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Kaldas Research RR 1 Conquest ($500 Electrostatic)

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by SHAMuuu, Feb 15, 2019.
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  1. donpablo
    @kamikazeing I also have 252s, and iFi iTube2 that I can put between DAC and Stax amp to change sound and make it a bit tubey. But RR1 are tubey itself comparing to L300 :wink:
    Maybe tomorrow I will make a longer session of listening with iFi iTube2 in chain.

    ps. If you can adjust line-out of your DAC with a knob (I can with my Aune S6) then try different settings, after that adjust Stax amp to generate same volume as before. It can make a difference :wink:
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2019
  2. Zachik
    I am proud and happy to be one of the very first audiophiles in the USA to get the RR1 :L3000:

    Let me start my initial impressions with a subject that is usually not found in initial impressions... Support.
    Aumkar, whom I met in person at CanJam SoCal last June, is a very enthusiastic and passionate guy! That translates into his great craftmanship, and support. As stated by Aumkar several times on this thread - this project is a learning experience for him. He has been EXTREMELY responsive throughout dealing with DHL, providing some tips, and working with me on fixing a small technical problem.
    Again, let me reiterate that Aumkar's customer service is absolutely amazing!

    Now, for the RR1 itself :wink:
    • Build quality - 10/10. Nothing to add!
    • Design - 9/10. Detachable cable is a big plus (compared to Koss 950, Stax, etc.). I love the shape and design of the cups. A bit worried about no grills or other protection for the drivers (I am always worried I would touch them by mistake).
    • Fit - 8/10. I am an adult (not a kid) with average head size (no idea my hat size, since I do not wear hats... sorry). Maybe a little towards small. For me - I set the headband to the smallest possible position, and I think it fits just right. Any head tiny bit smaller - and it would be just too big! Another point dropped for my ears brushing against the driver inside the cups. I wish there was 0.5" more gap between ears and drivers (thicker pads, maybe?). Last issue for people that share with family members / friends / head-fi meets: head adjustment is by loosening a bolt, adjusting, and fastening the bolt. So, it is an involved process! For me, since I am the sole user - not a big deal.
    • Sound - 8/10 (with potential for 9/10). The best eStat I have ever auditioned is the legendary Sennheiser HE-1. I would give it an 11/10 :wink: The 10/10 goes to Stax SR-007 Mk1 that I auditioned at a friend's house. For my personal taste, the 007 beats the SR-009. Now, for my personal taste - the RR1 will eventually get 9/10. I will explain in a minute why. In term of sound - it has a very open and airy sound stage. The music is so clean and pure, but without "sharp edges" to the notes, or being clinical. The RR1 is very musical, and slightly warm, which suits my taste greatly!! The bass, which is always a concern for me with eStats (I am a little bit of a basshead) is very good. I have played some of my bassy test tracks, and was very pleased with what I have heard. So, why not 10/10 ? Because I feel it is still not at the level of the SR-007 Mk1. Given the price difference, and the fact the 007MK1 is very hard to find - that is a big compliment to the RR1, and Aumkar!
    • Customer service 10/10. I have already mentioned that Aumkar is great supporting his fans. So why am I giving sound quality 8/10 and not 9/10 today? I did mention a small technical problem before... There is a faint (but audible) static on 1 side. Using a Stax T1 amp to drive the RR1, and since the RR1 (and the T1) support both Normal as well as Pro bias - I did try the Normal, and the noise is gone. Aumkar is working with me to resolve this issue, and improve his QC process to catch similar issues in future builds and shipments. I am very optimistic that the problem WILL be resolved, at which time I am sure I will upgrade the sound score to 9/10 :)
    In conclusion:
    For an early build of the very first eStat project - Aumkar has created something pretty special and amazing!
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2019
    WHO23, trellus, protoss and 5 others like this.
  3. VRacer-111
    All these first impressions are really helping me feel this may be the Estat I've always been looking for. My RR1 is a Bespoke version that is currently being made (Aumkar finally got the cup custom color where both he and I like it and I just agreed to completion of the build after reviewing the cup pictures he sent).

    I loved the SR-404 Limited (even though it did have a few issues) and very much like my modded SR-L300 Limited which nearly has the low end presentation of the 404 Limited but in a brighter and more expansive and 3D sounding package with better imaging. The Nectar Sound has a nice warm and laid back presentation and may have even more subbass impact than the SR-404 Limiteds. Hoping the RR1 are the better, more clear and detailed Nectar Sound. I do like the Nectar Sound for what it is - absolutely best value you can get for an e-stat, but it's finicky with a certain order of operations that must be followed to keep the diaphragm from sticking to the stators, and its comfort is the main issue as it's an on-ear unless you have reaaallly small ears.
     
    dogears likes this.
  4. MrTechAgent
    No but there are a few thing to keep in mind such as not listening in areas of high-humidity. This is self-explanatory for Electrostatic Headphones but is even more critical for the RR1.
    With the RR1, every single component is specific and novel to the design. The moisture control system of the RR1 is not copied from STAX which a lot of other Manufacturers and hobbyist's do. We think STAX innovated their system and we have to respect their design by not blatantly copying it.

    Another thing, it is highly important to discharge your Headphones after every session to avoid future imbalance issues. This is applicable to all Electrostatics in general. A very good way to test if the Bias has properly flown through the diaphragm is to notice a 'TICK" during discharge. If there's none, there's a high possibility of Bias leakage. In general, the operation of the Headphones should be in the ambient humidity range of 58-65%, that's ideal but is not necessary.

    Here's how you discharge -

    Finger 5-Pin (2).JPG
     
    Kaldas Research Stay updated on Kaldas Research at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
     
    https://www.instagram.com/kaldasresearch/ http://kaldasresearch.com/
    WHO23, nick n, donpablo and 2 others like this.
  5. MrTechAgent
    One of my personal favorite photos of the the RR1, just after assembly completion ready to be boxed.


    sf.JPG

    20190923_180904.jpg
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2019
    Kaldas Research Stay updated on Kaldas Research at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
     
    https://www.instagram.com/kaldasresearch/ http://kaldasresearch.com/
    WHO23, trellus, nick n and 1 other person like this.
  6. Hubert481
    Only discharge of the one pin shown in the pic - or also the other pins?
     
  7. donpablo
    As I understand your ratings of SQ here are in absolute terms, not considering the price. Because imho price/SQ ratio for RR1 is 10 out of 10!
    Sennheiser HE-1 cost is $65000, RR1 initial cost is $500 (including shipping cost to my country and duty/taxes cost it was about $700 for me). If we would measure price/SQ ratio of HE-1 having RR1 on the same desk then HE-1 would have to be rated on 1/10 :wink:

    Btw. Having RR1 on head be careful about the position of your ears inside the cups. Make sure there is no touch between the back-side of your earlobes and the pads.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2019
  8. xEcuToR
    It's for all the pins.
     
  9. protoss
    @Zachik

    What amplifer you use?

    My ranking for Estats are,

    Omega
    007Mk1
    HE90
    JADE
    Hifiman JR
    009
    007MK2
    L700
    Esp950
    JADE 2

    I wonder where this RR1 Conquest can be placed?
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2019
  10. donpablo
    @protoss It is at least few times cheaper than anything on that list. So any place that is not the bottom would be absolutely great :D
     
  11. Hubert481
    L300 would cost the same --- about 500,-
     
  12. zolkis
    Good list above. It's important to realize that there are aspects of sonic reproduction in which "lesser" models equal the famous ones, so for instance one can be completely happy with a Lambda Sig or a Gamma Pro as well since they have midrange like the SR-Omega. For me too the 007 Mk1 (especially with mods) is one of the best I owned and preferred it to the 009 and even the SR-Omega in many respects (which both are better headphones, but my brain learned to appreciate the 007 Mk1).
    There are better than the 007 Mk1: the HE-1, HE-90, SR-Omega, 009 and the Russian contenders, the Phenomenon Libratum v3, Canorum v4, and the Perun, each with some compromises (price with the Senns and Omega, sound issues with 009 if not driven by top-top tube amps, consistency and longevity concerns with the others). For me the Hifimans are too soft, though the Jr and Jade are both good if someone is after their type of sound.

    I for one applaud the Kaldas effort, its competition is really the SR-Lambda, Lambda Sig, 404 LE, maybe the L700, but it might even disrupt the ones way above its price, e.g. the Hifimans and the 007 Mk2, not speaking about dynamic headphones.
    I'd be curious about their $1K version! :)
     
  13. donpablo
    L300 is not on his list.
     
  14. protoss
    @zolkis

    Totally agree with you. The 007MK1 is one of the greatest thing I ever heard. When I A/B between the 007MK1 and HE90 i am like what the heck, the 007MK1 is way better! But the texture of the HE90 is to die for. Overall the 007mk1 slightly tops it. But I still cant stop thinking about the HE90 texture lol. Than once you put on the Omega, its a HD800/Utopia/Quilia on steroids. It lost its mind. Because of that it deserves #1 spot. But overall rounder clearly is the 007mk1 or He90 no doubt.

    The 009 overall is a better technicalities headphone all around. This is true. And because of this it is a very good headphone. But the sweetness of the 007mk1 brings passions and emotion to music that is remarkable. Maybe this is the ultimate sound? Passion with emotion signature? Aka.. Coloration...

    Overall, its good we getting a lot more Estats these days. From India to Russia to Monoprice. I keep on hearing Audeze Estats is in the making?
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2019
  15. JLoud
    What would be a good amp for the RR1? Something in the same price range as the headphone. Or at least in the $500-1000 range.
     
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