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Thread: Sonoma Audio Electrostatic headphones

  1. #1
    Super User JonFo's Avatar
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    Default Sonoma Audio Electrostatic headphones

    This should be an interesting option for those looking to get the ESL audio quality in a headphone form-factor, Sonoma Acoustics just introduced a new electrostatic headphone and matching energizer/amp/DAC.

    This looks like a quality piece, and at just under $5K, it should be. Initial reviews from a trade show are good, but guarded as trade shows are not the place to really evaluate a can of this caliber (and open back)

    The design of the electrostatic element seems pretty innovative, and I wonder what you think of this?

    It looks to be a single-sided drive mode, which would leave the 'front' clear of any mesh/grid obstruction, but seem like that would then result in uneven push/pull forces on the membrane.

    However it works, I'm glad to see ESL tech being moved forward. But frankly, I expected a piece like this from ML themselves.

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    Jonathan

    System #45 (Monolith IIIx, Sequell IIb, SL3XC)

  2. #2
    Super User amey01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonFo View Post

    However it works, I'm glad to see ESL tech being moved forward. But frankly, I expected a piece like this from ML themselves.
    I agree, although I'd rather they stick to what they do best, rather than compromise their name on a substandard product. I believe they were looking at purchasing Stax a few years back? That would have been a better strategy for them I dare say - and it is likely Stax have a number of technologies which ML could have exploited.
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    Member Scumurculum's Avatar
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    I an very interest to to see how these compare with Stax.

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    Super User Rich's Avatar
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    The absolute best sound I have ever heard from headphones came from a pair of Stax headphones hooked up to a tube amp and preamp. Fabulous sound. I would love to hear the Sonomas.
    Rich

    This comment is intended solely for educational purposes and should not be construed as conveying any express or implied warranty of fitness for any other purpose. Said comment constitutes merely the humble opinion of its maker and does not reflect the views of the MLOC or of ML, Ltd. YMMV. Trust your own ears.

  5. #5
    Member Scumurculum's Avatar
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    I have a pair of older Stack headphones which i sometimes run by connecting the energizer amp directly into my Mcintosh C50 Pre. The resolution is astounding. Far better than my Prodigies which are not slouches by any means.

    So I guess the Sonomas would be something else.

  6. #6
    Super User amey01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich View Post
    The absolute best sound I have ever heard from headphones came from a pair of Stax headphones hooked up to a tube amp and preamp. Fabulous sound. I would love to hear the Sonomas.
    I agree. I don't particularly enjoy headphone sound, but Stax is the only headphone sound I have actually enjoyed. Ever.
    Marantz 8300 SACD / Squeezebox Touch --> Audiolab M-DAC --> Copland CTA-305 --> Classé CA-101 --> MartinLogan Vista / Behringer DEQ2496 --> Whise Profunder sub

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  7. #7
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    Here's a pair of DIY ES headphones. And MORE build photos of same headphones. This guy is very talented.
    Last edited by Jazzman53; 06-01-2017 at 01:04 AM.

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