Raal Ribbon Headphones - SRH1A
Jul 27, 2020 at 10:29 AM Post #2,431 of 7,720
@EndGameSearch Your remark as quoted here is really interesting for me. That's the point, which prevented me up to now, to order a SR1a. If it's possible, i.e. convenient and not too "shaky" to use the SR1a in a half lying position (think Stressless recliner or Corbusier lounger), then I would order one as soon as they (and the HSA1) are available again. I know, you cannot guarantee that this would work for me, but for you it works, without the headphones falling backwards from your head, correct?
While I wouldn't go completely horizontal, they work great while leaning back. With TC I would lean back as well but would often need help supporting the ear cups with a pillow. The SR1a are much more natural feeling and completely stable. You may need to extend the fins a bit more since gravity may pull them closer to your ears while lounging, but that's an easy adjustment to make. I use a 2 channel rig in my office and only listen to SR1a/TC while lounging in the chair shown below or in bed.

I normally sit in the position shown if not reclined a little further back.

1595859906002.png
 
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Jul 27, 2020 at 1:09 PM Post #2,432 of 7,720
I have experimented with some PMEQ settings on sr1a via Roon.
Please see some of the values are adopted from the other headfi website.

I am using the following settings in my setup: YMMV
1. Jot R baffle switch off
2. Using my 45 DHT tube pre
3. In Roon, 1.7khz: -2.5 to -3.5db Q: 1.5 (peak filter)
7khz: - 3 to -4.5db Q: 1.5 (peak filter)
60 hz- +2db bass shelf Q: 1 (disabled with active sub)
Decreased the output by -4db to prevent clipping.
4. The drivers set at ~20-25 degrees.
EDIT: I have more than 250 hrs on sr1a.

Brief Impressions: (I prefer slightly bright signature)
Pros:
1. There is no bass clipping even at high spl levels.(deadmau5, skrillex etc)
2. The sound is never thin, harsh on good recordings.
3. The soundstage is 3d holographic at another level (No competition here )
4. Amazing textures, timbre & airiness/openness.
5. Bass slam is excellent. (no clipping & adequate body ) Hits equally harder/ sometimes better than TC
6. TOTL Dynamic cans are not even close to SR1A.
7. Abyss TC & susvara have the subbass body & extension but after the above settings SR1A is very close/almost at par in body & slightly behind in extension & surpasses in bass speed, resolution, layering. After listening to Speed daemon by MJ on SR1A, TC sounded slow n veiled.
8. Voices are grain free, beautifully textured. Well centered in 3D stage with refined vocal comprehension.
9. Every instrument/note/vocal is under spotlight. I can easily focus at a particular aspect of the sound for the whole length of the song without any fatigue.
10. Virtually unbreakable.

Cons:
1. There is zero isolation & a quite room is a must.
2. Fitting takes some time. Incorrect fit can spoil the sound to a large extent. I struggled for 1-2 weeks.
3. Very dependent on upstream gear (dac/amp/cables)
4. Poor recordings suffer

You don't need a complex song to judge the novelty of SR1A. A simple well recorded instrument solo is more than enough.
I believe there is a lot of potential in SR1A & amp is definitely a limiting factor. Looking forward to try with different power amps/ Raal dedicated amp.
Alien stuff!
Interesting feedback. Thanks for sharing. I'm finding SR1a shines a bright light on every component in the chain. It will highlight any weak link in the chain while exposing you to the true potential of other components. I've owned most of the TOTL HP options and have a quality chain feeding those HP's, however I've never had a HP transform my entire system to this extent. TC really changed the game for me, but these are something entirely different. It's turned every night into a memorable experience with more of a virtual reality feel to it. Instantly lost in the music.... They're a ton of fun.

I had a friend with more eq know how than me create a linear convolution filter which I use with Roon. The basic changes align with your recomendations however a convolution filter is less distructive to the final product than Roon's parametric eq. PEQ is still an excellent option, but you do lose a tiny bit of transparency.
 
Jul 27, 2020 at 8:44 PM Post #2,433 of 7,720
Interesting feedback. Thanks for sharing. I'm finding SR1a shines a bright light on every component in the chain. It will highlight any weak link in the chain while exposing you to the true potential of other components. I've owned most of the TOTL HP options and have a quality chain feeding those HP's, however I've never had a HP transform my entire system to this extent. TC really changed the game for me, but these are something entirely different. It's turned every night into a memorable experience with more of a virtual reality feel to it. Instantly lost in the music.... They're a ton of fun.

I had a friend with more eq know how than me create a linear convolution filter which I use with Roon. The basic changes align with your recomendations however a convolution filter is less distructive to the final product than Roon's parametric eq. PEQ is still an excellent option, but you do lose a tiny bit of transparency.
SR1A are already the most transparent hps ever so some loss is acceptable. I agree that a convolutional filter is the best. But, sr1a really respond very nicely to eq.
Btw I forgot to add that i am not using any PMEQ with well mastered recordings. Just with some pop, rock recordings.
 
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Jul 27, 2020 at 9:30 PM Post #2,434 of 7,720
the sr1a have ruined me for other HP's and I also own the susvara and TC ....now let me clarify that I am not saying that they are absolutely the best just that they are special and different and once you listen to them you hear music differently than you are used to...I never imagined that any HP could make my susvara and TC sound veiled but the sr1a do...they are so dynamic, so open, so incredibly detailed....when I go back to my other 2 TOTL HP's I am actually shocked that they sound to me like an LCD-4 does after listening to the TC or susvara...now let me state also that this incredible detail and clarity has a downside....it will absolutely murder bad recordings, if you have heard a bit of sibilance on a particular song with other HP's it will be more pronounced with the sr1a's..... if a recording has cut outs or tape damage you will hear it...on the other hand you will also hear more of the good stuff and with good recordings you will literally marvel at what you hear....in terms of bass it is better than what I expected, very accurate and pleasing to me...yes it lacks the sub bass of the TC but I dont find it to be a real problem....I do wonder what the new raal amp would sound like relative to the jotc which I am currently using...I bought these as kind of a novelty because I am nuts when it comes to this stuff and wanted to give them a serious listen...I expected they would be a novelty and I would return to my TC and susvara but thus far the sr1a has gotten the bulk of my listening time....
 
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Jul 28, 2020 at 10:04 AM Post #2,435 of 7,720
the SR1a is something that I can recline on the couch and enjoy without them slipping off. Interestingly the cushion creates a bit of enclosure and reinforces bass response. Bass with these to me is the most accurate I have heard, the texture, tone and detail is unrivaled. It is not the most quantity of bass but to me is the best quality of bass. I am hopeful that there will be future amps designed with these I mind given the SR1a blows the doors of "proof of concept" as ribbons as a top flight driver type for headphones.
 
Jul 28, 2020 at 10:46 AM Post #2,436 of 7,720
Just got a pair from a fellow head-fi member. These are incredibly transparent. The speed and imaging is unreal. Far to early to give real impressions, but the wow factor is real.
 
Jul 29, 2020 at 5:24 PM Post #2,437 of 7,720
Can’t believe I’m saying this as I felt that these were the most comfortable HPs I’ve ever owned, but that dropped after last night. I used it daily for how many ever hours, and the pressure on my temples increased/became more noticeable with each passing day.
Last night, it gave me a bad headache. I am now scared of using these HPs, and I don’t like that. Is there anyway to increase the comfort levels?
 
Jul 29, 2020 at 6:28 PM Post #2,438 of 7,720
Can’t believe I’m saying this as I felt that these were the most comfortable HPs I’ve ever owned, but that dropped after last night. I used it daily for how many ever hours, and the pressure on my temples increased/became more noticeable with each passing day.
Last night, it gave me a bad headache. I am now scared of using these HPs, and I don’t like that. Is there anyway to increase the comfort levels?

BrowChan,

You can gently flatten the curve of the springy steel piece a little to reduce the pressure. Also, it is easy to fit ZMF CoPilot pads over the steel piece; this spreads the weight out a little better and also would move the temple pads slightly higher on your head, which would probably help.
 
Jul 29, 2020 at 6:30 PM Post #2,439 of 7,720
While admittedly I've only spent 3 or 4 hours with these headphones I haven't noticed any clamp at all. By looking at them I would think you could flex the steel headband. Mine are a used pair, so maybe the were already flexed out. Virtually no side pressure with mine. I was actually thinking of trying to increase the side pressure for stability.
 
Jul 29, 2020 at 6:32 PM Post #2,440 of 7,720
My wife thinks they are the most comfortable pair she has ever tried. And she doesn't like "headphones".
 
Jul 29, 2020 at 6:50 PM Post #2,441 of 7,720
BrowChan,

You can gently flatten the curve of the springy steel piece a little to reduce the pressure. Also, it is easy to fit ZMF CoPilot pads over the steel piece; this spreads the weight out a little better and also would move the temple pads slightly higher on your head, which would probably help.
I will give that a shot, thank you. I hope that doesn't count as mishandling. Just worried about that.
Will need to order the CoPilot pads, though. I will update once I get any results.

While admittedly I've only spent 3 or 4 hours with these headphones I haven't noticed any clamp at all. By looking at them I would think you could flex the steel headband. Mine are a used pair, so maybe the were already flexed out. Virtually no side pressure with mine. I was actually thinking of trying to increase the side pressure for stability.
My wife thinks they are the most comfortable pair she has ever tried. And she doesn't like "headphones".
That was my experience the first time as well. I tried flexing before, but got worried as I am not sure on how much is too much. I have had these HPs for a few weeks and am only noticing the issues now. Probably has to do with height adjustment as well since I changed it two weeks ago.
 
Jul 29, 2020 at 10:20 PM Post #2,442 of 7,720
other than a bit of pressure on the temples to keep it from sliding off your face they are extremely comfortable especially the lack of anything on the ears
 
Jul 29, 2020 at 11:32 PM Post #2,443 of 7,720
other than a bit of pressure on the temples to keep it from sliding off your face they are extremely comfortable especially the lack of anything on the ears
Yeah, I like them for their comfort and whatnot other than the temple thing. I got some recommendations now. Will try them out. Thank you all.
 
Jul 30, 2020 at 12:03 AM Post #2,444 of 7,720
Can’t believe I’m saying this as I felt that these were the most comfortable HPs I’ve ever owned, but that dropped after last night. I used it daily for how many ever hours, and the pressure on my temples increased/became more noticeable with each passing day.
Last night, it gave me a bad headache. I am now scared of using these HPs, and I don’t like that. Is there anyway to increase the comfort levels?
I had the same problem in the first couple of weeks. I have a big head (broad). I was wearing them in a wrong way & the sound was not that great.
But, after figuring out the correct way not only the comfort but also the sound improved especially the bass n SS depth.

Its like Abyss TC you have to try with diff pad position (clock hours) & angulation of drivers slighlty fwd & maintaining minimal gap between pinna & pads.

Just mail raal about your problem they will definitely help you out.
 
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