Metaxas is back with the MARQUIS Headphone Amplifier
Kostas Metaxas is well known in Australia where he called downunder 'home' over a decade ago. These days he calls Amsterdam home, and is busy churning out timeless and cutting-edge designs of writing instruments, and of course, audio components.
StereoNET wrote about his newly-formed Metaxas & Sins audio venture a year ago, when Kostas bravely decided traditional HiFi components needed a makeover. He was far from conservative with his Formula 1 inspired design of his IKARUS Amplifier.
StereoNET caught up with Kostas at Munich's High End Show earlier this year, and we were assured there was more to come. A year after the IKARUS and other models, he's back with a dark side.
When Death reminds you to live, the MARQUIS Headphone Amplifier does it with style.
Metaxas refers to himself as an eccentric artist, and the latest design presents us with his unique take on a very utilitarian subject, the headphone amplifier.
Combining a historic art oevre - "memento mori", contemporary sculpture with cutting-edge technology, the MARQUIS "Memento mori" is a sublime, minimalist Preamplifier-Headphone amplifier designed for music-loving audiophiles who require few functions but insist on the purest sound.
Memento mori means "remember that you must die" in the language of Latin.
When I looked at what was being offered on the market, and the resurgence in serious headphones sales, I felt that there was room for something far more inspiring. Life is too short to listen to expensive headphones through an musically uninvolving headphone amplifier.
The MARQUIS borrows from over 25 years of concert recording experience with serious headphone monitoring to produce an amplifier that Kostas says has unparalleled transparency and effortless realism. Like other recent Metaxas & Sins amplifiers, the CNC-machined "head block" can be meticulously finished in a choice of 10 aluminium colours, or automotive painted.
As well as a dedicated headphone amplifier and headphone stand, the MARQUIS also can be used as a minimalist preamplifier with a choice of 3 line-level inputs [RCA connectors] and a set of RCA outputs to connect to a power amplifier to drive a pair of speakers.
We can't comment on the sound, but we reckon a pair of Abyss headphones would like right at home perched atop. StereoNET has secured a review sample so watch this space.
Available from end of January 2017, MARQUIS is expected to retail for €5500 or around $7800 AUD.
- FREQUENCY RESPONSE : DC - 5.0MHz (-3dB)
- VOLTAGE OUTPUT: 15VRMS per channel into 50 Ohms with no more than 0.05% T.H.D.
- SLEW RATE : Greater than 1000V/us small and large signal
- T.H.D. : Less than 0.05% 20Hz-20KHz
- I.M.D.(S.M.P.T.E.) : Less than 0.05%
- SIGNAL/NOISE : -117DBV unweighted input shorted
- SENSITIVITY: 26dB
- INPUT IMPEDANCE : 100kOhms
StereoNET's Founder & Publisher and still buried deep in the review room auditioning everything from docks to soundbars, amplifiers and headphones. Marc is also the founder of the annual International HiFi Show.
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