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The Grado HF-2 Review/Comparison Thread - Page 33

post #481 of 1528
Bah immtbiker, you've been causing me a whole lotta anxiety.

Between worrying my pair will sound horrible, to worrying my pair will sound fantastic, to worrying my pair will need weeks of 24/7 pink noise and spectrum sweeps..
post #482 of 1528
Sorry . But I did state from the beginning that I had faith that they would reach "Trump Tower" status in the long run.

Smoke 'em if you got 'em!
post #483 of 1528
I do have to say it's good to know your phones sound good to you now. I can't say I completely believe they physically changed that much, but hey... if they sound good, they sound good.

I continue to wait for mine and hope they ship this Friday as scheduled (something about headbands...).

Come on HF2's... show up already. :P
post #484 of 1528
Quote:
Originally Posted by immtbiker View Post
After 60 hours of burn in, these headphones have changed drastically. They went from a painful, unlistenable pair of headphones, to a can with deep controlled bass, surprisingly pleasant mids, and semi-wide soundstage (un-Grado like) that leans a little towards the forward), and the highs, while being a little edgy and I feel the need to turn down the volume slightly, are clean, crisp and quite accurate.

I compared them to my HP-2's this morning and find that the mids on the HP1000 are superior, but the bass of the HF-2 is deeper (more subsonic) and has greater authority. The highs are in the same league.

Since the first group of people (CanJam group of ~24) did not hear what I heard right out of the box, and probably don't respect my listening opinions anymore after what I wrote earlier, I wonder if they had pairs that were deemed to be listened to at Canjam, with some double digit amounts of hours already on them.
I would like any of these members to listen to some of the newer HF-2's that are currently being delivered to take a listen and see if they sounded like the pairs that they received at Canjam.
I have been evaluating audio components for a heck of a long time and unless I am fighting a bout with Alzheimer's or Dementia (which is entirely possible), there's no way that anyone worth their salt could have listened to the pair that I received right out of the box, and say that they sounded even remotely pleasing.

As of now, besides the build quality, they are starting to become a world class headphone that I will be proud to have in my collection, as long as the edgy highs smooth out a little.
I was one of the original CanJam 24 and I agreed with your comments if you recall (based on my early impressions that I posted). And I compared them to #120 and found the same issues before burn-in vs the burned-in ones.

So, you aren't crazy or demented.
post #485 of 1528

Happy Birthday Jerry!!!!!!

Listening to the Dead album Dozin' at the Kinck. Quite a great album in it's own right. Listening on the HF-2's with 200+ hours on them. Great evening indeed. Great seperation (for a grado) and tremendous mid's great treble without any hint of sharpness. A tremendous experience. The cans have mellowed so much it's surprising All of you waiting on your order. Don't be discouraged. They're great. You won't regret the purchase. "At least I'm enjoying the ride, ride ride, ride, At least I'm enjoying the ride.........

Happy B Day my friend. What a long strange trip it's been!

Leo
post #486 of 1528
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post
So, you aren't crazy or demented.
Phew!!! So the voices that I'm hearing are OK?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luckyleo View Post
"At least I'm enjoying the ride, ride ride, ride, At least I'm enjoying the ride.........
I may be going to hell in a bucket, babe.... Jerry lives on in our souls.
post #487 of 1528
Quote:
Originally Posted by immtbiker View Post
Phew!!! So the voices that I'm hearing are OK? ...
That you're hearing voices is OK. Whether the voices are OK or not depends a lot on where they are coming from and what they are saying.

I have never been what anyone would call a Jerry Garcia or a Grateful Dead fan. However, over the decades, I have enjoyed tremendously the most popular songs and snippets from them, and, from time to time, weave phrases from their most well-known lyrics into my everyday speech.

And how to measure their influence on how much of the music that fills and enriches all of our lives? In addition to living in our souls, I wonder on how many of our hard drives Jerry lives as well - and from which continues to express himself to us. This is where Sound Quality leaps off of the Audiophile Scorecard as ratings and shows itself in the places where we live and work as whose voices we hear there, and how compellingly expressed to us they are.
post #488 of 1528
Hippies still live...
post #489 of 1528
Quote:
Originally Posted by immtbiker View Post
After 60 hours of burn in, these headphones have changed drastically. They went from a painful, unlistenable pair of headphones.....
Uh-oh. Mine sounded great after 1 hour. I'd better stop using them
post #490 of 1528
I've been comparing my new HF-2 #213 to my RS2 and MS-Pro over the past few days and here are my impressions...


GENERAL OBSERVATIONS
I put on around 70-80 hours of burn-in on the HF-2 using a bass heavy track (Jennifer Warnes' Rock You Gently, in case you wanted to know). Both the RS2 (buttonless) and MS-Pro are the older non-"i" versions and already have 100's of hours of burn-in/listening time. The "i" cable of the HF-2 is much thicker than the RS2/MS-Pro and a little shorter as well. I find it a little bulky and less flexible compared to the thinner cable of old. The metal cups of the HF-2 makes the cans noticably heavier than their all wood siblings so it exerts more pressure on the ears which I start to feel after extended wearing. Luckily, the padding of the HF-2 headband is noticably thicker than that of the RS2/MS-Pro so I don't feel the extra weight on top of the head and the newer leather is also more supple. I really like the industrial styling of the HF-1...very clean, simple, modern. In addition to the "F1" error, I really think it should have read "SERIES" instead of "HEADPHONES" on the cups. Curiously, I noticed it does say "GRADO HEAD-FI SERIES" on the box sticker.

ASSOCIATED EQUIPMENT
Equipment I used in my comparisons...
http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d1...9/f59334fc.jpg
CD transport: Music Hall CD25.2 on isolation platform
D/A converter: Ack! Industries dAck! v2.0 (with high output option)
Headphone amp: HeadAmp GS-1 (with optional DACT stepped-attenuator)
Cables: Ack! Industries The Digital Connect digital cable; Kimber Silver Streak IC; power cords: VH Audio Flavor 1 (transport), Zu Birth (amp)
I don't expect too many wiseguys are going to dismiss my listening impressions because they think my gear sucks.

TESTING METHODOLOGY
Here is a list and description of most of the music that I used for my comparisons...
http://www.head-fi.org/forums/3573179-post18.html
I would listen to a portion of a track several times in a row, concentrating on a certain aspect of the sound. After my brain "memorizes" the sonic signature of the headphone, I would quickly switch cans and note the differences I hear. I do this repeatedly until I'm confident with the differences I perceive. The dual output jacks of my GS-1 allows both cans to be plugged in simultaneously, greatly reducing the time between switching. I have also done comparisons by listening to the same songs on the way through with each headphone.

SOUND IMPRESSIONS
I will compare the HF-2 with the RS2 and MS-Pro, the latter two collectively. The differences between the HF-2 and either the RS2 or MS-Pro are sonically similar; it is just that with the MS-Pro the differences from the HF-2 are more pronounced than with the RS2. If you are interested, you can read my detailed comparative review of the RS2 vs MS-Pro here...
http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f4/gra...w-pics-354505/

- HF2's sound is quite louder than the RS2/MS-Pro. I often have to turn the volume on the amp down a click or two when switching cans (yes, my knob literally "clicks"...I have a stepped-attenuator). I wonder if the difference in loudness has to do with the HF-2 pads being less deep, which would place the drivers a little closer to the ears. A pic (RS2 on left, HF-2 on right)...
http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d1...9/IMG_3800.jpg
It could also be that the HF-2 uses a more efficient transducer. Only Grado knows for sure.
-The soundstage of the HF-2 sounds alot flatter, more 2D, and more forward compared to the RS2/MS-Pro, even after adjusting for volume differences. The MS-Pro really excels in this department over the other two. The HF-2 sounds drier (less airy) than the RS2/MS-Pro. The HF-2 has a diminished sense of space. The word slightly "compressed" comes to my mind.
-The HF-2's bass reaches down more than the RS2. The MS-Pro seems to extend down slightly more, but the HF-2 bass is MUCH more prominant and kind of bloated. On songs that have a strong bass line throughout, the HF-2's bass tends to overdominate (drown out) the rest of the sound spectrum (ex U2 Bullet the Blue Sky). The HF-2 bass is also less articulate than with the RS2/MS-Pro, sounds slightly slurred.
-The treble of the HF-2 sounds noticably rolled off, which gives it a darker, less bright sonic signature. Cymbals clearly have less sparkle and sizzle than with the RS2/MS-Pro.
- The decay of notes doesn't seem as pronounced as the RS2/MS-Pro.
- The attack on notes sounds more softer with the HF-2. The word "rounded" comes to mind.
- The midrange of the HF-2 sounds the most neutral of the three. The all woody Grados have the famous coloration that gives vocals more texture, guitars twang, body to acoustic instruments. With the HF-2, that coloration is smooth over, diminished. Violins on the HF-2 have a lot less texture. This neutrality sometimes has a plus. On some vocals, like Diana Krall, the woody Grados can add slight "honkiness" and "shoutiness" to the vocals. The HF-2 doesn't do this as much.

CONCLUSIONS
Of the three headphones, I much prefer the MS-Pro. Ever since I've owned it, it has always been my favorite headphone. I've sold off my other main headphones (k701, HD650/Zu) once I got it. I also prefer the RS2 over the HF-2. The woody Grados have that sonic coloration that I have gotten used to over the years. Even though I never have found any Grado to be so, I think the HF-2 would be the perfect Grado for someone who perceives Grados to be too bright and too aggressive sounding. If you listen to the HF-2 and still think so, then Grados are definately not for you.

Even though it is hardly a substantial (i.e. lame) comparison, the HF-2 reminds me of the MS2i that I owned a couple of years ago. Heavy in the bass, rolled off treble, overall neutral sound. I kind of thought the MS2i that I got might have been "defective" in some way considering all the praise they get on Head-Fi. Nonetheless, I sold them and the new owner LOVED them, so that means there wasn't anything wrong with them. It is also worth noting that did not really care for the much beloved PS-1 that I listened to at a meet. Again, too much bass. This might better put into perspective my listening preferences.

It is important to emphasize that my comments about the HF-2 are in relation to the other two headphones. Listening to them exclusively, they sound quite nice, with the exception of the sometimes overpowering bass. It is only when I switch to listening to the RS2/MS-Pro that I note its relative "deficiencies".

Anyways, these are my honest opinions. I hope I am not going to rock the boat too much.

In case you are wondering what I'm planning on doing with my HF-2...hey, I'm going to be completely upfront. I'm boxing them up and storing them away for "investment" purposes. Seeing how the value of the HF-1 went up drastically after they went out of production, I predict the same for the HF-2 towards year's end. I'm going to list them in the FS forum when the market value is "right," heh-heh.
post #491 of 1528
Intesting comparisons Kontai.

Out of scientific interest, did you try the HF2 with the pads from your RS2s/MS Pros? I slapped a pair of nicely broken in bowls on mine as soon as i got them (i like them firm, but not too firm) and also had to stretch the headband out some to alleviate the pressure on the ears. I wonder if this is why i'm not hearing the bloated bass that some of y'all are reporting. They're more bass heavy than my RS1s (same era pads) but not to their detriment.
post #492 of 1528
Quote:
Originally Posted by kontai69 View Post

In case you are wondering what I'm planning on doing with my HF-2...hey, I'm going to be completely upfront. I'm boxing them up and storing them away for "investment" purposes. Seeing how the value of the HF-1 went up drastically after they went out of production, I predict the same for the HF-2 towards year's end. I'm going to list them in the FS forum when the market value is "right," heh-heh.
You should put at least 200-250 hours on them before you box them up for storage and highway robbery. You might just change your mind about the sound (be sure to only use bowls).
post #493 of 1528
I would think many more hours would be needed before making a valid comparison. At 60 to 70 hours, I doubt they are even near burn/break in.
post #494 of 1528
are the HF-2's being shipped with flats now? i thought the bowls were standard...
post #495 of 1528
Quote:
Originally Posted by kontai69 View Post
I've been comparing my new HF-2 #213 to my RS2 and MS-Pro over the past few days and here are my impressions...
Those HF-2s are really nice looking cans, no doubt about that! Thanks for your impressions - very helpful.
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