spritzer Posted July 15, 2017 Report Share Posted July 15, 2017 Now here is something fun... a new electrostatic set from Russia. I do read the Russian forums a bit and I've been following the semi-DIY stuff going on over there. Seeing that this one had matured I decided buy one. Here is the website for anybody interested: http://phenomenon.su/ I ordered it directly and this set was custom made for me. They have two versions available and I picked the Libratum as I prefer circular transducers. Cost was less than 2k$ with shipping here. As you might tell from the pics, the build quality is super impressive and makes most other headphones look like toys. I for one like the Russian utilitarian style where it is all about the function but they can just be described as pretty. Comfort is also pretty good though the non adjustable headpad might be a tad shorter as it touches the arc for me and the hard metal pokes through it. The earpads are super nice, thick leather and attach to the baffle with magnets. The phones are heavy but not a problem for me. Smaller heads might have some issue here as adjustment is limited. So an overview of the design, these are copper mesh stators attached to pcb's with PCB material holding the diaphragm in place. Not sure how thick it is but it might be 2um as the top end is slightly rolled off. I ordered the set with dust covers on both sides but these are just woven material and caused some issues. The resistance on the diaphragm is high so they take a while to charge up but this is something I'll likely improve. More on that later... The housing a single piece with the driver all the way at the back and a thick baffle next to the ear. The screws on the outside go all the way through the set and have heatshrink on them or the drivers might short out. Small nuts hold them underneath the earpads. Take those all out and you can pull the baffle out of the shell to expose the drivers. Thankfully there was adhesive here so I could add solid dust covers with ease. Any claims that these "reduce clarity" are just nonsense. There was another adhesive ring on the back of the driver so I added a second cover there but forgot to take a picture of it. So how about the sound...well first off the major issue I had with the set. So this thing uses a super high resistance coating on the diaphragm which shouldn't be an issue but it isn't hydrophobic...i.e. it changes with humidity. Now this with the lack of a solid dust cover next to the ear is just trouble. The volume level of the set drifted like mad with use as the humidity next to the ears affected the charge. It got so bad that it just went into a mess of distortion. Leave them sitting on their own for a while and the volume would rise again. Simple solution to that...add a solid screen between the ear and the diaphragm so the humidity there isn't an issue. I will likely clean off the diaphragm in the future and add my own coating as it is simply superior to this. Another small gripe I have with the design is the cable. Well it is a Stax extension cable which is excellent but there is no strain relief at all. The cable is firmly anchored in place but it could use some heatshrink or something to take the strain. Now for the sound...well after a number of small scale 'stats I've had here over the years this is a welcome change. This is nothing like the King Sound or HE Audio Jade which were both badly made garbage and sound like lukewarm shit. While these aren't going to topple the 007's it's a damn good try using similar design elements. The sound is super balanced but just a tad rolled off in the top and bottom end. Bass lacks some impact and substance too but nothing to worry about really. The midrange is super nice but slightly "lost" as with the SR-Omega and HE90's. This ties into the soundstage which is projected slightly front of the head and is just a little bit hazy. They lack the super focus of something like the SR-007 but for some that would be a welcome change. 8 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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