Best headphone under 10k$

The author claimed that Raal Sr1a give more details than Stax 009s.
He prefers Sr1a to Abyss 1266 TC(p13) on overall performance.

“You can argue about the rustic look of the SR1a, but not about the tonal qualities. The SR1a is therefore not only the best headphone I’ve heard to date, but also the new heir to the throne in my personal olymp. He replaces the ABYSS AB1266 PHI TC accordingly and from now on of course takes first place in my TOP10 on Musicalhead. And of course this decision wasn’t easy for me.”

Although, I pulled the trigger for Sr1a early this month, I am out of town travelling in Asia now.
I will find out whether Sr1a give more details than Stax 009s next January after I am back to my home.
I had lived with Sr1a driven by Jot R for 3 months with Dave and HMS as source.

It sounds open and exciting but close to hot from time to time.

Thus I had pulled the trigger for Schitt Freya to be in front of Jot R.

I also placed an order of Nos quad Sylvania 6sn7 GTB made in 1955.

I hope it will give relaxed tube flavor to both Sr1a driven by Jot R and 009s driven by Kgsshv Carbon amp.

But Freya is backordered so that I may get it on next Thursday or later.

I also have quad Sylvania vt231 made in 1940's but two of them are in my 2 channel amplifier and I keep one more pair as spare

I had chosen Sylvania vt231 in Line Magnetic 508 amp after comparing with Nos Kenrad, Tungsol and modern Shuguang Treasure cv181-z.

Shuguang Treasure sounds warm and organic but falls slightly short of vt231 in details.

Sylvania "Bad boy" made in 1952 are hard to get with exorbitant price which I had not tried in my system.

But I am happy with Sylvania vt231 which give excellent details, nice dynamics, wide and deep soundstage.

I will also make comparison between Sylvania vt231 made in 1940's and GTB made in 1955 in Line Magnetic 508 and Freya.

I received Freya+ this morning

I skipped JJ stock tubes and inserted Nos Amperex 6sn7gtb in gain stage and Sylvania 6sn7gtb in buffer stage.

After running demagnetization tracks twice( 6min each) on Freya and Jot R, I started listening to Capricio Italian (Tchaikovsky) directed by Bernstein.

Wow, Freya with Jot R sounds much better than Jot R only with more relaxed and nuanced details but with minimal loss of transparency

While it sounds slightly thin with Jot R only.

Old Jazz recording by Benny Goodman sounds more relaxed with less hot edge from Freya and Jot R.

My digital source is Dave and HMS.

I use 20ft Purist Audio Design balanced cable between Dave and Freya and 6ft Synergistic Research balanced cable between Freya and Jot R.

I still have several choice of tube rolling with Sylvania vt231, RCA gray glass 6sn7gt and all quad Syl 6sn7 gtb.

Audio depends on personal preference, but Freya fitted with Nos tubes and Jot R sounds much more musical to my ears than Jot R only with overall nuanced presentation.

Although I had enjoyed fast and exciting sound out of Sr1a driven by Jot R for the last three months, I keep going back to 009s driven by Kgsshv Carbon amp to get more relaxed sound.

With Freya and Jot R, Sr1a move halfway between Jot R only and 009s with relaxed presentation.

I will also apply Freya to Kgsshv Carbon amp later today to find its effect on sound of 009s.

Out of curiosity, I am driving HD 800s out of Rca output of Freya using "Hosa TPR-257" adapter bought from Amazon.

Wow, Freya+ is also a killer amp for HD 800s.

I had driven HD 800s by headphone output of Dave and HMS.

It sounds transparent but with one note bass.

But with Freya in the chain after Dave, HD 800s sounds almost perfect with nice soundstage, clean details and full and textured bass.

@mglik said: "Good enough is good enough. $2500 ZMF Verites!"

I own the Verite Closed headphones by ZMF. These have garnered high praise from the headphone audiophile community. I am personally astounded by their sonic excellence. I own the HiFiMAN HE1000 headphones, which I prefer to the SR 009 (which is sorely lacking in bass, to my ears; I haven’t heard the SR 009s headphones). I believe that my Verite Closed headphones may be even better than my HE1000 headphones.

I haven’t heard the Raal Sr1a or even the Abyss 1266 TC, but I will respectfully suggest that any discussion of the best headphone under $10,000 should include the Verite Closed by ZMF. An EPIC review by Josh Mound explains the stunning excellence of both the Verite Closed and Verite Open headphones.
Underwood HiFI recently introduced a new headphone that has gotten a very good review

Final Thoughts

The LSA HP-1 is a spectacular planar design that Walter Lieberman had the insight to have developed and made under his own Living Sounds Audio brand. Made in Russia and designed by the folks at Kennerton with Odin as a starting point, this innovative new design with its unique headband design made me smile. No adjustment was necessary and the leather headband was comfortable. The cups completely sealed over my ears and the earpads were beautifully constructed with soft lambskin leather that made the marathon session memorable.

Soundstage lovers will love the wide and deep stage the HP-1 projects. Musicians appear in their own space and the imaging is rock solid and three dimensional and suitable for any type of music. A classical music lover will love the layering of the orchestra with the 3D imaging and you will be able to hear the remarkable inner detail in the recordings. Little details become noticeable that many lesser designs are unable to reproduce.

I am back to Rogue Cronus magnum ii fitted with Telefuken 12ax7 and Amperex 12au7 from Jot R.

It sounds much more gracious through Rogue than Jot R.

I believe Sr1a need dedicated tube amp.

I also have good result with two 18 inch Scaena subwoofers to complement bass of Sr1a.

But even without subwoofer, it still sounds good enough for most Jazz music driven by Rogue.

It has round midrange texture, clean treble and excellent separation of instruments through Rogue.

I also have Schitt Freya + fitted with Kenrad vt231 at gain stage and Sylvania vt231 at buffer stage in front of Rogue.