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NORDOST TYR 2 Review (Coax Cable)

Rate this audio cable

  • 1. Waste of money (piggy bank panther)

    Votes: 278 93.3%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 6 2.0%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther

    Votes: 4 1.3%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 10 3.4%

  • Total voters
    298

amirm

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This is a review, listening test and detailed measurements of the Nordost Tyr 2 BNC terminated 75 ohm coax cable for S/PDIF use. It is on kind loan from a member and costs US $1,800.
Nordost TYR 2 Coax SPDIF Cable BNC Review.jpg

As BNC cables go, the Nordost is flexible and feels good hand. I also like the termination where the plastic strain relief can also be grabbed to turn the connector. My everyday coax cable has this as well and it is so much nicer to use when the termination is harder to reach. The heatshrink printing seems low quality and already starting to degrade. Not that it changes electrical characteristics but for this price, I am sure a better a job could have been done.

Nordost Tyr 2 Measurements
The main claim here is reduction of jitter so let's focus on that. My Audio Precision APx555 has a special mode where it extracts the jitter from digital stream and then you can perform any analysis you want on it. So let's run an FFT to see the spectrum of the signal on it using different coax cables. Ideally there would be no spikes anywhere and noise floor as low as it can get. Here is a comparison of Tyr2 against my everyday RG6 video Coax cable:

Nordost TYR 2 Coax SPDIF Cable Jitter Specrum Measurements.png


We have two jitter components (I am playing the J-test signal and hence the 12 kHz component). The response is basically the same in both cables although the sideband is a hair lower with Tyr 2.

Just to show how sensitive this test is, let's look at an RG58 50 ohm cable at 2 meters:
Nordost TYR 2 Coax SPDIF Cable Jitter RG58 Specrum Measurements.png


As you see in the orange line, now we have a bunch of jitter sidebands due to nature of J-test signal (it has a 250 Hz bit toggle). So the test is definitely revealing. It is just that my reasonable video cable is as good as Nordost Tyr2. But you could do worse with as is the case with RG58.

Let's use the cables as intended by feeing a Topping D70s as the DAC, decoding its coax input with different cables. To really stress the role of the coax cable, let's up the sample rate to 192 kHz which D70s nicely accepts (technically max sample rate is 96 kHz). Here is the RG76 (RG58 was the same):

Topping D70s RG58 Coax Dashboard.png


And now Nordost TYR 2:

Topping D70s RG58 Nordost TYR 2 measurements.png


There is not a hair difference between them even though measurement bandwidth extends to 90 kHz. Importantly there are no sidebands around on main tone in either test which would indicate jitter.

To do away with the criticism of just a 1 kHz tone above, let's run the 32 tone test, again at 192 kHz sampling:

Topping D70s RG58 Coax Multitone Measurements.png


As you see, the two responses land right on top of each other even though I picked the "worst" BNC cable, the RG58.

We could keep going but I can assure you all the rest of the tests will be identical as well.

Nordost Tyr2 Cable Listening Tests
I fed the output of the Topping D70s into Topping A90 Discrete. The latter then drove my Dan Clark Stealth headphone. This is as transparent of a chain as you can get. I then swapped between RG58 coax cable and Nordost TYR2. Switching time is long for super accurate assessment but I detected no difference whatsoever. My reference tracks sound as beautiful with either cable.

Conclusions
I know we can predict the results of these tests but it is always to run the test just in case there is degradation instead of improvement in a premium product. Good news is that there is no such problem with TYR 2. It produced the same low jitter as my reference cable. The problem is, my reference video cable cost only $20 and comes with RCA termination at one end, eliminating the need for an adapter. The tax alone on TYR 2 would be $144 in our state! So no comparison on price yet performance is the same.

I also performed listening tests and none of the benefits people attribute to cables was there.

If the TYR 2 was price at $100, I think it would have been a good buy given its nice feel and good performance. At US $1,800, it goes beyond any sensibility. You can buy so much more music instead of it and hugely increase your enjoyment of such.

Needless to say, I can't recommend the Nordost TYR 2.
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solderdude

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More elaborate listening impressions please :D
I mean... we want to read how stereo imaging improved and the image is more stable, the sound is 'bigger', more 'analog' ... we don't want to read:
I also performed listening tests and none of the benefits people attribute to cables was there.
 
Last edited:

Blumlein 88

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More elaborate listening impressions please :D
I mean... we want to read how stereo imaging improved and the image is more stable, the sound is 'bigger', more 'analog' ... we don't want to read:
His gear isn't good enough. Not resolving, not manufactured by Nordic elves (Ljósálfar). He doesn't have the soul to be attune to the artistry in the music. So his ears are no good either. He has been trained to listen to all the wrong stuff.

/sarc
 

NirreFirre

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Devil's (cat's?) advocate here. Couldn't a test of how it rejects noise from external sources be of value? I mean, there's a lot of snakes behind many boxes and some are unshielded, transports extremely high (hdmi etc) and low frequencies, variable high voltage (speaker and to a lesser extent, power cables), routed alongside one's coax or some are in a circle/coil to induce emf and so on.

A person based in reason and logic (but perhaps not skilled in electronics) could very easily be driven into madness (i e buy more expensive oily snakes) with non trivial noise suppression problems (ground loops etc) and, imho, this alone makes these tests very important.
 

Blumlein 88

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Devil's (cat's?) advocate here. Couldn't a test of how it rejects noise from external sources be of value? I mean, there's a lot of snakes behind many boxes and some are unshielded, transports extremely high (hdmi etc) and low frequencies, variable high voltage (speaker and to a lesser extent, power cables), routed alongside one's coax or some are in a circle/coil to induce emf and so on.

A person based in reason and logic (but perhaps not skilled in electronics) could very easily be driven into madness (i e buy more expensive oily snakes) with non trivial noise suppression problems (ground loops etc) and, imho, this alone makes these tests very important.
I guess if you are determined to leave no stone unturned. All the cables however in this comparison are coax. Could it reject noise as a coax design better than RG6? Probably not, but you could test it to confirm. Everything we know about such stuff says it won't.
 

martin900

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TYR2 are great sounding analog interconnects though, however the silver AQ models(Wind, Fire, Wel) beat them easily.
Thankfully they all have such an insane markup (in the end, material costs of a stereo pair are maybe $30-40 anyway...) that you can buy them second hand at 1/3rd or 1/4th of the original price after a year or so and they rarely deprecate any further.
 

tritopia

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For more precise measurement, a luxurious chord seems suitable rather than a cheap topping. :cool:
 
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FrantzM

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TYR2 are great sounding analog interconnects though, however the silver AQ models(Wind, Fire, Wel) beat them easily.
Thankfully they all have such an insane markup (in the end, material costs of a stereo pair are maybe $30-40 anyway...) that you can buy them second hand at 1/3rd or 1/4th of the original price after a year or so and they rarely deprecate any further.
You are serious? Just asking.... Sarcasm or humor are often lost on a (mostly) text forum...
 
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amirm

amirm

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For more precise measurement, a luxurious chord seems suitable rather than a cheap topping. :cool:
Do you want to put some money on the table?
 

Interference

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Oh, the irony:
In January 1991, Vincent Garino, his brother Jeffrey, and Joe Reynolds made their all-important first connection by founding an audio company called Nordost Corporation. Their ambition was to create the most technologically advanced wire company in the consumer electronics industry. They wanted to manufacture loudspeaker cables and interconnects manifesting such clarity that the product "sounded" of nothing at all. In their view, the ultimate audio connection was silent and invisible. The best wire should simply act as a reliable viaduct for sonic signals to travel, with razor sharp speed, from one audio component to another.

This simple and elegant Nordost philosophy was born out of the excesses of the 1980s. During this period, the cable industry was discredited by voodoo technologies that meticulously claimed to have reinvented the wheel of wire production. Such promises were either plain weird or just bogus, and the absence of a legitimate scientific foundation undermined the credibility of audio cable in the eyes of many consumers. The Nordost Corporation was determined to re-establish this credibility. And to do so, the fledgling company understood that cable needed to build on more legitimate scientific grounds.
Today, they use ridiculous amounts of technobabble and pseudoscience talk to promote cables and all sorts of "harmonizers" (cables are not even the worst part).

As a side note: unsubstantiated claims of Nordost collaboration with NASA and/or involvement in the electromedical industry often appear in reviews (and are constantly repeated as they were true by audiophiles). These claims seem to originate from a statement where Nordost is reported using the same insulation technology that is used also in aerospace and medical applications, but there is no proof whatsoever that they have been a supplier, not to mention a R&D partner, for such sectors. Nevertheless, while hi-fi magazines have been copy-pasting the same stuff without any basic fact-checking, the company never cared to clarify and still keeps PDFs copies of such reviews on their website. So much for the credibility of the high-end circle.
 

Vict0r

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The value of this one is incredibly poor, but if you got it for free it would be a fine cable, so I voted in between at "not terrible".
 
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