T.H.E. Show Newport 2014: Mr. Speakers Alpha Dog Headphones

The humble T50RP has roots reaching back to the late '70s with the original Fostex T50. Some really fine articles about it's history can be found here and here. The T50RP is not a particularly great sounding headphone in its stock form, but headphone enthusiasts have found that they respond very well to modification. If you've got a yen to play around with a pair, this is a great place to start your journey.

Dan Clark started his venture as a DIY enthusiast, but has progress far beyond that now. His first commercial products were heavily modified T50RPs that kept their capsule housings. Dan has now taken that one giant step farther and is making capsule housings using 3D printers. While 3D printing is not nearly as fast as injection molding, it does allow you to make part that would be impossible to create using traditional plastic manufacturing techniques. Additionally, altering molding tools for design changes can be very expensive and time consuming, making changes to 3D printed parts can be done very quickly at low cost—it's a terrific technique for low volume manufacturers who are likely to innovate.

I've been watching and listening to Dan's efforts for quite a while now, and I must say he's really hitting his stride; the Alpha Dogs sound lovely. Add to that the fact that a set screw allows for some adjustment of bass response, and inserting one or two felt "Doggy Treats" into the ear cups permits some treble control, and you've got a headphone that not only sounds good, but one that you can tailor tune to your own preferences. Very cool.

You can expect an InnerFidelity review in the not to distant future. Find out more about Mr. Speakers here.

Eli's picture

Hey Tyll,

I tried the same method as mentioned in the video: by adding a Sennheiser HD25 foam disc to my AKG K551 (the mobile version of the AKG K550) I really saved this headphone for me. It really tamed the treble and snare hits in songs. I read you pointing out the artificial treble of the AKG K550, well this might be the fast, easy and reversible solution (much less work than the solderdude mod you posted, which by the way inspired me). You should try it once (and measurements would be really cool)!

Kind regards

Claritas's picture

Very nice succinct intro to the MrSpeakers line up (and I love your Brant laugh). Looking forward to the review.

I cut the dust covers off a pair of SRH940 earpads I use on a T50RP in order to make the pads roomier, which essentially reverse "doggie treat" (Bahahahaha! That's marvelous...) modded them.

Seth195208's picture

Using the T50Rp diaphragm? Hmm..interesting..