Has Nordost forgotton who pays the bills?

Recently I was entertaining the thought of purchasing a pair of used Nordost Heimdall 2 rca Interconnects from a private owner online. Prior to purchasing the cables I did a bit of research on Audiogon to see if anyone had any issues with counterfeit cables. I found no real issues but did read that if contacted Nordost would authenticate the serial numbers on the cables to verify that they were the genuine article. Well, I did contact Nordost and much to my chagrin I was met with the following response from Nordost:

"Due to the overwhelming requests to validate serial numbers for cables being purchased on the used market we are no longer able to offer that service. Serial number verification requests can only be requested by authorized dealers/distributors for cables involved in trade in/up requests"

My curiosity got the best of me so I contacted my local dealer that I have been doing business with for years. I was told by the associate that "He did not have access to this information"  Long story short, I bought the cables and I do believe that they are genuine. But the larger issues is that it seems Nordost has gotten too big for its britches. Lets not forget that without consumer there would be no Nordost. The response from them seems so snobbish, not customer friendly or client centered.  Most audiophiles are aware that cables have the greatest mark up of any other audio product. Given that and the already overly inflated price for Nodost cables you would think the company would at least give the hint that they care for their customers. Used cables are truly a bargain and my be an introduction to the brand. I digress. My goal with this post is merely to inform folks that if you are considering used Nordost cables and are looking for then to authenticate your potential purchase, well forget about it. They ARE NO LONGER ABLE TO OFFER THAT SERVICE! 

Stay well, Stay safe, Stay home and listen to tunes.


A few years ago I bought some used AQ HDMI cables. They authenticated the cables for free. However, had the  cables been knock offs they would not have been returned to me. Their approach is that they want to get the knock offs out of circulation. 
Very sad however I use Purist,Furutech and Tara Labs Muse speaker cables.Much better sounding cables from much better company.
They’re offering the service as a courtesy, or were. You aren’t their customer, you’re someone buying their used product on the secondary market. Sounds like you’re the one confused about "who pays the bills".
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If the OP was that concerned about fakes, he should have bought from a store, new, demo, or used.  
I agree that when buying used that you are not a Nordost customer per se, your point is well taken. My issue is that by cutting back on a service they at one time offered, they miss the potential for the "used buyer" to become a "New " buyer purchasing new items from their local dealer. I have learned about several products on the used market that I was not aware  existed. Also don't misunderstand me, I own a lot of Nordost, some purchased used but most purchased new.  In total contrast, Ayre is A+++ when it comes to customer service, they continue to service and give advice on products that are well out of warranty or even used or they don't produce anymore.  They clearly understand the potential for an Ayre customer today and in the future. Thanks for the responses this has been interesting.
It was a curiosity not a concern. I did buy used. Re read the post 
C A R E F U L L Y this time,
Thanks for your post. Interesting. I guess high value products are likely to be counterfeited.
They are actually focusing on people who pay their bills, and reserving the customer support to service actual customers who buy products. If they would run around  a myriad requests asking to validate serial numbers then their actual paying customers would be left to wait...Money talks, and companies either fall in line or fall out.Of course, would be great if they could honor their promise.
But that old world is almost gone, today the US companies are struggling to stand up against the impossible onslaught from Chinese companies undercutting products at impossibly low prices. US companies need to start compromising service quality / cut on staffing to stay competitive...
Take another run at it with copies of your Nordost cable purchases thru authorized dealers
darrell21256 OP12 posts10-25-2021 4:32pmbuilder3,
I agree that when buying used that you are not a Nordost customer per se, your point is well taken. My issue is that by cutting back on a service they at one time offered, they miss the potential for the "used buyer" to become a "New " buyer purchasing new items from their local dealer. I have learned about several products on the used market that I was not aware existed. Also don't misunderstand me, I own a lot of Nordost, some purchased used but most purchased new. In total contrast, Ayre is A+++ when it comes to customer service, they continue to service and give advice on products that are well out of warranty or even used or they don't produce anymore. They clearly understand the potential for an Ayre customer today and in the future. Thanks for the responses this has been interesting.
I didn't misunderstand anything you said. They don't owe you anything. For you to suggest that they do, all while throwing out snarky comments about their over-priced products on an audio forum reflects poorly on your position.
The Norse level and higher construction is quite detailed and intricate.

It would seem to be quite expensive to produce? Are the knock off's THAT GOOD? 

First time I've taken a close look at my H2's. The spiral "air dielectric" and texture of the overall construction doesn't appear to be something copied without extensive tooling? 

Anyone compare the 2? 
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@tablejockey I remember there was another thread where the OP compared the Aliexpress knockoffs with genuine Nordost from a dealer and they were really close in sound. Appears some knockoffs are quite close in quality, sometimes (not the case for Nordost) they are from the very same factories.
I think the bigger concern here is to Nordost owners who want to sell their cables.  The resale value of Nordost is likely to go down because of this policy.  Why should I buy a $10,000 set of cables if its going to be difficult to resell them if it becomes impossible for me to prove their authentic?
That’s disappointing.  Cardas in the past year has validated, or at least given me their opinion, on two different sets of used cables I was looking at and later purchased online.  
I understand the concern of the OP. Counterfeiting of expensive audio products is a big problem and you are not going to get a great deal of sympathy or help from federal entities that police this domain. Your options are limited, and I do not think that Nordost bears any responsibility in this transaction. You should know that in this marketplace it is buyer beware - I have even been warned off purchasing a discounted expensive power conditioner here after talking to a person at AQ, and the seller posted a complaint on this site. I would rather get a bad review here than buy a counterfeit electrical product that might malfunction...
I've dealt with the people from Nordost over the years and they are very helpful and considerate of both new and used purchases. I've also known dealers that have represented them. Everyone is trying to get a cut in the cable game. Some dealers are selling their demo looms and years ago would cut off the little serial rings- which is why they went to printing them on the cables. I can only imagine the emails they get from those counterfieters looking to get insight into making their scam work better. I imagine they probably get emails from people that have purchased fake cables. There are so many people of there trying to get by on the work of others. The worst in my opinion is when you see importers not supporting second hand products. They only want to get fat on the talent of others only when they get a good cut of the action. The whole thing is a bit disheartening. However I agree with the op- you make something, you support it, at least until you learn otherwise. Everyone faces a no-win situation at some point. They are still there making good products.
If you buy from an authorized dealer and later want to sell the cables, simply provide the original bill of sale to the prospective purchaser.  Make sure that the bill of sale includes the serial number.
I think if you have a relationship with a specific Nordost dealer they should look into it for you. Especially since they are the only ones allowed to do it. Labor cost money and it could cost the dealer $25-$50 in time to verify. Ask the seller to provide a receipt with the dealers name and number. If they won’t do that then they might have bought it used or it might be a fake. The Nordost dealer I deal with in the Chicagoland area has a 1 year upgrade program. https://holmaudio.com/
It’s not just with Nordost, but all the new products they sell. They even let you demo in your home before you buy to make sure the product works in your home on your system. No guessing and no buyers remorse. 
Thank you for the sentiment, I actually never considered that point. You get what I am saying. Another thing for us to to consider is that we are all responding to a post on a website that sells primarily "USED" equipment. This should be food for thought for anyone that shops the pages of Audiogon. Let me be crystal clear, its's not about expectations or that the company owes me something, because they don't. I know that. It's also not about "snarky" remarks as builder3 suggests. Lets be honest, as much as we may  love Nordost cables, they are and can be expensive as heck! Does the term "Odin Supreme" mean anything. 50k for audio cables? Well that's another post all together. But seriously, thank you all for responding to my post it has been a blast. Just remember this post the next time you contact a private seller on Agon, perhaps you will hear a  little voice inside your head telling you to ask more of the seller to verify the authenticity of what they are selling. 
Until next time. 
I don't know what went into the original offer/policy in the first place and whether it has much utility.  If all they are doing is confirming that a particular serial number is a real number (one given to a particular type of cable) how valuable is that information?  It would not take much for a counterfeiter to use a "real" number.  If, Nordost made any effort to actually trace the number--associate that number with a particular buyer, determine if that number has come up with a frequency that raises suspicion, et.--that would be a much more expensive service to provide and that expense has to come out of someone's hide, such as buyers of their new product.  
They recognize the gullibility of their customer. They know they won't lose anyone.
Caveat emptor +1

NORDOST authenticated my FREY ICs 3 months ago when I requested a proposed factory OEM retermination of XLRs to RCAs
i had to supply detailed pics, pics of the OEM packaging, close-up pics of the branded serial number, and disclose the dealer I bought them from …. No problem … fast and courteous.

I suspect they want to discourage the tsunami of POS fakes in the markets coming out of primarily China and also some from Eastern Europe.

which leads me to the corroborating comment provided to me directly by CARDAS. Guarantees of authenticity by them requires an actually hands-on OEM examination with a removal of the connectors and detailed fine inspection of the actual cable and dialectic, sheathing etc.

I was interested in a pre-owned CARDAS CLEAR BEYOND power cable listed on REVERB by a an alleged dealer with no COA available. . CARDAS looked at the ad for me and unequivocally verified from the pics that the connectors were clear cheap aftermarket fakes ( but good looking fakes …) and that the cable was an unknown without the detailed steps highlighted above. But who the hell would put replace OEM connectors with cheap fakes on a bona fide cable? ‘Nuff said . I informed the seller of the CARDAS review who went radio silent on me … and to best of my knowledge, still did nothing to change or revoke the ad. CARDAS informed me that the alleged “commercial dealer” was not on their current approved list and was operating on his own .

BUT Wait for it …. the next comment to me was very telling …

CARDAS informed me that their recent experiences dictated that 25% - 35% of all of CARDAS high-end cables offered for sale on the major audio forums and aftermarket forums are nothing more than clever and arguably impressive looking but clearly inferior cheap POS FAKES.

YOUR TAKEAWAY: …. pushing 1 in 3 (rounded up) are potential cheap crap build quality and inferior crap performance POS fakes … hmmmm ….
Do we still feel lucky and feel rewarded today trying to save a few scheckels on a whimsical, fleeting, or potential illusory hope? Or will we now only buy from ,
(a) a registered dealer, ( for both new or pre-owned models), or,
(b) at a minimum, deal only with a forum member listing with a lot of positive reviews that also cheerfully provides the listed cables with their OEM packaging and the OEM Certificate of Authenticity ( COA) ?

I wouldn’t touch a listing anymore that wouldn’t meet these standards .
This may be a little off the subject, but i think it ties in.  I always buy used equipment and have had great success dealing with companies even when I didn't purchase from them.  Two examples are as follows....I bought a Quad 405 amp several years ago and the transformer went bad. I called Quad and they offered to replace it free if i paid for shipping.  I still use the amp as a backup today.  I recently purchased an Ayres V-3 and stupidly crossed speaker cables while the amp was on.   I thought i blew a channel so I called the company in Colorado.  They took the time to give me a history of service and modification done in 2008.  They  talked me through troubleshooting the problem, and even sent me free parts so i could fix it myself.  I have to say I'll probably never buy new products from Quad or Ayres, but I really respect their customer service even if I was not a first time buyer of their products.

I recommend buying from authorized dealers or members with excellent feedback.  However, It seems that US companies producing audio cables/components have no choice but to provide a verification service. They must protect their brand. It is a reality of the world we live in. If not, that actions of countries like China are going to hurt their businesses. 
As a business person, it seems to me that it would be good business practice for Nordost to continue this service as it helps retain the resale value of their cables. Without authentication, resale value will likely be much lower thereby negatively impacting their customers who want to sell their cables to upgrade.
I’ve exchanged personal emails, (and in Mr. Had’s case a phone conversation) with Emmanuel Go of First Sound, Dennis Had of Cary Audio, Mike Farnsworth of Talon Audio (several phone cons with Mike, great guy, better designer and problem solver), and Richard Schram of Parasound, among others about used gear prior to making a purchase.  I agree with the OP.  As competitive as the niche, high end audio market is, customer service is absolutely essential.  If you won’t help me now why would I consider buying your product later?  Serial numbers are in an easily retrieved database, look it up on the computer and answer the question.  If you don’t, you just lost a customer for life.   
As competitive as the niche, high end audio market is, customer service is absolutely essential.
Quite true.
But you have to be a customer first.
Also, if a cable can be counterfeited to the point of it being visably indistinguishable from an authentic one, what is so hard about copying an authentic serial number?
Surely the only way to truly identify a counterfeit is to inspect its internal make up. 

What Mark wrote is actually a good test.

I called Devore before buying his speaker used locally.

He was a gentleman and helped me with all of my questions.

It only took him 5 minutes, but I will sing his praises forever.
For what it is worth I have been a Transparent customer for 24 years now, holly crap 24 years....but I can attest they have provided me outstanding customer service over the years. 

While I understand they are not for everyone, I have always dug how the cables work in my system. 
Once I had 3m long Odin ic, bought at authorised dealer. Wrote to Nordost, asking for factory retermination (for shorter lengths). This was the answer I got (if I am not mistaken, other cables can be reterminated in factory)

’Unfortunately, since most Nordost cables are
mechanically tuned for optimum performance, adjusting
the cable length will compromise
the performance. In the event that you require shorter
cables, we suggest that you visit your local Authorized
Nordost Dealer who may be able to accept a trade of your existing product and supply you with the necessary lengths."

Needless to say, never I would buy new Nordost product...