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Noble Audio - Introducing KATANA

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  1. ctsooner22

    Very cool.  I think I'd try and spend the extra money to get one of the other finishes, but there is something cool about 3D printing, lol.  
  2. phase0
    I've tried to read through the thread. I don't really understand the differences between Katana and K10?
    - Katana = 9 drivers? K10 = 10 drivers?
    - CNC Shell looks the same to me, different color?
    I really enjoyed the K10u except for some fit/comfort issues after time. Assuming cost is not a concern what's the different strengths/trade offs here? I'm assuming with fit concern it would be better off ordering customs. I'm hoping I have enough spare change come time for the next area canjam that I can pick up one of these.
  3. Docterror
    One man's meat....
    I loved that about my 5way! [​IMG]
  4. Dillan

    You should sub to the "Wizard returns" thread and read the last few pages. Good info in there about the comparisons.
  5. phase0
    Thanks... I'll link this cause if it's accurate then that's what I needed to know...
    Based on my exposure to these things up to this point K10 for me I can forget about Katana. Thanks!
  6. Dillan
    I personally agree but I'm sure the Katanas will appeal to a lot of people still
  7. darinf
    I had the pleasure of attending the Noble Audio Katana event today at Affordable Audio.
    (Here's some photos of the event.)
    I brought my K10 customs to compare, but also listened to the Katana, K10U, Savanna, Savant, Dulce Bass, and DJango.
    For a source, I was using my own music on a well broken in and warmed up PONO player and an AK120 (first gen). All the cables on hand were single ended, stock Noble cables.
    As suspected, the Katana sounded very different from both my K10 customs and the K10U. Much like how @Chodi (http://www.head-fi.org/t/684787/noble-audio-the-wizard-returns/21255#post_12736374) and @Stillhart (http://www.head-fi.org/t/814293/katana-listening-event-affordable-audio#post_12742488) wrote, I agree with their impressions.
    I love my K10's for their "fun" sound signature, tons of bass, and lots of detail in spite of being somewhat "dark", but they were never my most preferred sound signature like my Stax SR-009's, or Audio Zenith PM-x2's. The Katana's are right up my alley.
    The Katana's do not have the sheer quantity of bass that the K10's have. The bass on the Katana still extends very low but doesn't "rattle my eyeballs" on heavy bass content like the K10's can. I wouldn't call the Katana's bass light at all, they're more neutral or reference than "fun". With less bass level, you still get very deep, tight, clean bass.
    By contrast, the treble is the opposite. The K10's have less treble and the Katana's have a lot more. Much like the Stax 009 sound, which I consider to have slightly elevated treble, so does the Katana to my ears. But also like the Stax, the Katana's highs are still smooth and not as bright as say the HD800's. Unlike the K10's, I can certainly expect that lower quality recordings may get harsh on the Katana's. For me, un-modded HD800's are too harsh and bright and can be downright painful on poorly recorded/mixed material. The Katana's aren't like that, but since the highs are slightly elevated, I could see some potential harshness on low quality recordings. With really well recorded music, I did not hear any harshness with the Katana's. 
    Along with the highs, the Katana's have a crazy amount of detail and what I call "airy-ness". I am not sure if that means wide imaging or sound-stage. I don't really understand imaging in headphones, and that's why I prefer to use my software to get real, speaker-like imaging. (Otherwise, to me, all headphones sound like all the sound is in my head between my ears.) But the Katana's do sound a lot more open than I am used to hearing from IEMs. Generally headphones with a lot of treble sound more open and airy to me.
    The mids of the Katana are what I would consider "reference" or neutral too. They just sound right. The "sound" of vocals or piano sound natural. I don't hear the mids as forward like the Savanna. I usually just check a couple female and male vocal tracks that I know well to make sure they sound natural and make sure there's nothing funky like too much mid-bass or treble, or shouty or hollow. The Katana's had none of these problems.
    After listening to both the K10U's and Katana's side by side, I completely understand why Noble is calling the two models "co-flagship" models. They both absolutely warrant being "flagships". But both sound very different. With each of their models I tried, the lower models had similar flavors of sound, but the K10 and Katana were always better. 
    Sorry, I don't have a really well trained ear and I don't have the gift of a reviewers writing skills. But hopefully one more impression this early in the game will help people decide whether or not the Katana is something they want to consider.
    It seems that most people either prefer more highs like Stax or HD800, etc. and others prefer a darker sound with more bass That makes the choice easy. Katana = more highs; K10 = darker, more bass.
    That's why I own Stax and HD800, but also own LFF's Enigma's. Completely different sounds, but both have their merits and "sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don't." (some of you might be too young to get that reference!)
    For me, I prefer the Katana, but happy that they will complement my K10's perfectly. (You need to have both!)
  8. chef8489
    What did the DJango sound like?
  9. Ngoliath
    I'm very glad I was able to stop by Affordable Audio to listen to these great IEM's. I felt that both the K10 and the Katana sounded very detailed and musical, but I preferred the Katana because I felt the music had a slightly more filled out sound straight out of my iphone. Usually, I have either a Mojo, Centrance Dacport Slim, or a DFR available while traveling, so I can't wait to hear how those affect the sound.  I listen to a lot of mellow, Sunday afternoon songs and jazzy/funky tunes, with some Gospel and classical thrown in. In the end, I was impressed enough to try the Custom Katana. I'm excited and looking forward to seeing my new Wizard design.
  10. dulty
    Congrats, welcome to the family! I can't wait to audition the Katana myself.
  11. FullCircle

    Thanks for your comments, and we look forward to your build. Seems to me, the Katana will be a good fit for the genres you like to listen to
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  12. The Life
    My custom K9s crash-landed in New York today. So far, I will describe them as a combination of the two best iems I have ever owned, the K10 and the CA Andromeda. It has the FR of the Andromeda with the difficult to describe "feel" of the K10 that just draws you into the music and make you forget that you are listening to just headphones or an iem. 
    Jephre likes this.
  13. Mimouille
    VERY looking forward to hear more vs. Andro
    Jephre likes this.
  14. audio123
    andro is way cheaper :)
  15. The Life

    The Sony MDR7550 is even cheaper.

    In this audiophile game we play, price is all relative. The MDR7550 is, to me, at $200 or so, worth its price. The Andro is, to me, at $1100, worth its price. The Katana is, to me, at $1850, worth its price. At the end of the day, demo everything and buy the best you can at the price range you can afford. Or, if you are like me and have a little more money than sense sometimes, buy things blindly, hope for the best, and dump what doesn't live up to your hopes onto the classifieds section.
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