Nordost Interconnect Flavors....

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DTB300

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Right now I am using a DIY Cable with DH Labs Ultimate RCA's (changed from Eichmann Bullets and the improvement is significant - I really like the DH Lab connector). But with all the talk here about people using Nordost, I thought I would drop by my favorite Stereo Store and get some IC's to audition at home. And I would also get a chance to listen to their Summits again. I have not reported on my listening sessions yet, as I want to go back and confirm all the setups to make sure what I was hearing...

Right now I would be trying the Nordost IC's between my SACD player and my Pre Amp to compare them to my cable listed above and see if there is a noticable difference and in what areas. When changing cables here from the Eichmann to the DH Lab, like I said before, the difference is significant.

Right now my current cable is 1 Meter, but I would not have a problem with a .5 Meter cable reaching and it should save me some $$$.

If anyone here has experience with the following IC's and knows about their characteristics and tonal changes or not, I would appreciate it: Black Knight, Solar Wind, Blue Heaven (Red Dawn - just too expensive) - and they would be with RCA connections.

My wife hates when I do this as a purchase is usually associated with it, but hey, this is fun for me to see what is out there and what do they sound like. And I would like to see how my DIY/DH Lab cable compares to a well liked cable.

Dan
 
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roberto

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try the...

DTB300 said:
Right now I am using a DIY Cable with DH Labs Ultimate RCA's (changed from Eichmann Bullets and the improvement is significant - I really like the DH Lab connector). But with all the talk here about people using Nordost, I thought I would drop by my favorite Stereo Store and get some IC's to audition at home. And I would also get a chance to listen to their Summits again. I have not reported on my listening sessions yet, as I want to go back and confirm all the setups to make sure what I was hearing...

Right now I would be trying the Nordost IC's between my SACD player and my Pre Amp to compare them to my cable listed above and see if there is a noticable difference and in what areas. When changing cables here from the Eichmann to the DH Lab, like I said before, the difference is significant.

Right now my current cable is 1 Meter, but I would not have a problem with a .5 Meter cable reaching and it should save me some $$$.

If anyone here has experience with the following IC's and knows about their characteristics and tonal changes or not, I would appreciate it: Black Knight, Solar Wind, Blue Heaven (Red Dawn - just too expensive) - and iwith RCA connections.

My wife hates when I do this as a purchase is usually associated with it, but hey, this is fun for me to see what is out there and what do they sound like. And I would like to see how my DIY/DH Lab cable compares to a well liked cable.

Dan
Hola Dan...try the blue heaven...right now at my store, I sell DHlabs...but try them...I do like them a lot...red was too bright to my liking...
Cheers,
Roberto.
 

DTB300

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roberto said:
Hola Dan...try the blue heaven...
Hopefully I will be able to try all three of the levels that I mentioned if they have them for audition.

right now at my store, I sell DHlabs...but try them...I do like them a lot
Yes, I am very impressed by the sound of these connectors. And since they are almost complete copper (99.3% by the site) there is no plating involved and they are a locking RCA too. With all the hoopla about the Eichmann's from people, these connectors are much better sounding across the board. The cost is higher than the Copper Eichmann's, but less than the WBT NextGen's.

...red was too bright to my liking...
Well with the prices of the Red Dawn, I think I will be staying away from them. But if they give me a pair to try out, I will take it home and see what it is all about.

Roberto, as always, thanks for the info....

Dan
 

SugarMedia

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dtb-

why not purchase them from audiogon or e-bay? You can save nearly 50%.
 

DavidG

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Caution

Just make sure that with all of these interconnects you keep them well away from your mains cables. These are all an unshielded design, so they're very sensitive to interference. (Which is why I don't use Nordost interconnects, only speaker cables).

Cheers,

David
 

garmtz

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The Solar Wind is a bit thin sounding, the Black Knight will not be a big improvement and the Red Dawn is just too bright. Blue Heaven is juuuuuust right! :D
 

kach22i

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I've had Nordost Blue Heavens for about seven years now. I would love to try getting my original Aerius speakers a little brighter with the Red Dawn series. The original Aerius was/is a little rolled off on the top end.

It's about system balance & synergy - get it right, be happy.
 

DTB300

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SugarMedia said:
why not purchase them from audiogon or e-bay? You can save nearly 50%.
Depends on the price the store will give me as I try to do business with my local store first. In the past with cables, they are usually overpriced and that will force me to go to Audiogon or E-Bay. But I just cannot buy a cable without hearing it first.

But again, I always try to give my local store the business first.

Thanks....Dan
 
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DTB300

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DavidG said:
Just make sure that with all of these interconnects you keep them well away from your mains cables. These are all an unshielded design, so they're very sensitive to interference.
This is a concensus that I have read about them...That I why I need to try before buying...

Thanks...Dan
 

DTB300

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garmtz said:
The Solar Wind is a bit thin sounding, the Black Knight will not be a big improvement and the Red Dawn is just too bright. Blue Heaven is juuuuuust right! :D
Again this is a common experience I have read with the Nordost IC's and the BH's sounding the fullest - of those four models.

Thanks...Dan
 
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DTB300

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kach22i said:
I've had Nordost Blue Heavens for about seven years now. I would love to try getting my original Aerius speakers a little brighter with the Red Dawn series. The original Aerius was/is a little rolled off on the top end.
The Red Dawn's seem to be a favorite of those with Tube Amps.

Being in the CD world, I do not need bright sounding cables or connectors. That is why I changed to the DH Labs as the slight harshness in the upper registers, that the Eichmann's exhibited, was removed by switching to the DH Labs. The sound became more accurate and detailed across the board with the DH Lab.

It is amazing how much the connector affects the sound of an IC. I have always read from some knowledgeable people on AA about connectors and their sound, but one must experience it first hand to really appreciate it.

It's about system balance & synergy - get it right, be happy.
I am pretty happy with what I have now, but since I have never tried any other types of IC's other than my DIY with Eichmann's or DH Labs, and I have a few days off, I thought it would be fun and informative to try out some other IC's. And like I stated, since Nordost is talked about highly here by a bunch of members, they are worth a try. Heck, I may find out that my current setup is just fine.

Thanks...Dan
 

DavidG

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Alternatives -

If you find you don't like Nordost, you could always consider Van Den Hul. I have a strong bias to VdH for interconnects, and Nordost for speaker cabling. I've got to this point after many days of listening, and it works well for me. But this could be in part because I run Meridian electronics (CD, DVD, Pre / Power) and Meridian use VdH wires internally, so I guess that's helping to give me a good match there.

However, in the world of sensibly priced interconnects I find VdH 'First Ultimate' and 'Integration' to be very hard to beat. They're also screened, so mains interference isn't an issue!

Cheers,

David
 

Anthony A.

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since i run a full nordost setup, let me chime in. i would buy a pair of spm interconnects right away from audiogon ($400-500). they kill both the red dawn and the blue heavens. they are very well balanced and extremely revealing. they literally remove a veil from your speakers and the sound appears to be more clear and smooth. and, for $50-75 on top of the spms, their is the quattro fil thats even slightly better. all in all, i would go with either the spm or quattro fil. THEY ARE THAT MUCH BETTER!!!!

cheers.
 

DTB300

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Anthony A. said:
since i run a full nordost setup, let me chime in. i would buy a pair of spm interconnects right away from audiogon ($400-500).
Thanks for your take on the top stuff....But if you notice from my original post:

"(Red Dawn - just too expensive)"

Something like the SPM or Quattro, which are priced above the Red Dawn, are just too expensive - no matter how good they sound.

For that kind of money I can purchase the Velodyne SMS-1 and get more of an improvement in the sound of the system.

It all comes down to $$$$ vs. improvements and I truely believe you can get a good sounding IC or SC without having to sell the kids or dog. :D

Dan
 
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DTB300

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Initial Testing of Nordost IC's

After listening to the Summits, I picked up some Nordost and one pair of Straightwire to bring home to audition. I was able to get the Black Knight and Solar Wind IC from Nordost (Blue Heaven out on loan currently) and the Straightwire Virtuoso.

Again, these are all compared to my DIY Cable with DH Lab Ultimate RCA's which cost me about $75 for a pair. The cable was hooked up between my SACD player and my Pre Amp. I have two outputs from my SACD player for two channel and use two line level inputs on my Pre Amp, so switching between the two sources could happen very quickly.

The cost I list is a typical new purchase price that I have been able to find for a .5 or .6 Meter Length.

Black Knight ($90) - Not as good as my cable throughout the entire audio spectrum.

Solar Wind ($130) - Closer to my cable, but not as robust sounding - it is leaner with more of an edge to it.

Virtuoso ($360) - Slightly better sounding than my cable. High end had slightly less of an edge, vocals with slightly better, bass was a little tighter. Overall again the cable was slightly better, but all of this was just a slight bit and not worth the $360 price tag compared to my $75 cost.

A nice way to spend a day off, listening to the Summit, and getting some toys to bring home to test. Overall, I was very impressed with what I already have compared to these three cables.

I plan on getting the Blue Heaven and the Red Dawn next time just to see if they are comparable or not.

Dan
 
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garmtz

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DTB300 said:
I plan on getting the Blue Heaven and the Red Dawn next time just to see if they are comparable or not.

Dan
I would have guessed the Black Knight and Solar Wind would not be as good as your home-made cables. The BH en RD will be much better is my suspicion.
 

DTB300

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garmtz said:
I would have guessed the Black Knight and Solar Wind would not be as good as your home-made cables. The BH en RD will be much better is my suspicion.
Much better....it will be interesting to see for the $$$ spent, how much better they are or are not. I thought the same thing (much better) when I also brought home the top of the line Straightwire (which I never considered especially for the price) and the differences between that and my cable/connector was very slight. I had to really listen and almost find changes rather than have something JUMPING out at me - surprising especially at $380 for a .5 meter cable :eek: and I only pay $75 for 1 Meter for my DIY's.

I am not sure what I will hear with the BH or RD, but hopefully I can get a demo pair to listen to and report back my findings.

Dan
 
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Robin

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Dan,

A one meter, Nordost - "Silver Shadow Digital Interconnect Cable" is soooo expensive...$500.00 USD, each, for a one meter cable, Wow... Check out this web site:

Nordost - "Silver Shadow Cable" -

I think, the Nordost - "Blue Heaven", cables will win, your cable test comparison, but at $210.00 USD, each, for a one meter cable... I think, if I up grade, I'm going to, need to get a second job, selling my body...

-Robin
 

DavidG

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Diminsihing returns. . .

The law of diminishing returns applies in cables just like anywhere else - perhaps even more so than normal.

For me, it's important to strike a balance between cost and value in terms of enhancement to sound. I don't doubt that Nordost Valhallla is a truly superb cable, but at over £1700 (USD 3,300) for a 1m phono interconnect it cannot be counted as sensible value. The same applies to Nordost Valkyra which is supposed to give most of the performance of valhalla at a 'real world' price (around USD 2,000). This leaves me to wonder if I live in the real world, 'cause that sort of money for a 1mtr interconnect seems unreal to me!

There seems to be a balance point in the nordost range between price and sound quality. The balance point seems to exist with Blue Heaven and Red Dawn, although there's no doubt that SPM reference does add another level to the sound - but now the price starts to become slightly crazy!!

Cheers,

David
 

DTB300

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DavidG said:
The law of diminishing returns applies in cables just like anywhere else - perhaps even more so than normal.
How true and one must say: "Is this extra money spent on "X" cable worth the change in the sound of my system?" So far, with what I have heard in my small testing, it has not been worth it. I can spend money elsewhere on my setup, like the SMS-1, and get far greater improvements - that is the real world that people need to look at.

This leaves me to wonder if I live in the real world, 'cause that sort of money for a 1mtr interconnect seems unreal to me!
Don't wonder about it at all. You are being sensible about what you are paying for and what you are getting - instead of getting caught up in the marketing hype.

So far, the extra money for the IC's I have tested, for the change they produced is just not worth it. Hopefully the local store gets the BH and RD in soon for me to try out - I do not have great hope, but you never know.

Dan
 
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