Pros: Majestic and very full sounding, sound stage depth unparalled, bass detail is one of the best
Cons: Weight, headband needs to be re-trimmed in the long term, distant sounding recordings will sound even more sucked out.
Thought it was high time that someone populated at least one profile review concerning these
much maligned flagship cans from Grado.
The PS1000 ranks alongside the other two flagships from Audio Technica and Ultrasone
- the W5000 and Edition 10 as the three outsiders of choice when any Head-Fier decides
to take a leap into the world of flagship ownership. Many of the common threads suggest
that this may be entirely logical and self evident - other players from Sennheiser, HiFiman
and Audeze are simply the superior product and their Head-Fi popularity backs this up.
However, that's not to say there is not some unexpected goodness to be found with these
unpopular top offerings - The Grado PS1000 is one such example.
The PS1000 is a departure from the SR and RS series, Grado lovers familiar with those
ranges will find themselves either pleasantly surprised with 'la difference' or disappointed
that John Grado has not continued more of the same. Don't get me wrong, the PS1000 still
possesses that undeniable Grado sound, but the sheer presentation is so different.
Mids are placed just right on certain recordings, tracks which with the 325i felt a little too
forward are now seated back perfectly and the generous sound stage width and depth
allows for a much more immersive experience.
The key word with these cans is 'Immersion' - they literally can involve you like no other
can, especially if you are already quite partial to the Grado house sound. Guitar still
bristles with excitement, piano is rendered authentically but this time around - bass
detail separates the PS1000 from it's SR/RS siblings - it's so nuanced and textured
that you sometimes wonder how such a well trodden track can somehow appear to
sound well - new all over again!
It may sound silly to draw such metaphor, but when I think of
the PS1000 in terms of faintly veiled military comparison, the
image of a 'Big Bertha' cannon from WW1 emerges.
Big, majestic, powerful, slightly unwieldy (ok, quite unwieldy)
The PS1000 like Bertha when placed in the correct position
with the right source, amp and recording delivers a sonic blow
to devastate your senses, however, it does not take much of
an imagination to think of the flipside - this big behemoth
being placed in an awkward position, on seeping sand with
a mismatched system and simply the wrong recording for
The big majestic creation becomes a very expensive non
event. The PS1000 will not turn crap into candy, furthermore
unlike many truths about Grados - it does take a very nice
source, correctly matched amp and a compromised view
towards your record collection to thoroughly enjoy these.
It's best to think of it as just randomly picking 10 tracks from
the collection and ending up with the following results :-
4 tracks will present in ho hum fashion, a further 4 will have
you thinking that these are quite good - and those last two
will have you searching for your tongue on the floor.
They really can be that magnificent ~ however, this is the dilemma
- they're not a trusty all terrain, do-it-all-can for many. These
last few months, I've enjoyed them across all my material,
taking the mediocrity with the sublime. It's not a position that
I can see many Head-Fiers taking in that sense if this was the
sole can in their repertoire.
There's no such thing as a perfect set of cans and the PS1000
changes nothing there - however, they do deserve forgiveness
in all cases when they do fire the right salvo.
These will never be a solid recommendation on Head-Fi - that
time has passed, but I encourage anyone seeking an evolution
of the Grado signature who is prepared to stick by these cans
with the diligence and long term commitment of let's say being
a HD800 owner - to consider them, to accept their shortcomings
for the fact that your efforts will be rewarded, perhaps just as much
if not more so than with any other flagship out there at the moment.
They're a diamond in the rough - at a diamond price