This is the place to discuss all things to do with the Raal Requisite CA-1a.
We were able to get a review unit up for some measurements and evaluation.
Raal Requisite CA-1a measurements done on the GRAS 43AG with RA0402 coupler and KB5000 pinna.
Source used for measurements:
- Matrix X Sabre Pro
- Vioelectric HPA V550
When I first heard these it was as a prototype at CanJam SoCal 2021. I don’t think they had the pads quite worked out at the time because the treble was downright insane, and many of us who heard it there remarked similarly. The next version I heard at a different show in 2022 had been dramatically improved and was far more balanced. In both cases it was being run from one of the Raal amps.
I feel that the final result may end up being somewhere in between, as these do still have a bit of that bite and lower treble shrillness, but nowhere near as intense as the original prototype many of us heard in 2021. The bass is great though - especially with the sealed pads. Tastefully elevated towards the sub-bass, giving a good sense of thump.
These have a kind of shifted ear gain region to be more lower treble focused than upper midrange focused. One way to think of this would be like an HD 800 S, just even more shifted for the ear gain towards the lower treble.
So, for me, without EQ, the lower treble peaks make it a bit difficult to get into. With EQ, however, the Raal Requisite CA-1a truly shines. This is one where it’s worth it to dive in and make those adjustments. Even if you’re in the anti-EQ gang, I promise you it’s worth it with this one, as the subjective qualities… the intangibles… they’re excellent here.
For all of the usual audiophile traits that we might think of as ‘a good thing’, the CA-1a is solid, but in particular this headphone exhibits a really good sense of what audiophiles often refer to as ‘speed’. People debate where this quality comes from, as it hasn’t been correlated with any existing metrics (just leave it at that for the moment, and know that it’s most likely not a CSD thing either). But for those who are wondering what the experience of that quality is, this is a great example.
Additionally, there’s almost a kind of tube-like character to the presentation. This could be due to the slightly elevated third harmonic in lower registers that would be tokened by fundamental tones. But it could also be within the masking window and inaudible in practice, so it’s hard to say if that’s what causes it.
Regardless, I’ll leave it at this for the moment. To me its as if I’m listening to music after having three cups of coffee… This thing is intense in a good way.
- Slightly odd fit at first, but reasonably comfortable after you get used to it.
- Build feels sturdy and solid for the cups, but also feels like it was made in a garage.
- Pads are just a piece of foam… that might be a bit weird for some.
- Raal TI-1B allows this to be run from more traditional amplifiers/sources! I will be comparing this on a variety of high end sources before doing a full review.
Personal Ranking: Tier One - but needs EQ.