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The Wisdom of Moderation – A Review of the Noble Audio Sage

Noble provided Sage free of charge for the purpose of my honest review, for good or ill.

Sage sells for $599


This review was long in the coming. Months ago I posted my impressions of Encore, Noble’s co-flagship, and one of the most impressive IEMs I’ve ever heard. Good man Brannan sent out Sage around the same time. But something was wrong with it. I suspect something internal came loose when I was messing with the cable. Either way, no matter how many cables I tried, one side would not produce more than a whisper. Brannan intended to send me out a replacement, but there were delays… and delays… At one point, he even thought he’d ship a Wizard Edition. But as you can imagine, paying customers come first, as it should be, and the delays continued.

Eventually, Sage did arrive. And what a lovely sight it is!

This must be the “new packaging” Brannan talked about back when I was preparing for the Encore review. It’s marvelous, nigh unto the level of HiFiMAN’s latest box-work. There’s an intricate texture etched into the surface by the toil of enslaved hamsters. Inside you’ll find lots of goodies: Stickers, cards, the standard Pelican case, a bizarrely small hockey-puck case, a plethora of tips which don’t work for me (once again, JVC Spiral Dots gave me the best fit and seal). It’s an embarrassment of extras, and I approve!

As much as I fancy the aesthetics of Noble’s new Universal designs, they do not play well with my ears when combined with the stock cable. The heatshrink/connector area hits my ear and the IEM won’t go far enough into the canal for a good fit. For my anatomy, these shells need a cable with a big-ass loop to clear any obstacles. Or a long enough connector.

I just so happened to have built one a while back. It’s worked beautifully for every IEM I’ve paired it with. So all my sound impressions are done with this cable.

Pinky-Made 26awg OCC Silver-Plated Copper Litz ~Balanced~



Picture of Pinky Powers

Pinky Powers

Pinky is an artsy twat. Illustration, graphic design, writing. Yet music escapes him, and always has. He builds his own cables, and likes to explore the craftsmanship of others. He's a stabby one, also. At the first hint of annoyance, out comes the blade. I say he's compensating for something... in a big bad way. If we all try really hard as a collective, maybe we can have him put down.


8 Responses

  1. Hi Pinky! Where can I buy the 26awg OCC Silver-Plated Copper Litz cable? Is it a DIY?

    Or do you recommend pairing the sage with Effect Audio Thor ii?

  2. My Lord Sinister,

    Thank you for the kind words.

    Nic invited me, and then a month or so later, Ryan, to write for THL. He simply wanted us to do our thing. Be ourselves. That has helped keep my inspiration fresh, and I’m sure Ryan feels the same. I think you’ll see a continuation of this content-flow for a while to come. If the review samples keep pouring in. he he.

    Hope you keep reading. 🙂

  3. Pinky,

    Your reviews are outstanding and a great treat to read. Truly appreciate you sharing!

    It should also be noted that for a very long time I was getting worried with the lack of reviews as I’ve been a follower of |joker| for what seems like decades now and would frequently check for updates. So far this year the frequency of reviews have been increasing, especially over the recent months and it is exciting to see. I know it must be freakishly time consuming for the Pinky, Ryan and Flinkenick so thank you very much!

    Lord Sinister

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