Head-Fi.org › Forums › Summit-Fi (High-End Audio) › High-end Audio Forum › Grado RS-1 vs PS-1 vs GS1000
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Grado RS-1 vs PS-1 vs GS1000

post #1 of 63
Thread Starter 
Grado RS-1 (w/bowls) vs PS-1 (w/bowls) vs GS1000 (super-bowls)

I'm not very good at writing reviews so I'm going to keep this very short and maybe add more in follow up posts. Also, I hope robm321 can add his own take if he wants. Basically robm321 and I had a 2 1/2 hour test using the home equipment listed in my signature.

RS-1
pros: least expensive, most agressive, has great energy, does wood instruments very well, very intimate experience due to the upfront soundstage, and really gets your foot tapping. a very great rock headphone.
cons: less refined, thinner bass, can be too agressive in the mids at times, and has the smallest soundstage.

PS-1
pros: very smooth, most refined, most detail, still agressive, great deep, punchy bass, best vocals, best electric guitars, best treble, nice intimate small studio soundstage with a highend studio sound quality to everything, most versatile with different types of music. also a great rock headphone that still gets your foot tapping. seemed to be the most additive too.
cons: most expensive, hard to find because they are out of production and only 250 were made. did not capture the timbre of wood instruments as well as the other two. classical still sounded amazing but you took a whole orchestra and squeezed them into a small studio. heavier and some might find them uncomfortable (neither of us did)

GS1000
pros: Big soundstage, most air around instruments, best timber, great bass, best for classical, best comfort.
cons: can be too laid back for some rock music, electric guitars can sound too distant, hardest on bad recordings especially in the vocals, doesn't get you foot tapping like the other two.

For me, the PS-1 was clearly the winner in my setup and for my music collection (mostly alternative rock). It is like the RS-1's big brother excelling at rock but refining everything and putting them in a small studio setting. If you're into more aggressive music, I think the RS-1 can still be your choice. If you're coming from a RS-1 listening to rock and think the GS1000 is an upgrade, I now think it is the wrong choice. Stick with the RS-1 or find a PS-1. The GS1000 seems suited for classical, jazz, and slow rock. It can still do the faster stuff, it's just not the best at it.

We also played around with the pads for a few minutes. The PS-1 actually didn't sound too bad with the super-bowls. It still had plenty of bass and the soundstage really opened up. I didn't listen to it long enough to see if the mids were too lacking. I think it might be a good option if you want to use the PS-1 for classical. The GS1000 also didn't sound too bad with bowls. I'd say that the mids might have been just a little bit too agressive this way but it would be good every once in while for those who miss the RS-1. We didn't try flats but I'm not a fan of them anyway.

I guess this is a good start.
post #2 of 63
Good stuff. Thanks for the comparison.
post #3 of 63
Thanks for clearing that up. This is good news for rock fans I quess. For classical music fans like me, well......run wallet run!
post #4 of 63
Iamdone

Very good job, very useful for me. Thanks!
post #5 of 63
I want to thank iamdone for letting me try his PS-1s out! I had fun and it is much appreciated.

Since everything iamdone wrote is what I feel as well, I’ll just add my summary of what seemed to be the highlights. Sorry if there are redundancies.

I was worried a little about being blown away by the PS-1 rendering my GS-1000s a moot point, but happily I can put this “one is superior“ idea to bed. Iamdone I believe chose the perfect headphone for him and his situation, something that’s not easy to figure out. I felt in the end that I couldn’t say one was better overall (even though I've tried). Which one to get should be decided by what you value, what kind of music you listen to, and your source/amp, etc. Owning all 3 would be the ideal, but most of us work for a living and have already sold most of our organs already

RS-1:

While we agreed that the RS-1’s were below the PS-1 and GS-1000 in refinement and bass quality/quantity, what really surprised me was what a good value they are compared to the $1K + competitors. With certain songs I picked the RS-1 over the PS-1 and GS-1000. One of the surprises was that the RS-1 to me created the strongest imaging of the 3. The instruments were rock solid. The soundstage on the RS-1 was the smallest and unlike the PS-1 there didn’t seem to be that feeling like you were in a room or hall. You just hear the images floating in your head.

PS-1:

While the soundstage seems to pack everything in a small room which we agreed would not be the best for classical/jazz, the sound quality on all genres (including classical and jazz) was the most resolved of the 3 headphones. This gave it an addictive quality that definitely favored voices (male or female) and electric guitars. It seemed that the PS-1 works better on electric guitars and voices, while the RS-1 and GS-1000 had a more accurate timbre on acoustic wooden instruments. The real joy with this headphone is it’s addictive quality and it’s versatility in dealing with sibilance and gear changes, while retaining that RS series, close to the ear, immediacy which gets your foot tapping.

GS-1000:

While the imaging was not as solid as the PS-1 or RS-1, the soundstage clearly let each instrument have it’s own space with it’s own “air” around it. In comparison the other 2 had a packed in sound where the instruments would overlap each other on certain recordings. The bass to me was on par with the PS-1 (too close to really pick one I liked better), while the midrange and romantic quality was on par with the RS-1.

A very binary summary:.

The PS-1 and GS-1000 = dead even overall - they both do different things better than the other.

The RS-1 fell third to me for 2 reasons: bass and a bit less refinement - BUT by far the best value - especially used (RS-1 ~$500, GS-1000 ~$900, PS-1 ~$1,400).
post #6 of 63
Thanks for your views Rob. I guess that this means you won't be leaving the GS-1k crowd?

How well would you say the HR-2 mated with the GS-1ks compared to your amps?
post #7 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doogie
Thanks for your views Rob. I guess that this means you won't be leaving the GS-1k crowd?

How well would you say the HR-2 mated with the GS-1ks compared to your amps?
Yes. I will be keeping my GS-1000s.

There was one chip that he had that worked well with the GS-1000 for the HR-2. The other chip he had sounded a little worse for it. I don't really have a point of reference on comparing amps though. iamdone's source is different that mine, so I wasn't able to do a direct comparison; however, I would look at tubes. I realized that although the RA-1 has great synergy with the GS-1000, my X-cans v.3 puts out more power to control the bass - while giving it a softer sound on the top end. It's my favorite amp so far with the GS-1000s.
post #8 of 63
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by robm321
Yes. I will be keeping my GS-1000s.

I don't really have a point of reference on comparing amps. iamdone's source is different that mine, so I can't do a direct comparison; however, I would look at tubes. I realized that although the RA-1 has great synergy with the GS-1000, my X-cans v.3 puts out more power to control the bass - while giving it a softer sound on the top end. It's my favorite amp so far with the GS-1000s.

I also had the same problem with the RA-1/GS1000 combo. While it had a sweet sound, on more bassier tracks, it had some problem controlling it. I find my current setup does an excellent job controlling the bass.

I haven't heard tubes yet but I think robm321 did suggest if I wanted to soften the sound just bit, to try tubes either in the source or amp or both. With the PS-1, I don't have any issues with the sound. If I kept the GS1000, I'd probably have to try tubes in order to help smooth the vocals. The GS1000 sounded great until the vocals kicked in on some tracks. Besides there laid back nature, this was probably the biggest reason I sold them.

The thing that surprised me about this test is how different the RS-1 sounded from the GS1000. I had both when I first got the GS1000 but for some reason I didn't do any side-by-side comparisons. This was a mistake. I think if I would have spent more time testing in the beginning, I might have been one of the people that returned the GS1000.

For my music the RS-1 just works so much better. If I didn't get the PS-1 and ended back up with the RS-1, I would have been very happy. Is the PS-1 worth that much more than the RS-1, probably not. But with the PS-1 being a collectors item, it will retain it's value or even go up. The PS-1 is closer (but much more refined) to the RS-1 and works with the same type of music that I see no reason to have both. The GS1000 is different enough that I could see how it could easily compliment the RS-1 or PS-1. Since I stick with mostly rock, I only need the PS-1 and have no desire to get another GS1000.
post #9 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by robm321
Yes. I will be keeping my GS-1000s.

There was one chip that he had that worked well with the GS-1000 for the HR-2. The other chip he had sounded a little worse for it. I don't really have a point of reference on comparing amps though. iamdone's source is different that mine, so I wasn't able to do a direct comparison; however, I would look at tubes. I realized that although the RA-1 has great synergy with the GS-1000, my X-cans v.3 puts out more power to control the bass - while giving it a softer sound on the top end. It's my favorite amp so far with the GS-1000s.
Tubes are probably the next step that I am going to take, but I'm interested in the Grado Balanced amp that's supposedly being worked on. I'm in no rush to upgrade as funds are a little short right now.
post #10 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doogie
Tubes are probably the next step that I am going to take, but I'm interested in the Grado Balanced amp that's supposedly being worked on. I'm in no rush to upgrade as funds are a little short right now.
Tubes will give you a different presentation for certain passages, which you will enjoy I think very much especially on harsh or live material..
post #11 of 63
Thanks guys, very useful comparison!
post #12 of 63
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by robm321
There was one chip that he had that worked well with the GS-1000 for the HR-2.
Actually robm321 prefered the ad797 for all headphones. For me, even though it has a great sound, it doesn't give the electric guitar that twangy enough sound that I like. My preference was the opa627 but the next day I decided to try the opa637. This was the winner for me with the PS-1. It sounds almost like the opa627 but there is no grain at all and a slightly better airier sound with a hint more detail. It's all a matter of taste.

I could tell even with the same music, robm321 liked the GS1000 more than I did. I would put it on first and think this sounds nice but not quite what I was looking for. Then the RS-1 and a smile would come to my face. And finally the PS-1 and I still have the smile but now I could hear so much more detail while still tapping my foot. I'm sure I was actually just sitting there, but I was tapping on the inside.
post #13 of 63
Hey man, I'm in Pleasant Hill (East Bay) we should hook up and test our PS-1's on eachothers amps! SS vs. Tube
post #14 of 63
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wakeride74
Hey man, I'm in Pleasant Hill (East Bay) we should hook up and test our PS-1's on eachothers amps! SS vs. Tube
Might not be a bad idea. We can talk about it in pms.
post #15 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by wakeride74
Hey man, I'm in Pleasant Hill (East Bay) we should hook up and test our PS-1's on eachothers amps! SS vs. Tube
Hey I want in - San Ramon
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: High-end Audio Forum
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Summit-Fi (High-End Audio) › High-end Audio Forum › Grado RS-1 vs PS-1 vs GS1000