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MrSpeakers ETHER Flow and ETHER C Flow -- Inspired by Electrostatic Headphones

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by jude, Jul 14, 2016.
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  1. Sonic Defender Contributor
    Apparently the tuning screw can actually become loose during shipping or by accident and it lead to crazy channel imbalances that the thread starter on the site I mentioned measured with his measurement rig. I don't know how common it is, but I do know that Dan was having conversations about the tuning/channel imbalance issue with that individual. The tuning screw is used to adjust the port so it can have an impact on the sound.
    Please note, I have no first-hand experience with this, but it was the topic of discussion and there were images of the screw in the port so it is certainly at least a design feature. Hopefully Dan can chime in here and offer some input into things.
  2. mrspeakers Contributor

    Since this is a semi-technical set of questions I'll drop in for a comment; there is no "null" at 100Hz, there is a dip of 3-4 dB centered around 170Hz, spanning ~150-230Hz (very easy to EQ).  Here is a characteristic measurement of the C Flow on a GRAS 45CA coupler using DF compensation:
    I've always said the bass-mid transition for the ETHER Flow is smoother than it is on ETHER C Flow, but on the other hand C gives a more impactful sub bass below 40Hz and of course has isolation.  The dip spans E, F, G and A below middle C on a keyboard, but the bass increase covers a full three octaves and gives the headphone real power in the bottom end, without creating "fat" male vocals, etc.  In practical terms, because of the bottom 40Hz, for electronica I most often reach for the ETHER C Flow, for classical and jazz piano the ETHER Flow, for ensemble jazz and rock I grab whichever I'm in the mood for.  
    Regarding the tuning screw, we loctite the screw in place but on the unit you reference we didn't treat one side so it's possible the screw moved in transit, but it's also possible it wasn't loctited because we screwed up and shipped a phone that hadn't had final tuning done.  We changed our QA process to eliminate that as a risk just in case that's what happened.  This was the first and only time the tuning screw has come out of adjustment on any of our headphones (we introduced this with the Alpha Dog 3.5 years ago).  I don't want to minimize it, as we take any defect really seriously, but our failure rate on the ETHER line as a whole is under 0.25% after 1.5 years in the field, something we're really proud of.  When errors or defects do happen we take care of them.  
    Dan Clark Audio Make every day a fun day filled with music and friendship! Stay updated on Dan Clark Audio at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
    @funCANS MrSpeakers https://danclarkaudio.com info@danclarkaudio.com
    gelocks, doraymon and Middy like this.
  3. Sonic Defender Contributor
    Thanks Dan, that is great information, and I'm glad you came and clarified it here for me and everyone. I wasn't trying to stir controversy as much as get more information. As you know, the site in question doesn't seem anywhere near as active as here, nor as balanced, so I decided to post here.
    I'm still considering the C Flow, quite seriously actually, but given that I am slightly more into musicality than accuracy at this point I do wonder which will give me the better experience. A very experienced member here who has heard the Z1R, LCD XC (another headphone I am considering) and the Ether C Flow preferred the C Flow so I must admit, I'm still undecided. Anyway, thank you for the definitive clarification of these questions. I am sure others will also be glad to hear this. If I was wondering, chances are somebody else was also and now it is publically here in the forums.
  4. mrspeakers Contributor
    I didn't take it that way, it was an honest and legit question so I just tried to give my POV on a complex issue.  If my response is dry it's just because I try to leave the editorial on sound quality etc to owners.   
    But that said, tuning, and the choices that go with it, is the most fun part of what I do and you raised an interesting point I hadn't really discussed in quite so much detail, hence what may be TMI. I realize it's probably a bit unusual for a manufacturer to say "these 4 notes are a few dB down," for example, but I've found the more information I provide the more likely customers are to be happy with their purchase decision.  
    So whatever you decide thanks for the consideration and the question.
    (we need a shot glass emoticon, I can't drink beer)
    Dan Clark Audio Make every day a fun day filled with music and friendship! Stay updated on Dan Clark Audio at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
    @funCANS MrSpeakers https://danclarkaudio.com info@danclarkaudio.com
    kejar31 likes this.
  5. MattTCG
    Scotch whiskey for real men. [​IMG]
    mrspeakers, rwelles and Middy like this.
  6. kranebrain
    Hello MrSpeakers.  As a prospective buyer of the ether flow C, your defect rate is very reassuring and your customer service appears great.  But if I were to purchase a pair and they had a minor defect, such a no loctite, how does your company handle the situation?
  7. Sonic Defender Contributor
    Sorry, you must mean bourbon, or a good Canadian Rye whiskey.
  8. Sonic Defender Contributor
    Thank you for the detailed responses, and yes, the C Flow is still prominent on my radar screen.
  9. mrspeakers Contributor

    Our policy is you ship to us and we repair or replace and return.  We generally replace a unit within 30 days of purchase.  
    Dan Clark Audio Make every day a fun day filled with music and friendship! Stay updated on Dan Clark Audio at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
    @funCANS MrSpeakers https://danclarkaudio.com info@danclarkaudio.com
  10. TonyNewman
    Apologies for going slightly OT - all this talk of headphones and alcohol raises something inside my pointy head that I would like to share.
    For listening while boozing on the poison of choice, I am finding the more relaxed and laid back presentation of the Ether Flow more suitable than the more energetic and "in your face" delivery of the Utopia.
    Don't get me wrong, most of my headphone time is with the Utopia, but for those "chillax" boozy times I find the Flow can really hit the spot.
    Wondering if anyone else feels the same way?
  11. kranebrain
    So does extra dry gin would pair well with utopia?
  12. doraymon
    It is very, very reassuring that you take the time to interact with this community and openly speak about your products. Especially if you do it with such an humble approach even though your success could push you towards a more bullish behavior.
    Personally, there is nothing that convinces me more to purchase a product (which in fact I did).
    Well done sir!
    gelocks likes this.
  13. TonyNewman
    Anything ethanol based will do [​IMG] [​IMG]
  14. doraymon
    This is great man.
    They do tasting sessions to match Rum and chocolate, rum and cigars, wine and food... but booz and cans I had never heard before! lol
  15. Rhadamanthys
    Are you sure? As by your website there's four official distributors in Germany. Last night I contacted three of them: One said they're not participating in the upgrade programme, one hasn't replied yet and one even said they had never heard of it before! The fourth distributor is the one I originally bought my Ether C from. I had contacted them already a few weeks back, and they didn't say anything conclusive either. I know that you're doing the upgrade programme as a service to your customers and I'm sure it's not gonna earn you a lot of money, if any. I think that's a great move for which I applaud you. But I believe that once such things are announced they should also be handled and communicated properly. I signed up for the upgrades on the very first day. I was even one of the first few to report the launch of the signup on this site. But I don't care about having to wait a bit longer. I just saw the international upgrade option for a few select countries (including mine) as a way to maybe save a bit of money and effort. Now I learn that I'm either too late or that it's not gonna happen. Anyway, I'm confused.
    Now that having my headphones sent over via distributor is apparently off the table, will I still be able to send in my Ethers separately and when?
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