The Heimdall 2 loudspeaker cables have a unique appearance – flat and ribbon like, with an iridescent quality that gives them delicacy and style. They are very light and also very flexible and can be fitted with either Nordost’s own banana plugs or spades. The set I had sported bananas, provided a result much like you get from polishing a car, once it has been washed and dried. The speaker cables seemed to just increase the perceived benefits of everything else down the chain, providing a sense of completeness. There was a sense of locked-in focus accompanied with added musical ease, flow and naturalness. The soundstage seemed to drop its defining perimeter – as though any small remnant of noise limiting its dimensions had vanished into the ether. Dynamics now were freer flowing – effortless, as it were, and the sound gained a fuller and richer composure, with added bass weight. Here with another added level of resolution came an absence of etch or gnash. The overall benefits of the loudspeaker cables seemed to be holistic, maintaining if not bettering every quality that its sister cables had brought to the stage.
When listening to the album “4” by Fourplay and specifically the track “Swamp Jazz”, I was enthralled by the amazing timing and instrument separation. The various instruments were played with perfect rhythm and clarity, allowing easy attention to be given to each, in turn. The speed of the Heimdall 2 loom was clearly apparent on the drum and cymbal strikes, as well as with the quick piano keys and strings - crisp, clear, yet always maintaining their finesse, with a smooth and naturally warm character. Bass depth was well extended and tight down into the lowest region. The Heimdall 2 had me convinced here of its masterful ability to bring together complexity & nuance with vigor & musicality.
Moving to the title track of Ray La Montagne’s album, “God Willin’ & The Creek Don’t Rise”, the opening guitar had remarkable texture and body resonance. The drums were produced with amazing height and size, beckoning me to tilt my head upward when giving attention to their placement within the grand soundstage. These drums also had wonderful dynamic punch and solid weight lending to my exhilaration. Ray’s raspy voice came through with a lifelike presence. Again here, both my system and the walls of my room fell away and I was left only perceiving the performance.
With Miles Davis’ Sketches of Spain and the track “Concierto De Aranjuez (Adagio)” I was smitten by the speed and the dynamic swings of the instruments within the orchestra. The castanets and percussion had an incredibly in-room feel and at times I found myself jerking in response to the quick movements. The sound of the brass instruments was lucidly rendered, with their natural bite intact – clear, sharp but never edgy or harsh. Think of a trumpet playing close quarters – there it was, think of shakers and castanets close by – there they were. Intricacies of the soundstage and venue were laid bare in a most eloquent manner and I was drawn-in closer to re-living the live experience than I’ve ever experienced in my room before.
I think I’ve said enough but if my enthusiasm for the Heimdall 2 is not yet evident then I apologize for my own inadequacy in telling their story. Just take my word for it, I’m awestruck! In all respects, from transparency, tonality, low noise, detail, imagery, focus, coherency, timing and musical engagement, I’ve experienced no better to date. I can’t say the Heimdall 2 is inexpensive (very few great things are) but what I can say is that Nordost Heimdall 2 is marvelous, deliciously so. Going back to my original question – what does the Old Norse story of Heimdall have to do with these cables, other than the name? All I can guess is that Nordost intends to bring us a little closer to heaven, if not the gods with Heimdall 2, and I think they’ve succeeded. For sheer performance, the Nordost Heimdall 2 cable line is awarded a CANADA HiFi Magazine Editor’s Choice Award.