Review: Nordost Quattro-fil RCA Interconnect

Category: Cables

I used the Quattro-fil to connect my Copland CD player to my preamp, working under the theory that you use your best cable first, missing information not being replaceable. After inserting the cable into the system I played a variety of familiar recordings to try and get a fix. There definitely seemed to be a bit more air and space around instruments, and transparency increased. However the most noticeable improvement was in instumental timbres, unamplified instruments seemed more real. Listening to The Pizza Tapes, a great sounding HDCD featuring Jerry Garcia, David Grisman, and Tony Rice, it was much easier to ascertain the tonal differences between the two guitars. Vocals were also eerily present with a real sensation of the singers upper body, not just their voice. All in all, a topflight cable particularly if you prize transparency over warmth. My system is already a bit on the warm side so this increase in information was welcome. Also, these cables seem to be popping up quite a bit on the used market now, I guess everyone is switching to Valhalla's, so good deals are to be had. That's how I found mine.

Associated gear
Copland CDA 289
Air Tight ATC1 Pre
c-j Premiere 11A Power
Sonus Faber Grand Piano's (Original)

Similar products
Stealth CWS Signature, Wasatch Cable Works RCA105
I am also using the Wasatch RCA-105 cables that you note in your 'similar products' listing and I'm assuming you use these elsewhere in your system. I've pondered picking up a Quatro Fil as well...any observations on comparisons between the two?
The Wasatch 105's are between my pre and amp in this setup. This being said it is tough to isolate the sound, but I would have to say the Quattro has a more crystalline quality while the Wasatch has a touch more warmth, though it's still a very neutral cable. I think the Wasatch is a great cable for the $$ and very underrated, but the Nordost really shows the difference between a great cable for the $$ and a simply great cable.
Thanks for the observations. That's about what I would expect. I'm in full agreement with you BTW that the Wasatch is a very underrated (perhaps simply unknown) cable which I've found to work very nicely in my set-up. Certainly deserving of a little more exposure in the audio-world. I've been considering an upper-end Nordost cable due to the fact that they are recommended by the manufacturers of my CDP and amplifier and apparently used to voice some of their equipment. Personal experimentation is, of course, the only way to really find out if this recommendation would yield positive results... Enjoy the sounds!
Have you guys compared the Quattro-Fil with the SPM Ref? If so, any thoughts? Thanks.
I also thought Quattro Fil was a big improvement over other cables, including Discovery Plus 4, some types of Alpha-core Goertz and Kimber and thought that was it, cable-wise, for me. However, please see my comparison of the Quattro Fil to Nite (12/12/02). Note that I have no connection with Virtual Dynamics other than a mutual love of music. I just wanted to alert other Audiogon readers to additional possibilities. I was amazed at how congested and slightly smeared Quattro Fil was in comparison to the Nite.
My experience is consistent with Jond. I use Quatrofil now in situations where I want speed and clarity and don't need to add warmth.
I'd like to add to this discussion as I have just replaced AP Crystal Oval with Nordost Quattro-fil on the run from turntable to pre-amp.

Better clarity is very evident, as well as more highs. Perhaps the most surprisingly and enjoyable benefit was the more evident 'timbre' of the notes....especially bass notes (as also mentioned by Jond). Stand-up bass on Norah Jones' LP for example, is very life-like and real.

That said, I've also added Nordost Valhalla to my Linn Ikemi CD player, and must say the Valhalla is even more open, airy, and I am getting waaaay more clarity and range in the upper end (perhaps CD vs. Turntable/cartridge diff?)
So, if you like Quattro-fil, you'll love Valhalla. The best I have ever heard. Magical. Expensive. Worth it.