Extraordinary DIY Electrostatic Headphones by Chinsettawong

Having recently announced my electrostatic headphone measurement program and the forum thread for readers to submit headphones for measurement, I've begun to see headphones arriving for measurement and the first SR-207 was measured last week. It's a good start and I look forward to filling up the headphone measurement page with all the Stax and other electrostatic headphone maker's products as time goes on.

What I didn't expect—at all—was to find myself measuring a DIY electrostatic headphone. These are not simple to build, requiring a substantial amount of knowledge both in terms of the technical information required to design such a driver (air damping, geometric constraints), but also in terms of complex construction skills needed (coating and tensioning diaphragms, programming CNC routers).

140619_Blog_Chinsettawong_Photo_BailDetailSo, it was with great care that I opened the box from Bankok and slowly unwrapped two of Head-Fi member Chinsettawong's creations: The Omega Clone, and the Orpheus Clone electrostatic headphones. Wow! The first thing I noticed was how light-weight these cans are...it's as if the airy speed of electrostatic headphones was already reflected in their structure.

And then there's all the sumptuous hand-stitched leather and over-all construction of these headphones. It's one thing to build electrostatic drivers (a big thing) but it's wholly another to construct a completed headphone with headband, fit adjustment, ear-pads, and the like. No, these don't look and feel like a manufactured headphone, but rather they feel—and smell—like a finely crafted saddle or boot. The vibe is supremely genuin and organic; it's as if Chinsettawong's hands were on mine as I seated them upon my head.

140619_Blog_Chinsettawong_Photo_HeadbandDetailBut as awesomely lovely as these were in hand, they were simply stunning around the ears. Solid bass response, a lovely smooth mid-range, and, though just slightly less refined sounding than the Stax SR-009, their treble response was marvelously articulate and detailed. I spent just a little time listening to these two headphones and the Stax SR-009 driven by my KGSS Special Reviewer's Edition and I know I'd have to spend a lot more time to pars out the differences because Chinsettawong's Omega and Orpheus Clones performed very near or at that elevated level of fidelity. Simply stunning.

My job here was simply to measure these cans, but I couldn't let them go by without special comment. I encourage all those who find this post of interest to check out Chinsettawong's thread "My DIY Electrostatic Headphones". It's almost a hundred pages long now, but it's chock filled with technical information and photos documenting not only his builds but the efforts of many others to construct electrostatic headphones.

Measurements of these two headphones and the Stax SR-009 for comparison follow. I'll not comment in detail but will offer the observation that the DIY cans do seem to exhibit a slightly larger second blip after the initial edge on the 300Hz square wave, but they also seem to do a better job of bass extension and measure slightly lower in distortion overall. These are very good measurements for a DIY headphone...heck, they're very good for a commercially produced headphone.

Congratulations Chinsettawong, these headphones are remarkable!

Measurements

Click on graphs image to download .pdf for closer inspection.

Click on graphs image to download .pdf for closer inspection.

Click on graphs image to download .pdf for closer inspection.

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COMMENTS
purk's picture

I was lucky enough to own one of his creation (Orpheus Clone). Superb sounding headphones, and I'm not surprised at all by those great measurement numbers. Congrats to an electrostats DIY phones guru!

DaveK1977's picture

I can't wait to see the video about this.

Tyll Hertsens's picture

...no video. Gotta move on to the next thing.

This is one of those chimera of the hobby: You just have to be lucky enough to be there.

And today I was lucky. Tomorrow I'll be packing them up with care to be sent off and likely never again seen by me...and I get around.

Lovely...just lovely.

DaveK1977's picture

C'est la vie. Still an amazing feat.

Tyll Hertsens's picture
...indeed.
Chiumeister's picture

If they are copies of the original Orpheus and Omega? Can you legally sell them?

spritzer's picture

They are more inspired by rather than an attempt to clone the design. There are no massive milled aluminum cups for the Omega clone or gold painted glass stators for the Orpheus.

Chinsettawong sent me his take on the Orpheus drivers for use in my HE90 frame and they are very nice indeed. I normally have Stax Lambda Nova drivers in there (via an adapter plate he made for me) and it was a close call which set is better.

Seth195208's picture

..the right and left channel matching is outstanding. I imagine that getting perfect tensioning on something that small would be extremely difficult, especially for a diy design.

Bennyboy's picture

Chinsettawong? Another Head-fi nutter with a mad name.

You've been Electrostatic Numberwanged!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qjOZtWZ56lc

Roch Rx7's picture

This is awesome.

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