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Our custom balanced cables for Stage

Hello everyone! It has been awhile since our last update. We hope everyone have been doing great in the new year! In the past two weeks, we have been working on the cables that we would like to pair with stage.

Materials:
After testing out different cable materials, we feel that pure silver provides the best listening experience. In addition to its audio characteristics, pure silver also has the benefit of being more conductive than copper.

Configuration:
We found Stage works best in the balanced configuration. The additional power from balanced drive enables the membranes to vibrate more freely. This allows Stage to achieve its full potential with greater dynamic range, clarity and spaciousness.

We are pleased to show a prototype of our custom made balanced cables for stage:

We have chosen audio grade, pure silver cables.
These are socketed with gold plated MMCX connectors with an aluminum CNC casing. Red and blue trimmings are also included to indicate the left and right sides for convenience.
To drive Stage in a balanced configuration, we have terminated it into a 2.5 mm gold plated jack which is commonly used in most audiophile players.
We have also included some carbon fiber accents to match the overall aesthetics of Stage.
Our prototype custom cables for Stage

We are also currently sourcing several accessories for the cables such as a 2.5 mm to 3.5 mm (ACG) adapter as well as UCB-C/lightning adapters. Stay tuned for more updates!

Design of Our Closed Planar Magnetic IEMs

In this update, we will talk about the external design of Stage. One of the unique features of Stage is its closed design, making Stage significantly different from many other Planar Magnetic IEMs.

Why make a closed planar magnetic IEM?

  1. Isolation – allowing you to enjoy your music anywhere
  2. Increased sound conduction efficiency – allowing Stage to be compatible with a wider range of mobile players.
  3. Sound tuning – selective dampening allows subtle accentuation of particular audio frequencies to craft a unique sound signature.

Characteristic sound of a planar magnetic driver

Through the careful tuning of the audio pathway by the choice of dampening materials, driver positioning and shape, we are able to maintain the characteristic spaciousness of planar magnetic drivers whilst still having a closed design.

Comfort

To have a truly good experience, we have attentively engineered Stage to provide maximal comfort:

  1. Lightweight design using aluminimum and polycarbonate. This allows longer and listening without ear fatigue. These materials also allow Stage to have a premium feel and tasteful aesthetics.
  2. Polycarbonate allows the base of our IEMs to be molded and curved according to the anatomical shape of the ear, creating a comfortable “universal IEM”. This minimizes the amount of sudden transition points allowing it to be seated on the ear evenly for increased comfort.

Cable pairings for Stage – Balanced Planar IEMs?

Merry Christmas and happy holidays all! Hope everyone is enjoying their holidays and year end break! Writing to you from Penang =)

We have been hard at work trying to fine tune Stage and push its audio capabilities further! We have been exploring the different types of cables available to find the perfect pairing with Stage. Currently, we are testing out oxygen free copper, alloyed cables, pure silver cables and gold plated pure silver cables to analyze their effects on the sound. Also, we have been testing out Stage in balanced configurations and we are pleased to say that in our preliminary testing, we are seeing drastic improvements in the sound!

Could we see Stage ship with a balanced cable? More updates to follow!

What are Planar Magnetic Drivers?

Planar Magnetic Driver
Exploded view of a planar magnetic driver

Structure of a Planar Magnetic Driver
The basic structure of a planar magnetic driver consists of a frame which contains a magnetic array, of which on top of it sits a planar membrane with a coil fabricated on its surface. When an electrical audio signal is fed into the driver coil, an electromagnetic field is generated which interacts with the existing permanent magnetic field what is set up by the magnetic array. This causes the planar membrane to vibrate and then produce sound.

How do Planar Magnetic Drivers sound?
Most earphones and In-Ear Monitors (IEMs) today utilize dynamic and/or armature drivers. While they have their merits, the biggest drawback is that dynamic and armature drivers focus vibration in a small area of the driver in order to produce sound. This is the speaker cone in dynamic drivers and the metal armature in armature drivers. Whereas in Planar magnetic drivers, the vibration is spread out across the entire membrane and the entire membrane moves. This produces sound with a more “planar” characteristic as opposed to sound coming from point source. This makes planar magnetic drivers sound more spacious and layered instead of sound coming from within your head like those produced by common dynamic and armature drivers.

Why aren’t there many Planar Magnetic IEMS or Earphones? 
Tradationally, planar magnetic drivers are large and are found only in big headphones, and there are numerous challenges associated with miniaturizing such drivers to fit into an IEM while still having a true sound. The biggest challenge is that when the size of the driver is simply reduced, the space for magnets and the coil decreases significantly, leading to a dramatic reduction in driving efficiency. However, Stage’s unique approach and patent pending technology overcomes this problem and maintains efficiency whilst still producing sound true to its full sized counterparts.

We will talk more about the technology power stage in future posts. Stay tuned!