Meredith Gabor and Rune Skov were on hand to talk about the new wire coming from legendary wire company Nordost, the Pro Audio line called Ax Angel. Following the notion that the best performance usually comes from a common loom of cables, the new line includes instrument cables, patch cables and power cords, everything a musician will need to improve “that end” of the signal path. I didn’t manage to catch word on pricing, but the cables are a wild crimson and are extremely attractive in-person, with excellent heft, flexibility and overall build-quality.
The offering is a clever one for Nordost, and neatly reframes the question for “cable doubters”. The issue is no longer simply what is possible in that so-called last mile; now, we’re also able to talk about the first. I can only imagine how excited the Forums are going to be with this new set of variables to chew on. I’m guessing that Nordost could care less about their doubters, however; this offering is a very obvious bridge from hi-fi into the much larger pro audio segment. Good on ’em.
Meredith sent me this on the pricing:
- Two 9” patch cables–$159.99
- One 14” patch cable–$99.99
- 1 meter Power Cord–$199.99
- 3 meter Power Cord–$399.99
- 3 meter Instrument Cable–$249.99
Power Cords are available in .5 meter increments and Instrument Cables are available in 1 meter increments. Check with your Nordost dealer for more.
Also new, the QB8 MkII power distribution ($1899 for 20 amp version), brings heavier traces and wire gauges, a fuse, a fully tuned chassis, and better, detachable footers. The QB8 is a pretty nifty distribution system, creating a star-grounding scheme with the one component, thereby driving down overall noise. How? Apparently, every outlet on the 8-outlet system has been padded with a ½Ω resistor. All, that is, except one. That creates a preferred path “that routes the signal grounds directly to the center of the star and the clean earth terminal”. Like I said, pretty nifty.
The demo area was dominated by a big rack full of Simaudio electronics, fronting a pair of Audio Physic Avanterra loudspeakers. Nordost wire was used throughout, with components isolated from the rack (and each other) by Sort Kones and a quartet of Qx Power Purifiers. Two QB8 strips bracketed the rack, and in each strip, a pair of Qv2 AC Line Harmonizers and Qk1 AC Enhancers stood out.
Like most of CES, the music in the room was not really the point. I totally paid attention, however, but it was hard to separate out what was what. I did not catch a demo of either the main system or the guitar setup, unfortunately. Oh well.