MBL Revamps its Noble Line

So new it's not yet priced, MBL's revamped Noble Line will be available mid-year. Heard in prototype form, and demmed by their designer, Jürgen Reis (above), the E31 CD/DAC, E51 integrated amplifier, and E21 stereo amplifier are intended to deliver "fuller, richer, and more refined sound" than the entry-level Corona line. "It is still the Noble family sound, but it is improved, with higher resolution and greater transparency that make it more modern," says Reis.

Cut to the chase. On a duet by Jane Monheit and Michael Bublé, the new Noble line's sound with MBL's 111F omnidirectional speakers was warm, polished, and absolutely beautiful. The seductive MBL shine was still there, but to my ears, brighter and richer than before. A non-compressed recording Jürgen made in Germany of a 1929 Steinway whose lacquer was intentionally removed, was unquestionably euphonic, but in the best possible way. Jürgen tells me that power amp employs better technology to deliver higher current that can more easily drive complex loads, and the preamp has a higher dynamic range with less noise and distortion.