Chinese "Odin" cables

marty

Well-Known Member
Apr 20, 2010
1,328
210
63
Far Hills, NJ
#1
As many forum member surely know, Ebay has regular postings for "authentic" Nordost Odin interconnect cables sourced from China, for about $300/meter. The cables are indeed made with the wooden blocks over each strand that are stamped with the "Odin" name, so fastidious and eager are the manufacturers to have you believe its the real deal. To be clear, I don't think that anyone should assume that these are nothing more than bootleg cables. However, there are some interesting observations to be made here and some follow-up questions to ask. First, it appears that the cable itself has, under high magnification, the identical braid and insulation markings as the real thing. The RCA or XLR connectors do not appear appear to be authentic Nordost but they do appear to be of reasonably high quality. The XLRs have a nice graphite cover and good metalwork. (One can only guess at the solder and construction quality). Now, here is where it gets interesting. I am told that Nordost actually has their genuine Odin cables terminated in China. I do not know the country of manufacture of the actual authentic Odin cable itself but could it too be China? If the latter is true than it doesn't take a genius to figure out that this could be a fertile combination for a bootleg Chinese Odin. This begs the question- what if the Ebay cables are in fact a black market cable, but actually use the "real" Odin cable but a substituted RCA or XLR termination of good quality? How does it sound? Has anyone actually compared the sound of one of these bootleg Odins to the real thing? Wouldn't it be something if the bootlegs used genuine Nordost cable as the ads attest, and the sound was pretty darn close to the authentic cable at a fraction of the price? Yes, I know that pigs can't fly and that suckers are born every minute. However, there's only one question I'm interested in learning the answer to which is: has anyone actually done the comparative listening experiment between a Chinese Odin and the bonifide real thing?
 
Last edited:

Orb

New Member
Sep 8, 2010
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#2
Reminds me of the Siltech cables issue, near identical looks on the outside that has found its way everywhere in the 2nd-hand market it seems sigh.
Fingers crossed this does not come as big as a problem as it does for Siltech (IMO and I would not buy Siltech outside of the dealer-distribution network these days because of how prevalent this issue is).
Marty, one thing I do know is that usually anyone who buys any of these Chinnese cables will say it is ok-not bad but not as good as other manufacturers or their own cables.
Not exactly a comparison between real brand-fake but seen many instances where fake is compared to their own and other brands.
Would be interesting for someone to do a more extensive comparison and then open up both (sadly doubt anyone will do that for the real Odin/Valhalla hehe).
Cheers
Orb
 

Orb

New Member
Sep 8, 2010
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#5
Same is also said on various forums about Siltech (all their silver-gold alloy models) being either manufactured or terminated in China, however from what I understand all of it is actually done in Europe (especially the cable-conductor is made using a European lab).
Makes one wonder where such sources of information originate from for both these manufacturers.

Cheers
Orb
 

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
#6
Makes one wonder where such sources of information originate from for both these manufacturers.
jealous competitors ???
 

Elberoth

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Dec 16, 2012
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#7

JackD201

[WBF Founding Member]
Apr 21, 2010
11,291
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Manila, Philippines
#8
They make fake milk and fake buns in China. Stuff people DRINK and EAT. These killed their own people. Why are we even surprised that they might fake cables?
 
Aug 26, 2012
1,380
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#9
I was told by a Chinese dealer , that these are bulk Odin rolls which they terminate . Not sure Nordost will be selling distributors unterminated bulk rolls . Highly unlikely !
 
Likes: johndoe21ro

Sauerball

Member Sponsor
Jul 30, 2013
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New York, NY
#10
The spouse used to world for a large multinational consumer products company and spent some time working in the Chinese part of the business. They introduced a new beverage which retailed for 3 RMB. There was a knockoff of the product on the shelf within a month. If there's enough margin to mimic a 3 RMB drink, there's a lot more in expensive hifi cabled.

The funny thing, to me anyway, is that some of the knockoffs in China are very good in mimicking the appearance of the original (like these cables) and some are comically bad. I saw someone yesterday wearing a "Dolce and Sabbana" shirt yesterday (in Shanghai at the moment). I've seen "Abercomif & Titch" also. I think many of the people here like the appearance of something foreign without caring too much about the quality as long as the price is right.

I had a U.S. friend when I was living here that kept telling me about this place that was selling Kimber cables. I told him to assume they were fake and not to buy them. He did buy them. Guess what: fake. He somehow was surprised by this.
 
May 30, 2010
15,331
605
113
Portugal
#11
The funny part of this story is that this people also sell the matching ODIN speaker cables - as they could not duplicate the ribbon like structure they sell ODIN speaker cables with the same aspect of the interconnects! :cool:
 

MylesBAstor

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 20, 2010
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#12
The funny part of this story is that this people also sell the matching ODIN speaker cables - as they could not duplicate the ribbon like structure they sell ODIN speaker cables with the same aspect of the interconnects! :cool:
What I want to know is do the counterfeit "Chinese Odin" cables come with a fortune cookie? :)
 
Likes: RnRmf
#13
I sold many Nordost Odin and they don't look as the Chinese version
They are more clear and silver like, the XLR is Furutech.
 
#14
I was told by a Chinese dealer , that these are bulk Odin rolls which they terminate.
There are no rolls of real Odin, Valhalla or any of the Norse and Leif cables available by spool that the dealer can terminate. Plenty of fake for sure.
 

Elberoth

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Dec 16, 2012
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#15
Odin Speaker cable is easy to tell apart, as it is round instead of beeing flat:

DSC_0214(11).jpg

Other cables are much more difficoult to tell apart though - just check AQ, XLO, Cardas.

AQ WEL:

It has the DBS boxes, aluminium ends and even the unusual, bulky spades:

DSC_0046(15).jpg
DSC_0043(10).jpg

vdH Magnum:

The bananas are obviously not original vdH, but the cable ... - looks very much like the original one:

DSC_0005(23).jpg

XLO:
DSC_0254(6).jpg
 

Elberoth

Member Sponsor
Dec 16, 2012
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Poland
#16
Siltech:

DSC_0070(10).jpg
DSC_0112(7).jpg

Nordost Red Dawn:

DSC_0428(2).jpg

Need a wooden box ? No prob:
DSC_0688.jpg

They even offer an 'Audio Note' cable:

DSC_0024(17).jpg
 

Elberoth

Member Sponsor
Dec 16, 2012
1,901
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Poland
#17
XLO PC:

DSC_0004(2).jpg

PS Audio:
DSC_0033(15).jpg
DSC_0038(16).jpg

A few years back, they started copying simple designs - like various cardas cables etc. But now thay are not affraid of copying much more elaborate designs.
 
#18

MylesBAstor

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 20, 2010
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#19

Orb

New Member
Sep 8, 2010
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#20
jealous competitors ???
Interesting point.
Hey Myles/Jeff/Kal/etc.
Be interesting to know if you ever heard rumours of competing manufacturers spreading false information, and not just for cables.
Only needs to reach a certain level of "information" on the web before hits critical mass and then it seems to become lore; such as Siltech and various sites/posters thinking they are manufactured in China.

I tend to think this misinformation is an unfortunate fallout from various credible articles that highlighted how many manufacturers use brand generic OEM spools/mass made in China/etc, but these articles never went out of their way to emphasise there are cable manufacturers who do use their own engineering and/or bespoke specialist manufacturing.
This then gained traction on various forums and then evolved with posters suggesting facts they do not know, I feel this is further compounded that some cynics buy such as Nordost/Siltech/etc but buy 2nd hand that are incredibly cheap and outside controlled environment (hence very likely using fakes).

I am very cynical; going as far to think some idiots would buy legit high end cable and then sell 2nd-hand a fake version using the original legit packaging with certificate while keeping the original cable for themselves.
I am sure this does not happen often, but there are idiots out there who do not mind screwing over others :(

Cheers
Orb
 

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