Nordost Quattro Fil Reference Speaker Cables

Quattro Fil Reference

User Reviews (17)

Showing 1-10 of 17  
Thimmy118   Audio Enthusiast [Sep 09, 2005]
Strength:

Neutrality, clarity, focus, top to bottom balance. Bargain based on what I paid for them.

Weakness:

Dark sounding,loss of reverberation

I used to have mixed feelings about these cables when I started listening to them about five months ago. My Quattro-fil is apair of 0.5 metre XLR interconnect and I use them between my Jungson Pre amp and my Jungson Class A 80 watt power amp. My initial listening impression was like this - On the positive side the sound was focus and clear with good bass and highly levelof neutrality. The negative aspect of this cable were: not extended highs (but clear) and dark sounding. Reverberations that tells you the size of a recording studio for example, were muted completely. High frequencies were present and clear but not as extended as say the Nordost Blue Heaven which I had on hand for comparison. I asked myself - What's going on? Now five months later, I began to like this cable very much. I find that the highs are better extended than before and with incredible clarity. On the whole everything sounded cleaner, clearer and more focus. The sound is still as dark but top to bottom frequencies are handled with equal measures - not too bright and not too heavy. When I say dark,I meant that certain harmonics eg the electric guitar in Diana Krall's album, does not irritate the hell out of my ear drum when certain chords are struck. I recently changed my speaker cables (locally produced silver cables) to Analysis Plus Oval 9 and the top end now sound so much more natural -sweeter is the best word to describe it. Guess I'll be keeping these Quatrro-fils for a while.

Similar Products Used: Jungson, Nordost Blue Heaven
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Karl S   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 31, 2004]
Strength:

Fast cable, neutral on the (slight) cool side. Airy with a wide and deep soundstage. Fast and relatively detailed without exageration.

Weakness:

Focus could be even better (but that is not necessarily a weakness as some people do prefer a more blended, fluid sound). Overall top end could be more extended (again not necessarily a weakness in certain systems). Biggest weakness is a lack of tonal differentiation and a certain uniformity. Price is high, but the quality is there. I just found that if yoou are ready to pay 1200 $ on a cable, you may something a little more vivid. For just a little bit more, or maybe even the same price you are getting into the Purist Audio, Nirvana, MIT and Synergistic Products. But after all you can also like this one for what it is. All tastes are there and are valid.

The Nordost Quattro Fil is as all Nordost products fairly expensive for the value. In their very high end products, they are dealing with customers that are ready to pay high price to get the very best and therefore the cost is not the primary factor. In their more affordable products though, the price/value is more important and they are not best positioned there, as there are many very good cables in that price range that can do a little better overall. Having said that, it is a very good cable and in the right system it can be very well suited. Just a matter of complementarity. In particular when the system tends to be a little bright and edgy. It does have similarities with Synergistic Research with just a stronger bass, and more focus. The cable aspect may be surprising as it does look thin and fragile. But you do get a solid bass from it. Overall the tonal color is just about neutral. Slightly warmer and richer than the less expensive Nordost cables, it still remains a touch cool. Bass is very good, tight and well extended (but not the best out there). Top is reticent and very sweet, pretty much like Synergistic Research. So the end result is a somehow uniform mid-high range. Sometime you wish to have more differentiation between tonal nuances. Also very transparent, even though because of the slightly uniform highs, the realism is a bit reduced. Very fast, it is also fairly precise and focused without being the top of the line (for that MIT or top line of Wireworld are very good, but there are others too). Soundstage is very wide and deep and objects appear well positionned and stable in this soundstage. Lots of details can be noticed, but the cable is not analytical in nature and blends them well. Presentation is very airy. Lots of easiness and openess(after proper and long break-in). However it does sound a little lighter than other cables. Not that it lacks bass or medium, but it seems less dense. This is somehow corrected on the most expensive Nordost cables (Valhalla for example), but still remains clearly a Nordost fabric mark. Dynamic are very good. The cable is fast, but microdynamics are not as good as in some other cables of the same price. So there is a certain lack of vividness in the sound that makes it a little dull. Obviously this can only be noticed when comparing extensively this cable with other brands at hand. When comparing it with less expensives Nordost ones, there is a clear improvement in terms of warmth, focus, openess and clarity. So how does it sound in practice. Voices are quite natural, sweet and precise. They do lack a little variety in inflexions and nuances due to slightly reduced microdynamics combined with a sweet top. Strings, in particular quatuors which are indeed very demanding do show the same issue, ie a certain uniformity. You would sometime want more bite and color. Good example is Diana Krall in her live in Paris (track 11) when she sings and plays solo on piano. The voice is very natural, well positioned, airy and realistic. Piano also is very detailed. You can hear peoplle coughing in the room and where. You can hear the metallic strings being hit. On the down side, the strings do lack this little metallic edge and sound too tamed. The voice also lacks this little extra dose of brightness and chestiness that would make it even more real and that you do hear in real life concerts. It is just a little polite. However, again to notice this, you would need to have immediate comparison with other brands and a system pretty transparent to show you that. Orchestral pieces are very enjoyable. Large, dynamic, not agressive. Cymbals and horns, trompets do sound just a bit tamed, but just hardly so. If you like earthly, realistic sound (Naim for example), Nordost is not the right choice. But it does have a lot of charm. Sweet, focused, comfortable and neutral. With a large and deep soundstage, good macro and micro-dynamics (with some restrictions noted above), it provides a very enjoyable listening experience. However for this price or just slightly higher, you can get cables that would provide more life and a more vivid presentation. As usual, this is all a matter of taste and associated components (and room). In some systems with more top end that you need, this cable can be an excellent choice. In systems that are very neutral and balanced, I found it to be a little too uniform for my taste.

Similar Products Used: MIT Magnum, Nirvana SL and SX, Purist Audio, Synergistic Research, Audioquest, Cardas, Virtual Dynamics, Harmonic Technology, Transparent, Wireworld, Analysis Plus, Siltech, and others
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
3
Art Altman   Audiophile [Jan 15, 2001]
Strength:

Extremely clear and refined, fast, neutral top to bottom without being lean at all

Weakness:

Does not overemphasize the treble or bass like some zippier sounding cable. Is really meant to mate with very fine gear.

This is an update to my previous review many months ago. I continue to find this cable in a class by itself. Neutral, fast, refined and detailed without being lean. I would say that this cable does not "tune" your system like some other cables do. For example if your system is harsh or tizzy, Cardas will tone it down. Harmonic Tech seems to heavily emphasize the bass, at the expense of the refinement of the Quattrofil. This cable is at its best mated with very fine components since it let's the quality of the source come through.

Similar Products Used: Harmonic Tech Silway II, Goertz Sapphire, Cardas Golden Cross, Audiodyne, Goertz Micropurl, older MIT cable, cheap Radio Shack
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Larry   Audiophile [Jan 06, 2002]
Strength:

Transparency, top to bottom coherence, speed

Weakness:

None I can detect

I have a simple set up...Wadia 830 connected with the Nordost to a BAT VK500 ss amp...Nordost Blue Heaven bi-wire cables into ML SL-3 speakers...This interconnect upgraded my system on par with a component change! My whole rig is now more musical and enjoyable....as always, buy before you try since cable synergy is very system dependent.

Similar Products Used: Monster, MIT, Nordost(Blue Heaven)
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
2
mmt   an Audiophile [Jun 18, 1999]

Very clear,detailed and transparent without harshness.Wide and deep soundstage and good dynamics too.
Superb interconnect.( I have only tried the XLR version).

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Art Altman   an Audiophile [Jun 28, 1999]

I've been testing Nordost Quattro Fil Reference in my system at home, and also in my friend's home system (Thiel, Conrad Johnson, Audilble Illusions, Threshold...) and agree with Art K.'s detailed comments below. It is shockingly good. It is startling and makes you laugh when you hear how much additional informatoin you get. Extended bass, larger soundstage, instruments have more body....
In the past I've been hesitant to use Nordost cables because of that hint of leanness. In fact, it was a tough call because they have been so sensational in other ways. Quattrofil has solved that leanness, to my ear.

Now, I should mention in passing that for those on a budget, Alphacore Sapphire is really good at a fraction of the price of Quattrofil. Sapphire is fast and detailed and neutral with perhaps a hint of warmth. It was actually my personal reference prioro to the Quattrofil. Quattrofil blew away other cables but was simply noticably much better than the Sapphire.

Art A.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Rene   an Audiophile [Sep 01, 1999]

This cable is simply the best I have ever heard. The timing and the way the music flows out of my system was so good. No harshness, no dullness, no tiredness. I only cannot afford it at the moment.
I compared it with different silver cables, Transparant something, Monster Sigma, Melody Line (Dutch) and it was more than superior.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Paul Lindemann   Audiophile [Jul 22, 2001]
Strength:

Very fast, transparent and neutral. Throws a superior sound stage - wide and deep.

Weakness:

Very expensive, and not very mallable.

A significant improvement in the "air" between the instruments, the transient resolve, and the cleanliness of the overall musical presentation.

The soundstage appeared wider and deeper than I have ever heard. Sounds that you may have been aware of before - but were undistinguhed, are now crystal clear. You can see what each musician is doing, and the techniqe of each musician is revealed.

Midrange - Last night I had Bruce Springsteen over (with the E Street Band) via "Born To Run Gold". From the opening drum roll on the title track, which ran from left to center, and the quick bass pedal from dead center, with the guitars slightly off center left, the keyboards off center right to center and the bells floating between left to right channels, until Springsteen's unmistakable voice thundered from dead center.

Perhaps I have been too conservative in my description of these cables - GEEZES and HOLY COW!!! These cables are very expensive and worth every cent...if your system can handle the neutral nature of the cables - because they will expose a poor system or recording.

Associated components: Thiel CS 2.3 Speakers, Herron Pre-amplifier, Plinius SA 250 IV Power Amplifier, Alpha Core Silver AG2 Speaker wire, Vandersteen 2WQ subwoofer, G Cleff Power cord, Monster 2000 line conditioner, Quattro Fil interconnects, Classe transport, Dobson 217 MkII DAC.

Similar Products Used: Synergestic Reference, Transparent Music Super Link, Alpha Core Sappire.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Rohan Jackson   Audiophile [May 25, 2000]
Strength:

Clean, tight bass and Holographic imaging

Weakness:

Price...not the best I've heard

Tonally neutral, but not perfect. Well developed soundstage, and enjoyable midrange. No where near as good as Pure Silver Connection Custom Mk II interconnects.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
George   Audiophile [Oct 12, 1999]
Strength:

Focus, dynamics, separation

Weakness:

None

Take SPM Reference, add some warmth, more detail, better focus and separation and you have Quattro Fil - it is staggering!

Similar Products Used: SPM Reference
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Showing 1-10 of 17  

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