Letters • November 2017

Cutting corners

November 13, 2017


I would love to have your opinion on a couple of things. My system is as follows: McIntosh 601 monoblocks, Audio Research Reference 5 SE preamp with Reference 2 SE phono stage, VPI Classic 3 turntable with Lyra Etna cartridge, all with Nordost Heimdall 2 interconnects and speaker cables and Magico S5 speakers along with a REL S3 subwoofer behind the right speaker. The system sounds pretty good, but I'm trying to make it better. Because of the cost of a Nordost Valhalla 2 cabling system, would you go for the Tyr 2 or wait till you could swing the Valhalla 2? Also, I'm looking at adding an extra sub behind left speaker. Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated. The system is resting on an HRS rack, so I have that covered.

Herb Dawson

One thing I learned as a budding audiophile was not to cut corners, because doing so only cost me more money in the long run. Thus, if you've heard Valhalla 2 and liked what you heard, keep your money until you can afford it. While Tyr 2 is a very good cable line, the performance of Valhalla 2 is a step beyond.

As for the second sub, people often think subwoofers are only about bass depth, but savvy listeners know how a good, finely tuned sub can expand the soundstage. This is definitely the case with stereo subs, which are really necessary to elevate the sound of very good systems, and yours would fit into that category. So, again, I wouldn't cut this corner; you may even find that the second subwoofer is a bigger upgrade that a set of Valhalla 2 cables. -Marc Mickelson

Valhalla 2 USB

November 6, 2017


Your advice was right about the Nordost Odin 2 AES/EBU cable -- I bought a 15-meter length. Looking at my USB, I have Locus Design Cynosure. Do you think the Valhalla 2 USB would better this?

Zi Jafferji

Unlike with the Odin 2 AES/EBU cable, I do have firsthand experience with the Valhalla 2 USB cable, which is currently Nordost's top-of-the-line. I wrote about it earlier in the year. You obviously like what the AES/EBU cable brought to your system, and I'm confident that the same will be true with the Valhalla 2 USB, which, to quote myself, "was an absolute champ at revealing dynamic contrasts" and "seemed to elevate any equipment with which it was used." I don't listen much to file playback, but if I did, the Valhalla 2 would be my first choice for USB connection. -Marc Mickelson

Reader list

November 1, 2017


Please add me to the reader list.

Paul Hennis

You'ven been added. To join TAB's reader e-mail list and find out about new articles first, send e-mail to rl@theaudiobeat.com. -Marc Mickelson


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