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Old 01-06-2018, 05:23 PM
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Default Great things come in small packages - Noble Audio and more

My wife used to say ďgreat gifts come in small packages.Ē She was, of course, referring to jewelry. I also felt great gifts came with lots of copper, maybe some silver, and aluminum wrapping. I just received a late Christmas present-delay because the manufacturer had to evacuate its facility due to the Thomas fire in California.

Noble Audio makes primo in-ear monitors. Some of the very best. They are mostly know for custom in-ear monitors (CIEM) but they now make some of their top of the line caliber models in universal fit.

Because I travel a lot for work and other aspects of my life, the total noise reduction you get from CIEMs does not work for me, and may be a bit unsafe- so itís universal IEMs for me. Yesterday, one of those ďsmall packagesĒ arrived at my house. It contained Noble Audio Kaiser Encore IEMs. What makes this even more interesting is that 2 days before another small package arrives with a Questyle QP2R digital audio player. I will follow-up soon with more on both of these gems but let me just say, my ears are in sonic heaven!
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Library System
Bryston BDP-2-->Bryston BDA-2-->Prima Luna Dialogue Premium Integreted Amp. Oppo BDP-105D. Power: PS Audio P5, WW Silver Electra, WW Aurora. IC: WW Eclipse RCA, WW Equinox RCA. Digital: WW Gold Starlight AES-EBU, WW Platinum Starlight USB

Bedroom System (Headphones)
Logitech Squeezebox Touch (w Channel Island PS)-->Centrance DX DAC/Amp. Beyerdynamic T5p (Moon-Audio Black Dragon), Audeze LCD-XC, HiFiMan HE-500

Travel Survival Kit
Astell & Kern AK120-->Centrance Mini-M8 DAC/Amp and ALO Audio Continental (tube) Amp. Shure se535 Ltd with Moon-Audio Silver Dragon wiring, Beyerdynamic T70P with clear Pilot earpads.

Mall Survival Kit (1 wife, 2 daughters: you can only avoid the mall for so long)
AK120, iPod Classic 160, iPod Touch 64-->Ray Samuels Audio Shadow Amp. Shure se535Ltd, Monster Cable Copper Turbine Pro, iPad Mini
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  #2  
Old 01-06-2018, 08:01 PM
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Serious traveling companions! Enjoy!
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Serge

Main System:


Amplification: Luxman L-590AX Mark II.
Luxman D-06u SACD.
Roon/Tidal.
Bryston BDP-Pi

PrimaLuna Dialogue HP EL34

Speakers: Harbeth 30.2 40th Anniversary




Headphones:

ZMF Auteur Blackwood, Audeze LCD-3, Audeze LCD-2C, Sennheiser HD600, HD650, Fostex TH-X00EB, E-MU Teak

Headphone Amplification: SPL Phonitor 2730, Audeze Deckard, PrimaLuna Dialogue HP, Luxman L-590AX Mark II, Woo Audio WA6

Source/DAC. Roon/Tidal.
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Old 01-06-2018, 10:57 PM
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Nice rig. Must sound great.
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Old 01-07-2018, 12:20 AM
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My first DAP (besides an iPod) was an AK 120 (I now also have an Onkyo DP-X1). The micro SD card slots are no longer making dependable contact so it was time to replace the AK. Sound quality was importance of course but so was capacity. The Questyle has had great reviews but most of their advertisement and reviews said they could hold a 200 GB microSD card. Then something caught my eye. I was looking at the Questyle website and it said that the QP2R could hold 2 TB (yep, 2 TB) on a microSD card. The biggest microSD card I have found is 500 GB but I can live with that. I like hi-res music so itís nice to be able to carry around a really wide choice of music. So the reviews (for the Questyle) were really good, the capacity was great as is the battery life. What I was not prepared for was the sound quality

When I opened the Questyle box the unit was a real beaut. What also caught my attention was a card that said to get to the best sound the unit needs 200 hrs of burn-in. Now Iíve seen stuff like that with full-size equipment but never a portable. Right now I have about 25 hours on it.

I have not yet tried full-size headphones with the Questyle. I started out with my Shure se 535 Ltd. The first 5 hours was a bit rocky. By 10 hours it was sounding just lovely. At 20 hours, the Nobles arrived. After the first 30 minutes (with the Nobles) I could hear the sound changing over the course of an album. Iíve never seen (er, heard) anything like it. Today was my first full day with the Nobles. I donít know what kind of breaking in will get them to be singing their best but right now, with 6 or 7 hours on them and 25 (out of the recommended 200) the sound is just... Let me say thisó when I was in college I used to leave class at least twice a month and go over to Peter McGrathís store and listen to music. Even with that, the two best listening experiences I can remember are one, way too short, afternoon at Ivanís Parkland house listening to his TAD and Accuphase system and today. Itís been really that good. First, black is black. When there is silence they are dead silent. At the high end there is no sibilance unless it is already in the recording, none. The base is extended extremely deep but not emphasized, just beautiful. And all this several weeks short of being broken in.

Serge (PHC1): if you are into and about ďall things headphonesĒ I think you might need to be trying these Nobles. Because of my circumstances I chose not to get them custom. The customs are supposed to have better sound isolation (which is actually the problem for me) resulting in a bit better sound. But these universals leave me almost without words (notwithstanding how long this entry is). I expect that the newest top of the line A&Ks would do the Nobles justice as would all that Schiit you have been stocking up on.

I havenít tried the Utopias or the LCD-4 but I have the Elear and LCD-XC, both of which are no slouches. I am not yet prepared to settle in and try and compare them (Iíll do that after a couple more weeks of breaking in time). But Iíll tell you this, the Jotunheim (which is also far from being broken in to be fair) has some stiff competition. I plan on getting some 2.5 mm TRRS balanced cables for the Elear and LCD-XC and when I do I will try them on the Questyle (which is fully balanced and Class Aó hey sounds a lot like my Schiit (and yours)). Thatís all from now, the Sirens, er, Nobles, are calling for me. So for now, good night.[ATTACH][ATTACH][ATTACH][ATTACH]
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__________________
Library System
Bryston BDP-2-->Bryston BDA-2-->Prima Luna Dialogue Premium Integreted Amp. Oppo BDP-105D. Power: PS Audio P5, WW Silver Electra, WW Aurora. IC: WW Eclipse RCA, WW Equinox RCA. Digital: WW Gold Starlight AES-EBU, WW Platinum Starlight USB

Bedroom System (Headphones)
Logitech Squeezebox Touch (w Channel Island PS)-->Centrance DX DAC/Amp. Beyerdynamic T5p (Moon-Audio Black Dragon), Audeze LCD-XC, HiFiMan HE-500

Travel Survival Kit
Astell & Kern AK120-->Centrance Mini-M8 DAC/Amp and ALO Audio Continental (tube) Amp. Shure se535 Ltd with Moon-Audio Silver Dragon wiring, Beyerdynamic T70P with clear Pilot earpads.

Mall Survival Kit (1 wife, 2 daughters: you can only avoid the mall for so long)
AK120, iPod Classic 160, iPod Touch 64-->Ray Samuels Audio Shadow Amp. Shure se535Ltd, Monster Cable Copper Turbine Pro, iPad Mini
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  #5  
Old 01-07-2018, 12:29 AM
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It's not just the music!

 
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Great post and glad to hear you are impressed with both QP2R and Noble IEMs. Give everything some more time to jell and I am sure you will be even more impressed as is usually the case with burn in and settling of the gear.

I really don't have much experience with IEMs simply because I never found them comfortable before but I am sure they have also come a long way and perhaps it is time to give them another try.

Enjoy!
__________________
Serge

Main System:


Amplification: Luxman L-590AX Mark II.
Luxman D-06u SACD.
Roon/Tidal.
Bryston BDP-Pi

PrimaLuna Dialogue HP EL34

Speakers: Harbeth 30.2 40th Anniversary




Headphones:

ZMF Auteur Blackwood, Audeze LCD-3, Audeze LCD-2C, Sennheiser HD600, HD650, Fostex TH-X00EB, E-MU Teak

Headphone Amplification: SPL Phonitor 2730, Audeze Deckard, PrimaLuna Dialogue HP, Luxman L-590AX Mark II, Woo Audio WA6

Source/DAC. Roon/Tidal.
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  #6  
Old 01-07-2018, 06:33 AM
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On a hifi show, I heard the Questyle DAP.
With a Sennheiser HD800, it sounded very convincing.
I was really surprised that a little device like that could drive the not so sensitive headphones so easily.
If I'm not mistaken, the Questyle was developed to work well with the HD800.
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  #7  
Old 01-25-2018, 01:25 AM
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So Iíve been a bit scarce, not posting very much over the past couple of weeks. Traveling? No for a change. Sick? No. Itís those G-D Nobles. It is just so hard to pull them out of my ears. They sound so good that I cannot even stop to do any critical listening. Someone else has a post going on asking if anybodyís system ďtransportsĒ them. The Nobles just transport me.

I can take my wife and daughters to the mall. I find a seat , pop Ďem in and in 3-5 min, I can be sitting in Blues Alley. Or the Village Gate, or Dizzyís Coke-a-cola in NYC.

The Noble Kaiser Encores are flat and revealing. I did not know how good my Onkyo DP-X1 is. It is really good (highly recommended (by me) DAP that is fully balanced, can hold 432 GB of music, and is just awesome for the price. Iím not ready to compare it to the Questyle since the Questyle needs another 100 or so hours or breaking in.

Back to the beginning. The Noble IEMs are not hard to pull out of my ears because they get stuck in their. They are hard to pull out because I just donít wanna. If you like headphones, or want to hear spectacular music with perfect acoustics, you really want to give these as try. Oh, and if I didnít mention it before, my Nobles are universal fit, not custom. Even so, I donít know how they could sound betteró except by maybe being fully broken in, both them and my Questyle QP2R.
__________________
Library System
Bryston BDP-2-->Bryston BDA-2-->Prima Luna Dialogue Premium Integreted Amp. Oppo BDP-105D. Power: PS Audio P5, WW Silver Electra, WW Aurora. IC: WW Eclipse RCA, WW Equinox RCA. Digital: WW Gold Starlight AES-EBU, WW Platinum Starlight USB

Bedroom System (Headphones)
Logitech Squeezebox Touch (w Channel Island PS)-->Centrance DX DAC/Amp. Beyerdynamic T5p (Moon-Audio Black Dragon), Audeze LCD-XC, HiFiMan HE-500

Travel Survival Kit
Astell & Kern AK120-->Centrance Mini-M8 DAC/Amp and ALO Audio Continental (tube) Amp. Shure se535 Ltd with Moon-Audio Silver Dragon wiring, Beyerdynamic T70P with clear Pilot earpads.

Mall Survival Kit (1 wife, 2 daughters: you can only avoid the mall for so long)
AK120, iPod Classic 160, iPod Touch 64-->Ray Samuels Audio Shadow Amp. Shure se535Ltd, Monster Cable Copper Turbine Pro, iPad Mini
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  #8  
Old 01-30-2018, 03:47 PM
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PHC1 PHC1 is offline
It's not just the music!

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robfine View Post
So Iíve been a bit scarce, not posting very much over the past couple of weeks. Traveling? No for a change. Sick? No. Itís those G-D Nobles. It is just so hard to pull them out of my ears. They sound so good that I cannot even stop to do any critical listening. Someone else has a post going on asking if anybodyís system ďtransportsĒ them. The Nobles just transport me.

I can take my wife and daughters to the mall. I find a seat , pop Ďem in and in 3-5 min, I can be sitting in Blues Alley. Or the Village Gate, or Dizzyís Coke-a-cola in NYC.

The Noble Kaiser Encores are flat and revealing. I did not know how good my Onkyo DP-X1 is. It is really good (highly recommended (by me) DAP that is fully balanced, can hold 432 GB of music, and is just awesome for the price. Iím not ready to compare it to the Questyle since the Questyle needs another 100 or so hours or breaking in.

Back to the beginning. The Noble IEMs are not hard to pull out of my ears because they get stuck in their. They are hard to pull out because I just donít wanna. If you like headphones, or want to hear spectacular music with perfect acoustics, you really want to give these as try. Oh, and if I didnít mention it before, my Nobles are universal fit, not custom. Even so, I donít know how they could sound betteró except by maybe being fully broken in, both them and my Questyle QP2R.
I just saw your post Rob. Sounds like you are really enjoying your Nobles! I will have to give them a listen when I come across a pair!
__________________
Serge

Main System:


Amplification: Luxman L-590AX Mark II.
Luxman D-06u SACD.
Roon/Tidal.
Bryston BDP-Pi

PrimaLuna Dialogue HP EL34

Speakers: Harbeth 30.2 40th Anniversary




Headphones:

ZMF Auteur Blackwood, Audeze LCD-3, Audeze LCD-2C, Sennheiser HD600, HD650, Fostex TH-X00EB, E-MU Teak

Headphone Amplification: SPL Phonitor 2730, Audeze Deckard, PrimaLuna Dialogue HP, Luxman L-590AX Mark II, Woo Audio WA6

Source/DAC. Roon/Tidal.
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  #9  
Old 01-31-2018, 01:02 AM
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robfine robfine is online now
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They really are incredible Serge. My Questyle is still about 50 hours short of the 200 hours Questyle recommends for breaking in but together with the Nobles it is some of the best sound Iíve heard (with the exceptions of Ivanís Florida living room or Peter McGrathís former showroom)ó and this is with a portable system. My poor Jutenheim is feeling awfully lonely these days, except at bedtime.
__________________
Library System
Bryston BDP-2-->Bryston BDA-2-->Prima Luna Dialogue Premium Integreted Amp. Oppo BDP-105D. Power: PS Audio P5, WW Silver Electra, WW Aurora. IC: WW Eclipse RCA, WW Equinox RCA. Digital: WW Gold Starlight AES-EBU, WW Platinum Starlight USB

Bedroom System (Headphones)
Logitech Squeezebox Touch (w Channel Island PS)-->Centrance DX DAC/Amp. Beyerdynamic T5p (Moon-Audio Black Dragon), Audeze LCD-XC, HiFiMan HE-500

Travel Survival Kit
Astell & Kern AK120-->Centrance Mini-M8 DAC/Amp and ALO Audio Continental (tube) Amp. Shure se535 Ltd with Moon-Audio Silver Dragon wiring, Beyerdynamic T70P with clear Pilot earpads.

Mall Survival Kit (1 wife, 2 daughters: you can only avoid the mall for so long)
AK120, iPod Classic 160, iPod Touch 64-->Ray Samuels Audio Shadow Amp. Shure se535Ltd, Monster Cable Copper Turbine Pro, iPad Mini
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