MrSpeakers ETHER C

Discussion in 'Headphones' started by The Alchemist, Oct 24, 2015.

  1. The Alchemist

    The Alchemist MOT: Schiit - Here to help!

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    These look interesting. Here is the manufacturer's website description as well as some extra info and pics -they look pretty cool -but who knows how they sound.

    Product Description
    ETHER C is MrSpeakers new flagship closed-backed headphone. ETHER-C is a 100% MrSpeakers design and is built and tested in San Diego, CA. ETHER C breaks new ground in closed planar magnetic headphone comfort and performance.

    On the comfort side, it uses our award-winning Nitinol headband to achieve ultra-light weight and incredible comfort, and the ultra-rigid carbon fiber cups add only 1/2 ounce (~12 grams) to the headphone’s weight. On the performance side, ultra-rigid carbon fiber cups deliver unrivaled “open” sound in a closed headphone.

    This version of ETHER C includes our standard cable. The standard cable is made using Canarre Quad Star microphone cable, and provides a quality listening experience at an affordable price. Please be aware that ETHER-C was voiced using our premium DUM cable, and for best results we do suggest this for your consideration, especially if you have higher-end portable or home equipment.

    Included in the ETHER C box:

    1) Standard 6' headphone cable with 1/4" termination

    2) A custom case for transportation

    3) A velvet bag for storage

    MSRP: $1,499.99–$1,539.99

    *Note these are not my views of the headphones, never heard them personally, just posting what I have read:


    Details
    ETHER™ is MrSpeakers’ ground-up, and ground-breaking, headphone. ETHER is available both in an open-back and a new closed-back configuration, called ETHER C. MrSpeakers' set three goals when they started the ETHER project: excellent sound, to provide more comfortable listening experience, and to have a timeless design.

    How does ETHER sound?

    Two years in the making, and many long nights went into creating a very detailed, yet natural and organic sound. No question, ETHER & ETHER C is MrSpeakers' best work to date. It uses MrSpeakers’ patent-pending V-Planar driver, but with an innovative new tuning for the closed-back design. Among other things, the tuning delivers a somewhat stronger lower end, and offers a wealth of clarity and micro-details. ETHER C also delivers a stunningly large soundstage and precision imaging, a function not only of the use of carbon fiber for the cups, but also the new tuning developed for this headphone.

    On the comfort front, ETHER weighs in at 375 grams (13.3 oz) while ETHER C weighs 394 grams (13.9 oz). Both headphones have a weight distribution optimized for both performance and comfort.

    One way the MrSpeakers team cut weight without sacrificing performance was to invent an industry-first: a headband made of NiTinol “memory metal.” NiTinol is super-light and ultra-cool because it’s very flexible so it gives a great fit with minimal clamp. They also designed a new flat ear pad that reduces the size of the headphone, provides a great seal, and is made from our signature lamb-leather so ETHER be worn for long sessions.

    So why name the headphone ETHER? 19th century physics had no concept of hard vacuum filling to “fill” the vast reaches of space. ETHER was an imaginary substance that filled the voids between the stars. Since a lot of what makes ETHER fun is the sense of space and the deep quiet between the notes, and ETHER was a bit “magical,” it seemed like a nice name.

    The closed version of ETHER C includes MrSpeakers' standard headphone cable. It is made using Canarre Quad Star microphone cable, and provides a quality listening experience at an affordable price.

    We do suggest upgrading to our premium silver dragon or black dragon headphone cables to match with ETHER C for best results & sound. Especially if you have higher-end portable or home equipment, you will want to get & hear every bit of optimum sound available for your listening sessions. Choose from many options on our drop down menus above to optimize your ETHER C listening experience.

    Innovations in the ETHER C headphone

    It is an all-new design that makes use of several technology and manufacturing innovations to improve performance. ETHER is built around MrSpeakers designed single-ended planar driver. To optimize performance the planar has been processed using our patent-pending V-Planar technology.

    NiTinol Headband

    ETHER also uses a NiTinol "memory metal" headband to reduce weight and improve comfort. NiTinol is Nickel-Titanium alloy that is heat-treated to a geometry we set that's ideally mated to our ear-ads to deliver a quality seal with minimal pressure.

    V-Planar Driver Processing

    Simply stated, a conventional planar driver is usually assumed to move as a flat surface. In reality, this is not possible as the driver substrate is inelastic and “locked” at the boundaries so the driver will move more as an arced surface then a flat plane, as conceptually illustrated in Figure 1.


    FIGURE 1: Conventional Driver Motion

    Ether-standard-animation320.gif


    Over the years, different approaches have been developed to address nonlinear planar motion and the artifacts it can cause. Fostex patented their RP technology, used on all their drivers used in our headphones, to reduce panel nonlinearities. Another approach, known as knurling, was patented in 1997 by Bruce Thigpen, founder of Eminent-Technology and pioneer of numerous planar magnetic speaker technologies.

    MrSpeakers' felt it would be possible to improve on the solutions available to date, so we collaborated with Bruce to develop V-Planar knurling technique (we filed for a patent with Bruce as a co-inventor). In simplified form, V-Planar technology addresses nonlinear driver motion by more deeply creasing the diaphragm to increase compliance. Much as pleats allow an accordion to expand and contract without stretching the fabric, the creases in the driver "open" slightly during larger excursions as illustrated in Figure 2. When the driver is processed, the resultant peaks and troughs are deep enough to maintain more of their physical structure even after the driver has been tensioned.

    FIGURE 2: V-Planar Driver Motion


    Ether-V-Planar-Animation320.gif


    Increasing the driver compliance allows it to behave as a more idealized planar surface and also improves it's acceleration. With more of the driver surface in linear motion, V-Planar can not only push more air at low frequencies, but with greater acceleration also delivers better dynamics, high-end frequency response, and measurably lower distortion. The Sound MrSpeakers' is committed to is simply magical sound. They are trying to avoid too much "marketing speak," and deliberately avoiding a lot of prose and to simply say they love the sound of their drivers post V-Planar processing. They do sound more natural and engaging to us as well.

    Product Images:

    Ether-C-1-Crop.jpg ETHER-sq.png MSP0115_7553G-e1427069938263.jpg ether3.jpg LL.jpg DSC_9975-2624x2624.jpg tumblr_inline_nwig0412iw1saae9e_500.jpg
     
  2. Out Of Your Head

    Out Of Your Head Friend

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    Mr. Speakers had them for sale at RMAF/CanJam. I didn't get to hear them, but I think you might find impressions in the RMAF thread here or on Head-Fi.
     
  3. jexby

    jexby Posole Prince

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    heard Ether-C on multiple set ups (Cavalli, Schiit table, some other ones) at RMAF.
    They are like listening to music in an underwater phone booth.
    (Where is the poo emoticon?)

    Hera ya go:

    [​IMG]
     
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  4. JewBear

    JewBear Almost "Made"

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    Who reckons the alpha prime or dog is better?
     
  5. Skyline

    Skyline Double-blindly done with this hobby

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    Will respectfully disagree. I found them to be pretty smooth and detailed. Darker than the Ether, bassier, but not bloated.

    My first impression was that they were complementary to the Ether. Both are clearly from the same family, but they complement each other well. After voicing this, Dan said that was exactly what he was going for.

    Worth the price? I don't think any headphone is worth $1000+, so I'm not the person to ask.
     
  6. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

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    Read my thoughts on the RMAF thread here. The pair I heard was not good.

    The Mad Dog and Alpha Dog (with some additional tweaks) were the last good ones I've heard from MrSpeakers.
     
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  7. Skyline

    Skyline Double-blindly done with this hobby

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    For some reason, at the Nashville meetup, he had two pairs. One was a messed up prototype and the other was his ideal pair. I heard the prototype first, thinking they were the real thing, and felt they sounded a little hollow and strange. Listened for 5 minutes and gave up.

    Later he had me come back and listen to the real thing and all the wonkiness (official audio term) was gone.

    I really have no idea why he even had the prototype for people to listen to. Makes no sense to me.

    I'm not saying you were listening to a bad pair...we may just hear it differently. But, I thought it was worth mentioning.
     
  8. Ice-man

    Ice-man Friend

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    I very much enjoyed the Ether C at the Nashville meet and ordered a pair soon after. A true no compromise closed headphone. Comparatively better than the cd3k that I owned. Better than r10? No. But this is a really good headphone on all counts.
     
  9. cn11

    cn11 Rando

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    This is why I love this group (and of course formerly the Changstar mateys)... No BS impressions save some cash for me as I had been thinking of trying the Ether C.
     
  10. Pyruvate

    Pyruvate Friend

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    Hands, have you heard their lovechild, the Mad Dog Pro? I am still figuring out if the upgrade from regular Mad Dog is worth the extra $170 + shipping. Pretty hard to justify when that's more than I spent on the Mad Dog.

    Same. Though I am still very excited to try out the new EtherC. I am hoping that it takes the Mad Dog sound (that I love so much) even further, but for $1200 more... I am not so sure. For $900 though... I could see myself biting.
     
  11. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

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    I wouldn't be surprised if the Ether C I heard was just a bad pair or on the bad end of the spectrum when it comes to MrSpeakers box of chocolates product variation. It was very, very off sounding. Incredibly thin, hollow, weird tone, weird timbre. No good.

    There was one Ether Open there I heard, and while it could have been the paired amp, it did not sound like the other pairs I heard there.

    Have not heard the MD Pro, so I can't comment. I'm imagine it's probably just a more refined sound, though not sure if worth the price to upgrade or not...
     
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  12. JewBear

    JewBear Almost "Made"

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    On innerfidelity Tyll was alluding to some sort of "breakthrough" that Dan had make in regards to attaining consistency for planar magnetic drivers so who knows, maybe that Mr Speakers variation is over.

    http://www.innerfidelity.com/conten...lanar-magnetic-headphones#KRFU1XxLHbXtaQCg.97
     
  13. purr1n

    purr1n Super Friend

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    It would appear that the latest iterations of the Ether C sound much different from what I heard at the Schiitshow.

    On the Maddog Pros, they have always been my favorite Dan headphones pre Ether. I liked the Maddog Pros more than the Alpha Primes.
     
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  14. OJneg

    OJneg The Most Insufferable

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    I think the Ether C is a fair bit better than people are giving it credit (barring the possibility of broken units). My major complaint was that it seemed to be thinner sounding than the Ether, which already leans a bit toward the lean side of things. There also was the issue of what I would almost call an incoherence or lack of naturalness in the midrange. It's hard to describe... I would need to sit it next to some Sennheisers (which tend to consistently have a more neutral and natural midrange presentation) in order to properly articulate what's going on.

    It's not, in my book, an Alpha Prime level of fail. But of course given the price people should be critical of all aspects of a headphone.
     
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  15. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

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    True, the weird Ether C I heard wasn't broken sounding like the Alpha Prime I heard. But it was leaner than Ether Open...so, lean on top of lean. No thanks. But I gotta wonder about some people saying the opposite. I should have sampled all the Ether Closed models at RMAF to be sure. :p
     
  16. OJneg

    OJneg The Most Insufferable

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    I too am surprised by comments of EtherC being bassier than Ether. I know when myself and 2 others (Mike and audiofrk) heard it at the Mojo2 premier in LA, we all agreed that it was (somehow) less bassy than Ether. I suppose either product inconsistency or wishful thinking is the culprit.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 1, 2016
  17. cn11

    cn11 Rando

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    It sounds like maybe production QC/consistency needs to be improved, with such varying observations.
     
  18. thune

    thune Friend

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    At RMAF, Dan said the final production tuning (supposedly being displayed) was slightly different than what was shown at the Schiit-show and London Canjam. He specifically mentioned addressing a concern expressed at those shows about the bass being 'disconnected', and that he fixed a wonky area between the bass and midrange accordingly. This is Dan though, so...
     
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    Last edited: Oct 26, 2015
  19. nnotis

    nnotis Rando

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    Now that some of these are out in the wild, has anyone tried measuring their frequency response? Wouldn't it be nice it they managed to avoid wonkey cup resonances?
     
  20. Aeron

    Aeron Facebook Friend

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    I didn't ffind that the Ethers offered any advantages over my modded 560, were a bit to thin sounding and bass light. Haven't heard the C, so maybe that has changed. Will stick with my HD800 and LCD.
     
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