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"We started working with 3D printers when we kicked off our project to design a better cup. Through research we had already determined that the stock Fostex cup geometry and materials were not ideal. We thus set out to learn just how far we could push the planarmagnetic T50 driver if we began with our own ground-up enclosure design. We immediately realized significant sonic improvements. Now we had the epiphany to explore if we could design a better cup using 3D technology versus prototyping a conventionally molded part.

The box contains the 'phones, metal stand, detached leash, a velvet bag and lacquer cleaner. Cat optional freebie from Coral Bay, Cyprus.

"This switched gears into dream mode. We began to rethink our design from the ground up and outside the manufacturing limitations of molding. If those restrictions fell away, what would an acoustically ideal design for a closed cup be like? We decided on a very thick wall with an internal matrix for improved isolation, increased structural rigidity all whilst keeping the weight to a minimum to not compromise wear comfort. The cup's geometry then was optimized to improve transient response and bass performance. In all aspects the Alpha Dog is faster and more linear than the Mad Dog. And that already was a pretty linear headphone especially for a closed design."

"One of the interesting side effects of re-envisioning the enclosure was the notion of a set screw to regulate the back pressure of the cup and precisely tune the bass response as one of several innovations we've actually applied for patents on. Other vendors have tried variants on this theme with removable plugs or screws that get lost or other external approaches to creating a valve. Having our screw deeply embedded in the actual wall gives us continuous bass adjustments versus quantum steps. And that allows us to easily calibrate each driver in production against our reference pair.  

"I thus don't want to oversell this as an end user feature. We do not encourage people to twiddle with the settings. It's primarily a production calibration feature not for more or less bass but to accurately dial in perfectly balanced bass from pair to pair. Very experienced users with a good ear and willingness to experiment could obviously access it but need to understand that if they can't successfully restore the tuning to their liking, we will charge for the adjustment back to stock. This screw won't make the phone into a 'bass head' product in the first place. It simply enables small response variations to compensate for offsets between raw drivers.

"On a different note it turned out that manufacturing beautifully finished goods on 3D printers is very hard and time consuming.  We now operate a wall of printers and each and every piece must still be cleaned, chemically polished and hardened, sanded and then given a 5-coat automotive paint finish that gets hand buffed to a luster. The above photo shows the cup's internal lattice structure as well as how we engineered the set screw in.

Right and left cup are clearly marked (of course the pad angle gives it away too) and the 4-pin connectors snap on tightly

"P.S. The included stand is intentionally a bit too short so we can use more compact packaging for more cost-effective shipping. We figured our customers would appreciate that small tradeoff. So put the stand near the edge of the desk or on a block so the cables hang off freely. That works pretty well. Or put a block of foam on top of the stand to raise the 'phones up."

The included 3-page guide alerts us to not have the cup risers too short lest the pads no longer seal fully around the bottom of the ear. Such leaking would foul up the bass alignment, i.e. subtract low freqs. For those who just can't stop twiddling, this YouTube video shows how to adjust the Vary-Bass feature.