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Claimed coverage is 42Hz – 18kHz. That’s quite the heroic 9.5 octave stretch. Jesberger was right. A standard widebander doesn’t make that without a basshorn and/or super tweeter assist. A full-range magnetostat meanwhile requires variously wide panel segments. Those are driven by a filter network to essentially become another traditional multi-way affair. Silberstatic is different. Though there are two segments—one full-range, one bass—there ain’t a filter. Not really. Come again?

I’d previously heard little of crossover-less 1.5-ways but it does describe the Silberstatic well enough. One 134 x 19cm element of the panel covers the entire claimed bandwidth. Check. The second one handles 42 to 200Hz for bass augmentation. Check. Yet classic coils and caps are MIA. Checkmate? Silberstatic handles its frequency division differently. The full-range segment runs on six stator wires. Those couple directly to the transformer. The remaining wires are grouped as bundles of 12 each. To those are applied increasingly high-ohm resistors. Voilà, HF attenuation until what makes it to the bass segment only covers 42 – 200Hz. For this scheme Jesberger claims more seamless coherent playback.

This neatly explains the earlier question why wires for stators. It becomes relatively elegant to build in HF damping and assign very specific frequency distribution across a single panel without inserting a standard crossover into the signal path. Put simply, not all of the 2 x 58 wires per panel create an equally strong electrical field. How much and where can be fixed by driving individual wires, impossible with a conventional solid stator grid.

Jesberger brought up a second advantage for the ability to manipulate the frequency-dependent electrical field strength across assignable surfaces. The six wires carrying the full unattenuated signal make up about 2 centimeters in width. Only that strip radiates full treble energy. Hence beaming is much reduced over having the entire 19cm membrane produce it. This creates far broader off-axis response than usual for electrostats, ergo a wider tonally even sweet spot. Smart, huh? Needless to say, vertical beaming remains unaffected. The treble sliver is still 1.3 meters tall. Standing or sitting alters tonal balance. So far so normal for a large panel speaker.

The foil itself of course is a core element for any ‘stat but here Jesberger clams up. Having dicked around with the recipe over two long years, he’s not about to write it out for copycats. What he will say is that Hostapfan is the material’s supplier, that its thickness is 5.82µm and that he applies to it a proprietary high-ohm layer. One major advantage of the latter is near instantaneous charge to allow for automated turn-on. Or put differently, the N°1 shuts itself down after 15 minutes of no signal. The Silberstatic does not require constant charge to sound its best. That impacts long-term stability, a long life for the foil and thus high reliability.

My very first listening impression noted nothing pressing forward, nothing holding back – great consistency and coherence of the sonic panorama. This well-balanced very natural presentation wasn’t merely a function of tonal neutrality but also that all frequency components ‘drove at the same speed’ if I may put it that casually. Bass didn’t drag, treble didn’t lead. Everything marched in lockstep. That relaxed me since now it was about the music and not frequency bands. Very pleasing.

Spinning Francoiz Breut’s eponymous album in my CD player had me thrilled with the utterly seamless perfectly balanced outcome. With this record particularly in the vocal band that’s far from a given. Often it gets hyper sharp as though zoomed in too hard when a speaker’s own presence region behavior is added. The opposite happens too when things turn down as though packed in cotton wool – less stressed but more boring. With the Silberstatic N°1 particularly the sibilants had me at hello. No extra pepper, no sugar, simply pure natural heat. That’s a very narrow path which the Silberstatic navigated with aplomb.