No-one could ever accuse Kostas Metaxas of creating something “boring”. Yet again, this eccentric artist 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, his latest 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.
For men living in antiquity all the way up until the beginning of the 20th century, death was seen as a motivator to live a good, meaningful, and virtuous life. It served to remind us of our own mortality, of our mistakes and failures and of the shortness and fragility of human life.
Memento mori “objects of art” compel us to meditate on the meaning of life.
Many of the obstacles we face in our lives are rather like the waves of the sea: relentless, bleak, repetitive and, ultimately, not responsive to our wishes or longings.
In the midst of our struggles, we can still appreciate the immense beauty and grandeur of life.
According to the artist, ” I take every opportunity to infuse art into everyday objects. When I looked at what was being offered on the market, I couldn’t believe that you only had a choice between unimaginative small boxes and oversized “tube” amplifiers pretending to be headphone amplifiers.”
“Life is too short to listen to and enjoy expensive headphones through a boring, musically uninvolving [and ugly] headphone amplifier!”
The MARQUIS borrows from over 25 years of concert recording experience with serious headphone monitoring to produce an amplifier with unparalleled transparency and effortless realism.
Like all 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.
The solid CNC-machined base encloses the power supply to keep all stray RFI and noise from the delicate low-level signal stages, but also can be offered with optional “battery-pack” so that you can use the Marquis for over 5 hours before needing a recharge.
What the critics say…
” The Marquis is as fast as the devil, creates a beautiful aura without any indication of overshoot, has glow and spirit, temperament and cunning. It has fire. In comparison to the Marquis, most so called super-preamps sound waste, flabby, boring.”
Ulrich Michalik, HI FI EXCLUSIV , Germany.
” The Marquis Preamp imposes far less of itself on the signal, handling its chores with near invisibility”.
Ken Kessler, HI FI NEWS & RECORD REVIEW, England.
” The Marquis constitutes in our opinion, pure gold and is already the reference point in this price category and will not be superceded in a hurry”.
Jean Hiraga/Patrick Vercher LA NOUVELLE REVUE DU SON, France.
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 unweighed input shorted
INPUT IMPEDANCE : 100kOhms
Admirer of the exceptional: Kostas Metaxas is a magazine editor, film producer, and art and technology enthusiast. He draws his inspiration from various sources, and his wide-ranging activities complement each other to enrich his creative work. His career is unusual: from art to design, the step was self-evident to him. In his hands, he holds the means of speaking to the soul. It was with the eyes of a discerning and multicultural artist that he approached this all-new design. His creations are unique and he has won countless awards for his designing talents.
His recent projects, among others, include precious gold and platinum “Haute Creation” Fountain pens and Lighter art-objects for Paris-based S.T. Dupont, a collection of Tourbillion Table Clocks for Swiss brand Matthew Norman and a range of Hi-End audio amplifier sculptures that wouldn’t seem out of place in MOMA.
Ceaseless traveler: An Australian born to Greek parents, Kostas Metaxas travels the world from Darwin to London, the Greek islands to Germany. It was over the course of his travels that he found the inspiration for this object, the fruit of his boundless imagination. A self-taught designer, he likes to approach the conceptualization of objects through different materials. He applies contemporary technology to them and uses metals in an entirely novel way to innovate and create.
Press Kit images download: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/5hfu1oxkgqn8xce/AAC0yxGNgpoDYG_Bu16LSXS-a?dl=0