Nice review. How do you like the Placette? How about a review on that component?
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Excellent review. My experience with Nordost from the Blue Heaven, Red Dawn, Spm and now Valhalla has been excellent. However, If one is going to do anything high end beyond two channel(realizing that many believe anything beyond 2 channel is not high end) the cost can not justify the cable. I have recently encountered Sonoran Plateau from Star Sound and for the price or any price was greatly impressed. If you ever get a chance to demo. Let me know your impressions. I love them, but that doesn't mean the next guy won't like them at all.
Jadem6 . This is a great review and required more hard work and patience than most people imagine.
From the cables I've auditioned, I agree with many of your assessments on tonal color, resolution as well as "blackness, " or freedom of noise.
As you have already stated, system tonal balance, character of the listening environment as well as the speakers all effect what we pick for interconnect and speaker wire. Much is simply balancing the scales one way or the other to come up with the sound for our situation.
Listeners with fast transparent speakers like ( my ) Soundlab Ultimate, find the Purist to be a perfect balance. As you said, it is less bright than the Nordost and more revealing than the Cardas. I believe you have called this correctly on every count. Audiogoners that listen to some of your test pieces may be able to extrapolate what would work for them.
Your personal favorites were a good call and include many of the top cables available. I supposed I might swap the XLO or FIM for the Cardas for my own list, but were still in the same general category of great products.
It has been a long time since I auditioned Nordost, and a good friend of mine just chose the Valhalla for his Soundlab M1's. Between you and him, I plan on giving these another try.
Jadem6, nice review. i went thru a similar comparing period a year or so back and came to similar conclusions as you.
i have 6 sets of Valhalla interconnects in my system and completely agree with your comments. the Valhalla is a truely neutral cable that will reveal whatever is happening in the rest of your system. it is vivid, fast, and extended at both ends. if your system has natural weight and body, if your system has a pure mid-range and bass extention and articulation.....you will hear it unrestricted.
those negative comments i sometimes hear about the Valhalla tell me about the commenter's system. the Valhalla is not for everyone.....but if your system has the natural neutrality to be fully exposed it is the best (non-Opus) choice i have heard.
i do prefer my Transparent Opus speaker cable to the Valhalla speaker cable by a good margin (but it is ridiculously expensive). recently i did compare the Valhalla interconnects to the Opus interconnects and the Opus was quite a bit better......it was probably a mistake to find that bit of information out as the list price for 6 sets of Opus interconnect would be over $100k......in any case i am happy with the Valhalla and have no plans to upgrade to the Opus.
Jadem6, I hereby nominate you as top reviewer of the year for Audiogon. I hope the members will second that motion. I have a gut feeling that you have a good set of ears. Thanks for the valuable information you have provided in all your reviews. Not being able to evaluate much in the high end where I live, my trust in your ears has helped me to at least look in the right direction for certain components I need in my own system.Again, thanks for your time and effort in providing this information.
Slamming review, dude! One of the best I have ever read. The only disagreement is with the Synergistic Designer Reference. I have found the x-series with active shielding to be quite competent. However, its a lot of hassle to deal with powering up an interconnect that can cause potential dammage to a system.
How would you rate the SPM and the Quattro-Fil versus the Vahalla? Thanks.
Dear Jadem6: My gooodness, this review was back in 2002! Great review, this year I bought the Valhalla speaker cables and 2 sets of XLR interconnects. Sounded to most neutral to my ears. You have to get them burned in by the Vidar to get them performing to their absolute potential, after that there's no going back. So after 6 years on the market, these cables are still among the best around. Trying out their power cords soon.