|If you ever heard fullsize electrostats you have heard the same sound electrostatic headphones make. I sometimes use Quad ESL-63 three feet from my ears either side as monster headphones. Stax earspeakers sound like that but a bit closer. and with not quite the soundstaging.
|im curious about this because my dad has the quad esl-63. what earspeaker sounds most like them?
It's a good question because, as you know, the Quad ESL-63 has a sound well worth matching or at least striving for.
Unfortunately I can't give you a singular answer because it is an impossible question. I've heard three of the current four Stax earspeakers and with a standard Stax amp they all sound more like an ESL-63 than they sound like anything else. However, while the Omega is a better headphone, if not to the extent that the price difference implies, there is really not enough difference between the Stax earphones used with Stax amps to conclude anything much about their relationship to the ESL-63. Even the cheapest desktop set of 202/252 is not embarrassed by the ESL-63. That's quite something for earphones at about a twentieth the price of renowned floorstanding speakers.
On the very analytical amp I built first, a much higher-resolution device than the 007t, the Omega had somewhat more of everything than the other Stax earspeaker I tried on it, the 404; the Omega has a little more resolution than the 404 when amped for resolution. That amp was built to the taste of someone else. Next I shall build an amp to my own taste: a super midrange and proportionate frequency ends. When I succeed, I expect that the Omega, with its greater resolution, will in the same proportion sound more like ESL-63 than the 202/303/404.
A tougher test would in fact be the Quad ESL-57 which is even clearer than ESL-63, so one would expect the Omega (when amped as I propose) to be another small step ahead of the others when the question is, Which of the Stax earspeakers is closest to the Quad ESL-57?
So, in the final analysis, the answer is that it really depends on how you amp then: you can make the Stax earspeakers sound like whatever you want, and the Omega a little more ditto because it has a little more resolution. Stax engineers prefer for the sake of modernity to design their amps in such a way as to make all their earspeakers sound peaky in the treble; my mate in Japan wants them to be even more revealling of the solecisms of the performers than the best of the standard amps can provide; I react in horror to such a demand on my attention and instead want a fabulous midrange and unintrusive frequency extremes so that my music sounds integrated, just like I heard it in the concert hall.
The electrostatic speaker is a faithful servant; it does whatever you ask of it. It is up to you to tell it via the amp what you want it to do.
I want to be clearly understood that nothing I say about the Stax amps should be taken as criticism. The two I have heard, the 007t and the 252A (same as 252 MkII), are intrinsically excellent and also good value for money; there doesn't seem to be a huge premium for the Stax name. It is easy, but quite unfair, to cavill and gloat that you can do better than engineers who have to meet a market price -- when you can spend whatever you want in components and time on a single custom unit.
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