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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. paulchiu
    Not concern, just want to know what it is relative to my dynamic, electrostatic and planar magnetic units. This is unique with those ribbons.
  2. paulchiu
    Is there a fan in the Benchmark amp? If not, any heat when driving the SR1a? Tried using any different wiring? Thanks.

  3. guitardave
    No real heat to be concerned about, and no fan.
  4. thomaskong78

    Nice review.

    He claims that Sr1a give more details than Stax 009s.

    He prefers Sr1a to Abyss 1266 TC(p13) on overall performance.

    "You can argue about the rustic look of the SR1a, but not about the tonal qualities. The SR1a is therefore not only the best headphone I've heard to date, but also the new heir to the throne in my personal olymp. He replaces the ABYSS AB1266 PHI TC accordingly and from now on of course takes first place in my TOP10 on Musicalhead. And of course this decision wasn't easy for me."

    Although, I pulled the trigger for Sr1a early this month, I am out of town travelling in Asia now.

    I will find out whether Sr1a give more details than Stax 009s next January after I am back to my home.

    It will be nice if Jotunheim R be released before then.
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2019
    simorag and FLTWS like this.
  5. Jon L
    Well, that article reports he found the SR1a to synergize great only with the 11,500 Euro Riviera AIC10 amp among the many other amps he tried.
    Looking up Riviera AIC10 amp, the reviews seem to point out it has low damping factor ("on purpose") to increase bass amount and the 12AU7 tube and Class A operation for warm, smooth sound.
  6. blubliss Contributor
    They sound amazing using a Vidar.
    Darthpool likes this.
  7. simorag
    I own a Riviera AIC-10 and use it to drive the SR1a (some background and first impressions here).

    While the review from the blogger Fidelio was one of the factors pushing me to buy the SR1a, I now only partly agree with what is reported on that review.
    The AIC-10 / SR1a combo is - like in the old audio cliché - 'a match made in heaven' in terms of tonality, and indeed there is a pretty wide range of music (especially baroque, jazz, vocals, solo acoustic instruments etc.) where stellar quality and sufficient quantity coexist, especially if you listen at 70-80dB max.

    This said, the AIC-10 is very under-powered for the RAAL when it comes to serious bass and dynamics, or if you want to listen to, say 90-95dB or more. So to me it is not an amp that showcases all the SR1a strengths at best.

    List price of the AIC-10 in its current spec is 15450Euro, ouch! That said, I am sure 11.5k is doable on street price :wink:

    I spoke and met Luca Chiomenti, the AIC-10 designer, several times and he is adamant about the AIC-10 being a 'neutral' amplifier, he refuses to accept the idea of adding a coloration on purpose on his designs. For what I understand a relatively low damping factor is the result of a zero global feedback design, not a tactics to emphasize bass oomph. By the way, the Zout of the AIC-10 is about 10x higher than most SET designs.

    Bass response of the AIC-10 in combination with the Abyss TC is spectacular, especially if the headphone is attached to the speaker taps, where they get >3.5 Wpc. Total control, heft and bloom at the same time, I had a very joyous listening of the Rite of Springs (Eiji Oue, Reference Recordings) just yesterday and I was totally blown away.

    In my experience, the overall signature of the AIC-10 changes significantly depending on the 12AU7 tube used. You can get a lusher sound with tubes like Marconi / Mullard / Brimar or a more zippy, impactful and transparent response with Radio Technique or Telefunken.
    Even when using the warmest tubes (which I am doing right now in my tube rolling experimentation), the AIC-10 remains pretty transparent. In comparison, other very good amps I tried like the Thrax Enyo or the Formula S / Powerman I had before did take away DAVE transparency much more.
    FLTWS and thomaskong78 like this.
  8. beholdclarity
    Quick question regarding the open design:

    I listen music on the couch with my head leaning against a pillow or at least with a wall right behind the back of my head.
    Will the reflection off the wall/pillow be a problem due to the open wing design of the SR-1a?
  9. blubliss Contributor
    No, I sit in a chair with my head against the chair, no issues. You will not be able to lie down though, have to sit up or they will fall off.
    Zhanming057 likes this.
  10. dstubked
    Does anyone have any actual experience of driving the SR1A from a pair of schiit aegir monoblocks and feeling they are enough?

    I saw in another forum it sounds really great especially in the midrange and that will suit the kind of music I enjoy. The thing is the aegir’s put out 80wpc in a monoblock and falls short of the recommended 100wpc.

    Of course I could get a pair of Vidars but i’m thinking of using the same setup for the susvara. I don’t plan on blowing up the susvara by feeding them 400w..

    Other amps i’m considering with also be the Kinki EX-M1. Sounds like it will do a great job based on 6moons but I’m afraid its gonna be a flavour of the month kind of amp and it will be difficult to get a good price for it if i do sell it on eventually
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2019
  11. dieslemat
    you’ll be fine with the Aegir Monoblocks.

  12. dstubked
    dieslemat likes this.
  13. exdmd
    If you already own a pair of Aegirs sure try them out with the SR1a. But don't forget Schiit plans to start shipping the Jotunheim R direct drive amp that bypasses the interface box for $800 late this month or January 2020. That is half the cost of twin Aegirs, pretty significant savings.

    So I would not rush out and buy two Aegirs just to drive the SR1a's. They do not meet the manufacturer's minimum power specs. Torq has reviewed the production qualifier Jotunheim R and prefers it to twin Vidars.

    Once the Jotunheim R is in production I plan to buy one straight away and also the SR1a's. That way I have the return windows if for some reason I find them not to blow my skirts up. Doubtful but you never know until you have both at home.
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2019
  14. guitardave
    Any comment on the absolute sound quality merit of jot R compared to using the junction box with an a AHB2? Very happy now with this combo, now fed by TT2/HMS. But always looking for better, of course! Obviously less boxes would be a plus, but not if sound quality suffers. Anyone directly make this comparison?
  15. exdmd
    Torq prefers the Jotunheim R to the AHB2 link. Also see the thread linked in my post above.
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