- Jun 4, 2005
the sr1a is specialProbably the biggest surprise (by a huge margin) of CanJam for me was re-auditioning the SR1a today. I heard them a couple of years ago in the same venue through a speaker amp I don't recall, and at the time I was thoroughly unimpressed. Bass was non-existent and I also wasn't hearing the cavernous soundstage that everyone talks about. At the time, I honestly would have bet big that they would end up flopping in the marketplace. So I was frankly blown away when I heard them again today through the HSA-1b and there was convincing bass and a wide open airy soundstage with pinpoint imaging! I was playing rock music and enjoying the hell out of it. First track was Crosseyed and Painless by Talking Heads, and then some other stuff I don't recall now. The amp is obviously doing some EQ, and I think they dialed it in just about right for my preferences.
I then listened to the circumaural version, which was a prototype with makeshift pads and a different gimbal than the production version will use. Other than that, I think everything will be essentially the same. My take was that you gained a bit of bass and lost spaciousness, and it was not a tradeoff I'd make personally given how much I already liked the OG bass. I also think the frequency response was a tad more uneven on the circumaural, which I'm quite sensitive to. So, all in all, the OG would be my clear choice, even at the much higher price. I also like the smaller footprint of the OG.
Keep in mind that these were impressions formed at a noisy show after maybe ten minutes of listening to each headphone, and that I'm a Raal neophyte. Offered for whatever it may be worth. I'm not sure I'm gonna run out and blow $8k on a Raal rig, as I'd have to do much more critical listening in a quiet environment before making that leap, but it no longer seems insane to contemplate. Baby steps...