The last time I listened to MBL’s Noble line of electronics, they were driving the alarmingly superb sounding, and statuesque 101 E Mk II Radialstrahler Loudspeakers — which like statues, can be rather imposing to some decors — and like decors, how many have room for a statue, much less two of them. At T.H.E. SHOW 2019, MBL delivered that same sense of space within the musical stage, but this time without overtaking the physical sense of space in the room.
Here at T.H.E. SHOW 2019 in Long Beach, California, the German high-end audio manufacturer MBL has taken their acclaimed Noble Line of electronics out for a sonic tour, along with their compact, stunning, and remarkably full-range sounding 120 Radialstrahler Hybrid stand-mount monitors. However we should start with their electronics, here comprised of the N11 Preamplifier, N15 Mono Power-Amplifier, and N31 CD-DAC.
All-together they are compact and beautiful, shown here in a stunning white gloss finish that stands out against the shadows; starting with the new N31 CD-DAC which reads more like a complete digital audio management system than just a single chassis DAC and CD player. With almost limitless connectivity and smart control of connected devices, the N31 bypasses where needed to incorporate all of digital your sources with the best analog conversion available. Features include 24/192kHz PCM and DSD playback, integrated CD drive slot, and selectable digital features. The N11 Preamplifier is a universally flexible centerpiece, with features that include a unity gain circuit, analog volume knob, single-stage high bandwidth gain. Sitting proud in white and gold, the N15 Mono Power-Amplifiers dole out 560 watts of 4-ohm power with 36 amps of peak current output. Assuredly more than enough power for a bedroom system.
The 120 Radialstrahler Hybrid Loudspeakers are a four-way stand-mount loudspeaker which truly sound and feel like full-range loudspeakers. Using MBL’s proprietary spherical drivers on top, behind the sonically transparent screen, the 120’s create a huge sound-stage, even in this small hotel room due to their omnidirectional design.
All cabling and power distribution was provided by Wireworld, and curated from their 8-Series.
by Eric Franklin Shook
MBL North America
N31 DAC/CD player – $15,400 USD
N11 Preamplifier – $14,600 USD
N15 Mono Power-Amplifier – $17,800 ea USD
120 Radialstrahler Hybrid Loudspeaker – $21,500 pr USD