Not trying to hijack but I´m also very interested in the Norse cables and particularly how the Heimdall compares to Frey. BTW, I´m using Maggie 3.6´s. TIA.
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Hasse - I wouldn't use Nordost on Maggies on a drunken bet! Try looking at Purist, Synergistic, or Cardas to get the best from your 3.6's (I use PAD Aqueous Anniversary myself on my 3.6's).
David- what speakers and amp are you using? I should be able to narrow down the choices if oyu can let me know. - John
I will be using Dynaudio special 25, Belles Reference 150A amp and 21A preamp, Dynavector phono and Nottingham AceSpace tt. My question however is really geared more twords other peoples experience with their set up. I am sure that I will try these cables in my set up but always like to hear other peoples experience. As far as the Heimdall I have heard from one source that it is more musical, warmer, more neutral than most other nordost cables, though I have yet to confirm that.
I have not heard the Nordost cables you mentioned. I did audition the Red Heaven and Blue Dawn (or is that the other way around?) in my system a few years back. They made a striking immediate impression of speed and tightness, but lacked body and harmonic detail.
The Shunyata Lyra speaker cable was in my system for a couple years - the Lyra is from the generation prior to the Gemini, but I think it is of the same type construction. More recently the Lyra was upgraded to the current helix Andromeda which is a notch up from the Gemini. I have not heard the Gemini.
Both Lyra and Andromeda are well constructed and although thickish, they are easy to manuever. I won't differentiate how, but the Andromeda is better. Sonically they're from the same family and I suspect the Gemini will reflect a similar house sound.
The cables excel at delivering proper timing and dynamic cues across the frequency spectrum while also revealing fine timbral nuance. Those three characteristics have the highest priority for me and it is not obvious to find a cable that does well with each. In my system they are neither 'fast and lean' nor 'dark and sweet', but rather towards the neutral without appearing to add colorations of their own. The differentiating harmonics are there - I've been surprised with the Andromeda pulling out some rather subtle note-bending I'd not heard before.
There's no blurring of notes in quick passages - at least not as I can tell and leading edges are crisp and notes stop when they should. They're fast but not analytical. Spacious airy recording venues come through exceedingly well. Imaging from vocalists is more three dimensional than I heard from the Kimber Select 3035. If I have to pick nits, the topmost frequencies from certain (but not all) instruments such as triangles and trumpets are not quite as harmonically rich on high as in the upper-mids, but that may be more revealing of the rest of my system than a cable thing - I'm not sure. Mid and low bass is nicely tight and tuneful and they deliver the whumpf of the fundamental on a bass drum whack with speed and clarity. I've only used them with tube amps, but they've mated up well with every one I've tried and seem to have an affinity with the Shunyata ICs and power cords in my system.
So all-in-all I was happy with the Lyra and I'm quite taken with the new Andromeda. From my perspective, the Gemini will be well worth a try-out. Good luck with your search.
David - Thanks for the system list. You are right - the new Heimdall cables are closer to the SPM of the previous generation in that they are a bit warmer and have a little bit richer midrange, so they might be good on your system. Other cables that you might want to consider with this system would be Audience AU24, Kimber Bi-Focal X or XL, Acoustic Zen Hologram, and maybe the Shunyata's that you mentioned. Have fun!
Thanks for the information. It is difficult to narrow down the "A" list prior to test drives and this helps. It is also nice to get peoples experiences with products that I may never use but others have tried. Jtimothya, I also appreciate your detailed addition to this post. Jwpstayman, I have considered trying the Audience AU24 as well as I have heard very good things about it. Thanks again.
Well, I had a late night music listening and cable juggling session. Sorry for spelling errors, not much sleep. I did compare the two Shunyata speaker cables as follows. My system is not updated so some specifics; Belles Auricap 21A pre and Reference 150A power amps. Dynavector P75 phono. Arcam FMJ 33 CDP, currently using VPI HW19JR TT with AQ PT-6 and Dynavector 10X5, (have a new Nottingham AceSpace and Shelter 501 on order). I use a Shunyata Hydra powerconditioner, Python to the Hydra, Tiapan VX to CDP, Diamondbacks elsewhere. Interconnects are Shunyata Aries RCA and during this session I switched Phono interconnects from Nordost SolarWind to Heimdall, (see narative below for details).
My previous speaker wire was Nordost SuperFlatline Mk II from my previous system.
I first tride the Shunyata Gemini 3m. Construction was beautiful and it is a very pleasing to the eye cable. I used the banana and they are very nicely done. I was very pleased with the sound out of my Arcam, very detailed, musical and engaging. The sound stage really reached out to envelop me. I could hear things that I couldn't before. On Israel Kamakawiwo'ole "Facing Future" the deep deep drum on the first track was not only there but I would hear it as an instrument with creshendo/decreshendo and depth. Detail on Pat Metheny's "Offramp" brought out instruments in a very musical way that that I did not hear before. The hammered dulcimer is an instrument that can be harsh with too forward a system but listening to it on Widham Hills "Appacalacian Picking Society" was a dream; liquid, musical, flowing and with great depth. I then listened to Patricia Barber "Verse" and WOW: speed, immidiacy, depth. Her voice was warm, present and the sound stage was much deeper than I was used to hearing. The width was way beyond my speakers. I was very very excited about these Gemini cables. Now time for the Vinyl!
AAAAGGGGGHHHHH!!!!, what a disappointment. Thin, grainy, I found myself turning the volume down more and more. This was with the Nordost solarwind interconnect between phono stage and preamp. I just got a Nordost Heimdall interconnect and replaced the SolarWind. Though not fully broken in the result of improving the source cable was beyond expectation. I had music again, more and better than ever before. I finally achieved MORALITY, (morality= more tonality, musicality, basality, and every other ality we audiophiles are so fond of). Joss Stone, "Mind Body & Soul" reached out and grabbed me, brought me into the album and was singing to me, could almost feel the breath on my face. The base was so tight, deep and involving. The midrange openned up and I think that was perhaps the biggest benefit from these speaker wire. I wondered about the harshness in the treble but with the improvend interconnect at the LP source the highs were a magical treat. Al De Meola, John McLaughlin, Paco De Lucia in "Passion Grace & Fire" a very excitting guitar LP can strain ones ability with highs but with this Gemini/Heidall combo I could crank it up high and the peaks would never be anything but musical and a joy.
I loved these Gemini's!!!
So, now to the Andromeda. The first music played was back to Joss Stone. First a little story. Several years ago I and some freinds went to a Peter Himmelman concert, (If you have not seen Peter live I would highly recommend it). At the beginning of the concert he invited people up with him on stage, it was made up like a comfy living room and perhaps he felt lonely. Well I and two friends jumped at the chance and spent the whole concert up on the stage with him. During one point he was down off the stage near the audience sing a very deep, soulfull song. I held a set of candles near him as there was no lights in the are, due to the wt. I had to stand very close and rest my arm on his shoulder. When he sang not only did I hear the music from the amplification system I was only inches from his face, and could hear, and feel all of the passion, sorrow, and emotion comming directly from him. This is what I heard from Joss Stone when I played the LP through the Andromeda. I was speachless. The music was so "real" present and whole. I could hear the wetness of her lips, the small little breaths during singing. The experience was so intimate that I rather expect a call from her Mum wondering if I will be over for Easter supper.
Not all was bliss from the higher rung Shunyata cable however. I think that was perhaps a little to revieling of my system and with certain rare recordings perhaps a bit too forward. I do not think that this was a traight of the speaker cable but the nature of the system. Not a bad thing but the speaker cable did not sweep anything under the rugs. A wonderfull cable, with outstanding workmanship. If I was looking for a speaker cable for a system a few rungs up the ladder from mine this would be at the top of my "A" list.
In summary, The Gemini's are a wonderfull, musical, detailed speaker wire for my system. They really revieled a weakness in my analog interconnect, which was remedied, and are very asthetically pleasing. The Andromeda's have a similar sonic character, just more of it. Both cables will tell you what your system is doing and I very very highly recommend a listen. I need to also give a thumbs up to the Heimdall interconnect. It is very warm, smooth, and detailed. And it still needs to break in a bit.
Now, if I can only get a pair of Heimdall speaker cables to try.
I agree that cabling can reveal previously hidden upstream , uh, issues - or have its benefits masked by downstreams inadequacies. Introducing a component (and I suppose cabling is a component) that is a few steps better than ones current system is always tricky. Assuming the Andro is fully broken in, it may sound better after a day of settling in your system. Consider trying the Shunyata Altair (or Antares) ICs - especially from your phono to pre - my experience is they are quite synergistic w/ the speaker cables. Thanks for the report. Sounds like you're having fun!
Yeah, I thought about that. But then I think I would want to upgrade my CD player to match what my cables could do, then my amps might need a little improvement. I could then upgrade my cartridge and phono stage, (haven't even gotten my new TT yet and maybe I could upgrade that), then my speakers could use replacing to bring out the best of all of these upstream components. Hmmmm, maybe I need to look into upgrading the speaker wires I haven't yet decided to upgrade to yet. What a happy merry go round it is.
Finally chose a speaker cable, the final two were the Nordost Heimdall and Shunyata Gemini. For those that have listened to the Shunyata Lyra, the Gemini is very different. I found the Lyra to be a bit bright and sound stage not as full and deep. The Gemini was more musical and really tamed the very slight forward presentation of the Special 25's that occur rarely on some recordings. The Heimdall was very close to the Gemini, ? more detail, possibly. I did find that I tended to forget the stereo more with the Gemini and get more drawn into the music so that is the direction I went. The Heimdall's are great cables to, very musical and warm with great detail.
Now, the turntable upgrade and I am DONE!
Well, except music.
This is an interesting thread. I owned the Andromeda cables 3 years ago (for two years) and sold them (stupid, stupid, stupid!) and am now waiting for the Gemini speaker cables to arrive.
While I don't yet know how the Geminis stack up to their bigger brother, I DO know the Andromedas quite well and, although I sold them, had I known then what I know now.....they'd still be here. And they would have been the last cable I ever purchased.
I have also owned (after the Andromeda) Nordost Valhalla, Transparent and Goertz cables. The Valhallas, unless you have a speaker imbued with its own sense of "weight," lack enough body in the lower midrange, upper bass and midbass frequencies,a trait that allows transparency, but at the expense of the genuine richness of the "real thing." (This
is, of course, the tradeoff, since nothing manmade is perfect. Valhallas are also not the quietest cables by far. I understand why people love them, but I've never quite been "taken" by the Valhalla speaker cables, interconnect nor even the power cord, although I would say the power cord is the most advanced of the three products. It does have a see-through sense that seems to have more weight than either interconnect or speaker cable. It IS wildly transparent, though, so if that's what you cherish most, by all means....
Now, back to the Andromeda...
The Andromeda have terrific weight in the mids and bass. In this respect, they resemble the Rowland Coherence I preamp, which had stupendous body and weight from the lower midrange down. The Andromeda are exceedingly fast, without leanness, a feat in itself, given that it is also an extremely "see-through" cable. I remember when I first heard them with the Antique Sound Lab Hurricane amps, a First Sound Deluxe preamp, Arcam FMJ 23 CD player, Nordost Quattro Fils for interconnects, and a P.S. Audio Power Plant 300 with Hales Revelation 3 speakers. On the Mercury Living Presence CD, Iberia, the drumming was so see-through, I did a double-take, and I've had some killer components in the past: Versa Dynamics 2.3 turntable, Convergent preamp, THE Goldmund Mimesis 9 and all of HP's other favorite cartridges. Had I had the Andomedas at that time, there is no doubt I would never have bought speaker cables again, but that was 1995!
The Andromedas do not congest, do not cause -- nor
constrict -- in the treble, and have a harmonically rich sound to them. Brass genuinely sounds like brass, which means the mid-bass frequencies are in proper proportion to the upper midrange. There is considerable air around instuments and the air around the instruments has a liquid quality: the harmonics "float" through the silence. No mechanical sound or dryness mars the Andromeda's presentation. In this repect,it resembles the Jadis Defy 7 amp, circa 1991, which was flawlessly liquid without causing a concommitant "mirage effect": you could still tell exactly where instruments were located. Same with Andromeda cables. And it is excellent in conveying bass textures, so that standup bass sounds "thrummier" than a double bass, and cellos are rich and delicate, too.
(I frequently see comments about "bass," without any correlation to a live instrument or whether they mean upper bass or midbass. Between the two, it is much better, as most musicians know, to have a superior midbass range, as the midbass enables the sense of 3-D that so many of us love. The upper bass and lower midrange are important, too,
but without the midbass, forget having a completely 3-D presentation).
I hope the Gemini will at least approach the Andromedas, given that they are Shunyata's second generation cables. Although I have had Shunyata power cords, KC V2s, Black Mambas, Pythons, Python Alpha and VX, and now Python VX, and Taipan Alphas, I suspect the cabling to be as magical as the power cords, since I've had the power cords with other cables and not had quite the same sense of magic. Oh, it all sounds great, but "magic" goes beyond "great." Magic is more a sense of how-can-I-be-feeling-this-way, while great seems, to me at least, to be the proverbial job-well-done. Let me post after the Geminis arrive, but having been through some excellent cable, the exceedingly low noise floor of Shunyata products makes for tremendous ambience retrieval, as well as retrieval of low-level transients and their harmonics: music in completion, in contrast to music in pieces.