Nordost Corporate History
Founded in 1991, Nordost Corporation is a high-technology cable manufacturer specializing in the audio and medical fields, using precision conductor solutions first developed for the aerospace industry and in conjunction with NASA for the space shuttle program. This grounding in the mission critical fields of space flight and micro-surgery have afforded the company an enviable research budget and an unprecedented degree of manufacturing accuracy and consistency.
The first audio product, launched in 1992, was Flatline Gold, a revolutionary flat profile speaker cable whose tough extruded FEP insulation made it ideal for under carpet or in-wall installation, but its astounding sonic performance soon established the flat array of solid-core conductors as something very special indeed. Further development of the technology and concept quickly established a range of products across different price points, products whose performance challenged existing notions of the price/performance equation. Nordost also adopted a unique approach to sales, openly demonstrating the performance of their products against the competition. This confidence was well placed and the strategy proved a sure-fire winner, the legendary Nordost cable demos remaining high on the must-hear list for audiophiles attending hi-fi shows around the world.
The Cable that moved Nordost into the audio high-end was SPM. An acronym for Speed, Precision and Musicality, SPM was launched in 1997. A purpose designed audio cable that combined flat form with dimensionally optimized, silver-plated round section copper conductors, it quickly established itself as the cable to beat, becoming a worldwide reference amongst reviewers and audiophiles alike.
But the next step forward was close at hand, with the micro mono-filament air-space insulation topology. This first appeared in the Quattro-fil interconnect, again based on stranded conductors, but also heralded an intense period of research into cable behavior and performance. This resulted in both the ECO 3 anti-static surface treatment and the development of the CBID cable burn-in device. It also led to greater understanding of the cable/system dynamic and the realization of the sonic importance of a coherent cable loom, including power cords and distribution.
Combine all this experience with proven silver-plated OFC solid-cores and you get Valhalla – a cable that established a totally new level of performance in the audio field. Launched in 1999, it rapidly replaced SPM as a universal reference point, established shielded interconnects within the range, while the digital interconnects and power cords advanced things even further, introducing dual micro mono-filament construction for even lower dielectric effect. The Valhalla loom was completed in 2003 with the arrival of the Thor Power Distribution System along with three other micro mono-filament mains leads spanning the range.
Valhalla in turn gave birth to the Norse series of speaker and interconnect cables, a trio of designs bringing micro mono-filament performance to much more affordable price points. Meanwhile, the company had also been applying itself to the high-quality AV field, with its range of Optix and Silver Screen video cables.
But the latest advance is possibly the biggest yet. In 2007 Nordost shocked the audio world by introducing a new flagship product, Odin. Using dual micro mono-filament technology throughout, but combined in the interconnects and power cords with a revolutionary new screen of unprecedented performance, never has the company produced a cable of such complexity or demanding such manufacturing precision. But then never has a cable delivered the performance of Odin! Breathtakingly expensive its musical majesty is more than equal to the challenge represented by the stellar asking price. Never before have we heard what our electronics can do if given the chance. Never before have we realized just how important cables are to audio and video performance. Never before has a company dedicated so much effort and research to unlocking the secrets of cable performance – and with a proven history of trickling down its unique technologies, that applies whatever price point you are looking at. Nordost Corporation is dedicated to the application of technology to the pursuit of audio excellence. Nordost really is making the connection.