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MBL Noble Line N11 i Stereophile

Bifogar länk till intressant test av försteget MBL N11 och några utdrag från texterna. Välkommen in för provlyssning!

MBL Noble Line N11

The July issue of Stereophile includes an excellent article by the renowned audio journalists Jason Victor Serious and John Atkinson which you can read here. Please find some of the highlights below for your reading pleasure.

By John Atkinson (measurements, page 5) :
« What is unusual about this graph is that the very low THD+N percentage doesn’t increase toward the top of the audioband, which implies that the N11’s circuit has an extremely high open-loop bandwidth. » « … in either mode (Max or Unity Gain Mode), this is the quietest preamplifier I have encountered. » « I concluded my measurements of the Benchmark LA4 preamplifier in the January 2020 issue by writing “Benchmark’s LA4 is the widest-bandwidth, widest-dynamic-range, lowest-noise, lowest-distortion preamplifier I have encountered.” Its performance on the test bench reveals that MBL’s N11 now takes that crown. » 

Juergen Reis comment (page 1) :
« Some of my work involved tuning the power supply. It may come as a surprise to learn that you can change tonality without even touching  the signal path, because the signal originates from the power supply. The impedance curve of the N11’s power supply is absolutely homogenous from DC to 200kHz, which creates a very balanced sound. I also tuned the resistors for the voltage gain, using a mix of carbon and metal resistors to create a neutral balance. There are a lot of preamps that claim to be ‘neutral’ or ‘in balance,’ but there are different shades of ‘neutral.’ If you have a tube preamp, for example, ‘neutral’ is at a different level than solid-state; it’s not better or worse, but it is different. It took a lot of work to find the tonal balance I like a lot that measures well, with low noise, and fits very well in the Noble Line. » 

Jürgen Reis answering Jason Victor Serinus question (sidebar 1, page 3):
Serinus: « Could you elaborate a bit more on how you develop and tune your components? »
Reis: « I begin with a sound in my head. In the case of the N11, the sound was different from the Reference Line, different from our Corona Line, and different from the [previous, now-discontinued] Noble Line. Then I use my knowledge to create a schematic that I think will work, put this into a printed circuit board, and conduct first measurements. When I am happy with the measurements, then I begin to listen and “tune” the parts. I use different types of resistors and capacitors from different manufacturers. I also tune the isolation of the internal cabling and adjust how it’s laid out. Then I remeasure and continue the process until I am happy with the specs and the sound. »

Jason Victor Serinus « Ovation » (page 2):
« As a preamp designed and tuned to mate perfectly with other MBL Noble Line products, the N11 preamp’s intrinsic sonic signature brought a velvety smooth, subtly warm, and immensely pleasurable finish to the sound of both my reference DACs and made listening a joy. It proved a better fit for one DAC than the other. The N11 preamp’s Unity Gain feature affords it a flexibility and potentially perfect synergy that many other preamps lack. In my system, however, its effects were DAC and setup dependent. With one DAC, it left me wondering if it was moving me closer to or farther from what recording engineers and artists hoped I would hear; with the other, it left me wondering if it was exactly what I had needed all along to achieve ideal system synergy. The N11 could very well be a performance you never want to end. It’s a looker, for sure, one whose presence in my system I already miss. »

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