Hi-fi audio and high-concept design are rare bedfellows, but when they are wedded together, the result can be haunting. So in honor of Halloween, we are highlighting just such a device—a spooky, skull-shaped headphone amplifier created by the avant-garde designers at Metaxas & Sins.
Introduced in November of last year (missing Halloween by just a black-cat-hair’s breadth), the Marquis Memento Mori headphone amplifier is not just a novelty release that makes a bold visual statement but lacks substance; it is also a capable piece of audiophile-grade equipment. It is can churn out 15 volts per channel into 50 Ohms and has a -117 DbV signal-to-noise ratio. It also has a frighteningly high frequency response limit of 5 MHz.
Taking a minimalist approach, Metaxas equipped the amp with two RCA inputs on the rear of the skull and a single 6.3 mm headphone jack on the face where the mouth should be. It also includes an RCA output on the back of the unit, allowing it to act as a preamplifier when connected to speakers or an amplifier. The device’s amplifier modules are housed in an easily accessible spot within the cranium, allowing Metaxas to easily upgrade these components as new technology becomes available.
CNC-machined as a single block, the aluminum skull design incorporates its audio componentry naturally and whimsically. The skulls eyes are replaced with glowing VU meters, and its input selector and volume control knobs occupy the sunken cheek cavities. The design also makes the amp itself a natural stand for your favorite pair of cans; just place them over the cranium and onto the skull’s “ears.”
Available in 10 colored-aluminum finishes or with custom automotive-paint finishes, the $6,750 Metaxas & Sins Marquis Memento Mori headphone amp would make an excellent Halloween escape when the trick-or-treaters have gone to bed—just promise not to listen to Monster Mash.