Noble Savant IEM Measurements and Review (Succinct)

Discussion in 'IEM Measurements' started by purr1n, Jun 11, 2016.

  1. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Noble Savant IEM Measurements and Review (Succinct)
    DSC_2307.JPG

    Wasn't there some minor drama behind the Savants? I believe some people bitched that it didn't have enough drivers. They were somehow through mysterious forces or through wishful thinking led to believe that these had more drivers. When it comes down to it, who cares? Counting drivers in an IEM is like counting the number of testicles or nipples a person has. It really doesn't make a difference. People with one testicle can still make babies and some IEMS with one of two drivers sound fantastic. Bottom line is how they sound; but I will start with measurements first.

    See general measurement notes before digesting the plots below: http://www.superbestaudiofriends.org/index.php?threads/note-on-iem-measurements-changelog.2153/

    Noble Savant IEM Frequency Response
    Noble Savants FR.png


    Noble Savant IEM Distortion
    [DEFUNCT]

    Noble Savant IEM Impedance and Phase (electrical)
    Savant Z.png

    Measurement Notes

    Measurements actually look pretty decent. Very slight mid-bass bump, not too different from the Sennheiser 6X0 headphones. A push up between 2kHz and 3kHz (maybe a little bit too much). Good distortion figures (for balanced armatures) from 40Hz and up. Because of its impedance curve, some care needs to me taken with amplification. The Savants will sound bright from devices with high source impedance.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Aug 23, 2016
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  2. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Noble Savant IEM Impressions

    The Savants are a nice compact size. I eventually went for a smaller tip size than usual and shoved them deep into my ears. They sounded best this way. The usual suspects, the Sony ZX2 and Mojo were used to power the Savants. As usual, I will get to the point.

    Honestly, I am a little bit underwhelmed. I think the HF hype probably got to me and I expected these to be super awesome. But they are not. Don't get me wrong. To be fair, the Savants are pretty good, and at $599 shouldn't be expected to compete against the likes of the UERM, Andromeda, etc. The measurements are good, but this seems to be a case where they measure better than they they sound. I am having a hard time reconciling the measurements with the lack of bass authority, honky mids, a slight veil / midrange congestion, and a very slight hard brittle lower treble. I'd definitely like to investigate why with additional measurements if I can find the time. The Savants do lack last octave "air" - this is hard to discern from the measurements, so I thought I would mention it.

    I guess the new Savants are made with aluminum shells? If so, I am thinking the aluminum shells might sound better. These shells seem kind of wimpy (thin walled and lightweight), are made from a hard material and have a hollow quality when I tap on them. I think this adds a distinct coloration to the sound as most other IEMs have a more solid and dead feel to them when I tap them. This is just me using the Force, so I might not know what I am talking about.

    Again, I don't want to sound like I'm too hard on them because the Savants are good IEMs. The main issue in 2016 is that there seem to be a lot of low priced IEMs under $200, even under $100 that perform very close to the Savants to make them not a high value proposition.

    Thread is now open for comments.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2016
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  3. Griffon

    Griffon 2nd biggest asshole on SBAF

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    The pair I had tried was basically a UERM wannabe. Pretending to have an uber-neutral signature, trying to emulate the diffuse-field tuning, while failing at being a studio monitor tool. It's not bad per-se cuz I was fooled on the first few minutes, the Savant is just too fast food-like that it doesnt have any after taste
     
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  4. Kunlun

    Kunlun cat-alyzes cat-aclysmic cat-erwauling - Friend

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    Definite lack of low end extension for me on the savants.

    I think I've described them as good mid-fi iems. That sound sound about right to people?
     
  5. jowls

    jowls Never shitposts (please) - Friend

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    Mid-fi sounds about right. I had a tour pair and there was some weirdness that I found fatiguing, I couldn't listen to them for more than half an hour. I am having trouble relating this to something in Marv's measurements.

    The hype was gargantuan for these on HF. 'Baby K10' etc. They are similar to K10 in that they are pleasant, beer goggles for your ears, everything sounds amazeballs... but they were ultimately forgettable.
     
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  6. OJneg

    OJneg The Most Insufferable

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    I remember thinking that the aluminum body Savants did sound better FWIW. But overall agree with all of the issues that Merv pointed out.
     
  7. Warrior

    Warrior Friend

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    Never heard then, but always intrigued with Noble offerings. Would love to hear the Dulce. Thanks for sharing Marv, kind of expected your impressions as you said them.
     
  8. audioharmony

    audioharmony Rando

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    Mister Marvey,

    i find your review very disappointing i have been an audiophile for over two years and listen to many IEMS it seems like you do not understand that the noble savant offers a very high sound quality on HEAD-FI i see many positive reviews here http://www.head-fi.org/products/noble-audio-savant there is also much high quality information in this thread http://www.head-fi.org/t/772698/noble-savant-thread-impressions-reviews-tours that you overlook in your review i have been an audiophile for over two years and i know the noble savant has very high sound quality the sound quality is 99.9% of the noble K10 that I know

    i apologize that my english is not good but i know the noble savant has very high sound quality and i think your review should reflect the very high sound quality that noble savant offers thank you
     
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  9. jowls

    jowls Never shitposts (please) - Friend

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    Wowsers. My spidey sense tells me someone bought a $1599 'prestige' savant...
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2016
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  10. Warrior

    Warrior Friend

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    This is the exact reason I have a difficult time with Noble. Can not get away from people being overzealous. Speak a bad word of Noble (Marv didn't even say a bad word) and a Noble soldier is there to defend it. Please, not here... Please.
     
  11. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

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  12. Bagged Milk

    Bagged Milk Friend

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    I don't get people like you. You see something you disagree with so much that you make an account, but don't contribute anything of value. Instead you link threads from head-fi and cite your "extensive" experience in the hobby, probably under the assumption it will have leverage with people.
     
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  13. insidious meme

    insidious meme Ambivalent Kumquat

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    Guess someone still thinks he's on head fi, or is a troll. Meh, I hate both reasons.

    That said, based on what I heard at the circle jer..erm.. can jam, I did prefer these over the Savannah.
     
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  14. Pyotr

    Pyotr Acquaintance

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    Been eyeing the Savants for a while seeing all the positive reception on HF, but from reading the more critical reviews and this, it seems like they're a bit bright and bass-light, and I want to steer away from that direction after spending a couple weeks with a secondhand Noble 4. The congested midrange scares me too, since the 4 is pretty clear in the mids and has the right bass/treble response to complement it (though the 4 is still accentuated in 5-7k range). Guess I can cross the Savants off my list.

    Also, the new housings aren't completely aluminum. They're acrylic with aluminum faceplates. Not sure if adding a metal faceplate would do much other than making them look more flashy and fashionable.
     
  15. Pyotr

    Pyotr Acquaintance

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    What was it about the Savants that made you prefer them over the Savanna? I'd like to give the Savanna a try since they seem like an improved N4 from shotgunshane's impressions. He said the 6k peak is gone, but I hope they just smoothed it out instead of adding a dip.
     
  16. insidious meme

    insidious meme Ambivalent Kumquat

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    I don't remember too much of the details to be honest, but I just preferred the sound coming out of the Savants. Sorry to not be a bit more forthcoming. If you want an idea where I'm coming from, I do like the sound of the UERM's which I own.
     
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  17. Pyotr

    Pyotr Acquaintance

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    Never had the opportunity to hear or own the UERM, but I've heard it does have a bit of treble energy that can be unforgiving and revealing. Savants must have this characteristic to an extent since I've read some reviews warning of sibilance in badly mastered tracks. But, I'm drawing conclusions from written impressions, so I may be wrong.
     
  18. Vent

    Vent Friend

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    [​IMG]
     
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  19. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Yes, the UERMs can be bright. Using the sources I had on hand, the Savants had more upper midrange honk/shout and less overall treble than UERM. There was also a hard timbre, which again, I felt might have been shell resonance thing. What the UERM gets right is the separation, detail, transients and cohesiveness of the drivers working as one. The UERM bass, while not strong, is evident and impactful. Again, these are just nitpicks on an otherwise good IEM.

    I'll run some full spectrum tests to see what's up. I am super curious and this might lead to more kinds of useful measurements.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2016
  20. Dreyka

    Dreyka Acquaintance

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    ED29689 (also used in Etymotic ER-4PT)
    1500Ω damper
    20Ω resistor in series
    2mm/3mm tubing length
    in stock at digikey & mouser

    ED30761
    2200Ω damper
    1.5mm/5.5mm tubing length
    must be ordered in qty 25 batches
     

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