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Noble Audio - the Wizard returns!

  1. notyourtree
    I'm positive that if they don't already know about your issue from your post that you could email them with the shipping details and ask them to let you know when they receive the package with your impressions.

    FWIW, I also had the opportunity to demo almost all of the IEMs on my shortlist (and then some!) at RMAF, and while the noise of the environment may have played a factor I still came away thinking Encore was the best for me. Aside from great conversations with John, I had good opportunities to demo Empire Ears (super cool people!), JH Audio, 64 Audio, etc. I did enjoy what I heard, but didn't come away with the goosebumps. The were a couple of OEMs I wasn't able to demo, i.e. Ultimate Ears and Spiral Ears. One of the things that really hit home at RMAF was the impact I heard from different cables on the same IEM. I have a few sets of stock cables and a balanced pure silver cable from Lavricables from which I did notice a change, but because I'm pretty new to this I really haven't demo'd many before. I had read a lot about the controversy of the impact of cable upgrades previously, but wasn't sure if what I had heard before was biased by my reading. I'm a believer now. I recently discovered that Whiplash is in my hometown, so looking forward to checking them out over the holidays when visiting family.
  2. FullCircle
    Photo taken with Samsung Note 8

    Noble Audio Stay updated on Noble Audio at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
    https://www.facebook.com/NobleAudio https://www.twitter.com/noblebywizard https://www.instagram.com/nobleaudio https://nobleaudio.com/en/ contact@nobleaudio.com
    KhunChang and WayneWoondirts like this.
  3. justrest
    I liked the colors. Is this Sage?
  4. FullCircle
    They will be available soon
    On the way to California now
    Noble Audio Stay updated on Noble Audio at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
    https://www.facebook.com/NobleAudio https://www.twitter.com/noblebywizard https://www.instagram.com/nobleaudio https://nobleaudio.com/en/ contact@nobleaudio.com
  5. cubasesx
    Tried again today and still no luck.

    Is it just in the UK or is the whole of the Noble site unavailable?

    Seems strange that Brannan or the Wizard haven't mentioned a problem.
  6. PJDubyaM
    So I ordered rush Wizard-designed Kaiser Encores about a month back.

    I'd heard a lot about Noble's very customer-centric service, and so I was looking forward to the experience. I didn't get it. Giselle (UK dealer) was ace; if you're within striking distance of London, and want good impressions taken, go see her. Apart from a couple of staccato updates from her, I heard very little. No response from Noble when I emailed an individual there direct, no personal updates or responses or 'we got this', no checking on the design requests, no response on Twitter when I told them their website was down. Whole thing left me feeling very flat.

    Wasn't helped that I was a little scared when I got the photos through once the IEMs were done. I'd asked for dark metallic greens with a touch of neon orange. The photos suggested ALL THE ORANGE IN THE WORLD.

    B-b-but. Picked up the Kaiser Encores last night.

    These people know what they're doing. They're sodding incredible. An absolute game-changer for me.

    Design-wise, they look very different in real life. The crazy orange bits actually read as quite muted and greenish in natural light, only sparkling brightly when strongly lit. Noble have done a very good job, and I'm glad I didn't judge until I had the Encores in my hands.

    Noise isolation is fantastic (no massive difference between these and the Bose in-ears I used as my commuting headphones previously; just went to the loo, heard nothing; flushed, heard nothing).

    And the sound is incredible. Several times during my initial journey back from north London to the south coast last night, I just stopped in my tracks and grinned. Kate Tempest's 'Let Them Eat Chaos' first, then Congo Natty's 'Jungle Revolution', then Jon Hopkins' 'Immunity'. Incredible, each and every one. I captured it in a tweet I sent at the time: "Stood in a crowded Victoria Station in the most blissful audio bubble I’ve ever known. Holy s**t."

    (and this is after half an hour struggling with Moly / Poly and their currently somewhat... 'compromised' user experience, trying to get it to connect to my iPhone's hotspot so I could stream losslessly from SD card, failing, and eventually giving up and just Spotifying via Bluetooth).

    It's simply staggering. I am very very impressed.

    Now I'm enjoying a rare day off, pottering around the house, plugged into Mojopoly and losslessly Rooning Bleep's Top Ten Albums of 2017 into my head.

    I am a happy man.
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2017
  7. FullCircle
    Glad to know you like them.


    As for service, if a product is purchased through a dealer, the dealer is the point of contact for service etc etc. For example, if say I had a problem with my phone, I would go where I purchased the phone, rather than going direct to Samsung. (Not that Noble is anywhere near as big as Samsung) Any how, dealers are given discounts, and for those discounts, they have certain roles to fulfill one of which is to be the point of contact for their customers. Further more, this is not to say that Noble would never get involved with a customer just because they purchased through a dealer, but it is to say, the first point of contact would definitely be the dealer. Sorry if that experience left a bad impression.

    As for the web site being down, there were/are some adjustments that needed to be made.

    Noble Audio Stay updated on Noble Audio at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
    https://www.facebook.com/NobleAudio https://www.twitter.com/noblebywizard https://www.instagram.com/nobleaudio https://nobleaudio.com/en/ contact@nobleaudio.com
    PJDubyaM likes this.
  8. PJDubyaM
    Understood, thanks chap.

    And thanks for doing such a good job with the design! Somewhat terrifying plonking down so much cash on something that I can only Ebay to my ear-twin if something goes wrong, but you’ve done an ace job. Thank you.

    Understood on the dealer side of things. I suspect I’d been led to expect more one-on-one contact via this ‘ere thread, with lots of stories of Brannan going above and beyond. No biggie, just a matter of (probably self-fuelled) expectation not being met by reality.

    I’m sorely tempted by more stuff from you guys now, but I need to remain STRONG and get my credit card paid off first. I’ve always loved the juxtaposition of tech and wood, so perhaps some prestige Katanas sometime next year...
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2017
  9. FullCircle
    prestige katana

    that is tempting

    Noble Audio Stay updated on Noble Audio at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
    https://www.facebook.com/NobleAudio https://www.twitter.com/noblebywizard https://www.instagram.com/nobleaudio https://nobleaudio.com/en/ contact@nobleaudio.com
  10. Wyville
    Were you ordering at Gisele's about a month ago? If so, did you come across some weird guy sitting in the waiting room demoing a ton of IEMs? If that was also the case, then that was probably me and it is great to see you got your Encores and are happy with them! If that was not you, then I am of course still really happy you are enjoying your new Encores! :D

    Yeah, Gisele's a star!
    PJDubyaM likes this.
  11. PJDubyaM
    I did have a brief chat with a guy in the waiting room (at Harley Street), but can’t remember his name. I remember him saying that he’d got cables that cost a bob or two, and I expressed surprise that that was possible, and have since of course ordered some blisteringly expensive Toxic Cables cables...

    If that was (or wasn’t) you, hope you’re enjoying, or looking forward to enjoying, whatever you wound up with!
    Wyville likes this.
  12. Wyville
    Haha, yes that was me! :D Been demoing a lot of TOTL IEMs lately, Encore and Katana included, mostly as part of gaining experience for my future reviews.

    Sadly, I have not bought anything yet, but that might well change soon!

    Enjoy your Encores! :ksc75smile:
    PJDubyaM likes this.
  13. bflat
    I've really enjoyed the Katana Universals from the BF sale.

    The tonality is very similar to my Laylas and Utopias - basically neutral, with slightly forward mids. The lows and highs are very well extended and defined, but not elevated. This is my personal preference now. In the past I may have liked a little low end boost, but I've found that can cover up sub bass details and layers so I would rather have accuracy over impact.

    Now what is unique about Katanas? I'm still amazed at how small the Katanas are and still manage to cram in 9 BA drivers and cross over circuitry. They sit nearly flush with my ears like a custom and I can even put my noise cancelling over ear headphones over them for some serious noise isolation. Another great thing about Katanas are they sound great with every source I've tried - AK XB10, iPhone dongle, AK SP1000, iCan Pro, ALO CDM, and yes, even the headphone out of my desktop PC. By "great" I mean Katanas don't color the sound from these sources. Yes, the XB10 using the AAC bluetooth codec has some glaring highs, but that's what it's suppose to sound like, but for it's intended use it sounds perfectly fine. My Laylas on the other hand are extremely picky with source and can make a great source sound bad. From the list I mentioned, I only listen to Laylas with ALO CDM and AK SP1000.

    There is only one negative and it is not really a fault of the Katanas. They are very efficient IEMs so prone to expose background hiss from your sources and also make it a little challenging managing volume if the controls are not precise. However, I think this is the main reason why I get great sound from the Katanas no matter the source. As a reference here is how I would rate the background hiss:

    None - SP1000, iCan Pro
    Minimal - Desktop PC (really surprised by this)
    Noticeable - XB10, iPhone dongle
    Intrusive - ALO CDM

    More subtle and subjective notes - Compared to my Laylas, the Katanas overall sound is a little more focused and defined whereas Laylas are a little diffused. This is more noticeable with the highs. This gives a slight larger sound stage perception with the Laylas. One might think this is a good thing, but not necessarily. There are some critics of Utopias that fault it for the relatively small sound stage. I've come to appreciate the accuracy and precision of the Utopias and would define the sound stage as more immersive rather than spectating. My opinion is that the Katanas are more like the Utopias in sound stage and presentation. In fact, for any Utopia owner that wants an IEM version, I would say Katanas are just that.

    I know Katanas have been out for a while, but kudos to the Noble team on another great product! BTW, great packaging! Noble has really come a long way from the packaging I remember from my K10 days.

    Current configuration of my Katanas - Headphone Lounge OCC silver plated copper 2.5mm balanced cable and Comply Isolation 500 (s) ear tips.

    Edit - CDM noise is now resolved. Turns out it was due to noisy AC power when plugged in.
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2018
    KhunChang likes this.
  14. chengsta
    so did anyone get confirmation that they received ear impressions from noble as soon as they got'em? Or did they take a week to say 'hey we got your impressions'? Because it's been several days since I KNOW they got my impressions and I haven't gotten any confirmations, nobody is replying to emails or phone calls. I need to know whether or not I need to send more in case they loose'em or something. Or maybe they never got it at all, I need to know because I don't want to find out 3 weeks later that they never got my impressions.
  15. jasonho
    It will take a week or 2 before they will contact you as they need to ship your ear impression from Noble office to the lab where your ciem is to be made.

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