MBL Noble System at T.H.E. Show

In addition to the Reference system I wrote about a few weeks ago, MBL also showed its mid-range Noble line in an adjoining room at T.H.E. Show in Newport Beach, CA, last month. I must say, this more moderate setup fit the funky hotel room better than the bigger system next door.

The new stand-mounted 120 speakers ($21,400/pair) were being driven by a 1521A CD transport ($12,200), 1511F DAC ($11,800), 6010D preamp ($26,500, the only Reference-line piece in the electronics), and two 9007 monoblock power amps ($21,400 each). That's a total of $114,700—a lot of coin for a mid-range system, but we're talking about MBL here, after all.

All that money does get you a spectacular sound. I heard some Rimsky-Korsakov orchestral music (I don't recall which piece) and "Vincent" by Don McLean, and both sounded amazing, with deep, well-articulated lows, clean, unobstructed mid-range, and clear, open highs. McLean's vocals were entirely natural and present, as were the guitar and bass, with no hint of muddiness. If I had an extra hundred-grand to spend on a 2-channel system, I'd seriously consider this one.