原标题：HiFiMAN Shangri-La Junior electrostatic headphone and valve-driven amplifier原文链接：https://hifiplus.com/articles/hifiman-shangri-la-junior-electrostatic-headphone-and-valve-driven-amplifier/
Many audiophiles and music lovers dream of owning the best audio components, but don’t want to shell out as much as a luxury automobile to get them. While no-holds-barred systems advance the state of the art, they are out of the reach of most audiophiles and music enthusiasts. What I like to find are components that approach the state-of-the-art, but are much more affordable, like HiFiMAN’s amazing Shangri-La Junior electrostatic headphone system ($8,000 US, £7,998 UK).
Electrostatic transducers have captured my attention since I first heard the original Quad loudspeakers several decades ago. I have owned several pairs of original Quad ESL57 and ESL-63 speakers, and still enjoy a set of refurbished ESL57s. The Quads bring the musical event closer to me than most other transducers, but they can be somewhat difficult to drive and typically don’t plumb the subterranean depths as do many loudspeakers sporting dynamic drivers. However, I find myself coming back to electrostats time and again because of their transparency, coherence, lightning quick and focused transient response, clarity, and their natural-sounding harmonics.
The Shangri-La Jr. electrostatic headphone system, including a valve-driven amplifier, comes very close to the best audio systems I have heard, including HiFiMAN’s own Shangri-La and Sennheiser’s HE-1. Both those state-of-the-art contenders cost over $50k, so the fact that the ‘Junior’ gives up very little in terms of sonic performance is quite an achievement!
Like the reference Shangri-La (which I’ll call the ‘Senior’), the Junior uses an ultra-thin, very low mass diaphragm suspended between two oppositely charged stators that are rapidly charged and discharged to move the diaphragm back and forth, producing remarkably coherent sound that only a single driver system can provide. While a lot of the technology in the Junior headphone unit is similar to the reference Senior, it uses a smaller driver or diaphragm. According to designer Dr. Fang Bian, HiFiMAN’s Founder and CEO, the Junior’s smaller circular-shaped driver is actually a bit faster than the Senior’s larger oval-shaped one. The nano-particle coating on both ultra-thin (less than 0.001mm) diaphragms is very evenly distributed to avoid hot spots, and the stators share similar materials. Both use sophisticated micro-mesh wire stators working in close proximity to the diaphragm to increase openness and minimize distortion while allowing extended frequency response from 7Hz to 120kHz. Overtones in the high frequencies are undistorted, enabling voices and instruments to sound more natural, while deep tones are extended and controlled.对比参照大香格里拉，小香格里拉使用了超薄，超轻的振膜悬挂在两个相对安装的的定子之间，同快速充放电来回震动震膜，产生非常一致协调的声音，只有特殊的耳放系统可以驱动。虽说许多技术在初级耳机单元有类似的参考项，但是小香耳机使用一个更小的驱动单元或振膜。
The Junior’s attractive amplifier is more compact and less ambitious than the awesome amplifier provided with the Senior, but it is a honey. It shares a similar circuit structure with the larger Senior model’s amplifier and also uses a stepped attenuator volume control to keep the signal pure. While certainly not portable, the Junior’s amplifier is easily ‘luggable’ and fits comfortably on a desk, tabletop, or nightstand. Its input stage, using four matched 6SN7N valves, produces a wide soundstage and musicality in spades. The Junior amp is a hybrid, mating a Class A output stage with the valve input stage. It is able to drive difficult loads and at the recent AXPONA show, it drove both the Shangri-La Senior and Junior simultaneously via its two five-pin electrostatic headphone jacks. Some show attendees plugged their Stax headphones into the amp and reported very good results. The Junior’s amp (available separately for $5,000 US, or £4,399 UK) is worthy of a separate review—it’s that good!
The Shangri-La Junior and Senior share a lot of the same outstanding sonic attributes—particularly ‘see-through’ transparency, startling clarity, low colouration, and lightning-fast transients without any smearing. It’s difficult to match the seamless coherency of the Junior with any multi-driver transducer—as is apparent on demanding vocal and piano recordings.
Indeed, the Shangri-La Junior system excels at reproducing piano recordings with addictive sonic realism. The Junior’s wide-bandwidth, transparency, clarity, openness, and explosive dynamics all come into play here to produce a highly engaging result. I found myself transported to the recording venue and was able to hear all kinds of subtle details, typically obscured by other transducers, like the natural decay of the notes, the pedaling nuances, and the hammers hitting the strings on both classical and jazz recordings like Vladimir Ashkenazy performing Rachmaninov: Complete Works for Piano[Decca] and Bill Evans on the brilliant MoFi LP reissue of Sunday at the Village Vanguard.
Another difficult challenge involves reproducing human voices accurately and realistically and the Junior excels in this area, too. Listening to an SACD of Nat King Cole singing “Stardust” on Love is the Thing[Analogue Productions], I was reminded of how silky-smooth his voice was, as well as of its gorgeous timbre. Via the Junior, Nat’s clear diction and impeccable phrasing help to draw one into the music and performance. Female voices like Sara Vaughn’s on Ballads [Roulette Jazz] or Julie London’s on Cry Me A River[Liberty Records] are seductive and mesmerizing, and massed voices on Reference Recordings’ wonderful recording of John Rutter’s Requiemare close to the best I’ve heard outside of the concert hall. They’re spread across a wide and deep sound stage, the sound is rich and full-bodied, and one can clearly hear the ambience of the hall.
另一个艰难的挑战是精准真实地重现人声，而小香静电耳机在这方面同样很出色。听着纳特·金·科尔SACD在《Love is the Thing》(Analogue Productions)中演唱的《星尘》，令我浮想起了他柔顺的嗓音和华美的音色。在《少年时代》中，纳特清晰的吐字和无懈可击的歌词有助于将观众引领到音乐和表演中。像Sara Vaughn在Ballads中的女声，或着是Julie London在Cry Me A River中的女声都是无比迷人的，而在聆听John Rutter的《安魂曲》时，其中美妙录音中的人声，是我在音乐厅之外听到的最好表现。人声散布在宽广而深潜的声场中，声音丰富而浓郁，并且你可以清晰地听到大厅的氛围感。
With its extended frequency response and low colouration, the Junior is ruthlessly revealing of flaws in source material, cables, and associated electronics, and the Junior sounds better with well-recorded high-resolution tracks and LPs. As with many reference components, the better the ancillary equipment and cables you use the better the sound will be. My tube-based Modwright-Oppo player, aided by a Shunyata Research Alpha power cable, produced far better results than what I heard from the Junior at both CanJam SoCal and AXPONA. Specifically, the sound was significantly more neutral and natural with these better associated components and cables than in the trade show demos. (I suspect the noisy hotel power at both shows was the culprit).
其延伸良好的频响和低染色，小香静电耳机系统无情地暴露了有缺陷的音源、线材和相关的外设电子产品，小香可以更好的重现良好的高解码格式的曲目和黑胶。与很多参考级配件一样，辅助设备和线材使用得越好，声音也就越好。我的电子管Modwright-Oppo播放器，在Shunyata Research Alpha电源线的加持下，比我从南加州CanJam展和AXPONA展上听到的小香耳机效果要好很多。具体说，与展会上相比，这些搭配更好配件和线材的声音呈现明显更加素净和自然耐听。我甚至怀疑举办这两个展的酒店供电才是元凶。
One common criticism of electrostatic transducer designs is their lack of bass, but this is not true with either of the Shangri-La’s. The Junior has extended and well-controlled bass and can even reproduce the deep pedal tones of a church organ on recordings like Reference Recordings’ Saint-Saens Symphony No.3, the organ symphony. Better still, you don’t have to worry about over-driving your room reproducing those deep tones! The bass guitar on the late great Jaco Pastorius’ Word of Mouthalbum [Warner Bros.] was quite satisfying with phenomenal bass articulation and zero overhang. Sam Jones’ bass on Somethin’ Else[Analogue Productions’ Blue Note SACD reissue] sounds like the real thing without the additional bass bloat so often heard on other systems. Indeed, listening to this album featuring Cannonball Adderley and Miles Davis, places you right in the recording venue and the transient quickness, rhythmic drive, and clarity of Art Blakey’s drums add to the excitement of the performance. Another hallmark of the Junior is that instruments sound amazingly realistic and balanced, with true natural timbre. Both Cannonball’s alto sax and Miles’ trumpet sounded ‘spot on’ in this terrific recording.
对静电耳机系统设计的一个常见诟病，是指它们的低频表现不足，但这并不是香格里拉耳机的问题。小香的低频音质很赞，甚至可以圣桑的《第三交响曲》等管风琴交响曲中再现教堂管风琴的低沉低音。更赞的是，你无需担心你的房间会过度重放那些低沉音调!在已故伟大的Jaco Pastorius的“Word of Mouthalbum ”的低音吉他中，可以呈现相当惊人的低频形体感和结像。Sam Jones的贝斯在Something Else听起来非常真实自然，没有在其他耳机系统上常听到的低频过量。事实上，听着这张由Cannonball Adderley和Miles Davis合作的专辑，你就会置身于录音室现场，而Art Blakey的鼓点所带来的短暂快节奏、节奏的拿捏和清晰度平添了表演中的愉悦感。小香另一个标志性优点是器乐部分听起来令人惊叹的真切平衡，以及真实的自然音色。在这段美妙录音中，坎农鲍尔的中音萨克斯管和迈尔斯的小号听起来都是那么的“恰到好处”。
Did I mention that the Junior can also rock? It is able to reproduce wide dynamic changes so quickly that it can send chills down your spine! Additionally, percussion instruments are reproduced with amazingly clean and quick transients, propelling the music forward with excitement on albums like the reissues of Jimi Hendrix’s Electric Ladyland[Sony Legacy] and Led Zeppelin II[Atlantic]. I found myself listening to entire albums when I thought I would only listen to one track.
我有提过小香耳机也会适合摇滚吗？它能够揭示宽广的动态变化是如此之快，甚至于可以让你的脊背发冷！此外，打击乐器的再现与惊人干净而迅捷的瞬态响应，高效演示了优秀的专辑，如Jimi Hendrix的Electric Ladyland和Led Zeppelin II的重新发售。最终，当我以为只会听一首歌时，我却完整的听完了整张专辑。
If you covet the best headphone systems in the world but don’t want to spend more than fifty-large, the Shangri-La Jr. will get you very close at a fraction of the price provided you feed it well-recorded source material and clean power, and avoid lean-sounding DACs and cables. Given how close it comes to the best reference headphone systems, the Shangri-La Junior is a stunning achievement!