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Possible future hi-end headphone revealed?

post #1 of 88
Thread Starter 
Reading the new 6moons preview of a very interesting Raal loudspeaker, on the bottom of one of the pages is a picture of a prototype ribbon headphone. It's not much to look at presently and the builder seems a bit doubtful of the markets interest in a ribbon headphone.

6moons.com - industry features: RoadTour Serbia, Exit Raal

"He didn't believe a statement ribbon-based consumer audio earspeaker from a Serbian company very few had heard of stood a chance in the market place at this time"

I'm pretty keen on the idea of ribbon based headphone, I've only heard great things about the Raal drivers and would love to see a new ribbon come to market.

What do you think?

Would there be support for a new statement level headphone in the market or are things economically questionable enough that this would be a dud?
post #2 of 88
I'd want one.
post #3 of 88
From the article: "I for one would be very keen on seeing a superior ribbon headphone."

I'd second that! Seems like a great concept, although the prototype is a bit, umm, well let's just say it seems to have a long way to go from an aesthetic point of view.

I've always enjoyed ribbon (Newform Research), planer (Magnepan) and electrostat (Martin Logan) speakers, not to mention omnidirectional (MBL) and have examples of each in various systems set up in my house. Likewise, I'm a fan of electrostat headphones and would thus be quite curious as to what could be achieved with ribbon-based headphones. Certainly, the guy seems to know what he's doing and that's always a plus!
post #4 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Duggeh View Post
I'd want one.
Surprise!!!
post #5 of 88
Interesting.
Would need to see a more finalized model though, before I completely make up my mind...
post #6 of 88
Interesting ruffled ribbon on that, uh, headphone prototype.
post #7 of 88
Very interesting news indeed. I really like ribbon sound and I am a happy owner of Apogee ribbon speakers.
post #8 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by ericj View Post
Interesting ruffled ribbon on that, uh, headphone prototype.
Therein lies the problem, or at least one of the problems that he would face. The fit and finish would be a real issue for such a small company to contend with, especially if this product is geared for the "high end" market.

We've seen this recently both with the TakeT and He Audio headphone offerings. Since they're rather expensive, there is (naturally) an elevated consumer expectation in terms of cosmetic issues, that (quite frankly) small companies like this have an extremely tough time coping with, both from a product design and production point of view.

This guy is talking about 55,000 Euros for a pair of his flagship speakers. Wowza!!! No offense to him or his business (and admittedly, it was just a ballpark figure that was thrown out at this point) but that translates into a little over $80,000 at today's exchange rate. That's a lot of greenbacks, and there are many choices from long established and highly respected audio companies at that kind of price point.

Of course, his final pricing may be nowhere near to that level, and the sound of these speakers may well be out of this world... but just by the process of extrapolation (in other words, talking out of my a@@), my guess is that his headphones would be comparably priced relative to the competition in that market. In other words, probably more like something at the HE90 or R10 kind of level, as opposed to the DX-1000 or D7000 level.

But it will be an interesting story to follow in any event. I'll be curious as to the reception he gets with the speakers at the RMAF in Denver next month.
post #9 of 88
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ericj View Post
Interesting ruffled ribbon on that, uh, headphone prototype.
I guess it to reduce standing waves across the drivers surface, i've wondered if an Orthodynamic "voice coil" print does the same thing.
post #10 of 88
They really remind me of setmenu's diy ribbon headphones - except his had a better frame.

And of course he used a curved 'sine wave' shape on his ribbon - which he later admitted was problematic, because it meant that at least half of the traces on his ribbons were mere resistors because they were too far away from the magnets.

But i can't claim to know what mechanism these raal drivers use, let alone what the shortcomings might be.
post #11 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Duggeh View Post
I'd want one.
X2
post #12 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wmcmanus View Post
Surprise!!!
XD
post #13 of 88
I'd buy one in a heartbeat but the possible low impedance would kill most of the amps commonly used here which is a similar problem facing the AMT and TakeT. Ribbons can present an almost dead short which demands a lot of current from the amp. The impedance can be compensated for but that's just something to mess with the sound. Strap it to a B22 and it should be be good...
post #14 of 88
I would try them. I love ribbon speakers and own Newform Research R645. Hard to drive? No problem I have a B22 too...
post #15 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by wolf18t View Post
I would try them. I love ribbon speakers and own Newform Research R645. Hard to drive? No problem...
I've got a pair of those same Newform speakers myself! I've talked about them from time to time on Head-Fi, and always figured I was the only one. Well, how about that?!?!?! If only I had space to set up all of my speakers! These are gathering dust in a closet at the moment.

HEY!!! Lots of great impressions about the RAAL omni speakers from the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest. This guy seems to be on to something, and will hopefully get a few quick sales of his big ticket speakers, which will then drive the business forward. Seems to me that all he needs at this point is sufficient capital to make it all happen (that, and some employees, but I'm sure the capital will take are of that). Perhaps one day he'll be able to bring a pair of ribbon headphones to the marketplace!
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