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Noble Audio - the Wizard returns!

  1. ThomasHK
    Hehe, yeah, curious about those Mandarin tips as well. I've got a set on the way, but no idea when they will arrive.
     
  2. redstar
    Im using comply for my k10us, forget the name (red ones) are what your mentioning better than comply?
     
  3. redstar
    Where can one find these mandarin tips online?
     
  4. ThomasHK
    Ebay
     
  5. koluludome
    Sound like silicone tips while you can maintain have isolation of foam tips.
     
  6. NickL33
    I only wish the wide bore is even wider
     
  7. AnakChan Moderator
    So I've had a little more time with these Noble Maple Pearl Sage with silver internals since John handed them to me 7 weeks back. The over excitement has faded to more practical view.

    I find them to be rather neutral sounding (compared to other IEMs I'm familiar with). The sub bass isn't overwhelmingly rumbling, and starting from the mid bass, they're tight. To my ears, very representative of what the bass is intended to be by the mastering engineer of the track. It captures the rendering and layering of the bass without adding further to what is in the original musical track. Moving to the midrange, it is full and robust. Vocals are crystal clear with full transparency. Moving up to the treble region, the they are airy and extended however without any hints of siblance at all. The Sage caps it's trebles just at the right point where there's sufficient extension without sounding hissy nor strident to my tastes. As I had this Sage running for some time, the trebles are very smooth, I don't hear any grittiness at all.

    In terms of detail representation, it is very resolving to continue to wow me. I do have another IEM that's more resolving but that's $3000 and is in different category altogether so that wouldn't be a fair comparison. But the Sage does set the (my?) standard on how much I should expect out of detail/resolution for its asking price range (assuming this Maple Pearl Sage is the same price as it's aluminum brother). The soundstage and 3D imaging has a very intimate presentation as though it's a personal performance for the listener. I do have other IEMs that seem to create a larger virtual space however as a side effect those IEMs would have somewhat more extended decay at various portions of the frequency (primarily the low end) and is less "tight" compared to the Sage.

    Ergonomically, this Sage is a blessing - it's small, light, pops in your ear and disappears. It's funny that in this modern day and age as more drivers get squeezed in or hybrids with 8mm dynamic drivers and multiple BAs get put into a housing, audio enthusiasts have gotten more and more accustomed to larger IEMs but the Sage feels nostalgic of how one could have good sound in a more traditional small housing.

    If these Maple Pearl Sage is priced the same as their aluminum housed ones, it's brilliant value for money in these modern day escalating prices.

    Snapseed.jpg
     
  8. PinkyPowers
    Do you have any experience with the basic model? I'm wondering how they compare.
     
  9. AnakChan Moderator
    Nope. Although the the aluminum version (don't know if I'd call that the basic version???) is rather easily accessible at the shops so I probably should go do a comparison. Fair point!!
     
    PinkyPowers likes this.
  10. deewy
    Hello,


    I am a big fan of Noble Audio. Though a vivid reader, not so much of a writer I feel obliged to share my personal opinion on these wonderful IEMs and so be this my first post on the head-fi forums. I always do, when there is a true gem of my interests been found.

    This will be about Katanas and Sages.

    Warning to all of you. Do not listen, do not seek Katanas unless you can buy them. Once you have listened to them, you are deemed cursed. Little “evil voice” will follow you every where you go, telling you “buy them, you must have those, you won't find your piece until you have them, your precious”. At least that is my story…



    Short introduction of myself:


    I am quite new to all audio world. Started listening to Hi-Res music about one year ago. Not long after I have bought my first DAP and thanks to great help from Czech community of audio passionate people I got my hands on Noble Audio Sage headphones. Bought these from Audiosanctuary UK, there was a long waiting time, but well worth it. And this is how my audio path started.

    I want to give my best regards to Frantisek Bina whom is a reviewer of Czech Audio site. He got his pair of Katanas at CanJam from Noble to promote them. And he was opened to meeting me and having me to listen to Noble Audio Katana. Noble team picked his representative very well, as you can assume I have now these brand new gems at my possession.

    Again ordered from Audiosanctury UK, first class service, second day delivery. I am very happy customer.



    Now to the gear:


    AK 70

    Chord Mojo

    iPad, iPhone


    Since Mojo gives me the most pleasure listening experience I tend to use it exclusively will all above.


    music source: Tidal, and my FLAC collection


    Noble Audio Katana:


    I did not expect much when I had first opportunity to listen to those. I though Sages sound great, and music just can not sound any better. How wrong was I. Sages are great, but Katanas just play another league here.

    First I loaded up Eric Clapton Blue Eyes Blue, from Clapton Chronicles album. The instrument separation was just beautiful, soundstage wide, 3D imagining superb. The clarity is hard to be described. The entire presentation comes to live like feel.

    Low frequencies go very deep on Katanas, the instrument is not cut of, you can hear the tones vibe to fade off. Bass is fast and punchy.

    Second song was Sia - Chandelier (piano version) from a 1000 forms of fear album. And this is where all have been decided for me and where the magic happened. My first WOW moment ever. This was insane, holy….


    Every touch of the piano keys can be sensed, the vibe, depth and body of the piano sound directly transferred to hearing senses. Sia`s voice is just magical, taunting. You can hear every single nuance in songs phases. When she is reaching for those high notes, I got such a goose bumps, my hair was sticking 5 cm from the body literally. The most emotional listening experience I have ever had.

    Since I have Katanas home with me know, I wanted to re experience this. 5 out of 5 listening sessions got the same strong outcome. Amazing!

    Then listened to Queen best of album. Oh my, this is just getting better and better.


    Long road ahead of me as I am now to listen to my entire library and rediscover the means of music. You do not have to look for micro details in tracks, they are presented to you just clear as day. And this is what makes it entertaining, the music just sounds so right with Katanas.


    Good recordings play awesome on Katanas, however I went trough some of my favorite songs and found out, where Sage was forgiving, not so was Katana. I can hear hiss on some songs. Will test this further, maybe it was a cell interference or wifi. Or just a crap recording.


    Very well done noble, you have done it. From now this day on, I am your big fan and loyal customer.
     
    bclark8923, Eide, fordski and 2 others like this.
  11. Lavakugel
    Hi folks

    This thread made me curious about Noble K10U, Katana and Encore. I'm wondering if they will pair well on balanced Sony Wm1a. If you got one of these for sale please send me a pm :)
     
  12. Lavakugel
    Could anybody tell me if Noble Encore is better than 64 Audio U12 and Oriolus MK2?
     
  13. koluludome
    Go read Encore review by Pinky on theheadphonelist, he have explain it clearly
     
  14. Lavakugel
    Very nice review done by Pinky. Best thing if I could buy all three together :)
     
  15. FullCircle
    The difference between the standard version and the Wizard version

    1) Standard Version has a a CNC machined aluminum face plate, approx 5.7 mm thick

    2) Wizard Universal has a hand carved face plate, approximately 2 mm thick. The face plate could be made from plastic, composite metal, wood, carbon fiber, etc etc etc

    3) both the wizard and standard version share the same ABS plastic bottom half shell/housing

    4) Wizard Universal shell/housing hand finished with FDA approved lacquer

    5) Wizard Universal carry the Wizard engrave

    6) All Wizard Universals are built by the Wizard, standard IEMs are hand assembled by team members

    As for sound signature, it could be said that the material differences and physical differences between the two could have some impact on the sound, as in theory vibrations across the housing could be propagated differently, but whether or not those differences could be detectable by the human ear, that would be another question. Further more, the drivers are balanced armature drivers, thus the drivers are self contained, unlike a dynamic driver, where housing material would have a greater influence on sound. (think home audio speaker cabinets, MDF vs solid wood etc etc)

    Also, the bass speaker of the sage is vented, so that may lead to some subtle differences when it comes to the impact of different materials as well.

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    PinkyPowers likes this.

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