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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. coinmaster
    Can someone post more thorough pics of the SRH1a? It's always the same vantage point.
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2019
  2. Zhanming057
    I've been a bit constrained since my pair is a prototype and doesn't look the best, I've been trying to show the parts where it will look exactly the same as the final product. I'll have a lot more photography up when I get my production pair.

    The insides of the cups look exactly like the outside, there are no earcups, just a strip of padding between the drivers and your face. If you Google the AKG K1000's inside, it's basically exactly like that down to the cushion placement.
    HoloSpice and alphanumerix1 like this.
  3. Zhanming057

    I recently got some more time with the SRH1A on a couple power amps against the Abyss, the Shangri-La Jr and the 009 + Kgsshv Carbon combo. This might be a bit of a hot take, but IMO if you're (1) not chasing a particular bass-light signature (2) okay with the general open-ness of ear mounted speaker designs and (3) either own or is open to buying a strong power amp, the SRH1A almost strictly dominates top tier electrostat systems.

    Compare to the 009/Mjolnir Carbon system, the SRH1A on the Octave V80SE (which is, granted, about $3,000 more amp street price wise) has better treble extension, better speed, almost incomparably better bass extension and quality. The tubes slow down the SRH1A just a bit and adds much appreciated warmth to the lower midrange. What you do lose with the SRH1A is the intimacy of regular cans and the 009 in particular, and you can get more bass quantity out of very strong electrostat systems (e.g. non-jr Shangri-La).

    I listen to a lot of electronic music and the SRH1A with the DMA400 monoblocks is absolutely amazing for that genre. The speed of the treble response is almost surreal and extremely accurate. Surprisingly sibilance is quite well-controlled and at no point did I feel that the treble was anything less than smooth. This is still quite an extreme pairing and Spectral exposes the thin-ness problem with the SRH1A's mids that tube amps hide very well. For classical and orchestral music even relatively cheap KT150 amps perform quite respectably with the SRH1A, it's mostly a matter of how much treble response is being traded off for warmth.

    The TL,DR is that if you're considering a high-end electrostat system, and especially if you like fast treble but wished that the Stax's had more bass energy, try to spend some time with the SRH1A before pulling that trigger.
  4. Zenvota
    These look like they'd be pretty amazing when used with a Smyth Realiser or Out of Your Head.
    BreadMaster likes this.
  5. Zhanming057
    Aleksander at Raal has asked me to post a few words about amp pairings with the Raal SR-1A (yes, that's a name change from the SRH-1A).

    An amp that is only rated at 100w at 8ohms will run out of excursion on bass-heavy tracks with the SR-1A and display clipping. I tested this on my Nagra Classic INT and didn't notice an issue compared to the DMA150 at what I would consider listenable volumes, and clipping did not happen when the amp was pushed to the max volume. That said, it's possible that Nagra is rating their gear conservatively, or that the amp is pushing out significantly more than 100wpc on a 4ohm load. As a general guideline though it's probably a good idea to shop for an amp rated at much more than 100wpc at 4 ohms for the SR-1A.

    All development, voicing and setup of the SR1A, was done with the Benchmark AHB2 amplifier and Benchmark DAC3L. This is also the "reference" combination that Aleksander recommends for the SR-1A. I have not tried this combination although it's possible that the SR1A will be at the Benchmark booth at Canjam with the AHB2. My take on the AHB2 is that it's quite good value for the money, if a little polite and a tiny bit hot in the treble range.

    Danny runs his pair on the Bryston 7B³ monoblocks and also with custom-built KT88 monoblocks rated at 120wpc.
    alphanumerix1 likes this.
  6. lambdastorm
    Dunno what they put in that transformer box but it sure eats power. I had a phone conversation with Danny a few weeks ago and he did mention that the headphone itself is extremely sensitive, needing no more than 1mw to hit 105dB, the transformer box is just there to protect the headphone in case a short happens (the headphone itself measures .04 ohms @ 1khz which isn’t an easy load).
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2019
  7. coinmaster
    Those are confusing numbers considering that the input requirements are 50W+ and Pin=Pout in a transformer.
    Someones numbers are off or there is a piece of the puzzle missing.
  8. Zhanming057
    50wpc into 8 ohms is the bare minimum requirement. Basically you can get by at this level without clipping if you prefer mid to low listening volumes.

    150wpc into 8 ohms is the recommended level. This level guarantees that even if you reach the max input level on the adapter box (150w into 4 ohms), you still won't run into bass clipping.

    But realistically, I can't imagine anyone listening at volumes where more than about 90w is used at peak output. They get very loud at that level.
  9. coinmaster
    Sorry I was responding to this quote.
    Watts in = watts out in a transformer so the information is conflicting.
  10. Zhanming057
    It's not a transformer box. Power is bled off through the box and it does get quite hot while doing so.
  11. travis-bickle
    what parts are adjustable and to what degree?
  12. SilverEars
    Wow that is such a minute load value. How about a very minor output impedance amp?

    That box is for impedance reducer and the sign that the box is getting hot means it's disipating the excess power. Spec is quite efficient after all.
    BreadMaster likes this.
  13. coinmaster
    What is the white thing between the grates where the ribbon should be? Is that a piece of foam or something?
  14. wuwhere Contributor
    The Scintilla of headphones.
  15. Zhanming057
    Yes, it's foam to protect the magnet and ribbon assembly.
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