New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Grado RA1

post #1 of 50
Thread Starter 
How is this as a headphone amp? I'm considering buying one, and currently own a pair of Alesssandro Music Series Headphones. I know it may be overkill for these phones, but I plan on upgrading in the future.

Will I notice a big difference in performance? (I have no experience with any kind of amplifiers by the way).
post #2 of 50
Just from hearsay, the RA1 doesn't really seem to synergize well with the alessandros. YMMV. I've tried it with the RS1 and that was pretty okay.
post #3 of 50
Thread Starter 
So it wouldn't be worth buying? How much do they cost exactly?
post #4 of 50
around $350 new, and $200 used IIRC. (I personally wouldn't buy a new one) Not sure bout the worth buying thing, the RA1 is a love or hate kinda amp.
post #5 of 50
Thread Starter 
So how do I know whether I'll like it or not? I've never had any experience with other amps so I've nothing to base it against...I've just know someone who can get me one cheaper than normal, but I wouldn't be able to audition it or anything. I'm a big fan of rock music, but perhaps that's a given considering I own Grado branded phones! Can you explain why I'd either love/hate it?

Besides which, (I'll ask again ) would I notice a difference in performance? Obviously there'll be something there...but enough to warrent buying it?
post #6 of 50
If you can get one for $200... I would still not go for it considering how much better a Gilmore Lite is for the price. You could also probably get someone to build you a similar design - the Gilmore Dynalo for about that price, or under $300. Those will basically blow the RA-1 away. If you find a clone for under $100 it might be worthwhile if that is all you can afford.

All those amps will synergies well with the Allessandros, but the Gilmore amps are on a much higher level: letting you hear more of the source and not putting an influence of their own on the music. Some of the influence the RA-1 adds is good and some bad, but not I much prefer neutrality and detail.
post #7 of 50
There has been a lot of RA-1 bashing on this site because of the supposedly cheap components inside its mahogany shell. And when I first got the RA-1, I was not impressed at all. It sounded rather boring compared to my other amps. Then I began to appreciate it for what it is........a very neutral amplifier that does just what an amp is supposed to do, namely amplify the signal while altering it as little as possible. To my ears, it's extremely neutral and uncolored. In my opinion it pairs best with the Grado RS-1, its mahogany mate. I've never heard the MS-1, so I can't comment on how that will sound, but all my Grados have good synergy with the RA-1.........just not as good as the RS-1.
post #8 of 50
Before you say that Joe has complete contradicted what I said... I think what we are getting at is that although the RA-1 is not perfect, the ways that it affects the sounds when combined with Grados ends up in a sound that is otherwise pretty natural. I wouldn't call the RA-1 neutral though, because to me it does seem that there is a bass hump, and a roll-off or hazz in the high frequencies: but these are almost counter-acting the frequency response of Grados to get a pretty natural and 'correct' sound. I think that is the synergy people talk about.

Anyway, I still wouldn't call it neutral... especially when I go back to the RA-1 after listening to a Gilmore amp for months.
post #9 of 50
Thread Starter 
Well there was one on eBay for £40 ~ $80...but alas it just shot up to £140 ~ $300 with 8 hours still to go, so I guess it's not to be. It's mislabeled as an HA1, so I was hoping no one would see it!
post #10 of 50
Somebody cracked it open to use the shell for a PIMETA. Firstly, it had cheap components with solder burns. Second, it was stuffed inside and filled up with glue. I guess it won't matter much if you just want to use it, but I suspect you could build something very very similar for much less.
post #11 of 50
I used to own one. The RA-1 is not a very good amp. The bass is weak and slow, and the highs are noticeably grainy. You can take a source with smooth highs, add the RA-1, and end up with grainy highs. It's just not worth the money.
post #12 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheWayofWay
Somebody cracked it open to use the shell for a PIMETA. Firstly, it had cheap components with solder burns. Second, it was stuffed inside and filled up with glue. I guess it won't matter much if you just want to use it, but I suspect you could build something very very similar for much less.
*Yawn*

Same old argument. First of all, it seems many jump on the bandwagon of DIY or DIYFP. The sad reality is, that if one doesn't know what they are doing, DIY is not a viable option, then one heads for DIYFP groups. There are some startups that have proven themselves and this is fantastic! Great value price/performance and reliable customer service. That said, there have been plenty of folks who have closed up shop, or worse, stay open but just don't have the ability/know-how/patience/business sense to actually work with a customer. The point? You often get what you pay for.

Many people omit R&D. How long did Grado work to get the sound they wanted with their models? How many hours? How many parts purchased? I value my time. The customary hourly wage of someone in my profession is 250/hour. Should I then undervalue my time to make some folks happy? No. One pays for that education/experience because it is a valuable asset. Grado has certainly lived up to that and has time and time again provided quality, musical products.

Also, just because "parts" are lower in cost doesn't mean the overall sound is not worth it.

Ear-Yoshino, one of the most revered companies in the biz prides itself on using moderate to low cost parts to achieve stellar sound. Their amps are some of the most expensive amps in the world, their sound is often said to be on par with the best, if not the best (subjective of course) and yet...no one seems to complain. Likely because their amps rarely if ever fail...their build quality is top notch. Actually, just like the RA-1. Very few RA-1's ever need servicing.

The sound of the RA-1 is excellent with all Grados I have heard and certainly sounds amazing with the RS-1's. If you can have a listen go for it.

Oh yes...one other thing...they retain their value. Try selling a Meta42 now for anywhere remotely close to what one paid. Yet..buy an RA-1 for 350 and one will get 50%+ what was paid. Something to consider.
post #13 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wodgy
I used to own one. The RA-1 is not a very good amp. The bass is weak and slow, and the highs are noticeably grainy. You can take a source with smooth highs, add the RA-1, and end up with grainy highs. It's just not worth the money.

This is not my experience at all. At the moment I am comparing directly with the Stealth. I do not have any grain. Nor do I have slow bass.
post #14 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by joelongwood
There has been a lot of RA-1 bashing on this site because of the supposedly cheap components inside its mahogany shell.
If you're expecting good value for money, the RA-1 would certainly disappoint.
post #15 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by individual6891
If you're expecting good value for money, the RA-1 would certainly disappoint.
Not if you have the RS-1..........widely regarded by many here as one of the most synergystic pairings available. I haven't heard anything better for the money.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Headphone Amps (full-size)