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Raal Ribbon Headphones - SRH1A

Discussion in 'High-end Audio Forum' started by once, Oct 7, 2018.
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  1. Torq
    Interestingly, while they have similar (the same quoted) power-output, Ragnarok 2 has very good synergy with the SR1a, where the Ragnarok 1 was not as convincing. Though the Jotunheim R has far more headroom and apparent grip, based on my listening so far, than either, and both bottom-end and detail are superior through Jotunheim R (at a guess I'd say due to the simpler chain/lack of interface box/fewer cables).
    Darthpool and FLTWS like this.
  2. FLTWS
    I was hoping the R would be the solution for me, sounds like it will be. I just don't have room for anymore Schiit, even the reasonable sizes of Aegir or Vidar.
    Torq likes this.
  3. Torq
    I know how that goes!

    The Jotunheim R isn't much bigger than the "Amp/Ribbon Interface" box (I'll stack them up an take a picture in a bit), which you then don't need, so it's a very compact solution.
    Darthpool likes this.
  4. FLTWS
    I'll leave the interface box with my downstairs rig and put the R upstairs, so I can use the phones in both areas. I think I'll integrate a second R into the downstairs rig and home theater as well in time.
    Darthpool and Torq like this.
  5. Darthpool
    I’m seriously looking forward to when I can order the Jotunheim R! I had the opportunity and good fortune to hear the one @Torq has in and can confirm it is easily a desktop solution! Plus it sounds excellent to me( for the brief time I had with it) I can’t give clear examples of sound signature or anything as it wouldn’t be proper for how little of time I had with it (luckily Torq has everyone covered in that regard=) !). But based on my listening time I went from probably going to buy it after some reviews come out, to a must buy when it comes out! Just for fun I was *gasp* gaming with the SR1A...it was pretty epic!

    Torq, FLTWS and dieslemat like this.
  6. FLTWS

    Is that a custom headphone cable?

    Also, my stock connectors barrels fit flush up into the phones base.
  7. Torq

    I build my own cables (I built a fully modular system for my main collection), and that's one of them.

    In this case, based on discussions earlier in this thread, and in other places, I wanted to experiment with cables of different impedances, since the SR1a/interface profile is particularly sensitive to it (it's a function of the step-baffle-compensation implementation, not any "audiophile cable voodoo"). The cable here is just under 0.1 Ω, which is less than the stock cable, and shifts the response audibly (and measurably). I built a 0.05 Ω version as well, but that is both rather impractical ergonomically and shifts the response too far (for me).

    My stock connections do as well, though they look rather different to yours.

    The Eidolic 3.5mm TRRS connectors I used on my custom cable build there also fully engage into the socket. The back end of the sleeve on the connector is stepped at the end, but that part is flush against the connector entry points and the barrel is actually not quite touching the headphone. So while there is a small ring of visible gold, they're fully seated and even if the flange wasn't present wouldn't go in deeper.

    You can see the step/flare/flange here:

    Eidolic 35 TRRS.jpg
    FLTWS likes this.
  8. FLTWS
    "The cable here is just under 0.1 Ω, which is less than the stock cable, and shifts the response audibly (and measurably)."

    Shifts the response how sound wise? In what direction / or top to bottom tilt?
  9. Torq
    Treble de-emphasis.
  10. FLTWS
    I'm fine with the treble as is, bass is at times a bit light weight. Of course, I don't have the "R" yet.
  11. Torq
    The net effect of de-emphasizing the treble is, of course, that the lower frequencies are higher in relative level, for the same net listening level. It is just that in the case of the SR1a, you don't want to increase the impedance of the cable above stock.

    As for the Jotunheim R, my custom cable has a much less apparent effect there vs. with the SR1a's interface box.

    And it is worth noting that all my listening/comparisons/impressions with the Jotunheim R on its own, and in comparison to other amps (with the "Amp/Ribbon Interface") are using the STOCK SR1a cable. Most of my reviews and photographs will show my custom cables, but the actual listening for them is always done with stock cables.
    FLTWS likes this.
  12. FLTWS
    I'm finishing up my 5th day of listening to the SR1a, been a steady diet of my primary classical music with some jazz thrown in.
    Tomorrow I'm gonna kick back with some popular genres, mostly Rock, and some soundtracks.
    This has probably been the easiest evaluation of any phone I've heard or own.
    Its strengths are so obvious. No straining to hear differences.
    exdmd, llamaluv and Torq like this.
  13. dieslemat

    So are your other headphones gathering dust already?
  14. FLTWS
    Well during my initial listening weeks yes. And if I can amp these to get the bass flavor i like they will become my primaries. Not just for sound but comfort as well. I won't be listening to my other phones for at least another week to burn the sound of these RAAL's into my brain so when I do take a listen to the others the differences should be stark. I've been keeping notes and will post my impressions tomorrow nite or Monday.
    PeteSTRADAMUS and Darthpool like this.
  15. Torq
    You can get amazing results with the SR1a using EQ, since they are not subject to cup/baffle interactions and resonances.

    I started off with a fairly large bass (and sub-bass) lift/shelf there (via DMG EQuilibrium), over the space of the first 100-150 hours, and across a few different amplifiers, I reached a point where I didn't want any EQ in the chain at all.

    With the Chord stack (Blu Mk2, DAVE, Étude, SR1a-interface) or direct via the Jotunheim R (Blu Mk2, DAVE, Jotunheim R), they don't need any EQ at this point. And if I do apply it I can get so close to the bass/sub-bass performance (presence, level, impact, slam and detail) of my AB-1266 Phi CC that I don't need both (the TC might be a different matter).
    FLTWS, Darthpool and dieslemat like this.
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