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May 1st, 2016
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  3. Nordost and AXPONA Demo Questions
  5. By Mark Waldrep
  7. In case you missed the comment from Patrick regarding the Nordost power cord demo at the recent AXPONA Show, I’ve copied it below. Patrick was the young man that informed me during the show that he had some serious doubts about the legitimacy of the Nordost power cord demo. He wrote:
  9. “I witnessed the power cord demo. Here’s what took place. The Nordost representative only swapped the power cable on the CD player – he did not swap any cables in the preamp. Here was the procedure.
  11. He would turn off the CD player, unplug the power cable and plug in a seemingly better quality cable. As the cables got progressively more expensive, I was sitting in the front row and personally witnessed the representative increase the volume on the preamp from 58 to 61 (the preamp had a digital volume display that was easy to read when you’re sitting 5 feet away). This increase took place when the representative got into the $1000 and up power cords.
  13. There was also another curiosity. The representative would play the same tracks generally for an AB comparison – but he continually seemed to be stumbling through the same CD to find the right track. In the beginning, he was playing Track 1 (again sitting 5 feet away gives you a clear line of sight to the display). Around the same time that he increased the volume on the preamp ever so slightly, I also noticed that the CD player was now on Track 7 – but it was the same exact song.
  15. I can assure you that I did not go into the demo looking for any kind of tricks. This was my first audio show and I was genuinely curious if I could detect a difference. Needless to say, the volume increase was disheartening and I certainly won’t be buying any expensive power cables. I’m glad I learned that lesson early on in life.”
  17. If true, Patrick’s indictment of the Nordost demo would be more fuel to the fire that the high-end cable companies are literally scamming customers by faking their demos. In the interest of getting to the bottom of this issue, I spent over 30 minutes in the Nordost room (Westin Room 450) getting the same demo. In fact, the first demo that the Nordost representative played involved the differences between an expensive power strip when placed on the floor vs. the same power strip elevated by “Sort Kones”, the conical isolation accessories that “enhance” the fidelity of a system by minimizing the vibrations that “create timing errors that smear and distort the music”. The sound of the playback system with the cones was noticeably louder than without. Even the explanation on the Nordost website doesn’t claim that using Sort Kones will increase the amplitude of your system. But when the power strip was elevated, the volume was louder. What was the presenter doing to make it change?
  19. To be continued tomorrow…
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