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Grado PS1000

A Review On: Grado PS1000 Headphones

Grado PS1000 Headphones

Rated # 136 in Over-Ear
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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.

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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.


Brief Notes:-


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!


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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

 it's tastes.


 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 smile.gif










A great review, liked your analogy!
Nice review.
I love my PS-1000 :)
As I see it, the only problem is the comfort. STUPID design to say the least.
I had to sew on a small wool pillow on them, they gave me a small bald spot on my head! (really)
Now they're extremly comfy though.... but looks stupid on :)
Sound is best I've heard. I've become very sensitive to bad sound after buying these.
Thanks for the kind comments you two ~ great sound indeed ~ they really do just get better and better.
Bravo! Great review! To me the PS1000 is a niche product that very few will understand and enjoi :)
Thank you for diving into the subject of the PS1000, I was looking for a serious, recent review about it.
Hats off to you for an objective non biased review,we don't see too many of those,as peoples tend to become fanboys of they're favorite brands,i happend to like Grado headphones,an altough i loved the PS-1000,for the same money,i'd get some GS-1000 and PS-500,and have the ''best'' of both worlds
I believe it is the amp pairing,
you can't just plug ps-1000 to any amp and expect it to sound good.
but it does sound great with the V200 amp.
yep, amp pairing sure helps! these are great, albeit unwieldy, cans! (from a non-grado fanboy)
I think in the last few months we're starting to see a little Renaissance of the Grado flagship :-)
High time I say, but all those things that I mentioned still hold true. It's an all or nothing can.
To pick up on Furyagain's comments - the whole source, interconnect to amp chain is very crucial on these, it's difficult
to get this message out as the other Grado sibilings in the family do not follow this rule - the RS1i for example does
not have the same scalability as the PS1000 - nowhere near in fact.
Lastly I'll say this, if you're going to be brave and demo these at a large meet - take your time beforehand, pick a
track listing of 10 to 12 tracks that 'you know' actually work with the PS1000. At least then when you hand them
over to be tried with other rigs and you get the usual 'Ummm, these suck with the Red Hot Chilli Peppers mate'
You've got a reference track listing to remind the bloke, it's not the PS1000 - it's just there is no synergy with the
I want to say a belated thank you for your review. I bought a set of PS1000s around Christmas 2012 using the info in this review, and others.
I think my experience of the Grados has closely matched your review, especially the point that my tongue does indeed hang out on 2 (maybe even 3 or 4 ) tracks out of 10. They really can be that good!
That said, they can never, unfortunately given the price, be my sole headphone. This is due to the occasional and completely inexplicable 'icepick through the brain' factor. It really is illogical and frustrating ... I'm using a good source, one song from the album is extremely good, then icepick, and aargh - sometimes it even happens within a song like for a particular range of notes from a single instrument which just sound just horrible, but the rest of the song is amazing. I guess that provided we just figure out which songs are not so good and avoid them, then these can be ... amazing!
I'm glad I bought them ... very glad in fact. I just wish they were a little more versatile.
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