White Lightning Speaker Cable by Nordost

Let’s just assume for a minute, you are of the mindset that premium cable makes a significant difference in how your system can sound. For today, if you aren’t with us, just move on. Your day will go easier, and no need to raise your blood pressure over this subject. Still with me?

It can be easy to lose sight of the cable option when bombarded by the cost of some of the mega items. Sure, Nordost’s Odin II speaker cables are crazy, insane money to a lot of us. So is a new Porsche 911GT2 RS. Even if you love the brand, a $300k 911 is probably out of reach. So if you head to your Porsche dealer and plunk down $55k on a new, basic Boxster, you’re still reaping the benefits of this high technology company every time you turn the key.

It’s the same way at Nordost. If you readjust your thinking and look at their top cable as their platform for technological advancement, you won’t freak out. Forget about that for now. And with my Darth Vader helmet/voice synthesizer on, I’m telling you that you probably don’t need a set of Odin 2 speaker cables just yet.

Hit by lightning
White Lightning, that is. About 400 bucks will get you a 2m pair of White Lightning speaker cables that are nice and flat like the Nordost Valhalla cables. These modestly priced speaker cables take full advantage of Nordost’s core technological prowess. The solid core, 4 9s copper conductors are sliver plated and covered with silver plating, utilizing Nordost’s “Mechanically tuned spacing” to keep said conductors at a constant width.  Terminated with any combination of spade or banana, they should work with anything in your system.

Considering the level of resolution these cables bring, I’d love to experience them with solid pin ends to try with a few of the vintage recievers in my collection. However, in the context of our vintage conrad-johnson PV12 and MV50 amplification chain, the Nordost cable performs brilliantly, as it does in the middle of our evaluation of the First Watt SIT-3 power amplifier.

Just as so many audio enthusiasts fall victim of using speakers that are too large for the listening room, and not getting the desired result, this happens all to often with cable. A disproportionate amount of the total system cost is spent on wire, and when the cables don’t transform the system into something it’s not capable of, the only conclusion is that cables suck.

A great place to hang your hat

Working with a few system options ranging from a few thousand dollars all the way up to about $20k, the White Lightning speaker cables perform very well. While they did not take me to a higher plane of existence, they do deliver a wonderfully clean window to the amplifier/speaker interface everywhere I used them. No discernable tonal alterations were present, with dynamics and soundstaging all great. One combination in particular that benefitted the best was the PrimaLuna ProLogue One and Klipsch Forte IIIs, with the Pure Audio Project Trio 15 Horns as alternate speakers.

For those not familiar, both of these speakers are incredibly efficient (101db/1watt, and 96db/1 watt, respectively) and tend to magnify anomalies in the high frequency range. The result with the White Lightning cables was dramatically better than anything else I’ve used that is comparably priced and could live happily ever after with these cables in that system.

Think clear

I’ve never really experienced or understood the claims of many internet pundits as to cables being “tone controls” to anywhere the extent described. What I have experienced is a level of clarity more often than not. A “good” cable to me, reveals more musical information, without damage to the electrical signal, or a disruption of tonal balance.

This is what I experienced with the Nordost White Lightning speaker cables. A marked jump in clarity, without a tipped up high frequency response, and a lack of graininess that often accompanies silver coated copper cables.

Tracking through a number of piano heavy pieces, really proved magical with the White Lightning cables, and a number of times, I thought the lack of resolution in the system was the amplification, it just proved to be the cables. I’d compare it to the difference you hear in good digital vs. mediocre digital. That kind of thing.

A great update

I’ve talked to so many audiophiles across the world that are looking for a modestly priced upgrade to their system. I can’t suggest the Nordost White Lightning speaker cables highly enough. If you’ve been to a Nordost dealer event, or hifi show demo, they put a pretty compelling argument for their cable that’s easy to hear.

And thanks to a wide dealer network, your chances to get your hands on a pair for a quick demo is very high. Test drive if you can, and that should seal the deal. I’m happy to give these one of our Exceptional Value Awards for 2018.

The Nordost White Lightning Speaker Cables

$400/pair, 8 foot length, RCA or banana



Analog Source VPI Cliffwood table and Cliffwood Phono

Digital Source OPPO 205

Amplifier PASS INT-60, PSAudio Sprout 100, Conrad-johson PV12/MV50

Speakers Klipsch Forte III, JBL L-100, Focal Sopra no.3, Pure Audio Project Trio 15 Horn