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Raal-requisite SR1A Earfield Monitors

Discussion in 'headphones' started by mikechadwick, May 3, 2020.

  1. mikechadwick

    mikechadwick pfm Member

  2. r0dd3r5

    r0dd3r5 Active Member

    I heard these at the CanJam London last year. They were unlike anything I've ever heard, astonishing speed and dynamics. The only thing that sounded odd to me were male vocals - but I suspect that may be because they're more accurate and everything else I'm familiar with isn't!

    I've read elsewhere that bass response may be an issue, it seems to depend very much on how you set them up on your head. The angle of the ear pieces is a trade off between sub bass and soundstage - I guess it depends on the type of music you listen to. There is quite a lot of information about these on some of the other forums.
  3. adamdea

    adamdea You are not a sound quality evaluation device

    “The RAAL-requisite SR1a headphones are unequivocally the most sensational audio product I've ever heard.”
    But he gives them 4 stars out of 5(?)
  4. krenzler

    krenzler pfm Member

    He hasn't heard much and want to leave room for the next big thing?
    anubisgrau likes this.
  5. MarkW

    MarkW Full Speed & Pagan

    I have them - a couple of months now. That particular review is a little ott. But not by much;)

    They are oddly designed but for good reason and they are much more comfy that you might imagine. They are neutral in balance but with a little judicious eq they have amazing bass (and no room issues to worry about). They are much more revealing than something like a Focal Utopia. They make you want to keep throwing better amps and sources at them to see how far they can go. The dynamics are unlike any headphone I've heard and you have to be careful with level setting because they go very loud without discernible distortion.

    All highend headphones are stupidly priced, but these come much closer to justifying the sticker than Focal, STAX or Abyss, let alone the latest thing from Hifiman.

    They are available from Headphone Auditions in the Netherlands, 14 day money back guarantee. Just saying:)
    crimsondonkey likes this.
  6. mikechadwick

    mikechadwick pfm Member

    Thanks Mark, really helpful. I’m very tempted to try them. What amp are you using to drive them?
  7. MarkW

    MarkW Full Speed & Pagan

    I've been using Hypex UCD180HG monoblocs as I had them "spare" and I know them very well. Maybe not stellar, certainly not esoteric, but they are quite transparent and have the necessary power. It's a pretty inefficient way of powering a couple strips of foil, but there you go.

    My Schiit Jotunheim R amp ships today, as I am interested to see if reported improvements from removal of the interface box are tangible. The screwdriver-like impedance of the ribbons means you need plenty of current and an amp that's happy with a literal short across the output. The new Raal amp is getting rave reviews among the early adopters, but I am reluctant to dish the £4k for that if gains are incremental. At twenty percent of that price, the Schiit seems like a good bet.
  8. mikechadwick

    mikechadwick pfm Member

    The Schiit looks like a very good deal - I’ll be interested in knowing how you get on. BTW - presumably these leak sound like every other open back ‘phone, always a problem with open plan living space!
  9. crimsondonkey

    crimsondonkey pfm Member

    What is the character of the soundstage? Is it the classic 'all in your head' or do they fool you into seeing a soundstage of sonic images outside your head?
  10. MarkW

    MarkW Full Speed & Pagan

    Unfortunately they are designed like an open baffle, with no earcup. So this helps with the openness of the presentation - but it does mean they bleed like a heamophiliac in a threshing machine.

    My perception is definitely more of a nearfield monitor presentation, rather than the in yer skull headphone experience. You can adjust the angle of the "speakers" and get more "projection" (with a penalty in bass volume) or a tighter image with heftier low end. Difficult to describe, but (other than AKG K1000 and maybe Mysphere 3.x) unlike headphones you can really get a sense of the sound being in a 3-d stage, rather than merely left/right. There are lots of benefits to the cupless approach, from comfort (no hot sticky ears) to the spaciousness of the presentation, to the ability to eq them because they don't suffer the time domain issues earcups introduce which makes lifting the bass in particular problematic on even open backed phones like the Focals or the HD800. No earcup, no trapped air.
  11. greygoose

    greygoose pfm Member

    I just spent a couple an hour or two reading the many glowing reviews, near field mastering monitors is the conclusion but with 3 d presentation, that would be right up my street.
    I would love to hear your findings with the Schiit Jotunheim R amp, I have a spare ATC SIA2-150 which may be able to drive these to good effect.
  12. MarkW

    MarkW Full Speed & Pagan

    It'll take a few days I think to get the measure of the Jot R, but I'll post a few impressions when I can.

    If circumstances allowed I would probably have spent similar money on ATC SCM40s or similar, but for me the Raals are pretty much exactly what I have been chasing with my various headphone purchases.
  13. MarkW

    MarkW Full Speed & Pagan

    So, my Schiit Jotunheim R has been with me for a day and some now. It's a good amp.

    First few hours of use were a bit up and down - a hard, pinched tone in the mid range that was decidedly unpleasant, but the treble was sweet and open and the bass articulate and deep. The dynamics were good too, so I plugged sound from a laptop and let it play over night on Tuesday. Listening on and off through the day yesterday and last evening, the sound has opened up more, the tone is much more even and enjoyable.

    Early days, and I'm not offering any definitive thoughts yet but seems like a step up from the Hypex amps (with the Raal interface adapter).

    This is my first taste of Schiit but I am pleased with the quality of the amp - solid construction, nice positive feel to the switches and a decent feel to the volume knob.
  14. greygoose

    greygoose pfm Member

    From what I read some reviewers had tried Class D amps but found a better synergy with Class A amps (very high end one mind).
    The Jotunheim R was made for these so should be good.
  15. MarkW

    MarkW Full Speed & Pagan

    My observation might be that there are a lot of people who still don't believe Class D is an "audiophile" solution. I've used Hypex amps of various flavours for about fifteen years and compared to numerous "good" Class A and Class AB amps, they are more than price competitive in my view. But yes, there are undoubtedly better traditional amps.

    The Jot R is very revealing and dynamic - that much is clear.
  16. jamington2004

    jamington2004 pfm Member

    Anyone else take the plunge yet?

    I’ve had mine a week or so and they are pretty impressive! But I’ve never had headphones before so my credentials maybe aren’t the best.

    They certainly make my Shure KSE1200 sound half asleep! Whereas these RAAL appear to have taken a massive hit from a crack pipe!

    They grab your attention by the balls and don’t let go! Even though the bass isn’t as “full” or “warm” as the Shure - I have never heard proper fast bass before. It’s like every kick drum has loads of space around it and starts and stops instantly, and every bass line is highly resolved and tight and tuneful!

    What was a warm vague bass line on my KSE1200 (electrostats don’t forget) - suddenly has shape and texture and every fluctuation is clear.

    So pleased to see some headphone love on here - I’m ashamed to say I went AWOL to headfi when I started on the slippery headphone slope earlier this year :)
  17. Purité Audio

    Purité Audio Trade: Purite Audio

  18. terrycym

    terrycym pfm Member

    Hi Mark,
    You mentioned that you applied eq to improve the bass, how did you do that?
  19. MarkW

    MarkW Full Speed & Pagan

    Hi Terry

    I used rePhase to create an impulse file with the desired filter characteristic (basically a 6db lift in the bass region). That impulse is then loaded into the convolution engine of HQPlayer and it applies the filter in realtime to all files played through HQP.

    Using dsp tone controls/eq in Roon or Audirvana, JRiver etc would perform the same task.

    You can use an impulse file with FOO_Convolver in Foobar and create new track files with the desired response "built in" (providing you're patient!)

  20. terrycym

    terrycym pfm Member

    Thanks Mark!

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