“Current Mode Amplification” is a magical phrase that brings out the inner meerkat from the headphone enthusiast crowd, and will cause spontaneous synchronized head-swiveling. Only a couple of companies are pursuing this interesting approach to amplification — Questyle Audio is one of those brands.
Questyle is also a brand that’s received quite a bit of attention — and no little admiration — from the Part-Time crowd. Audio-Head‘s Brian Hunter reviewed the CMA-800R, and you can check out returning Part-Timer John Grandberg’s profile on Head-Fi for a list of Questyle products he’s investigated.
While I haven’t had the pleasure of exploring anything from the product line myself, I believe I might be able rectify that shortly with the upcoming QP1 and QP1R release. The QP1 is a portable digital audio player — I saw a mock-up at CES this year, and talked at length with Bruce Ball about the player and the specs. Key feature — we can expect more of the signature current-mode goodness in the DAP.
Also on display was the company’s 5GHz Wireless System — amps without input interconnects? Yes! That should clean up the floor more than a little, no? Unfortunately, there was absolutely no way that this system could have been played — much less heard — on the Halls of the Munich show, it’s one of those too-good-to-be-true technologies. Love to see that explored in the future.
Last but not least was the collaboration with Stax. This product, the CMA-800P ($TBD, but I was told to expect ~$3000), is a current-mode pre amplifier, and designed to work with Stax’ flagship STAX 727MKII/SR-009 combo. Paired with the matching CAS192D digital converter, what I heard out of the legendary SR009 headphones, in addition to the freaky-spooky clarity, was stunning bass performance. Definitely not a cheap adventure (the combo reaches quite uncomfortably close to $10k), but this may be one of the most insane headphone experiences you can get your ears into. Me likey.