Jump to content
The Computer Audiophile

RAAL-requisite SR1a Has Landed

Rate this topic

Recommended Posts

4 minutes ago, TubeLover said:

My RAAL package arrived unusually late yesterday for UPS (7:30pm!). Granted, I sincerely thanked the driver for sticking it out, and finishing his last deliveries. And so, I've been listening since last night, and wanted to share my impressions. Let me note that all listening done so far has been with the RAAL's connected to my Modwright KWI 200 integrated. It's no slouch, and with 200wpc, easily drives the RAAL's exceedingly well. First of all, I'm in agreement with quite a few others that you had all the essential elements identified correctly, Chris. 

 

The speed, dynamics, clarity and overall presentation are simply stunning. I was not prepared for the solidity of the bass, top to bottom. I have a couple favorite tracks that I use to evaluate how well speakers, of any kind, can reproduce bass as recorded, well, in a rock environment. One is the Dire Straits, Brothers In Arms track, :Ride Across The River". Actually, this is a fabulous track for a complete speaker evaluation too, but the bass, in this intense and challenging mix, is hard to get truly right, and not many speakers accomplish it with total effectiveness. The second track is from the original solo album, by one of my rock heroes, and so sorely missed, Chris Squire, of Yes, who redefined what a bass player could do in the world of rock. The album is "Fish Out Of Water", and the track is "Lucky Seven". I followed those two recordings with some acoustic bass from a few really well recorded sources. In every case, the RAAL's delivered all the "natural" bass sonics with control and substance. Remarkable.

 

As I continued listening into the night I sat there, regularly stunned by revelations at how they reproduced a series of test tracks and evaluation albums that I've used over the years. Everything from hard rock to folk, to ambient, to acoustic music was limited only by the quality of the recording. Even the Gregorian Chants that I was listening to at 1am sounded as though I was in the ancient chapel in Europe during the performance. Around 2am, I was getting tired, it had been a long day before the RAAl's got here, and needed some sleep. I thought, well, try one last piece of music. I selected an old favorite, by the very gifted guitarist, Jesse Cook. As I believe was noted earlier in the thread, he melds flamenco, blues, world, and a few other things into his playing, but most of his albums are superbly recorded, as well as brilliantly played. I put on his live album recorded in Montreal. I planned to listen to just the first couple songs of this bravura performance and before I even realized it, it was after 3am, as Ron had continued playing some of his songs. I was so lost in the sound of the RAAL's reproducing this music, I didn't even know what had happened. 

Something that has routinely left me in awe is the degree to which the dynamics of this remarkable product can impact your listening in ways you never before heard. I would be carefully listening to music that I knew like the back of my hand and had heard countlewss times, and on some very high end systems. Out of nowhere a guitar note would appear, from absolute blackness, or a sticks impact on a drum, or a backing vocal that just mysteriously was there, none of which I had ever heard that way before. 

 

Right now I am listening to the redoubtable Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell and their "The Traveling Kind" album. It is as though they are singing only to me, from somewhere just ahead on a small stage. Just remarkable.

 

I'll have more comments tomorrow night, and I suspect even yet another level of performance to credit the RAAL's with, after I get them connected to my much loved Conrad Johnson ARTsa amplifier. That should, I expect, produce true magic even beyond what has come before.

 

JC

I’ve been waiting for your first impressions! Happy to read them so far. 
 

The more you listen and the more you find the perfect placement of the headphones on your head, the better it gets. Plus, you still have the CJ amp to put in the chain!

 

I’d say these are the most amazing / breakthrough HiFi product in recent memory for me. I’ve had them paired with the VT80SE for several days and just can’t get enough. In fact, I setup a little table below my desk so I can easily use a few more DACs with the SR1a. 
 

62A45AEE-D799-4ECB-B8CE-41D1FADF9288.jpeg


Founder of Audiophile Style

Announcing Polestar | Quick Community Reviews and Ratings

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

I’ve been waiting for your first impressions! Happy to read them so far. 
 

The more you listen and the more you find the perfect placement of the headphones on your head, the better it gets. Plus, you still have the CJ amp to put in the chain!

 

I’d say these are the most amazing / breakthrough HiFi product in recent memory for me. I’ve had them paired with the VT80SE for several days and just can’t get enough. In fact, I setup a little table below my desk so I can easily use a few more DACs with the SR1a. 
 

62A45AEE-D799-4ECB-B8CE-41D1FADF9288.jpeg

Chris, given all the time you've had with them, any additional comments or recommendations on finding the perfect placement on one's head? 

 

JC

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

I’ve been waiting for your first impressions! Happy to read them so far. 
 

The more you listen and the more you find the perfect placement of the headphones on your head, the better it gets. Plus, you still have the CJ amp to put in the chain!

 

I’d say these are the most amazing / breakthrough HiFi product in recent memory for me. I’ve had them paired with the VT80SE for several days and just can’t get enough. In fact, I setup a little table below my desk so I can easily use a few more DACs with the SR1a. 
 

62A45AEE-D799-4ECB-B8CE-41D1FADF9288.jpeg

Jesus Chris, is that a picture of your attic or an audio dealer 😉


PC/NAS/JRiver/Roon - PS Audio P5 Regenerator - KEF LS50 Nocturne - Rel 328 subwoofer - PS Audio AC5 Power cables 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, ShawnC said:

Jesus Chris, is that a picture of your attic or an audio dealer 😉

Ha! If only I could fit everything that’s here, in the photo!

 


Founder of Audiophile Style

Announcing Polestar | Quick Community Reviews and Ratings

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, TubeLover said:

I am not entirely sure that there are freestanding, monitor or tower speakers that can completely match what the RAAL's can do. And if there are, I believe you are looking at least at the $65-100k or higher, range, of speakers, and likely an equal investment in amplification. And thats not to mention an ideal room, and sound treatments, both of which the RAAL's eliminate any need for.

This is crazy, but true. 


Founder of Audiophile Style

Announcing Polestar | Quick Community Reviews and Ratings

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So  after reading al these fantastic listening experiences it sure sounds  like it is The holy graal of music reproduction. 


🇳🇱
Meitner ma1 v2 dac,  Sovereign preamp and power amp,

DIY speakers with scan speak illuminator drivers.

Under development:

NUC7i7dnbe, Euphony Stylus

EtherRegen, LPS1- Isoregen, Lush^2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, austinpop said:

 

I need to try one in my kraal then!


😁

I must say I am a bit astonished you stil haven’t, you being a headphone guy.

I really thought you would jump on the raal and would write the review Chris is now writing. It really sounds like an amazing thing and even I am tempted for its near ideal sound reproduction qualities, maybe?.  But I also want a Bartók and a couple of Cube audio drivers and audio analysis speakers.

Edited by RickyV

🇳🇱
Meitner ma1 v2 dac,  Sovereign preamp and power amp,

DIY speakers with scan speak illuminator drivers.

Under development:

NUC7i7dnbe, Euphony Stylus

EtherRegen, LPS1- Isoregen, Lush^2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My latest quandary, in this regard. Yes, the RAAL's are superb with the Conrad Johnson ARTsa. This is one of the great high power tube amps ever. But the plan all along, was to sell that to offset the cost of the Lamms that I stole last fall. I am now in a position where I have to search for acceptable alternatives. My next big challenge. And I've been researching relentlessly of late. Not an easy task.  

 

JC

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, TubeLover said:

My latest quandary, in this regard. Yes, the RAAL's are superb with the Conrad Johnson ARTsa. This is one of the great high power tube amps ever. But the plan all along, was to sell that to offset the cost of the Lamms that I stole last fall. I am now in a position where I have to search for acceptable alternatives. My next big challenge. And I've been researching relentlessly of late. Not an easy task.  

 

JC

First world problem, but problem nonetheless. I feel your pain. 
 

Any ideas what amps you’re considering?


Founder of Audiophile Style

Announcing Polestar | Quick Community Reviews and Ratings

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, cfisher said:

Yaalls just bought me a pair and a Jot R with my economic stimulus. Ready for social distancing.

Can’t wait to read your impressions. 


Founder of Audiophile Style

Announcing Polestar | Quick Community Reviews and Ratings

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, things have changed since March 17th. I hope everyone is ok. My SR1A and Jot R, finally made it out of California and arrived at my house. I should let them break in before I say too much but they are really stunning. I made a playlist (public on Tidal, "RAAL") of a bunch of different stuff that I wanted to hear through them. Some of the tracks are things that were mentioned in the various reviews other tracks are things I have heard over the last few weeks and wondered what they would sound like on the RAALs. Simple answer is: amazing. I will say more when everything is nice and broken in. I just wanted to check in and wish everyone well. I appreciate all of your excitement about the SR1A. These are definitely going to make my time at home much more enjoyable. Thanks also to Moon Audio, RAAL, and Schiit for getting these to me in the midst of such a horrific crisis.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, austinpop said:

@The Computer Audiophile

 

Chris, is this on your radar? RAAL’s own amp: https://raalrequisite.com/amplifiers/hsa-1a/

 

Seems awfully anemic on paper, but the proof is in the listening, I guess.

 

Also, has anyone tried a BHK power amp?

I didn't know it was finally available! Thanks for the link. Not cheap!


Founder of Audiophile Style

Announcing Polestar | Quick Community Reviews and Ratings

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, austinpop said:

@The Computer Audiophile

 

Chris, is this on your radar? RAAL’s own amp: https://raalrequisite.com/amplifiers/hsa-1a/

 

Seems awfully anemic on paper, but the proof is in the listening, I guess.

 

Also, has anyone tried a BHK power amp?

I've not seen an indication of someone trying a BHK power amp with the RAALs in any of my extensive research prior to purchasing. Quite a few others, but not that combination. I've heard them extensively, and both the stereo version and the monon blocks are very fine amps, and I would expect either to offer some great performance with the RAAL's. I still think that a high quality tube amp is the optimum match for the Earspeakers though. I'll have more to report back on that topic after my replacement DAC gets here tomorrow, and makes its way through a minimum 75 hour burn in prior to listening. 

 

JC

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For anyone that also owns (or owned) AKG K1000 how does the bass on the RAAL compare?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Chris, I have no experience with the RAAL headphones, but the Susvara's on my head right now sound pretty damned good via Roon > HQPlayer > Sonore Sig Rendu SE Optical > DAC > Amp

 

I suppose I could try using HQPlayers volume control as well.


No electron left behind...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now



×
×
  • Create New...