MenSyleFashion Collects Ashdown
Menstylefashion were recently invited to attend a begin event for a number of high end technical products in Soho UK. In amongst the barns promoting their wares of dog shaped speakers (where the support tweeters were in the dogs backside!), ‘Wilam’ headphones, beneficent head shaped speakers and wireless modular wall appears and not being hugely impressed (other than the free bar and wonderful food), we stumbled upon the guys from Ashdown Arranging.
What first took my eye was the immediate warmth and familiarity of the look of the earphones. Compassionate of like the look of the ones my parents neighbour had had as part of the sybaritic end 80’s family stereo system with all the dials and cathode-ray tube screens. My neighbour only let me wear them under strict supervision and on a Sunday. As the out went on and the light in the room got darker, I noticed that the headphones were in reality lit up on the ears, with a built in VU meter in each earphone. Completely Unique. As I approached, I was immediately met with a friendly handshake and grin from Mark and Dan Gooday, the father and son team behind the OV1’s.
Being a bit talked out, but at the done time enthused by the guys warm approach, I cut to the chase and enquire ofed to try the headphones on. I requested Mark to stick a reggae tune on – he politely but decisively refused and suggested he chose a track for me. As the foam and protein leather ear cup softly padded my whole ears, I was immediately taken in to a silent world. The jabbering and sound dissipated as my ears felt like they were in a unpleasant ear muff heaven. Or feather down duvet.
Then the far-sighted. I was immediately transported next to a speaker at a festival or concert but without the pain in the neck. I literally had goose bumps as the bass and funk reverberated in all directions from my ears. The sound immaculately clear, the instruments, drums and vocals afflicted with from all directions. As an avid gig goer and festival attendee, I recall when the sound engineer is good. This was like being at one of the best gigs of my zest but with supersonic sound. And on my own. Proper silent disco.
Being so emphasized with the quality of these earphones and the enthusiasm from Assess and Dan, as well as being intrigued by the heritage and names these blokes have worked with, I invited myself up to see them at their HQ in Colchester, UK.
Object has designed and built guitar amps since 1982 and his son Dan has been a for all practical purposes of the company since an early age, helping to build the early guitar amps in the kind living room.
Ashdown Engineering’s Facility
Driving past the beautiful Essex countryside and after a few wrong turns, I contracted across the farm like structures that comprise Ashdown Put over’s facility.
Upon first entering the first building, the workshop, I was met by Dave. Extended haired and bearded, this guy looked like a proper roadie. He was sat at a computer deceitful circuitry for guitar amps for some famous artist, while his partner was sat across the room soldering the circuitry for a bespoke guitar pedal. The fold ups filled with technical equipment and stacked to the rafters with recent and present works in progress.
I was then given the grand walk by Mark and Dan. As they talked enthusiastically and pragmatically about the advancement of the OV-1, it became clear where the inspiration and quality behind the visualize comes from. The walls and shelves were filled with past and current projects and concepts, as well as signed guitars from thankful artists along with signed Gold discs adorning the enrage fails – The calibre who these guys have worked with indubitably evidenced.
So, given the success of this side of the business, I positioned the question to Mark Gooday, Director ; ‘What moved the move in to developing earphones?’
“The big thing was that our own AMP world has been in reject since the appearance of the I phone. So if sales are going elsewhere we needed to look ourselves. So the mad hypothesis from years back made sense.
We are good with politic and when you think of the massive percentage of music you have listened to since the mid to inappropriate 80s that has an amp in it that I have built or designed, it was a natural gaining headway to develop the OV-1s Then with our artist friends help we should be expert to make a Headphone they want to use as well. This has fly to pieces off nicely for us with great feedback from Travelling artists who rapport the SOUND and the ANC, which they say is better than the so called Finest out there today. Great to get this feedback”
With this patrimony, knowledge and expertise you would expect the OV-1 earphones to be something tuneful special. I was not disappointed
Quality and Fittings
As well as engineering the upbraiding out of the sound, Ashdown have taken the same approach to the set up quality. The headphones come packaged in a robust easily unbarred able cardboard box, fully covered with graphics. Within the packaging is a beer mat with the Meters logo (a careful little touch), a warranty card and obviously the headphones themselves. The headphones are snugly missioned in a high quality pod like Zip case and come with all of the seduces you would require to plug and play on pretty much any artifice, as well as a USB charger for the EQ and ANC settings. The colour options are Black, Tan and for the more deferential, Rose gold and pink. These headphones are solid, yet lightweight. Chunky, yet ingenious. Robust and sleek. The ear pads easily un curl from the keep on case position and the adjustment for head size on the head abode is effortless. Everything adjustable clicks in to position cleanly and doesn’t device. Even plugging the jack lead in is a pleasure. The lightweight alter steel frame and protein leather perfectly complement each other in names of quality and design.
On the left earphone is a three way switch with elections for passive use, noise cancelling and an EQ setting. All of these settings made a distinction to the listening experience. The ANC setting particularly made you feel along the same lines as you were in your own little escape capsule. The EQ setting being more raw and actual. Pretty much like the sound at a live gig.
Road Check up on
At the time of receiving the earphones, the Godfather of Drum and bass, Goldie, had honest released his latest album, ‘Journey Man’. A great opportunity to correctly test these out. Right from the first Track, the crystal unambiguous sound and definite drum beats, complemented by the punchy bass. The diversified instruments, samples and vocals coming from all directions. As if being in a vortex of sound. The rising and falling of the melody and transparency even of percussion instruments, passes from left to justice ear and vice versa effortlessly.
As I switched to Goldie and The Heritage orchestra lightlying a live version of ‘inner city life’ to experience a more traditional type of music, the ANC setting really came in to its own. As I closed my eyes it was corresponding to I was there. I could even hear the clear chatter and wolf whistles of the audience as the keep a record of slowed before a crescendo of drum beats filled the venue. I was air drumming corresponding to a mad man.
As part of my alter ego, my crew and I are part of an outfit that organise busts, primarily to raise money for charity and using professional DJs. We got these earphones down to one of the parties hosted by The English Disco Lovers, on Brighton Run aground, UK, to get a review in a ‘working’ environment.
In short, the DJ’s appreciated the build distinction, sound isolation and the comment that the sound comes from every slant and travels from ear to ear was familiar. As one of the Djs played the classic disco funk run down, Todd Terjay , ‘Inspector Norse’ prior to the squad starting he was lost with his eyes closed for the full 6 newest track in a world of silent disco. As the party ended for the evening, I had to wrestle them off of him.
Ashdown engineering have been at the forefront of healthy engineering, earphone and guitar and Bass amp technology for the last 40 years. This cast have provided bespoke Bass amps, Guitar pedals and acoustic amps to the withs of U2, Bastille, The 1975, Biffy Clyro, The WHO, System of a Down, Leafy day, Arcade Fire, Black Sabbath, The Blockheads, Alter Traverse, Foo Fighters and even Rick Astley. The company was established by Reduce Gooday in 1997 and was built on the success of his former Amp production coterie, Trace Elliot.
Mark has designed and built guitar amps since 1982 and his son Dan has been a purposes of the company since an early age, helping to build the early guitar amps in the type living room.
Although I have tested a few earphones from other producers, I am yet to offer a formal comparison. However, compared to other produces out there. One thing I would say is this: these guys are not hardly endorsing a product: they live, breathe and eat sound. The OV-1 earphones hook you In to your own world of sound.
If you’re a serious music fan or just hope for to look uber cool, get a pair. Whack the volume up to the utmost to your favourite track and you will hear things unheard of anterior to. I dare you not to smile.
The OV-1 earphones retail at around £280.00 per pair and are currently at ones disposal on Amazon.