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The Grado HF-2 Review/Comparison Thread - Page 35

post #511 of 1528
sound is relative, so if 1 or 2 don't like them out of 500 dont freak out. This grado though still a grado removes the high end sizzle and Im SOOO glad for it, plus they are so much more comfortable than HF-1 stock. I wish people would not hype up great phones so much that some expect better than PS1000 and end up dissappointed and disliking a phone expecting the best of the best. When it is a great piece of audio gear and I love mine, just had to get a bass can and a open soundstage to complete the spectrum.

HF-2s are enough for me to feel worth my money, and that is something because ESW10 were a huge dissappointment for the price.
post #512 of 1528
Do the "Comfy" pads fit on the HF-2? I think I'm going to order a set of the HD414 pads to try out. Right now I am enjoying them the most with the Flats. Completely hypocritical of what I previously stated about the flats.
post #513 of 1528
Having had the HF-2's on hand for a couple of weeks and having had the opportunity over the last few days to get in a lot of listening, I think I'm ready now to start posting about them, though I will post formal impressions in the next week or so.

To me, I feel they are refined 325i's (the previous i's not the ones with the new cable). I think that the driver used is very close to the 325i's where the sound literally jumps off the driver. I think I read Aaron (immtbiker) felt that they were as hard hitting as HP-1000's with excellent, powerful bass and mids. I concur with this. Where I always felt the 325i's fell short was in how upfront the sound was and how the highs sounded after an extended listen. The 325i's helped over the 325's but next to the RS-1's or PS-1's at the time, I would always go for those over the 325i's despite them being more dynamic to my ears.

The HF-2's retain the dynamic punch of the 325i's but with better highs and a richer and more linear sound. These headphones are dryer than my vintage RS-1's, PS'1s or PS-1000's but they are more liquid than the 325i's that I remember.

I'll have a chance to directly compare in a couple of weeks when Beagle and I get together and I get a chance to listen to his 325i's as well as the 200's for comparison.

In terms of headspace, the HF-2's have a big soundstage but a narrower headstage where the music is still very up close and personal, yet the notes can trail off into the distance with easily audible effect.

For me, comparing as I have against the PS-1's and PS-1000's, I don't know that I would call the HF-2's baby one or the other. I would rather say they are nearly perfected 325i. The HF-2's don't have the space the larger cupped Grados possess. They aren't as liquid sounding as the very retro RS-1's, PS-1's or PS-1000's but are more liquid than current RS-1's and GS-1000's (no idea on GS-1000i's).

They are very fast phones too but the bass isn't anaemic by any standards which seems to be the tendency with responsive headphones that are defined as fast (Etys, Qualia, Stax).

The most defining sound for me is the unreal palpable snap to the notes, particularly bass and mid to lower midrange. The sound is so lively and jumps right at you but in a non-exaggerated way. By that I mean it doesn't sound fake. This to me is very reminiscent of high efficiency horns, where the dynamics are a distinguishing factor and one where many a listener becomes so addicted they won't settle for any other type of speaker.
post #514 of 1528
I agree, it is just perfect at it's level. This means that an HF-3 was inmind as John didn't develop this on a RS-1 base. Zanth is the resident Grado master and I wholeheartedly agree with what he said yet without having owned 325s this makes me think that a future HF3 will be utter bliss, until then I am loving my HF-2
post #515 of 1528
I'm still anxiously waiting. The varying reviews in themself don't bother me if it's just 'different strokes for different folks' but if it's a real variability between the phones
post #516 of 1528
Quote:
Originally Posted by DoYouRight View Post
sound is relative, so if 1 or 2 don't like them out of 500 dont freak out. This grado though still a grado removes the high end sizzle and Im SOOO glad for it, plus they are so much more comfortable than HF-1 stock.
Co-signed. Gados tended to be hot in the high end for my taste. The HF-2 brings them back in line.
post #517 of 1528

NT


Edited by 33Leon - 12/9/12 at 3:22pm
post #518 of 1528
Reading this thread is driving me crazy i have been waiting for my pair for what feels like forever. But to be fair i did order them in late June. Also i asked to be charged straight away so i wouldn't worry about keeping the money in my account.

So i dont have any indicators of when mine are shipping lol.
post #519 of 1528
Thank you very much for taking the time to write this comparison. I do think that the HF-2's you are hearing will much improve with time. It sounds like yours are still progressively becoming like the HF-2's I heard. The ones I heard had very nice and detailed highs. They can almost be considered sibilant but not quite. The bass was also very tight and controlled. I believe the low bass was a little stronger but it was in a good way without being bloated or muddy, I think they were pretty well balanced between low/mid bass.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 33Leon View Post
Chronos Asked for a comparison to the W5000's. As I have both sitting on my desk I'll oblige. W5000's have the inner foam from a set of DT880 velvet pads stuffed behind the leather for comfort, but are otherwise stock.

Comparing a flagship with thousands of hours on it with a mid range can @80hours is not even close to fair. But I'll run with it.

Setup: EAC ripped .flac's via Foobar2k, Juli@ optical to Presonus Central Station.

I've been trying to compare these two for the last few days, but I can't because the HF2's keep on bloody changing.

Frequency response. The HF2's have far more bass, it started out very muddy but is gradually cleaning up. Lower bass is still dominating mid bass, but that's also improving. Mids are very similar to the W5k's. High's are slightly muted. Cymbals don't sound even close to right.

Soundstage. The HF2's can't compete with the W5k's. HF-2's have a little bit of soundstage, but notes don't decay quickly enough to provide instrument separation, everything melds together.

Details. Again, This is the strongpoint of the W5k's, with repeated listens I can pick out details with the W5000's that are just not there with the HF2's.

Random Observations: I've listened to tracks where I know there is sibilance in the recording and it's almost not there with the HF2's, this frequency area also seems to be what's making cymbals sound so muted. Live recorded drums just can't compete with the W5k. Dynamic range is greater with the W5k's when a track has a quiet moment before a big burst of sound, HF2's have more bass/low mid slam. HF2's are far kinder to poor recordings. Comfort hasn't been an issue yet, I've not worn these for an extended duration but having bent the headband out a bit for my big head they sit fine.

I know this has been very one sided, but the longer I've had the HF2's they longer they've stayed on my head every time I've tried them again. They're very different beasts to the W5k's. As it stands, these are staying out and they're keeping the second headphone out of my Presonus CS. While they're still improving I'll keep on listening.
post #520 of 1528
Comparing the HF2's to all other things I have's made my mind spin. After a while, things start sounding the same. I'm happy with my SR60i with bowls. I don't need anything better to enjoy my music.
post #521 of 1528
Instead of brain burn-in that is brain burn-out. It can happen to all of us if we listen to too many headphones at a meet, especially as volumes tend to climb over the hours to combat the noise around us.
post #522 of 1528
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post
especially as volumes tend to climb over the hours to combat the noise around us.
sometimes the volumes I hear others listen at during our meet ups is utterly insane, I can't image doing that to my poor ears.

my HF-2's continue to break in, sounding better every day, I really want to get the cable replaced as this stock thing is Buckley and bizarre, too much material laying on my upper chest while listening to it. I've experimented with having the cables rest behind my head, but that isn't actually working out too well from a comfort standpoint either.
post #523 of 1528
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post
Instead of brain burn-in that is brain burn-out. It can happen to all of us if we listen to too many headphones at a meet, especially as volumes tend to climb over the hours to combat the noise around us.
Absolutely! The benchmark review by Darth Nut of his beloved Omega II's required him taking a major hiatus (years) from headphone listening. He had been so burnt out by listening and when life hit as well, he just kept the phones off his head, letting his mind wrap around what he heard and from there he began again providing the world with the most amazing headphone review ever. Even defining new terms to describe headphone listening.

I've tried this as well, taking up to 6 months off from listening to reset my brain. This works well for a few things:

1) giving the ears/mind a rest
2) reacquainting oneself with what one owns and rediscovering the initial enticements
3) understanding and ideally better articulating what one hears and what one wants in future gear


When I started this heinous merry-go-round of spending I was pleased as punch with an SR-60 being fed from a Panasonic PCDP. Then I lusted after the RS-1/RA-1 combo and a good front-end. This only wet my appetite for this hobby, but having taken a half-year hiatus, I began my listening first with just some Koss KSC-35's and an iPod, then the SR60's and the iPod eventually moving up to my current setup. I was able to understand the wonders of each component while also clearly identifying the short comings and what I wanted to improve upon in my rig.

This incidentally can fully curb the desire to upgrade, helping to understand that much "upgrading" is really "side-stepping" but as in my case over time it also means spending more time and money getting everything just right for this OC tendencies bloke.
post #524 of 1528
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zanth View Post
Absolutely! The benchmark review by Darth Nut of his beloved Omega II's required him taking a major hiatus (years) from headphone listening. He had been so burnt out by listening and when life hit as well, he just kept the phones off his head, letting his mind wrap around what he heard and from there he began again providing the world with the most amazing headphone review ever. Even defining new terms to describe headphone listening.

I've tried this as well, taking up to 6 months off from listening to reset my brain. This works well for a few things:

1) giving the ears/mind a rest
2) reacquainting oneself with what one owns and rediscovering the initial enticements
3) understanding and ideally better articulating what one hears and what one wants in future gear


When I started this heinous merry-go-round of spending I was pleased as punch with an SR-60 being fed from a Panasonic PCDP. Then I lusted after the RS-1/RA-1 combo and a good front-end. This only wet my appetite for this hobby, but having taken a half-year hiatus, I began my listening first with just some Koss KSC-35's and an iPod, then the SR60's and the iPod eventually moving up to my current setup. I was able to understand the wonders of each component while also clearly identifying the short comings and what I wanted to improve upon in my rig.

This incidentally can fully curb the desire to upgrade, helping to understand that much "upgrading" is really "side-stepping" but as in my case over time it also means spending more time and money getting everything just right for this OC tendencies bloke.
I only take breaks up to 1-2 weeks if I need one, but never 6 months.
post #525 of 1528
I didn't consciously decide 6 months it just ended up that with school and work at the time, I was overwhelmed and my main rig was offline for 6 months because of it. But 1-2 weeks I think would be more than enough for most people to catch their bearings.

Another trick I use is to only use one type of technology for a period of time, so IEMs vs. circumaurals for instance for a few weeks then switch.
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