Raal Ribbon Headphones - SRH1A
Mar 28, 2020 at 6:35 PM Post #2,041 of 4,658

FLTWS

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Mar 29, 2020 at 12:19 AM Post #2,042 of 4,658

franz12

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Are there aftermarket cables for the sr1a? I know somebody made their own cables, but are there any other companies making aftermarket cables? I wonder if it would further improve on the already great sound... :thinking:
None I am aware of. I asked Trevor from Norne cable to produce cables for the SR1a, but Trevor replied he haven't received any information from Raal to produce an aftermarket cable.

However, I luckily found a local technician who was able to modify my Norne Silvergarde cables for the SR1a, and they are coming in the next week. Hopefully, they go well with my unit.
 
Mar 29, 2020 at 6:08 AM Post #2,043 of 4,658

cladane

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Hi,

I wonder if the Raal active circuitry inside something like Jot R is something that can be implemented in tube amps.

Normal Jot is rated to 7.5 watts/16 Ohms. IF it COULD deliver power into 8 Ohms, it would have similar output rating as something like a 300B SET amp, which are typically 8-10 watts/8 Ohms.

Being curious, I hooked up SR1a to my Elekit TU-8600R 300B SET speaker amp even though I know Raal recommends at least 100 watts. The amp immediately started to clip even at pretty low volume levels, at levels you would use if someone was sleeping in the room right next to you.

However, when I changed the interface box to the amp's higher impedance speaker tap, the allowable volume level increased significantly. Playing mostly vocal music like Leonard Cohen "You Want It Darker," I was able to achieve volume levels I would use if somebody was sleeping, say 5 feet away. Still way, way below normal listening levels but just enough to begin to hear that 300B texture and richness. And as 300B afacionados know, it was MAGIC.

Perhaps companies like Woo, Eddie Current would be willing to at least contemplate about such an amp as Raal sells more ribbon headphones in the future and demand goes up. I can hope...

0325201443a - Copy by drjlo2, on Flickr

Yes, VIVA (Italy) is working at integrating the headphones into their new SuperAmplifier. Baffle compensation is going to be installed at the input of the amplifier.

Personnaly, listening quite only Classical, I feel nicer, as with full range drivers, with headphones, to add some tube in the chain.
 
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Mar 29, 2020 at 6:55 AM Post #2,044 of 4,658

FLTWS

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Mar 29, 2020 at 8:52 AM Post #2,045 of 4,658

ctemkin

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Moon and YFS make aftermarket cables. I'm sure there are others.

I got a headphone cable for my SR1a from Tritonaudiocables.com: 4 wires, 24 AWG, 8 feet long, Neotech AG/GD. The cable appears quite well made, and Mr. Choy was both professional and very pleasant to deal with.
 
Mar 29, 2020 at 2:49 PM Post #2,046 of 4,658

565hunter

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I got a headphone cable for my SR1a from Tritonaudiocables.com: 4 wires, 24 AWG, 8 feet long, Neotech AG/GD. The cable appears quite well made, and Mr. Choy was both professional and very pleasant to deal with.
In regards to using your new cable with the Jotunheim R, did you notice a change in sound quality and if so, would you please describe it?
 
Mar 29, 2020 at 3:53 PM Post #2,047 of 4,658

ctemkin

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565hunter,

I got the Triton cable before the Jot R and have never switched back to the original cable. I'll compare them with the Jot R when I get a chance.
 
Apr 3, 2020 at 3:28 PM Post #2,048 of 4,658

Marax

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I had bass clipping and distortion too. @BrowChan suggested that it might be due to my WA33 being used as a pre-amp. I had the volume on the WA33 at 12 o’clock and then used the Jot R at like 10 o’clock too and got distortion/clipping on very low bass notes.

I fixed that issue by putting the wa33 at 9 o’clock and then the JotR at 12. No clipping anymore at all

@Ciggavelli @Marax - which tracks did you experience the bass distortion? And can you specific the time also. I would like to test mine.

also did youtest the bass distortion without the Jotunheim R but rather using the resistor box?


Update 4/3/20

After a couple more weeks of time, I am happy to say I cannot really recreate the issue now. Perhaps I've experienced my first real taste of the benefits of burn in - or merely the process of re-seating cables while trying new things. There's still occasional distortion some on bass heavy tracks, if it gets too loud, but at levels beyond what would be safe to listen to for any duration (~85+ db on a cheap meter).

Obviously the recording/mastering quality is paramount with any listening experience, but even more so with the Raal's insanely revealing nature. Anything wrong in your music (from dodgy mastering to file issues) will be noticed. Which makes sense, since these are designed for audio engineers that want to hear it all when mixing and mastering.

In a lot of ways, the sound reminds me of my Grado PS1000's - but even *more* revealing, and obviously less impact on the bass with the open baffle design. One thing that really surprised me is how great electronic music sounds on these babies. I was ready for some great strings and accoustic listening, but synthesizers and theremins (yeah, I listen to a lot of weird stuff) are at an all other level with the speed of ribbons behind them.
 
Apr 3, 2020 at 10:01 PM Post #2,050 of 4,658

ctemkin

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565hunter,

I made something of a feeble attempt to compare my Triton cable with the original cable, both out of the Jot R. My usual approach to comparing things is to listen to 10-15 seconds of music using each item; if I listen longer, by the time I test the second item, I basically have forgotten the details I heard in the first test. I am, however, reluctant to keep switching headphone cables, since that could damage the female connections in the SR1a. So I decided just to listen to several tracks of jazz and classical music with each cable. I did not notice any significant difference between the cables. Whichever one I used, I found myself impressed with the sound quality of the headphones.
 
Apr 4, 2020 at 7:37 AM Post #2,051 of 4,658

FLTWS

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So anyone ordered it yet?

I was ready to pounce but then the covid-19 bloomed, as predicted it would back in January, but at $3,900 I figured I'll sit tight to see what happened to the markets and retirement funds. I was soooo wanting to A/B it head to head with my Jotunheim R. I have an upstairs rig and downstairs rig so I need 2 amps for my SR1a anyway. The downstairs rig amp will also pull double duty with my home theater, watching movies with this level of comfort has been a desire of mine for years. I could simply go with 2 "R's" but this is the kind of comparison listening I get a lot of enjoyment out of spending time on in retirement.

It's also became crystal clear to me that the SR1a, more than any other phone I own, or have owned, or have auditioned at length, really lays bare recorded quality of my, predominantly classical, CD's. The number of truly great creme de la creme recordings in my collection became a small number with this phone. Especially in the bottom octave, but Loki really saves the day for me there. I was just listening to Stravinsky's "Firebird" with Steinberg and the LAPD on Sheffield CD-24 last night. The sound of bass drum, double basses, and any of the woodwinds or horns that plumb the depths was spot on in balanced mode with no help needed in the bass for my taste. This is a unique recording in that the bass drum is centered at the rear when generally they are placed well left or right, I find this immensely helpful when auditioning L/R balance on any system. I followed that up with Berlioz "Fantastique" with Norrington and SWR Stuttgart, another terrific recording but that needed just the smallest of twitches of the 20Hz knob on the Loki to suit me. So I run the "R" in SE mode for that recording so I can make use of Loki and get a hair more satisfaction while listening. And with my Yggdrasil I can run both modes simultaneously so switching from balance to SE and engaging Loki takes nothing more than the "snick" of a toggle switch and adjustment of the volume control.

I don't consider the need for (sometimes) EQ'ing with this HP a weakness of the phone. I've owned 4 different dipole speaker designs over the years and am familiar with the strengths and weaknesses of this design type versus enclosed box speakers or headphones that encapsulate my ears. And I think the SR1a is so well behaved in the bottom octave it can take EQ and maintain its composure without becoming boom-y or losing detail and providing the satisfaction of sound I want. But that's just my take.

At some point I do hope to acquire an HSA-1a.
 
Apr 4, 2020 at 9:11 AM Post #2,052 of 4,658

Pale Rider

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So anyone ordered it yet?
Mine arrived yesterday. I hooked her into the system early this morning. Couldn’t resist the urge to listen a little even while playing a random list. Playback is Roon Nucleus+—>MSB Select 2–>HSA-1a. (Same as the Jot R and the other headphones, except that a couple of amps require the Hattor Passive Pre in front of them due to only having two sets of outputs from the MSB and not all of the amps having pass-through loops.)

Now, this is my first time listening to the SR1a in over a month, since before some international travel. Back then, while COVID-19 was news, it wasn’t the only news, and it didn’t seem as though the world had fallen apart. Life feels different now, and if you’ll forgive the philosophizing, so does headphone listening. I didn’t listen to headphones to escape anything, though I did listen in private (sometimes at family request :wink:), but pleasure was the primary purpose. Today, I confess a sense of relief and escape was almost palpable when I put the headphones on my head and started the music. I share that because I think it could affect listening impressions.

As for initial impressions? Physically, it’s a Serbian brick of unassuming design. Looks more like a piece of test bench equipment than high end audio. It’s not going to win any beauty contests. But it doesn’t have to; sonically, with all of 30 minutes of brain/burn-in, it sounds superb. All I’ve listened to so far is Fiona Joy’s Signature-Solo in DSD128. To my memory only, depth and detail seem significantly improved. I’ll have to reconfigure the rack so I can have both Jot R and HSA playing at the same time and so can switch the SR1a back and forth to make any remotely fair comparison. But before I do that, I want to spend a lot of time listening, and then some time comparing the T2/009S combo.
 
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Apr 4, 2020 at 9:29 AM Post #2,053 of 4,658

dieslemat

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@FLTWS glad to read your thoughts on SR1a. I must say that your observations are almost the same as mine. Looking forward to receiving my Loki next week.

Cheers!
 
Apr 4, 2020 at 11:23 AM Post #2,054 of 4,658

FLTWS

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Mine arrived yesterday. I hooked her into the system early this morning. Couldn’t resist the urge to listen a little even while playing a random list. Playback is Roon Nucleus+—>MSB Select 2–>HSA-1a. (Same as the Jot R and the other headphones, except that a couple of amps require the Hattor Passive Pre in front of them due to only having two sets of outputs from the MSB.)

Now, this is my first time listening to the SR1a in over a month, since before some international travel. Back then, while COVID-19 was news, it wasn’t the only news, and it didn’t seem as though the world had fallen apart. Life feels different now, and if you’ll forgive the philosophizing, so does headphone listening. I didn’t listen to headphones to escape anything, though I did listen in private (sometimes at family request :wink:), but pleasure was the primary purpose. Today, I confess a sense of relief and escape was almost palpable when I put the headphones on my head and started the music. I share that because I think it could affect listening impressions.

As for initial impressions? Physically, it’s a Serbian brick of unassuming design. Looks more like a piece of test bench equipment than high end audio. It’s not going to win any beauty contests. But it doesn’t have to; sonically, with all of 30 minutes of brain/burn-in, it sounds superb. All I’ve listened to so far is Fiona Joy’s Signature-Solo in DSD128. To my memory only, depth and detail seem significantly improved. I’ll have to reconfigure the rack so I can have both Jot R and HSA playing at the same time and so can switch the SR1a back and forth to make any remotely fair comparison. But before I do that, I want to spend a lot of time listening, and then some time comparing the T2/009S combo.

I actually like the looks, especially the numbered face plate. It will make getting to different volume settings quicker and easier, especially when going from SE to balanced on the HSA, (with or without Lok)i, after noting the positions from a test tone and SPL meter measurement. "R" vs. HSA, a steel cage match for the ages, LOL!

It's nice that RAAL has configured the foams in the Pelican case for the SR1a +"R" purchase option. I think they'll need a larger Pelican for those that go with SR1a + HSA option.
 
Apr 4, 2020 at 2:44 PM Post #2,055 of 4,658

rkw

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I was just listening to Stravinsky's "Firebird" with Steinberg and the LAPD on Sheffield CD-24
Obviously a typo, but made me laugh.

Candidate-FAQ-Hero.png


You meant Leinsdorf and the LAPO.
 

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