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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. TheDuke990
    The RR1 finally arrived today.
    Build quality, haptics and optics are awesome. All the accessories (description etc.) are really nice and like your approach to try to reduce the plastic waste. Very nice Aumkar.

    After round about 2h hearing with this beautiful headphone I can say that sonically everything is fine. No peaks or something else which could be annoying. Really nice. Great job Aumkar and thanks for your patience with me :relaxed:.
    More later :beyersmile:
     
    WHO23, TYATYA and nick n like this.
  2. JLoud
    How would you compare it to your Stax headphones? Which of your other headphones is it the most similar to? I am looking forward to hearing these.
     
  3. TheDuke990
    I didn't start comparing RR1 with my other Stax stuff. But from my memory I would say that the RR1 is a little bit warmer and he doesn't shine that much in the treble as most of the Stax stuff do. But don't get me wrong everything is there and fine. And he is not emphasizing the voices as some other headphones do. So no peaks for me.

    The most similar headphone should be my OE1. It is a modded Fostex T50RP mk3 driver with an new case etc.
     
  4. TheDuke990
    @Aumkar: I cannot believe, that this is your first headphone product on the market. I can not appreciate your performance enough. Fabulous headphone :smile_phones:

    Thank you so much again :beerchug:
     
    MrTechAgent likes this.
  5. MrTechAgent
    Thank you, Sir!
     
    Kaldas Research Stay updated on Kaldas Research at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
     
    https://www.instagram.com/kaldasresearch/ http://kaldasresearch.com/
  6. MrTechAgent
    Yesterday, our Customer sent these photos of his RR1 enjoying the good life in the South of France.

    IMG-20191017-WA0019.jpg IMG-20191017-WA0020.jpg

    This RR1 is surely living a better life than me.
     
    Kaldas Research Stay updated on Kaldas Research at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
     
    https://www.instagram.com/kaldasresearch/ http://kaldasresearch.com/
    WHO23, tumpux, project86 and 4 others like this.
  7. TYATYA
    Hope to see it soon on Amz or other online offically
     
  8. Sonic Defender Contributor
    I loved the south of France, spent some time in Aix en Provence and the surrounding region. In fact, my profile picture was taken in Marseilles in 2017. Gorgeous part of the world to be sure. I would very much enjoy trying this headphone, would it be possible to drive them using the speaker output of my NAD M3? I have never even considered this headphone variant as I do not want to get caught up in the entry level amplification trap, and I certainly don't want to be spending $1000 on a dedicated amp. Just curious. May I also salute absolutely everything about this project. From your dedication to pure quality, transparency right down to the extremely cordial and professional manner in which you have communicated with the community. It is a pleasure to watch those who actually understand that business and communications are a social art and clearly your family history has allowed you to develop these competencies. Sadly I have seen people who have the technical skills, money to back them, but who lack basic social decorum and how they engage with people in public is literally cringe worthy.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2019
    n05ey, nick n and donpablo like this.
  9. shabta
    After having listened to these for a few days, 4-6 hours a day while I work, I have a pretty good handle on what these headphones are about. I powered the headphones on a modest SRM 1 Mk2 that was recently recapped.

    The very best headphones I have ever heard (HE1, Orpheus ) are electrostatic. And in the realm of obtainable but kinda of too expensive, the Stax SR007 is one of my all time faves. But headphones are weird things. They never sound totally realistic, but the ability to hear so much detail, be free a crappy room issues, and not piss off neighbors, lovers and make enemies with music blasting, makes them awfully fun and sometime really necessary. So I was really curious about the RR1 to see if I could get some of the magic of electrostats, have a good alternative to my lovely HD800S and make my wife happy by listening to headphones more often.

    I will summarize what I think so those of you that have short attention spans/hate long posts/don't care enough about these headphones/have a bad attitude about life etc. can just read a brief comparo and get back to being grumpy.


    Pros:
    • Liquid Mids
    • Grain Free electrostaic sound w/o plasticiness sound of some electrostats
    • You can hear the bass
    • Amount of detail w/o the fake treble accentuated detail of some headphones like SR009 and HD800 and no annoying treble peaks
    • Price is 500 USD plus shipping
    • can be driven by a modest electrostatic amp
    • Good if you want an SR007ish sound w/o paying a lot for headphone and amp, and want more bass
    • Really great headstage (way better than any sub 2000 USD planars that I have heard or a HD6XX)
    • Black Background
    • Good weight
    • Build Quality
    Cons:
    • Not the last word on texture and layering, it's really good enough just not like the very best
    • Amount of micro detail, while everything is there, it doesn't feel like you can hear as far down into the mix as the very best headphones
    • Since so few headphones run on electrostatic amps, its more of a commitment than just buying a headphone
    • SR007 does things like layering a bit better and probably has a better top end when very expensively amped (since I don't have either a SR007 on hand or an expensive amp you can take this as my stupid arrogant belief that I can remember the SR007 and compare it to the RR1)
    • This headphone sucks if you don't like a slightly dark presentation
    • If you live in Europe like me you have to pay import duty and DHLExpress sucks where I live (it sure isn't express and you have to help them remember to deliver your package)

    I tried this headphone on a whole bunch of different genres (example albums)
    • Lana Del Rey Norman ****ing Rockwell
    • Kendrick Lamar To Pimp a Butterfly
    • Billy Elish
    • Grateful Dead Live Dead and American Beauty
    • Rolling Stones Let it Bleed
    • Beatles Abbey Road (recent remaster)
    • Tomeka Reid Quartet Old New
    • Carlos Kleiber Brahms 4th Symphony
    • Miles Davis Kind of Blue
    • John Coltrane Love Supreme
    • Isabelle Faust and Alexander Melnikov Beethoven Sonatas
    • Buddy and Julie Miller Breakdown on 20th Avenue South
    • Dave Holland, Zakir Hussain & Chris Potter Good Hope
    • Diana Krall Turn up the Quiet
    • Isabelle Faust Mendelssohn Violin Concerto
    • All sorts of classical piano music


    It's worth noting I mostly listen to speakers. I have Dynaudio Countour 20s in a very small room with a BKelectronic sub (they make parts for REL), primaluna dialog and gungnir multi a1. It is delicately brightish but balanced, no harshness or peakiness. The headphones I listen to the most are HD800S with an icon audio amp. It's a nice combo, but not the absolute best for rocking out. I didn't listen to those until after a few days, just for some comparo purposes and to remind myself why I wanted another pair of headphones. I love a lot of things about the senns, but the rr1 headphones compliment the senns. The RR1's are more allrounders, and especially do Dad Rock (beatles, stones, neil young) better. The senns shine on chamber music and small jazz stuff. The rr1 did really well on big symphomic stuff, I suppose it helps that these days that symphonic stuff is mastered with a mid centric bias cuz old people don't hear highs anyway and it keeps things from getting over saturated.

    I am really sensitive to weight, cuz an old woman ran a red light some years ago and I struggled with the effects of whiplash since. So planar magnetic, even if i like the sound (mostly I don't) don't usually work for me.

    3 weeks ago I spent a few hours in an amazing shop in amsterdam. I discovered, the Shangri-la and junior kind of suck. The HE1 is amazing. Didn't like the top of the line abyss (weight was unbearable) the raal was ok, actually reallly ok, and a super expensive amped Susvara was one of the best things after HE1s, Orpheus, and maybe a couple others I ever heard. But the susvara seems to need a 10k amp.

    What does that have to do with the rr1s? I have heard a bunch of really great stuff recently that totally messed me up for listening to regular headphones. So saying I like the rr1 is a good sign, I would wager.

    I think how much you enjoy these headphones will depend as usual on what kind of sound you like. I would describe these the love child of an HD650 (darkish sound, but everything is there, enough bass) crossed with HD800 (gobs of detail (not at hd800 level), headstage (not as wide but realistic and like the hd800 you hear stuff outside your head), pinpoint resolution (probably helped by the very black background)) at a really righteous cost of entry and the grain-free electrostatic sound. They are also comfortable for long hours, although melon heads will have to bend the headband a bit to reduce the clamp.

    I think these headphones are hard to beat considering that a modest electrostatic amp can get you into the same general league as the big boys. It’s a unique sound, dark but with enough treble sparkle. If you are used to bright headphones like many stax, grados or hd800, then you’ll need a day or two for your brain to readjust. But once it does the charms of grain free treble, liquid mids, good bass, black background, spectacular headstage and medium price will definitely please.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2019
    bidn, zolkis, WHO23 and 8 others like this.
  10. TheDuke990
    Nice review.
    I'm used to bright headphones as a HD800 fanboy and Stax Lambda Pro and L700 owner but I had no issues to readjust my brain. Everything was fine after switching to the RR1.
    Yes, the sound is warmer but far away from being dark as a LCD-2.
    For me it is a good compromise of both worlds. Warmer but not dark and enough treble without annoying peaks or being sharp.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2019
  11. shabta
    Yes it most certainly doesn't sound like an LCD 2. It has more top end. A much better headstage, and my neck doesn't hurt after 20 minutes of listening. But the LCD 2 has more bass slam. I think the the kaldas thread should be considered to for moving to the high-end forum. It's in the same general league as an HD800 and better than any stax short of an SR007. It just doesn't cost so much.

    ***edit****

    I just think the whole High-end forum thing is 80% BS based on price. These headphones are great but not at the level of the very best I have heard.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2019
    nick n and TheDuke990 like this.
  12. TheDuke990
    :thumbsup: I'm with you
     
  13. JLoud
    I just received mine today. My first electrostatic headphone, so just comparing it to the dynamic and planers that I have or have owned. Driving it from a Yggdrasil and Stax SRM353X.
    First impression is it has way better bass than I was expecting. Fast with a very non fatiguing sound. I will post more impressions as I get more time in with it.
     
    nick n likes this.
  14. MrTechAgent
    Unfortunately, that won't suffice as the Headphones require a Bias supply.
    Standalone supplies by STAX such as the SRD-7 PRO work just fine and then you'd be able to use it alongside your NAD.
     
    Kaldas Research Stay updated on Kaldas Research at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
     
    https://www.instagram.com/kaldasresearch/ http://kaldasresearch.com/
  15. Sonic Defender Contributor
    Thank you, will look into that.
     
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