Letters

Valhalla 2 or Opus MM2?

September 1, 2014

Marc,

I loved your review in The Audio Beat of Nordost Valhalla 2.

I currently have Wilson Alexias, a Pass Labs XP-30, an Audio Research Reference Phono 2, and an AMG v12 turntable with with Lyra Atlas cartridge.

I am currently running all Transparent Reference XL and was considering Opus MM2. But since you have spent a good amount of time with Valhalla 2 and also have Wilson speakers and Opus MM2 in your system, I wanted to get a sense of how Valhalla 2 compares to the Opus MM2 cables.

I would love to get your thoughts.

Mohammed Samji

Nordost Valhalla 2 and Transparent Opus MM2 are qualitative peers -- two of the very best cable lines you can buy -- but I would also say that they are for different listeners. Valhalla 2 is about sheer resolution and tonal neutrality, while Opus MM2 is more about background blackness, a function of how calm and composed they sound, as well as very powerful bass. This isn't to say that Valhalla 2 doesn't sound composed and have thundering lows, or that Opus MM2 isn't resolving and neutral. These are the respective cables' tendencies, the first things you'll notice about them. Both are very complete in their presentations, displaying no deficiencies, even as they do a few things that really allow them to stand out.

You already appreciate what Transparent cables do, so Opus MM2 may be perfect for you, especially given your system, although I would be hard-pressed to give up what I'm hearing with Valhalla 2 here with the same speakers and similar electronics. Normally I'd say that neither of these cable lines is wrong but one will be more right for you. Here, however, both will likely be right, though one may be the better choice for your system and tastes -- and budget. It would be a hard call for me to make. -Marc Mickelson

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