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opinions sought on speaker cables ... MIT Vs. Nordost


wdw

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Hello All...

 

Am contemplating some upgrades. (aren't we all !) Have been a faithful MIT cable user but Nordost cabling has caught my attention and I see a number of people posting here show Nordost in their equipment profile. There's a awful lot of nonsense and audio jewelry pricing coming from a number of cable manufacturers so I'm wary of most.

Can anyone advise me on Nordost and what's a good entry point in their speaker cable line...obviously Odin is off the table. Is their technology technically defensible? Do the sound good or great, as many say.

 

Thanks for any comments. Happy Listening to all.

 

WDW

 

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..and then you have some kid who spends more time smoking outside than informing himself of the product line he's selling but willing to talk up a 4K$ speaker line. It is a truism that our level of customer is, most likely, more informed than the floor staff. Hoping for some impassioned comments from this forum of music lovers.

 

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very happy with Nordost "Frey" for both my speaker cables and interconnect. There is already another discussions about this elsewhere on the site.

My opinion re Nordost, is that their cables are more "neutral" than most others tonally. I have heard their show comparisons, and as one goes up their line, tonally things stay the same, and the more expensive cables just let through more music as one ascends in price.

In any case, you must listen to some cables in your system to know what will work for you, and, for Nordost, long break in is required before the mid bass shows up.

Tecnically: well it depends on what you want to believe. My personal belief is that Nordost's science is more believable than a lot of the others'. Spend some digging into the information on Nordost's site, they have some interesting measurements and theories. Most of their stuff is made in the US, which matters to me as well.

 

SO/ROON/HQPe: DSD 256-Sonore opticalModuleDeluxe-Signature Rendu optical--Bricasti M3 DAC--DIY Purifi Amplifier-Focus Audio FS888 speakers-JL E 112 sub-Nordost Tyr USB, DIY EventHorizon AC cables, Iconoclast XLR & speaker cables, Synergistic Purple Fuses, Spacetime system clarifiers.  ISOAcoustics Oreas footers.                                                       

                                                                                           SONORE computer audio

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i too use MIT. I still find them to be very good at resolving and when building my new system I remember how good they worked with my Spectral/Wilson system.

 

Wires like all other things are speaker dependent. The manufacturer of my system uses all Nordost Valhalla wire internally and recommends the same or better for speaker wire. I have not tried them as I am thrilled with my current MIT stuff.

 

HOWEVER, that does not mean it isn't worth a try and as soon as I can I will get a pair of biwire Valhallas to try.

 

HOWEVER, I did take the plunge and replace expensive power cords with "cheap" LessLoss power cords and can tell you Louis makes a great product. He is also selling his speaker cabled with 30 day back, very reasonably priced, which people have been going crazy over. His TunnelBridge interconnects are something I also want to try. Since Louis just moved headquarters from Lithuania to San Francisco, few in the USA have purchased the TunnelBridge, but those that have replaced their Nordost Odins with them, that is how good they claim them to be.

 

Check out www.lessloss.com and look at his speaker cables. I think it may be worth a shot.

 

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Hi wdw,

 

I used MIT cables for years, with different systems. I recommended them to friends and clients.

 

Several years ago, after a friend whose ears I trust spoke very highly of Nordost cables, I contacted the Cable Company (who, at the time had Nordost on their product roster) and rented a set of speaker cables and interconnects.

 

I put them into the system and let them play music for several days before making any critical evaluation - but immediately heard what they brought to the sonic table. This was the near bottom of the line Flatline Mk II speaker cables and Black Knight interconnects. At 1/3 the price (!) of my MIT cables, these seemed to "get out of the way" to a much greater degree, from top to bottom. Aside from the obvious extension on top and much better clarity in the middle, I was particularly taken by how much better defined the bottom end was. Dynamics, both micro and macro seemed less restrained too. Overall, there was greater smoothness and less grain and a much better sense of focus. I did not hear any down side at all.

 

After sending the cables back to the Cable Company, I rented the Super Flatline Mk II and later the Blue Heavens. I heard the same basic "family" sound but with increasing resolution and overall performance.

 

At the time, with a limited budget, I decided to purchase the Super Flatline but have since changed to the Blue Heavens. I've heard a number of other cables in the line and they just keep getting better. With my next Lottery win, I'm sure there will be better Nordosts installed in my system.

 

One other area where they impressed me:

I compared my long time standby, Mogami Neglex microphone cables, used for my recording work, with an equal length of Nordost Valkyrja. What I learned was that my favorite microphones (from Earthworks) are much better than I thought they were. Again, extension at both ends, dynamics large and small, overall focus, lack of grain... They made the Neglex seem like a superb cable - for bundling newspapers for recycling. ;-}

 

If I sound like a fan, it is because I am.

By the way, I would disagree with the assertion that cables are "system dependent". I believe this is true of lesser designs, where certain flaws may not be revealed by some lesser systems. In my experience, the finest cables, like any other link in the audio chain, simply get out of the way and reveal this characteristic across very different systems.

 

Of course, all of this reflects how I hear it. I would very much suggest an audition to find out if you feel the same or differently.

 

An entry point: I think you can start anywhere.

Hope this helps.

 

Best regards,

Barry

www.soundkeeperrecordings.com

www.barrydiamentaudio.com

 

 

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You really need to listen to them. I happen to carry a number of fine cables (I've been told not to name names on this site) and can say that that all of them can sound great in different systems. If you start with one brand at the source and follow it to the power cables and speaker cables you will get a much better idea of a brand and how they "fit" into a system. To be honest I can listen to any of them quite happily and dependng on the system a "favorite" can change.

 

David

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I have not listened to their cable but I have considered switching. There are some great deals on last years cable available at www.musicdirect.com but Nordost says their new Blue Haven LS is better than the old Baldur. If I could return the old stuff to MD I would have purchased it to give it a try.

 

Magnepan 3.7i speakers, REL S/3 sub, PS Audio BHK250 amp, Wyred4Sound DAC2 DSDse, Server - Atom N2800 motherboard, 4GB RAM, 500GB SSD running Windows Server 2012, Audiophile Optimizer 1.40 and JRiver MC 21.

 

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Hi TechHiFi,

 

I've seen their comments on the new Blue Heaven outperforming the old Blue Heaven but nothing on the new version vs. Baldur.

 

Too bad the Cable Company no longer offers Nordost. It was through their cable rentals that I got to compare several models in the line with a number of other contenders I was considering.

 

Best regards,

Barry

www.soundkeeperrecordings.com

www.barrydiamentaudio.com

 

 

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Too bad they no longer have them. I would love to "rent" a pair of Valhalla to compare them to what I have, since my speaker was designed with Nordost in mind as the manufacturer uses all Nordost for his internal wiring including from external crossover to speaker.

 

 

 

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Last I checked, CableCo still has quite a few Nordost cables that they'll rent. Note that Baldur is gone, replaced/consumed by the new Red Dawn cables.

 

BTW, I think Nordost makes very nice cables. I don't necessarily think they're a match for many systems, but based on my experience, I think they'd be (generally) a great match for systems that use tubes and I know quite a few tube gear manufacturers/distributors that recommend them highly. For systems that use all solid-state, I'd be more inclined to try-before-you-buy.

 

FWIW, my experience with Nordost is that they bring great extension into both frequency extremes, with detail prized over smoothness, but do this while sacrificing a bit of mid range focus.

 

This is almost exactly opposite of my experience with Cardas cables, which prize smoothness over detail and sacrifice performance at both frequency extremes for a focus on the mid range.

 

Note that of those statements are deliberately exaggerated to clearly and cleanly contrast the approaches taken by the two cable giants.

 

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The problem a truly transparent component or cable encounters is that it is often blamed as being responsible for what it is simply revealing about something else in the system.

 

Sometimes, a lesser item, which is less revealing of flaws in associated gear or setup is preferred. As always, it depends on what the listener seeks.

 

Best regards,

Barry

www.soundkeeperrecordings.com

www.barrydiamentaudio.com

 

 

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I'll just toss out a recommendation for my favorite cables, which, as I've inserted them in my system in various places over a nearly 20-year period, have always provided a sonic upgrade over what they've replaced: Omega Mikro.

 

Not inexpensive (haven't looked to see how they compare to Nordost in that respect). Flat conductors, like Nordost. 15 day home trial money back guarantee.

 

Also, you may be interested to know that one-half of the Omega Mikro "team" is responsible for the excellent Mapleshade recordings. It's evident from the fine job on the recordings, as well as listening to the cables in my system, that these people know good sound and a fair amount regarding how to achieve it technically.

 

One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, Audirvana -> optical to EtherREGEN -> microRendu -> ISO Regen -> Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC -> Apollon Audio 1ET400A Mini (Purifi based) -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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Years ago, I built a unique audio listening room, of my main house, I called it my own Disney World. Jeff Rowlands helped me design size and shape.

 

I started with Avalon Speakers and Rowland amps and ultimately wound up with Wilson and Spectral gear. Still some of my favorite electronic gear.

 

Richard Fryer of Spectral WANTS (emphatically) those using his electronics to use Wilson and MIT. Hence my first introduction to MIT. In terms of "system synergy", Fryer who I respect (as a designer) tremendously still believes in the same philosophy and I did indeed try many other wires and interconnects, etc. and none worked as well with his system, as MIT.

 

Ultimately, for me, while I loved his gear, particularly with the WATT/PUPPY, I did find the ultimate resolution and detail of his "system" to be a little fatiguing with extended listening. When I "upgraded" to the Wilson X1, I found the system, while incredibly detailed, lacking elsewhere and ultimately not for me, despite rave reviews to the contrary. So I do believe system synergy does play a role.

 

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Hi Priaptor,

 

Understood.

However, I must add that in my experience, the term "synergy" is used by many manufacturers (and writers) to mean "hiding flaws from other parts of the system or setup".

 

I've found that when those special, truly neutral (or approaching truly neutral) components are assembled, "synergy" means there is mutual advantage for all the gear, as each is good at revealing just how good the others are. In such cases, at least in my experience, all the gear seems to work together quite well.

 

As I see it, a clearer "window", whether it is an amp, a speaker or a cable, simply allows one to "see through" it more effectively, to what lies beyond.

 

Just my perspective, of course.

 

Best regards,

Barry

www.soundkeeperrecordings.com

www.barrydiamentaudio.com

 

 

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I must add that in my experience, the term "synergy" is used by many manufacturers (and writers) to mean "hiding flaws from other parts of the system or setup".

 

I've heard it more from dealers and reviewers than manufacturers, but the basic idea is granted.

 

However, Spectral's explicit point with regard to MIT cables apparently has more to do with the capabilities of Spectral equipment to pass signals at frequency extremes, and the potential problems that various random cable/speaker combinations might therefore create for speakers and amps. Thus Spectral insists on speaker cables with known characteristics (the MITs) as a warranty condition.

 

A loose analogy might be Apple hardware, where the company's control of all the parts may not result in the latest cutting edge individual components, but it can be reasonably sure everything in a given device and between Apple devices works properly together.

 

One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, Audirvana -> optical to EtherREGEN -> microRendu -> ISO Regen -> Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC -> Apollon Audio 1ET400A Mini (Purifi based) -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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From my experience with these brands, they are pretty far apart on the continuum of "good" cables.

 

If you liked the MITs, you could think the Nordosts "over-etched."

 

If you like the Nordosts, you could think the MITs were a bit soft and maybe even less dynamic.

 

Might not be the two that most folks would pick as an either/or choice.

 

 

 

Various speakers, electronics, cable, etc. on loan for manufacturers' evaluation.

More or less permanently in use:

 

Schiit Iggy (latest), Ayre QB-9 DSD, Ayre Codex, Uptone Audio ISO Regen/LPS-1 Power supply, Berkeley Audio Alpha USB, PS Audio LanRover, Small Green Computer, Sonore ultraRendu, gigaFOIL4 ethernet/optical filter - Keces PS-3 power supply, (3) MBPs - stripped down for music only,  AQ Diamond USB & Ethernet, Transparent USB, Curious USB, LH Lightspeed split USB, Halide USB DAC, Audirvana +, Pure Music, ASR Emitter II Exclusive Blue amp, Ayre K-5xeMP preamp, Pass X-1 preamp, Quicksilver Mid-Mono Amps, Pass XA-30.5 amp, Duelund ICs & Speaker Cables, Paul Hynes SR-7 power supply, Grand Prix Audio Monaco Isolation racks & F1 shelves, Tannoy Canterbury SEs w/custom Duelund crossovers and stands, 2 REL 212SEs, AV RoomService EVPs, ASC Tube Traps, tons of CDs, 30 IPS masters, LPs.

 

http://www.getbettersound.com

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"From my experience with these brands, they are pretty far apart on the continuum of "good" cables.

 

If you liked the MITs, you could think the Nordosts "over-etched."

 

If you like the Nordosts, you could think the MITs were a bit soft and maybe even less dynamic.

 

Might not be the two that most folks would pick as an either/or choice."

 

 

Agreed.

 

 

David

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  • 5 months later...

I'm joining this conversation a bit late. I've been incrementally upgrading my all-Lyngdorf digital system with higher-grade Nordost cabling, which so far includes a Valhalla power cable (in wall), a Valhalla digital interconnect (CD transport to digital amp), a Frey 2 power cable (CD transport), a Frey analog interconnect (amp to power amp), a Thor power conditioner, and Red Dawn bi-amped speaker cables. I can affirm that the improvement in sound quality with each new upgrade is stunning, and worth the astronomical prices. Fortunately I have a good relationship with a local dealer who lets me borrow cables liberally, and if I don't hear a dramatic improvement while auditioning, I don't buy. I intend to replace my remaining Magus power cables with Frey 2 power cables, and will finish off the system with a Quantum Qx4 and several Qv2's (see Nordost/Quantum website). If I'm still financially solvent, I will finally upgrade my speaker cables to Frey 2. At no point have I felt the need to upgrade any of my Lyngdorf components, as the cables continually reveal this system's further and seemingly unlimited capabilities. I am not familiar with MIT cables, and at this point I'm too deeply committed to the Nordost brand to experiment with other brands, but I can tell you I'm not hallucinating the virtues of Nordost cables. They also prove the absolute necessity of good cabling and clean electricity to high-quality audio sound, even if that means shelling out more for cables than for the rest of the system's equipment.

 

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...but to follow up, at the end of last year my local hi-fi hut had a sale and I stocked up on a series of Blue Heaven and Purple Flare power cords and Norse jumper cables to wade into the product line.

A Purple Flare power cord to the Mac Mini was revelatory...simply a day and night improvement in every sonic parameter.

The Blue Heaven power cords and Norse bi-wire jumpers have taken some time to burn in but the system has far greater resolution, bass extension and pace.

I'm now looking further up the line and likely moving into Heimdall 2 and QB4 power bar with QV2...

just fantastic products.

Cheers,

WDW

 

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My only experience with Nordost has been with the Blue Heaven interconnects and speaker cables (and I own a Nordost Purple Flare C7 Power Cable used on my Mac Mini). Like pretty much anything else these are system dependent but in my systems I have found thes to be on the bright side ( to me bright does not mean harsh) and I ended up moving on to other cables.

 

"A mind is like a parachute. It doesn't work if it is not open."
Frank Zappa
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