Nordost - a tone control or genuinely transparent

Dec 20, 2014
207
1
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#1
I maybe courting controversy - there again I may well be stating the obvious.

I have nordost cables, heard at shows, tried in my system, read the reviews, then bought them - usual story...

However, of all the cables I ever hear attached to a system you can almost always tell that Nordost cables are being used (save for Odin - it has more body than the other NORDOST CABLES) so is the treble lift transparency or in fact a very distinct tone control.

That being the case what cable is the most chameleon like that you've used?
 

DaveC

[Industry Expert]
Nov 16, 2014
2,221
13
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#2
Unfortunately your question is relative to other cables and not absolute so it's not an easy question. Some of the things I listen for to determine transparency/neutrality is fine detail of vocals and acoustic instruments, the quality of the soundstage and precision of imaging, how well the system recreates the venue the recording is made in and whether the tone/timbre sounds realistic and natural. If you can hear the characteristics of a cable loom from system to system that's not a good sign.

Determining the "chameleon like" qualities of a cable would require trying it in many different systems which is something most don't get to do. For me sales stats, specifically the demo to sale ratio of a particular cable, answers this question and I've had cables that are love/hate and others that are universally praised. This provides another way to determine neutrality but isn't something anyone other than the owner of the cable co would probably know.
 
Dec 20, 2014
207
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#3
Your comment about a characteristic from system to system is what I have noticed with Nordost - it's easy to identify a system with Nordost in it - I noticed this before buying the cable - so it ain't from ear training.
Funnily enough I put some far cheaper DNM's into my system, and the sound was a lot more relaxed IMHO
 

ddk

Industry Expert
May 19, 2013
3,495
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Utah
#4
Dave is right to point out as compared to what! You need a basic Reference point to start with and then you can hear what the fancy wires are doing. IMO you don't need to try cables in multiple systems cause the only one that matters is yours and if you haven't tweaked out your setup or loaded your components with audiophile power cords you should be able to hear exactly what expensive audiophile wires are doing to it. When listening forget all non-musical stuff like pin point imaging, very dark backgrounds and added bass all over everything, if any of that is in your face and obvious in all music you play then they're just coloration. Just focus or tone, timbre and naturalness, soundstage will fall into place if it sounds right.

A direct answer to your question is a yes, your Nordost cables distort the sound and are pretty much hifi.

david
 
Jul 25, 2012
2,554
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NY
#5
All cables are tone controls.
 

ddk

Industry Expert
May 19, 2013
3,495
22
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#6
All cables are tone controls.
Sure everything has a sound but there are degrees and many of theses cables distort, change and add in ways that goes way beyond simple tonality.

david
 

treitz3

Super Moderator
#7
All cables are tone controls.
Agreed, It is what it is. Nordost is no different and I have heard this on their various offerings as well. Good or bad, preference or otherwise...

Tom
 

DaveC

[Industry Expert]
Nov 16, 2014
2,221
13
38
#8
Sure everything has a sound but there are degrees and many of theses cables distort, change and add in ways that goes way beyond simple tonality.

david
I agree there is massive variation in what cables can sound like and what effects they can have. IMO they are key to achieving an immersive, 3-D presentation because so many of them smooth out detail which kills the immersive/3-D qualities that might be in the recording. Designing a very resolving cable that doesn't also produce irritating artifacts and has realistic and natural sounding tone/timbre is not easy!
 

treitz3

Super Moderator
#9
Agreed sir.

Tom
 

DaveC

[Industry Expert]
Nov 16, 2014
2,221
13
38
#10
All cables are tone controls.

Yup... every part of the system has an effect to some degree.

It's the reduction in degree and balancing out contributions that is the basis for improvement and fidelity so I think the OP's question is a good one and worthy of some thought.
 

Leif S

[Industry Expert]
Feb 14, 2015
530
1
18
California
www.vonschweikert.com
#11
Dave is right to point out as compared to what! You need a basic Reference point to start with and then you can hear what the fancy wires are doing. IMO you don't need to try cables in multiple systems cause the only one that matters is yours and if you haven't tweaked out your setup or loaded your components with audiophile power cords you should be able to hear exactly what expensive audiophile wires are doing to it. When listening forget all non-musical stuff like pin point imaging, very dark backgrounds and added bass all over everything, if any of that is in your face and obvious in all music you play then they're just coloration. Just focus or tone, timbre and naturalness, soundstage will fall into place if it sounds right.

A direct answer to your question is a yes, your Nordost cables distort the sound and are pretty much hifi.

david
+1
 

DaveyF

Active Member
Aug 1, 2010
5,749
17
38
La Jolla, Calif USA
#12
A direct answer to your question is a yes, your Nordost cables distort the sound and are pretty much hifi.

david
David, you make a pretty strong statement there. Stating that Nordost heimdall 2 cables are pretty much hifi- is compared to what....maybe the new MIT ACC 268's, or perhaps your favorite cable. ( BTW what is that???)
IME, Nordost makes a superb cable that easily betters most others on the market, particularly in the ability of the cable to portray dynamics and fine detail.(due to the fact that most of the line is very revealing!) In a lot of systems that are highly colored or veiled, Nordost may seem to be problematic,but if the system is truly competent in its resolution and dynamic abilities, Nordost will let it shine. YMMV.
 

ddk

Industry Expert
May 19, 2013
3,495
22
38
Utah
#13
David, you make a pretty strong statement there. Stating that Nordost heimdall 2 cables are pretty much hifi- is compared to what....maybe the new MIT ACC 268's, or perhaps your favorite cable. ( BTW what is that???)
IME, Nordost makes a superb cable that easily betters most others on the market, particularly in the ability of the cable to portray dynamics and fine detail.(due to the fact that most of the line is very revealing!) In a lot of systems that are highly colored or veiled, Nordost may seem to be problematic,but if the system is truly competent in its resolution and dynamic abilities, Nordost will let it shine. YMMV.
Nothing that exotic Davey, if you read the first part of my post again I mention a "basic Reference" by that I mean a good, low coloration natural sounding zip cord like Radio Shack's 16 gauge Mega Wire or similar. Over the years I heard lots of Nordost wire in many systems and aside from the Odin I find all their flat wire speaker cables basically the same in their amusicality and the way they distort sound. Resolution and dynamic abilities aren't enough playing music naturally with correct tone & timbre along with dynamics and little or unnoticeable distortion is something else. Main aspect of resolution for me is tonal depth and richness things that Nordost lacks to my ears irrespective of system. I would categorize most of their line as cold and bland for Heimdall I'll add dark too. YMMV but that's how I hear them.

david
 

DaveyF

Active Member
Aug 1, 2010
5,749
17
38
La Jolla, Calif USA
#14
Nothing that exotic Davey, if you read the first part of my post again I mention a "basic Reference" by that I mean a good, low coloration natural sounding zip cord like Radio Shack's 16 gauge Mega Wire or similar. Over the years I heard lots of Nordost wire in many systems and aside from the Odin I find all their flat wire speaker cables basically the same in their amusicality and the way they distort sound. Resolution and dynamic abilities aren't enough playing music naturally with correct tone & timbre along with dynamics and little or unnoticeable distortion is something else. Main aspect of resolution for me is tonal depth and richness things that Nordost lacks to my ears irrespective of system. I would categorize most of their line as cold and bland for Heimdall I'll add dark too. YMMV but that's how I hear them.

david
David, your reply is interesting indeed. Mainly that there are so many different ways people can express their feelings about the sound that they hear. Your description of the Nordost cabling is so far away from my experience; that its almost as if we are hearing two completely different types of sound! Listening to Radio Shack 16 gauge cable is so far away from what I hear when i listen to Nordost cabling that I am at a loss for words! When you derided the Heimdall cables as hifi, I never suspected that you were comparing them to Radio Shack cabling.
You use the word 'richness' in your description, what does that refer to in music....to your understanding.
 

FrantzM

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 20, 2010
6,469
0
0
#15
Hi

Not a cable person anymore

What ddk or another thinks about Nordost could be expressed by another person for any cables including the current darlings here or elsewhere. In that sense Nordost is no better or worse tone control as compared to any other cable brand. Some would like what they perceive nordost to do and some won't.
We are here discussing tastes and preferences ...
retreating to my lair...
 

ddk

Industry Expert
May 19, 2013
3,495
22
38
Utah
#17
David, your reply is interesting indeed. Mainly that there are so many different ways people can express their feelings about the sound that they hear. Your description of the Nordost cabling is so far away from my experience; that its almost as if we are hearing two completely different types of sound! Listening to Radio Shack 16 gauge cable is so far away from what I hear when i listen to Nordost cabling that I am at a loss for words! When you derided the Heimdall cables as hifi, I never suspected that you were comparing them to Radio Shack cabling.
You use the word 'richness' in your description, what does that refer to in music....to your understanding.
Richness as it relates to texture and fullness of sound. You need a baseline to make a comparisons something accessible, available and sonically acceptable. RS cables including IC fit that description, I'm not claiming that they're the best but sonically there's more right about them than wrong and I don't find them out of place in any high end system and I'm sure that there are similar alternatives. Unless you're someone with access comparing high end cables isn't feasible and then you're often comparing cables with strong characteristics, very few in my experience are as neutral as RS type wires so it becomes confusing and need to think about full loom vs full loom and not just replacing a run or two to get a handle on things individually.

david
 

ddk

Industry Expert
May 19, 2013
3,495
22
38
Utah
#18
Hi

Not a cable person anymore

What ddk or another thinks about Nordost could be expressed by another person for any cables including the current darlings here or elsewhere. In that sense Nordost is no better or worse tone control as compared to any other cable brand. Some would like what they perceive nordost to do and some won't.
We are here discussing tastes and preferences ...
retreating to my lair...
Like or dislike is a matter of preference Franz describing their qualities in this way is from observations. Problem is without knowing one another it's difficult or impossible to know one another's reference points and degrees of subjectivity and objectivity involved but we try our best to communicate what we can from the keyboard and sometimes you go just go in circles.

david
 

DaveC

[Industry Expert]
Nov 16, 2014
2,221
13
38
#19
Hi

Not a cable person anymore

What ddk or another thinks about Nordost could be expressed by another person for any cables including the current darlings here or elsewhere. In that sense Nordost is no better or worse tone control as compared to any other cable brand. Some would like what they perceive nordost to do and some won't.
We are here discussing tastes and preferences ...
retreating to my lair...
I disagree. IME there's a large range in cable performance and it's not entirely subjective. Either the cable smooths out detail or it doesn't, this is clearly audible. Either it has noticeable sound signatures caused by artifacts and distortions to various degrees or they're not audible. These things can make or break a system, and is often the difference between an ordinary flat-sounding system and one that immerses the listener in sound and draws them in. Cables and AC power are the backbone of a system whether you're a "cable person" or not. I'd argue we're all "cable people" as they are required for the system to work and the cables are making a huge difference in what you're hearing whether you want to admit it or not.
 

ddk

Industry Expert
May 19, 2013
3,495
22
38
Utah
#20
I disagree. IME there's a large range in cable performance and it's not entirely subjective. Either the cable smooths out detail or it doesn't, this is clearly audible. Either it has noticeable sound signatures caused by artifacts and distortions to various degrees or they're not audible. These things can make or break a system, and is often the difference between an ordinary flat-sounding system and one that immerses the listener in sound and draws them in. Cables and AC power are the backbone of a system whether you're a "cable person" or not. I'd argue we're all "cable people" as they are required for the system to work and the cables are making a huge difference in what you're hearing whether you want to admit it or not.
Definitely so!

david
 

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