Originally Posted by ferday
there are a few things that metal "needs" to sound good (other than good recording ha ha)...speed and detail / accuracy in the mids, with reasonable high detail and a good mid-low response. everyone has a different idea of what something "should" sound like...
my he400's are fantastic metal cans, with all of the detail and speed as well as extremely textured and refined bass response. however, most of the time for guitar based music i prefer my much cheaper grado sr80i. the grados are definitely colored, but offer a certain tone and forwardness in the midrange that is addicting to me and sound "right" for a a lot of guitar based music, as well they are plenty fast and detailed.
my he400's can be easily made to closely resemble the tone of my hifi setup which i really love, and is highly detailed with out of this world bass response...but although the mids are forward enough they are almost too "lush" sounding in comparison to the grados...i have ended up playing with several different DSP setups to make my hifi match my grados more closely for guitar based music LOL.
not everyone will like the same thing, for overall music listening (different genres) the grados are a poor choice of can, where the HE400's would be considered an excellent choice. but i keep gravitating towards that undeniable tone, the forward crunch of an electric guitar and the somehow alive mid-bass that i've never heard outside of the grado. because of this and the fact that most of my listening is metal/rock, i've cancelled my Audeze-LCD wish list and put the RS1's up there instead.
i've been into hifi for decades, and when i'm tweaking to make my setup sound like a headphone i know there's something special there...for me. i can see how others would disagree, as the undeniably colored sound of the grados is very specific and not for everyone, and is nearly useless outside of more aggressive guitar based music.
just opinions friends.
I'm just going to piggy back with comments about my Grado 225i. And, as ferday states, there are people who disagree. Many people dislike Grados. It seems to be a love or hate thing. And, there are certainly more technically competent phones. But, if you like the sound-even if it is old school-maybe like certain musicians who love vintage orange amps-it just has a sound we like.
I have thought about the HE500 as an alternative. I went to a meet in June and very much liked the HE500 for different genres at the meet. But, I wasn't listening to my music for the most part. I did a lot of cross A-B between the HE500 (also some with the 400) and my 225 and with a Grado 325. But, it wasn't metal...in fact most of it was music I wouldn't be interested in....electronic music, hip hop, some classical. The closest I was able to hear to metal was some Led Zeppelin.
And, while the HE is a vastly techncially superior can, there was something about the foreward attach and guitar sound on the Zeppelin tracks with my 225, that just sounded right to me. I would call it an aggressive sound. But, it lacks perhaps the subtlety and stoundstage for some genres-classical in particular. But, even small ensemble accoustic music or jazz sounds pretty good through my Grados.
my preference for my own cans with "rawk" I thought it was mostly due to my familiarity with my own cans vs the HE500, but Ferday's comments make me think twice.
I'm considering at some point adding the HE500 as a second set of cans as I do listen to a good bit of non metal, but most of it is "guitar" music of some kind....but some jazz, ambient, etc.
The 225i is in the same series as the 80-it's about $200. They sound good w/ minimal tweeking...don't need amping with a cell phone or MP3 player, and can be listened to out of the box through dedicated components. I have a Schiit Asgard-2 and they sound better, but don't need them to enjoy them.
I auditioned the 60, 80, 225 and have heard the 325. For me the 225 were the sweet spot and I didn't want to exceed $200 for my first HP purchase. But for the money, the 80 is a great deal.
When I auditioned them, I took my Ipod to a store with a bunch of crappy low bitrate metal and rock. Going from my cheap ass earbuds to the Grados was a revelation. And, the fact that I could listen straight from my Ipod without a HP amp was a selling point for me at the time.
I haven't heard the RS1i-and I really look forward to listening to one at some piont. For those who are willing to spend around $700 and-like the Grado sound-the RS1i seem to be the rock holy grail. If I were to do it again and was wiling to throw down more coin, I'd probably go for the RS1i. I'm not saying they are good for eveyrone....if you don't like the Grado sound signature. The RS1i is essentially an upgraded high end 80,
You definitely want to audition first…some people find Grados uncomfortable. And, some just don't care for them.
But for the time being, my wishlist for my hifi system and expanding wireless Sonos system are taking priority over additional cans as I listen to most of my music via speakers. Saving for some tower speakers and a Sonos sub and playbar......
Edited by markm1 - 11/25/13 at 11:04am