Metaxas Marquis Memento Mori – literally an audiophile head-amp

Marquis Memento Mori frontThe Marquis Memento Mori designed by Metaxas and Sins could well be the most eye-catching headphone amplifier out there right now. I wanted one as soon as I saw it. The great news is that it is now available in the UK.

This is truly an extraordinary headphone amplifier. It successfully combines historic art, contemporary sculpture and cutting-edge audio tech.

Featuring a CNC sculpted cranium and machined from solid aluminium billet it will no doubt be a winner with goths, rockers and the design-conscious music lover.

It also makes a very handy headphone holder.

Marquis Memento Mori – more than looks

Yes, it might look outstanding, but there’s more to this Metaxas and Sins head amp.

The device’s circuit technology borrows from 25 years of concert recording experience and offers the purest sound with effortless realism.

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To protect sound quality, the feature set has been kept deliberately minimal.

Two contrasting red dials set in the maxilla offer volume control and input selection. The headphone output socket is where its mouth should be.

Marquis Memento Mori eyesSet within the eye sockets are VU meters, with each needle reacting to the incoming signal level.

Input and amplification

The heart of the Marquis is an easily accessible amplifier module on a 9 pin DIN connector that resides inside the 15mm thick, CNC-machined cranium.

Marquis Memento Mori clear AmpBy isolating the heart of the amplifier in this way, they are able to easily improve and refine the sound quality as the experiment with passive components – newer, faster or lower noise transistors, resistors, capacitors, printed circuit board dielectrics using purer copper or silver tracks.

This, in essence, makes the Marquis futureproof.

The power supply hidden in the base and so isolated from the rest of the tech. There’s even space for an optional battery that will provide five hours of portable playback.

I’d so love to see the reactions of fellow commutors when you plonk this on the table or rest it in your lap.

Marquis Memento Mori rearAround the back you’ll find a pair of analogue inputs, but nothing digital. You will not find any DAC loaded in to this amp.

A few words

Designer Kostas Metaxas, an award winning artist, electrical and recording engineer, magazine editor/publisher and filmmaker/broadcast producer said:

I take every opportunity to infuse art into everyday objects. When I looked at what was being offered on the market, I felt that there was room for something far more inspiring. Life is too short to listen to expensive headphones through a musically uninvolving headphone amplifier.”

Marquis Memento Mori FINISHESAudio Sanctuary, the UK’s biggest high-performance headphone and portable audio retailer, has been selected to premiere the Marquis ‘Memento Mori’ in its London showroom and is the first with online ordering.

Commenting on the partnership, Audio Sanctuary’s Web Manager Phil Wannell said:

We’re delighted to bring the unique benefits of Metaxas and Sins’ Marquis ‘Memento Mori’ to UK consumers. It is an outstanding piece of design with real audiophile credentials and proves that great hi-fi sound doesn’t mean compromising on aesthetics.”

Technical specs

  • Frequency response: DC 5.0MHz (-3dB)
  • Voltage output: 15V rms per channel (50 ohms) with no more than 0.05% THD
  • Slew rate: greater than 1000v/us small and large signal
  • THD: less than 0.05% 20Hz-20kHz
  • IMD: less than 0.05%
  • Signal/noise: -117dbv unweighted input shorted
  • Sensitivity: 26dB
  • Input impedance: 100 kohms

Marquis ‘Memento Mori’ price and availability

You can check out this head amp/sculpture at Audio Sanctuary. Be warned, you’ll need around £6,000 if you’re fancying one.

I love how it looks, make no bones about it. I just need that lottery win.