Good, cost effective headphone (stat) amplifier?


May 20, 2016
Was blown away with the MrSpeakers Ether Electrostatic Headphone at the recent Canjam. I thought (and most people there felt as well) it was better than the Stax SR-009, and certainly the new JPS Abyss Phi or the Hifiman Edition 6/Susvara.

Anyone have any opinions on a good electrostatic amplifier, under $2500? All the good ones seem to be around $6000 (Blue Hawaii SE, Woo Audio WES, KGSS, etc), and the only "in-expensive" one is the Woo Audio GES, and I'm not sure how good that is. The regular Stax ones might be decent, but I don't want to deal with trying to find one that's 117V out of the box (many of them are 100V it seems out of Japan).

Any ideas? I'll be driving them with an Oppo HA-1 DAC, so if a decent electrostatic amplifier exists with balanced inputs at under $2500, it would be nice. The used market for high end electrostatic amplifiers seems non-existent, unlike speakers so it seems like finding a used bargain isn't easy, as even used Blue Hawaii SE's seem to go for around $4500.


[H]F Junkie
Jan 7, 2005
That's why I said ask Matt. I have not had a high end pair of headphones in a few years. 95% of my usage is speakers on the pc. Rest of it is cheap ass Samson SR850s and my bluetooth iems for walking around. I did have a modified SRD-7 that Spritzer sent me. That was a nice piece. I used in with a Quest for sound SQ-84 and some upgraded tubes. I had some older modded stax with that setup. I forget the model now. Lambda normal bias? Anyway, while limited in some ways. They were not noisy. The background was pretty black. It was a complete rewire of the SRD-7 though.