THE Show Newport Beach 2015 • TABlog

by Marc Mickelson | June 3, 2015

Immediately after my blog on the Nordost Blue Heaven HDMI cable went live, Nordost announced the addition of two more cables to the same product line and both, like the Blue Heaven, were designed and manufactured completely in the US. The Heimdall 2 (top, $600) and Valhalla 2 ($3000) are actually Ultra High Definition cables, so they're able to handle the digital bandwidth necessary for the 4K standard, which passes four times as much data as normal HD.

The price of the Valhalla 2 UHD cable eclipses the cost of some 4K video displays. However, as I discovered, the Blue Heaven's video image is stellar, easily making its cost, even with my used Pioneer Elite plasma HDTV, justifiable. So as OLED technology leads to higher-quality and larger 4K displays, these new Nordost cables, especially the Valhalla 2, may become necessary accessories for serious videophiles.

In addition to debuting the two UHD cables, Nordost was holding demonstrations of the newly announced Odin 2 cables, and I was able to hear the effect that just one power cord, which was used with a Burmester CD transport, had on the sound of a complete audio system. Swapping from Valhalla 2 -- which is no slouch -- to Odin 2 immediately increased dynamics, and not to a small degree. The system noise floor dropped precipitously, and the music sounded louder, cleaner and more impactful. Astounding.

I have both a Jeff Rowland 825 stereo amp and Aeris DAC in my system at home, and they are quieter than any electronics I've ever used -- even more so when used together. Given this, it's no stretch to surmise that Nordost's use of Jeff Rowland electronics (925 monoblocks, Corus preamp and Aeris DAC) made the complete effect of Odin 2 -- even just a single power cord -- all the more apparent.

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