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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. lithiumnk
    Please take care of yourself. I understand your condition very well. I am an ophthalmologist by profession.
     
  2. cladane
    I understand your answers and with my Solista amp neither have I noise floor with the MySphere 3.2

    Reading Mr Renner in the appropriate thread point is that it isn’t really a volume concern (even if somewhere there is one) but the headphones mustn’t be driven too hard, better soft amps and I don’t know what is a Symphony managed ‘softly ‘. Or doing so you really lack bass performance, or more than performance, impact which is what gives a bass drum in a Concert Hall.
    But can be of course a personal choice for listening music.
    More a philosophical point, agree.

    Your feeling regarding the SR1a seems more appealing for my tastes. I will take the opportunity to listen to them.
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2019
  3. joseph69
    Yes, it does get a bit hectic when I'm not familiar with the area, for sure.

    Not too sure many people (I know) would want to take +/-4hr ride. Will send a PM about the text in bold so I don't derail the thread. This is very interesting.

    Thank you. I take care of myself the best I can now that I realize I'm not invisible anymore. Left eye has been stable for 9+yrs.
     
  4. biscottino
    since the purchase of the sr1a is near, I imagined three possible ways:

    Schiit Vidar
    Benchmark ahb2
    Nord Acoustic nc500

    They suggested that even Nuprime amplifiers are very very good, in total confusion someone can comment on these amp?
    Consider that I am not going to take a pre but I would use the adjustable output of my Merging Nadac, could I have any problems?
     
    BreadMaster likes this.
  5. BreadMaster
    Hahaha same boat as you are man. Benchmark AHB2, NAD M22 V2, or get the Anthem Statement M1 monoblock setup?

    [​IMG]
     
  6. biscottino
    turn off the barbacue there is too much meat!
     
    BreadMaster likes this.
  7. GuyForkes
    *Warning - Long post ahead*
    We headfiers have very little experience with 2 channel amps. So I spent the last few weeks reading up and trying different ones and here's my take:

    1. Spend wisely and within your means. It's easy to get carried away as amps in this category range from sub $1k to $100k. Remind yourself (constantly) that you're buying this for $3k+ earspeakers, not $80k Martin Logan speakers.

    2. Do research and take the time to audition the amps you have on your radar.

    3. If you're on a budget, take the modular approach. Buy a Vidar/AHB2 with a Schiit SYS and add a bridged mono, preamp later. Not only does this require less money upfront, it also provides a future upgrade path where you can custom your sound via the preamp. From various previous posts, a single Vidar and AHB2 will already offer great sound.

    Here are some options I've read about or auditioned, all $10k and below, class A/B unless otherwise stated:


    Power Amps

    Vidar ($700)
    Aegir x2 ($1.6k)
    - Schiit's latest, class A for up to 10 watts! Said to be more musical than Vidar. Will be visiting SLT to audition this.
    AHB2 ($3k) - Highly respected amp and considered by many to be the amp with the lowest distortion. There are numerous threads dedicated to this amp. Adding a preamp to this would help to tailor the sound to your preference as this amp is very transparent.
    PrimaLuna Dialogue Premium ($3k) - Auditioned this tube amp. Very flexible and can take a variety of output tubes. Holographic imaging and soundstage typical with tube amps. However was a little thin and bright for me. Might have been the EL34s being used. I would have swapped it out for KT120s to provide some extra juice.
    Rogue Audio ST-100 ($3.5k) - My favorite among those that I've tried. Tube amp using KT120s. Great imaging and soundstage. Smoother and more natural sounding than the other tube amps I tried. Taken to another level when combined with the Rogue RP-7 preamp. I ordered a set. Big and heavy.

    Bel Canto e.One REF600M x2 ($5k) - Well reviewed class D amp
    Pass X150.8 ($6.5k) - From a legendary amp designer. Big and heavy and needs to be left on all the time to perform at its best
    PS Audio BHK Signature 250 ($7.5k) - Hybrid tube/SS design by another legendary amp designer. Also big and heavy.


    Integrated Amps

    Nu-Prime IDA-8 ($1k) - Got this Class D amp as a loaner. Stated power output of 100w @8ohms but was constantly clipping at low volumes. Non-existent imaging and lacked liveliness. Not recommended.
    Rogue Audio Cronus Magnum III ($3k) - Auditioned this. My favorite integrated. Retains the natural sound of the Rogue Audio ST-100. Loses out slightly to the ST-100+RP-7 combo in soundstage. Still a fantastic bargain imo.
    Anthem STR ($4.5k) - Well reviewed feature packed amp.
    Krell k-300i ($7-8k depending on selected feature set) - Auditioned this. Class A using their ibias technology. Huge soundstage with thundering bass. Effortlessly drove the SR1a to extremely high volume. Relatively small footprint.
    Octave Audio V80SE ($10k) - Auditioned this. Tube amp utilizing KT150 output tubes. Not a fan of the KT150 sound. Quite aggressive and bright (though I've read on stereophile that this tones down a lot after burn-in). It does however have more than enough power (150rms tube watts) to drive SR1a effortlessly. As with primaluna and rogue products, imaging and soundstage was great. It also comes with an external power supply upgrade for $3k.

    Are there better amplifiers out there? Sure (See Simaudio, Jeff Rowland, Constellation, Luxman, ARC, BAT), but the ones listed are what I felt represented the best value (except Nu-prime). If it wasn't evident by now, I have a strong preference for tube amplifiers so my auditions were focused more on that. If I had to choose, I'd pick the Aegir, AHB2 and the Cronus Magnum III as the best value products.

    Would like to specially thank Sean of SLT for the loaner and for arranging the krell demo. Excellent service as always.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2019
  8. yates7592
    GuyForkes - seems you did a lot of listening with these amps. What are your impressions of the SR1a?
     
    BreadMaster likes this.
  9. bearwarrior
    Will be interesting if anyone can compare Aegir monoblocks with Pass Labs XA25. Might be a legit candidate to challenge the giant.
     
    BreadMaster likes this.
  10. BreadMaster
    @Jerseyboy Alright Jersey time for your review! :writing_hand::grin::ok_hand:
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2019
  11. GuyForkes
    I've had the SR1a since March but had been stuck using the Nu-prime while I waited for the AHB2 to ship (It was sold out worldwide at the time). With it, I found the SR1a extremely underwhelming in technicalities (especially in imaging) and tonality, only its speed impressed me. It was only after trying it with different amps that I experienced what the SR1a could do. The SR1a is extremely transparent, allowing me to hear the entire audio chain. With good upstream components, the SR1a becomes my favourite headphone (overtaking Susvara). Going on memory, it really does sound better than the HE-1. I suspect the HE-1 sounds as good as it does due to it's amp component as well.
     
  12. GuyForkes
    The XA25 outputs 25w rms@8ohms, though rated extremely conservatively, its very far away from the recommended 100w@8ohms. I would go with Aegir monoblocks. On more sensitive speakers, its hard to see aegirs beating the XA25.
     
    Articnoise and BreadMaster like this.
  13. BreadMaster
    "With good upstream components, the SR1a becomes my favourite headphone (overtaking Susvara)."

    "Going on memory, it really does sound better than the HE-1."

    Long live the king!:blush:
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2019
    GuyForkes likes this.
  14. llamaluv
    I'm in agreement with this. I especially like that the same amps that seem to do justice to the SR1a do likewise for the Susvara, as a bonus.
     
    GuyForkes, Mystel and BreadMaster like this.
  15. BreadMaster
    Fang must be reeling over the fact that a 3k headphone is besting his 6k $u$vara. :scream: Hifiman in trouble now~ :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:
     
    Mystel likes this.
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