|We sat in on
the Nordost* demo of their new ODIN cable. The second time I
brought my camera (duh).
Sonically, this system was, and
was likely intended to be, a 'typical' show system. The soundstage
was blotchy, a hardness in the upper midrange, some sibilance,
But that is not why we were
We were here to hear the new
ODIN cable that Nordost announced early this summer.
Lars was kind enough to swap
in and out Valhalla interconnects for ODIN interconnects a few
And ODIN interconnects are
$16K / meter.
OK, we expected increased
clarity. We've experienced this with the Jorma Design 'Prime'
and it is very, very nice to add to a system.
We got increased clarity.
And increased separation. And much larger soundstage size (width
and height). And, to me, the most unexpected result: increased
It was like going from
ceramic drivers to horns.
Well, maybe not quite
that big a change, but along the same lines, if you think
about it, and very significant. I mean, you did not have to think
'did I hear this or that' difference - it was more, for me, a
challenge to try and determine what hadn't changed.
Nordost cable, from our
point of view, has several attributes that make it an attractive
cable. Evenness top-to-bottom: frequencies, dynamics, harmonics
(but with a slight dip in the midrange in their less-expensive
cables). Consistency from component to component and system to
system. Clarity, speed, durability.
Now we can add
'best-in-class' in front of those descriptions. The class now
being the best (and most expensive) cables in the world. At least,
this is what the demo strongly suggested.
We were certainly convinced
enough so that we will be getting a few ODIN interconnects and
speaker cables in here at Audio Federation, as a Nordost
Supreme Reference Dealer, and we'll try them out on our somewhat
more, shall we say, appreciative, show system, among other systems
here. It'll be a blast! and we'll be posting impressions and
reviews up on the blog for those who are also interested...
see, some of the regular stuff during them demo will undoubtedly
be covered elsewhere. But our take:
They cautioned against just throwing
cables around, specifically just letting them drop to the floor,
as a sign of disrespect. Certainly, as a sort of karmic event, or
in front of customers, one would have to agree, right?
real take on that is that every time I drop an end of a cable, and
sometimes, without 3 hands, it is almost impossible not to,
whether it is an audio cable, TV cable, computer monitor cable, or
whatever, I invariably, INVARIABLY, hear a loud *clang* or *clunk*
as the end of the cable swerves to hit something nowhere near
where I was dropping it. Then one is sorely tempted to lose more
karma by cussing in the presence of the spousal unit and
whoever else might be observing this - what may seem to them -
slapstick comedy. Then one has to investigate to see, if only from
sheer curiosity, just what was clanging or clunking like that and
boy, I always look at the situation, kind of just glancing around
at things - trying not to see it at the same time I am trying to
see it - hoping it isn't anything that can be scratched or dented
or ... worse... broken.
yeah, we try to lay down cables very gently with an eye on those
connectors that like to strike out like snakes at things.
There are rumors (we haven't tested it ourselves, yet) that some
longer lengths of cables sound better than shorter lengths.
what you all are thinking - a cable manufacturer's dream come
true. But, the rest of us can also relax a little about trying to
put everything really close together in order to improve the sound
- because, at least with Nordost cable, we can now separate
components from each other a little more using the longer lengths
of cable - which is good because the patristic effects of power
supplies on neighboring electronics is probably largely
unpredictable, at least by mere humans without super-computers -
but in any event its not likely to be so great for the
there is the added complexity that odd lengths are better than
even ones, measured in meters, and how some really odd lengths
might be the best of any of them.... which to me brought to mind
the Golden Ratio (1.61803399)
and what Nordost should do, in their spare time, is find the exact
length, to the millimeter, that is a local maximum in performance
at around, say, less than 3 meters, then assign this to be the
Golden Length, then we can all get 1/2, 1/3. 1, 1.5, 2 etc. times
this Golden Length (or use the Golden Ratio to order up a length
of 1/1.618 * the Golden Length, or 1.618 * the Golden Length if
you want something longer), and forget about meters. I mean, a
meter is 'the length of the path traveled by light in vacuum
during a time interval of 1/299 792 458 of a second'. I mean how
relevant is that to Audio? We need our own length!
OK, it is getting to be a