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Article: Taking the RAAL-requisite SR1a Headphones To Another Level


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1 hour ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

That’s not what I said. 
 

I supply a 352 kHz filter because it’s the highest rate I have for filters. When using HQP I upsample to 32fs. 

But you did say a single filter. Does HQP accept stereo filters, or did Mitch provide you dual mono ones?  Thx

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1 hour ago, PeterG said:

Don't be too hard on yourself, you've put your finger on two big issues here that are easily addressed without technical expertise:

 

On streaming vs ripped CDs--your $9000 server likely sounds better than any streaming source.  Streaming is super convenient, but I don't think I've ever heard anyone assert it sounds as good as ripped CDs on a purpose-built server.  I have "failed" several times in attempts to add streaming at equivalent sound quality.

 

Headphones are an extraordinarily efficient use of audiophile funds, assuming you accept that they are not speakers.  In addition to Chris's RAALs and AD's Susvara's, you might also consider the Stax 009S (my favorite), and Abyss.  Depending on personal taste, one or more of these are likely to knock your socks off for less than $8000, including the (absolutely essential) dedicated amplifier.  If your local dealer does not have demos that you can take home for a few days, you can try these from an online store while only risking a few hundred dollars in restocking fees if you do not love them.

 

Rock on!

 

Peter thank you so much for your reply , I’d like very much to check out the Raals including the Susvaras, Stax and Abyss . No speaker interactions with the room our new digs there isn’t a decent spot in the whole house and my wife won’t let me set up in the living room , right now the washer and drier are just to left of my speakers in a unfinished basement...Yes my server does sound good and it’s the best digital playback I’ve experienced in my home so far .

 

 

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6 hours ago, Confused said:

With speakers, the "preferred" in room frequency response curve would drop by maybe -10dB from 20Hz to 20kHz. 

 

The correction for the RAAL's is ruler flat, which is incredibly impressive I have to say, but is this at odds with the above?

 

I'm not sure if I have missed something here?

 

Hi @Confused Agree with the preferred in room response. Consider a loudspeaker that measures flat in an anechoic chamber and then placed in a room. When measuring loudspeakers in typically reflective listening rooms the resulting steady-state room curves exhibit a smooth downward tilt. It is caused by the frequency dependent directivity of loudspeakers (i.e. cones and domes) - they are omnidirectional at low bass frequencies, becoming progressively more directional as frequency rises. More energy is radiated at low than at high frequencies. This is the cause of the downward tilt.

 

With headphones, there is no room or frequency dependent directivity (relatively speaking).

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4 hours ago, mitchco said:

 

Hi @Confused Agree with the preferred in room response. Consider a loudspeaker that measures flat in an anechoic chamber and then placed in a room. When measuring loudspeakers in typically reflective listening rooms the resulting steady-state room curves exhibit a smooth downward tilt. It is caused by the frequency dependent directivity of loudspeakers (i.e. cones and domes) - they are omnidirectional at low bass frequencies, becoming progressively more directional as frequency rises. More energy is radiated at low than at high frequencies. This is the cause of the downward tilt.

 

With headphones, there is no room or frequency dependent directivity (relatively speaking).

But how accurate is the reproduction by a ruler flat headphone when the music has been produced/approved on monitoring speakers such as JBL M2 with the attached in-room response ?

( cf Dr Floyd Toole, https://www.avsforum.com/threads/jbl-m2-master-reference-monitor.1454077/page-214#post-57291428 )

The discrepancies would even be greater if monitoring speakers were tuned to the 10 dB smooth tilt mentioned above.

Do the RAAL accept a bit of bass boost or a tilt to mimic the mastering conditions (on speakers on the vast majority of instances, with headphones called in eventually and only to control certain aspects, not to deliver a final product that would be more accurate or enjoyable via headphones )

I tried bass boost with my AKG 701 and it doesn't like it (distorsions)

average-steady-state-room-curve-using-very-highly-rated-loudspeakers-as-a-guide.jpg

HQ Player 4 Mac Mini M1

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Here is some info from Accurate Sound.

 

"thanks for your payment. Here are your filters.

 

FS1 = neutral

FS2 = neutral plus bass extension

FS3 = neutral plus bass and treble extension

 

I am sure you already know, but you just need to unzip the main zip, but you don’t have to unzip the individual filters. Just point Roon at each one of the three zip files."

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1 hour ago, Jean Paul D said:

But how accurate is the reproduction by a ruler flat headphone when the music has been produced/approved on monitoring speakers such as JBL M2 with the attached in-room response ?

( cf Dr Floyd Toole, https://www.avsforum.com/threads/jbl-m2-master-reference-monitor.1454077/page-214#post-57291428 )

The discrepancies would even be greater if monitoring speakers were tuned to the 10 dB smooth tilt mentioned above.

Do the RAAL accept a bit of bass boost or a tilt to mimic the mastering conditions (on speakers on the vast majority of instances, with headphones called in eventually and only to control certain aspects, not to deliver a final product that would be more accurate or enjoyable via headphones )

I tried bass boost with my AKG 701 and it doesn't like it (distorsions)

average-steady-state-room-curve-using-very-highly-rated-loudspeakers-as-a-guide.jpg


I knew you just had to be the same guy who was previously banned. 
 

Bye bye for the second time. 

Founder of Audiophile Style

Announcing The Audiophile Style Podcast

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On 6/3/2021 at 10:14 PM, yyz said:

I also asked Mitch to create some filters for the SR1a, just for fun. I have a perfect setup right now. However, I am very happy these filters were done. 

 

I am a huge fan of the SR1a. I have now got almost all the gear in place for my SR1a system. Over the past 6+ months the following was used with the SR1a trying to get them to sound perfect. I tried each for about 1 week or more

 

- RAAL HSA-1b amp | AudioMirror Tubadour III SE tube DAC (AMT3SE) =  I was only able to use RCA wire and not XLR  [9/10]

- Benchmark AHB2 x2 | Benchmark HPA4 preamp  | Benchmark DAC3B  = 7/10

- Benchmark AHB2 x2 | Benchmark HPA4 preamp  | AMT3SE  = 7.5/10

- CODA CSiB integrated | AMT3SE = 9.5/10

- KRELL K-300i integrated  | AMT3SE = the most bass, smooth 9.5/10

- CODA 07x preamp | D-Sonic M3a 800s (400 watts) | AMT3SE = 8.5/10

- CODA 07x preamp | Benchmark AHB2 | Gustard X26 Pro DAC = 9/10

- CODA 07x preamp | Benchmark AHB2 | AMT3SE | Audience Conductor SE speaker cables = 9.5/10

- CODA 07x preamp | Benchmark AHB2 | AMT3SE | Audience  FrontRow speaker cables with SpeakON termination = 10/10

 

I am going to replace the AHB2 on the 10/10 setup because I need the amp for a mono setup in another room. I am looking to get a VTV Purifi amp and get it modified to sound as close to the AHB2 (much cheaper and curious).

 

The CODA 07x preamp has dual XLR outputs so that makes it a breeze to have a dedicated amp for the SR1a and also 1 for my floor standers.

 

My best DAC is the Gustard X26 Pro but the AMT3SE tube DAC is the best on the SR1a.

 

My streaming is done from a Ubiquiti Network Switch to a Sonore OpticalRendu (2 of them) with LPS.

 

I got the filter from Accurate Sound and gave it a spin. I am drawn to filter 3, "FS3 = neutral plus bass and treble extension". Which I find surprising.

 

Cut to the chase. The new best combo I have is the following:

 

- CODA 07x preamp | Benchmark AHB2 | Gustard X26 Pro | Accurate Sound SR1a Convolution Filter 3 | Audience  FrontRow speaker cables with SpeakON termination = 11/10 (Spinal Tap level good)

 

I am going to sell my Audio Mirror Tubadour III SE DAC on Monday. I was using it just for the SR1a but with these Convolution filters the Gustard is better. I said in my post I above that the Gustard was a better DAC except on the SR1a. That is no longer the case. So bye-bye to the AMT3SE.

 

I also put up my Meze Empy for Sale on Head-fi tonight. I am not going to listen to any other headphones with the sound I have now. So bye-bye to those phones.

 

My SR1a sounds as good as my floor standers now. This is some great stuff.

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I sold my AMT3SE DAC today (that was easy) and now only have the Benchmark DAC3B and the Gustard X26 Pro both connected by the ROON Ready Sonore OpticalRendu (2 of them). They get the fibre directly from a Ubiquiti network switch containing 2 SPF slots.

 

I connect each DAC to the XLR inputs of my CODA 07x preamp with Audience AU24 SE XLR wire (same length). I use Mitch's Filter 1 for the SR1a on both ROON endpoints for the 2 DACs. I then GROUP the playback on ROON so that both DACs get the same synchronized stream. 

 

Unfortunately the preamp gain is not matching perfectly. Though it is close enough. I can adjust the gain on each input of the CODA but I am too lazy to figure that out.

 

In the past I said that the Benchmark DAC3B | AHB2 | CODA 07x was not the very best combo. The best being the Gustard X26 Pro | AHB2 | CODA 07x. However, now with the filter running on each endpoint the differences have narrowed down considerably. The DAC3B path is almost as good as the Gustard path. The DAC3B still has a smidgen of hardness on the SR1a that the much warmer Gustard does not.

 

In the past I would never have considered the DAC3B for the SR1a. However, with the Convolution filter it is rather good.  I do find the DAC3B a little more lively and sometimes that is fun to have. Both DACs are staying put.

 

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