One pair of Nordost Frey speaker cables with banana connectors (2.5
meters). One is BRAND NEW, one was used for only 9-10 hours and truly in mint condition. A great
purchase at more than 50% off. ORIGINAL BOX.
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Nordost Norse Frey speaker cable
I recently gave a party (I forgot to invite you? So sorry!), and the
MartinLogan Ethos speakers, currently in for review, were, as you might
expect, a big hit. However, a surprising number of people (three) also
took note of the Nordost Norse Frey speaker cables ($2059.99 USD per 1m
pair, $220/additional meter). Well, they certainly look
distinctive, with their flatness, their significant width, and their
iridescent finish. The real surprise was that the most interested
partiers were women. "Can you put them under the carpet?" I was asked on
two separate occasions. Well, I suppose you could. Sigh.
The Norse Freys embody Nordost’s highly distinctive "ribbon" shape.
Each of each cable’s 28 conductors (14 per leg) is made of 24-gauge,
silver-plated, oxygen-free copper (OFC), but it’s the construction of
the dielectric that’s the cornerstone of Nordost’s claims to their
cables’ fame. Nordost spirally wraps around each of those skinny
conductors an even skinnier monofilament of fluorinated ethylene
propylene (FEP), a fluorocarbon with properties similar to those of
Teflon. The actual insulating dielectric is extruded on top of that.
This way, Nordost is able to keep the insulation entirely separate from
the conductor, which is touched only by the FEP monofilament.
you’ve ever doubted the value of high-end audio cables, take a look at
the Freys with a jeweler’s loupe, as I did. I found myself mesmerized by
the near-microscopic world inside that ribbon. The conductors looked
polished and precisely spaced, and clearly visible, winding its way down
each, was the monofilament. Nordost’s design and tooling costs must
have been enormous, but according to the company these technologies were
initially developed by them for the aerospace and medical industries;
the overall costs were defrayed by the significant amounts of non-audio
wire sold by Nordost’s parent company. Whatever the genesis of the
Norse Freys, these aren’t lengths of Romex jammed into pretty sheaths.
According to Nordost’s Roy Gregory, the company’s original reference
product, SPM, was originally designed for fly-by-wire usage in aircraft.
The other lines, including the Norse Frey, are also offshoots from
other such demanding applications. Gregory was quick to point out that
the company’s previous top cable line (before Odin), the Valhalla
models, were the first Nordost products designed from the ground up for
audio applications. But if pilots are willing to entrust their lives to
the cable used in the Norse Frey, it’s probably adequate for use in your
The review samples of the speaker cables I received were terminated
with Nordost’s Z banana plugs, which the company describes as "low
mass," and which nicely complemented the minimalist RCA plugs on the
interconnects. The Z plugs are essentially thin, springy sheets of
gold-plated metal rolled up into small cylinders. The Z-plugs seem built
to a standard well matched to the cables themselves, and fit nicely and
snugly into the jacks of both of the speaker models I used them with.
Just about the only problem I could see with the Nordost Frey speaker
cables was their relative delicacy. The insulation itself is really
tough, like that of the interconnects, but the ribbon’s thinness could
be its Achilles’ heel. Although I didn’t try it, I’m fairly certain it
wouldn’t be too difficult to put in the ribbon a serious kink that would
be nearly impossible to completely straighten out. But according Roy
Gregory, a kink in the cable -- even a kink seriously pressed flat --
won’t affect its functioning.
So if the Norse Frey speaker cable appeals to you and you’ve got a
bunch of little feet running around the house, you might indeed be
better off running these ribbons under an area rug, which would no doubt
please your significant other as well. But you don’t have to hide it, and that’s nice.