Athens 2013: Nordost, Symphonic Line, Audio Physic


By Dr. Panagiotis Karavitis

After 12 entire years, Nordost finally released the new version of their reference line of cables, the Valhalla 2 and Rune Skov from the company’s training team was in Athens, demonstrating them.

The system compiled for the occasion was all-German with Symphonic Line RG2 mk IV pre amp, RG7 power amp, reference Vibrato CD player and Audio Physic Avantera+ speakers. Everything else was Nordost, and when I say everything, I mean everything. From cones (Sort Kone), Qb8 power strip, Qx2 and Qx4 power purifiers (both connected in series), QRT AC line harmonizer and every other possible combination of 3 letters starting with a “Q”…

Cables were, you’ve guessed, it Valhalla series 2.

So what’s new? While the concept is still the same (virtual air dielectric with FEP, dual mono-filament and 85 microns silver extruded over 8N OFC), the geometry of the cables has been redesigned and new, in-house designed and built connectors are used. They go by the name “Holo:Plug” and just by touching them you feel the built quality.

I am very familiar with both Audio Physic speakers and Symphonic Line amps (a killer combo if you ask me) so I focused on Rune’s demo. What he did was simple, we listened to Miles Davis “Kind of blue” with the “old” Valhalla power cord and then switched that single power cord connecting the QX4 purifier to the power strip.

No doubt there was an immediate shift in sound, turning smoother (not less detailed) and magically creating a more efficient blend of the piano notes and the drums. So impressed I was, I had to look around for other people’s faces, just to be sure everybody in the room was struck like I did.

A second A-B comparison was in the program, this time a single interconnect was swapped between the CD and the preamp with the voice of Norah Jones in “Day is done” being the constant reference. To make a long story short, the new Valhalla IC lowered the noise floor enough to get more fine detail and opened the sound stage a palm over each speaker more than the old one.

At the end, I had to ask Rune if he would sell me the old cables at 10 bucks a piece, as the new ones were all that much better … but he refused. One has to try….

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