Review about the KHV-ES (old type designation MK3) by Hubert Hoffmann
Without comparing the individual versions, the sound of the Paltauf Stax amplifier Mk3 could be described in a nutshell like this:
Extremely rich in timbre (with a certain preference of the lower midrange), with perfect impulse response (THE strength of any electrostatic transducer!) in an acoustically clearly defined space (in terms of its dimensions via audible first sound reflections).
If the amplifier is well "warmed up", it enables (as obviously all paltaufs?) an almost "haptic" musical experience: sound events are not "ethereal" (which is always said to be the case with electrostats), but "well grounded" in all their sharpness of contours. For the first time, the Paltauf Mk3 succeeds in doing this without any restrictions in the bass range: it's simply fun to have clearly contoured and at the same time powerful bass impulses (such as a kettledrum) beating around the ears and for the first time with an electrostatic bass, I can distinguish the enormous resonating body of a vibrating double bass with its many partial resonances from the plank of an electric bass with its pickups and the subsequent amplification via PA electronics with self-explanatory ease.
But: All these are at best individual impressions. What this combination of a Paltauf Mk3 with a SR-009 can conjure out of storage media is something you have to experience yourself!
Now it's really like this: I'm just discovering my collection of various sound carriers anew and this completely unstressed and with growing astonishment.
To the author Hubert Hoffmann
Hubert Hoffmann is regarded as one of the most distinguished lutenists of his generation and pursues a worldwide concert career as a soloist and continuo player. He is particularly interested in the stylistic diversity of Austrian baroque music of the 17th and 18th centuries, which is documented by his membership in ensembles such as Ars Antiqua Austria, Clemencic Consort, Capella Leopoldina Graz and the Marini Consort Innsbruck. With his own ensemble "saitsiing" he realizes advanced program concepts which are enthusiastically celebrated by the public and the press.
His solo CDs with works by the Bohemian Count Losy and music from the Klosterneuburger Lautenbuch have received wide public recognition. In April 2008, Challenge Classics released a co-production with Ars Antiqua Austria of the probably most important collection of Viennese lute concertos by Wenzel Ludwig Radolt.
In addition, he is conducting intensive research in the field of historical continuo practice for plucked instruments, for which he maintains his own ensemble "bassar". As far as his time allows, he is a sought-after speaker on various aspects of historical performance practice.
Field report about the KHV-ES by Stefan Sipl