I personally think the Old Growth Redwood Burl is very much a hybrid of the Type 5 style and Type 4, something that offers exceptionally clean and focused sound, with a dry tone coloration and feel to the sound scape itself, but also something that is lightning fast and vivid. This headphone isn’t harsh, so don’t take the snappy or vivid comment on tone too literally with regard to slam effect, there is plenty of slam but it isn’t at all painful or annoying to my ears.
I really enjoy the headphone and I would very much love to use this as my primary portable, certainly recabled with a more “portable and user friendly” cable option. From an artistic stand point, after all this is both art in a sonic sense and exterior sense of design, the Lawton TH900 is a masterpiece of a thing and looks absolutely stunning, flawlessly executed and offering the utmost in tonal preference options of wood chambers.
Mark is a modern artisan, someone you won’t find many like and also someone who understands beauty. His art really hits me hard in places I have come to ignore over the years when it comes to headphone design. For these types of prices, I would expect Hifi headphones to offer some amazingly gorgeous or exotic flare to the exterior, yet hardly anyone offers anything remotely close to this. Most seem to offer a plastic exterior of some type, while shoulder shrug worthy at best, sets like the HD800 and similar really do not at all reflect their price tags with regard to materials.
I wish more companies would do things like this, put that love and care into the design, do it right, make it worth it. Audeze seems to be doing a similar thing with their XC, although their option selection is virtually nil compared to Lawtons selection of custom cups on the Denon and Fostex headphones. I think Mark has done a wonderful thing here, he achieved one of the most quick and lightning strike-like bass responses in a headphone without actually touching the drivers at all. I think the Fostex TH900 as modded by Lawton, custom woodies and all, ended up being one of the most truly “Hifi” experiences all around. This is headphone art in its most raw and stunning form. Hats off to Mr. Lawton for his amazing, hand crafted works.