Q ‘n A Saturday: Noble Audio

Noble Audio

HFN: How do you think Wizard Designs helped Noble become what it is today?
JM: It definitley helped to land Noble on the map because at the time when I got started no one was doing art beyond the application of a mass produced sticker or a laser engraving of an image or a name. No company in the industry was implementing hand crafted art.

A list of art designs I pioneered:

  • Wood
  • Wood Inlay
  • Combination of wood and acrylic
  • Window cut outs on the face plate.
  • Multi colored carbon fiber
  • Hammered metalic face plates
  • The use of cosmetic grade glitter
  • The use of items such as copper wire randomly placed in the faceplate
  • Gold Nugget – which is gold leaf suspended in resin
  • Face plates made with Coral
  • Face plates made from bone
  • Face plates made from fabric
  • Face plates made from a combination of scrap aluminum and resin

HFN: How do Prestige models differ from regular acrylic CIEMs? What does the process look like to build one?
JM: In the hearing aid industry, the reliance upon additive technology (SLA) to make custom hearing aids has increased. The technology has been around for over 20 years, and it is becoming better and better every year.
The goal of additive technology is to make production faster and to automatate production. The problem with this type of technology is that you are limited to what type of materials that can be used. It is usually a liquid or powder and you can’t apply glitter, fabric, gold, etc…
We decided to go the opposite direction, and use subtractive technology (CNC milling) to build the Prestige. Milling, allows for the use of all kinds of materials from wood, exotic metals, multi colored stabilized fabrics, etc… The physical outer design of the shell is automated, but the shell must be hollowed out by hand and it takes about 40 – 50 man hrs to build a Prestige.

HFN: A product of yours that does not get a lot of attention is the Noble One, what’s the story of this speaker?
JM: The Noble One was an excersize in what could be done, but not necessarily the direction Noble will take. For now, the core product of Noble is in ear monitors. We built the Noble One to show that an in ear monitor company was capable of building home audio products as well and I think we were the first IEM company to do that.

There have been several home audio companies, ventureing into to the portable audio space. (Klipsch, Kef, etc…). We wanted to show that a portable audio company could also venture into the home audio space as well.

Curious how Brannan and John relax and what Brannan’s favorite album is? Jump

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A daytime code monkey with a passion for audio and his kids, Linus tends to look at gear with a technical approach, trying to understand why certain things sound the way they do. When there is no music around, Linus goes the extra mile and annoys the hell out of his colleagues with low level beatboxing.

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