All Nordost or Shunyata power cables and Audioquest Dragon

Hi everyone,

In my system i have all Nordost, TYR2 for speaker cables, XLR and main power to the Nordost Q8 and then all the power cables and one digital is Nordost Heimdal2 and i really enjoy the sound, for those that are with a foot back about power cables, don’t be fool, its a game changer and one of the most differences i have in my system.

In my system i have dCS Bartok Apex, darTZell CTH-8550MK2, Metronome T5 cd transport and Wilson Alexia 2. It sounds pretty good but i think, its time to change the cables before up-grade the Bartok for the Vivaldi, the amp because of the design of the leaving room I don’t have many other choices for an integrated and im super happy with the darTZell, i really believe that’s an amp that compete with some offers on the market for twice the price or more, even with separated pre and power.

I have 2 ways to go, change all the cables for Nordost Valhalla2 and the Shunyata 8000 or go to the power cables Shunyata Omega XC and the Everest 8000 and for the XLR and speaker cables go to the Audioquest Dragon. I saw some reviews that the Dragon are fantastic even if i can pay much more for a cable and in one review i saw tha is the best cable ever heard (the XLR).

The dealer where i buy my stuff is someone i trust a lot, i will always prefer them but they have the Nordost Valhalla for me to try and i now ill get a big change in the sound, i went to a demo from Nordost few years ago and i was amazed with the diference. But i can not try the Shunyata and the Audioquest.

Does anyone listen to this cables and can give an opinion? I like a lot of Nordost but this series of cables have some time and meanwhile new cables and technology been develop and I don’t now if there’s better on the market for the money.

Many thanks

I would say if your are happy with Nordost (moving up the line will definitely sound better—cost performance is something only you can decide though). I have extensively auditioned Frey 2, Valhalla, Odin 2 and Odin gold. I currently use Odin Gold, but have also used Frey 2 in the past and was very impressed/happy.

Just like you I have Alexia 2 speakers….and then I have Rossini / Clock, Dan D’Agostino and Taiko. I don’t have much experience with Shunyata, but I have auditioned a few of the AQ dragon products / Diamond Ethernet cables. In my system, I lost a lot of that detail that Nordost gave me, but I actually bought some of the AQ in the end and use them exclusively for my home theater. I found that the bass response was better vs Nordost, and frankly a little more muddy/less clear. For my taste, that was much better for my movie setup, but not for my musical taste.

I have only tried a Shunyata ethernet cable before in my system and it was not for my taste. I heard a clear different sound though—so I’m sure it’s up to preference. I’m also guessing that the power cables would make a much bigger difference.

Last thought is that all Nordost (even Gold) can be a bit clinical and dry at times…. I ultimately added 1 Jorma Statement power cable to the mix (on the Taiko) and this added back a lot of warmth that I was looking for. Also tried on the preamp and had the same experience.

By the way, if you’re upgrading, I think the acoustic diodes for the Alexia 2’s will give you a good bang for the buck vs cables. I put those in 3 weeks ago and have been blown away.

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Hi @RyanB , first, nice system! I believe it was a big step from Frey2 to the Odin Gold, but the price is crazy bananas! :slight_smile: The dealer where i buy he took off the price of the Gold range but only the Odin2 for my system with the Everest 8000 would be something like 150K€ and that’s too much for me now, and this is without the Ethernet cable that i use also Heimdal and the power cable and digital cable for the Metronome that i dont use has much now. Maybe if i go to the Valhalla 2 the next upgrade is to the Odin2.

My question here is because i believe that sometimes, not has much i would like, more price doesn’t mean more quality and the review of the Dragon he says is the best cable he heard, and that’s it, no matter the more pricier cables and he listen to a loot of top of the game components.
I don’t think i ever heard that clinical and dry sound you refer on the Nordost because the system matching, i know Dan Agostino very well and if i had go for that amp i would choose top of the range from Transparent that i use in the past with my electrostatic from Martin Logan and the Krell monos 450, i think is a better Mach and the Nordost because the Dar have a more involving and warmer sound the Nordost is a better match.

Here again, the integrated Dan is more pricier than the darTZell, even with the price increase the Dar had, but i prefer the sound of the Dar. Does not have that control on the speakers and the attack like the Dan have but in my opinion is more musical and supper detail. I found myself zipping music on Qobuz and sometimes i wanna go to the next song but im enjoying so much that I stay listening to the end…I just can’t stop listen to music.

I let you here some reviews of the material im considering from the brands I can’t take home to try.

See the reference system the person that review have, if i have the space for a dedicated listening room i would have a system like that, one day lol

Many thanks for your comments, take care

No question these are all great pieces! I also looked at the Shunyata Everest, but unfortunately I can’t try that one out here in Japan–the importer said it won’t work here for some reason. So in my system, I’m actually not using a power conditioner at all–just the Nordost QB8. I have tried a few in the past, but they always took some life out of the music for me.

Regarding Transparent, I really wanted to try those out but I have space constraints in my house, so basically I didn’t have room to put something the size of a vacuum cleaner behind my speakers. But I’m sure they sound amazing.

Does more money = better cables? Yes and no. I have auditioned a lot of products in my house as the importer structure in Japan makes it easy to try anything for extended demos. I can say with a high degree of confidence that if you like the sound of one company you will almost always like the highest end version of what they produce vs. anything lower. (i.e. Odin Gold vs. TYR, Frey, Heimdall, etc). That said, the Odin Gold cable will not outperform in every system. If you compare an AQ Dragon vs. Odin Gold vs. Transparent Magnum Opus vs. Jorma Statement, you will absolutely hear differences but the most expensive isn’t gonna be the best for sure–it’s all system dependent like you mentioned above. But if you prefer an AQ Hurricane more than your Heimdall PC, I’m sure you will like AQ Dragon better. Not sure if this helps, but I think that’s what you were after. As mentioned above, I did not like the sound of my system after adding the Taiko server if I powered it using Nordost products. When I put Jorma cables on there, (much cheaper), it came alive and the magic happened.

I am going to throw a cat among the pigeons here and say. Keep your money for now and save up for the vivaldi instead, as you will get a much bigger bang for your buck over the cables.

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@Dunc Hi! It’s more cheap for me do the dCS upgrade for the Vivaldi than the cables. But i know for experience that cables do a big improvement in sound. But also true that my dCS Bartok is the Apex and i never heard the Vivaldi Apex to see the diferences but i guess the cables will be a bigger improvement and that will then expose more the virtues of the Vivaldi wen i do the upgrade.

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yes, Vivaldi is a big financial jump from Bartok especially as to get similar functionality you need both Vivaldi DAC and Upsampler. I agree with Duncan in principle as an ideal but it may not be realistic for many.

I hope that you don’t mind but I have PM’ed you about power cables.

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Well if the upgrade to vivaldi is cheaper than the cables, then 100% go for the vivaldi.
It will certainly bring more than cables can to the party

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@Dunc @PAR Dont know where i have my head wen said it’s cheaper to up-grade to the Vivaldi, forgot that i need the upsampler…

You don’t need the upsampler to start with, as i didn’t for a while.
I used my melco to stream and play my ripped music it sounded fantastic

@Dunc when i do a step forward, or is big and solid or i dont :stuck_out_tongue:

One of the dealers that I work with, sells all of the above lines. If you speak to the staff, it’s the Shunyata Omega that stand out. They don’t care for the Everest, though.

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I have changed nearly ALL my cables to DR acoustics - better in my system than shunyata and nordost valhalla

@bruno I didn’t know the brand but i already check, they are not so expensive but I didn’t find a dealer in Portugal.

Indeed. Daniel is more of a direct sale guy as dealerships do not necessarily suit his business model. If you have a query I have got to know him well - great chap - and a boon to my own system! I can email him if you have any specific query

I have a Shunyata Everest 8000 along with the XC power cable as recommended by Shunyata & every cable (power, signal & data) is Nordost Odin 1’s. I’m presently on the hunt for Nordost Odin 2 AES/EBU’s for the Transport/DAC & I’ve been informed is a huge upgrade from the Odin 1’s (but at $26K USD for 2 new AES/EBU is tough to swallow🤦‍♂️).

Each step up or addition of either the Shunyata or Nordost cabling, I’ve noticed an improvement in some facets of the listening experience. Don’t regret any move at this point.

Best to all,

Bob

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I have a similar system to you… Bartok, alexia 2, Krell pre, Krell Amp.

I moved to all nordost Valhalla 2… was significant difference,. Had acoustic zen and heimdall /frey before.

I found the most impactful was 1) power cord to DAC 2) Power cord to amp 3) Speaker wire and 4) XLR from DAC to pre….

Highly recommend Valhalla 2 with your system

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@honchi i already had the chance to compare the Odin1 to the Valhalla 2 and i think the Valhalla is better. Yes, the Odin prices are hard to swallow :joy:

@Rcg412 Ross, nice sistem. So i will also feel a great improvement. I have power cable TYR2 to the Qbase 8, the rest of the power are the heimdall 2 and i felt a great improvement when I connect them. The XLR and speakers cables are the TYR2 and already sound amazing but i feel the electronics have something more to give. One advice, try the darTZell integrated 8550MK2 but it must have at least 700h of use, you will be amazed.

Hi Lima,
I use a powercord Valhalla 2 from the wall to the QB8.
Then I use 4 powercords Tyr2 from the Qb8 to every electronics :

  • The power supply feeding the 2 switchs
  • the Bartok
  • the Rossini clock
  • the Gryphon diablo 300 integrated amplifier.

For the datas :

  • an ethernet heimdall 2 goes to the internet box to the first switch
  • a second ethernet heimdall 2 goes from switch 1 to switch 2
  • an ethernet Valhalla 2 goes from switch 2 to the Bartok.
    As you understand, the 2 switches are fed with the same power supply and a power cord Tyr2.

What I learned during 9 years experimenting cables, especially Nordost :

  • never mix nordost cables with other brands, especially shunyata.
  • always put the better powercord from the wall to the qb8
  • always put the same powercords from the qb8 to the electronics. It doesn’t work properly otherwise. You must have the same noise level everywhere.
  • Powercords are the most important cables and the firsts to buy.
  • The best ethernet cable must feed the dac.

What I understand from your system.

  • Your XLR and speakers cables are TYR 2. You should put TYR2 power cords from the qb8 to every electronics.
  • you can put a Valhalla 2 power cord from the wall to the qb8, or even better, an Odin 2. In my my opinion, if you put an Odin2, you should put Valhalla 2 cables everywhere behind.
  • be careful to feed your source with the best ethernet cable, with datas arriving at the same noise level than the rest of the system. Put the same power cord for the datas.

Thank you to share with us your next moves ! And please, tell us your feedbacks !

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