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The Grado HF-2 Review/Comparison Thread - Page 38

post #556 of 1528
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zanth View Post
Listening to HF-2's with salad bowls...

will soon compare against the PS-1000's, RS-1's comparison will have to wait another day as it is already getting late and I just returned home from work.
Oh boy, definitely awaiting that review!!
post #557 of 1528
Now I have to stay up late.
post #558 of 1528
Heh, I'm heading to bed soon but am still listening. Will post some comments tomorrow, but for now I will say this: HF-2's + salad bowls = fine fine music. This is the first Grado that was not specifically released with the large bowls to sound good with them, at least to my ears. It helps close the gap between the HF-2 and PS-1000 in this way.
post #559 of 1528
damn this really makes me want to purchase a set of both bagels and flats so I can get each kind of flavor when I feel like it
post #560 of 1528
Nice. The past reviews weren't so positive. I'm mostly interested in the salad bowls for the comfort factor.
post #561 of 1528
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zanth View Post
Heh, I'm heading to bed soon but am still listening. Will post some comments tomorrow, but for now I will say this: HF-2's + salad bowls = fine fine music. This is the first Grado that was not specifically released with the large bowls to sound good with them, at least to my ears. It helps close the gap between the HF-2 and PS-1000 in this way.
With my limited PS-1000 experience being a few tries at CanJam, I thought the HF-2 mids with bowls were similar to the PS-1000 mids with salad bowls (bagels) - being somewhat forward and rich, although the PS-1000 soundstage was a little bigger.

Then at home I tried the HF-2 with the salad bowls and thought the mids were more withdrawn like with the GS-1000 which I did not like. I still tend to prefer standard bowls with my HF-2.
post #562 of 1528
For whatever reason, I never bothered to try the HF2 with the GS bowls, but you guys gave me that idea. And dang...
post #563 of 1528
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sakhai View Post
For whatever reason, I never bothered to try the HF2 with the GS bowls, but you guys gave me that idea. And dang...
...so was that good or bad?

if it's indeed good, Todd might soon see a whole bunch of orders for salad bowls.
post #564 of 1528
Quote:
Originally Posted by SemiAudiophile View Post
...so was that good or bad?

if it's indeed good, Todd might soon see a whole bunch of orders for salad bowls.
It sounds good, but I can't describe the sound. I've sworn off analyzing sound for a while. I'd rather just enjoy the overall music. For now, I'm okay with sibilant this and recessed that.

And why would they go to Todd when B&H has free shipping and lower prices?

BTW, if anyone wants an RS1 for 550, B&H has one up.
post #565 of 1528
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sakhai View Post
It sounds good, but I can't describe the sound. I've sworn off analyzing sound for a while. I'd rather just enjoy the overall music. For now, I'm okay with sibilant this and recessed that.

And why would they go to Todd when B&H has free shipping and lower prices?

BTW, if anyone wants an RS1 for 550, B&H has one up.
i just checked and the prices on the salad bowls look the same to me at $45. B&H does offer free shipping though, but they are out of stock and don't get them until 7-14 days.

i don't see the RS1 for $550...

i would go to Todd because i've been very satisfied with his customer service and wouldn't mind paying a little extra for that same satisfaction. that's just me though.
post #566 of 1528
Quote:
Originally Posted by SemiAudiophile View Post
i just checked and the prices on the salad bowls look the same to me at $45. B&H does offer free shipping though, but they are out of stock and don't get them until 7-14 days.

i don't see the RS1 for $550...

i would go to Todd because i've been very satisfied with his customer service and wouldn't mind paying a little extra for that same satisfaction. that's just me though.
I got my bowls from B&H for $15 shipped. They'll forever be my source for bowls.

The RS1's are there for $550. I'm looking at the ad now. In stock.

Grado | RS1 - Dynamic Open Air Supra-Aural Stereo | RS1 | B&H

B&H has a very good customer track record. They have an A+ rating on the better business bureau. So far, Todd's only ignored my emails. Am I required to call him to get service? Yea okay....
post #567 of 1528
does anybody know what's the impedance of hf2? suppose it's 32ohm, just like most grado right? i was amping it with my darkvoice 337 and i thought it's almost like the same like my 600ohm beyer volume wise. that's around 10 o'clock. is that possible? my less than 100 ohm akgs uses around 8 o'clock.
post #568 of 1528

Short Review

I've got nothing to do at the moment, so here's a short review:

For the purposes of this test I'm using the rig stated in my signature, and using the following CDs:

1. Marcus Miller - Silver Rain (Japanese Press)
2. Dave Weckl Band - Synergy (US Press)
3. Dave Matthews Band - Crash (Australian Press)
4. Sarah Chang - Fire & Ice (US Press)
5. Dream Theater - Octavarium (US Press)

As of the moment the HF2 has been burnt in for around 60 hours.

Design

Score: B
What can I say? It's pure head-fi pornography. I love the beautifully machined metal cups teamed with the black leather and retro design. It's like an old aston martin. Just like an old aston though, there are some problems. The rods are not squarish like the older rs1's (that's expected, but it's still a design flaw) so the heavy cups are loose on the rods and fall really easily when held by the headband, the etching on the cups are not right somehow, it's sort of "out of focus" and fuzzy, and I miss the button in the middle of the grill. Oh, and the pads are horrendously uncomfortable. Nevertheless, it's really pretty and photogenic.

Build

Score: C+
It's typical of Grado really. Bad overflowing glue, illegible serial number carvings, bad fit and stitching, loose insulation on the wires from the cups to the y-joint. Not to mention the Head-F1 fiasco. Strangely though, they seem to have an air of invincibility to them, it's probably the weight of the metal, but the cans seem like they can handle a beating then fixed with nothing but spit and elbow grease.

Sound

Treble Score: B+
Sharp, piercing, unbearable highs are what I've always associated Grados with. The HF2, is strangely civilized. I'm not saying that it's laid back, no no no... it's as tame as a grizzly can get. These babies are really quick, every strum of the guitar, every drum fill, every note is clearly defined, crisp and exciting. But, because of its relentless assault on your ears, they can get fatiguing really quickly, moreover, they still require a little refinement, smoothening of the edges a little, maybe a little more "air" and room for the music to breathe. I suppose they'll improve after massive amounts of burn-in (like with the SR-325i). What I absolutely love about the treble is its ability to be together with the music, yet unaffected by the rest of the frequencies. For example, on a bass heavy track, the bass can be going crazy while the treble is totally unfazed. Through other cans the only way this will work is if the music is disjointed as well, but, there's none of that with the HF2.

Mid Range Score: A+
SWEET. Guitars really shine through the HF2 they just sound right. The HF2 gives the music body and weight with just the right amount of mid-bass. Again, just like the treble, it's precise and quick on the draw. Definitely my favorite part about the HF2s.

Bass Score: B
Bass heads rejoice! If you've ordered a HF2, get ready for copious amounts of bass pounding against your skull. Forget about bone conduction technology, these dynamics will conduct your entire skeleton. Ok... maybe I'm exaggerating a little, but seriously, the HF2 is a beast. If you turn it up enough, you can actually feel the bass (not recommended if you treasure your ears though). So that's bass quantity covered, like 20 times over, but what about quality? I'm disappointed really, I expected deeper bass and more control, but the HF2 just can't handle bass properly. It's relatively loose and muddy (it gets worse if I use Grado flats). I doubt people will notice this upon first listen though since as I mentioned earlier, the HF2 has the weird quality of sounding right despite the heavy bass (i.e. the treble and mids aren't affected), pay close attention, then it will become apparent. Again, hopefully they will improve after burn-in. (Shoo... non-believers... shoo... a guy and hope can't he?)

Separation Score: A+
The separation is amazing, every instrument is in it's place, everything is defined with pin point precision. I've noticed details in the music that totally escaped the grasp of my K501, my Senns, my speakers, my SF5... everything. It's like listening to my music all over again. Really cool.

Other Stuff

As with all Grados, the HF2 does not have much of a soundstage, the music sounds like it's set in a tiny studio rather than in a performance hall (like my K501). Also, I'm picking up radio sounds off my amp, what's with the low impedance and high sensitivity guys? Who's plugging in a HF2 into a ipod? Also, I've noticed something I just can't explain. The HF2 seem to emphasize the music rather than the vocalist. It's like the instruments are surrounding the vocalist, drowning him/her out.

Conclusion

Final score: between B and B+
If you're thinking why the weird score, it's because I feel that it's a little cruel to score it at a B, it sounds too good for that, but given the price point, miserable build and all the niggles here and there, it's just not a B+ or A headphone. For those people who are too lazy to read what's written above, haul your butt back up there and read, I'm not going to do a recap. All I would say is that the HF2 is absolutely unique. Nothing sounds like it, not even other Grados. They are quite genre specific, classical music just sounds weird through it and vocals don't work (as the singer takes a back seat among the orchestration). Also, the HF2 is not a particularly emotive headphone, I wouldn't call it clinical, but as amazing as it is, it leaves me a little cold.

Ok, I'm bored of typing now. I hope you guys will enjoy yours when it eventually arrives.

Just my 2 cents. Enjoy!

More pictures:




(This looks similar to the previous photo with a cool sepia effect)
post #569 of 1528
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post
With my limited PS-1000 experience being a few tries at CanJam, I thought the HF-2 mids with bowls were similar to the PS-1000 mids with salad bowls (bagels) - being somewhat forward and rich, although the PS-1000 soundstage was a little bigger.

Then at home I tried the HF-2 with the salad bowls and thought the mids were more withdrawn like with the GS-1000 which I did not like. I still tend to prefer standard bowls with my HF-2.
At least with the units I have here there is no doubt at all that the mids on the HF2 are FAR more forward and prominent than the PS-1000's no matter what pads are used. It isn't even close at all.
post #570 of 1528
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sakhai View Post
I got my bowls from B&H for $15 shipped. They'll forever be my source for bowls.

The RS1's are there for $550. I'm looking at the ad now. In stock.

Grado | RS1 - Dynamic Open Air Supra-Aural Stereo | RS1 | B&H

B&H has a very good customer track record. They have an A+ rating on the better business bureau. So far, Todd's only ignored my emails. Am I required to call him to get service? Yea okay....

We are discussing the large bowls not the regular ones. I don't see the large (salad/super) bowls for $15.
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