Possible one of the most over priced pieces of equipment ever.

A Review On: Grado RA1 - Headphone amplifier

Grado RA1 - Headphone amplifier

Rated # 603 in Headphone Amplifiers
See all 2 reviews
Recent Pricing:
Posted · 16182 Views · 10 Comments

Pros: it looks nice... ish

Cons: sounds pretty bad especially for its price. cheaply made inside.

So to keep it simple and short this amp is simple nothing fancy one opamp and it sounds just like the ones in a altoids tin(in fact some of those might sound better) for the money it sounds terrible. the outside looks nice the wood has a nice ish finish the insides are a diffrent story, the board is a single pcb with a bunch of wires running from the power pot and input and output jacks the solder job was actually pretty bad cheap pot ect... over all quality makes it pretty much a over priced wooden paper weight that happens to kinda amplifiy sound. im so glad i didnt buy it


Yes, it cheap when you look outside and inside of the box. But consider this, the were only few manufacturers make headphones and design specific headphone amps for them back in the days. It might be a little bit pricey when you are raising the argument on the components Grado uses, but think about this, there are bunch of people who were or are trying to replicate RA1's sound using exactly the same components, and what did they get? They got nothing alike RA1 and even worse than RA1.
im pretty sure designs useing a single op amp exsisted well before grado came along. and the some chumoy amps do sound better.
This amp reflects poorly on Grado.
I thought this amp was "end-game" worthy
@ DarKen23.... You'll find that Grado's business model is basically sell cheap crap for lots of money because there is a large percentage of people who equate high-price with high-quality.  The entire line of SR headphones are basically the same cheap plastic with slight variations and different driver dampening, but the scaling of prices is horrendous. Only at the highest price-points do you get treated to wood and/or metal, as if wood and metal are rare and precious materials. 
Nearly every single Grado headphone uses the exact same driver. Yes. This includes their $1k+ models.
Need I say more?
Close your eyes to the contents of the black (or here, mahogany) box, and concentrate on its sound. Does it significantly improve the sound of the RS1? If so, it's a steal at its price. If not, what amp does a better job.. please let us know. Thanks!
Sound quality was not mentioned once in the review
It is actually "overpriced" but one of the kind as a final product. Made to drive Grados at their full potential, lovely mahogany wood construction, simple design that is almost impossible to fail. My opinion is that they should use a better volume pot (ALPS Blue Velvet) and better internal wiring (Grados UHPLC copper as they use on phones). So please someone find me an amp that is not overpriced and EXPLAIN me why is not?