The evolution of “Stage” – From ABS to Full Wood Planar Magnetic IEMS

In this update we decide to touch upon the various iterations we have gone through leading up to the development of our current prototype. Looking back, we have been almost 2-3 years in developing “Stage”, it has (and still is) been a great journey developing “Stage”.

Have a look through the various photographs from our collection of planar magnetic prototypes below!

Our first Practical 3D printed prototype

One of our first practical prototypes. This was 3D printed using ABS filament and subsequently treated in an acetone vapour chamber. This used one of our early planar magnetic drivers with regular copper constructions and a singular “Push” configuration. Back then, the volume output of the earphones was very low due to the inefficient design and it had a small sized 12 x 12 mm driver.

Our first 3D wood printed prototype

As we advanced from our ABS 3D printed prototypes, we weren’t satisfied with the sound profiles. As wood lovers ourselves, we started experimenting with other materials. This was our first foray into wood. This was made using 3D as well with wood filament, the surfaces were then hand filed and finished to produce a wood grain. The addition of wood made the sound more warm and spacious. A serious influence to our final designs! These were the first prototypes to feature CNC aluminium caps as well to make a more premium feel.

Wood prototypes with our improved push-pull configuration planar magnetic drivers

In this version, which featured the same 3D printed wood and CNC aluminium caps, we improved on our earlier 12 x 12 mm drivers by adding an additional front array of magnets, making our drivers to become “push-pull” increasing the driving efficiency of our drivers.

SLA 3D printed prototype with the largest ever 17.5 x 12.5 mm planar magnetic drivers in an IEM.

Any planar magnetic lover knows that planar magnetic drivers are power hungry. We knew we needed to increase the efficiency of our drivers in order to achieve practical use on the go. This 3D printed prototype was one of our first using SLA printing technology. These featured our brand new V3 drivers which were “push-pull” and much larger, with 17.5 x 12.5 mm size. The largest ever in any closed planar magnetic IEM.

Our polycarbonate prototype with wood water transfer. V4 drivers with special N54 magnets

Continuing with our love with wood, we started producing prototypes with poly-carbonate shells with water transfer wood grain patterns. This was our first trial with making a “mass production” prototype. These featured our improved V4 large 17.5 x 12.5 mm drivers with special N54 magnets. These also had our new logo with the “D” and “L” pattern with a sound wave effect. We loved the sound… but something was missing…

Where we are now, Planar magnetic IEMS with FULL WOOD construction. These also feature our V5 drivers with a revamped front magnetic array for increased sound transparency

Fast forward to our latest prototype. We just could not turn away from wood sound! Developing this prototype was the most time consuming. Wood construction was difficult and the prototypes we had made were very fragile. We had partnered with various wood craftsmen and after a year of prototyping, we had come up with this prototype which featured multiple parts which had to be had machined and precision fit to ensure no sound leakage. More on this in our next update!