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The Grado HF-2 Review/Comparison Thread - Page 102

post #1516 of 1528
Quote:
Originally Posted by MD1032 View Post

Bumping this thread to add a comment.

 

I got some Senn 600's and I must say, it's an interesting comparison. Firstly I realize I am comparing a $400 to a $200 headphone, but I think the HD600's are worth more than their asking price nowadays. I've always liked them, just never owned a pair before. The HD600's treble is really rolled off compared to most headphones, and Grados have slightly amped highs compared to what I consider neutral and this manifests itself in different ways. The thing that surprises me the most is just how much the old stereotypes are true. The Senns sound worlds better with symphonic band and classical music. You can crank it and crank it and they're never fatiguing. On the other hand the rolled off highs make rock music sound really dull. That lost treble, for me, literally makes drums sound like they have less impact, like the drummer is playing on a cheap drumset with loose heads or isn't completely with the rest of the band. That's got to be why I've always thought of these as sounding "slow". It also makes the sound seem a lot less detailed than on the HF2's. The HF1's with flat pads sound a lot like the HD600's, actually, but they still smoke the 600's on rock while the 600's smoke the HF1's on loud orchestral, band, and organ music, having what I perceive to me a more even high-frequency response (then again if you lower the whole upper end of the spectrum maybe that effect is inevitable).

 

The thing about the HF2's that detracts from an otherwise nearly perfect headphone in my opinion is the funky midrange. These have some weird peaks in the upper midrange that make it sound like you're listening to JUST THE VOCALS through a poorly designed horn speaker, and only at certain times. It's so weird. I've heard wavoman's HF2's, and he doesn't use his as much, and the problem is horrendous on his pair, in fact, the midrange sounds really really bumped up on his pair of HF2's. Clearly the problem goes away as you use them, or there's manufactuing variation. Who knows, maybe I was having a bad day when I listened to his, but to me it sounded like the midrange was blaring. Regardless, the midrange on the Senn HD600's is a real selling point for them. In terms of sheer evenness and accuracy my two Grados can't touch them, and really, I doubt many headphones in this price range can compare. It simply sounds natural.

 

Oh, and the HF2 really is 90% an improvement over the HF1. You really can't compare the detail between the two, it's like comparing an SR60 and an HD800. The HF2 really does have much better resolution in the treble than the average Grado. The 10% that isn't an upgrade is the fact that the bass on the HF1's is pretty gratifying, and the weird midrange on the HF2 that isn't present on the HF1 at all.


Yeah, the HF-2 do have an upper mids peak compared to other phones, but you do get used to it the longer you listen to them.

post #1517 of 1528
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post




Yeah, the HF-2 do have an upper mids peak compared to other phones, but you do get used to it the longer you listen to them.



Exactly, and I'm finding that it's very hard to switch to other headphones after listening to the HF2's. They have a really nice overall sound.

post #1518 of 1528

All this talk about HF2. I think I will dust off my pair for a listen now.

post #1519 of 1528

Awesome headphones man!

 

I tended to think that the HF2s have more of a lower mid deficiency than an upper mid peak, the upper mid is not really peaking away from the treble - the K701s do that.  The K701s still have a little more lower midrange than the HF2s...but is severely lacking in bass to my tastes.  I think the nice bass impact of the HF2s help to balance the treble.

 

Having said that, this Earmax clone I purchased really helped the HF2 gain some of that missing lower midrange warmth and neutralise some of the uppermids and treble.

 

I really like this signature - its my second favorite overall sound signature, perfect for low level listening and after showering...listening to headphones with wet eardrums is like inserting a tube in the signal chain, a tube that dramatically rolls off highs!  This or I am indeed going mad.

 

confused.gif

post #1520 of 1528

Every time I consider selling the HF2's I listen to them and forget about the potential for moneys. They just have such a lovely sound signature. I listen to my AD700s and I'm like yeah, they're nice, but going back to the HF2's feels like going home.

post #1521 of 1528
Quote:
Originally Posted by SP Wild View Post

I tended to think that the HF2s have more of a lower mid deficiency than an upper mid peak


It does.

 

I'd describe the HF-2 sound signature as "balanced coloration". There's a boost in the mid-bass, a boost in the upper mid-range, and a big treble spike. The result is a headphone that is definitely colored, but sounds great for almost everything. Lower mid-range just gets lost between the peaks. When I switched to the LCD-2 I expected a lot more sub-bass. Instead, I was hearing lower mid-range for the first time. LCD-2's flat, extended treble beats it handily, but I have fond memories of the quick, detailed (and loud) HF-2 treble. Treble was really the highlight of the headphones. It made the RE0 IEMs sound like a tin can.

 

Actually, from memory, the LCD-2 sounds a lot like the HF-2. It's like an HF-2 without the peaks and dips. It was surprisingly easy to switch. I underestimated the HF-2 all this time.

 

Now I need to convince myself not to sell it. I'll listen to it again soon.

post #1522 of 1528

hmm.. HF2 sounded better than I remembered. I bet the analog-like Klimax DS has something to do with the improvement. 24/96 recordings and well-mastered 16/44 sound heavenly with HF2. I can see certainly hear LCD2 in HF2, except HF2 has better bass impact but not as transparent and colored mid. the coloration is double-edged sword, on some recordings it's quite pleasant. Listening to "incompatible" music can be weird and fatiguing. Very good headphone with limited application.

post #1523 of 1528
Quote:
Originally Posted by fraseyboy View Post

Every time I consider selling the HF2's I listen to them and forget about the potential for moneys. They just have such a lovely sound signature. I listen to my AD700s and I'm like yeah, they're nice, but going back to the HF2's feels like going home.


I have mine in the forums right now. I also happen to have them on my head and I'm thinking the same thing.

 

post #1524 of 1528

Just read about the "Tape mod" Works as advertised. Thanks, Tyll.

 

My HF-2 sounds SOTA now.

post #1525 of 1528

Are any HF-2 owners planning on getting the new PS500s?  I'm curious about a comparison, but my budget doesn't allow it now...

post #1526 of 1528
Quote:
Originally Posted by chesebert View Post

Just read about the "Tape mod" Works as advertised. Thanks, Tyll.

 

My HF-2 sounds SOTA now.



Chesebert, which tape mode are you referring to?

post #1527 of 1528


The one with a ring of scotch tape around the edge of the bowl
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dw1narso View Post





Chesebert, which tape mode are you referring to?



 

post #1528 of 1528
Quote:
Originally Posted by ButtUglyJeff View Post

Are any HF-2 owners planning on getting the new PS500s?  I'm curious about a comparison, but my budget doesn't allow it now...



ha i knew this question was gonna come up somewhere ... i think i am for sure... after owning and climbing up the grado chain and reading some prelim reviews i think the ps500 will be right up my alley.

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