Nordost Power Cables - my latest experience

Years ago I had a bunch of Nordost Vishnu power cables for all components, and a Brahma for the wall-to-distributor cable. In 2012 I then came across a new company called Cabledyne, and thought their power cable (a design which is no longer sold by them) was better than all of the Nordost cables.

But those Nordost models were an old product from 2003. Recently I have auditioned and then upgraded to the new Heimdall 2 power cables.

My experience was inconsistent and I thought to share it here.

Initially I got a Heimdall 2 for the source, an Oppo that is LPM and clock modified, and is just used as a pure digital transport with the audio card stripped out. On this component the Heimdall 2 was really good, far better than the Cabledyne.

I then upgraded power cable feeding the NAS to a Heimdall 2, this was again far better than the Cabledyne.
At this point my system was sounding the best it ever had in years, magical. I got a bit excited knowing I only needed to buy 2 more Heimdall 2's to complete the chain, one for the power amplifier and the other my Pre/DAC.

But when putting another one on my TeddyDAC (a DAC with analog volume stage inside) things went slightly backwards. Then when putting the last Nodost on the power amplifier, things went slightly backwards again.

Overall things are better than before, but this ending was disappointing to say the least.

I went back and looked at all the old comments here regarding Nordost power cables, for example the original Valhalla, and saw some users saying it was great for their CD player, or their source, but did not work well on the amps. That seems to be my experience. Maybe there is something inherent to the mono filament design which works especially well with digital devices, but not so much with analog? I don't know, I'm just hoping with more break-in it will even things out on the analog side.

I don't like to mix and match power cables brands, so it kind of sucks.

I just last week changed pc to a Lief Series Red Dawn..UNLIKE the Lief Red Dawn speaker cables,which were a revelation,the pc did nothing,no change,zipp,nada....
I use a Vishnu on my digital frontend and I am very happy with it. On my player I find it is very fast and open and not at all lean or sterile. So far between my group of Kimber and Wywires PC’s I own, on my CD player it is the favorite where it resides. The other cables do a great job but I find the Vishnu gets out of the way better and I think less of what it’s doing compared to the others.
The Vishnu is a very fast and revealing PC so I could see how it wouldn’t work for many. Also I find it’s a great on digital but would be too light gauge of a cable for a large amp or maybe even a preamp.
Firstly, Nordost cables do need burn in. Secondly, it sounds bright but smooth on digital giving you a feeling of airy and three dimensional soundstage. My experience is that in one system one or two of them should be more than enough.
All testimonies regarding the sound of *anything* subject to being taken with grain of salt for obvious reasons. The same thing goes for any tests.
..... sitting here on an early Saturday morning and reading this post. I am laughing as nobody has really worked with the OP in helping him with this situation. Instead the usual responses which are so typical from the usual cast of cast characters that add nothing except to be the first to answer every new thread. Although Jacca and Adg101 made attempts to help the OP as Nordost cables as noted ; are system depended like many cables and don't work on all systems as can be attested here over and over again by the many threads addressing this very same issue. Nothing is wrong with you or the cables or your system, it's what your ears hear and what you like which is what makes this '' hobby '' fun and entertaining. To quote ; Jafant ; Happy Listening !!!! Back to my coffee......      
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Not to keep plugging Wywires but there’s a reason I do and it’s because of two main reasons. The first is Alex prefers to do a consultation which he called me to get the list of my components, what I like in a system as far to get an understanding of how I hear things and the types of music I listen to. He probably has a lot more knowledge and experience building cables than I do so better to trust a pro. From there he researches your components then builds the cable based on your needs. Secondly they just sound wonderful or actually don’t sound as of all the cables I have tried they just get out of the way. The email you may make and the call you’ll get from Alex will cost you nothing but your time so maybe that’s the best advice I can give.
I know there is system comparability issues for all cables, I just found it interesting the Nordost worked so well with my front end gear but not the amps.
I have had the same experience.I would love to find a loom of cables that would work throughout my system.When I have tried it never works out.
Having upgraded my power cords to Frey2 from wall to an QB4 , and then Frey 2 to feed my Accuphase E-470 , and for the moment using
Heimdall 2 to feed my Lumin T1 , i can only say it was a real lift..i started out with the Heimdall 2 , and then it moved up the chain ( speaking from wall placement ) as one other said they really do need a long break in , i think if i remember correctly Nordost says 100 hours , in my experience it takes longer to really fall into place. So have patience.
And having tried Valhalla2 Powercord , is also really good , had it on trial.
My report was fresh from the box, no break in. I am a believer in break-in, seen it many times. I just found such an improvement with the source gear with no break in, I guess I expected the same to continue.

I think the Q-Base QB8 distribution block will be my next purchase, and some solid supports for it.
Break in is for both the cable itself and for you to adjust the listening volume and the new tonality of your gear....
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Agree. I don’t buy into one has to use the same cable manufacturer throughout. Even if every component in your rack is made by the same manufacture it doesn’t make a difference. For one thing, room acoustics will have a play in the sound more than most people realize; some rooms just flat out suck... so we go down the rabbit hole chasing new components without ever addressing the problem that is the room. I know I’ve preached it and I think others have as well that cables are tone controls because most our gear has no means to correct a poor sounding room or the quality of the recording. Cables are tone controls and I don’t care if you have the most expensive wire out there. So I say mix cables as needed just like we mix the manufactures of or equipment. I’ve had great luck mixing WyWires, Kimber, Nordost and Clear Day together. I’ve had great success with each line as a full system and I suppose that’s why I have a mix... actually never had a full Nordost set but I like their cables on my digital gear.

I just added a Bluesound Node II and I’m loving it. I built my own PC and purchased an Ethernet cable and using the DAC in my CD player and it sounds great. Last night I felt as things are settling in the presentation was a little too crisp but not bright or fatiguing but just not right. I know my cables very well so I switched my Clear Day balance cable between my DAC and preamp with the balanced WyWires between preamp and amp and that did it... sounds wonderful. It was a subtle change but it was needed and I wasn’t surprised by the results. 

My point is (again) cables are tone controls and just like equipment manufactures, cable manufactures have a house sound so it doesn’t mean one cable company fits all. If one buys into you have to stick with one cable manufacture then I would think one would stick with one equipment manufacture as well which I bet most of us don’t follow. Cables are tone controls; no cable is perfect and the best of cables do one thing better than so so cables and that is get out of the way and let the gear do its job. If ones gear sounds like you know what, a great cable is going to sound like you know what?

Totally agree with Elizabeth. Mix a way.
Hi agisthos, it seems like you have plenty of experience with high fidelity and nordost, could you mind sharing your thoughts their differences? And at the end which ones are you using more ?
Hi alfau7

High Fidelity Cables will beat any Nordost cable, especially on interconnects and digital cables, which is what I use them for.

I am on record saying be wary of HFC for speaker cables due to potential mismatch issues. But when they work - they are spectacular.

But I have not heard any of the new HFC Reveal line, which I think is built to a lower price point.

The High Fidelity CT-1 Ultimate power cable was also the best power cable I have ever had in my system. But it cost 15k, is now NLA, and I was never able to own it, only borrow it.

But but but.... I need to talk about the real world, and what I can afford. I like the Nordost Heimdall 2 for power cables, in the low end (if you can call $800 USD cables that) price range.

I also now have the QB8. This is a must have upgrade, and seems to have full synergy with Nordosts own power cables. I have now dumped all my power conditioners, parallel power filtering devices, e.t.c to go to the QB8 - its just better.

The QB8 looks like an empty box with a circuit board in it (the sockets are not even point to point wired, they are soldered to a PCB). I am not sure what magic Nordost is doing but its better than all other power strips or filters.

And now onto the Nordost QKore grounding unit. Revelatory drop in background noise. Nothing harmonically changes, just everything becomes more real and palpable.

I will go on record here to say the foundation of your system should be a Nordost QB4/8 as the power distributor, with its ground post connected to the QKore 1. And put both these boxes on decent footers.

This should be a priority purchase before any other cabling. Without this you cannot really hear what your system is doing or what its capable of. With this setup as the foundation, all upstream components and cables start to become easy to hear what they are doing and how they are voiced. But at the same time digital fatigue and harshness is reduced, especially with the QKore connected.
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“ High Fidelity Cables will beat any Nordost cable, especially on interconnects and digital cables, which is what I use them for.

I am on record saying be wary of HFC for speaker cables due to potential mismatch issues. But when they work - they are spectacular.”

I would concur with much of this comment, I found the HFC Ultimate interconnects and digital exceptionally good ( I still use an pair of IC’s CDP to Pre ) however I just couldn’t get along with the associated speaker cables... like attempting to force the signal through a strangulated lead pipe !
however I just couldn’t get along with the associated speaker cables... like attempting to force the signal through a strangulated lead pipe !

That’s because their speaker cables were just the same transmission line coaxial design as the IC’s and digital cables. So the impedance was very high and they could not drive low efficiency speaker well at all. Anything above 90db was fine though, but that cuts out 80% of potential speakers out there.

I still use the CT-1 Ultimate Reference for IC and spdif, and will keep them forever.
+1 Nordost Qbase. My system has 3 QB4’s - each on a different circuit. I use only the primary earth socket for my parallel filtering conditioners. Great SQ.

With so many QB4's it will be difficult and expensive for you to implement the QKore system. But if you can do it check it out.
Just be careful if you have the older design Q bases. I pulled a cord out a few years ago and a white lightning bolt nearly took me out. I pulled it without securing the base  which was a mistake. They graciously replaced it with a new one but I aged 10 years that day.
+1 for qbase. I replaced a power conditioner costing 5 times more than qbase. 
And from my experience, I feel sort kones are indispensable for qbase and qkore. 
+1 for qbase. I replaced a power conditioner costing 5 times more than qbase.
And from my experience, I feel sort kones are indispensable for qbase and qkore.

Yes agreed. I also experienced large gains using Stillpoints Ultra SS on both of them as well.

I was very surprised what a difference isolation footers made to already great power foundations products.

Have not tried the Sort Kones yet though.