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What’s Your Flavor?

Welcome to the Lawton Audio ToneWheel: Your Easy Guide to Wood Selection!

Thanks to our handy ToneWheel, you don’t need to be a wood nut, a musician or an audiophile to quickly and easily select the best pair of Custom Wood Chambers. All our cups are made from the world’s finest natural ToneWoods, and guaranteed to sound great; you could select any pair by eye and be very happy. But part of the fun is in choosing a wood that not only looks great to you, but also sounds just right, too.

You may have noticed that each pair of cups we sell comes with a classification, such as “Type 2”, “Type 4”, etc. We’ve broken down our array of ToneWoods into 5 handy categories (or Types) that share a comparable character and will perform similarly on your headphone. Once you determine which Type best describes your tastes or goals, you can choose from those woods most appropriate for you.

Five Types of Tone. Which One Is Right for You?

Each of our ToneWheel’s 5 sections represents a different kind of sound attainable from our various woods, according to their relative performance along four dimensions:

  1. Wood Tone.  Describes the general tonal emphasis, essence or spirit of the wood.
  2. Wood Character. This relates to how forward and lively, or how relaxed and reserved the wood is; whether the music sounds smooth or focused, harder or softer, faster or slower, etc.
  3. Your Music Type. Tells you what kinds of music this wood may be best suited for.
  4. Your Listening Style. Some like to dance, play air guitar, bob their heads and move; others prefer to kick back in the big comfy chair, close their eyes and drift away. Some woods may be better suited for active vs. relaxed listeners.

While there is no perfect correlation between one’s preferred Tone/Character and the type of music you listen to, we offer these suggestions to help build a bigger picture of what these different categories represent. Everyone knows what kind of music they like and how active they are, even if they don’t necessarily know for sure what kind of tone they prefer. Remember, there is no right or wrong; you are building a pair of phones to last a lifetime of enjoyment. For you.

For a little further perspective, keep this in mind: just as switching woods can’t turn a banjo into a ukulele, your choice of wood does not radically transform your headphone’s fundamentals; instead, it enables you to gently infuse your phone with the essential woody character of the particular species of your choice. It’s up to you!

Neutral? Euphonic? Analytical?

No need to be frightened by scary audiophile words like these. We’ll make it easy for any music lover to understand.

Think of our ToneWheel Types as representing a sort of continuum in tonal character across our line of cups, starting on the left with the most Euphonic sound, advancing through the middle to a Neutral zone, and finally progressing to the right, ending with an Analytical sound.

Euphonictone generally refers to a rich, full, warm, ear-pleasing, “musical” sound. You may prefer to think of Euphonic sound as being somewhat equivalent to analog turntable sound (vinyl), the sound of vacuum tubes (valves) or the sound of analog master tapes. Type 1 & 2 are on the “Euphonic” side of our tonal spectrum, with #1 being most Euphonic.

Type 3 indicates a generally Neutral tone. We define “Neutral” here as representing the mid-point of our line of wonderfully woody cups. Thus, within our range of available woods and tonalities, Type 3 comprises a kind of comfortable middle ground.   

Type 4 & 5 are on the Analytical side of the scales.  Analytical tone is appreciated as being dry, accurate, clean, crisp, clear, resolving and precise. You can think of this as a more “hi-fi” type of sound, or perhaps more like a piece of solid state equipment, or the sound of a digital source or digital recording.  Type 5 represents the most Analytical in our arsenal of woods.

Once you’ve decided what Type of wood works best for you, click on the icons below to start browsing our current selection of cups. You will see we have many varieties within each Type to guarantee a great selection of beautiful woods, no matter what your goals are for your Fostex.

We Are Here to Help!

Still confused or have questions? Feel free to Contact Us for some personal one-on-one assistance. We’ll make it easy and fun!


Q: I’m probably a Type 5, but there’s a pair of Type 4 cups that have really caught my eye. Will they work for me?

A: Yes! A Type 5 can be very happy with a Type 4 (or possibly even a Type 3). However, anything on the Euphonic side (Type 1 & 2) will probably not be the best match for a Type 5. Decide if you prefer Euphonic or Analytical sound and stay on that side of the ToneWheel.  

Q: Shouldn’t everyone choose a Type 3 “Neutral” pair for best result?

A: No! If you are undecided about what you like, or just generally enjoy a straight down the middle sound, Type 3 is a fine and safe choice. Not too hot, not too cold, not too lively, not too reserved. Think of Type 3 woods as being a happy medium in the line rather than conforming to a particular concept of “Neutrality”. In our experience, customers specifically seeking out “neutrality” or “neutral tone” are really happiest with woods on the Analytical side of the spectrum (Types 4 & 5).

Q: Is there a difference in the design, performance or sound quality of the Instrument Grade line, the Exhibition Grade Line, and the Museum Grade line?

A: No. There is no difference in design or performance between our 3 lines; all the cups are identical except for the wood you select to make them with. Several of the world’s most renowned ToneWoods are inherently rare and valuable, while some of our Chambers are made from especially prized, highly figured, colored, or burled woods of truly exceptional quality, making them Exhibition or even Museum Grade. There are very limited quantities of the Exhibition Grade, and many of the Museum Grade are strictly one-of-a-kind.

ToneWheel Wood Selector LAWTON AUDIO Our Type 1 Woods Our Type 2 Woods Our Type 4 Woods Our Type 5 Woods Our Type 3 Woods Fostex Headphones Gallery 1

More Than 25 Glorious ToneWood Flavors to Choose From!

Our Custom Wood Chambers are about so much more than just looks. In addition to an improved fundamental design (read about it HERE), all of our cups are turned from world renowned ToneWoods.

Attention: Musicians!

Musical instrument makers (called Luthiers) and players alike, know that substituting different wood species produces slight variations in the tone of the music they play. This basic effect also holds true and correlates very well to our application in the field of headphones.

If you are a musician who enjoys the particular sound of a fine Maple guitar, you will appreciate what our Maple Custom Wood Chambers bring to your phones for the same essential reasons. We’ve worked with many musicians, home and professional recording artists, providing them with a prized set of phones that delivers the sweet sound of their favorite instrument.

In fact, all of our cups are made from these illustrious ToneWoods, long ago singled out by Luthiers for possessing the most desirable musical properties.

9 Years of Custom Woodies: We Are The Experts!

We will match you with the right pair! No one has more experience selecting, manufacturing, working with, listening to, and recommending wood cups for your headphones. Lawton Audio is the home of very musical instruments!

Custom Wood Chambers Gallery 1 Copyright © 2007-2018 Lawton Audio.  All rights reserved. Our Type 1 Woods Our Type 2 Woods Our Type 3 Woods Our Type 4 Woods Our Type 5 Woods Our Type 2 Woods Our Type 3 Woods Our Type 4 Woods Our Type 5 Woods Our Type 1 Woods -Neutral- -Analytical- -Euphonic-

Instrument, Exhibition, & Museum Grade Chambers For Fostex & Denon

With our latest generation Custom Chambers, we offer 3 Grades of gorgeous wood. All of our Chambers share the same design and features, the only difference is in the lovely wood you select for your pair. We provide the widest selection of supreme quality natural ToneWoods ever seen on headphones, just take a look.

Our Instrument Grade Chambers feature quality woods from billets that were specially selected for use in the making of fine musical instruments, drawn from the absolute cream of the commercially available supply.

Our Exhibition Grade Chambers are made from specially obtained private reserve stock, featuring premium figure, grain and color. The industry labels such wood “exhibition grade” for its rarity, beauty, and desirability.

Our top Museum Grade Chambers feature true heirloom woods from amazing one-of-a-kind boards. These Chambers truly epitomize and demonstrate the best qualities of that wood, with textbook grain patterns and coloration.

Custom Wood Chambers for Fostex / Denon / TH-X00 / E-MU Custom Wood Chambers for Fostex / Denon / TH-X00 / E-MU Custom Wood Chambers for Fostex / Denon / TH-X00 / E-MU