RAAL requisite audio SR1a Review: HOLY MOLY! Buy this now!

Discussion in 'Headphones' started by purr1n, Jul 12, 2019.

  1. Bloom

    Bloom MOT: Bloom Audio

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    @abraxas666: nice! That gets me really excited. Can't wait to finally get a Jot R here in the office, should be in early next week.
     
  2. purr1n

    purr1n On vacation

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    No amp will help with the bass if you want it extending down low with no loss of volume. See here for the measurements: https://www.superbestaudiofriends.o...oly-moly-buy-this-now.8041/page-5#post-265335

    Now you can use EQ, maybe from 50Hz up, but I would not try to compensate for anything below 50Hz because of excursion and/or distortion issues. JotR does have slightly more heft than Vidar through the converter box though. I'd try parametric EQ, using a center frequency 60Hz with Q=1.2 +4db. Bass shelf EQ definitely not recommended - too much stress on low/sub bass.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2020
  3. ductrung3993

    ductrung3993 Facebook Friend

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    Reviews make it somewhat sound like a more neutral, earspeaker Omega to me. Would anyone be able to compare both?
     
  4. MrRanX

    MrRanX Rando

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    I was wondering if my Audiovalve Solaris will be enough to drive this beast in that I would love to have more body and low end through this tube amp, which is powerful enough to drive Stax, Susvara and even speakers. But Solaris amp doesn’t have 100w and is actually far from it.
     
  5. purr1n

    purr1n On vacation

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    Your Audiovalve Solaris will fail spectacularly with the RAAL SR1A. Not even sure you can hook it up as the converter box takes speaker outputs.
     
  6. Metro

    Metro Friend

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    It does have speaker terminals, but the manufacturer says "for high sensitive loudspeaker".
     
  7. purr1n

    purr1n On vacation

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    The SR1a with the converter box is in essence an low sensitivity loudspeaker. This is why so many watts are needed. 40W amps were already found to be not enough - too soft sounding. Heck, similar thing with some 70W amps.
     
  8. penguins

    penguins Friend, formerly known as fp627

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    Random update - Tried a bit of stuff between Nov last year and Jan of this year. Still haven't heard anything better than SR1a in terms of resolution but biggest issue here assuming the headband is eventually revised is still cost and possibly needing specialty gear (i.e. more cost, and cost that maybe cannot be "amortized" with other gear). Current plan is still to play the wait and see game - hopefully evolutions in the market will help. That and I can't use this with Stellaris (which I just really like the sound of).
     
  9. foo_me

    foo_me Friend

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    Regarding the headband, not sure if you have the same problem but my biggest issue with this headphone is that it constantly moves unless I sit totally still. Was almost a dealbreaker but found that if I simply just wear a baseball hat, it stays in position very well and I can enjoy listening to them just like any other headphone.
     
  10. Vtory

    Vtory Audiophile™

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    Not fully knowing your amp, I cannot be 100% sure. But power is the very first element that distinguish "listenable"[1] or not in SR1a audio experience. On a whim I hooked them up to 10Wpc integrated amp (JLH) before, and it clearly was oh-no. SPL-wise it still had pretty high volume level for my ears. But it's more about something subjective, which I often fail to associate with measurable specs.

    You may not need an overkill amp. But think of 50-60Wpc as a good rule of thumb. At least 60Wpc (dual Aegirs) worked for me, if not the best. For your reference, I'm using 200Wpc (class A 60Wpc) one with SR1a now. The simplest (and probably the smartest) would be Jotenheim R..

    Anyway I'm suspecting SR1a is pretty good at pointing out whether the amp operates optimally or not.

    Footnotes
    [1] Happy or not is totally different matter. For example, benchmark power amp did a fairly good job in driving them, no perceptive power shortage at all, but that's far from my liking in terms of sonic character and presentation.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2020
  11. Zhanming057

    Zhanming057 Friend

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    https://raalrequisite.com/amplifiers/hsa-1a/

    RAAL's own direct drive amp, the HSA1a is out.

    $3,900 plus $350 for the optional carrying case, global voltage, two headphone outs, speaker taps on the back for 20w into 4 ohms. Seems like a more professional-oriented amp and I'm very curious how it matches up to the Jot R.
     
  12. allegro

    allegro Friend

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    Torq has both and his first impressions can be found at this thread. Early days yet so no direct comparison between the HSA-1a and Jot R yet.
     
  13. Bloom

    Bloom MOT: Bloom Audio

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    I don't think there's a single thing that I'm more excited to listen to than the HSA-1a.
     
  14. Collusion

    Collusion Friend

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    Anyone else getting headaches with their SR1a's? I've now been listening to mine about one month and lately I've been developing migraine like conditions right after I've started listening to RAAL's. I initially suspected I might just be under the weather with some kind of mild infection, but now after a weeks pause with no symptoms I put SR1a's on again last night and my head hurts again. It starts with a very conrete sense of listening fatigue and very soon develops into an actual headache. The pain localises first on my upper temples and later pervades through my whole head. The experience kinda reminds me of a migraine attacks without the visual auras. This doesn't happen with my old Sennheiser HD600's.

    Initially I didn't have any problems whatsoever. The fit of the SR1a's wasn't as good as Focal Utopia's, but I didn't experience any fatigue or other kind of discomfort. Also, the headphones were brand new, so I thought the situation might even somewhat improve, when the phones adapt to my head. It doesn't seem to be the case. Adjusting the angles smaller (15-20 degrees from parallel) helps reducing pressure on my upper jaw, but it doesn't fix the situation.

    I've also been juggling with my equipment chain, which would normally be like this:
    PC -> DM Convert-2 -> SPL Phonitor 2 (pre) -> SPL s800 (pwr amp) -> RAAL SR1a

    I've tried different dacs (Holo Audio Cyan, Airist R-2R) and EQuing from Foobar (+3db between 20Hz - 1.2kHz), but this doesn't seem to make a notable difference regarding the discomfort I'm experiencing. I'll be trying the SR1a's in my speaker setup tonight. That consist a Rega Elex-r integrated amplifier and an Airist R-2R dac. As a combination, it will be warm, dark and slightly underpowered considering the power requirement of 100W @8ohm. If that doesn't work either, I'm pretty sure I can cross out equipment mismatch as a potential reason for my troubles.

    Maybe I've developed some kind of ribbon allergy. Or the spring and billow of light makes me tick differently than usual and causes this kind of stuff. I don't know. But one thing I know for sure is that the SR1a's are second-to-none when it comes to overall sound quality. Initially it was hard to listen to anything else after the RAAL's, even Utopias sounded like something that costs ten times less. Now the headache makes things more even, but oh boy, if I have to give up on these in the end.
     
  15. Ksaurav402

    Ksaurav402 Friend

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    I'm no doctor but trying to find out the root cause, do you get headache by just putting it on your head without playing music or only if you play music you get the headache. If you are getting it without music then it's definitely related to the fit otherwise something related to the frequency response is messing up.
     
  16. Collusion

    Collusion Friend

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    Will try just wearing the headphones tonight.
     
  17. sacredgates

    sacredgates Audio-Technica's high priest

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    Damn, sorry to hear about your problem @Collusion...
    Good suggestion from @Ksaurav402
    If it is not a pure physical tension from wearing the headphone, your migraine like symptons might be triggered by your brain having to work too much, independent from frequeny response. The Raal headphone has a „speaker like“ presentation, but it´s not a speakers and it´s not a headphones presentation. Maybe it puts too much strain on your brain to (re)create the musical three dimensional picture/landscape...
    Just one possibility; I am no doctor either, but I gathered quite a bit of understanding of what the brain has to manage after dealing with the pure impressions our senses generate.
     
  18. Galm

    Galm Still looking for Little Red Riding Hood

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    Yes. I haven't posted my SR1a impressions but I've had them for about 4.5 months now. Most of that time was spent debugging cable imbalance issues with Raal. Turns out that Jot R is far more sensitive to cable resistance differences than the impedance box users. And I only have a Jot R, no box.

    After going through 4 cables I was finally able to figure out the issue with Raal's engineer and I've got a great sounding cable now. (Big shout out to them and especially Alex for being so supportive during this period).

    In between I'd done listening on and off, but it was never very long because the imbalance was driving me nuts. However, I still noticed fatigue after listening for a long time.

    I believe the cause is most likely the upper pads. They put very uncomfortable pressure on my temples for long term wear, it feels like my head is constantly getting squeezed after a few hours. The side pads down the driver don't seem to nearly do this as much. I can minimize it to a degree by trying to get as much pressure as possible to be taken by the two straps of the headphone and shifting the headphones angle on my head, but it's still not very comfortable.

    I'm not particularly concerned with the pads overall, I don't think they're literally "causing headaches" for everyone, but I do think they're not very comfortable for my head.

    While the SR1a sounds wonderful in many ways now with my set up finally working, one of my main concerns for keeping them long term is comfort now that I'm actively wearing them.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2020
  19. Zhanming057

    Zhanming057 Friend

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    Have you tried physically bending the headband outward into a wider arc? It's designed to do that for people with large noggins.
     
  20. Galm

    Galm Still looking for Little Red Riding Hood

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    Yeah, I've struggled to get it to stay that way, and am a bit afraid to put an incredible amount of force on it. I feel like it may be more of a shape of the head thing more than necessarily just being large. I'm normally on the smaller to maybe medium side of the notches on other headphones. It's just specifically the upper pad putting pressure right on the temple, that's where the band is kind of "coming in" since the pad is at the end of it.
     

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