Guest Seller: Bruce Mackenzie | CTC Audio

Guest Seller: Bruce Mackenzie

CTC Audio is thrilled to introduce our resident Guest Seller and wooden ear cup wizard Bruce Mackenzie.

Combining his loves for woodworking and high-fidelity, Bruce has set out to create gorgeous custom wood ear cups, by hand and tool, for a variety of headphones coveted by the audiophile community. 

We’re making his products available to you, through us, because we share his passion for music, respect his skills, and absolutely love the DIY’er that puts heart and soul into what they make. 

On that note, we’ll cut the crap and let Bruce tell his own story:

I love the variations in sound that different woods produce. In headphones, Grado has emerged as the epitome of what wooden headphones can do for musicality. The custom-made and modified variants thereof have only shown us further how influential organic materials can be in music reproduction and our listening experience. The reasoning behind my love of Grado and their wooden derivatives is far deeper than I would like to admit.
John Cage (a Zen Buddhist and experimental composer) held that real music isn't music at all, but the sounds that surround us in our daily lives—the audio environment we immerse ourselves in. Eric Dolphy, at the end of "Last Date" says, “When you hear music, after it’s over, it’s gone in the air. You can never capture it again.”
My takeaway from these ideas is that every listening experience we have is different, from moment to moment in our lives, influenced by infinite variations in our environment. We can seek to capture or even enhance our experiences in many ways... pictures, stories, and for many of us, music. We remember moments in time and places because of songs, snippets of sound, and even tones of a voice.
We pursue audio and high fidelity in the name of experience, both new and remembered. Music enriches us. In some ways, we feel it, and it helps us encourage and shape the infinite stream of thoughts that is our "consciousness".
Using various woods and shaping techniques, I craft custom wooden ear cups for hi-fi headphones. These cups introduce an organic quality to what the technologically advanced drivers can do. The romantic part of this unlikely combination is that the effects can be predicted and manipulated only so far, because, truly, every cup is created from woods with their own experiences that have influenced the grains and densities. There are infinite variations and differences from pair to pair, which means each pair is as unique as you are.
In this and through this, I am able to enrich and enhance my own life, my own musical experience, and others'. This is why I do what I do.

Bruce is currently providing quotes for custom work on Beyerdynamic and Grado headphones and exploring many others. To inquire about custom woodwork for your headphones, please email us with what you're looking for and give him a follow on Instagram so you can see his latest project pieces.