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RAAL-requisite SR1a Has Landed

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2 minutes ago, ShawnC said:

Are there any amps that sound bad with these headphones?  

Oh yes. The amps need enough power to drive these things. Plus, the headphones are so revealing that amps with deficiencies stand out like a sore thumb. The Sr1a has really opened a new world of headphone playback with "traditional" amplifiers and it's pretty dang cool. 


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Put new tubes into the MC275 and have it powering the SR1a now. I can see many people falling in love with this sound. Currently it isn't my first choice due to a bit more bloom than I'm used to, but these tubes have about 20 minutes on them and I haven't given it much time with different music etc... The sound remains magical though.

 

IMG_1570-.jpg


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Additional thoughts.

 

These headphones make evaluating components dead simple. Sure, switching amps should sound different, but this is on another level. The SR1a are like laboratory tools that enable the sound of the electronics pass through to one's ears amazingly. It's really cool. From the Schiit Vidars in mono, to the Audio Research VT 80SE, and now to the McIntosh MC275. All very different sounding experiences through the SR1a (as it should be).  

 

I'll have a Boulder 866 integrated with digital input board in here when it's completely ready for review. This should give me a completely different presentation than what I've heard already. Can't wait.

 

http://boulderamp.com/products/866-integrated/

 

 


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I could not wait for another glowing (sorry, more tube puns) review. Ordered my Raals today, shipping tomorrow from Amsterdam. Want get them before the spike in demand from all the positive review and impressions causes a global shortage.

 

Going to use Ncore monoblocks short term for motive power. Probably go Jot R soon, then look for some exotic amplification later on. 

 

Chris, you probably pushed me over the edge. I appreciate it.

Edited by LowOrbit
Correction of predictive text algorithm errors

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3 minutes ago, LowOrbit said:

I could not wait for another glowing (sorry, more tube puns) review. Ordered my Raals today, shipping tomorrow from Amsterdam. Want get them before the spike in demand from all the positive review and impressions causes a global shortage.

 

Going to use Ncore monoblocks short term for motive power. Probably go Jot R soon, then look for some exotic amplification later on. 

 

Chris, you probably pushed me over the edge. I appreciate it.

Great to read. These are capable of delivering endless hours of enjoyment. I haven't warn a pair of headphones this much ever in my life. So much fun. 

 

Let us know when you get them and how the NCore amps work!


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17 minutes ago, LowOrbit said:

I could not wait for another glowing (sorry, more tube puns) review. Ordered my Raals today, shipping tomorrow from Amsterdam. Want get them before the spike in demand from all the positive review and impressions causes a global shortage.

 

Going to use Ncore monoblocks short term for motive power. Probably go Jot R soon, then look for some exotic amplification later on. 

 

Chris, you probably pushed me over the edge. I appreciate it.


please let us know how they do with the ncore’s?

Is Amsterdam the only place where you can audition them, that you know of? According to google it is?


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1 hour ago, RickyV said:


please let us know how they do with the ncore’s?

Is Amsterdam the only place where you can audition them, that you know of? According to google it is?

I think the French stockist has them on dem.

 

I am hampered by a broken ankle at the moment, so any travel is too much hassle, so I am buying on the basis of a fourteen day money back offer from Headphones Auditions in Amsterdam. I am pretty sure I shall be keeping them though, unless my ears are totally out of step with Chris, Torq et al. 

 

The Ncores are terrific amps, but given something as ruthlessly transparent as the Raals, I am making no predictions of compatibility. I can probably get my hands on a Chord Etude, if I need a quick alternative approach. As I said, Jotenheim R is probably the mid term play, then relax and see what comes my way later. The basic nuetrality and honesty I expect from the ribbons is very much my preferred flavour.

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9 hours ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

P.S. I switched back to the ARC amp and it's a night and day difference. I absolutely love what the ARC does with the SR1a. Stunning. 

Chris, can you talk a bit more about the differences you noted when listening to the MC275's vs the ARC. The reviews talk about the VT80 as though it is a bit dry and analytical and sounding not at all like tubes. Thanks.

 

JC

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2 hours ago, TubeLover said:

Chris, can you talk a bit more about the differences you noted when listening to the MC275's vs the ARC. The reviews talk about the VT80 as though it is a bit dry and analytical and sounding not at all like tubes. Thanks.

 

JC


The MC275 just isn’t very refined when driving the SR1a. It runs out of gas and has too much color for me. 
 

The VT80SE is not analytical at all compared to solid state designs, but I suppose it could be considered analytical compared to the MC275. I wouldn’t classify it as such, but I can see how one would. The VT80SE is so far a wonderful match for the SR1a. I need to really push it to determine if I can find its limit, but I’ll do that in the coming days. 


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I'm really curious how comfortable these are. Most headphones have a decided fatigue factor  for wearing that limits their utility; weight on the head, pressure points on the ear.

That's one reason I liked the Dan Clark Ether 2, you were hardly aware you were wearing it. And a reason why I haven't bought any of the Audeze LCD series despite liking

the sound signature. When paying ~ $3-4k for a headphone, it needs to be comfortable for 4-8 hours of listening, not distract with discomfort.


Regards,

Dave

 

Audio system

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2 minutes ago, davide256 said:

I'm really curious how comfortable these are. Most headphones have a decided fatigue factor  for wearing that limits their utility; weight on the head, pressure points on the ear.

That's one reason I liked the Dan Clark Ether 2, you were hardly aware you were wearing it. And a reason why I haven't bought any of the Audeze LCD series despite liking

the sound signature. When paying ~ $3-4k for a headphone, it needs to be comfortable for 4-8 hours of listening, not distract with discomfort.

These are on a completely different level. I can wear them for many hours without an issue. In fact, I haven't been able to wear them long enough to cause an issue. Meaning, I'm putting in long hours but haven't found that magic number of hours that causes me to take them off. 

 

They sit off the ears so nicely it's amazing. The first few hours I got them I wasn't used to it and was a bit annoyed just because they are so different. I was used to a headphone that had a specific position around my ears and I knew it was in place. These are completely different. I have no desire to ever return to a different pair or style of headphones. 


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3 hours ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

Oh yes. Nothing like them. 

 

Why did you have to do this to me Chris? I was perfectly happy with the system I am assembling for the Susvaras...  haha.


No electron left behind...

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Do you by any chance know how these ribbon headphones differ from the ribbons offered by HEDD Audio's HEDDphone?


Computer (Ethernet)  EtherRegen (Ethernet)  Endpoint (USB)  Holo Audio May (XLR)  AMB Laboratories β22 (Balanced)  Abyss AB-1266 Phi TC (Headphones)
 
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3 minutes ago, Energy said:

Do you by any chance know how these ribbon headphones differ from the ribbons offered by HEDD Audio's HEDDphone?

Completely different technology although it may seem similar. Hedd uses a folded planar AMT vs. SR1a's true ribbon. SR1a is aluminum immersed in a magnetic field with current flowing through it to move it.


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28 minutes ago, Energy said:

Do you by any chance know how these ribbon headphones differ from the ribbons offered by HEDD Audio's HEDDphone?


These are ribbon speakers.

http://www.analysisaudio.com/index.php


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NUC7i7dnbe, Euphony Stylus

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Thank you for clarifying.

 

I found further insight from this link that compared folded and pleated ribbons. It also included the RAAL's true ribbon in the discussion for anyone who wants to understand better.

 

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/89-speakers/2113482-folded-pleated-ribbon-comparison.html


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2 minutes ago, PeterG said:

That's it--THIS PSYCHIC ABUSE MUST END!!!

 

Pulled the trigger a few minutes ago.  Though with only an MC275, I will have to settle for "magical" instead of "stunning", haha.  I'll report back after some listening.  For others on the fence or in search of a demo, there is a 14-day risk-free return policy.

 

Thanks, Chris!

Awesome. Let us know how it goes!

 

 


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3 minutes ago, Energy said:

Thank you for clarifying.

 

I found further insight from this link that compared folded and pleated ribbons. It also included the RAAL's true ribbon in the discussion for anyone who wants to understand better.

 

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/89-speakers/2113482-folded-pleated-ribbon-comparison.html

Aleksander the designer of the SR1a has posted some info about the true ribbon vs others in this thread over on Head-Fi. I highly recommend using the search function as the thread is a monster. 

 

https://www.head-fi.org/threads/raal-ribbon-headphones-srh1a.890603/

 


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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.


Computer (Ethernet)  EtherRegen (Ethernet)  Endpoint (USB)  Holo Audio May (XLR)  AMB Laboratories β22 (Balanced)  Abyss AB-1266 Phi TC (Headphones)
 
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What if you have only one power amp for your speakers and the raal. What then, connection wise?


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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

EtherRegen, Clock modded Isoregen, Lush^2

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