Amplifiers for electrostatic headphones

Here is a rundown of any products I have in stock at any given time.  Given the demands of my day job I do not accept orders ahead of time, I just sell what I’ve built.  This also works better with the more experimental nature of what I do as we are always coming up with new designs and/or changing older ones. Feel free to contact me at if you are interested in any item here.  I will reply to every mail so if you haven’t received a reply within 24 hours then feel free to send me another email.  Email gets lost all the time, it is flagged as spam or something like that.  All prices in US dollars (USD).

The top of the line Carbon CC.  I’ve finished the first batch of new CC’s and they sold out on the spot but I’m working on more.  This latest batch follows the same formula as my previous CC builds, I takes the Carbon amplifier channels but then everything is upgraded.  Higer spec power supply, 99.99% pure silver signal wiring, upgraded TKD volume pot, higher grade resistors for the amplifier channels and finally, new custom made PEEK output sockets.

I’ve assembled a few CC’s so they are in stock now.  .

Price: 6900$ plus shipping

Also available is a handful of units with the Alps RK50 volume control.  These are limited in number as I simply plan to use up my stock of those attenuator.  In every other way the amps are identical.

Price:  7800$ plus shipping

This is the first electrostatic amp in the world to use SiC FET output devices which are as close to triodes as transistors can get.  The original design concept for this amp was born to tame the rough top end of the SR-009 but it grew from there to become the best solid state amplifier we have designed. Right up there with the BHSE and the T2 as the best amps of their kind with all the power you could ever need.  It has a lot of detail, huge and expansive sound stage and the best bass I’ve heard from an electrostatic amp.

With this new batch, the internals of the amp remain the same except all the Carbon’s now have a custom made TKD volume control.  The front and back panels are now also different with a shiny, black electroplated finish plus some slight changes to the design.

Price:  5400$ plus shipping

It is finally ready, the new batch of the Novem.  Back in 2020, when we all suddenly far more spare time on our hands, I built the Novem in a rather different chassis design.  That was really me clearing house as a few different designs had been prototyped over the years but I finally had to sit down and finish the amps.  Only three units were built back then and now there are only five, these are deceptively tricky to build so I’ll likely not make any more once these are gone.

Now the Novem is a major departure from the other amps, as I normally strive for a neutral presentation with as much performance as is possible for the given design but here, it’s designed to have a certain sound.  It is a very simple amp, just four tubes in total, two ECC83’s and two ECC99’s but each part is handpicked to get the right sound.  That sound signature was designed to match and compliment the newer Stax sets such as the SR-009 and SR-009S.  It is not a neutral amp but tames the overly forward nature of these headphones and works with what they do well.  As a pure coincidence, this also works really well with the new X9000 (which wasn’t out by then).

As a result of the deliberate design restraints, this amp is no powerhouse.  Voltage swing is roughly 1150Vppss and it is all AC coupled and driven by resistors.   I would not recommend this as an amp for the SR-007’s or other hard to drive models, it’s not what it was designed to handle.

Now the difference between these and the first version of the Novem.  The amp circuit is identical but with some small changes to the layout as I’ve had to substitute parts and just to make it neater.  I had one of the first run amp circuit boards in stock, fully populated, so one of the amps was fitted with that so I could compare against the new version.  They sound identical or as close as such a simple tube amp can be.  The power supply is based on the one in the original version but now incorporates a DC heater supply (linear, no switching supplies here) and an upgraded power transformer.  The biggest change is the move to a dual chassis to keep as much noise away from the amp as is possible plus just superior parts where I could put them.  The new umbilical cable was specifically chosen and fitted with some very nice Lemo plugs.  The output sockets are genuine Stax units as I just happened to have ten of them in stock.  RCA input sockets are low mass silver units and the internal signal wiring is naturally all silver in Teflon.

Price:  5600$ plus shipping

Now the KGST is finally available again.  This amplifier has been called the mini BHSE and it is a fitting name.  This is a hybrid amplifier and the circuit is similar to the BHSE in many ways.  The power supply is similar and so are the first two amplifying stages.  The main difference is with the tubes used and how they are used.  The KGST uses the tube in a more traditional nature but with the same constant current source as the BHSE.  The tubes used are the 6S4A and they handle the output directly with no extra stages needed.  There are no external heatsinks and the tubes are fully enclosed in the chassis.

Sound wise they are very similar but the KGST is warmer and more forgiving making it a better match to the SR-009.  Like the BHSE it runs very warm so it needs a lot of air to breath.  Similar to the KGSSHV this one has a servo which monitors and corrects the output so warmup is less of an issue.

After many years of not changing the KGST at all, I finally altered the chassis layout a bit so it better matches my other amps.  Small updates to the boards and circuit as well but nothing major.

Price: 3300$ plus shipping

Finally ready is the new version of the KGSSHV.  It’s really the first major change to the circuit in over a decade as I wanted to tie together the old KGSSHV performance with the warmer and more forgiving sound of the KGSS Klassik.  All of the transistors have been changed in this version plus a number of other changes and all the heatsinks are now onboard to make it more similar to the KGST in looks.  I did add the second output socket as it might help some users who want to use two sets at the same time.

The KGSSHV has been going strong for over a decade now and is the best solid state amp we’ve ever designed outside of the Carbon, which was heavily based on the KGSSHV.  This one is warmer and more forgiving than the original design which suits the modern Stax models better as they are on the bright side.

Price: 2750$ plus shipping

People have been asking for years to do some transformer boxes (or energizers) to drive electrostatic headphones and here they are with a brand new version.  Over the years I’ve accumulated a large number of Stax transformer boxes, some of which I have converted to pro bias but most have been scrapped. The only things I saved were the transformers and the Stax sockets. So what I did here is to put the excellent transformers into a much better enclosure with my own bias supply to maximize their potential. On top of that the input to the transformers is protected from overload and the output has a clamp circuit so it can never damage the headphones connected to it. This is a fully passive circuit which only kicks in if the transformer peaks at roughly 550Vpp, 1100Vppss.  Any higher than that and you run the risk of damaging Pro bias headphones.

There is nothing here in the signal path except the transformers and the input protection circuitry. The left and right channels are also isolated so no issues with using bridged amps. A common ground will turn them into smoke right quick so I would never set it up like that.  The boxes can be set for either 117V or 230V with an internal switch.

The latest version now has a new chassis design to be more inline with my other amps, R-core power transformer and numerous other improvements.

Price: 820$ plus shipping

Page updated 23.03.2023