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Grado PS-1000 initial impressions - Page 3

post #31 of 318
Originally Posted by Bredin View Post
Well, they sure don't seem like the best headphones in the world to me. I'm looking for a natural and flat sound(will not be annoying over the time, and good recordings will come to a whole new level.)

Coloration is the work of the devil. It might sound good in the beginning, because the coloration brings some elements and details forward. But after a while, you will know that it sounds wrong.

Like those audiophiles that spends 100000$ on their system and haven´t spent a $ on the acoustics... It might sound great with that coloration on CDs with a low amount of information, or bring the dynamics forward. But the soundstage and details are compromised due bringing other things in front.

I was thinking of getting the PS1000, but it seems like Alessandro MS PRO is a better headphone for me. Even tho PS1000 are "the best headphones ever".
I actually agree with this to some degree. I don't think he was making the claim "best ever". That claim doesn't belong to any single headphone anyway. There are many phones that are at the very top and do different things well.

I wasn't looking for neutral phones, but all my colored phones went away except the GS-1000s, and I'm left with the K-1000 and HP-2 which happens to amazing me at each listen even though I've owned them for a long time. BUT the GS-1000 is a nice compliment for it's particular coloration (that a word?).

Although my taste is like yours in that regard, I know that many don't tire of the colored phones. SO, I have to say that there is nothing wrong with coloration in general, and it's more about preference.
post #32 of 318
I don't think a few of you have read his words correctly. He said that they are NOT the best headphones ever. Not the other way around.
post #33 of 318
keep in touch Piotr , i want to know how they sound after 400 hours
post #34 of 318
Thanks for you, Piotr Ryka
It's the first proper PS1000 impression around here, that's the shame that they were not "burned in" ( "Burned in" Grado headphones are far way better than these out of box ). I am looking forward for your "burned in" PS1000 review. I hope, it will show soon.
Again, congrats
post #35 of 318
Has anyone any impression fully burned in PS-1000 yet ?
post #36 of 318
I think I have some... The same pair spent several more days playing radio boradcast and noise (switched), some music, and then several hours of The Roots "Phrenology" CD in order to provide high amplitude low bass of different genres. The last was going in my house on my solid state amp, providing very low output impedance thus high damping factor and strong transducer control. I also verified the maximum volume level each half an hour to check the progress of burning in as the limit of clear sounding bass was increasing quite rapidly. Well, at the end of the bass excercise I realized the there is no compression effect even at high volumes which I knew from the past RS2, RS1 and GS1000 observation while burning in, so I released the PS1000's from tortures and started the comparison with my GS1000's.

At the beginning I'd like to admit that I made a quick comparison in the shop where the GS1000i's came back from the loan in the meanwhile. The comparison was quick and with clear results - the GS1000i's had muffled highs due to the air barrier which sometimes makes you feel fly with the wind but on the other hand prevents the music to be played directly to you with no obstacles in the way from the scene foreground to your ears. So I was curious how it would be like on my rig.

OK, so I put some Haydn violin quartet concertos in my CDP and started to listen. The PS1000's showed closer, bigger instruments and clear ambience. The GS1000's presented wider and more distant soundstage with some blowing air across the stage, a bit of nervousness and the specific high midrange bump which is very slight but obvious. On the other hand, when I switched to some HC kind of Body Count, I liked the playing air better than the PS1000's accuracy and slight treble offensiveness. But I thought to myself - why not to try re-adjusting the whole rig? It's all DIY, with no IC just PCB's connected together, all parts outside, some in sockets. The GS1000's led me to the point that I had a different favorite each day among say 5 types of DAC output stages. The PS1000's showed me obvious supremacy of one of them and gained from this move tremendously. The massage for you guys is as follows. When you're moving back and forth rolling high quality op-amps, tubes, cables and other stuff without clear answer which one is optimal, use better headphones! Actually, further comparison to the GS1000's stopped making sense here and will just provide some brief impressions, unordered mostly due to enthusiasm and respect to the guy(s) who designed the PS1000's. I'm sure Piotr Ryka will provide much better and thorough disassembly of the PS1000's sonic signature as the headphones are going to him today.

So, how do the PS1000's sound when I feel it's the synergy? First - the sound is huge, the height of the soundstage is big enough to have impression there is no limit. The sources sound like from big speakers. These are headphones that can provide very speaker-like presentation when properly matched with the amp and the source. With another DAC configuration it was just "headphonish" kind of presentation, without "ritual" playing manner of the GS1000's what was the advantage in that case. Also, when paired well tonally with the rest of the rig, the trebles are no longer dry or aggressively forward. You don't hear the metallic echo in the mid-upper midrange any more, either. The midrange becomes sweet, smooth, shiny, euphonic and complete. These headphones are more of a camaleon than the GS1000's. They behave like a microscope of your rig signature so the completion of the system might take even longer than for the GS1000's. But the prize is worthy because the PS1000's IMHO provide a greater step forward from the GS1000's than expected from the price difference. At this level of quality people expect logarithmic gain compared to necessary funds. Here, many things is obviously improved for less than twice the $$ dough. Let's continue.

Bass - it sounds strong and even with stable bottom end, no higher part bump like in the GS1k's. It's quick and heavy at the same time. Kind of F1 bolid? Maybe. But the most impressive part is its threedimensionality and the feeling of air clouds released by the instrument and vibrating. They have specific sound each time, so it's a lifelike accuracy of the foot drum or double bass. The impact is perfect, hard but not hurting.

Midrange - I already told you but here is lots of other audible aspects. In my opinion the PS1k's have excellent impulse response. The attack is faster than in the GS1k's but the most impressive is decay. There is also no low midrange euphonic decoration like in the GS1000's which helps lesser audio components but at some level is unnecessary.
The sound texture and resolution is perfectly preserved until the note completely disappears. It's so accurate and fluent that you won't predict the release moment. For me personally, these headphones (cannot compare to the K1000's) provide the whole new level of transient fidelity. The instrument separation is top notch and the ambience is completely clear, with dark background. The echo's from the studio room or the concert hall have very obvious shape. Yes, the shape...

Shape of sounds - it deserves another section as it is something completely new to me amongst all headphones I've tried so far and setting new level of live presentation. The living shape of each sound. It's not static while decay, it behaves like a plasma entity, changing it's boundaries, density, shape and trasparency - you can see through the sound further, or it's just "opaque", or it can change.

Trebles - even, accurate, very well textured. No softness or sibilance. Perfect but I doubt the K1000's would be beaten here. However, I don't care for this.

More - I give up. These headphones impressed me too much. They are very resolving, bring new and sometimes surprising informations about well known records, especially vocals. They have many features of the K1000's surpassing them with the bass extension and authority, impression of being right there with the performers, not only "in front of" performers. These are true contenders for the only headphones and for the ultimate dynamic headphones. For me - the whole new level of dynamic transducer headphones experience. There is no coming back to the GS1000's and accepting their "lies". And I don't believe there is a cable making the GS1000's come so close that the compromise makes sense. It's about the transducers IMHO. You're milage may vary and I hope it won't.

The CD's used were as previously, plus some Blue Note jazz records, Pearl Jam "Ten", Grieg and Prokofiev compilations.
post #37 of 318
Thread Starter 
Thank you, Majkel, for your great review. And also thank for the great message: PS-1000 is far better than GS-1000. It is very nice to read, that Zanth was quite right and my hopes were not vain.
post #38 of 318

Oh boy, now there is saliva all over my work desk...
post #39 of 318
I really think the PS1000 is truely an outstanding headphone. I owned the R10s for 6 years. Do they beat the R10s in performance? In some ways, yes. They don't have the midrange or extreemly extended, sparkling treble of the R10s. They are very good in those areas, but the R10s is one of the best at this and that is why the R10s are a very enjoyable listen. What the PS1000s has is better balance. The music has more weight to it, better and tighter bass, and a bigger soundstage. The PS 1000s are very enjoyable too, just in a different way. With that said, I did put a lot of effort in front of the PS 1000s to get the most out of them or get the best synergy. At the moment I am using the Redwine Audio Isabella/DAC, VD ICs, and the EAR HP 4, which is a great match for Grados, in front of the PS 1000s.
post #40 of 318
Finally, I love this, thanks guys

I believe we need an PS1000 smiley
post #41 of 318
post #42 of 318
Originally Posted by Piotr Ryka View Post
Thank you, Majkel, for your great review. And also thank for the great message: PS-1000 is far better than GS-1000. It is very nice to read, that Zanth was quite right and my hopes were not vain.
Thanks And thanks for the fine reviews to both you and Majkel.

The key as with every review is to focus on what the reviewer wants from a headphone. I try to be very explicit in what I am looking for in a headphone and thus far the PS-1000's gives me what I want. I think robm321 mentioned that no headphone is perfect or that no one single headphone is "the best." This makes a lot of sense because although one could objectively measure certain aspects of a headphone and declare one has more of x or y or a better overall reading within some parameter setting, ultimately the entire sound must be taken into consideration and that overall sound will be enjoyed by some, praised by others, detested by still some others.

The PS-1000's manage to bring the performance closer than the GS-1000 presentation, not as in line with the PS-1, HF-2, RS-1, HP-1 but closer. This creates a more intimate frame of reference as both Piotr and Majkel described, but this does decrease the ambient air one can hear. No headphone to date has provided as much air for my ears as the Omega II's but the GS-1000's do a very fine job on the macroscale while the PS-1000's do it better on the microscale.

I pretty much agree with everything that was written. If I had to choose just one headphone, it would be the PS-1000 from my collection but the GS-1000's do really nice things as well, different from the PS-1000. The RS-1 vintage are again different as are the PS-1.

I just received the HF-2 to listen to and will be comparing all the Grados I have on hand (save for the HP-1000's). I'm really pleased to read such valiant efforts from other folks, both you and Majkel did an excellent job (and not even in your mother tongue!). Had I tried to write in Polish, it would have been an epic fail. My thesis director is Polish and could help me out, but I'd still massacre such a review. You both did the community a great service by taking the time to express your thoughts and impressions.

I really hope more folks from around the world try this out, for all the phones available particularly the new ones on the block like the PS-1000's and HD800's.
post #43 of 318
Very good points Zanth. It would seem that you can't really have just one Grado, because each one has it's own personality.
post #44 of 318
Indeed. I think this line of thinking is even more general, working for all headphones combined.

Essentially, no one transducer does it all, BUT headphone by their nature make it easier to own more than one and provide the end user with quite a bit more flexibility in presentation than speakers do. Why is it that really rich folks (or lucky ones) that have say...HE90's with some uber amp still also own a plethora of other phones and amps? Because at the end of the day, as grand as the Big O or its hybrids might be, they still don't give everything a user might want, but dynamics or other electrostats offer a nice change up.

I mean, I own and listen to a bunch of various Grados on any given day, plus I have 3 IEMs that I swap between. I don't need this many, but darnit, I'm lucky to be able to have different options and enjoy them at will. I would hope I could maintain this for the length of my stay in this hobby.
post #45 of 318
Thread Starter 
I have now rare occasion to be able directly compared AKG K1000, Ultrasone E9, Grado GS-1000, Grado PS-1000 and Sennheiser HD 800. But unfortunately it is only one night of this paradise and additionally I have to work instead unproblematically listening to. But I do what I can to listen in pauses. Some impressions soon. Maybe after tomorrow.
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