MrSpeakers

mrspeakers

#1

MrSpeakers began life, at least with my exposure to the brand, with proprietor Dan Clark’s headphone offerings that were based on a modified Fostex T50RP. Further differentiation was possible with various user-applied, and easily reversible, tuning options.

Since then Dan has developed his own drivers, enclosures, mounts and headbands to produce a series of entirely unique, in-house, designs, in both planar-magnetic and - somewhat unusually - electrostatic, offerings, while continuing to offer in-the-box tuning options for his headphones, as well as retro-fittable upgrades to prior models.

This is the spot to discuss the MrSpeakers brand and products in general.


#2

I have both the Mad Dogs and Alpha Primes, bought new from Dan about and 5 and 8 years ago respectively…and I love them still. I originally paired the Mad Dogs with the first Schiit Asgard, and they were an absolutely wonderful combination for only about $500. The Mad Dogs were recommended to me by Jason Stoddard/Schiit CEO and lived up his billing as “best bang for the buck in an ortho” and sort of a “poor man’s Audeze LCD2”. They like a lot of power and I enjoy them today on a Lyr2 with NOS Telefunken tubes. (My LCD2-Rev2 sounds great on that amp too.) The Alpha Prime is a great headphone as well. I think of it in terms of my current day Focal Clears–they do just about everything very, very well. Great accuracy, balance, detail, clarity, musicality and punch…in a closed ortho and (like the Mad Dogs) custom modified by one of the pros at MrSpeakers. Back in the day I think Dan’s staff were all professional musicians, who did great mods because they really knew music and sound, and loved music and sound. No two of these headphones sound alike, of course , because they’re mods. And I was lucky with both the Mad Dogs and Alpha Prime’s to get top flight craftsmanship.


#3

I have to admit the Mr.Speakers Mad Dogs are what got me into wood headphones, I actually thought the MD sounded terrible, but my little tube amp was a big reason why. I had little to no power to drive them an I’m sure the output impedance didn’t help either

still there was something about the MD that I liked, it’s mid range, and after a few days of crawling the forums I purchased an Audio Technica W1000x, which I then modded

That headphone and it’s beautiful tone and imaging are why I continued to default to wood closed backs time and time again, and I feel very thankful for having had the MD as it ultimately lead me to purchase a ZMF Eikon!

That said getting back to Mr. Speakers, I do like his Aeon Flow Closed portable headphone very much! An with the right system I also find my self super impressed with the Ether C Flow as well. Plus getting to meet Dan at AXPONA this year was awesome, as he’s a very knowledge but also approachable person to talk to about audio!

So here’s to hoping I get get some Mr.Speakers cans back into my stable soon!!!


#4

I found the AEON Flow Closed, while needing a decent amount of juice (an actual amp is required in my opinion, but it doesn’t need to be a monster), work well even with relatively modest (price-wise) setups:

Yes, you’ll want to run the Magni 3 in high-gain mode here, but adding power beyond that doesn’t yield large benefits. Which is not to say that the AFC don’t benefit from even better amplification, but that’s a qualitative concern not a quantitive one … and the next step up there is really something like the Jotunheim or THX AAA 789.


#5

I have the MrSpeakers Aeon closed and had the Aeon open for a short while. Ironically I found the open to be more closed in than the closed. I also felt the closed to be more tonally balanced than the open but the open do have a nice warm, thick sound.

I demoed the Ether C flow and found them to be rather lean/thin sounding. I much prefer the Aeon Closed, which like the Ether C, have a large soundstage that I think competes with many open headphones. This however does not mean that they sound open and compared to the Focal Clear give the impression of being in a much smaller room, even if the soundstage is about the same size.

I like them using the Massdrop THX 789 but I preferred what I heard using Gilmore Lite MK2 as the I found the higher frequencies on the 789 sounded a tad harsh in comparison. Dan Clark sells the Gilmore on his website and has a mini review explaining why he likes it so much.


#6

I have the AFC too, and chose the closed because that’s a common view across many reviews. I agree with you and them too. The AFC sounds open, while the AFO sounds closed. The AFC was released earlier, so I think MrSpeakers knew they’d hit on a magic formula with the AFC.

Me too. I couldn’t figure out why the Ether series cost so very much for worse performance…