On the other hand, if your view of value hews more to the question “is there something 80% as good for 50% of the price?” then you may not feel the Stax/Woo combination is attractive. Both views are understandable, though it is hard to deny that this system is something special.
Woo Audio has produced an amplifier that maximizes the distinctive attributes of a benchmark headphone, the Stax SR-009, and, as a result, we have to consider the Woo WES a benchmark design in its own right.
Woo WES electrostatic headphone amplifier
Inputs: two fully balanced stereo analog inputs (via XLR jacks); one single-ended stereo analog input (via RCA jacks).
Outputs: two five-pin Stax compatible output jacks (optionally, the amp can be configured with one Stax-compatible jack and one Sennheiser-compatible jack)
Output Voltage Swing: 1300 V p-p
• Stax bias: 580 V
• (Optional) Sennheiser bias: 500 V
Total Harmonic Distortion: below 0.3%
Line Voltage: 110/220-240; 50/60 Hz selectable
Dimensions (H x W x D):
• Amp module: 7.5” x 16.5” x 12”
• Power Supply module: 4.5” x 16.5” x 12”
Weight: 40 lb. (both modules combined)
Warranty: 1 year, parts and labor
• Base price, $4990
• Price as tested, $5790
Fax (718) 764-6393
wooaudio [at] gmail [dot] com