Nordost Heimdall 2 Tonearm Cable+ Review
Jay Garrett takes another step up the ladder of the tonearm cables of the Gods…
Heimdall 2 Tonearm Cable+
£830 for 1.25m
This premium-priced tonearm lead resides in the American cable company's Norse 2 tier, including the Frey 2 and Tyr 2 lines that sit above the Heimdall 2 range. It's the second level in the brand's hierarchy and pitched as 'High-Performance'. Above this are the rarified Reference and Supreme Reference grades, while below is the Leif family of cables from which you will find the previously reviewed Blue Heaven Tonearm Cable+.
The Heimdall 2 Tonearm Cable+ has the job of carrying information from the pick-up cartridge and delivering it to your phono stage while mitigating any deterioration of that ultra-low-voltage signal and protecting it from interference on that journey. This “low capacitance conduit” is said to be virtually noiseless, with rapid transmission speed and the highest bandwidth capabilities – characteristics worthy of the Norse god this line is named after, I'd wager! It is made of two twisted pairs of individually shielded 28AWG silver-plated 99.99999% OFC solid-core conductors (compared to Blue Heaven's 99.9999% – note the Heimdall's extra 9!) featuring Nordost's Micro Mono-Filament technology, said to minimise the influence of the insulation on the conductors.
Furthermore, being a Norse 2 Series cable, the Heimdall 2 TC+ is also constructed of mechanically tuned lay and lengths. This is more time-intensive to make but claimed to improve the sound. It is all wrapped in FEP insulation, with the cable boasting 97% shield coverage, according to the company. The resulting cable has a quoted capacitance of 11.46pF/ft (37.5pF/m) alongside a stated 76% velocity of propagation figure. The conductors are partnered by a separately shielded, 24AWG silver-plated, OFC bond wire wrapped in Micro Mono-Filament for grounding.
As this is the Heimdall 2 Tonearm Cable +, it primarily differs from the previous Heimdall 2 iteration in that it's further supported by a pair of detachable 24AWG silver-plated, stranded OFC earth wires. These 'grounding whips' can be plugged into a special connector in the splitters at either end of the cable. These not only let you use the cable's shield as an additional earth connection to eliminate ground noise loops but allow you to practically tune the grounding to what your system requires. For example, the Goldilocks zone for my system was to fix the primary ground wire to the grounding post on the turntable with the whip and fixed grounds connected to the phono stage.
Our 1.25m review sample came fitted with straight MoonGlo RCA connectors with the option of XLR and straight DIN as standard. You can also request longer cables and a 90° DIN for an additional cost. It was put to task between the business end of my VPI Prime turntable fed by a Sumiko Songbird L/O cartridge and the battery-powered YBA PH1 phono stage's moving coil channel. This was plugged into my Gryphon Essence amplification and out through Audiovector R 6 Arreté loudspeakers.
The clarity of Nine Inch Nails' sparse-yet-atmospheric Satellite proved precisely what I was hoping for and a definite step-up from what the Blue Heaven Tonearm Cable+ was capable of. With the Heimdall 2 Tonearm Cable+, the music appeared more immediate and distinctly layered while remaining remarkably cohesive.
What keeps vinylistas loyal to the medium is the dynamic range pressed into those grooves of black gold. This was very much intact via the Heimdall 2 TC+ when listening to André Previn conducting the London Symphony Orchestra through Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue. Here the slinkier sections were masterfully contrasted by the more rambunctious moments, in a way that not only drew me in but also highlighted the energy of the performers – especially when Previn let fly on the piano. Compared to the Blue Heaven Tonearm Cable+, there appeared to be an increased opening up of the soundstage and more delicate handling of the upper frequencies in my system.
Although not cheap, I cannot fault Nordost's Heimdall 2 Tonearm Cable+, as it does precisely what it promises. Thanks to the improved performance over the Blue Heaven TC+, along with excellent build quality and the tunable grounding system, this little lead should be top of your audition list when next shopping for an upgrade for your high-end vinyl system.
Visit Nordost for more information
StereoNET UK’s Editor, bass player, and resident rock star! Jay’s passion for gadgets and Hi-Fi is second only to being a touring musician.
Posted in:Hi-Fi Accessories Cables Applause Awards 2022
Tags: nordost renaissance audio
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