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Straight from the box...Allesandro Grado MSP impressions

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 
No introductions needed I think...these are the Allesandro counterpart to the famed Grado RS-1. Supposedly tweaked to offer a slightly more accurate sound. And also looking a good deal more darker than the RS-1 too, almost the color of red furniture wood. So, here we go...

First off, I plainly bought these from my pal Vka fully expecting some very nasty treble, given the reviews I've seen of these in the past. So as per my ritual, my first song through them came from...Aqua! But also I used this album to see just how bad sibilance was with the MSP, since the Aqua - Aquarium album can easily invoke sibilance with the right headphones. Then I followed up with one of my favorite songs, Coco Lee - A Love Before Time from the Crouching Tiger soundtrack.

So here I am, expecting the sibilance to shave my ears and all the hair cells in my ear right off...but, surprisingly, there was...NO sibilance at ALL??? Wow. The overall sound of the MSP in fact is rather warm, with laid back treble, and an upbeat, thumping bass with a tightly controlled extension. Either my system is warmer than I thought (Denon 370 + RKV Mark II), or these are very well burned in. Either way, I just could not get sibilance out of these MSPs. Hearing the wooden drums beat from the left channel over to the right in the Coco Lee song simply left me flattened in astonishment...the drums sound so REAL! They were also thrown quite far away from my ears...the typical Grado centering effect doesn't seem so bad with these MSPs...overall the soundstage is quite wide.

Now for some comparisons from off the top of my head among the Grados I've tried...

I can see where and why the MSP is called "slightly more accurate" than the RS-1. Whereas the RS-1 had a VERY warm midrange and upper bass, the MSP's midrange is slightly warm, and the bass seems to be more controlled. The MSPs also contain a slightly more accented treble, but once again, I don't get any sibilance at all. Finally, the MSP has a greater transparency...they are electrostatic-like in their ability to seperate instruments, so that each instrument has a stop and go point.

Now as to the MSP vs. MS-II...well now, the MS-II I must say has GOBS more treble and sibilance than the MSP. It also had a much drier sound, a very dry, laid back midrange, pinched, tight shrill treble, and the bass didn't go deep. Doesn't sound pleasant does it? On the other hand, I wouldn't trust any other headphone but the MS-II to compare the difference between two amps or CDPs...they were simply the cleanest, clearest headphones I've heard. The MSP on the other hand sounds more musical, more pleasant...more analog if you will.

MSP vs. HP-1? MSP vs. R10? Mmm maybe later.

Well, that's my startup with the MSP...the biggest thing I wanted to point out was the lack of any harsh treble. I'll figure out why later on.
post #2 of 31
I had some of these, and just a quick comment... I was listening out of a Denon, and a Creek OBH-11... They were bright as anything, couldn't stand them almost. So I'll tell ya one thing, it's not the Denon

Guess I need to try a nice high end tube amp...wait, I just got one today... more on that later
post #3 of 31
Vertigo, I'm pretty much in agreement with your findings. Out of an RA-1, the MSPs (courtesy of Flumpus) exhibit a generally smooth response, with no harshness at all. They just don't have the extreme warmth of the RS-1s. The bass is incredible......and doesn't seem to creep into the lower midrange, as it does for me with the RS-1s. Drums do sound very real to me as well.
post #4 of 31
Thats strange...I would hardly consider any of Crouching Tiger Soundtrack to be sibilant at all, and I'm listening with DT931's.

Unless you are referring to Coco Lee's Mandarin version and I just have no idea what Mandarin sibilance sounds like .

Here's some sibilance tests...try any Motorhead, early Megadeth, or for pop that first Pretenders disc. Actually nevermind I have memories of Aqua's Barbie Girl song on radio so I'm sure you have sibilance covered.

I love track 4 on Crouching Tiger for bass impact with the drums.
post #5 of 31
Vertigo, did you encounter any noise from your RKV with the MSP?
post #6 of 31
Thread Starter 
Hm, now that you mention it SumB...no I don't. I do get lot's of hum from the R10s though.

I went through some other CDs...some of the slower songs from Shania Twain (From This Moment, You've Got a Way), and some from Mariah Carey...if I can survive these two woman's finishes to their songs (which are LOUD and high pitched), than I think these MSPs won't be showing any sibilance anytime soon. Before with Grados I was downright cringing at the finishes to Mariah Carey's songs since she raises her voice so high up.

Ahhhhhhhhhhh, I like these MSPs.
post #7 of 31
Very nice review, can't wait for the follow up.


post #8 of 31
Thread Starter 
Alright KR, you tryin' to tell me somethin'?!?!?

*Quickly goes and hides his Britney Spears CD...*
post #9 of 31
Nice pics, KR.......thanks!
BTW, those headphones look a heckuva lot like my AKG K340s. As a matter of fact, they're identical!
post #10 of 31
Heh, they could also be AKG 240M's which are very popular.

BTW on the right I think you can see a popper stopper...which goes inbetween the mic and vocalist for the purpose of removing vocal sibilance.
post #11 of 31
Thread Starter 
Well, no sibilance even after doing a worse case scenario...Headroom Home + Sblive + Sting - Desert Rose.MP3. I guess these things just don't have sibilance, like I expected them to.
post #12 of 31
Congratulations on your new cans, Vertigo!

Now, you truly own the most beautiful headphones...


post #13 of 31
Hey Vertigo, now that you have the MSPs, and you prefer them greatly to your RS-1s, I'll allow you to let go of your RS-1s to me (with no payment on my part)
post #14 of 31
Thread Starter 
Sorry chych, those went to Vka, and it then went to...ahh I dunno. It's probably on its fourth owner by now.
post #15 of 31
Congratulations on getting the MSP from me
As much I loved the MSPs, I just had to let them go because I have something awesome and very expensive coming....

I will leave a clue for you guys to figure out.
Its silver, gigantic and weighs like 50+ pounds, hehehe.
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