I opined to myself the other day that of all of the different types of "soundstaging" experiences one may obtain through conventional headphones, the Grado soundstage may actually be the most natural-sounding one. Why? Because, more often than not the Grado soundstage experience puts you smack dab in the middle of the performance instead of trying to put you back and away from it. Instead of trying to fake the stereotypical soundstage, it's as if Grado just "goes with the flow" and gives you the type of perspective that headphones can most naturally give. It often sounds as if you are centered on stage with the performers, rather than out in the audience somewhere. I can feel as if I am the one who is holding the guitar during a solo riff, looking down on the strings as they vibrate. Although such a perspective is an unlikely one, it is not not an impossible one. Once you realize that such a perspective is possible in real life, the "closed in" listening experience is far less fake-sounding, and far more sympathetic to the limitations of conventional headphones design. It may be that Grado is simultaneously more respectful of the limitations of the headphone experience and more clever at turning the disadvantages of conventional headphones into golden opportunities, than some other headphone manufacturers are.
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10/1/05 at 8:13pm