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The Grado HF-2 Review/Comparison Thread - Page 34

post #496 of 1528
Quote:
Originally Posted by takezo View Post
are the HF-2's being shipped with flats now? i thought the bowls were standard...
NO current Grado headphone ship with flats. HF-2s come with bowls.
post #497 of 1528
thanks for the clarification regarding the flats and bowls.
post #498 of 1528
Quote:
Originally Posted by takezo View Post
thanks for the clarification regarding the flats and bowls.
fwiw, the bowls that come with the hf-2 feel more "flat-like" than the bowls that are on my rs1. i think the pads on my hf2 were compressed in the box long enough that they haven't sprung back to their full size.

having just returned from a month of holiday, i'm finally listening to my hf2 for the first time (yes, they were sitting in the box for the last 4 weeks in my apt.).

my first impression is...they have huge bass...much more than my rs1 (with bowls). the compressed pads have something to do with it...i'll switch pads later and compare. they are very pleasant-sounding and i'm very impressed. between the hf2 and the k501, i think i could be happy with most of the kind of listening i do. very nice, indeed.
post #499 of 1528
Quote:
Originally Posted by kontai69 View Post
SOUND IMPRESSIONS
- 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.
-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 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.
Thanks for your impressions and I agree with most of what you wrote. I actually found the HF2 to be the softer sounding Grado though. Whenever i have them plugged in, i always find myself turning the volume knob a little bit higher.

Mine has been about 300 hours on them now. i've been burning them in like crazy with pink noise, white noise, everything. i decided to stop burning it in and counting hours for now and just let it rest. the sound did improve a little from when it first came out of the box, however, it is still not up to par as my 325i or RS1i.
post #500 of 1528
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post
Hippies still live...
Circa 1984:



Heyyyy!!! How come when I brought up the necessities of burn-in for these cans, I got "burned" at the stake, but since then multiple reports from other members have stated similar results and their flame suits hardly have a mark on them.

Please don't answer this, because no matter what, I can't win this argument
post #501 of 1528
Quote:
Originally Posted by kontai69 View Post

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.
Thanks for taking the time to write your review. I was a little confused about the comparison to the MS-2i's. While I could see the MS-2i's being described as neutral, I have a harder time seeing how you would perceive them as being bass-heavy and having a rolled-off treble. I would probably describe their tonal quality as the inverse; with more treble, less bass.

Your general description reminds me of the HF-1's. I'm thinking Jude's initial description of the HF-2 as an improved HF-1 is a good characterization.

Having owned both the MS-2i and the HF-1, as well as having heard the RS-1, the HF-2's description sounds eerily similar to the HF-1's. I've heard the HF-2's described as having better soundstage than an RS-2, so it's still unclear to me where they lie on the Grado spectrum.

I wish I was convinced that the HF-2's are a clear step above the RS-1. I'm going to have to wait until I can audition them myself to be able to settle that question. There's been too much variation of opinion. If they're not a clear improvement, I think I'll follow the same path you're going to.

On the whole, I'm not terribly encouraged. That being said, I'd predicted before they were released that John Grado would not likely release an HF can that would be considered technically superior to the RS-1/MS-pro. Still, I'm not going to sweat it until I can personally give them a whirl. There's an incredible range of opinion on these cans....
post #502 of 1528
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamato8 View Post
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.
And how many hours do they need?
post #503 of 1528
the HF2 sound pretty good. i would like to balance my pair. reluctant to do it though.
post #504 of 1528
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rav View Post

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.
I forgot to mention that the bowl pads on my RS2/MS-Pro were crushed, so they are a little lower profile than "normal" bowls and would place the drivers closer correspondingly. I did not do anything to the HF-2 bowls. That said, I'm reluctant to pull the pads off my older cans, especially on my MS-Pro's. I'm afraid that the larger lip of the HF-2 will stretch the pads out such that they won't fit snugly on the cups again when I switch back. Right now, my cans sound great and I don't want to possibly disturb things if I don't have to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post
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).
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamato8 View Post
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.
I've been on Head-Fi long enough (4.5 years) and was expecting to get these types of comments. With all due respects, it seems like no matter how much burn in one puts on, someone will comment that they need more, especially if a review does not agree with their own observations. I've seen this ad nausem with the HD650. I would imagine these comments won't be made if I said they sounded much better than the RS2/MS-Pro.

FWIW, they did sound a little harsh right out of the box but have settled after 12hrs of "burn-in." I honestly don't notice any changes from then to now (70-80 hours). Nonetheless, I guess I'll run them another couple days (50 hours) and see what happens.

Edit: I should emphasize that when I "burn in", I don't listen to the cans the whole time while doing so. I set my player on repeat with a bass heavy song and let them run for hours on end. Therefore, any changes I observe would be more due to physical changes rather than psychoacoustic adaptation. As stated in my review, my HF-2's have been playing music for 70-80 hrs. I only have a few hours of actual on the head time.
post #505 of 1528
Quote:
Originally Posted by kontai69 View Post
I forgot to mention that the bowl pads on my RS2/MS-Pro were crushed, so they are a little lower profile than "normal" bowls and would place the drivers closer correspondingly. I did not do anything to the HF-2 bowls. That said, I'm reluctant to pull the pads off my older cans, especially on my MS-Pro's. I'm afraid that the larger lip of the HF-2 will stretch the pads out such that they won't fit snugly on the cups again when I switch back. Right now, my cans sound great and I don't want to possibly disturb things if I don't have to.
i'm actually listening to the HF2's right now with the worn out bowl pads (slightly crushed and very soft) from my 325i. i can say that with the worn out pads it has a bit more clarity to the sound, less of that bloated bass/veil feel. the HF2 definitely has better texture to the sound especially in the bass area. but the 325i has beter detail. the 325i still has the wider soundstage though...for now.
post #506 of 1528
Quote:
Originally Posted by kugino View Post
fwiw, the bowls that come with the hf-2 feel more "flat-like" than the bowls that are on my rs1. i think the pads on my hf2 were compressed in the box long enough that they haven't sprung back to their full size.
I had mentioned earlier on that the pads are stretched a bit thinner because the circumference of the wood around the driver is bigger than on other Grados. I slit a wider area on the inside of the pads (using a disposable razor blade) so that they fit normally without stretching/flattening.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Monkey View Post
And how many hours do they need?
As many hours as it takes until they are sounding better, or different, or the same but the brain has adjusted to the sound.
post #507 of 1528
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beagle View Post
I had mentioned earlier on that the pads are stretched a bit thinner because the circumference of the wood around the driver is bigger than on other Grados. I slit a wider area on the inside of the pads (using a disposable razor blade) so that they fit normally without stretching/flattening.
.
aah, good to know. thanks for the info.

i'm also thinking about balancing them, but reluctant to do so. i can certainly wait until i finalize my amp choice to make the decision...
post #508 of 1528
Quote:
Originally Posted by SemiAudiophile View Post
Thanks for your impressions and I agree with most of what you wrote. I actually found the HF2 to be the softer sounding Grado though. Whenever i have them plugged in, i always find myself turning the volume knob a little bit higher.

Mine has been about 300 hours on them now. i've been burning them in like crazy with pink noise, white noise, everything. i decided to stop burning it in and counting hours for now and just let it rest. the sound did improve a little from when it first came out of the box, however, it is still not up to par as my 325i or RS1i.
Well, I have no doubt these are better than my old SR-325i and RS-2, and although they are different from my APS V3 cabled RS-1 I like them just as much. I burned mine in with music because that's what headphones are designed for, although I might use pink noise for electronics occasionally. It would be interesting to know if music vs pink noise is better or not.
post #509 of 1528
Quote:
Originally Posted by kontai69 View Post
I've been on Head-Fi long enough (4.5 years) and was expecting to get these types of comments. With all due respects, it seems like no matter how much burn in one puts on, someone will comment that they need more, especially if a review does not agree with their own observations. I've seen this ad nausem with the HD650. I would imagine these comments won't be made if I said they sounded much better than the RS2/MS-Pro.

FWIW, they did sound a little harsh right out of the box but have settled after 12hrs of "burn-in." I honestly don't notice any changes from then to now (70-80 hours). Nonetheless, I guess I'll run them another couple days (50 hours) and see what happens.

Edit: I should emphasize that when I "burn in", I don't listen to the cans the whole time while doing so. I set my player on repeat with a bass heavy song and let them run for hours on end. Therefore, any changes I observe would be more due to physical changes rather than psychoacoustic adaptation. As stated in my review, my HF-2's have been playing music for 70-80 hrs. I only have a few hours of actual on the head time.
I find that my older HF-2 with over 300 hours (stopped counting then) still sound better than my son's 100 hour HF-2, although his still sound better than they did out of the box. I did 250 hours on my HF-2 with only a once a day listen during those 10-12 days, and they had about 24 hours on them from CanJam demos when I took them home. I just know that I didn't think they needed any more after that point and I stopped intentional burn-in.
post #510 of 1528
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post
Well, I have no doubt these are better than my old SR-325i and RS-2, and although they are different from my APS V3 cabled RS-1 I like them just as much. I burned mine in with music because that's what headphones are designed for, although I might use pink noise for electronics occasionally. It would be interesting to know if music vs pink noise is better or not.
i actually used a little bit of both but mostly pink noise. i am sure yours and many other's HF2's sound as good as they say they are. i still have faith that mines will sound as good, just waiting for that moment...
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