NORDOST Heimdall

MJ17.02.2009

Interconnects

The Heimdall seduced me with its astonishing transient speed. For those looking for an affordable Valhalla the Heimdall may be a good start. The basic attributes of the iconic Valhalla are there with the Heimdall too, though scaled down.

Function and form

98%
Ease of use
60%
Sound
90%
Appearance

The Heimdall uses four silver on copper conductors sealed in 80% Teflon and 20% PVC dielectrics. The insulation has red colour - combine it with deep blue RCA connectors and bright green shrink-wrapping and the result is an exotic looking snake from the depths of a rainforest.

The Nordost Heimdall is easy to bend in quite tight loops by being only 5mm thick. It was pleasure to work with it behind my rack.

Bass management

Weight
62
Slam
67
Articulation
69

The review sample of the Heimdall had WBT Nextgen connectors. Though I found the Nextgens to be superior to other RCA terminations, I considered them too fragile for my reviewing job. Swapping the interconnects put a lot of stress on their tightening barrels and the connection was becoming looser and looser throughout the use. Fortunately this is not how audiophiles use interconnects in their systems.

Clarity & delicacy

Detail
66
Air
63
Transparency
64

I had Cardas Golden Presence on hand during the Heimdall's review so it was very interesting to hear those two different sound philosophies next to each other.

The Cardas's golden aura made all classical or jazz recordings sound emotional and colourful, the decays of acoustic instruments - guitars, double-basses, cellos or cymbals - were harmonically saturated and virtually endless. It was as if the Golden Presence kept the decays a bit longer lingering in the air, just for you to savour them. A trumpet was more trumpety, the brass more brassy and strings more steely. I sensed the coloration but it was a very attractive type of coloration.

Tonal accuracy

Timbre
60
Dynamics
63
Temporal resolution
55

Bowed strings were fascinating, liquid and smooth through the Golden Presence. The Heimdall shed the golden aura of the Cardas and provided an insider look into the recording. The double-basses exhibited more of the transient attack with the Heimdall, with a better dynamic contrast  and faster - but more controlled - trailing off. Actually I could hear the same amount of information like with the Cardas but I could not realize it as everything was much more neutral and faster. Thus the sound got also a bit less emotional. All what I heard indicated that the Heimdall did the things more correct, whereas the Cardas made them more analogue-like.

Spatial resolution

Holography
59
Soundstage width
56
Soundstage depth
54

The better focus of the Heimdall (vs the slightly smeared presentation of the Golden Presence) was apparent on voices - those of Lisa Gerrard or Rebecca Pidgeon were more concrete and ultimately more real with the Heimdall. The Golden Presence provided a greater sense of palpability and depth with not so precise imaging.

Also a piano was fuller and more dynamic with the Heimdall, with more real proportions. The Golden Presence, though euphonic, was exaggerating the size of the instrument and let it ring in the air for longer.

Price as reviewed:18 000,- Kč

Recommended resellers

Perfect Sound Group, Praha, tel. +420 722 960 690

Associated components

  • Sources:  Accuphase DP-78
  • Amplifiers:  Accuphase A-60, Luxman L-590AX,
  • Interconnects and speaker cables: Cardas Golden Presence, Nordost Tyr, Homegrown Audio DNA
  • Loudspeakers: Audio Physic Virgo V, Dynaudio Confidence C1

Gallery

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