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RAAL-requisite SR1a Has Landed


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I've been doing the "ear against the tweeter" thing for ages ... on speakers, ūüėĀ ...¬† and that tells you just as much about what the rig is getting wrong, as the RAALs.

 

What many people don't appreciate is that if it sounds "off", right next to the tweeter, then one's hearing has no trouble picking this up, from metres away ... just because it's now much lower in level, doesn't stop it being heard ... QED.

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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4 hours ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

One device that was pretty noisy was from Benchmark, the company who is the darling of the objectivists. 

And a company whose DAC's I have always thought were unlistenable. Strident, overly dynamic, overly analytical, too lean, and shrill. And then there are the real issues! :)

How these things get good reviews are an absolute mystery to not only myself, but I've had this same discussion with an entire group of well versed audio enthusiasts, as well as several audiophile oriented friends, and more than one top notch audio reviewer that I know. 

 

JC

 

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6 hours ago, sandyk said:

 

 Better still,  a pair of 100W Nelson Pass Class A Monoblocks .¬¬

Perhaps a good test for typical Class D amplifiers too ?

Devil smiley.png

Sandy, I suspect you are very likely to be right about those Pass amps. As I noted to Chris in an earlier comment, the Pass XA100.5 mono's would be great to try with the RAAL's. Very, very few solid state amplifieres ahve the 

 

As far as class D amps, I tried a pair of very good Class D monoblocks and they sounded fine, but just did not compare with using the RAAL's with a quality tube amp. 

 

JC

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On 2/27/2020 at 4:39 AM, Energy said:

I heard from reviews that some find the RAAL SR1a's a little bright. To me it feels like many ribbons and electrostatics do not punch as hard dynamic headphones or even planar's like Abyss, Audeze, or HiFiMAN and emphasizes the high frequencies. Is this true? I do know the new HEDDphone is more balanced but still has somewhat of a fixture on treble qualities that I don't find to be good sounding.

I don't think any headphone is going to out-punch Abyss any time soon. I own the OG 1266 and it's hands down the punchiest headphone I've ever heard, and that's including my HE6 driven by B22. Heddphone on the other hand, I heard the prototype at AES last year, the bass is monstrous. But it looks like they went with a different tuning with the final product. 

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For those who are curious about heddphone vs RAAL, here are my 2 cents. I heard the Heddphone prototype at AES, at the time there were 3 tunings. One bass heavy, one bass light, and the last one near-field (I think?). My favorite was the bass heavy one. The bass is carnivorous, and the extension is really good. I heard the RAAL at a friends house a few months back. Dunno what his driving them with but it has to be the most resolving headphone there ever is on this planet. The details are presented in a very brutal fashion. It's not even like electrostatics. Electrostatics offer a ton of detail but they at least do it somewhat naturally. These things just outright highlight detail and punishes any recording with bad mastering. I don't really agree with its tonality, as its way too bright sounding for me, but damn the resolution of these ear-speakers is just unparalleled. 

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On 6/28/2020 at 2:15 AM, lambdastorm said:

For those who are curious about heddphone vs RAAL, here are my 2 cents. I heard the Heddphone prototype at AES, at the time there were 3 tunings. One bass heavy, one bass light, and the last one near-field (I think?). My favorite was the bass heavy one. The bass is carnivorous, and the extension is really good. I heard the RAAL at a friends house a few months back. Dunno what his driving them with but it has to be the most resolving headphone there ever is on this planet. The details are presented in a very brutal fashion. It's not even like electrostatics. Electrostatics offer a ton of detail but they at least do it somewhat naturally. These things just outright highlight detail and punishes any recording with bad mastering. I don't really agree with its tonality, as its way too bright sounding for me, but damn the resolution of these ear-speakers is just unparalleled. 

That resolution, speed and detail is why I, and many others find that the RAAl's truly come to life, in a much more natural way, with a good tube based amp. The added warmth is exactly whats needed for incredible sound and it balances everything. Once you pair it with the right tube amp, magic simply happens. 

 

JC

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I’m up at a cabin near the Boundary Waters in northern Minnesota. It didn’t even dawn on me to bring the RAALs with the Schiit JR. Would’ve been a great traveling combo because the JR is so compact. 
 

Instead I’m stuck with a great pair of electrostatic custom IEMs, but they aren’t the SR1a. Can’t wait to get back to my RAALs. 

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Announcing Polestar | Quick Community Reviews and Ratings

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1 minute ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

I’m up at a cabin near the Boundary Waters in northern Minnesota. It didn’t even dawn on me to bring the RAALs with the Schiit JR. Would’ve been a great traveling combo because the JR is so compact. 
 

Instead I’m stuck with a great pair of electrostatic custom IEMs, but they aren’t the SR1a. Can’t wait to get back to my RAALs. 

 

Even better with a Schiit Modi Multibit!

No electron left behind...

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9 hours ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

I’m up at a cabin near the Boundary Waters in northern Minnesota. It didn’t even dawn on me to bring the RAALs with the Schiit JR. Would’ve been a great traveling combo because the JR is so compact. 
 

Instead I’m stuck with a great pair of electrostatic custom IEMs, but they aren’t the SR1a. Can’t wait to get back to my RAALs. 

C'mon Chris!

Put down the phones and BE THERE NOW.

 

I love the BWCA. Enjoy yourself, you deserve it.

SSH

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On 7/8/2020 at 9:57 PM, The Computer Audiophile said:

I’m up at a cabin near the Boundary Waters in northern Minnesota. It didn’t even dawn on me to bring the RAALs with the Schiit JR. Would’ve been a great traveling combo because the JR is so compact. 
 

Instead I’m stuck with a great pair of electrostatic custom IEMs, but they aren’t the SR1a. Can’t wait to get back to my RAALs. 

Have a great time at that beautiful Boundary Waters area. A good friend of mine has canoed there, several times in the fall, during peak colors, and the pictures he brought back were breathtaking. 

 

And just think how much you will enjoy the RAAL's when you get back, and first fire them up! 

 

JC

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I would say the only issue I find with these phenomenal HP's or whatever we call them is the incredible accuracy can result in some sobliance with recordings prone to it because there is literally no filter with which the music is presented. The susvara with their excellent detail presentation have a bit of the same issue the abyss TC a little less than the susvara...basically in terms of the recordings you listen to you what you hear is essentially what is on the original tape unvarnished for good or bad....good recordings are glorious

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Was just reading someone's initial impressions on FB and he mentioned that there are so many different ways to wear the SR1a including backwards. My first thought was that wearing them backwards is totally stupid and then I tried it. It does wrap the soundstage around your head in an interesting way. I'm sure this won't replace the way I normally wear the headphones but I have to admit I kind of like it. It's probably particularly well suited to the free jazz that I listen to. This is what is currently playing:

 

 

snip_20200731220813.png

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3 hours ago, cfisher said:

Was just reading someone's initial impressions on FB and he mentioned that there are so many different ways to wear the SR1a including backwards. My first thought was that wearing them backwards is totally stupid and then I tried it. It does wrap the soundstage around your head in an interesting way. I'm sure this won't replace the way I normally wear the headphones but I have to admit I kind of like it. It's probably particularly well suited to the free jazz that I listen to. This is what is currently playing:

 

 

snip_20200731220813.png

Besides backwards, could you elaborate on the "many different ways to wear the SR1a's" that were noted? I think it would be an interesting perspective for current owners. 

 

JC

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On 5/29/2020 at 10:06 PM, The Computer Audiophile said:

Hi Guys, I got the Parasound HINT 6 integrated in today and connected it to the SR1a right away. This is a terrific amplifier. It's ultra quiet and right now, with virtually zero hours on it, I think it's a giant killer. Can't wait to get more time on it. 

Curious if you have any more feedback on the Parasound amp section? Not many reviews out there of the A23+ amp section thats part of the Hint 6.

Regards,

Dave

 

Audio system

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Meitner ma1 v2 dac,  Sovereign preamp and power amp,

DIY speakers with scan speak illuminator drivers.

Under development:

NUC7i7dnbe, Euphony Stylus

Modded Buffalo-fiber-EtherRegen, DC3- Isoregen, Lush^2

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I would largely align with Andrew's review of the SR1a paired with the JotR. I spent Sunday auditioning a NAT 805 integrated amp 50 watts but volume never went past 52 on a 100 scale and a Cary 60 watt tube amp again never above 50 out of 100 on volume. Both amps significantly increased bass volume and midrange density both retained the speed, transparency and leading edge transient response the SR1a is known for. 

I love the JotR for what it is a relatively inexpensive amp that does a good job showing what the Sr1a can do but in no means is it near showing you what the Sr1a is capable of with a great amp. Now having a 50-100 pound amp for a sub 500 gram headphone is a little crazy but we are audiophiles/music lovers.

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I haven't heard the SR-1A with the JotR amp, and I would say that is the entry level for the Raal Headphones. 

 

But I clearly did not come across those issues the reviewer mentions in the lower mids and bass using the Raal headphone amp.

 

These headphones won't shake your solar plexus with a thump, as they don't have your ears covered in a tight fit. So don't go looking for it. 

 

But they do go down low enough in the bass registers and as they are so clean its a revelation. Its a different listening experience and you have to get used to it.

 

There is no going back once you do.

 

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