Norne Audio (Was: Norse Audio): Feedback & Impression Thread
Dec 25, 2018 at 3:40 PM Post #3,482 of 5,801

sahmen

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Hasty first impressions, after less than 24 hrs of use: Draugur Silver

I purchased the Draugur to use with my Audeze LCDi4 in balanced mode, because these
Audeze IEMS only come with SE cables (standard stock cable, and Audeze Cipher cable upon
request).

Cosmetically speaking, the Draugur is a beautiful work of acute and keen craftsmanship,
belonging in the same league of excellence as all the other cables I have purchased from Norne
Audio.

However, in this particular application, the Draugur looks much thicker than the LCDi4's stock
cables I have already mentioned, but that is to be expected, as the Draugur is typically designed
to work with full size headphones. There is however an interesting ironic twist to this story of a
seemingly oversized cable, as paired, in this particular case, with the LCDi4 : the LCDi4 itself has
the peculiar characteristic of being a pair of IEMs that have been designed to perform like a fullsized
open back planar magnetic headphone.

The two might seem at first like an "odd-couple" of sorts, however, I prefer to call the meeting
of the Draugur and the LCDi4, "Beauty meets Beast," precisely because the two have a synergy
in performance that i consider to be simply electrifying.

IMG_0234.jpg

About cosmetics : the bottom-line is this : the thicker size of the Draugur does not bother me
at all.. I have used the Draugur for 10-12 straight hours with the LCDi4, since the Draugur
arrived early yesterday morning, and it felt quite comfortable throughout... I personally did not
feel it producing any strain on my ears, in excess of what the smaller and lighter stock cables
already do, which is, negligible, or next to no strain at all.

So how does the Draugur sound with the LCDi4? The word "sumptuous" has been kicking
around in my head ever since I paired it with the LCDi4 (remember "Beauty with the Beast"?)
and placed them on my ears yesterday morning. On my rig, the Draugur exhibits many of the
characteristics I have come to associate with Norne Silver cables (transparency, air, great
instrument separation, great detail retrieval, an overall non-fatiguing smoothness, and sense
of refinement). However, as compared with the older Silvergarde S Clear, which I also own,
the Draugur seems to bring a little more body to midbass notes on the LCDi4, and with that, a
hint of lushness to the mids too.

IMG_0236.jpg

Mind you, I am not referring to anything excessive here... The Silvergarde S already brings out
great mid-bass and sub-bass depending on the source and its related chain of components. As
compared to the Draugur however, the Silvergarde S sounds a wee bit less full-bodied in the
mids/midbass area, without necessarily sounding "thin". This property however heightens a
relatively superior sense of transparency and neutrality that the Silvergarde S seems to project.,
The Draugur, on the other hand, brings out the famous Audeze midbass and subbass, and does
so with a little more authority and slam than the Silvergarde S does, without sacrificing texture
and refinement. It also adds a wee bit of lushness to the mids that can be great in enhancing
the musicality of some content, but without necessarily sacrificing transparency or becoming
"cloudy."

There is, in other words, a "fair" trade-off here... The Draugur sounds relatively more
authoritative in the low end frequencies, and also brings a certain lushness to the table,
without sacrificing much of the apparent transparency and neutrality of the Silvergarde S.
Relatively speaking, the Silvergarde S Clear cable shows a little more transparency and
neutrality in the mids, and although bass extends on it as low as it does on the Draugur, the
midbass sounds relatively less "full," and the mids, a little less "lush." Either way, I am only
trying to describe the minor differences I have heard without meaning to suggest or play
"favorites."

I think both cables sound great, although depending on system synergy and content, there
could be times when I might see myself preferring to use one rather than the other.,.. I love
them both, and I consider myself lucky to own them both. As for the Draugur, I think it is a
winner. although it has naturally made me more curious about the Draug Silver, which I have
never heard before.

My chain:

Metrum Acoustic Ambre(Roon) ==>> Metrum Acoustics Onyx ==>> Monolith Cavalli Liquid
Platinum (with Holy Grail Reflektor tubes) ===>> Draugur Silver + Audeze LCDi4.


Yet to be tested also on, and soon:

Sonore Ultrarendu ==>> Schiit Yggdrasil ==>> Violectric v281

Needless to say : all the above represent personal and subjective impressions recorded after a relatively brief period of comparative listening.. As we always say in Audio, YMMV

Many thanks to @TigzStudio for all his tireless and masterful artisanship,






 
Dec 27, 2018 at 12:58 AM Post #3,483 of 5,801

johnzz4

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I have been on a mission for quite some time to find the best headphone cable for my system. I've tried flagships from Forza Audio Works, DHC (Prion 4), WIreworld, and Wywires. I've also tried both the old blue cable and newer black/white cables that come with the LCD-4. Until now, I would have ranked the top three as follows:

1) Wireworld platinum nano
2) Audeze stock black/white
3) Wywires platinum

Going into these comparisons, I would have expected the Prion 4 to come out on top, but there's some weirdness in the treble I can't get past. The highest frequencies - 10kHz and above - seem quite boosted in comparison with the midrange. Timbre in general just sounds off. It's plenty smooth with a lot of detail - just that one achilles heel, but it's a deal breaker for me.
I also have Trevor's Draug 2 cable that was my favorite in the past with my LCD X before going to the LCD 4 (which I'm currently doing comparisons with). With the LCD 4, the Draug 2 didn't have the transparency of the top three listed above, but I enjoy its tonal balance. Having heard some very positive reviews of the Draug Silver in the LCD 4 thread, I decided to give it a try.

In short, I'm glad I did.

The Draug Silver gets the most head time of all my cables - with me only swapping to the Wireworld from time to time. I find the Wireworld to be the most resolving, linear cable I've heard to date. The downside is that it can come off as analytical at times (the HD800 of cables). The Draug Silver gets me VERY close to the Wireworld in terms of resolution, yet adds some more meat to the bones of each note which is very clear in the bass and mid-bass (the Audezes of cables). I chalk this up to cable geometry and probably more importantly, wire gauge. The Wireworld is 27 awg, and the Draug is significantly larger, though I don't know the exact awg equivalent. The Draug Silver has a great 3D soundstage and excels in transparency - even more so than the Wireworld.

If I'm listening to classical, I may go for the Wireworld, and anything else, it's the Draug Silver - and sometimes I keep the Draug on for classical as well.

The Draug Silver is my favorite cable to date overall, and it's piqued my interest in the Silvergarde S3 and Clear. I'm looking forward to giving those a try in the near future and will report back for better or worse. I'm having difficulty picturing any improvements.

My chain is as follows for additional context:

PS Audio P3 Power Regen > Full loom of Shunyata Viper PCs > Auralic Aries G2 > Shunyata Sigma AES > Denafrips Terminator > Wireworld Platinum Balanced ICs > Wells Audio Headtrip > Draug Silver > LCD-4

Happy listening!
 
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Jan 2, 2019 at 8:25 PM Post #3,485 of 5,801

kefs

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OMG Trevor,
Just stunned at how good my Silver Draug is. Only recieved today, so i have just had a very quick A-B with stock cable listening just to Classic FM via sky box into intergrated amp, just WOW!!!!! I can tell which recordings are on vinyl and which cd such is the increased insight. I'm not getting to bed tonight for sure, and i know if these are this good out of the box, there is so much more to come, plus it's good to be sat back in MY chair listening due to the extra length. Hat's off to you Trevor, and thankyou.
 
Jan 4, 2019 at 2:59 AM Post #3,486 of 5,801

EricDH

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OMG Trevor,
Just stunned at how good my Silver Draug is. Only recieved today, so i have just had a very quick A-B with stock cable listening just to Classic FM via sky box into intergrated amp, just WOW!!!!! I can tell which recordings are on vinyl and which cd such is the increased insight. I'm not getting to bed tonight for sure, and i know if these are this good out of the box, there is so much more to come, plus it's good to be sat back in MY chair listening due to the extra length. Hat's off to you Trevor, and thankyou.

AAAAHHH, I am eagerly awaiting my cable build to be finished. Can't wait to try it out!!
 
Jan 11, 2019 at 3:24 PM Post #3,488 of 5,801

Pingupenguins

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Just wanted to stop by and give Trevor the thumbs up. Been buying parts from Eidolic and Trevor for a few years now. Always fun to talk to and provides personable service. Thanks again man!
 
Jan 13, 2019 at 10:30 PM Post #3,489 of 5,801

fredfung28

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I am waiting for my 12 wires extreme version of S3..! After communicating with Trevor for a long time, the cables will be ready for next week hopefully!
Trevor is really a very patient and nice guy, I am looking forward to receiving the cable for abyss 1266 phi, it has the largest silver gauge ever and I heard the S2 before which I have faith on this cable.
 
Jan 13, 2019 at 10:47 PM Post #3,490 of 5,801

Thenewguy007

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I am waiting for my 12 wires extreme version of S3..! After communicating with Trevor for a long time, the cables will be ready for next week hopefully!
Trevor is really a very patient and nice guy, I am looking forward to receiving the cable for abyss 1266 phi, it has the largest silver gauge ever and I heard the S2 before which I have faith on this cable.

Lucky! I been trying over the past few months to get the extreme version, but with no luck.
 
Jan 14, 2019 at 12:02 AM Post #3,491 of 5,801

tunes

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4EF76BC5-FC16-4913-89FC-B67C1E0A3FFF.jpeg 30E29E7C-A825-482F-9BE8-CDE45CB245AD.jpeg
Lucky! I been trying over the past few months to get the extreme version, but with no luck.
Silvergarde S3- For Hifiman HE1000se
-8 1/2 foot length, pure silver occ litz wire, 4-wire x 20awg, cotton multicore 11-core - infused polymer center core - multi-layer (cotton + teflon) - pure textile, clear TPU covering
-Splitter: E-SX6TM modular titanium with black carbon fiber
-Eidolic 3. 5mm rhodium, titanium barrel TRS - R/L channel designation (clean aesthetic, showing barrels, no heatshrink)
-Furutech 1/4" (rhodium with carbon barrel).

All I can say is amazing and thank you. This cable is well worth the wait and Trevor is a pleasure to work with. He is always pushing the envelope for the best possible cable materials, internal configuration and cover sheathing materials. He offers a great selection of options and works with you for the ultimate custom configuration. He often gives cable samples for free to try during the waiting period and is always responsive to every email inquiry. He is a one man show but with exemplary customer service.

With my new Hifiman HEKse direct from Chord DAVE, this cable is simply fantastic. It improves every aspect of SQ over the stock cable. It’s as if a veil has been lifted revealing more micro detail, a wider sound stage, more air around instruments, and slightly more dynamic bass impact. Treble sibilance, however, is not increased. It is light weight, the aesthetics are like a piece of silver jewelry, the smooth TPU and flexible feel of the cable is perfect and no has no microphonics. The cable is hand crafted to perfection. It’s flexibility coils nicely for storage. I also was able to connect this cable to my Focal Utopia and another wow impression, again with more microdetail retrieval (if that’s even possible with the Utopia) and a wider sound field. I can’t wait to get another cable for this headphone as well. Trevor did great job for a fair price and I am a satisfied customer!! I plan more purchases for future headphone nirvana.
 
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Jan 14, 2019 at 1:51 AM Post #3,492 of 5,801

felix3650

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I am waiting for my 12 wires extreme version of S3..! After communicating with Trevor for a long time, the cables will be ready for next week hopefully!
Trevor is really a very patient and nice guy, I am looking forward to receiving the cable for abyss 1266 phi, it has the largest silver gauge ever and I heard the S2 before which I have faith on this cable.
Pics when you recieve it :)
 
Jan 14, 2019 at 4:14 PM Post #3,493 of 5,801

yellowblue

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Norne cables seem to be the sweet spot for the Hifiman HE-1000SE. I got my Einvaldi-cable last week and it is a sheer beauty in many ways.

I hope you understand what I mean when I compare the change from the stock cable with going from a mid-class LCD-TV to a highend LG OLED TV. The picture gets to live with much deeper blacks, the colours become beautiful and shine, you get a lot of contrast and the picture gets more 3D. The stock cable greyed out what you can get from the HE-1000SE with an endgame cable like the Nornes. This is really amazing because I really liked the HE-1000SE before I got the Einvaldi. But there is so much more to get!

Just 3D is the first thing that comes to my mind when I try to characterise the Einvaldi. The soundstage becomes bigger and much deeper. You are more able to hear the different layers of a recording and I really like its holographic sound. Radioheads "A moon shaped pool" becomes spooky real with mids to die for and the sound in different layers coming from all sides. The first time I could hear sound behind my head with a headphone. The music becomes more dynamic and smooth in the same way. Imaging is a lot better.

First I thought that most the improvement was about the mids and the wonderful integration of the bass region in the mids. And I was a little concerned about the cable sounding too dark. But after about 50 hours the cable began to shine even in the treble-region, opening up a bit. There is no emphasizing of the highs and no roll off. I wouldn´t believe that you miss any details with the Einvaldi, but maybe there is less focus on details than with the Silvergarde 3 (would be interesting to hear both cables one time). The highs are just sounding beautiful - sorry for using the same word all the time. But this is was the Einvaldi is - a highly musical and beautiful cable.
 
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Jan 14, 2019 at 4:21 PM Post #3,494 of 5,801

Wildcatsare1

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Silvergarde S3- For Hifiman HE1000se
-8 1/2 foot length, pure silver occ litz wire, 4-wire x 20awg, cotton multicore 11-core - infused polymer center core - multi-layer (cotton + teflon) - pure textile, clear TPU covering
-Splitter: E-SX6TM modular titanium with black carbon fiber
-Eidolic 3. 5mm rhodium, titanium barrel TRS - R/L channel designation (clean aesthetic, showing barrels, no heatshrink)
-Furutech 1/4" (rhodium with carbon barrel).

All I can say is amazing and thank you. This cable is well worth the wait and Trevor is a pleasure to work with. He is always pushing the envelope for the best possible cable materials, internal configuration and cover sheathing materials. He offers a great selection of options and works with you for the ultimate custom configuration. He often gives cable samples for free to try during the waiting period and is always responsive to every email inquiry. He is a one man show but with exemplary customer service.

With my new Hifiman HEKse direct from Chord DAVE, this cable is simply fantastic. It improves every aspect of SQ over the stock cable. It’s as if a veil has been lifted revealing more micro detail, a wider sound stage, more air around instruments, and slightly more dynamic bass impact. Treble sibilance, however, is not increased. It is light weight, the aesthetics are like a piece of silver jewelry, the smooth TPU and flexible feel of the cable is perfect and no has no microphonics. The cable is hand crafted to perfection. It’s flexibility coils nicely for storage. I also was able to connect this cable to my Focal Utopia and another wow impression, again with more microdetail retrieval (if that’s even possible with the Utopia) and a wider sound field. I can’t wait to get another cable for this headphone as well. Trevor did great job for a fair price and I am a satisfied customer!! I plan more purchases for future headphone nirvana.

It’s absolutely beautiful, Trevor is truly an artist!
 
Jan 14, 2019 at 5:45 PM Post #3,495 of 5,801

thecrow

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Norne cables seem to be the sweet spot for the Hifiman HE-1000SE. I got my Einvaldi-cable last week and it is a sheer beauty in many ways.

I hope you understand what I mean when I compare the change from the stock cable with going from a mid-class LCD-TV to a highend LG OLED TV. The picture gets to live with much deeper blacks, the colours become beautiful and shine, you get a lot of contrast and the picture gets more 3D. The stock cable greyed out what you can get from the HE-1000SE with an endgame cable like the Nornes. This is really amazing because I really liked the HE-1000SE before I got the Einvaldi. But there is so much more to get!

Just 3D is the first thing that comes to my mind when I try to characterise the Einvaldi. The soundstage becomes bigger and much deeper. You are more able to hear the different layers of a recording and I really like its holographic sound. Radioheads "A moon shaped pool" becomes spooky real with mids to die for and the sound in different layers coming from all sides. The first time I could hear sound behind my head with a headphone. The music becomes more dynamic and smooth in the same way. Imaging is a lot better.

First I thought that most the improvement was about the mids and the wonderful integration of the bass region in the mids. And I was a little concerned about the cable sounding too dark. But after about 50 hours the cable began to shine even in the treble-region, opening up a bit. There is no emphasizing of the highs and no roll off. I wouldn´t believe that you miss any details with the Einvaldi, but maybe there is less focus on details than with the Silvergarde 3 (would be interesting to hear both cables one time). The highs are just sounding beautiful - sorry for using the same word all the time. But this is was the Einvaldi is - a highly musical and beautiful cable.
Interesting especially versus s3

Helpa keep my interest/curiousity of the einvaldi at bay. That’s good with me already happily owning the silver draug
 
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