"What a refreshingly honest blog about listening to music through hi-fi. So happy to see views based upon the enjoyment of music rather than so-called sound 'quality'." - Peter Comeau, Director of Acoustic Design at Mission / Wharfedale

Saturday 12 April 2014

Chester Show 2014 - Stax

Last year at the Acoustica Chester show, the upstairs landing area was occupied by a small system with dinky speakers, but it really wasn't a fair place to demonstrated a system - odd space and too much background noise.
This year, the space was occupied by a specialist vinyl / CD seller and a good range of STAX headphones with their matching amps.  A much better use of the space - well done Acoustica.
As for the STAX, well this was something I was really looking forward to, as I've never had the chance to try a set of electrostatic headphones before.  Having listened to some rather enjoyable Grados at the Bristol show just over a month ago, I was expecting to be really impressed with these cans, but it just didn't happen.  They got better across the range as the price went up, but not in the way the Grados did - they were small step changes and even when I got to the top of the ones of offer here, I wasn't stunned or amazed.  They're nice, but I was expecting extraordinary detail and imaging.  I don't think they were held back by the source - with Ayre Acoustics providing the front end and playing Marc Cohn's eponymous CD.  A bit plasticky in build too.  Sadly, underwhelming for me.

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