Agreed on Sonoma, I auditioned one in home for 2 weeks in 2017 and I think this was the initial offering, don’t know if any changes since then. SR1a is my top pick since I got it and Jot R, eagerly awaiting HSa for my second HP rig. My notes at that time;
**Sonoma Acoustics Model 1
I spent a week with this in my home
Clamping pressure a tiny bit too strong for the width of my head
Cable is stiff and noisy as it brushed against my clothing
Very light weight, and doesn’t build up a lot heat as many HP’s do
Compact amp/energizer with good feature set
At 5K a fair price if you like how it sounds
How it Sounded to Me
Smoother frequency response than many head phones I’ve heard over the past 2 years from say from 500Hz to 1Khz on up. Bass was not satisfying by comparison with my Utopia (or Senn HD800 orHD600 or Oppo PM-1). (I’m pretty sure the HP was properly seated). I’m not a bass head and listen at around 70db max peaks by measurement, on average 55 - 60db, per sound level meter, and that’s just short term bursts.
The coax input sounded much more transparent than the high level analog input. I did not test the low level analog or USB inputs as I’m CD only. Perhaps Hi-Rez downloads are best with this system.
Overall I preferred the sound of my Utopia with the cheapest HP amp I own ($400) to the Sonoma Model 1 driven directly from my CD player over coax.
Associated equipment: Emotiva ERC-3 CD player, Coax and analogue outs, CD’s only.
Worth a listen as I found it very alluring from that 500 to 1K area and up.
I would strongly suggest the SR1a at this point.