HF2 will sound a bit too dark compare to MS Pro.
HF2 will sound a bit too dark compare to MS Pro.
In terms of rock music, the word "magic" is often used to describe the Grado headphones. You simply don't hear that description used for most other manufacturers' products... there is something very special about these cans.
The MS-Pro is less fatiguing than the Grado RS-1 over long listening sessions. A lot of people go for the RS-1 because of the initial "excitement" factor of its sound, but the slightly less forward, darker sound of the MS-Pro may be easier to live with. Also, the more neutral sound makes them more flexible across different genres of music. Male and female voices will sound natural. You'll have the liveliness of sound, quick response, and Grado magic in a balanced package.
These headphones are revealing - if you have lower-class equipment or recordings, you'll be able to hear the flaws in playback. The MS-1 is more forgiving of poorly-recorded music. At 32 ohms nominal impedance, they pair best with low-gain amplifiers that supply a lot of current. The Alessandro MS-Professional is best used as a home headphone due to its price, 1/4-inch plug, open design, and power requirements. It is lightweight and comfortable once the bowl pads soften. Listeners with larger ears may benefit from switching to Grado's GS1000/PS1000 pads - there may be a change in the sound signature.
Honky mids, doesn't work w/o distancers.
Good to know, nickchen. I've always preferred flat pads on my Grados.
Zuqi, it takes a while for Grado headphones to burn-in. I listen to a variety of music at regular volumes - I'm not a fan of the more exotic burn-in methods (e.g. pink noise, bassy music, loud volumes, unattended weeks of playback, etc.). It's actually kind of fun to hear the differences in the headphone's output as it changes over time - Grados, like wine, improve as they age. Sometimes the changes are gradual, sometimes they are a sudden revelation.
My headphones sounded really unimpressive at first - really flat and uninvolving. It took a few months for them to settle into their current sound signature - I've been listening to them since 2004. Also, the great thing about headphones is that you can easily take them places - try them in different systems if you can.
I suggest that you enjoy your new cans for a few weeks before making any decisions about their sound quality. Also, the bowl pads tend to be a bit stiff and scratchy when they are brand new - they will soften over time. Like everything else in life, headphone listening is a journey, not a destination.
Careful headphone listening can take you different places (and times), just like you can take headphones different places. I'm moving through about three decades with mashup musician Girl Talk's latest album, All Day, for example.
What kind of system are you planning to run your MS-Pros out of? I'm running an Arcam FMJ CD36 with a Headsave Classic v3 (triple OPA627).
I'm planning to get an Oppo BDP-95 for SACD, HDCD, and Blu-Ray playback and pair it with a HeadAmp Gilmore X2, whenever Justin is ready to release it.
I run my portable Grados (Alessandro MS-1) directly out of a Sony D-EJ2000 CD player or out of my MacBook headphone jack (a cardinal sin) but I would look at the HeadAmp Pico Portable Amp or the Pico USB DAC/Amp first if I needed a portable headphone amplifier. The Pico Slim looks slick, but the larger Picos will probably sound better with an MS-Pro - note the power specifications on HeadAmp's site. Also, the DAC/Amp combo would allow you to switch sounds if you want a change/upgrade from your existing source.
You can check out this enormous thread for a bit more info (the most important stuff is on the first page, of course):
There are many portable headphone amplifiers and DACs in the market, but Justin's products are in high demand for good reasons. Don't forget that you'll need to use a 1/4-inch (6.35 mm) to 1/8-inch (3.5 mm) adapter to plug into most portable music players and amps. The MS-Pro box should include the adapter (and a 15-foot extension cable). Grado Labs also sells them here:
Using an adapter will put more strain on the jack and add bulk to your system, so you'll have to be extra careful when transporting your new cans.
I would look at the HeadAmp Pico Portable Amp or the Pico USB DAC/Amp first if I needed a portable headphone amplifier. The Pico Slim looks slick, but the larger Picos will probably sound better with an MS-Pro - note the power specifications on HeadAmp's site. Also, the DAC/Amp combo would allow you to switch sounds if you want a change/upgrade from your existing source.
Luckily I already got a pico (original) and really love them, I bought it especially for my HF2, it has a good synergy with HF2, but I wonder will it sound great with mspro cos there is few portable amp rcommendation for mspro. I hope it will do a decent job with mspro so I don't need to buy another portable amp.
You won't have to worry about the amp's burn-in time, then.
Try to attend/organize a meet in your area to try headphones on other high-end gear (after your headphones are burned-in). It's fun, it's educational, and you'll meet a lot of interesting people.