Question About NORDOST cables

I got a pair of Red Dawn II speaker cables. I was really impressed by these cable; the speed, dynamics, vocals - it's transformed the sound of my system. unfortunately not all is good; the bass suffered from a major roll off, and to make matter worse it's also lost its definition. really bad.

if it wasn't for the bass I'd hit the jack pot with these cables. I really like what's done to the system. in fact, I just got a pair of Heimdall's IC's. there's a general improvement, and the bass has also improved a little, but I feel like there's some kind of imbalance between vocals and other instruments.

the Red Dawn has to go. that's clear.

what I'm not sure of is whether I should stay with Nordost, and upgrade to the Heimdall's speaker cables, or move to something else. I'd really like to get the Siltech 330L, but is out of my budget atm. I can get the Heimdall now, or wait until have enough funds for the 330L's.

I really could with some other opinions/thoughts on the matter.
many thanks,


speakers: Paradigm S1v3(P-Be)
actually, I'm really, really liking how the Heimdall's IC's have turn out... the bass has really improved, and not only that.

I think I'm just gonna go ahead and get the speaker cables too.oh yeah...
I am using the Heimdall speaker cable with some degree of success in my system. I think the Heimdall is at a sweetspot in the Nordost range (entry monofilament). They can be further enhanced with the use of Nordost jumper cables at the speaker end.
I don't know your system, but just my experience. My system is budget high end. I really was impressed with the Heimdall IC's (have two pair now). I thought they were fast, clean, and on the slightly warm and sweet side sonically. Complimentary to my system. I thought the same as you and splurged for the Heimdall speaker cables. I ran them for several weeks, but my system was consistently much less listenable. Probably exposed my budget components too much, but I had to pull them out. Worked a downgrade to the Blue Heavens and was much happier with the result.
I had this same result with another popular high resolution speaker cable so its not unique to Nordost. My point is to audition or have a money back guarantee if it doesn't work in your system.
Try a pair of Clear Day Shotguns. I am using them now for the mid-bass in my system. They are every bit as good as the Nordost Valkyrja I use on the upper frequency drivers but not quite as extended. That's why the Clear Days run the low end and the nordost runs the high end.
Nordost has announced the Series 2 for the Norse lineup. With that there are plenty of bargains with the originals from authorized dealers. Musicdirect has some brand new ones for 1/2 price.

I personally think you will be quite impressed with the Heimdall speaker cable. I had a demo case about a year ago and for the money Blue haven and Red dawns were not bad but like you noticed lacked the good clean bass and I found both to be bright (not harsh). Baldur was a little better in both the bass and highs but still not great. The Heimdall's and Frey's were a lot better (more 'air' between the instruments and vocals). I had to 'squint' to hear the difference between those 2. Regardless I went for the Frey's and still have them. My local dealer hasn't loaned me a demo case for the new series 2 yet. They are supposed to be a lot better (pricier too). I've also heard Nordost will not offer bi-wire configurations with the new series 2.
thanks guys for the replies - interesting info

about my comment on hearing some kind of imbalance... after I made the comment out of curiosity I checked the wires signal direction, and somehow I plugged one of the IC in the wrong way, so that's probably why I was ailing for balance.

before the Heimdall's I was using Blue Heaven's. in my system the Heimdall's are a HUGE step up from the BH's; I was really ailing for the bass loss from the Red Dawn's, and the Heimdall's have somewhat cured that!

I'm really enjoying the sound much more. the bass is better defined and extended again, and everything is more musical, balanced - better presented.

the Heimdall's IC's are here to stay for sure. I can live with this sound as it is, but I must, must replace the Red Dawn's; it was good for a taste of Nordost's, but that's about it. the bass suffers from a serious roll off, and loss of definition... must go.

now I've to decide whether to go with bi-wire or shotgun...heh
I had a Heimdall phono I/C which was used both for phono connection and as a regular i/c. I also used the BH between various components. Nordost sounds like what you all have described. It's just that they "do" something instead of being neutral. I sold them all. Now, I use DIY neotech for all my interconnects.
I don't recall exactly why Nordost is Not making bi-wire anymore but I think they found there was phase shift with the bi-wires.
I'll add that though I like the Blue Heaven speaker cables, I was not enamored with the Blue Heaven IC's. They were very clean and extended, but rather wispy and lightweight in my system. The BH speaker cables are not that way.
Half off pricing definitely points to Nordost trying to dump these, for some reason, I would guess. New model coming out, or perhaps trouble identified with the current model.

Where did you hear about phase shift with the bi-wire version? Could be due to the proximity of the 2 runs of cable to each other? So Nordost is not making any bi-wires anymore? That still doesn't explain why they are also discounting the shotgun version.

I feel bad for the guys who bought this at $1800 and are asking half price used. Now they have to trim that down by 30-50% again in the used market?
@Xti16 -
are you saying that I should get a single run instead, and perhaps use jumpers instead?

@Mt10425 -
I hear you. that's a reason why I started this thread. I'm just not sure if I'd move to something else. fact is, Nordost's are superior cables; if wasn't for the shortcoming in the bass, I'd be really happy with the sound.

if the phase shift is real, then I think Nordost should return some kind of compensation - not a refund, but perhaps toward an upgrade.
ok, just to give an update on this - just spoke with Music Direct about Nordost cables, and all Hiemdall's are sold out atm, and had to be ordered. however, heimdall's cannot be ordered in single runs, but the FREY's can.

so,I went ahead and ordered a single run of 2 metres Frey's speaker cables for $675. God damnit, I hope this will turn out to be good, or a quit this cables madness for good.

can someone recommend a set of jumpers for these cables. thanks!
Youngatheart - Remember the Frey's are even better - but marginally. I would suggest jumpers - just don't know which ones. Didn't the Paradigm's come with factory jumpers?

As far as compensation from Nordost don't count on it. That could be part of why they are discontinued. The other reason the design is better. It could be too that only the new series 2 exhibit the phase shift. Could be why Synergistic Research adds a jumper to the end of the cable for their bi-wire configuration??
so,I went ahead and ordered a single run of 2 metres Frey's speaker cables for $675. God damnit, I hope this will turn out to be good, or a quit this cables madness for good.
I thought you were looking for a pair of cables. Anyhow it will be a lot better than a Red Dawn.
Bi-wire or not has been hashed over time and time again
There never seems to be a winner in any of the discussions
I thought you were looking for a pair of cables.

sorry, by a single run I meant a single pair, instead of bi-wire. the RD's am using atm are bi-wires. initially I wanted to get the Heimdall's bi-wires, but after hearing about the phase shift I didn't want to risk it. whether the phase shift is the case or not, I believe that a single pair of superior cables is better than two pair of lesser ones, even if it's marginal. so I feel I made the right choice.

I was thinking of getting the Norse jumpers. I might, eventually, try the Anti-Cable's too, just to compare. I will post my impressions once I receive them and used for few days

thanks for the info, much, much appreciated.
Why not risk nothing and try Anti-Cables. If they don't work, they can be sent back. I think you will like them.
A pair of 2 meter Frey's for 675. Dude the retail was 2500 from my 3-15-2010 price sheet. For that price you should have gotten 2 pairs (1 spade and 1 banana) for a true bi-wire.
youngatheart...Who did you talk with about the Freys? At $675 I would like to order a pair
Jan @ Music Direct 3127385006
I just called music direct. I think you got your pricing or model confused. Frey is about 1350 not 675

At 675 I would have bought a set of Frey or Tyr possibly in a heartbeat
1350 is for bi-wire. I asked for a single run pair.

now you got me worried, since I did this over the phone, and English is not my first language. but I'm pretty sure this is what I ordered. will have to wait till Monday to clarify this.
Ok I'll try this again. I guess the mods didn't like what I said I guess regarding e-mailing members. Anyhow 675 is half of 1350 so unfortunately I think you may be getting a single cable. Nordost refers to non bi-wired as shotgun. Even at 1350 that is a great price for Frey's. Personally I think the ic is just as important as the speaker cable IF your equipment is up to it. Again the Frey is better but you do have to 'squint' to hear it. In my opinion again if you have cr@ppy equipment high end cables will only bring out the flaws. Where with higher end equipment great cables will let you hear things you didn't know were there. At least that's what I've learned.
675 is half the 1350. I think you have a single cable coming :(.
Xti16, omg you are indeed correct. I cannot believe they were sending a single cable!

I genuinely thought that bi-wire involved twice as many cables - instead of one cable being split in two at the speaker end. that's not something I would opt for. luckily it wasn't shipped yet, so I'm getting a pair (as in two runs)of Heimdall's shotgun instead.

I'm sorry everyone for the confusion. thanks for the comments, you saved me a lot of trouble.
I'm sure the Heimdall will sound great.

When I can find a set of Frey for $700 I'm gonna buy em, that's for sure.

Enjoy! Post back with what you think of the new cables.
Heimdall is a great cable in my experience and i doubt you will be disappointed but remember that they will sound a little etched and a little lighter in the bass initially and improve as they run in.
Like I said earlier "the Heimdall is the best bang for the buck" cable in the Norse series. Honestly I had to 'squint' to hear the improvement of the Frey's over the Heimdall's. Also in my opinion the Heimdall is a big improvement over the Baldur.
received the cables a couple of days ago, so these are sort of first impressions, and I'm having some difficulty in exactly putting what I hear into words.

more details, and I mean better details; better definition; better extension; the notes sound more polished - like removing noise from an image - more liquid sound. there's also this harmony in the sound which is real nice. did I say details? jeez...

there's an element of brightness, but I'm not entirely sure if I'm confusing it with details, liveliness, fast dynamics, instead of actual brightness, but it's there, which can result in listening fatigue. that was my biggest worry, but have not felt it, yet.

the bass is also better defined than the Red Dawn's, but I would really have to compare it with some other cables other than Nordost's to know for sure if it's still on the lean side, as it might be.

these are great cables, indeed. very, very pleased... so far. :)
The new Series2 Nordost Frey's have a lot more bass and are even more liquid sounding than the originals. But those are not discounted. I have the original Frey's for about 2 years now and just love them. The Series2 are even better with about a 10% increase over the original MSRP.
that's good news (to my wallet dismay); 10% is not too bad - I was expecting it to be more - not that they're not expensive already. having heard what the Heimdall's can do, I will probably upgrade to the Heimdall 2 once I've the disposable income, but I'm pretty satisfied atm.

I was hoping to see in your first impression of the Series2 the word *warm*, but I didn't...:D

something I forgot to say, which I think is worth mentioning, is that there also seems to be a quieter background (not really sure how to put it). I've been quite concise in my impression(for lack of better words), but I mean everything I said. to say that these cables have transformed the sound in my system is not an exaggeration.

you know when you listen to entire albums and songs that normally wouldn't... something astonishing happened.

Xti16, do you use jumpers with the Frey's? I'd like to get the Norse's set.

thanks all for the input, much appreciated.
Youngatheart, I think the marketing hype is getting to you a little bit, IMO.
Nordost is now saying that they do not recommend bi-wiring with their cables...IMHO, that's a bunch of BS. Adding jumpers to a speaker that can accept bi-wiring is IMO foolhardy and not the way to go. The best way to bi-wire is to have two separate cables feeding each speaker...( which I'm sure Nordost would agree with since they can sell twice the amount of cable).
I used to do this until I acquired my Nordost bi-wire cables. There is no discernible difference in my system with two cables vs. a bi-wire set up cable. OTOH, using jumpers, one can easily hear the loss of information. So, let's ask ourselves why Nordost is now saying that they don't believe in a bi-wire end and are no longer offering this option....Could it be that they were spending more labor on creating the bi-wire end and were not getting compensated for it. As I recall, the cost of the shotgun (single wire...they shouldn't get away with calling it shotgun as it isn't) was the same as the bi-wire ends. Does my theory make sense to everyone?
Nordost claim you get better performance by using single wiring and THEIR jumpers and cables.

Sure, you may be hearing a loss of information if you use the crappy brass jumpers found on every speaker. Also the actual cable geometry has a lot to do with how well single vs bi-wiring will work.

So unless you have actual listening experience with Nordost cables it is just speculation.
well, if I could afford two separate runs that would be my choice, believe me. fact is, I'm already using the jumpers that came with the speakers, so if the Norse's are better than the stock jumpers I've everything to gain.

at the end of the day what matters is what I hear; I don't care what Nordost or anybody else says. I wasn't happy with the Red Dawn, and I said so. my impressions of the Heimdall's have absolutely nothing do to with marketing, hype, or with what you or anybody else may say, at all. nothing.

there's no hype or exaggeration in what I've been trying to say... those are my exact first impression, pure and simple. I just cannot fault these cables, other that some brightness, which I may as well be confusing with clarity, and the bass possibly a little lean.

whether these impressions will change in a few weeks, I don't know, but I'm happy with the result atm.

thanks for the imput :)
Youngatheart - Yes the series2 is warmer sounding. To my ears when you have more bass and a more liquid sound I consider that warmer. As far as the originals to me they do have more 'air' between the instruments and vocals with a little more detail. Now to me I call that less liquid sounding. Both are great cables but they very different sounding. More different than going from RD to Heimdall.
Could it be that they were spending more labor on creating the bi-wire end and were not getting compensated for it. As I recall, the cost of the shotgun (single wire...they shouldn't get away with calling it shotgun as it isn't) was the same as the bi-wire ends. Does my theory make sense to everyone?
The cost difference is ONE pair of connectors at one end of the cable and the labor to put them on.

I do agree Nordost calls their bi-wire and shotgun incorrectly. A true bi-wire is 2 separate runs of cables. Many cable companies also refer to that as shotgun. Now if you look at the construction of the original Heimdalls there is 4 groups of conductors. The series2 have 2 groups of conductors. There are less conductors in the series2 but they are a larger awg wires. Heimdall originals have twenty four 24awg wires where the series2 have eighteen 22awg wires. The overall effective gauge stays the same. The Frey2 OTOH has twenty two 22awg wires where the originals have twenty four 24awg wires so the overall effective goes up by 1 with the series2.
Is there marketing hype? I'm sure there is in a lot of cases but you really have to compare the originals to the series2 side by side.

As far as Nordost not making 'bi-wire' cables I'm sure it will cost them some business and I can not believe a company would do that without good cause. IMO it can't be to force you into buying 2 sets of cables because of the double cost to the consumer. As far as I can tell they still offer bi-wire in the Vahalla and Odin BUT not in the Leif or Norse2 series.
Xtil6, you are right, it's one pair of connectors at one end of the cable X 2.
BUT you multiply that by thousands( which I would expect is what Nordost sells of these cables) and you get the idea. A MAJOR savings for the company.
Wouldn't be the first time a company has done a little math and come up with a way to save some money and won't be the last.