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Received my balanced Grado HP-2 - Page 4

post #46 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by immtbiker View Post
The Datsun 510 was considered to be the "Poor Man's BMW" by many who lived in the Bronx off the Grand Concourse in the '80's.

Wow...that was random!
Yes, it had 4 wheels, a steering wheel, a 4 cylinder engine, a drive shaft and was boxy, just like the BMW2002. That's about all they had in common though!
post #47 of 61
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by milkpowder View Post
Congrats! Is this the same pair Alex cleaned/restored/recabled awhile back?
Yes, I believe so.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jp11801 View Post
first: the HP2s that Ken has have flats on them as intended by Grado,bowls kinds defeat the purpose of the HP2s and kill the sound for me at least.

On the AD2ks are the poor mans HP2, the AD2ks are great headphones but they are not HP2s other than the fact that they are both headphones. The hp2s are vastly superior to the AD2ks to me. I see the AD2ks as an awesome buy in it's category but feel the 650s are better with a great amp. The AD2ks do nothing wrong but they do not do the mids like the HP2s do. The AD2Ks are more lush than the HP2s are with the HP2s there is far more detail in the mids but they lack extension and the AD2ks extend more than the HP2s do.

SR100s with HP1000 drivers are the poor mans HP2s IMHO
Oh I definitely agree with your last point there, the HP-2 does have more detail while the AD2K has more extension in both directions. My main assertion in the AD2K/HP-2 similarity was merely more of overall tonality (general mid-range focus) and general presentation. Both have very specific soundstages I find - both can easily tell you how large a performance venue is, for example, whereas that's something the K701 can't do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vcoheda View Post
i don't follow.
Well in order to get the benefit of Furutech FP-701 XLR connectors on a headphone cable, every other cable in my system would also need to have Furutech, especially at the start of the signal path, since the signal starts at the source. My XLR interconnects right now have Neutrik, so putting Furutech on the headphone cable makes no sense, no higher quality would be derived from that - I'd need to replace my XLR ICs to achieve higher quality. I have no desire to invest the time & money for that though. And Neutrik is still good anyway, it's not like it's terrible, it's just that Furutech is a step above.
post #48 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Asr View Post
Well in order to get the benefit of Furutech FP-701 XLR connectors on a headphone cable, every other cable in my system would also need to have Furutech, especially at the start of the signal path, since the signal starts at the source.
not to go off topic, but i definitely disagree with this.

for example, if you want a truly balanced set up, you need the signal to be balanced from start to finish. a break in the chain will wholly defeat the purpose. however, if you are using different cables, it seems that the beneift of the cable is not defeated. a power cable with show its strength from wall to component. an IC will display its character from source to amp. and a headphone cable from amp to headphone. using different types can work in unison. a connector seems more like a cable than a balanced signal. using different types does not defeat the purpose of one or the other.
post #49 of 61
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by vcoheda View Post
not to go off topic, but i definitely disagree with this.

for example, if you want a truly balanced set up, you need the signal to be balanced from start to finish. a break in the chain will wholly defeat the purpose. however, if you are using different cables, it seems that the beneift of the cable is not defeated. a power cable with show its strength from wall to component. an IC will display its character from source to amp. and a headphone cable from amp to headphone. using different types can work in unison. a connector seems more like a cable than a balanced signal. using different types does not defeat the purpose of one or the other.
You seem to not understand the distinction between Neutrik and Furutech connectors. Furutech is higher-grade, it is not merely a different type. There is better physical construction that leads to higher-quality sound. You can ask [AK]Zip, Moon Audio, or VH Audio (and probably most other cable vendors too), who deal with Furutech and other connectors on a daily basis - they'll all agree that Furutech is higher-quality than Neutrik, particularly when it comes to the prolific Neutrik NC X compared to the Furutech FP-701 or FP-601. Putting a Neutrik connector before a Furutech connector in the signal path is useless, and likewise putting a Furutech connector before a Neutrik connector is also equally useless - you won't get 100% of the output from the source passing all the way through either way. If the equipment is cheap and non-revealing it doesn't really matter if you mis-match but when we're talking high-end equipment, all the connectors should match for at least maximum consistency. An all-Furutech system would provide maximum fidelity. Also I'm not saying that all Neutrik connectors are inferior to all Furutech connectors either, as Neutrik does have some high-end offerings. But their NC X is inexpensive and very standard and does not compete with the FP-701/FP-601.

There's a lot of info that's been published online about the various cable connectors from various companies, I suggest you inform yourself before suggesting that "using different types does not defeat the purpose of one or the other." Also using the word "types" shortchanges the distinction between the various connector vendors. WBT, Eichmann, Xhadow, Furutech, Neutrik, Switchcraft, et al, do not make "types" of connectors, and I'm sure they would feel insulted if they read your statement.
post #50 of 61
i understand fine. i still disagree.

i'm sure a system with all furutech is better than one with just some furutech, but i don't think it is "useless" to use one in the system even if you use other connectors with it. it won't be 100% consistent, but that was not my argument. i'm sure a system with valhala from start to finish (power cable, ICs, and even internal wiring) is better in terms of getting the valhala benefit than one just using it for ICs, but that doesn't mean that there is no benefit from using the IC. your argument seems to be more of consistency and maximum benefit than anything else.

if it truly is "useless" to use a furutech connector if all the others are not furutech, then i wonder if alex tells people this before they order a cable with these connectors. does he say, btw only order if all your other connectors in your system are also furutech b/c otherwise there is no benefit over the much cheaper neutrik.
post #51 of 61
All of this would be a moot point to anyone (I would say about 1/2 of Head-Fidians) who believe cables don't make a difference. Someone who believes a RatShack cable is just as good as a Valhalla would not care if an XLR is Neutrik or Furutech.

Disclaimer: I, and my associated wallet, are not one of these people.

Guzziguy. The reason the Bronx Boyz called the Datsun 510 a poor man's BMW, is because they took the chassis (which cost a small amount of money as a used car) and modded the suspension and dropped in a Weber based carburetor'ed engine and created a car that looked innocent, but had 80% of the potential of a 2002 and raced them down the Concourse.
Dem wuz de dayz!

I had a 1977 510 that I bought for $800, ran into the ground and then sold it for $2K because of supply and demand.
With that $2K, I bought an Opel GT. Bring back memories for you old timers like me?
post #52 of 61
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by vcoheda View Post
if it truly is "useless" to use a furutech connector if all the others are not furutech, then i wonder if alex tells people this before they order a cable with these connectors. does he say, btw only order if all your other connectors in your system are also furutech b/c otherwise there is no benefit over the much cheaper neutrik.
Well he doesn't have to tell customers, the choice of connector is up to the customer, and it's not like it's his role to question the customer's motives. Though I certainly do pity anyone who shells out the additional expense for Furutech connectors if: (1) they don't have Furutech XLR ICs in their system, (2) their system isn't high-end, and (3) their headphones cost less than ~$500. The vast majority of XLR ICs in existence sadly do not use Furutech, and the few that do are quite expensive - the cost of parts alone for a male & female set of FP-601 is $260. A male/female pair of Neutrik NC3 XB (the apparent industry standard), on the other hand, is just $35. $19 for the males ($16 for females), if we consider just a headphone cable, since you only need 1 pair. I think this cost speaks for itself.

Also, to directly your answer your question, at one time I did get a "not-recommended" advice from [AK]Zip when I asked about pairing a set of Furutech with a <$1K headphone that I was considering. If you ask questions, he can answer, but if you don't ask any questions, what's he going to do, read your mind?
post #53 of 61
i guess the honeymoon is over.
post #54 of 61
Asr loaned me his HP-2 w/ balanced APS cable. listening to them right now.

sweet.

hope to get some pics/impressions up this weekend.
post #55 of 61

HP2 Impressions

some brief impressions of the Grado HP2 with Bal APS v.3 cable and flats, of course. i have heard the HP2 (and HP1) on several occasions, but this is my first extended audition with them. a big shout out to Asr. not many people would lend $1500 headphones to someone, but that's how he rolls.


[from aps website]

like other grados, the HP2 has a very upfront presentation. the singers/players are right there. i would say the sound stage in terms of depth - front to back - is no larger or smaller than my other grado headphones (SR325, RS1, RS2). one difference where the HP2 appears to outperform is width. the left to right presentation is far wider, which allows for much better instrument/voice separation but the overall imaging is still frustrated due to the narrow depth. this, however, is part of the grado signature sound - not including the GS1K, which in contrast with its quite large sound stage and non upfront presentation seem quite different.

there is a lot of energy (and treble energy) to these phones. the sound is a bit forceful. i would say the RS1/RS2 is warmer and although just as forward somehow slightly more laid back. the bass on the HP2 is very good. it is tight - some of the most focused bass i have heard. there is some impact to it as well. the resolution and detail is also top notch. voices sound very natural too. i think grados in general do guitar better than any other headphone and the HP2 is no exception. piano is no slouch either on these. overall, a very nice tone. in terms of fit and comfort, the all metal design does not feel heavy on my head and the fit is nice and snug. i think i could wear these headphones for a longer period of time than my other grados. the build quality is first rate as well. they feel very sturdy and look very well put together, which is important when dealing with an item at this price level.

as for possible faults, there could be a few. as mentioned, the sound is full of energy (quite forceful). the headphone's forward and assertive tendencies could wear one out after some time. also, there seems to be a touch of brightness to some of the higher frequencies. another item that could lead to listener fatigue. and the sound stage is near non existent, but that is to be expected. one complaint that is often lodged against the HP1000 is that it can sound too clinical. i'm not sure about this one. they seem far from boring. overall, i would say the sound is very pleasing - good resolution, taut bass, and with a clean (uncolored) tone. seem worth their price tag.

i hope to sometime next week compare them more closely to my woodied SR325, which is also balanced, but for now, that's it.
post #56 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by vcoheda View Post

[from aps website]

like other grados, the HP2 has a very upfront presentation. the singers/players are right there. i would say the sound stage in terms of depth - front to back - is no larger or smaller than my other grado headphones (SR325, RS1, RS2). one difference where the HP2 appears to outperform is width. the left to right presentation is far wider, which allows for much better instrument/voice separation but the overall imaging is still frustrated due to the narrow depth. this, however, is part of the grado signature sound - not including the GS1K, which in contrast with its quite large sound stage and non upfront presentation seem quite different.
I recently received my HP-2 backs from Alex and I agree with vcoheda assessment of their soundstage. However with Alex's v3, everything is greatly improved. THe vocals are fanastic. I will qualify my comments as my HP-2 had Joe Grado replacing the drivers a couple of years back. Also I had Alex install Xhadow XLR as the connectors. Here I agree with vcoheda that while everything using Xhadows would be better, I think there is benefit on just the headphone cable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vcoheda View Post
there is a lot of energy (and treble energy) to these phones. the sound is a bit forceful. i would say the RS1/RS2 is warmer and although just as forward somehow slightly more laid back. the bass on the HP2 is very good. it is tight - some of the most focused bass i have heard. there is some impact to it as well. the resolution and detail is also top notch. voices sound very natural too. i think grados in general do guitar better than any other headphone and the HP2 is no exception. piano is no slouch either on these. overall, a very nice tone. in terms of fit and comfort, the all metal design does not feel heavy on my head and the fit is nice and snug. i think i could wear these headphones for a longer period of time than my other grados. the build quality is first rate as well. they feel very sturdy and look very well put together, which is important when dealing with an item at this price level.
I don't agree there was too much treble energy. I noticed everything very proproportioned. What really stood out was the clarity. I heard brushes on the snare drum that I didn't know were on the recording.

If the Grado's had the depth in soundstage, they would be difficult to top. However, I still notice the lack of depth at times, which leaves the ship still out on these.
post #57 of 61
FWIW, my experience with the HP2 is that the DAC/amp synergy is also critical for the staging and presentation. I get a better sense of depth and no fatiguing energy with my Stello/Zana Deux combo than other DAC/amps I've heard them on. It make sense that the ZD is HP2 (even more so PS-1) friendly because it was reportedly voiced with the GS1000. The HP2 is also a source snob and poor recordings are tough to listen to with this phone. Although I know that is not an issue for you guys - I throw it out there for posterity.

However, my HP2 has the the SE JGSUWB cable and I wonder how it stacks up with the APS V3. I am not about to change that cable at this point. Maybe when the EC balancing act comes out....

If we could find an APS SE adaptor for ASRs HP2 we could A/B my HP2 with JGSUWB cable AND his HP2 with APS on the ZD during the July Colorado meet!

I do have a PS-1 with a standard cable I am going to have Alex replace in a few days....whooohooo!
post #58 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blutarsky View Post
FWIW, my experience with the HP2 is that the DAC/amp synergy is also critical for the staging and presentation. I get a better sense of depth and no fatiguing energy with my Stello/Zana Deux combo than other DAC/amps I've heard them on. It make sense that the ZD is HP2 (even more so PS-1) friendly because it was reportedly voiced with the GS1000. The HP2 is also a source snob and poor recordings are tough to listen to with this phone. Although I know that is not an issue for you guys - I throw it out there for posterity.

However, my HP2 has the the SE JGSUWB cable and I wonder how it stacks up with the APS V3. I am not about to change that cable at this point. Maybe when the EC balancing act comes out....

If we could find an APS SE adaptor for ASRs HP2 we could A/B my HP2 with JGSUWB cable AND his HP2 with APS on the ZD during the July Colorado meet!

I do have a PS-1 with a standard cable I am going to have Alex replace in a few days....whooohooo!
Good choice - after hearing your PS-1 for myself, I vote for the APS cable, but I would definitely NOT do anything to the HP-2 at all. Just be sure to save the stock cable in case you decide to sell it later.
post #59 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by vcoheda View Post
...
i hope to sometime next week compare them more closely to my woodied SR325, which is also balanced, but for now, that's it.
Did you compare them?
I have a woodied balanced Grado SR225 (from Alo Audio). I like my woodied SR225 very much, honestly I like the modded SR225 more then an unbalanced Grado GS1000.
post #60 of 61
^^ yes, i did. but i posted it in another thread. if you search for posts by me and HP2 you should find it.

basically, i thought the HP2 was better across the board but not by a significant margin.
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