Every hi-fi category has its legendary products, and for headphones few would deny a place in that pantheon to the Stax Lambda Signature 'earspeakers' (as Stax still calls its headphones). The Japanese company had, after all, developed the world's first electrostatic headphones at the dawn of the 1960s; the original Lambda came 20 years later, and the Signature in 1987 — it became a reference product for a decade.

This reviewer remembers being once saddled with a test of 70 types of blank tape cassettes for a UK hi-fi title; this potential nightmare of comparative star ratings could be reliably completed only once we had in place the spectacular audio resolution of a pair of Lambda Signatures, with their dedicated valve amplifier attached to another legend, the Nakamichi Dragon cassette deck.