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Grado GS 1000 Amp Poll - Page 2

post #16 of 47
I would vote for the EAR HP4.
post #17 of 47
I've heard the four choices and the RA1 with the GS1K and although I don't think it's the best amp overall on your list, I thought the WA6 (with the right rectifier) had the best synergy with the GS1K. I'd probably put the Raptor next. I suspect the EAR would sound good, but never heard the combo. There are Singlepower amps with lots of tube options to consider too.
post #18 of 47
Originally Posted by saisunil View Post
I had an opportunity to listen to Woo Audio 5 with a few headphones including GS1000. All headphones - AKG1000, AKG701, Senn 600, GS1000 all of them sounded their best through Woo Audio 5. GS1000 did not sit well with me - I thought they were too non-linear - had too many peaks and dips (for my taste) - so I sold GS1000 but for whatever it is worth - GS1000 sounded better than ever through WA5. As I understand, WA6 - provides a nice slice of WA5 performance. Maxed out WA6 sounds like a good amp for any headphone.

For me, AKG701 amd AKG1000 were, by far, the best sounding cans through WA5

I recently received my Woo 5 LE (with upgraded V-Cap .15/600V and Jensen 220u/450V) and I listen primarily through the GS-1000s. For 90% of recordings I simply can't imagine a better headphone. Each of the sonic attributed that I love - e.g. speed, dynamics, tight and produgious low-level extension, vocals and HF detail - seem to be there in spades.

I recently had the GS 1000s recabled with Stefan Art Equinox and the phones are sounding better than ever. Although I'm not an experienced tube'r I did a fair amout of research to settle on a what I thought would give me the sounds that I wanted (Sophia Princess Carbon Plate 300Bs, Ken Rad 5U4Gs, RCA VT-231)

With my source I tried to go for as analogue a sound as possible (in the digital world) with an Altmann Attraction DAC and Audionet ART v2 Transport. Spent some good money on vibration reduction, interconnects, power, etc...

I've tried to create a good environment to bring the best out of the GS-1000s. I believe that the Woo 5 is a stellar partner with the phones I have tried (x2 to Saisunil). In most music scenarios, the GS 1000s really are magical with this amp. And for me the GS 1000s are so nearly the phones for listening to all my music types (mainly folk, electronica, rock, pop). I have not, however, been able to say that I am truly happy with the high frequencies. Some of this may be me - I think I am very sensitive to HF and can be fatigued by peaks that other people find absolutely fine. I have handed the phones to a couple of my friends during passages where the HFs mean I simply have to take them off; they have no such issues at all.

It has made me think more about the inherent variability in how people process sound, and perhaps it was unrealistic for me to expect that the addition of a great amp like the Woo 5 would make me happy with the GS 1000s for 100% of the time. I've come to the conclusion that I just need to add another set of phones to accomodate this small idiosynchrosy (both in the phones and my own hearing). The difficulty is which other set of phones can please alongside the GS 1000s? I'm leaning towards the AKG K1000s as the obvious choice, but am going to do a little more searching around. Having never heard them, I don't know I will be any less susceptible to HF fatigue with them (It would be good to get a few opinions here). Having read Saisunil's view that the k1000s were 'by far the best sounding cans' through the Woo 5 I am deeply tempted to pull the trigger on a well-priced pair that have been waived under my nose.

Guess there is only one way to find out.....
post #19 of 47
WA5 pawns Zana Deux or Zana Deux pawns WA5, any comments?
post #20 of 47
Originally Posted by twoears&oneheart View Post
WA5 pawns Zana Deux or Zana Deux pawns WA5, any comments?
Would be an interesting battle. I was all ready to pull the trigger on the Zana until I read about the Woo 5. I haven't owned the two and so cannot compare, but I do recall reading on here somewhere about someone who had owned the Zana and sold it for the W5.

Would love to hear them side by side.
post #21 of 47
i've been using the gs1000 with my maxxed wa6 with powersupply
mod and it's the best combo amongst all my headphones... with
the markl modded denon d5000 coming in close 2nd. compared to
my other headphones the gs1000 doesn't have the recessed
mid-range issue documented by many others... i guess the tubes
of the wa6 has good synergy with it.

the gs1000 sounded very sibilant initially, and well for a long time
actually, but with approx. 1000hrs on it now, the sibilance has
gradually softened and is almost a distant memory. (except on
some mp3 and less than stellar rock/pop cds) on classical, jazz
and most modern recordings sibilance is a none issue, thankfully.
i'm very impressed with the gs1000s' mid-bass. it's the closest
to a speaker that i've come across.

btw, the result of this poll is meaningless, unless given by someone who's
listened to the gs1000, extensively, with all the amps mentioned...just my 2cents.
post #22 of 47
That's very interesting....I still have occassional sibilance with my GS-1000s and I reckon I have around 300 hours on them.

I had imagined that I had reached steady state with the sonic traits...but I would be very happy if the HFs gradually get smoother.
post #23 of 47
yes, the highs will gradually become cleaner and much less sibilant
with use, at least with my experience, but not to the point of
becoming dull or rolled off... this thing can still bite.
post #24 of 47

thanks alot for your impressions of the GS1000 with WA5...

it's very reassuring... the woo's line of amps can run with GS1000.

I would hope someone who listened to woo and zana deux have their impressions written in here too...


u did alot of help !
post #25 of 47
Originally Posted by twoears&oneheart View Post

thanks alot for your impressions of the GS1000 with WA5...

it's very reassuring... the woo's line of amps can run with GS1000.

I would hope someone who listened to woo and zana deux have their impressions written in here too...


u did alot of help !
No problem at all twoears&oneheart. There is no question about the GS1000 having a great synergy with the Woo. I was going to go with the Zana but read too many people who had tried the GS 1000 combination with this and been disappointed. That's not to say that the Zana is in any way a bad amp, quite the opposite, but too many were saying that the synergy of the Zana and the GS 1000s was missing somewhat. When I heard that people were preferring their HD-600/650s over the Grados on the Zana I knew I should have a look around in the market.

With my rig, the Grado and Woo 5 in many cases sounds heavenly. I replay tracks, and sometimes whole albums when I get back from working away and it takes a few hours for the smile to depart.

I am sure, however, that getting away from the stock Woo tubes to NOS is a necessary part in this process. A great task if you enjoy the obsessional forum trawling and research for this occupation, but not great if you busted a load of $$ to get the Woo in the first place.

Anyways, rest assured that the Grado and Woo 5 works. It works very, very well.
post #26 of 47

Grado GS1000 Sibilance

I'm a Grado owner, starting with the SR80 and working my way up through the SR325i, the RS1, the iGrado (for my son) and the SR60 (bought on the cheap so I could have fun modifying it).

When I purchased the GS1000, I also was troubled by the sibilance, among other things. While I found the salad bowls comfortable (as they took all pressure off my earlobes), I found the sound unduly "tubular." Much of the Grado midrange was lost, leaving me in an equalizer smile between the boom-boomb-boom of the bass and the grating sibilance of all that naked high end.

I quickly set to work burning my cans in, as I'd done with the 325i, whose appearance was initially as disappointing. After a full burn-in, my 325i's sounded better than my new RS1's. After a full burn-in, the RS1's got the last laugh.

With the relative difference in burn-in between the RS1's and the GS1000, the RS1's definitely sound more balanced, at least for now.

With that in mind, I've been burning in my GS1000s with a vengeance. I burn them night and day. The sound has improved but today I did something that made a big difference. I switched out those $45 salad bowl cushions for the $16 doughnuts, which are used on almost all of the other Grados.

The sibilance was gone but in a dual cable showdown between the GS1000 and the RS1, the GS1000 sounded fuller - on both the high end as well as the bass - even with the traditional doughnut pads.

It may well be that I need to keep burning these cans in until they sound great through the salad bowls, but right now, I am more impressed with them using the doughnuts. I don't like the salad bowl effect. I think it puts the ear too far from the driver. I think it creates a tubular experience that feels like an over-compensation. Sure, the soundstage is wider but I don't want to pull back this far. Am I in row 30 or the parking lot?

The traditional doughnuts do compress the experience, narrowing the soundstage and creating all those anti-Grado complaints. This has led to some ingenious attempts, on the part of Gradoheads to make modest changes to the soundstage by either widening the earpad or by wedging the ear back just a little to let the high-end breathe. But the salad bowls are too much.

Maybe when my GS1000s are fully broken in, I'll be able to get that midrange back, and all the energy lost in the pursuit of "smooth sound." In the meantime, I refuse to become an audio pussycat. These cans were made in Brooklyn! That midrange is a brass knuckle, not caviar on a cracker. I've switched out the salad bowls and find the doughnuts awesome! The out-of-control high end is tamed and the bass is throbbing. I also think the cans look cooler.
post #27 of 47
to get the mids of the GS1000 back

just use a good amp...

you would appreciate that the GS1000 has no roll-offs like senns 600 or 650 on the highs,

and it's separation and details in the mids are also evident and in existence when powered properly by an amp with lots of 'juice'.
post #28 of 47
I would love a balanced GS-1000 driven by a HeadRoom Home Balanced amp
post #29 of 47
Originally Posted by alexdemaet View Post
I would love a balanced GS-1000 driven by a HeadRoom Home Balanced amp
I think my HeadRoom maxed desktop balanced amp has good synergy with GS1000 (stock single-ended cable).
post #30 of 47

This are some interesting observations - thanks for sharing them. I've heard others recommend this option before, often fairly uniform disapproval, but I welcome any efforts to provide a sound that better suits the ears of the beholder.

I would imagine that I have probably one of the most competent 'GS 1000' friendly amps in current production with the Woo 5. I do not have any concerns at all with low-end flabiness, or thin mid-range (once I changed the stock cables to Equinox). I do still have a problem with sibilance and uncomfortable HFs, however, despite examining most tweaks and bringing my isolation, mains filtering, interconnects and power cables up to a pretty good standard. I don't get this on the other phones I've tried (Senns, AKGs). It is a bit of a fly in the ointment for me at present, because it means I often need to take the phones off every few tracks when encountering a piercing high frequency. Unfotrunately it has drawn me to seek out another pair of phones, the AKG K1000s (currently being rewired in the US and on their way back). I'll certainly be keeping the Grados however as they do a fantastic job most of the time.

For a £20/$40 cost of getting hold of replacement donut pads here in the UK I am going to give this a go. I suspect I could live with a reduction in soundstage and an altered sonic balance in the ways you describe if I could finally listen to all my tracks without discomfort. Horses for courses, as they say here in the UK, as others may be horrified with any attempts to modify the Gs-1000 house sound. I for one am open minded about this and am pretty open to such an easy swap-in/out change like this. It comes at a convenient time when I'm frankly beginning to feel a little defeated in all my efforts to build a rig that suits the GS-1000....

I'll let you know how I get on. - John
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