First Listen: NOK aka Nude OverKill

There’s a good friend of mine that does me the favor of listening to my creations from time to time to provide some valuable feedback in the design process.  I’ve learned to trust his ears and appreciate his poetic way of describing what he is hearing.  I’ve asked his permission to post some of this feedback and he has agreed.  He’s an old school head-fier but has been out of the audio circle so long that he doesn’t consider himself up to date enough to be an authority on anything these days that he prefers to remain anonymous.   With his permission, here is what he’s communicated to me regarding the upcoming NOK:

“After loading a half dozen HD albums onto the DX90, today I settled on just using Arturo Sandoval Live At The Blue Note. At the last I was playing different sections of “Surena”.
Out of the box, with zero burn in time, the T90 is really exciting! Deep LF, open, airy mids thru highs, wide, deep & tall  soundstage! I swapped the DT880 & T90 back & forth at least 6 times, thru the 3 amps & headphone out of the DX90. The DT880 250, though much improved after much play, and clean/tight sound from LF to moderate HF, compared to the T90, lacks the air around instruments, lacks soundstage depth & height… T90 offers slam, body, vibrant energy & excitement – especially out of the NOK! (DT880 goes back to B&H.) I think T90 will be a keeper.
I can recall the instruments & musicians from the Blue Note set that I experienced. That night was not included in the album, but it was a spectacular set. The T90/NOK portrayed the body & air around the baby grand & drum kit on the left (facing the stage), with clear placement of each piece of the drum kit, and the big, rich sound of the baby grand – both on the very shallow little performing stage of the Blue Note. Great acoustics/sound setup there. Sax & Sandoval’s seeding trumpet both richly textured & shaped. Huge bass sound. One deep riff sounded clipped, but both phones and all amps duplicated it, so it’s a recording flaw. It was fairly well recorded, but really can’t convey the experience of having all that sound wash over you & punch thru your chest in that tiny box of a club.
T90 & NOK does a really nice job of bringing a nice share of that excitement & fun. It’s a great pairing – like eating a great steak, savoring a glass of a promising Cabernet & having your eyes open wide in surprise, being thrilled by the wine’s bouquet, complex body & rich mouth feel – a pairing that’ll be memorable for a long time. T90 is a relatively budget phone in the currently insane audiophile market of fine products. Of course $299 new was a price I couldn’t resist, but even at the usual budget price of $399 or more, it’s really fun to hear thru the NOK. Shame I don’t currently have any serious hi-end phones & digital HD players, and amps to compare. I can say, though, that I’d be thrilled to have the NOK as my next upgrade. Congrats.”
Still on schedule for shipping mid December to early January!  Thanks and happy listening!


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