My HP-1 came in with the switches disabled already also but I am not that alone would degrade the sound quality of the headphones.
The original HP-1 should in theory sound better than HP-2 because they were allocated the best drivers, but who knows....
Grado Lab is run by John Grado. Joe has nothing to do with it anymore. Pestering Grado Lab is not going to solve anything.
Joe has shipped headphones overseas many times before and I don't understand why all of a sudden he is paranoid about it.
Hope this gets resolved quickly. No one should send any headphones to him now.
Sorry I meant GBP. I am not sure if you can avoid the import tax that way. You would still need to pay unless the headphones are repaired items that you sent from UK to US before (you need postal receipt to prove that).