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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. Headcase88
    YATESt592.... Just seen your post re. selling you SR1a's. Could you PM me with some details please. Wasn't able to send PM from my end... sorry!)
    I am very interested and live in the in the UK.
  2. Aleksandar R.
    So is it 30W or 120W?
    I really doubt that any manufacturer would claim 4x lower power and I can't lie and tell you that 30W is enough.
  3. Aleksandar R.
    Quite the opposite!
    These are the only user-repearable headphones on the market and when buying used, you can easily take the ribbons out and check if they are bent or crushed or sagging...you can't inspect any other headphones for the state of their diaphragm.
    If anything is wrong, beat the price down for the price of a couple of replacement ribbons and when you replace them, you'll have them as brand new in things that matter.
    IMHO, that is the best thing that ever happened for the used market!
    Thenewguy007 and GuyForkes like this.
  4. Aleksandar R.
    Will go through that later today, we're preparing a shipment of headphones that has to ship today...
  5. Seth Warshavsky
    Thanks much!

  6. elton7033
    To be honest I don’t know since what HiFi magazine and internet review are saying it’s much more powerful than what Luxman claims and is not purely class A only where it will switch to class b when overload however there is no way to proof it...
    BreadMaster likes this.
  7. Savage4
    Just received my sr1a, first impression: why did I waste my money on utopia and abyss? Not to trash talk other headphones but there can only be one winner.
  8. biscottino
    Please, which is your amp?
    BreadMaster likes this.
  9. Savage4
    A bryston 2.5b3.
    biscottino and BreadMaster like this.
  10. Aleksandar R.
    I'm quite surprised to see that PS Audio Directstream has the analog output with just -70dB of THD&IM. I would immediately discard it as a match for an amp that has -119dB of THD. It may "sound" whatever, but simply, the crescendos will not come out clean at -70dB of distortion and that's not a match to what AHB2 can do. However, i would certainly try it with setting the gain inside it to highest setting (2.8V balanced) and AHB2 at 2V and remove the preamp completely, as PS has a voume control.

    Yggdrasil does fare much better at -86dB of distortion, but that's not enough in this case. For me, this too falls into category "it can "sound" whatever", as I can't justify the engineering decisions behind it.

    Both of those will definitely have some "sound" to them and it might as well be a "good" one, but I don't seek for that, as that approach requires dealing with "synergy", or matching certain flaws with complimentary flaws hoping to find the sweet spot.

    As for the preamp, it's OK at -100dB at 1k, but rising 20dB and more above 3k. That may make it sound artificially "open", and that's not going to go unnoticed with AHB2, becoming too forward and maybe even annoying.

    If you want to hear what AHB2 can do, get a Benchmark DAC3L, which has -113dB of distortion with it's massive analog end. It does not need a preamp, as it's analog section works as such. At less than $2k it's a bargain and it sounds right in every way. I stopped comparing it to other DACs when I got to the one that costs 9k Pounds Sterling that sounded like a bad joke in comparison...like jacked up hash in vocals that wanted to pass for "resolution"...

    Once that DAC3L/AHB2 pairing is made, it becomes clear that Benchmark gear is not about "Sound" and "Audiophilia". It's not about this kind of bass or that kind of midrange, or even enjoyment. Not at all! Just like SR1a, it doesn't aspire to be liked with all recordings. It's about having an open window into the recorded event and that's all it aspires to.

    Having said that, I have a few close audiophile friends of mine that don't like the same kind of sound that I do, including the Benchmarks, so they listen to something else, something I never would go back to again, as I grew out of liking it and justifying it's existence.
    Interestingly enough, they like what SR1a does with their gear, and so do I. Not that I would strive for that, but I do get what they are looking for, why they want it and with what kind audiophile exotica they had to use to get it. Still, my empathy doesn't make them care for my advice, as it should be :)

    My friends and I come from opposite ends of the audiophile spectrum, but SR1a works for all of us. And that is a good thing. Like Srajan wrote, if he would want to get different kinds of presentation, he would simply change the preceding electronics and we can all do that.

    So, just by looking at the papers, I wouldn't match any of those above with AHB2 and hope that "synergy" will work with AHB2. If that setup has to be there, then you're better off with some other amp, preferably at the warm side of things.


    Last edited: May 30, 2019
  11. onlychild
    Anyone try this headphone with Chord Dave, mscaler and Chord Etude amp? The Etude is 150W into 4 ohms and a perfect match for the Dave.
    BreadMaster likes this.
  12. Seth Warshavsky
    Thanks Alex
  13. Jozurr
    Received my SR1a.

    First impressions are extremely favourable. I assumed people overstated the power requirements or how much they scaled up. I used them first with the First Watt J2 (30 watts in 8 ohms). They powered up with a very familiar and extremely pleasing sound that I'm used to on the HE-6, except with a little bit more transparency and better microdetail, better sound staging and imaging, less bass impact and extension. However the more I heard them, the more it felt like they were a bit shouty and brittle and harsh. I powered them down and set them up on the Anthem STR Integrated (200 watts into 8 ohms). All of a sudden it felt like something relaxed the whole spectrum. The J2 were chokeholding the SR1a back. The sound seemed way more open and relaxed, less shouty, less fatiguing and fuller in the bass. These definitely need the power that is being asked for them. Feels like I'll be going down a rabbit hole of getting the best amp for them.
    WilliamWykeham, llamaluv and Mystel like this.
  14. biscottino

    so I understand that 100 watts at 8 ohms as required by the headphones are necessary, you have to keep above this value but not below .... I know J2, very good but with the he6 it didn't excite me.
  15. Jozurr
    Many people who have used the J2 with the HE6 consider it excellent, as did I. Of course tastes may vary and you may not like it.
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