Mar 28, 2019 at 5:00 PM
- Oct 31, 2016
- Reaction score
- Boston, MA
Fair enough - that's not my personal opinion thoughZhanming057
"Finally, while I have not tried the HE1's, I have recently shared my SR1a's with a few people who have. The consensus seems to be that, if you put them onto a world-class speaker amp, the SR1a's are, at the very least, extremely competitive with the HE1 if not outright besting it on technical grounds. It would not be surprising that you can only push the electrostat design so far in terms of bass extension and bass control - and I did find the Shangri-La's bass not particularly competitive with top planars. The main difference between the SR1a's and something like the Abyss Phi is that the former scales up better with summit-fi 2-channel gear and is capable of fighting summit-fi electrostats on treble speed and treble extension. If I ever get a chance to demo the HE1's, I'll write up a comparison between it and the SR1a's on the DMA400/DMC 30SV, which is the strongest system, if judging on technical merits, that I have ever tried the SR1a's on."
But yes, the Shangri La is in a weird spot. I think that Fang went for the 300b layout because 300b's are seen as a (or the) premium power tube, and he personally likes that flavor. But the 300b signature comes through quite strongly, in a WA5 with vintage WE tubes kind of way. I'm not sure what to think about it. It's an "opinionated" piece with an over-the-top, but still quite pleasing signature, whereas the SR1a is super transparent. And if you want to experience the 300b "house" sound on the SR1a and don't have $50k or more burning in your pocket, you're out of luck.
I'm a bit surprised that nobody else has tried to go all-in on a 300b electrostat amp. That said, I don't want to diminish a genuinely good take on what a world-class electrostat system should be.