Now that the Paltauf ESD including the tube power supply has been moved in and installed, I would like to take the opportunity to describe my experiences, especially in comparison to the SRM-700T and T8000 from Stax.
Let me start by saying that, from my point of view, I did everything right. I listened with Stax 009S and Stax 4070. The Paltauf has the NOS Siemens preamp tube and 4 Tungsol power amp tubes.
I don't want to go into that in detail, but I would like to point out to all those who would like to buy this beautiful device that there is still a lot going on in the first 50 hours. In the past, I have never experienced such an intense immersion in music with headphones, like bathing in a musical lake. It is really hard to describe, after a very short time, regardless of the type of music, I no longer paid attention to the treble, mid-range and bass, but simply enjoyed the music and immersed myself in it. From my point of view, this is the greatest compliment you can pay to a device for my hobby of listening to music. The way it plays helps immensely to switch off and enjoy.
The Stax amplifiers are really good and I wouldn't say that they sound worse, I would rather describe it in such a way that with the Stax amplifiers I somehow always paid attention to the individual music areas and couldn't let go like that. To be honest, I can't say what the reason for this is, and I don't know if it would be different with other headphone pairs.
But the Paltauf is a "pleasure machine" and I would always recommend the Paltauf ESD to anyone who likes electrostats and wants to enjoy music without having to break down individual frequencies.
I ordered my Paltauf ESD with an external tube power supply. This has the advantage that the transformer is located in the power supply and possible sources of interference are excluded from the outset. Due to the lack of a second Paltauf ESD, I could not compare the difference in sound.
In the meantime, after several phone calls with Mr. Paltauf, I made 2 more changes, I exchanged the power tubes for a quartet of "Gold Lions", which didn't cost much but brought a little more pressure in the bass range and a somewhat better defined body of the instruments (cost me about 140 Euros and is absolutely recommendable for the price).
But now the biggest tip: have the "Firewall 640x DIY" passive mains filter installed right from the start (i.e. when you order it). To be honest, I didn't want to believe it at first, but this increases the quietness of the sound even more.
In summary, I can state the following: The Paltauf-ESD is the perfect headphone amplifier for people who like to enjoy music and don't want to analyse it, regardless of the type of headphones. As I wrote above, it is a true "pleasure machine". The fact that it is also lovingly hand-built in Austria and only made to order, with direct contact to the builder, where else can you find something like that these days. I enjoy the Paltauf-ESD very much and in the headphone area I have now finally achieved what I also achieved with the large music system in the living room, simply listening to music without having the urge to have something missing or not yet perfect.
I hope I was able to help one or the other reader with their own individual decision-making.