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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. Tugbars
    Thank you, yes i traversed through all posts and found 2 comparisons of both. The comparisons i could find isn't with T2 but with BHSE which is close to perfection for benchmarking 009s.
    BreadMaster likes this.
  2. Torq
    My SR1a arrived on Friday. I've done very little except sit listening to them since then. Even starting with a very basic, inexpensive (but all analog, i.e. toroidal LPS and conventional class A/B) speaker amplifier (something I wanted to do to see how they scaled with better amplification - given that all the amplifiers I will evaluate with meet or beat the power requirements) they are incredibly impressive.

    Five days in and I am completely re-evaluating which of my headphones I will actually keep. The more I listen, the thinner the eventual heard looks like it will get. Though there will be some I keep, as I also need cans I can use without a speaker amplifier, with my tube amp, with a DAP and at least one set of closed-backs.

    Switched them over to a single Vidar last night, which was clearly better than the initial amp I tried. Will try dual-mono Vidar's starting Thursday. Dual mono-Aegir's after that. And then it'll be into the big-boy amps.
    Mystel, joseph69, pavi and 9 others like this.
  3. Jozurr
    I had the same experience when I tried the SR1a. I'm also evaluating the headphones Im going to keep. Please share your experiences with different amps - even if they're snippets.
    Torq likes this.
  4. CorvetteGarage
    Subscribed to thread... are these that good?
    Mystel and BreadMaster like this.
  5. llamaluv
    Ah yea, they're alright. :wink:
    Mystel likes this.
  6. onlychild
    They have me intrigued as well. There is a shop in Chicago that has them for demo, F1 Audio and I plan to try them next week.

    It’s basically come down to these or the Susvaras, though I think the Susvaras might be better suited for the type of music i listen to.

    I am planning to run either pair with mscaler->Dave-> Etude
    BreadMaster likes this.
  7. joseph69
    Looking forward to your impressions using dual-mono Vidar's, being I've been interested in this combo. Also looking forward to the dual-mono Aegir's as well. Enjoy!
  8. WilliamWykeham
    69388DEC-9E08-4DD6-B0A7-0D8C32F2D7DC.jpeg decisions, decisions..
  9. Jozurr
    Please share impressions when you have some time! Along with the AHB2 and the 3bsst2 is the last one a luxman L505 or L507? Would love to hear comparisons!
  10. Torq
    Talk about contrast between amplifiers ... the Benchmark looks it should be "shy" or something ...
  11. Zhanming057
    Agreed! Curious about the Luxman vs. the Bryston.
  12. WilliamWykeham
    Details forthcoming on all! My quick take on AHB2 with classical - absolutely phenomenal.
  13. Torq
    Having established, with some newly acquired (today, in fact) test instrumentation that my modular headphone cable designs come in under 0.05 ohms, I am now looking at building some custom cables for the SR1a.

    Since female 4-pin XLRs are, essentially, "uncommon" there doesn't seem to be much on offer at an "audiophile" level. If you know of something (beyond the Neutrik/Amphenol/Switchcraft/Furutech options) please let me know!
    dieslemat likes this.
  14. biscottino
    unfortunately the sr1a arrives tomorrow but I could test ahb2 with Susvara and cable direct, and wow !!!
    BreadMaster likes this.
  15. WilliamWykeham
    My preference is to listen at what are likely below-average volumes, for a few reasons - I've already got mild tinnitus in my mid-30s and hearing loss runs in the family. I get so much pleasure from music, and want to enjoy this hobby well into an advanced age. What I've found is that at low volumes I hear so much detail, such transparency with the AHB2 that there's no need to push it during a listening session. Whereas with the Bryston 3BSST2 I'm constantly turning it up to what my next day tinnitus indicates is too loud.

    A lot of what I listen to has classical string instrumentation, which has never sounded quite right to me. A string quartet recording will reveal equipment deficiencies better than anything, and my setup before the AHB2 was really good, but not completely dialed in. I'm overjoyed that the AHB2 and SR1a now are giving me the most lifelike presentation of strings I've ever heard. Not hyperbole, not new toy infatuation - everything I play sounds so much more real. Another observation on the AHB2 is that the details don't detract from enjoyment and in fact contribute to it - what this amp is certainly not doing is treble glare masquerading as detail. A quirk you may share with me is more than occasionally clicking around excessively in Roon, never really falling into the experience. With the AHB2, and granted this is after just two days of ownership, I haven't found myself doing this kind of constant track to track selection - I pick an album, and just listen and enjoy like I've got some vinyl playing.

    The AHB2 is that telling me the Denafrips Terminator is actually very good. I hadn't quite convinced myself about its merits until now but it's highly synergistic with the AHB2.

    The Bryston 3BSST2 has a really wide soundstage and phenomenal, pronounced bass. If you like to listen very loud, and want huge bass presence, this is the amp for you. It's a bit more transparent and drier than the Luxman 505u, which is fairly rolled off and warm in a way I find pleasing through loudspeakers. LL and I did some quick a/b testing with his 2.5BSST2 vs. the Luxman and I preferred the larger soundstage of the Bryston for orchestral music; for simple pop the Luxman was sometimes quite appealing. I find the Luxman and the Bryston 3BSST2 to be closer in sound signature than either to the AHB2, which is to me a major departure. Kind of like the difference going from dynamic drivers to RAALs :)

    My setup is MacBook pro --> LPS-driven ISO Regen --> Singxer SU6 --> Terminator via i2s. No preamp; direct from dac to power amp (although I do own an ifi ican pro), volume control through Roon via device.

    I"m done. No more testing, no more trials. Until Chord comes out with a digital amp I can pair with an mscaler, this is it for me.
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2019
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