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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. Zhanming057
    Just make sure you have a 75wpc+ amp ready :)
  2. 2002tiiguy
    NAD C370 :wink: sounds very nice on my towers, 120 rms per channel
  3. Lord Rexter
    Thanks again. The Lambdas that I have are relatively easy to drive with my STAX SRM-D10 and SRM-353X. So was planning to invest on a high-end AMP leaning towards Kgsshv Carbon with SR-009s, but I think that won't work with SRH1As. Any recommendations for AMP under 5K (for both). Appreciate your help :o2smile:

    Edit: Current AMPs - Massdrop THX AAA 789 and iFi iDSD Micro Black Label won't cut it, per your comments.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2018
    HoloSpice likes this.
  4. Zhanming057
    $5,000 US? On the 009 the best amp I have tried is the BHSE. I haven't heard the carbon KGSSHV yet and some people seem to be enjoying great results from Mjolnir Audio's amps.

    For the SRH1A's you want quite a lot of power, think 150wpc+ for best results. Something like the Pass INT250 would probably work very well. Danny uses a Bryston power amp with his SRH1A's and I think that the B135^3 would also work very well, with 135 watts into 8 ohms. Both you might be able to get used for less than $5k.
    HoloSpice and Lord Rexter like this.
  5. BunnyNamedCraig
    Pretty much... I was really impressed with the Raals. CEFF210F-F568-4DF5-BE43-D9ED2E50B90B.jpeg
    HoloSpice likes this.
  6. BunnyNamedCraig
    I would def listen to them before you pull the trigger on another stax. These are pretty damn special.

    And like other dude said- I guess making sure you have proper power is the smartest decision. Sad that the cans desire so much juice but it is what it is
    HoloSpice likes this.
  7. 2002tiiguy
    remember that thing about the high power hard to drive cans sounding good? sounds like its holding true
    lol im gonna be kicking myself if my amp will drive these things......
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2018
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  8. Lord Rexter
    I'm sold gonna try Raal SRH1A out first and take a decision on SR-009 and KGSSHV bunble.

    And surely, will also look for a powerful speaker AMPs as recommended.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2018
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  9. 2002tiiguy
    just a footnote, if you arent aware, you can get what is called a power amp, which has no control or input selection, they usually get you more power for the same price as an integrated amplifier, you have to use the volume control on the source to control the output though
    HoloSpice likes this.
  10. Lord Rexter
    This helps, thank you so much. Each day I learn new things, Head-Fi is such a great platform (I learnt a lot here and continue to do so).
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  11. 2002tiiguy
    absolutely, i really like NAD's products, minimalistic design and good value. There were some issues with cold solder joints on older stuff but its all easily fixed, @BunnyNamedCraig has heard mine and i repaired it
    HoloSpice likes this.
  12. Zhanming057
    My guess is that you're probably fine - I have noticed that these aren't as sensitive to amp pairings as other headphones. They don't seem to underperform on cheaper amps to the extent that high end planars often do, but scale with better speaker amps accordingly.

    That's assuming that your DAC has good output voltage control. Some DACs have a purely resistive output level control and sound quality degrades when you're not using it at full voltage. Integrateds are more "future-proof" since they won't limit your choice of DACs down the road.

    If you're blowing $5k US on a system, I would either go with a dedicated preamp or take the hit in output power and run an integrated unit. In my case, my Nagra INT was only slightly more expensive than the stand-alone Nagra AMP, and the only functionality that's missing on the INT is the ability to run the amps in dual mono to reach 200wpc. That and a headphone jack on the Nagra PRE that isn't very good anyways.
  13. 2002tiiguy
    no i just mean if i like them ill be kicking myself cause ill want a pair
  14. Lord Rexter
    Got it, will need to hunt for a good DAC may be need to build the system step by step. Just checked Nagra Classic INT used costs around $10k (out of my budget lol)
  15. Zhanming057

    From left to right, arguably the best bass, midrange and treble among headphones :)

    Treble is definitely the strongest point on the SRH1A with incredible speed, clarity and massive dynamics. The speed is almost a revelation of how slow "normal" headphones are in terms of rapid transitions. I'd go as far to say that the treble delivery on these with the Nagra INT is a meaningful step up from the likes of the 009/BHSE combo or even the HE90. It's that good.

    Midrange isn't quite recessed per se but I feel that it's a relative weak point of the Raal's. The SRH1A's midrange has enough resolution but the overall structure is a little soft, especially when you compare these to a reference-level midrange such as that of the Mysphere 3.2's. Vocals aren't intimate in the way that the Utopia or LCD4's are; the lightning fast transition speed is somewhat of a detriment in that regard. That said, I had no issues enjoying vocal-heavy tracks, and the spaciousness of the open design leads to an almost "live house" feel that I can get behind.

    It's fascinating how Mysphere and Raal took the K1000 concept into entirely different, but similarly exciting directions. The ribbon design entirely addresses the two major weak points of the K1000 (bass extension and treble extension) at the cost of extreme power delivery requirements. That's not saying Mysphere didn't improve on those aspects relative to the K1000, but Heinz is obviously working with both constraints on drivability and a desire to retain some of the flavor of the K1000's tuning. Both are absolutely impressive headphones in their own right.

    I think that people are going to have a love-hate relationship with these not unlike that of Spectral. A lot of it comes down to how much treble energy one feels comfortable with and preferences between the free-floating bass signature of ear-mounted speakers and the larger bass quantity of high-end planars. That and actually owning an amp that's powerful enough to drive them.
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