Ophidian Mojo 2.

The second pair of speakers I’ve been sent by Ophidian. Could I be any more surprised?

Disclaimer:
I have not been paid or sponsored by Ophidian for this review.
The views in this publication are unbiased and my own.
A big thank you to Gareth for sending out the Mojo 2 for review.

For more details follow this link on Ophidians website:
https://www.ophidian.co.uk/mojo2.html
They retail at £1,200.

Review equipment & software:
Ophidian Mojo 2.
Hifi Rose RS201e.
Airpulse ST200 stands.
Cyrus ONE.
Musician Audio Pegasus.
Audioengine B1.
Pro-ject Debut Debut EVO.
Technics SL1200 MKII.
Musical Fidelity Vinyl.
iPad Pro.
Qobuz Studio Premier.
Custom Cans cables throughout.

Music:
Hi-Res files on Qobuz.
Various albums on vinyl.

What’s in the box:
Ophidian Mojo 2 x2.
Front grills x2.
Documentation.

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Spec:

Frequency response – 52hz to 25khz (-3dB).
Sensitivity – 86dB (2.83v).
Recommended power – 40 to 120 watts.
Impedance – 4 ohms.
Dimensions – 286mm H x 158mm W x 220mm D (including grilles).
Weight – 4.4kg.
Available finishes – Oak or Walnut.
Dual 115mm coated paper midbass with powerful motor systems.
27mm neodymium high frequency unit with a Sonolex coated fabric diaphragm.
AEROFLEX port system for a precisely controlled bass performance.
Braced and optimised cabinet built in Sheffield, UK.
Detachable magnetic protective grilles.


Build and finish:
This is the second set of speakers from Ophidian that I have had the honour of reviewing.
They are extremely well constructed, using premium materials.
The veneer is flawless and finished beautifully.
Drivers are mounted just right and the proportions look really pleasing to the eye.
They are heavier than they appear and will sit quite comfortably and securely on speaker stands.

Sound:
Unlike the Minimo 2 I found the Mojo 2 more forgiving when it came to positioning.
I was able to have them at a far less aggressive angle.
For the majority of the review I had them set up on my shelving in my office, which I know is going to ruffle some feathers with some of my readers.
However, I found, even when up on my shelving, they still sounded fabulous and lost none of their punch or definition.
Not an ideal listening position I admit, but this is what I currently have to work with in this space.
I did also have them set up in my main system in the living room on speaker stands.

Soundstage is spacious and has a lot of depth.
Separation is on point with the Mojo 2’s creating a really nice 3D image, making the speakers essentially “disappear” within the listening space.

Mid bass and lows are most impressive, carrying a lot of heft, with texture and great definition. No need for a sub with these speakers!
Mids are forward and natural. Very smooth with vocals and acoustic pieces.
Highs shine with crystal clear clarity, speed and ultra sharp detail.

Final thoughts:
For £1,200 you’re getting a lot of speaker in a compact package.
They’re ideal as a nearfield monitor, bookshelf speaker and placed in a larger room in a larger system.
They’re easy to drive and have a very full bodied, lively personality which matches a varied style of music.
The Mojo 2 impressed me so much, they’re in my top 5 selection of potential candidates for my permanent office system!

Thanks:
As always, I’d like to send a massive thank you to all of my readers, contributors and sponsors.
All of you make what do worthwhile!

Please do like, share, follow and subscribe. Every little helps 🙂

Best wishes.
Paul.

STAX SR-003 MKII In-Ear Electrostatic Ear Speakers.

Hot on the heels of the D10 review, I get to grips with the SR-003 MKII portable in-ear ear speakers…

Disclaimer:
This review is sponsored by STAX.
Thank you to Audrey & Kay, who have been very kind and shipped me these in-ears.
The SR-003 MKII retail for $284 and can be found here:
https://staxheadphones.com/collections/earspeakers/products/earspeaker-series-sr-003-mkii
I will note here that although this is a sponsored review for STAX, I have been honest and unbiased in my opinion.

Review equipment:
STAX SR-003 MKII.
STAX SRM-D10.
STAX cable accessories.
Astell & Kern AK70.
iBasso DX80.
iPad Pro.
Audioengine B1.

Music:
Various Hi-Res files on the AK70 & DX80.
Qobuz Studio Premier on other devices.

What’s in the box:
STAX SR-003 MKII in-ear ear speakers.
Headband.
Ear tips.
Plug cover.
Documentation.

STAX provide everything you need to use the 003 MKII’s with ease and comfort.

The ear hooks are from a different in-ear that I custom fitted.

Spec & features:
Type: push-pull electrostatic, canal-type inears.
Frequency response : 20 – 20 kHz (±4dB).
Static capacity : 44pF (including attached code).
Sound pressure sensitivity : 110dB/100V r.m.s. / 1kHz.
Bias voltage : 550V – 580V.
Ear piece : L/M/S size made of silicone rubber (M size equipped at factory shipment).
Cord : 5-pin for STAX PRO bias, 6-core parallel, total length 1.5m.
Weight : 38g (including code), 12g (main part only).
Dimension: 28mm (diameter).
Overhead arc weight : 15g.

Build and finish:
I already own the previous version of these which has a proprietery plug for use with a portable driver.
The same high quality of craftsmanship is apparent here with a premium finish.
They are lightweight and fitment is perfect.
I do wish STAX would include a carry pouch or case for these smaller in-ear’s & maybe that’s something that can be thought about in the future?
I also think the headband is great, however the clamping force is quite aggressive so it’s sometimes uncomfortable to use.
This is what led me to utilising a set of ear hooks from a different in-ear and I believe is something else STAX could think about for a new version somewhere down the road.
All in all though they’re made extremely well and well thought out.

Comfort:
The 003 MKII are a comfortable in-ear once you figure out the best way to use them for yourself.
Once I figured which ear tips were the best fit for me the 003 MKII’s were very comfortable and could be worn for hours of use with no fatigue or discomfort.
However I will say here as before, the headband, although a great idea, does have aggressive clamping force so may not be comfortable to use for some users.
This is where the aftermarket ear hooks came into play, and is something I really think STAX should consider in the future.

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Sound:
The 003 MKII’s offer a wide spacious soundstage with well defined separation.
We are rewarded a warm, textured low end with a decent punch.
Mids are resolving, organic & airy.
Then we finish off with fast yet smooth highs dusted with a little sparkle up top.

Final thoughts:
We’re getting a lot of electrostatic in-ear for our buck here.
They sound like a product that belongs in a much higher price bracket.
The only complaint I really have is the clamping force of the headband and there being no carry case or pouch.
Otherwise these are an excellent purchase and I’ve enjoyed them so much that I’ve bought a pair myself.

Thanks:
As always a massive thank you to all of my readers, contributors and sponsors!
Please remember to like, follow, subscribe and share.

All my very best.
Paul.


STAX SRM-D10 Portable Electrostatic Driver and DAC.

Another STAX review, this time it’s a new portable DAC and energiser. Let’s see what I think of this one.

Disclaimer:
This review is sponsored by STAX.
Thank you to Audrey & Kay, who have been very kind and shipped me this DAC/Energiser.
The SRM-D10 retails for $945 and can be found here:
https://staxheadphones.com/collections/amplifiers/products/driver-unit-for-ear-speaker
I will note here that although this is a sponsored review for STAX, I have been honest and unbiased in my opinion.

Review equipment:
STAX SRM-D10.
STAX SR-L300.
STAX SR-003 MKII.
Astell & Kern AK70.
iBasso DX80.
iPad Pro.
iPhone XS Max.
Samsung Galaxy Note 10+.
Audioengine B1.
Musician Audio Pegasus.

Music:
Various Hi-Res files on the AK70 & DX80.
Qobuz Studio Premier on other devices.

What’s in the box:
STAX SRM-D10.
Wall Charger.
Stereo jack to jack cable.
Micro USB cables.
Documentation.

STAX provide an abundance of accessories in the box, enabling different connection choices.
All accessories are neatly organised into separate boxes which are clearly labeled and sat snuggly in protective foam.

Spec & features:

Features:

  • Compact electrostatic headphone amp/DAC
  • Battery-powered, rechargeable Li-ion built-in battery pack
  • High-resoluton Digital-to-Analog converter, supports up to DSD128
  • User selectable line-in and USB DAC 
  • All-aluminum chassis

 Specifications:

  • 5-pin PRO bias Stax earspeaker output
  • Micro USB digital input,
  • 3.5mm analog input
  • Supply voltage: DC 14V (charger included)
  • Frequency response: 20Hz – 40KHz (+0dB,-3dB)
  • Rated input level: 230mV (100V output)
  • Harmonic distortion: <0.025% / 1KHz-10KHz
  • Input impedance: 10 KΩ (analog input)
  • Maximum output voltage: 200Vr.m.s / 100Hz-10KHz
  • Power consumption: 6.4W (USB input) 5W (analog input)
  • Recommended operating temperature: 0-35°C, <90% RH (No condensation)
  • Dimensions: 75(W) X 32(H) X 141(D) mm
  • Net weight: 450g

Build & finish:
The team at STAX have designed and built a magnificent portable electrostatic device.
Build and finish are of the finest quality & the D10 has been very well thought out.
The volume knob and switches are robust and have a lovely feel to them.
The D10 looks stunning in an understated manner. Subtle with clean lines and curves.
Rear IO is laid out well and easy to understand.
Connection possibilities are unlimited, and STAX including all the cables needed gets you off to a running start.
Battery power is pretty reasonable with the D10 lasting a few hours more in “line-in” mode. I found that in DAC mode I got around 4 hours with Line in mode giving me about 5.
This DAC/Energiser will look great on your desktop, on your side table or wherever else you feel enclined to use it!

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Sound:
The STAX SRM-D10 is quite the power house.
I currently have the L300 ear speakers and 003 MKII “in-ears” and it’s able to drive either effortlessly with stacks ( pun intended ) of headroom.
From memory I believe that the D10 could probably drive the 009s without breaking a sweat.
Hopefully I may get more higher end ear speakers in at some point to see how they fare.
Soundstage is wide open with a generous helping of depth.
Separation is superb, to the point of being clinicaly precise.
The low end is sumptuous and has plenty of punch.
Mids are neutral, yet clear and organic.
Lending a beautifully natural, airy clarity to the experience.
Highs are crisp and perfectly presented, being neither too bright, or rolled off too soon.
I found the L300’s performed better than the 003 MKII’s in Line out mode, however this was not as evident when using the D10 with it’s Hi-Res DAC selected.
Obviously, it’s going to sound at its very best when in DAC mode playing Hi-Res files, however, even with my Audioengine B1 feeding the line in with Qobuz playing over one of my smart devices, the sound quality was phenominal.

Final thoughts:
Don’t let the price tag fool you.
For $945 you’re getting an extremely well made portable electrostatic DAC and energiser with astonishing audio quality, oodles of power, flexibility and damn great looks to round it all off.
Would I recommend it to anyone?
I enjoyed it that much both as a portable device and as a fully fledged desktop device, that I bought one for myself and the 003 MKII’s to go with it!
But more on them in their own review which is coming very soon.
So yes, I absolutely recommend the STAX SRM-D10, whether you’re new to electrostats or an enthusiast.

Thanks:
A massive thank you to my readers! And also my ongoing thanks to STAX for their constant support and sponsorship.

Please remember to like, share, subscribe…..

Many thanks, and have a wonderful easter.
Stay safe.
Paul.