician ran it in through a heavy plastic (waterproof) conduit along the outside of our condo. Everything was to code here. At the termination point he used some kind of liquid silver ( which my friend provided) when connecting to the outlet. Also i used a nice furutech plate and outlet. Do not remove the steel sheath anywhere along the cable run until the connecting point. I did not need the isolated ground as a part of my wire because I am in a new building and my condo of course has that already. I think i paid 750 for 250 feet of cable. Took a few weeks to get, but man One would have to be deaf to not notice the difference. I have about 125 feet left, i will look at what color wires are in it. Its a thick cable. 


all in it was like 3k to do the job including parts and labor. If you can do it, it is a foundation for your system. All you need is a qb8 good grounding device after that. No purifiers or coloring devices at all. Just something solid and neutral. I think the 20 amp qb8 is like 2k new. Which i was advised to get by my friend.

@dancarlson10 , thanks, what grounding device did you use, and how does it hook up to your system?


Nordost QB8. Either a 15 or 20 amp. I got the 20 amp and got a 20 amp V2 to go from the dedicated outlet to the QB 8 and then all my components plug into the qb8. It just lowers the noise floor which is what one wants. No coloration at all. Just like what a high end SOTM switch for converting optical to ethernet before the ethernet cable goes into the streamer/server. All just Lowering noise floor.



but i should add that I am neurotic about noise. To me its like a cancer to the music.  Maybe I go to far, but the results are outstanding. I can now hear the damper pedal when the pianist is playing and them breathing. That is now my noise. That is a quiet system, and it’s so damn satisfying.

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@steakster , @dancarlson10 , interesting discussion around Nordost. I too am rapidly developing a neurosis around noise, as my system taunts me after midnight when everything is fantastic. I know precisely what you are talking about @steakster when you can hear the air and subtleties around the instruments and not just the instruments themselves. Once you hear it it is impossible to go back, at least in my case!

@dancarlson10 it sounded as if you had some other grounding device besides the QB8, "All you need is a qb8 good grounding device after that", but probably just my misinterpretation. I don’t quite get the QB8 "primary ground" thing, and how this is any different from the ground on the other outlets.

Also - if I don’t require the added "conditioning" to be rid of AC noise after switching to dedicated 20A lines, I really, really like the Nordost approach of not adding or subtracting anything from the tonal balance. That said people say the same about Torus too, I think.  Wonder how my fancy Audioquest Dragon HC cables would work with Nordost QB8 though.  I did try the Valhalla 2 power cord and unfortunately found that bass was lacking vs other cords, with my Diablo 300 (my dealer said other Gryphon owners reported similar complaints with the V2 cord).  My V2 speaker wires are second to none though.  Except Odin of course!

@steakster @nyev 

the person who has helped me build and done all the speaker set up for my system has written extensive articles on noise and electrical interference and how it impacts the system. I don’t bother ever questioning him. He told me the pre amp is meant to go into Primary earth, and only the pre amp. I asked why and he said he will explain another time as it was a lengthy explanation. Again, I don’t question him. 

@nyev i personally have just stuck with one company for all my cables. It was advised for me to do so by my set up friend for synchronization and coherence in building a system. All systems are different and am glad you like AQ for your power cables. I’m sure they are great. I tried different lines of cables and just settled for Nordost because I find them extremely well balanced natural and smooth. Never aggressive in any way. My ears just lean that direction. That is how I lean toward all components as well. They and my wonderful VTL s-400 II amplifier are a fabulous match. Again every system is different! We all just wanna get rid of noise.