HI-FI products don’t have to look boring, but most manufacturers, even high-end ones, are constrained by market and other factors. Enter Kostas Metaxas, founder of the Netherlands-based Metaxas & Sins, who applies the principles of premium horology to his designs. Indeed, he has lent his artistic skills to fields beyond hi-fi, but let’s not wander there.
The latest coming out of the company is the Ethereal electrostatic headphone amplifier/tourbillon clock (what did we tell you about his association with watchmaking).
The highlight of the Ethereal is the “Swiss Tourbillon [LePee] clock offered as a beautiful abstract moulage mannequin.” Of course, there’s also audio electronics under the skin.
According to the literature, the “casework also features one of his patternations called ‘Geometrik’ which creates a visual patina of squares and rectangles recessed into an organic shape.” This required the most advanced five-axis CNC machine to create.
Inside the case are two entirely “mono ultra-low-noise, high-voltage, purely discrete and utterly balanced amplifiers dedicated to electrostatic headphones running at over 1000V peak”.
“The bias voltage of 580V (standard for Stax, Sennheiser and most electrostatic headphones) is absolutely ripple-free and running at high frequencies to avoid any interference with the delicate audio signals.”
The top section of the Ethereal, naturally, can used as a stand for the headphones, and there are plans for “different configurations including a DAC or in the near future, a full digital music streamer.”
Kostas is also working on his matching X1 headphones, but in the meantime, the Ethereal can be happily used with the best electrostatics in the field.