Originally Posted by Uncle Bob
I much prefer my Grado's (SR225) with the SOHAII to anything else I've used - CMOY, Creek OBH-11, CKKIII - while I find that the SOHAII/HD650 combination doesn't quite work for me. I've only the one tube type at the moment so this may be a factor, but while I agree the Grado sound is normally agressive, the tube sound tempers this to a degree and there is absolutely no harshness in the treble. By comparison, the Senns sound 'shut in' and dark, too soft and lazy, just comfy pipe-n-slippers presentation. However, I do enjoy them with the CKKIII and, since I upgraded the PSU and the opamp, I slightly prefer them on the Creek.
On the SOHAII
Huh, well maybe it's my choice of current tubes as well. Since both Holland and myself have noted that the Electro-Harmonix 12AU7's have a very aggressive, neutral, and clear presentation. Very well suited to "Metal" kind of music, but sound great with everything else I've throw at them. I'd say the combo of those tubes with "bright" Grado's, maybe overemphasizes those characteristics more.
Yes, the Senn's are little more laid back, but I think it's because they are so neutral. Whereas the Grado's have a funky peakiness in the upper-bass and upper midrange, so it really puts the music out there. I feel like I hear a lot more detail with the Senn's where the Grado's are overpowered by those to peaks. For example Hotel California, When Hell Freezes Over... with the Senn's my hearing focuses on Henley's vocals with everything else in balance. With the Grado's, I'm still sort of focused on Henley's vocals, but Walsh's guitar "licks" and Schmit's bassline kind of overpower the vocals...
Originally Posted by adamus
I havent bulit a sohaII, but if you really want to tame grados then look for for some warm old valves (mullards etc). Certainly dont try the russians e.g. 6n1p.
That what I was thinking, but I'm actually just trying out the Grado's currently. WHen I auditioned them in the store they sound better out of a Grado RA1 amp and I also listened to RS1's which had the characteristics of the SR80 but with a less harsh and overpowering treble and sweet mids.
Why no to the 6N1P's? That was actually the next tube I was going to get for the amp, Ferrari had some nice reviews about them.